As is my norm, I looked up from my phone while wandering around yesterday and was surprised at where I found myself. I was in the North Park Blocks, basically, my front yard.
No surprise there.
What was slightly surprising was that I was in the midst of the Trans March and found myself thinking, “Guh, is it still Pride weekend in Portland?!?”
Pride weekend kicks off Thursday night, the parties really ramp up Friday night. Saturday has traditionally been reserved for a pre-parade Dyke March in the evening but has recently had a Trans March added earlier in the afternoon. Sunday is the big parade, followed by a visit to the festival at the waterfront park and Monday is recovery day.
This was me at 2 o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday. I’d pledged to sit this Pride out, my personal pride reserves are dwindling these days, so I just wasn’t feeling it. Plus, Portland Pride had been pre-marred by a promise made by some anonymous alt-right Proud Boys to cause trouble to revellers as they left events.
It was too much.
But just finding myself there incidentally ignited something.
It got me thinking about my earlier post on TransDating and how at the end, I’d only shared my experiences about dating – or not – Trans but not really my observations on the actual Folk.
Part I was 2500 words on experiences but maybe missed my actual point: Do trans-folk have themselves more together mentally and emotionally than other human folk?
I’d bet you a dollar you can guess what side I’m coming down on there.
Oh, hell yes!
Probably. Maybe a draw but I’m gonna give Trans Folk the edge over cis women.
Is it that that post sexual mindset I think millennials may display more as a group than prior (non-Victorian) generations is part of their journey to gender expression?
Yeah. My supposition is that it is something like that.
I think gay men – collectively – have had a tougher time traditionally in regards to managing mental health versus their sexual identities. But that thought of mine is 30-plus years old and I’m aware it needs to evolve. Because it’s a thought that precludes the increased visibility of transgendered people.
In my opinion, men start out less mentally mature than women. So, there’s that. But then when alternate sexuality rears its head as puberty rolls around, I think both genders have – historically speaking – kind of tended to withdraw.
I’m glad that fresher generations are not experiencing that so much as the rule anymore. It still happens, but I’m encouraged to see younger people expressing their sexual preference at – or sometimes even prior to – the time puberty comes on the scene. Perhaps it’s that early awareness and acceptance that will change gay men’s tendency to medicate through sex, drugs and alcohol and provide an opportunity to get mental help early on and produce better people.
Have I maybe wandered off track here?
I’m slightly distracted by envious thoughts about my nephew’s high school graduation last weekend and the fact that there was reference to openly gay classmates like it was no big deal. Also, I’m watching the Pride parade setting up outside since I live in their staging area.
So, I am distracted.
The point I was building toward is that once someone comes out to themselves as trans and says the words out loud – a huge hurdle – the mental health is built in. It’s not necessarily a tidal wave of mental health support, but there are pre-surgical boxes that must be checked before one can proceed.
Like, Joe Schmoe can’t just walk into a doctors office and book a boob job.
Well, actually, that might not be totally true now that I think about this guy. He famously said in an interview that he loved boobs so he got a set of his own.
I’m not sure what pre-surgical conversations he had, but that statement was pretty flip. I do know that he kept his girlfriend and his dumbstick…but that was then. I’m not up on current events since he left office.
I think that access to mental health helps to create what usually registers with me as an overall attractive energy…unique in my experience to TransFolk. I just don’t see or feel that same wellness from other people.
It’s very appealing and creates a real pull. You can see their happiness. I have a friend-quaintance in Seattle that just radiates happiness. I first met him at a party a friend threw. I was completely drawn into that energy, I didn’t learn until weeks later that he was FtM (female to male) Trans. Once I did it was like a lightbulb moment where I was all, “Of course!”
But as with all things mental health, it’s a destination. Truly a journey. Some people’s trek toward it is longer than others. Some people never actually set out. Still others will hit the road and then decide they want to go somewhere else.
That was the case with my Seattle-friend, ultimately deciding queer was the right label versus trans. But that they figured it out, that’s the win.
Which brings me to my deepest thought – perhaps even the point – of this derp post: is disqualifying a trans person as a sex partner any less sexist than doing the same based on someone’s race is racist?
I suspect that we will all still be allowed to be attracted to the physical appearances and plumbing that we are attracted to…maybe we’ll just evolve to a point where we can express those preferences without sounding like assholes.
From what I’ve seen, TransFolk have arrived at a destination that I hope can be a glimpse of a future. One that transcends physical appearance and allows someone to actually fall in love with the person and not the flesh around them.
And might just get me off my damn ass and to the parade, Proud Boys be damned.