ST Forum: Transsexuals: More Understanding Needed (Sept 12 2008)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sep 12, 2008

Transsexuals: More understanding needed

KUDOS to the transsexuals in Mr Wong Kim Hoh's Special Report last
Saturday, 'When Papa became Mama'. Having had enough just trying to
understand themselves, they have come forward to help the rest of us
understand our problem with them. And indeed the problem lies with us.
I read with sadness of the rejection, discrimination and struggles the
transsexual community has had to endure, and realise it is our
under-developed understanding of the diversity and complexity of human
genders, our immature stereotyping of those who are different, and our
lack of acceptance and compassion for the unique individuality of our
children, that have caused their plight. They are just as much a part
of our family. What has happened to our focus on family values? Values
of unconditional love, support and commitment?

How can we undo the damage we have done?

Could the answer lie in the poignant reply of the 10-year old daughter
of male-to-female transsexual Fanny Ler? When asked what it was like
to have two mothers, she said: 'It's okay to have two mummies. I can
still enjoy both their love.' This turns the family-values argument on
its head. It is not non-traditional family structures that constitute
a threat to families, but the shame and stigma society attaches to
families that undermine it. It is perhaps true then, that 'a little
child shall lead us' to truly pledge ourselves to be one united
people, regardless of race, language, religion, gender identity or
sexual orientation. A society based on justice and true equality for all.

Susan Tang (Mrs)

Founding member

SAFE (a support group of straight people aimed at accepting gay,
lesbians and people of other sexual orientations)