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2009-06-20 - 7:43 p.m.

I don't know how many of you have known transgendered individules, but I hope you were able to be empathetic and at least try to understand and accept them.

When I was over my best buddy's house in California, he asked me to look at a note passed out by the neighbor across the street. Apparently all the residences on the street got one. Arturo is new to the neighborhood, and I think he wanted to see what I thought before considering how he would respond.

As I read it, I thought what a tough row to hoe the writer was taking on. I also felt that She had really tried to present her position by writing this powerful letter. I thought "Ramona" was very brave and very thoughtful to help her neighbors ( some of which knew her for years as "Jack") to understand her new situation.

Now I believe that I can get an idea intellectually why "Jack" was coming out as "Ramona". Truthfully though I don't believe I can truly feel the pain and privation that causes this change. As a hetrosexual male, secure in my own sexuality, I can accept "Ramona" or "Jack" without resevation, and I would challenge those who can't to look within at thier own deeply rooted feelings, sexual and/or social to find out why they might have problems with transgendered individuals.

"Ramona" gave me the OK to publish this (less identifying portions) and It follows below. All mistakes, spelling ,puntuation and other grammer problems are mine alone, as most of you see this on a regular basis because of my previous stroke.

Dear Friend,

I am transgendered.I know that term still isn't very commonly used and there are still a lot of different opinions as to what terms
mean what, so I'll compare it the terms you're probably more familiar with.It's not quite like a transvesite, who is basically a "cross Dresser", it's not the same as transexual, which refers to someone who's had a sex-change operation although some would call me this, and it's not a "drag queen", which refers to one who cross dresses (some times outrageously) to perform or other names you may have heard. Being transgendered is about Identity, not clothes or sexual surgery, sexual fantasy or relationships. In other words, regardless of any other factors, I identify as female.

I know this maybe a great shock (or not), and it might be one of the strangest things that any one has ever told you. When I was a kid I liked playing with my sisters dolls & clothes (tried to hide it) and I didn't enjoy male games although I learned to act the part or suffer pain both physically and psychologically. It's only recently I've been able to come to terms with who I am inside and start finding the real me. I don't think I could have survived continuing to live as a male.

So what does this really mean?

It means I dress in womans clothes, wear makeup,and use a wig (the term for this is ("presenting"), but it's not really "cross dressing", because I consider myself a woman, so I'm dressing the way I feel I should be dressing.

It means I am currently undergoing hormone treatment and have been for several years. Over time my outward features will become more and more feminine.
It means I will be going by the name "Ramona" and will be getting my name legally changed as soon as feasable. My full name is"Ramona Erin XXXXX".

I should also explain what it doesn't mean.

It doesn't mean "Mary" and I will be separating. As you can imagine we have had many discussions about this over the last few years.

It doesn't mean I'm a freak. I'm still the same person I've always been. I'm not into any kinky hobbies, and most of my transgendered friends are just regular people who have (mostly) regular lives.

And perhaps most importantly, this isn't a phase.

I've known for years who I am. This is one of the most important things I've ever done.

I hope that you can accept me for who I am, but that is not a fear in me at all. I know that even though this might come as a shock, you know that I'm still essentially the same person I always was. Well, not completely the same!

I'm happier than I've ever been in my life because I've finall started on a path that I should have started years ago.

Sincerely, Ramona XXXXX.
Ok, there you have it. I spoke to "Ramona" who is around 60 years old, his wife and 25 year old daughter.

Rather than "coping" with this as you might think, they are in complete support of "Ramona" and seem to be a great family.

She will be coming out at work soon, so if you know her, or someone like her, please give them your complete support. And Please try to keep your pronouns straight. That will help the person feel accepted as they are.

Please cut out and post on any appropriate forum that may deal with this.



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