07 February 2013

Brendon Ayanbadejo Gets It--Almost

Kelli Busey's Planet Transgender has become one of my favorite transgender-related blog.  Actually, it achieved that distinction not long after I discovered it.  She's usually on the right track and on point, and manages to be both assertive and gentle.

She shows all of those qualities in her most recent post.  In it, she mentions the support  Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo's attempt to express his support for transgender rights, as he understands them.  The only problem is that he understands them in the same way too many other well-meaning but misinformed people understand them:

If a woman wants to wear a man's clothes or if a man wants to wear a woman's clothes or you feel like you're a woman on the inside and you're really a man. Who cares? Let's just treat everyone equally. Let's move on. Let's evolve as a culture, as a people.”

My impulse is to be charitable with him. Some of us who are members of the gender-variant community, and some who spend a lot of time around folks like us, would excoriate him for showing that he seems not to understand the difference between a cross-dresser and a transgendered person.  Perhaps he doesn't understand such a distinction:  Somehow I don't think he doesn't know a lot of trans people or cross-dressers and doesn't spend a lot of time around people who are familiar with us.  That's all right:  Most people probably don't know any trans people, either--or, at least, they don't know that they know us.

Plus, I somehow get the impression that his heart is at least in the right place.  Basically, he's saying that we should try to get along and to realize that we're all in the same world, in the same struggle, together, and that we can and must move forward.

I don't go to Facebook very often.  However, I'm going to post a comment on his fan page.  In it, I will praise him for saying that we should treat everyone equally and "evolve as a culture", while pointing out the difference between transgenders and cross-dressers.


Kelli Busey said...

Justine thank you for your kind words. I love your work too:)

Justine Valinotti said...

Kelli--You are an inspiration to me.