Splatter, by Lisa Lees

Transition: rhymes with inquisition.

Going into transition I thought things would work out pretty well. I knew there would be problems, but so long as I had my family to support me (and I thought I did) it would be okay. Wowie was I naïve! There was one major thing with which I had not reckoned: witch hunts and the Holy Inquisition still exist.

As I mention in my essay on identity, the real difficulty with transition is not the changes one makes to oneself, but the fact that all the people around you are caught in your vortex, often unwillingly and with little or no preparation or warning. And as I say in my essay on GID, the only real cure is for world culture to change to be more accepting and understanding of individual human variation.

Many people take their rules for dealing with sex and gender directly or indirectly from religion. Unfortunately for people like me, and those who have a relationship of some kind with people like me, many of the major religions are virulently anti-homosexual* and anti-transexual, and rigidly opposed to change in their ideas about sex and gender.

This doomed any hope of working things out rationally and garnering support to help our family make it through our transition. If I'd revealed I had cancer, been paralyzed in a sporting accident, admitted to a drug habit or to committing adultery or even to having kicked a puppy, there would have been some hope. People can deal with those things and move on. But most religions fail people by providing no way to deal with gay, bi and trans* people other than to metaphorically or literally throw stones at them.

So I was shunned and made invisible, which of course rubbed off on my family and made life less than wonderful for all concerned. I suddenly became a non-person to everyone on one side of the family. Once my kids were old enough that I didn't feel like I was abandoning them and wasn't afraid I could be kept from seeing them I gave up and moved out. There was much rejoicing.

Religion is a problem, and not just for people like me. Look around the world, look at history, especially the past twenty centuries. The world is never going to be at peace, individuals are never going to be safe, until some way is found to counter the harmful effect of religions that ruin the lives of or kill people who don't share the same beliefs. The time for a new Enlightenment is here, and the tools exist to bring it about. Please help do so.

* Transgender/transexual and homosexual are very different things, but many people conflate the terms; much of the fear and loathing of trans* people is based in homophobia.