Proud to have used the tiny pulpit of my last column in furtherance of an important social cause, I was equally mortified to receive flack about devoting any thought at all to the issue. Stated with a clarity that only the drunk can muster, the critic’s argument was that since the percentage of transgender people is so small, they do not deserve attention.
To him, it was a simple matter of economics. Though I had only postulated about the struggle of the unnamed protagonist, I was still acutely sensitive to slights of even her fictional existence. Hearing her being defamed incensed me to such a degree that I was uncharacteristically mute. And then, I was relieved. To see my opposing worldview rendered in such blunt detail was an unintentional gift of understanding that I truly appreciated.
In the course of resolving conflict, people struggle mightily to intuit even a glimpse of their opponent’s motivations. Here, I was privy not only to the periphery but also to the core of another being. And, at the risk of an overzealous extrapolation, I internalized something meaningful about the swath of our populace that is driven by profit motive and not by empathy.
Certainly, there is a middle ground that is often situationally dependent, but the larger dichotomy holds true: Some have their head lead their heart, and others, vice versa. Whereas I see interactions as a melange of people and personalities, others see the exact same situation in terms of the flow of numbers and dollars. I previously understood this intellectually, but it nonetheless felt like a deep-seated revelation.
Then, because life is both fair and cruel, I found myself at the intersection of…
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