talkback — Aug. 7

From the editor:

Following the publication of of our July 24 print and online editions, qnotes received several comments regarding Trinity’s advice column “Drag queens, cross dressers and trannies…Oh, my!”. Our readers were upset with the use of a word they consider offensive and derogatory. qnotes wants to apologize to those who found this terminology offensive. Trinity, a nationally-syndicated writer, is a valued contributor to our paper and has been for nearly a decade. We appreciate her contributions and know Trinity would never write simply to offend. Further, we’d like to extend our hand in continued friendship as allies in the struggle transgender people face. Over the past several years, qnotes has striven to become more inclusive of our transgender brothers and sisters. We hope this trend can continue and ask for your partnership, diligence and loyalty. Thank you.

In response to “Tell Trinity” column, “Drag queens, cross dressers and trannies…Oh, my!” (July 24, 2010)

Transvestite does NOT refer to a person who lives 24/7 as the sex opposite what they were assigned at birth. Transvestite is a more clinical term for crossdresser that has fallen out of use (at least on this side of the Atlantic).

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There are many transmen (men born female) and transwomen (women born male) that live 24/7 WITHOUT having had reassignment surgery. There are many more terms such as transgender, pre-op, post-op, MtF, FtM, etc. I know folks that identify as each but I do not know ANYONE that identifies as a transvestite.

I’d encourage you to attend a transgender support or social group and meet some real-live trans folks so you can learn more about us.

— Paige, web, July 24

In response to “Bi now. Gay later?” by Max Jiminez (July 10, 2010):

An individual’s makeup if you will is basically an interaction between genetics, identity, and behaviors. Thanks to DNA we each have a “mind’s eye” towards other humans often referred to as natural attraction. What catches your eye in a crowded public environment is pretty much what you are naturally attracted to. Identical twin studies have shown that even our favorite color may very well be based in our genes.

Identity is formulated by what we see in a mirror balanced with how others treat us. Gender identity begins with birth. Sexual identity begins with the increase in hormones normally associated with puberty. Pressure from outside has a large influence on identities we assume over a lifetime.

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Behavior is obviously what we do as a result of the identities we have chosen to present to ourselves and everyone else.

In a nutshell, you like what you like but society through religion and cultural pressures shapes the identities we adopt and the behaviors we choose to engage in with the truly happy being those whose identities and behaviors most closely match their natural genetic persuasions.

Another interesting twist to the whole “am I gay, straight, or bi” question would be the genetic and statistical indicators. Put pure 100% homosexuality on one end of a line and pure 100% hetero on the other. Now draw a bell curve over your line. That leaves a good 65% of the 6 billion people on the planet with “bisexual” as their DNA-based attraction with some leaning more towards the girls and some towards the guys.

I’ve taught my developmental psych classes that we’re sexual beings, period. What we do in the privacy of our homes with willing participants is nobody’s business, especially the government or church’s. Also, I remind them to allow themselves to be themselves for a change, even if only to allow their “mind’s eye” to wander.

— Jimmy W. Locke, PsyD. Concord, NC

Corrections:

An article, “Freedom to Marry, Equality NC to counter anti-gay tour,” in our July 24 print and online editions contained mistakes in quotes from Sean Eldridge, communications director for Freedom to Marry. The corrected piece appears online at goqnotes.com/7702/. We regret the error. : :

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