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The transgender story

Oh boy, your calls and emails on the story about transgender people pumping with silicone...wow.

Before I go on, a few disclaimers:

- the ability to comment on that story was turned off (not by me) because some of you, in short, can't be trusted to express yourself without resorting to hate speech. (A whole nother topic, trust me.) 

- the point of this post is not an attempt to open up this space for comments; you may, of course, but be aware that they'll be promptly deleted or turned off if your comments are ugly. It's sad that some of you don't even know you're being the very face of evil, but anyway.

This post is simply to explain the story, to address your comments...so here we go.

I think the main point of the article for me, which I guess could fairly be called an expose, was to expose a part of life here few of us knew existed. There was no agenda to make you feel sympathy, nor to convert you or your children to homosexuality and gender confusion as some of your ineloquent phone calls suggest.

We all live in the same physical space yet occupy so many vastly different worlds, and I find that fascinating, and that was that.

My job is not to moralize. My job is not to judge people. I am not a preacher or a missionary. I am a journalist. My job is to tell stories, and that's what I did. That's what we do.

I am sorry some of you were offended, but I have to question why. What is it about another person's life, which has little to no effect on yours, would cause you to get so riled up? Was it that the people pictured were not of the same sexual orientation as you? Their color? Would you have been more comfortable if this was about recovering addicts or battered wives?

Whether you like it or not, "those people" exist. Your willing it away won't make it go away. If you read the piece, you'd know that someone was arrested doing it last year; that a study by the Dept. of Health showed it very popular in the area; and that a clinic serving transgendered people just opened this spring in Norfolk. Clearly, it's occuring, and things that are occuring are news.  

I was brought up to respect people and our differences; I was raised to treat people, even if they are unlike me, with a modicum of tolerance and dignity, even if I don't agree with who they are. Color me a moral failure.

Some of you were shocked to witness something ugly, and while the photographs were clearly not mine I do apologize for unsettling you. But unfortunately, life is not always lollipops, candy canes and sugar plums. Sometimes life is harsh and unpretty. Some people's reality is gritty and real and scary. While I don't enjoy seeing half-clothed homeless people wander the streets or similarly uncomfortable things any more than anyone else, I think it would be a pity to live such a sheltered, delicate little white picket-fence world completely oblivious to the bile and vomit and blood some people deal with every day. In a twisted, self-serving way that makes me appreciate my life so much more, but hey, as I said already, I'm an apparent moral failure.

If your reaction to things that don't make you feel warm and glowy and fuzzy inside is to always to turn away, put your fingers in your ears and pretend it's not there, I would politely suggest you grow up.

Again, say what you want, but play nice. If you cannot express yourself towards anyone on either side of this particular story without resorting to name-calling or vile talk, don't even bother. Oh, and thanks to you who sent a note to say you appreciated it for various reasons; I worked really long and hard on it.

How to be civil in comments:

 No name-calling, personal insults or threats. No attacks based on race, gender, ethnicity, etc. No writing with your Caps Lock on – it's screaming. Keep on topic and under 1500 characters. No profanity or vulgarity. Stay G- or PG-rated. Read the full rules here.

This is what you should be writing about (SUPPORT)

Beyond what I usually experience from you. BRAVO

Thank You for taking the

Thank You for taking the time to comment on your article and those that responded to it. I also want to thank you for responsible journalism. It's rare to see these days.

I still don't quite understand why people are so fearful, spiteful and filled with hate and judgment over a segment of society they don't understand. It's just a very small percentage of society but they seem to be taking the brunt of the medias attention and American societies venom these days.

I was taught America was a place of freedom. My father fought in WWII, my brother in Vietnam, my husband in Desert Storm and now Iraq and the list goes on. I came back here to find a place completely foreign to the place I remembered from my youth. Instead of being a beacon of tolerance, freedom and hope, we've become something I've witnessed in other fear torn countries. We're striking out at anything different and I must assume this is out of frustration.

The disenfranchised people of our nation who need our compassion should be helped and Civil Rights should be Human Rights. When did American’s choose to forget this? There are far more dangerous and frightening things in the world than the transgende

I read the article and found

I read the article and found it very interesting, informative and thought provoking. I actually had a peek into the transgender world a couple of years ago when a friend of mine received some tickets to go to one of the local pageants. It amazed me. People often want to cast negativity on things that are outside of their comfort zone without even trying to understand. It's a shame.

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