I was on an 8 day business cruise. Almost 400 of us on 2,000 person ship. It was 20% networking and 80% fun. It’s the 16th such group cruise of which I’ve gone on the last four.
I just want to be myself. I went as Gwen all the way for 8 days straight. I was in heaven to say the least. I even arrived at the port, checked my bags and went through security as Gwen both coming and going.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS
That’s how I see social change and social perception of the transgender community happening. Just be yourself but know that your actions also reflect on others in the community. Forcing things onto people tends to have them put up barriers rather than relax, listen and understand.
Last night I got a DM from someone who was on the cruise with me. I started to get misty after reading it. She made my entire cruise worth it. I’ll leave their name out.
Here’s what she wrote…
Gwen, I want you to know the 1st time I saw you I was taken back. I grew up closed minded because that’s the area I lived in, not because of my parents. They was from upstate NY and of course in a different time.
As I got older I learned more about life, people and society. I have several friends who is gay or lesbian but had never met a transgender.
Please forgive me and be patient with my writing. I saw you on the cruise and was taken back. I watched you and was in awe of how beautiful you are but also in how comfortable you are being you. I watched from a distance for days wanting to just approach you to say hello.
I am very glad that the last day I got the nerve to tell you exactly how beautiful you are. I am sure your beauty runs deep and am very glad you not only accepted me as a friend but look forward to watching you become a beautiful butterfly.
I don’t know your story and of course my ignorance makes my mind have questions. I just want you to know I look forward to learning from you and opening my mind to more.
Again, please know how grateful and appreciative I am that you was so friendly to me on the cruise.
This is how change happens. Forcing things on people simply puts up natural barriers which seems to be the norm these days.
OMG That makes the cruise so worth it! I hate it when the media pushes transgenderism on people. I feel it’s the wrong course of action and just creates stronger barriers.
All I ever want is to be respected as a person and to be understood. Changing perceptions one person at a time is fine with me.
I’m really a nice person (humble too) yet if people give a knee-jerk reaction not ever having chance to get to know me, what good is that? I don’t hold grudges either. These days it’s either one pole or the other and if you’re not with me you’re against me. I feel there’s so many shades in between.
If you ever have any questions or just want to chat, just hit me up.
You may agree or disagree with my assessment and that’s fine. It’s OK to have a different viewpoint. I actually find it intellectually stimulating to discuss various view on topics.
What do you think?
Dr. Gwen Patrone