28 February 2013

Her Integrity Excludes Her

How many of you went to your high school prom?

I didn't go to mine, even though I was on the committee that planned it.  When fellow committee members and our faculty advisor realized I wasn't going, I told them I had broken up with my girlfriend and didn't have a date.

Truth was, I didn't have a girlfriend to break up with.  Or a boyfriend, for that matter.  I simply didn't date anybody in high school, and well into my college years.   Now, if I had been dating another boy, I couldn't have brought him to the prom.  But even if I'd had a girlfriend, I'm not sure that I would have gone.

But, in a way, those issues were academic (pun intended).  I didn't want to date anybody.  I take that back:  I'm not sure that I could have dated anybody.  Whether I was with a boy or girl, I would have been dating as a boy.  And I hated and feared that prospect.

I later dated--and had a couple of long-term relationships--as a "man."  I never felt right about that, because I never felt quite like a man.  Still, I continued in those relationships in the hope that, through love, I would find my maleness, if not my manhood.

Because of what I've just mentioned, I am happy that there are young trans people who--in some places, anyway--can attend their proms in the gender in which they identify.

The Spring Independent School District in Texas is not one of those places.  In fact, as Lone Star State native Kelli Busey (of Planet Transgender) says, trans people there are "discriminated against in all phases of transition."  Although nothing in the Spring ISD student conduct and dress code specifically mentions transgender people, it still leaves a lot to the discretion of the principal.  

That means Tony Zamazal cannot wear a dress to her prom.  What's really sad about that is that she'd just recently come to terms with her gender identity and was beginning to express it, or as we like to say, live as her true self.

So, instead of becoming a celebration of a major milestone in her young life, her high school's prom is something from which she will be excluded for living as the person she truly is.  What kind of a message is that to send to a young person?

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