On the whole, I believe people do not like major change in their lives, but on a personal level, I have come to the conclusion that people don’t want others to change. We don’t like others to “see the light” about a subject or to “change the errors of their ways” or even “grow up.” It’s just better if we can keep everyone at a distance and keep pointing to their flaws as a reason to not accept who they are and that they are capable of change.
It’s happened to me personally, where my feelings about transgender people has changed over the last ten years or so. In the early 2000s, I was heavily into using Yahoo Chat rooms. Yep, online cesspool if there ever was one. There were a lot of chatters with CD tacked onto the end of their ID, which was commonly known to mean cross-dresser. They quite often hit on me, even though I expressed numerous times that I was simply not interested. Their persistence annoyed me. I never thought of them as women who were born the wrong gender because it never came up. And considering the nature of most of those chat rooms, I always had it in the back of my mind that these chatters could be anyone. If I really thought about it at that point in my life, I would say that cross dressing is a change on the outside only; something one does for whatever reason. Transgender is a whole person experience; the change is from deep within and it then radiates outward.
A few years after I’d moved on from using Yahoo Chat I met someone who I became friends with and at some point the topic came up of those chat rooms and I expressed what I believed at the time: cross-dressing people are different than transgender. After a short while, we lost contact and I reached back out to this person and discovered that they are transgender, though as yet unable to have full transition. I had no problems with this revelation then and don’t now, but my previous stories about my experiences in the Yahoo Chat rooms hadn’t been forgotten.
I don’t know if my feelings about transgender people didn’t really exist or what, but I know in my heart that I accept whatever it is going on inside them. I may not understand why it happens, but frankly I don’t think anyone does. It happens and I fully support who they are and their struggle to become their true and authentic self. I doubt this friend believes me.
I think this happens a lot with people in the spot light. Most recently this came to mind when I learned that the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, James Gunn, had been fired by Disney for shit he said years ago when he was young. Because it’s completely impossible to believe that he has grown up. That he is no longer interested in being provocative; that he had, in fact, grown up.
It’s like we want people to change. We want them to come over to our way of thinking about a myriad of subjects, but even when they do and do so to the fullest extent, we never forget how they used to be. Nor do we allow them to forget.
What’s the point of changing if the past is always brought up?