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Food for thought, as always!

This is obviously an explosive issue. I’m sure I’ll get people in agreement but also many who will defiantly disagree and some who will hate me regardless of what it says. You know what? That’s fine with me. All I ask is to seriously consider what I’m saying below.

As a coach and mentor for over 30 years, I’ve learned to take a non-partisan approach to observing situations that are happening to me. I listen twice as much as I speak. I call it listening and seeing things in slow motion.

We all have our biases caused by life experiences unique to us. I’ve changed my position on a topic occasionally based on new information. It’s those who can’t do that and are blind to topics because there’s no way they may be incorrect that need some introspection about their own rose colored glasses of how they view the world.

My point is this: There’s never just one way to see a topic or the world. Only those who are willing to entertain this concept can solve problems with anything other than violence.

OK here we go….

During a recent girls night out (GNO), I had the pleasure of being in the company of both Republicans and Democrats. It was split pretty evenly.

It was truly refreshing to engage in calm discussions where we respectfully disagreed on the causes of various issues we all face and the best solutions to tackle them. We agreed to disagree on some issues and agreed upon most issues but still remained friends.

Despite our differences, there was one crucial topic that united us all: trans rights. It was heartwarming to witness such a strong consensus among us. It made me reflect on the importance of inclusivity within our own political tribes.

When some individuals within our ranks vilify their fellow sisters for not aligning with their exact beliefs, they inadvertently isolate potential allies and diminish the strength of our advocacy.

It’s vital to recognize that diverse perspectives can enhance our collective power and help us create a more inclusive and compassionate trans group and society as a whole.

So my answer to the title of my piece is, “YES”.

Dr. Gwen Patrone


13 Responses

  1. Interesting question Gwen and whilst, being in the UK, I’m detached from much of what is going on on your side of the Atlantic, I am aware of a lot of the issues thanks to YouTube.

    Here, we’re in perhaps a better position as, under our equality laws, gender diversity is a ‘protected characteristic’ and so it’s illegal to discriminate against trans people. Additionally, it’s also illegal for any gender treatment other than blockers to be administered to minors which I know has been a particular point of controversy in the US. Even so, we have seen issues like the banishment of words like ‘woman’ and ‘mother’ and controversies surrounding paediatric care, incarceration of trans prisoners and relaxation of requirements to change gender on documents push trans issues centre stage and drive public opinion against trans people to a degree.

    You have hit the nail on the head regarding those who vilify others for not supporting their beliefs. We may have concerns about certain aspects but that doesn’t make us transphobes, TERFs or any of the other epithets flung our way. In the end, and as you rightly say, we have to listen as well as state our view. In doing so, we may be able to change others’ viewpoints or they may be able to change ours. But, in the end, if the best approach is to agree to differ, that’s fine too.

    Great outfit on the pic too!

    1. Hi Amanda,
      Thanks so much for the in depth reply.
      It’s a very wide-ranging topic and one not solved easily. My post was more about mutual respect and working together dispute differences, not about specific issues themselves.

  2. The politics of our country are at a serious crossroads and the divide I see is bigger now that at anytime I recall
    Me I use to totally side with republicans but these days even many on that side make me angry
    I’m much more of an independent now and yes trans rights are important and we all should agree on that one

    1. Hi Rachael,
      I detest politics myself.
      So much has become where one side has to do the opposite only because the other side and they can’t been seen to agree. It’s silly really. There used to be middle ground compromises but it’s increasingly rare.

  3. Gwen,
    Please excuse my basic language but I’m going to repeat the words of my father in law , he was a very succesful farmer but didn’t mince his words . His thoughts on politics and politicians were , ” They all pee in the same pot !!” . In other words like so many professions it’s just a job , some do it very well and some do it badly . I had similar feelings about the church and it’s officials after working with them for 30 years through my photography .

    To be contemptuous attracts attention , do some of the things they say really mean anything ? The problem is once said they have to follow it up , how many politicians do you know that back down ? Sometimes it’s a case of jumping on the bandwagon , beating the drum even if you’re out of tune with others .

    Perhaps it poses the question of thinking more about yourself rather than considering others . Some years ago I joined an online CDers forum , people often became heated for very little reason . I realised the closeted world of many trans people often meant their statements contained half the facts because they were frightened to reveal more . I often tried to persuade other members to read between the lines to reveal more of the truth , very often the author would thank me for my consideration .
    The problem today is we are ruled by social media , too many faceless people use it to cause harm and heartbreak , they don’t give a **** because they can just walk away after achieving those few moments of glory and search out another victim .

    1. Hi Teresa,
      Simple words convey the clearest message. Thank you.
      The documentary on Netflix called The Social Dilemma tells in detail how social media is destroying us by influencing society. It’s so scary. However if you understand what’s going on, you can take steps to combat what is happening. The total polarization of people by feeding them more of what they want and less of other viewpoints is the problem. It’s like a junkie. They get only one thing and need more of it and all else doesn’t matter. Debating Other viewpoints is the scientific method. That’s how we come to the best solution. Having tolerance only if someone agrees with you is a symptom of what’s happening. Getting triggered if you disagree with someone is not the way things get resolved.


  4. I think it is obvious that some TG folks are 100 % in the mode of my way or the highway. Some of their agenda is so extreme that it will never sell in America and can only contribute to a backlash against us. On the other hand it is obvious that a number of GOP politicians are clueless re: the Transgender issue and/or just playing for votes. I don’t any real spokesperson for us calmly outlining our info. First of all -yes some kids are being inappropriately influenced re. their gender identity. We should admit this while also emphasizing that most true TG’s know it from about ages 4 to 6. Secondly-where are the doctors pointing out the benefits of puberty blockers? Rather than “chemical castration” they allow time for a kid to come to a decision,avoid the trauma of puberty and also avoid subsequent surgery to remove the effects of puberty. Sure there are some possible negatives from taking blockers but that is so with all medicines.

    1. Hi Emily,
      I’m of the belief as you mentioned, it’s one backlash causing another backlash etc. Most react to what’s happening now when the way to fix it is to listen to the other side, their wants, fears etc. where is it coming from? What is causing it? Very tough questions to honestly answer without either side blowing up, but essential for calming the pain and ultimately finding a solution both can live with.

  5. Thanks for opening this up, Gwen.

    In a course I teach on Taking Flight with DISC, you touched on a key lesson we try to impart, a saying from Jiddu Krisnamurti: The highest form of human intelligence is the ability to observe without judging. We try to help people understand themselves first to better understand others. After judgment we seek Understanding, which should lead to Respecting and finally Valuing others as they are. Hoping to be open to learn as you say.

    I am so impressed with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigeg, who seeks to first find common ground – like our trans status on the spectrum – so that we can open up the other areas from that common ground.

    Great insight! The more I read you, the more I Respect and Value YOU, Gwen!


    1. Thanks Crystal
      Very kind words indeed.
      During battle in the USMC in triage if someone is critically hurt, you must first stop the immediate life threatening issue. Then work on the secondary issues. With What’s going on now, either side demonizing the other does neither. It simply aggravates the problem. We all need to take a breath and talk to each other. It’s hard now with all these laws coming out now but it can be done. The masses in our community need to speak up and be heard. Right now it’s usually the fringe on both sides yelling at each other.

  6. It’s not a both sides issue, or if it is, it’s 99% Republican and 1% Democrat.

    It’s not Democrats who are demonizing trans people and drag queens, it’s Republicans, and they are doing it for purely political reasons.

    This judge, Judge Hinkle of Florida, got it right in a recent decision regarding the recent Florida laws on trans care:

    [“Nothing could have motivated this remarkable intrusion into parental prerogatives other than opposition to transgender status itself,” wrote Hinkle, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton.

    Hinkle also added that “the statute and the rules were an exercise in politics, not good medicine. This is a politically fraught area. There has long been, and still is, substantial bigotry directed at transgender individuals. Common experience confirms this, as does a Florida legislator’s remarkable reference to transgender witnesses at a committee hearing as ‘mutants’ and ‘demons.’ And even when not based on bigotry, there are those who incorrectly but sincerely believe that gender identity is not real but instead just a choice.”]

    Trans and LGTB people who vote for Republican candidates are definitely part of the problem, especially these days. The Republicans in your GNO should have a good long hard look in the mirror.

  7. Hi Dee,
    Thanks for your response and the links.
    You fall into the all or nothing group which is anticipated. I have a few long time friends that are the same and can’t see any other way. Sadly, they can’t accept that I agree only with 90% of what they say. It’s 100% or the Highway for them. It took me a while to come to grips with that viewpoint because they were really great friends. But I have. I’m a shades of grey person. Some policies I like while others I don’t on both sides and on all issues. I’ve always been hardwired like that. I respect your opinion although I don’t agree with it. But that’s ok. We don’t have to agree on everything to be advocates for common things we do agree upon. I believe that. You may not. And as I mentioned… that’s ok.

  8. Hi Gwen,

    You are touching a very important yet delicate topic to discuss. As a foreigner who follows US politics closely, I have noticed that, as in the case of race, global warming, etc, the division between US citizens is stronger than ever before. I have always said that you don’t demand to be accepted; you earn acceptance by tolerating and accepting others no matter how different they are. Fanatic activism has become a way of living for a few who, unrightfully, take the representation of a whole group of society. As a matter of fact, most of the segment they claim to represent, does not agree or aligns with their demands and views; or at least not with their approach to achieve them. In the same way that most women do not identify with extreme feminists, most of our TG community does not feel represented by those loud activists that demand so much by vilifying and insulting those who oppose or are different from them. Nothing that is imposed is really earned, and if we want respect from the mases, we must do it the way most of us do it, by being out there like any other person, interacting and showing the world that we are just humans, like everyone else.

    Then there comes the issue of TG in sports, beauty pageants, etc., but that is a topic for another time. Notice that I did not used the LGTBQ… acronym, because I think each part needs to mind their own issues, as there are as much a difference between TG and Gay than there is with the rest of the population. Live and let live!


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