Humans fear the unknown. The best cure for prejudice is familiarity.
This fact has helped many groups (e.g., African-Americans, gays, Muslims) gain social acceptance. Increased visibility (for example, on television) causes mainstream folk to relax about the "other"-ness of foreign groups. Those who are transgender, like myself, are at the very beginning of the process of acceptance.
Most people have never met anyone transgender and have nobody in their lives to ask obvious questions. I thought it might help to give you that opportunity. If you have any questions about transgenderism or me, fire away. If you prefer privacy, e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I'll answer every inquiry. For instance:
- Do you guys all know each other?
Yes. We have weekly meetings.
- Are you all alike?
No. Caitlyn Jenner is a conservative Republican. Try as I might, I can't wrap my head around that.
- Are you happy?
Most of us are not. Being obstructed from having an authentic life causes many to become depressed and even suicidal. Gender is fundamental to our psyche and being mis-seen on this is crushing. Of course, one can find ways to deal with it (as I have) but that depends on the individual. Among other transgenders I know, about 80% are deeply sad.
- Do you all have the same sexual orientation?
No, and this is the most common misperception. Transgenders are both straight and gay, in roughly the same percentage as cisgender people. ("Cisgender" means you feel right about the gender assigned to you at birth.)
- Do you have a sense of humor?
Some do, some don't. I find it the only way to get through life.