"...how do I stand up for myself if I will lose my home?"
This is just one example of a young person too terrified to stand up for herself as a young trangender woman - in her own home. One example of how we let the bigots win by terrorizing us into silence and compliance with their will and their way. Too many of our young people live in an environment where they have to hide their sexuality or their gender identity from their parents, friends and family. So many of them have such a hard time dealing with it themselves - and to then still have to face the trauma of coming out - at which point they risk facing what has come to be called 'the war at home'. Some of us are lucky enough to have loving, caring parents who comfort, accept and nurture us - but not so many of us are that fortunate.
Parents too narrowminded or selfish and set in their own ignorance of what it means to be a young gay or transgender person abuse their power over their children, threatening them to toe-the-line - or to get out and to fend for themselves. They are threatened with disownment, excommunication and isolation. What kind of love is that? What kind of a parent is that? What kind of a family is that?
Ironically this is exactly the kind of "advice" people like James Dobson and the ex-gay industry give to conservative fundamentalist parents whose children reveal doubts of their own sexual orientation or gender identity - to not give their children any affirmation or any sign that they will accept them as gay or transgender. They tell them it is a "phase", that they are "trapped in sin" and that if they "pray" and "try hard enough" they can become "normal".
There are many examples like this out there in the world. And all of them tragedies waiting to happen.
Recently here in SA and abroad there has been a publicized spate of teen suicides linked to gay and transgender bullying. People have died because of homophobia and transphobia. They have been dying unnecessarily for far too long now - and it has to stop.
Some anti-gay groups claim, quite callously that being gay or transgender is a "suicidal lifestyle". This seems particularly ironic to me that they have the nerve to actually claim something like that - after they have spent MILLIONS of dollars around the world over the past thirty years making life so hard, so difficult and so lonely and unpleasant for gay and transgender people that some feel so guilt-ridden, dirty and downright evil that in utter misery, despair and desolation they choose to finish what they - the bigots - started.
If being gay or transgender is in any way a "suicidal lifestyle" - then it is the bigots who make it so.