Trans people opposed to gay marriage?

Marriage equality extends beyond the ceremony: it means same-sex couples must be treated equally in all public businesses and institutions, too. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

By Jillian Page
LGBT Perspectives editor

QUEBEC — How can you be a gender-transitioned woman and be opposed to same-sex marriage? And be in a same-sex relationship at the same time?

I remember thinking those questions when I got to know one of my newspaper blog readers back in the day. I didn’t dare ask her the questions, because who am I to challenge her belief system. But her stance seemed terribly inconsistent to me. Yes, she was a Christian and believed God frowns upon gay marriage. But, in the same breath,  the fact she felt God was OK with transsexuality just seemed contradictory to me, if not hypocritical. As for her same-sex partnership, she explained that the couple had been married before her transition and that they stayed together because it was financially convenient — but they slept in separate rooms, she said.

Hey, it takes all kinds, eh?

My ‘friendship’ with her ended not because of her beliefs, but because she kept attacking my readers — with Bible-thumping sermons — who left comments in support of same-sex marriage to my blog items. I deleted her comments and asked her to stop attacking them, but she wouldn’t . . . Yes, I know that may seem to some to be a suppression of free speech, but I had promised my LGBT readers that the blog would be a safe haven for them (as is this publication) and I would not let them be attacked by conservative right-wingers there.

And so our somewhat tenuous friendship ended, and I never really gave her much more thought until the Caitlyn Jenner comments on the Ellen show came to light recently. It seems Caitlyn views herself as a “traditionalist” and was against same-sex marriage once upon a time, but is now “OK with it,” according to a Hollywood Reporter article on the Billboard site.

She said the following on Ellen’s show: “I’m older than most people in the audience, and I kind of like tradition, you know, and it’s always been a man and a woman,” Jenner said. But the 65-year-old followed with the fact that she would not stand in the way of anyone’s happiness. “If that word ‘marriage’ is really, really that important to you, I can go with it,” Jenner said.

Apparently, she confused the heck out of Ellen, and in turn Howard Stern, with whom Ellen discussed the issue on his radio show.

Ellen reportedly said this to Howard: “She still has a judgment about gay marriage,” DeGeneres said of Jenner. “And I said, ‘You’re wanting people to understand and accept you … and you still have a judgment about gay people and marriage.’ “

To which Howard responded thus: Stern called the idea of Jenner’s outlook “crazy.” “Here’s a person on TV crying, ‘I want to be myself, I want to be genuine, I don’t want people to ridicule me’ and then says in the same breath, ‘Gee, gay marriage, I don’t get it,’ ” Stern said. “It’s remarkable.”

Well, at least Caitlyn accepts same-sex marriage now, if somewhat grudgingly. My former reader/friend didn’t accept it at all, and actively preached against it whenever she could. Her last words to me were “I’m going to pray for you, Jill.”

So what gives, anyway? What’s with the inconsistent beliefs — though, I know religious people often pick and choose when it comes to morality, i.e. being OK with divorce but being opposed to gay marriage.

My former friend believed there was nothing in the Bible to suggest gender transitioning was wrong — even if the Catholic Church and others opposed it. Was she being hypocritically selective with her religious beliefs?

Or was she illustrating in her own way what transgender people have been saying all along: sexual orientation issues and gender identity issues are not the same thing, and should not be confused.

In her mind, her gender identity issues and subsequent transition were not immoral; but same-sexual orientation and subsequent gay relationships were morally wrong.

Obviously, these apparent contradictory beliefs do exist. I’ve even heard of gay people who actually oppose same-sex marriage, believing that they can live and have sex with their partners, but shouldn’t have the right to be legally married.

The mind boggles, yes?

I welcome discussion on these issues. What say you?

Disclosure: Personally, as a spiritual person and a Theosophist, I know in my heart that the Universal Energy that animates and “fills the heavens and the earth” couldn’t care less about such matters, and that it doesn’t care in the personal sense at all.  (“God is a concept by which we measure our pain,” she sings as she plants a John Lennon earworm in your brain . . .)

And I know that “all you need is love . . .”

Cheers

(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

****

“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey

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4 thoughts on “Trans people opposed to gay marriage?”

  1. I don’t personally believe in the bible some people wrote it and that’s that. I’m spiritual I believe in ghosts and what not but God I don’t personally believe in. Though I do believe everything happens for a reason, what I have no idea but moving on. I find it funny how people quote a book and say the book says this about gay men or marriage or whatever and people put it upon them selves to shove it down others Throats. When half the time they dont follow their own believes or advice.

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  2. Let’s see if I can summarize my take on it down to a brief statement, since my previous attempt to do so elsewhere got rather lengthy. This is my own theory, based on my own observations and reflections, and your mileage may vary. For the record, I don’t consider myself a radical feminist. I’m a pansexual cis woman (and eclectic pagan) who tries to take everyone as they are.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that both homophobia and transphobia are aspects of sexism, and therefore ultimately all three are the same battle, and therefore we’re going to have to win all three before any of them are completely dead.

    Sexism assumes not only a fundamental difference between male and female, but generally also a value judgement of one being superior to the other. That fundamental difference is challenged if there are no hard absolute clear boundaries between the sexes, ie, by people who cross either once or live in the fuzzy area between. The very existence of fuzzy ground challenges the validity of the whole view.

    Transphobia, therefore, is rooted in a fear of anything that does not fall within the neat categories of male and female and stay where it was forever. Someone assigned male at birth who identifies as a woman and is willing to make personal sacrifices to live that way challenges the superiority of masculinity. Someone assigned female at birth demanding to be accepted as a man dilutes the exclusivity of masculinity. Someone fluid who refuses to pick a side undermines the whole idea that there are two absolute sexes/genders to begin with. Someone agender devalues the allmighty importance of basing one’s identity around one’s gender.

    Homophobia is also sexism. How often have we heard, “So who’s the man in the relationship?” If two men are together, then to the sexist mind, one or the other (maybe both) is tainting their masculinity by “acting like a woman.” If two women are together, it rejects the importance of masculinity as the centre of the world and an essential part of any equation.

    If you’re a straight guy and find out that you were attracted to a trans woman, that might be a stain on your own masculinity, in a sort of combination.

    This is rather simplified from my personal take on the whole issue, but to me, we’re all in the same boat – any non-exclusively-hetero orientation, any non-absolutely-cis gender identity, or for that matter anyone who does not fall within traditional gender roles regardless of identity.

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      1. Thanks. 🙂

        i suppose the exact way it applies to what you were talking about as far as same-sex marriage has to be inferred from the general concept, but that’s going to work differently for different individuals anyway. I’m not so good at “short” when I’m writing, and it was long enough. LOL When you start getting religion into it, which in my experience far too often (but not always!) discourages people from actually looking at and questioning their own assumptions, and can lead to people hating themselves deep down for being who and what they are even when they apparently have accepted themselves, the whole thing just turns into a complete mess.

        I’m aware that this particular take on it isn’t going to make me popular with everyone, particularly anyone who wants to separate orientation and gender identity as completely as possible (from either side), or those who want to break transgender into exclusive sub-groups (way too often with an implied hierarchy), but I seriously don’t think that kind of approach is going to get us anywhere good.

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