Lesbian sex, more kink, and an interesting weekend (SRS +11.5 months)

As with the past few posts… there might be some NSFW or otherwise uncomfortable content in here. Proceed if you’re okay with that. This is the only warning on this post.

A good friend of mine happened to have SRS last week with a different surgeon here in the US. I’ve attempted to get her to do some guest posts here of her experiences to get an idea from another surgeon and another persons perspective on it, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to. I’ll be doing a more in depth post later as I went out to visit her (luckily could schedule a work trip nearby that I had to do anyways) and have been helping her post-SRS. I’ll say this, it’s a really weird feeling to be on the other side of it and know what they are going through and there is nothing you can do about it. I’ll keep this brief as it’s not the point of this post, however it’s something that might provide some insights into another perspective and will be coming in the near future. On to the main point of this post though.

Recently I went to a kink event that was a weekend long hotel takeover. I went with the main group of kinky friends I have. I got my own room with a girl I spent a week in Germany and Amsterdam with (looks like I forgot to type that up, but was around the time of the job interviewing… I also got together with a girl I met in Chonburi as well… it was an… interesting trip) and a girl I met through kink stuff. We got a room right next to some of the friends group I know with a connecting door. I’m going to refer to the the girl from Amsterdam as Red (get it… Amsterdam, red light district, we were there together… I’m so original) moving forward though.

Red and I have started doing rope shibari practice together and going to kink events together, along with non-kink events. I’ve known her for almost a year now (about a month after the quad fell apart last fall). We had one bed in Europe for a week and only had sex one night in Amsterdam, which was really awkward for me and resulted in me having a total emotional breakdown. That was fun. Point here is that her and I have maintained a friendship across varying experiences, and so we were going to this event as friends. On the way down to this hotel takeover we had a few hours of driving to talk. We ended up talking about a wide variety of things about our views on partners, relationships, sex with men vs women (and how rough guys are fingering many times), and many other topics. After getting to the hotel we got into our room and got ready for the first night of the event. She wasn’t entirely sure what to expect having never gone to something like this, but quickly found herself beating a guy with another girl. We kinda did our own thing in many ways, but then went back to the room around 2 AM.

So here’s where the connecting door and adjoining room thing comes back into play, as they were doing a variety of scenes in there when we were all trying to go to sleep. Red and I were in the same bed and cuddling as we’ve done many times before. Nobody in our room was able to sleep though due to the neighboring room, although we had lights out and eyes closed kind of thing. At one point though Red starts making out with me out of the blue. I’m confused, but went with it since we’d had sex before without it affecting our friendship. She ends up going down on me. This is something that I’m pretty uncomfortable with for some reason. It’s almost like I’m shy or ashamed of things, especially with a cis chick as no matter how amazing the results are… It’s still not a natal vagina. It’s a mental thing I’ve yet to figure out. I also haven’t orgasmed from a partner/sex. I came close with my ex once, but since then haven’t even been close. We switched and I went down on her, she got off a few times, then we just basically cuddled after. The room next to us had quieted down and we went to sleep.

The next day were a lot of classes and workshops (yes, kinky people go to classes to learn how to properly tie, beat, choke, cut, degrade, or do whatever it is you’re into in a safe way). After nap and dinner with Red and the other girl we roomed with, we all got ready for the second night play party. Red was more affectionate and wanting to touch/hold hands/etc which had never really happened before like that. I chalked it up to the endorphin high you get at kink events, which was what I attributed sex to the night before to as well. We all did our own thing again, watching some really cool stuff (suspended hogties are crazy intense to watch), I did an intimate scene with a trans girl who flogged me, etc etc. We got to the room and all passed the hell out as we were dead tired. The next morning we all got up, got our stuff together, and headed out. Something felt different with Red and I though.

When we got back to my place we were talking about taking a nap so I invited her in. We did no napping of any kind to say the least. We started in a domme/sub kind of playing situation (she’s the domme one) before getting into the first time I had lesbian sex with a strap on. Yeah… so… that is pretty fucking amazing. I’ve had sex with ex’s using a strap on pre-SRS, but anal and vaginal sex are way different. Vaginal sex is so much more intimate. Perhaps it’s because there is an emotional connection with the person I was having sex with (much like I had with my out of town friend I hung out with a few weeks ago). Perhaps it’s because she’s very attractive. Whatever the reason is, while I didn’t get off it was highly enjoyable. It also was one of those idyllic days where it’s the perfect temp, windows open, post sex tranquility, birds, and cuddling with a person you care for. I could’ve lived in that moment forever.

Red and I both realized that our relationship had changed through this weekend. We moved things past friendship. Unfortunately into what was clouded by a lot of the things that happen post-kink events. It’s common to get super clingy and needy after these events. We both were having that kind of stuff going on and it made detangling our emotions around one another and where Red and I now were in our relationship was going to have to wait so we both could work through things. I was extremely confused by the whole thing emotionally speaking. When her and I first met on like the third date we had the “what are we” conversation and agreed to be just friends. I’d locked it into that realm since that point. Now I’m being told I can let those emotions out?

We texted throughout the next few days, but then got together for dinner to talk about “what now” and where we were with things. It’s funny, I feel like this is a relationship I’ve had forever, but also that has the “new relationships energy” going strong. We had a great evening together, and by the end of it I could definitively say I was no longer single and now have a gf. That’s weird to type. It’s been so long since I’ve had that and I wasn’t looking for it (which is always the case it seems). The next few months already have some stuff going on that is going to likely strain things a bit, none the least of which is we’ll probably not see one another more than once or twice until September due to schedules and various things in our respective lives. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe the entire way things have developed with Red is a good thing. I’ve never gone from friends to romantic partners before. I’m going to have to curtail a lot of the excitement/enjoyment stuff for the limited amount of time I’ll be able to spend with her for the first few months of things together.

One thing I can say is that I’m confident this isn’t going to be a brief relationship. Like if we’re together in a year from now, I won’t be surprised in the least. I might be looking through rose colored glasses but I’m also kinda optimistic about it. Then there is the guy who I spent the weekend with in another state a few weeks back (although unfortunately him and I haven’t been able to talk much since a conversation about a week later where we both said we had feelings for one another and wanted to explore those… stupid life shit getting in the way lol). Oh, and I’ve got a guy I’ve been talking to extensively that I’m exploring things with as well who is local. I don’t know what has happened, why it’s happened, or why these people want to be in romantic relationships with me. I’m really glad that things are where they are. It’s been a little bit since I’ve been this optimistic about life, especially around my romantic future. Pretty cool to think back to a year ago and see where I am today.

Transitioning at work

I transitioned at work a while back (time flies when you’re having fun as they say lol), but wanted to make an entry talking about my experiences in it. This post is going to go through and talk about my experiences and what I did, as it went really well. There are many reasons for this, but I think a large part of it was tied to the way I handled this. I certainly didn’t do it alone though. I read as many posts as I could by people on Reddit or other blogs I could find. The most influential though was perhaps EntirelyAmelia’s post along with various reading from HRCStonewallSHRM (which is a resource many HR departments use), and reading what public guidelines I could find like Earnest Young’s policy. No single resource was used in the entirety, but as you’ll find out when you get to my letter you’ll see parts that were heavily influenced by these sources. There were others, but I can’t seem to find them again. Before we get to that though, there was a lot to go through.

At that point in time before telling work I would pack two wardrobes on work trips, and go out presenting female if I thought I could get away with it without coworkers noticing. In one case I went to work presenting male, went back to the hotel to change and put on makeup to go to dinner at a nice place presenting female, and then went back to the hotel to change back into the clothes I had on earlier to go into the office to do a change. Still had makeup on though as I was alone in the office for the work I was doing. I started to get flagged in security due to either boobs or anatomy (if I presented female and didn’t tuck well enough) and that prompted me to get my Global Entry done so I could get precheck and avoid the body scanners almost 100% of the time. After that it wasn’t a problem. Back to the topic of this post though. I was leading two lives through this period and it went on for about 4-5 months. Over time it progressively became harder and harder to keep things separate and not accidentally say/do/etc something in the office. Like missing nail polish when I removed it Sunday night after putting it on Friday night.

So around the winter holidays I decided I needed to tell work and stop living two lives. I tried to get a meeting together the week between Christmas and New Years. That didn’t work out, but I knew I’d have to tell them as I was submitting my legal name change at that point in time and my boss would know at minimum due to it having to get updated in HR systems for stuff like payroll. At this point I should probably mention something else I did. I left my previous job earlier that year. One reason was professional development and career growth, but the second one that was going to make me leave no matter what was that I didn’t feel the prior company would be supportive if I transitioned there. So I looked for a new company that was professionally a good step for me, but that also would be a global and ideally publicly traded company as those have the strongest protections out there as a general rule. I found one that was just about ideal for that point in my career.

I submitted my legal name change on one of the last days of the year. I went back to work in January after the holidays knowing that was coming but nervous about talking to HR. I ended up setting up a meeting with them to disclose my intent to transition and start to build the plan to do it. HR said they were supportive and to let them know what I needed. They hadn’t had anybody transition in the company before, although ironically a second person had come to them a few days later doing the same thing. So I provided them the resources I had found regarding how to handle it, but they ended up telling me that I didn’t even need to disclose it outside of my immediate supervisor. I saw this as majorly flawed as a course of action. Showing up one day presenting female is in no way what so ever the right way to do it IMO. That’s how rumors and shit talking behind your back get started. I told them that wouldn’t work and I was going to send an email to the people I work with as I interact with people globally within the company. Furthermore, I felt it was critical to have my boss and ideally the VP of the department aware and on-board as well.

After talking to HR we set a date that coincided with my legal name change. A plan took shape largely influenced by myself where the week before going full time I’d tell my boss on Monday. Wednesday talk to the VP. Friday talk to my team before sending out an email to ~130 people. The next 2-3 weeks were crazy. I scheduled a week long work trip the week before telling my boss which helped as I was busy there and able to kind of distract myself from having anxiety about it. Monday comes and I find out that we are getting lunch with a new hire to my team. That was totally unexpected and while it could’ve thrown a wrench in things, I pressed on with the original plan. It’s one of the benefits of building a plan. You then execute the plan and unless it’s a major issue derailing things, you just keep on track with the original plan. After lunch I told my boss.

My boss is a good guy, but he is not the type you’d really look forward to telling you’re transitioning from male to female. He surprised me though and was supportive. He didn’t understand it (still doesn’t to a large degree I don’t think), but unless you’re trans you kind of can’t. HR wanted to be present for the meeting, which I told them no I wanted to do it one on one. The reason for this was that I wanted to show my boss I trusted him and didn’t need HR there to “document” it. I did trust my boss though. If I hadn’t, then I’d have looked for a new job because their support is something I see as very important. They need to have your back in case of things happening outside of your presence. This is also a similar reason to why I felt I needed to tell the VP up front.

That meeting with the VP my boss and HR were both there for. My boss had told him already, which I was okay with. The VP was totally supportive and went to each manager individually to talk to them one on one in private about it before I sent out the email. I also sent the email to the VP, my boss, and HR to proof read since I would send it to most of the department. I also decided to tell my team before the email blast as I wanted to tell them personally instead of via email. My boss said he’d call a team meeting Friday morning before sending out the email.

This week I was a wreck. Thank god I had the partners I did at the time as they were amazing. They supported me and carried me through helping me to know it would be okay on the other side. Going into Friday was scary as shit. I was so worried about what would happen. How would my team react? How would the department react? How would the people who talked about Caitlyn Jenner was a “dude” and always will be even if “he” “chopped off his dick”, along with a bunch of other anti-trans sentiments, react? Would I go to lunch with coworkers still? Would I be ostracized and become a pariah?

Friday morning came and my partners gave me a hug, kiss, and offered their support. I was shaking all morning before the team meeting. Then an hour before I was sending out the email my boss called a team meeting. We walk in and he goes, “well I called you all in here… but really I’m not sure what to say here. So I’ll just let (dead name) go from here.” It was honestly all he needed to say. From there I nervously started talking. “Thanks. So I asked (boss) to call this meeting because in an hour I’ll be sending an email out but wanted to talk with all of you before hand. I am transgender. Starting Monday I’ll be presenting female at work, and will be getting my name updated in the system to (new legal name). This isn’t something that came out of nowhere, but instead has been a lifelong journey getting to where I am now. Professionally nothing should change, but I can only imagine what it’s like from your view. So I asked (boss) to get a meeting together where you can feel free to speak your mind. I’ll be happy to answer questions in this room, so with that I’ll leave the floor open.” Most of the team was in an awkward silence before saying they thought I was going to say I was quitting. From there I got a lot of congratulations, support, being told they can’t imagine what I must’ve gone through, etc etc. All in all it was pretty good. One person didn’t really say anything in the meeting though, which I’ll get to later. When we left I felt pretty good. I had the support of my team (at least based off that meeting), my boss, the VP, and HR. I also had a coworker send me an IM when I got back to my desk telling me their cousin is trans and transitioned a few years earlier. He was one of the few people in the family that didn’t cut her out of their life apparently. So that was awesome to hear and showed me I had more support than I might’ve otherwise seen.

From there I just re-read that email. I nervously was texting my partners as well as I waited for the time I was going to send it out. When the time came I proof read one last time then clicked send. In that moment I felt instant relief. It didn’t matter how they responded because it was over. From this point forward things were going to happen as they were. I did everything I could to shape the narrative, but ultimately it was out of my control now. That was extremely liberating. A minute or two later I get a guy coming over going “congratulations!” He was super supportive and wanted to talk about various parts of it and just was all around supportive. By the time he left a few minutes later I had 20+ replies from people saying how happy they were for me, offering support, a trans guy IM’ed me telling me how he remembers that day he did that at his last job, etc. The weirdest thing was that almost instantly many of the women befriended me. I wasn’t prepared for that. But they had welcomed me in arms open. All in all, out of ~130 people this email went out to I got over 50 replies that mirrored the initial comments. I was awe struck. Not in my wildest dreams did I expect to have that level of positive reaction to it. I also was complimented by many people on how I articulated and composed the email. I’ll leave that for you to judge for yourself, but here is the email in entirety:

Good morning!

I know this email is a bit long, but this took me a bit to compose this so I hope you take a few minutes to read through it. I’ve attempted to keep this as short as I can.
Since I’ve started here, my physical appearance has changed a lot. It might be obvious to some people about the reason behind these changes, but perhaps not. In either case I’ve done my best to keep my professional life very separated from my personal life. But now I’m at a point where those can no longer be kept separate and that is the reason for this email.
I am transgender. It’s who I’ve always been and will continue to be. Over a year ago I realized I could no longer refuse to accept it, and I knew what that meant. So I started down the path to transition to live my life as the person I am, not who others (or society at large) thinks I should be. Since I started down this journey I haven’t looked back, except to reflect upon how I am not the person I pretended to be, and it’s helped me be to be happier than I’ve ever been.
Perhaps the easiest way to explain what being transgender is would be to say that I identify as a woman, but it’s more than just that. I’ve felt this way my whole life from some of my earliest memories through to today. It’s not simply about clothing, makeup, or any of the physical stuff. It’s also not that I feel “trapped in the wrong body”, but, like many trans people, am simply working to align my mental, emotional, and social lives with one another. I hope you won’t feel awkward or uncomfortable around me moving forward and outside of using a new name, some different pronouns, and a different appearance things don’t need to change much from how things have been.
Starting this Monday (date) I would ask you to start using my new name, (legal name)(or (common name) as most people do), and female pronouns (she/her/hers) moving forward. I’d also ask to please refrain from using my old name and male pronouns when referring to, or interacting, with me. Our systems are being updated to reflect my new name so there won’t be any confusion from seeing disparate names in Outlook, Skype, or elsewhere in our systems. I know there will be an adjustment period and know it will take time to get used to; however I ask for your understanding in this and the importance of using the correct name and pronouns. I won’t take offense to honest mistakes, provided it doesn’t feel intentional or deliberate, but will start to kindly and politely correct incorrect names or pronouns if needed over time. Beyond that I’d only ask that you see and treat me the same as any other woman in the office. I do want to take a minute, just so there isn’t ambiguity or uncertainty, to say that there are some words (e.g. “tranny,” “she-male,” “shim,” “he-she,” “pre-op,” “post-op,” “sex change,” “MTF,” “TGirl,” or “it”) that are completely inappropriate and never okay to use.
There is more to this than I could ever begin to convey in a simple email and I want to keep this as brief as I can. If you have questions please feel free to reach out via email, IM, or stop by my desk. I’ll be happy to answer almost anything to demystify what being trans really is and help to create a greater understanding of what being transgender means. I also have some resources I can link you to if you’re interested that I’ve used to send family and friends when asked. If you would prefer to talk through personal email instead, just let me know and I can give you my personal email instead. It might seem overwhelming, but it’s really not all that complicated. I, like you, am here to do my job to the best of my ability, and plan to continue doing that.
I have greatly enjoyed working with all of you since I started here. I’ve also enjoyed the professional relationships that have developed over that time, and I look forward to continuing to build upon those relationships. I appreciate you taking the time to read through this, and hope you have a good weekend.
Thank you,
(new name)
I didn’t have a single person who used my old name or male pronouns after that email was sent (granted I left soon after that email was sent to work from home). In the time since then I truly have felt that I’m seen as a woman in the office. I’ll get talked over by guys in the room at times, concepts I put forward are rejected but then proposed later and talked about what great ideas they are, and all the other things that women in the office have to deal with now. I’ve experienced a lot of it. To the point that a person in a senior management role told me how they caught themselves checking me out ~2-3 months later. About the only issue I have is people reminding me about how they told me this stuff would happen when I “joined their team.” It’s one reason I look forward to moving on, and talked about in this job post a few months ago.
For the time being, I’m still at the job I transitioned at. Ironically, that post about leaving actually let to one of the things I had hoped would happen if I stayed actually happening. At almost 3000 words though I think I’ll save that for another day.

Post op, but not post trans – Dating as a trans woman

So, as of late my personal life has kind of gone to hell. I lost people I saw as family. One of them was somebody I loved more than others before. I lost two roommates which changes my financial outlook. And I’m still recovering from SRS. It’s been a rough past 6 months. It really has been. But, that’s life. And I’ve gotten through it. I’m now at a point where I feel I can start going out and dating again though, at least casually as I’m not over that poly group ending and don’t expect to be over that for a while to come still. But, I won’t sit around at home feeling sorry for myself about it. So, dating it is (along with other things like returning to exercising regularly and cooking more and getting my house to a place I could sell in the spring if I wanted). But… Now we’re back to one of my first posts:

To stealth or not?

In that post I talk a bit about what my thoughts were around post-op dating life. And unsurprisingly some of it is accurate. Mainly that at this point (4.5 months post) I can get away without disclosing I’m trans if I were to choose to do so to a large extent. Right now about the only stuff that “outs” me is facial hair since electrolysis isn’t completed (hey girls… if you’re going to transition… start electrolysis yesterday… better yet, last year), sometimes my voice is still deeper (i.e. I don’t think about it or care in the situation), and my vagina still is healing. Although there, in the dark, there is no way to tell. I only know because of what I’m looking for and as long as somebody doesn’t go down to inspect they wouldn’t be able to tell. There are scar lines and things are a bit swollen still, but now it basically falls within the neo-natal vaginal spectrum on a looks perspective. And I’ve gone on dates in the past month where after I told her I was told she didn’t know for sure, but suspected due to my hand size. Which in post-puberty transitioning mtf girls can be larger than cis-women (although certainly not a sure-fire way to “know”).

So I don’t have to disclose I’m trans. But if I don’t, as discussed in that post, I’d have to cut out a lot of my current life. And I don’t want to do that right now. So, that means I’ll need to disclose at some point during the dating process. So when do I disclose it? Up front is great and all, but the down side is then you have to deal with shit from people harassing you. Or, further, is the professional concern once I leave the job I transitioned at. Okay, not in my profile, but should I before the first date? Well if I do that then a bunch of people will duck out and bail, which I’m okay with but then that just points back to disclosing in my profile because it would weed them out from the start. And, if I don’t see any potential with them then why did they need to know? Doing this means I then go to the first date without disclosing. Which date do I disclose on then? Well if I’m going to disclose it needs to be before sex. So somewhere between the first and 3rd-4th most likely. I thought this was a solid strategy. Until today.

I’ve been talking to a guy for the past 3-4 days off and on. I didn’t say anything about being trans. He starts talking about getting together, and since I met him off Fetlife (kink community site) sex was on the table for the first time we got together potentially. Because of this I disclosed to him earlier today. He responds saying I should’ve been up front about it, to which I respond saying I felt I was being up front (keep in mind we’ve only talked 4 days intermittently). He said he feels I deceived him and that ends that. So now I’m back to where I started? Am I wrong with waiting to disclose? Should I disclose up front on some sites but not others? Should I just never say a word (especially if it’s likely just going to be a sex thing)? I just don’t know at this point. I think the current course of action is going to be keep the status quo and deal with shit like this when it happens. Then in ~6 months I can re-evaluate things as I’ll be further along on electrolysis so I won’t have morning stubble, and Suporn’s excellent work will be healed to the point it’s basically akin to a cis-vagina to just about anybody.

This is how you support your employees

A friend who I met at the company I worked at through college posted something today that was amazing to read. She was in a “leadership sensitivity meeting” (which as an aside can’t they figure out a better way to word that?) that was about employees who are transitioning or exploring their gender. This is a large corporation (anybody in the US would know of them) and they have always been great about supporting minority groups. But to actually have a proactive session talking to management of an entire campus about trans issues, experiences, and how to support trans employees is amazing. It was done by a trans person at the company who explained their experiences and how best to support trans people.

When I worked there I had inklings and thoughts that I’d love to transition, well more accurately be “forced” by somebody to make me transition since I could then blame them if it went poorly, I also didn’t have any positive affirmation that they would support that. And when you’re a young trans person who is still hiding and afraid to even open that proverbial closet door even just a crack out of fear, you need to have support. I saw a post on Reddit today about how schools with gay/straight groups foster a more inclusive and supportive environment. And reading comments people asked, “why are straight people included?” Which is a question I couldn’t figure out the answer to. Thankfully, others posted the answer which is two fold. First, it allows people to go without “outing” themselves. I can go and just say I’m supporting a friend or want to be an ally, and develop a safe and supportive environment to come out to first. And when you’re an adult you lose a lot of that. Especially as a trans adult.

When I started actually accepting I was trans I had to find all kinds of support resources myself. I thankfully had recently found Reddit which has an amazing community in /r/asktransgender that helped me initially. But I still hid that from friends, family, and perhaps most importantly from coworkers because I didn’t know how any of them would react. When you’re about to tell people you’re gay or lesbian some people will reject you and shun you. But, especially over the past decade, that has thankfully become increasingly rare. However that’s not true when you tell people you’re trans. Especially on the trans female side, and even more so if you’re a trans woman of color. We need to know we have support. And while I don’t expect everybody to go around waiving flags and marching in parades, it would be nice for companies who have inclusive policies (like this one my friend works at) to let their employee base know that they have inclusive policies.

For me if I had known that this company support trans employees when I worked there, it’s entirely possible that would’ve helped me to transition years sooner than I did. And I can’t predict how that would have changed my life, but I can say that it would’ve meant starting transitioning in my early 20’s, which means physically I would’ve seen more changes than I have. But perhaps more importantly it would’ve given me 5 or more years of being who I am and not hiding behind a persona of a person I thought society would accept.

But, that’s the past. And this is the present. So if you happen across this post and are in a position to try to help LGBTQ+ individuals within your company, or are part of a company who is like the one I’m talking about in this post, I’d implore you/your company to not just silently support people. But instead to proactively support people through putting out information as it relates to LGBTQ+ topics and your company. Ideally a handbook/guidebook kind of thing that explains some of the basics of LGBTQ+ terms, issues, and ways to support those individuals. As well as what the company policies are and potential avenues for employees to go down (i.e. talk to HR or boss first, whomever you’re more comfortable with kind of thing). And send this out as a “this is why our company is awesome” kind of internal marketing thing. Doing this is a win for all. It first showcases how your company supports their employees and makes them feel good about working for that company, but it also provides information to those who were like me and hiding out of fear.

One thing I will say though even when I worked there, and I don’t recall seeing any policies in their guidelines/HR policies, I have no doubt I would’ve been supported at that time by the company. And the fact that regardless of HR policies or guidelines I have no doubt I would’ve been supported if I had transitioned there is amazing. And that is how you support your employees.

Why so much LGBTQ hate from Republicans?

This week is the RNC being hosted in Cleveland, OH. The city of Cleveland has been pretty supportive of LGBTQ rights and protections, and has had a high municipal equality score from the HRC for a few years now. Large Ohio cities on the whole are pretty good overall, with Columbus being a city with a very large LGBTQ population and getting a 100% on that score (Cincinnati also scored 100%). The state hasn’t been the best place for LGBTQ individuals, seeing as the Obergefell SCOTUS decision was based on a case originating in Ohio, but it’s also not nearly as bad as NC or other super red states. Yet this week has seen the Republicans at the RNC put forward the most anti-LGBT platform in its 162 year history. They even did this in spite of an openly gay Republican on the committee to decide the platform.

And I don’t understand why.

I understand that the religious conservatives in this country really don’t like that same sex marriage is allowed nationally. I understand that there is a loud and vocal group within the Republican party who has hijacked it. I see that a lot of the leaders don’t seem understand issues faced by anybody who isn’t a heterosexual white cis-male. But this doesn’t make sense to me. The Republican party has even put forward in their 2016 platform:

We affirm — as did the Declaration of Independence: that all are created equal, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And:

We denounce bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic prejudice, and religious intolerance. Therefore, we oppose discrimination based on race, sex, religion, creed, disability, or national origin and support statutes to end such discrimination.

They talk about individual rights, freedoms, and protections. How they want small government and letting individuals choose what’s right for them provided, of course, that they don’t harm others in that choice.

So I ask the Republicans out there how is my attraction to men and women infringing upon any of your rights? I’ve seen and heard the common arguments of, “well it erodes the traditional family values.” What are those values exactly? I’ll assume it’s a healthy, happy, and safe environment to raise a child in. If that’s the case then how do parents who happen to be the same gender and provide those things go against “traditional family values”? And as an aside, what “tradition” are we following? I’d bet that you’re not so supportive of those “traditional” values when it comes to Islamic “traditional family values.”

And what about the trans crusade that’s been launched post national same sex marriage legalization? There hasn’t been a single report of a trans person attacking a cis person in a bathroom, changing room, or other gender segregated facility. There have however been numerous cases of cis people attacking fellow cis peers as well as trans individuals physically and verbally in bathrooms, and that’s seen a drastic increase this year. So what happened to everybody is created equal with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? I don’t see any asterisks or exclusions around that statement.

This war on LGBTQ people is a largely invisible one. It’s one waged in bathrooms, clubs, on the street, at work, and in every part of life. But unless you’re LGBTQ you’re either oblivious to it, or choose to not stand up for people when you see it. And you’re driving a wedge into American culture and our society by doing this. It’s a wedge that’s easy to cover up and not care about. But we are your friends. We are your coworkers. We are your family. Stop trying to change who we are, and instead let’s work on fixing the actual issues this country faces.