Lina and I survived our big splash in the News & Observer, our regional paper. For me, the FDR adage “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” certainly rang true. How many lessons like this do I need to take before I finally internalize it? Still, transgender violence is real, so I think a healthy fear is a good thing. Mine was perhaps a little stronger than healthy, but I did have it under check.
I got maybe 40 emails from readers, all positive, except for a nitpicky one. I was appreciative for each and every one. I received zero negative notes. Not a one. Incredible. After the Boston Globe article ran, I got some 400 positive emails, and two negative. The propensity of Globe comments is likely due not only to circulation numbers, but because the Globe disabled online comments, knowing their usual-suspect trolls would have a field day. Readers had no one to turn to but me. The N&O enabled comments, and the story drew more than 100 the first two days. There were 129 when I checked just now. I was worried they’d devolve into trash fast, but in fact they’re mostly pretty reasoned, even the negative ones. Being in the South, God and the Bible were invoked quite a bit, which is understandable.
People have recognized me in public and come up to me to praise the piece, and Lina got a lot of nice feedback at work too. This past Sunday when I picked up the paper from the front porch my first thought was, I’m so glad we’re not in this one!
Our former therapist, who I named, received some inquiries, and I hope all the resources in the article helped others. That makes it all worthwhile.
The response that made me the saddest was printed in the N&O Letters to the Editor on Feb. 19. “Editor: Your romantic portrayal of enduring marriage after sex change was an abhorrent reminder of the perverse relativism that permeates so-called progressives. Gender “confusion” should be met with compassion, prayer and counseling designed to eliminate the confusion, not encourage it. Sadly, because of your piece, some with similar struggles will view genital mutilation and “local hair removal specialists” as an acceptable solution to this psychological challenge.”
I think the writer was a minister type, though I’m not sure. Either way, he doesn’t believe that being transgender is a real thing, and I’m guessing he doesn’t believe homosexuality is real either. So he’s going to pray it away? It won’t work, and it will only further screw up people confused about their sexuality or gender.
Another reason for us “so-called progressives” to speak up and speak out!