On Transgenderism and the Importance of Being Out

I’ve started a new category, which means I apparently mean to talk about LGBT issues more in the future. If I do so poorly or misrepresent LGBT issues or people, feel free to correct me. Seriously. I want to be a good ally.

Today, I’d like to talk about two things I’ve found over the last few days. The first is a comic about the importance for gay people to be out. I found it pretty interesting, especially as much of it transfers to the atheist community. Part of the reason it is important for atheists to be openly atheist is exactly the same as part of the reason it is important for LGBT people to be openly LGBT: so people will start to see that being gay or atheist doesn’t really mean anything about other parts of that person’s life. Atheists, as much as gays (and perhaps more so, now that gays are becoming more accepted, but I’m not willing to claim for sure without experience to back it up), need to dilute cliches.

The other thing I’d like to talk about is a fairly unusual topic for me: celebrities. Normally, I don’t care about what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are up to, but this article about one of their children caught my attention. That particular child, born female, is now insisting on being called John. Whether it is just a fad or he is trans, the parents are acting exactly the right way, in my opinion. They are allowing that expression. Maybe she will stop wanting to be called John and grow her hair out again in a few months. In that case, being given this freedom helps her to know where she stands. On the other hand, maybe he is really going to grow up to identify as a man. In that case, this support is easing the transition that is so difficult for so many in such a position.

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