Tanja Cilia

Freelance Writer

Busy Buddies

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120913/blogs/busy-buddies.436731
Thursday, September 13, 2012, 09:35 by Tanja Cilia

“It’s not my business, but…” is a statement that sends chills down my spine.

It indicates that the person who says it is definitely going to make it his business to comment about something that he ought not to.
There is no saying what a person may see it fit to comment upon; topics that fall under this category include politics, religion, choice of career or job, finances, clothes, attitude, bringing up offspring, food, home décor, attitude… If a person is not comfortable with something, or does not understand it, or does not like it; well, then, it becomes ‘wrong’.
With the proliferation of phone-ins following the so-called liberalisation of the airwaves, and the number of social sites and newspapers that allow on-line comments, commentators may make their views known immediately a news item is carried… and oftentimes, they spout off without engaging their brains first.
We all know of teenage couples who have conceived children; this, in some people’s minds, makes “him” a rapist and “her” a slut – but the reality is not that. Spare me the lamentations about how the young lady had the baby “to get the Children’s Allowance” or “because she could not afford an abortion”.
However, we do not know how many adult women in “stable” relationships fell pregnant from men who were not their partners, and had an abortion ‘to avoid hassle’; and so judgements on these women are not forthcoming, because “no one knows anything”.
A dear friend of mine recently “came out”. Like me, she was sick and tired of people giving unwarranted advice and passing inane comments. What she has to say concerns not only her life – but, with a little tweak of words and situations here and there, are words fitly spoken: the Biblical apples of gold in a setting of silver.
I use her words with her permission.
“Several people have commented to me over the past few months that I’m doing “amazingly well” handling the changes in my son/daughter. I want to address that subject here, because […] maybe they reacted harshly to their own child‘s announcement of being gay or trans-gender or some other variation of such.”

Wait! Can anyone please define “amazingly well?” What did they expect? Weeping and gnashing of teeth and tearing out of hair? A nervous breakdown?

“We are given the gift of a child to raise and care for. First and foremost, we must remember that child is not an object we own; he is a living, feeling being who, if we’ve done our jobs correctly has the ability to think his own thoughts or make her own decisions. Hopefully we have also instilled in our children the knowledge that their bodies are their property and nobody should force them into using it in any way that makes them uncomfortable.”
This is why I resent it when anyone teases a girl by telling her she looks “like a boy” (specifically not a “tomboy”) or a boy that he “looks like a girl”. Most of us have yet to learn that sexual identity is not necessarily the same as gender identity; of course it makes good gossip fodder to call someone else’s offspring a ‘tranny’ or ‘butch’ or any other demeaning name… This (as well as using the wrong pronouns on purpose), is not an “I was only teasing” issue; it is transphobic language that needs to be challenged and eliminated.
“Some people are born feeling uncomfortable in the bodies they are born with. Their souls cry out for a body that reflects that which is inside. Clothing doesn’t make a person and neither do the genitalia they are born with. What is in a person’s heart, how they treat their fellow man and all of nature…that is what makes them who they are. Who a person loves tells us only one thing about them; that they are capable of loving: nothing more or less.”
I am angry that people assume they can ask insidious questions like “But what is your real name?” and “Were you born female?”, just as I am angry that a person with a mental disability has been coerced into thinking she is a star, and asked to ‘perform’ at a sleazy club.
Who needs to pay good money to watch professionals whose act makes the most of being the opposite of average, when there is so much entertainment available for free (or the price of a couple of beers)? As the owner of the place where this girl ‘performs’ said, “She do it be cos she likes it!!” (sic).
However, some of us look at things far differently.
“I look at the beautiful young woman I raised and think back over the years. This is the same being that I was so happy to see on the sonogram, the same being I promised God to love and guide and protect to the best of my ability. This is the same loving being that carried a dead rat for ever so long until it was buried. […] This is the same child that told me we could live under a bridge and it would be okay, because we would be together. […]Instead of living a lie that could destroy all that is good inside, she has chosen to live a life of truth.[…] I don’t know about you, but loving my child has never been difficult.”
Comparisons are odious – yet I cannot resist making a couple. Do we focus on the ‘wrongs’ of others so that the spotlight does not fall on our own foibles? Does being rich and powerful make any difference if you decide to have illicit sexual relationships?
If a relative of yours is involved in a terrible accident, ought the location and their marital status to make a difference to the way the press and the people’s courts cover the story?

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Tanja Cilia

Freelance Writer

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