What is respect? Websters has a few definitions but the one I want to talk about is this one: an act of giving particular attention (consideration). I sometimes lack in this myself, especially when I get started on a subject I feel passion for. For example I don’t tend to feel a lot of respect of those who call themselves Christian when they belong to a hate group. I should because they are people too and my not showing respect tends to limit the dialog I’d have with them.
The reason I got started on this subject is I was reading a story about a woman who was in a bar having a very nice conversation with, what she thought was, a nice man. Then walks in a transsexual friend and the two wave to each other. The man she was with remarked on the woman but called her a ‘he’. The two talked about it, at times rather heated, and he wouldn’t budge from the point that ‘he’ was born a male so ‘he’ is a man – period. He was eventually asked to leave the table.
Now, I don’t mind ignorance if the person is willing to learn and correct the deficiency. In this case he did know the difference and was determined to remain as such. He knew and continued to be rude. That I have a problem with. Okay, I’m not thin-skinned when I hear such comments directed at me as I’m older and have done more in my life than the average person and I’m very proud of myself for doing so. But I’m very defensive of my friends.
Transphobia and homophobia are words that have grown past their meaning. Phobia means fear and I’m not sure that word exactly fits anymore when trans and homo are put in front of it. I think in this case it means hate. It certainly means disrespect, intolerance, etc. We certainly see this in countries like the United States of America which is the land of the free unless you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Apparently people like myself can’t be free in the US or not free like those who are straight. Words like equality are not always applied to people who are LGBT.
I know I’m rambling but it’s a subject I feel passion for. Now if you would like to learn how to properly treat a transsexual person with respect I really hope you’ll check out the second link below. But I will say that treating one of us as the gender were are presenting is a really good start.