When I started all this blogging bullshit in 2006, I was afraid of meeting people out of the internet, because everyone told us they’d turn out to be axe murderers but in reality they turned out to be a diverse and stimulating bunch of people with all manner of interests and concerns.
We met drinking buddies, we met new lovers, we met fellow gardeners. We met sharers of jokes and balancers of bicycles, but we never met a single axe-murderer.
Those were the mad days of the Irish Blog Awards, a very Irish excuse to meet up, get pissed and talk interesting shit with other bizarre heads sharing a broadly similar outlook, and it was during those times that I came across Hangar Queen, the blog of an Irish man living in the United States, who was going through the transition to becoming a woman.
That was a challenge for me, I can’t deny it. I’d never met a transgendering person before and despite this view I had of myself as a right-on liberal sort, it gave me pause, though not for long.
The first thing that came into my mind was a question. What the fuck business is this of mine?
Isn’t this a private decision for each individual? Would anyone undertake such a thing lightly?
Of course they wouldn’t, so who was I to have an opinion on it at all?
Tolerance is not a concept I have much respect for because I don’t see what gives me the right to tolerate anyone. Who the hell do I think I am tolerating other people? Tolerance, in my view, is just a variation of oppression. I have always thought that it’s much better not to care who or what you are. Why should I tolerate you when I could be indifferent to your skin colour, your sexual orientation, your disability, your ethnicity, your religion or your gender?
Wouldn’t that be far better?
Naturally, it all depends on reciprocation: I’ll be indifferent to your religion as long as you don’t tell me how to run my life. That way, we all get along just fine.
And so it rested until I had to meet this Hangar Queen in person, in the transgendered flesh, and it took me all of thirty seconds to overcome my ingrained prejudice against these evil trannies when I encountered somebody who wasn’t a Lou Reed Halloween Parade caricature but a warm, kind, intelligent, witty human being that I soon became proud to count as a friend.
I’m still proud to count her as a friend who enriches my life, and I don’t care what gender my friend has.
Why would anyone care? What on earth is wrong with people like this genitalia-obsessed priest who referred to Caitlyn Jenner as a man dressed up as a whore?
Oh wait. Sorry. He’s a priest.
The clue is in there somewhere.
Bruce Jenner. Caitlyn Jenner.
I don’t give a toss. Why would you?