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.