by Paul L. Grace-Neal

Oxon Hill, Maryland–Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong.  People don’t understand me and what I am experiencing.   I look different day by day. I deal with different issues than I did six years ago. I think differently and I date differently.

I’m speaking of being Trans*.  I get that you don’t understand my circumstances but at least try. Let me try to help you.   I’ve tried to join a few men’s groups but they were all gay men and I’m not gay.  The greater community and the faith community are unknowledgeable or maybe intolerant to issues pertaining to the Trans* community.

Even in the LGBT community the T and the B are silent.  If you’re not a gay man or a lesbian woman, you don’t belong.  People I thought were close to me want me and other Trans* men to participate in their events but there is nothing there for me.  I’m not into picking up any one.  I’m not into dudes.  I’m talking about discussion/interaction.  What does top and bottom have to do with me? And how does any other discussion of sex among gay men have to do with me? The only thing it does for me is make me feel uncomfortable.   It makes me feel as if I don’t belong.

When are we going to open up to welcome Trans* men (and women)?  When is the Trans* community going to be put on someone else’s agenda.  It’s about more than toilets.  It’s about cultural sensitivity and awareness.  It’s about social skills like if you don’t know me then don’t ask personal/medical questions about my transition.  If I want you to know, I will volunteer the information.

I’m just tired of being treated like a freak or a commodity. “Oooooh, a Trans*??? I’ve never tried one of those before.”  And if it’s up to me you never will.  News flash… I’m not the latest ice cream flavor or box in a grocery store aisle.  I am a human being with emotions and a heart and your comments, and exclusions kill my Spirit daily.

I wish more people would have events and interactions that included me.  I do have my circle of Trans* men and women I confide in but the world is made up of more than Trans* people.   I’d like to live in a realistic yet accepting community of love.  You don’t have to love my ways but love me and us with the love of God.



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