CHNW and I became friends with a transgender person in Hawaii recently, which later gave rise to this cartoon. Our new friend informed me of the difference between "transgender" and "transsexual" and although her definitions were a bit fuzzy, as I understand it, the gist is that transgenders psychologically relate to both sexes, crossing or erasing traditional sexual assignments, while transsexuals wish to be the opposite sex from which they were born.
Our friend in Hawaii is male by birth, but his personality, mode of dress, and demeanor are entirely female. He has changed his name to a woman's and comports himself as a woman, yet he is sexually attracted to women, always has been, is not gay or even bisexual, and hopes to find a wife. You are right, that might be a difficult task.
You might say he's a lesbian with the wrong plumbing. But he likes his plumbing and has no desire to change it. He's a lesbian with a strap-on without a strap.
How this differs from transvestism is subtle, and not something I pretend to understand fully. Apparently the term transvestite has undergone many changes through history and currently floats somewhere between transgender (described above) and cross-dresser (who wears clothing of the opposite sex but does not go as far as psychological identity.) (I think.)
Confused? That is appropriate, because sexual identity and preference is not a black and white issue, as was taught by our forefathers and mothers. (Is there a name for someone with four fathers?) It is an immense, sweaty, throbbing, sliding scale of tendencies, preferences, fetishes and nuance.
Just one more way in which the human ape is hopelessly complex, but such is our fate as mutant primates.
So for those who feel the urge to criticize, clobber, or deny legal rights to someone whose sexual orientation and/or display offends them, I ask that they remember that other people have no more control over their desire to dress like Elvis and hit on lumberjacks than you do over your attraction to drunken coeds with big boobies. Time to grow up and accept that the world doesn't always conform to our fairy tales.
SPECIAL THANKS to all you who posted an alternate caption to the Grim Reaper cartoon from yesterday's post. Most of them were great, several were WAY better than mine. I should ask you guys ahead of time on every gag. (he said, inviting the snarky remarks of various curmudgeonly commentators.)