I don't get it. Maybe it's my age, or maybe it has to do with my upbringing...but I don't understand anything about the idea of gender reassignment. When I was growing up, we never heard of such a thing. I didn't know anybody who seemed the least bit confused about their identity, gender-wise or otherwise. I didn't even know what "homosexual" meant until I was in my early twenties and a newlywed friend went home one day to find her husband in bed with another man.
Suicides or attempted suicides were almost unheard of where I come from. The aforementioned straying husband did attempt to take his own life once, some time after the divorce--because he said (at the time) he didn't want to be gay. His ex and I found him and got him to the hospital. She had to locate his family, who were all away for the weekend, sending the local sheriff to their lake house. I was at the hospital when they arrived. I got the distinct impression his mother would have preferred we let him die so it could all be kept quiet. He did survive--but was unanimously rejected by his entire family.
That was over thirty years ago. I have no idea where he is now, or if things were ever resolved for him. I felt bad for him--and even more so for his ex, whose life was seriously messed up by being used to hide his secret from his family. She used to say, "It's bad enough to have your husband leave you for another woman--but what are you doing wrong when he leaves you for a man?" I saw her go through a long period of drinking and dangerous promiscuity with men she met in bars--sometimes, she didn't even bother to ask their names. I always thought she was trying to prove something to herself.
These days, I'm even more confused--by couples who don't reveal the sex of their children, allowing the child to decide for themselves. Decide? That was decided before they were born! We get either two X chromosomes or an X and Y. That doesn't change, no matter how we change our external appearance. No wonder kids are so messed up these days. I was always a tomboy--my parents discovered early on that I wasn't "girly" by any means and didn't often play with dolls. I liked toy horses and trucks and going to the construction sites when Dad was building houses. But I was a girl. I knew I was a girl, I accepted it, and I never had any desire to change that. I still hate wearing dresses--haven't worn one in over twenty years--but I'm not gay and have no desire to turn into a man. I just like being comfortable.
Okay, there are times I've felt it would be more convenient to be a boy--there are things we girls have to deal with that guys don't ever experience, and most of the time, they're not stuck having to use icky public restrooms. They can just find a secluded spot at the back of a building and take care of business. But again, I've never even thought about making any major changes to the plumbing.
I wonder what makes someone willing to undergo extensive, expensive and dangerous surgical procedures. There's not much I'd be willing to risk my life for--in fact, the only way I'll go under the knife is if I'm told I'll die otherwise. For a man to become a woman involves taking estrogen for the rest of their lives. Given the risks for menopausal women posed by hormone replacement therapy, I wonder how much one's life is shortened by the use of hormones necessary to maintain their female appearance. Is it worth the risk, really?
There's a storyline currently running on The Bold and the Beautiful--messed up fashion heir Rick Forrester, having made himself the victim of two failed marriages to women he "couldn't trust," has fallen hard for model Maya Avant. He's the last to discover that Maya was born Myron. She explains to him that she was always a woman on the inside. In real life, most heterosexual men would have kicked her to the curb, but the show's PC writers have made him go totally out of character and accept it with almost no hesitation.
And then there's Bruce Jenner--I lost track of how many times that story appeared on TV in a single day. I'm not a fan of the Kardashians, but I have to admit that they are a bunch of attractive women. One would have to be extremely secure to end up the lone ugly woman in that group.
Seriously, I don't believe in persecuting anyone--but I can't say I understand any of this, or that I can be supportive of it. That's partly my age, partly my upbringing, and partly my beliefs. Changing one's gender is like telling God He made a mistake. That's the one place I won't go.