Trans men and Transphobia

Out magazine has redesigned their online site out.com and I headed over to catch a wonderful piece on Trans gay men. What are “trans gay men?” you may ask. They are Female-to-Male transgender men who are attracted to and have relationships with gay men. It’s a wonderful article that reminded me of the first time I met a trans person.
I was very much of the opinion that if you were born a gender then God meant for you to stay that way. I thought Transgender people were freaks and didn’t deserve to be a part of the gay rights movement. The I met Mara Keisling. Mara was funny (a quality I adore in a human being) and she was intelligent and new exactly how to speak to anyone about any particular subject. Mara made me realize that Transgender people deserve respect and even admiration, as well as civil rights. Mara single handedly changed the way I looked at gender and at inclusiveness.
But Mara never talked to me about being Transgender.
Mara simply refused to be anything other than herself around me.
I highly doubt that Mara Keisling remembers being introduced to me by Ken Baker. I think I hid behind Ken for most of the first day of the Creating Change conference.
So to Mara, thank you for being 100% authentic and putting me on a journey to work through my transphobia. I’m not finished yet, but thanks to you, I’m on my way.