Stacy of TLC’s Lost In Transition Speaks on Why the World Needs More LGBTQ Allies
Lost In Transition's Stacy reveals why it is so important to empathize with and support people transitioning and how you can be a better ally to the LGBTQ community.
Stacy, from TLC's Lost In Transition, is no stranger to the questions many people have about transitioning. In a loving and committed relationship with her wife Leslie, who is transitioning herself, Stacy provides insight into why it is so critical to empathize with and support people transitioning and the LGBTQ community as a whole.
Educate yourself about how to become a better LGBTQ ally here, then read Stacy's responses to some important questions about transitioning.
Why do people want to transition?
The best way I can explain is that people who transition don't want to transition. What they want is to have been born in the right body in the first place. Or, at least it would be nice to be able to flip a switch and have everyone understand that they have always been the gender they are identifying as and somehow their body just grew differently. It would be nice to flip another switch and everyone suddenly understands the oppression, ridicule, and abuse they've been through that forced them to internalize their true gender. Then, everyone could understand the bullying that made them zig and zag in opposite directions every time they were poked fun at for enjoying something "too feminine" or "too masculine." Everyone could also understand the strife, the hate, and the possible physical assault they are presented with when they finally do come out.
People don't want to transition. They don't want others making fun of them or giving them death threats. They don't want to have multiple surgeries and months of recovery time. They don't want to lose friends and family to ignorance.
But, every transgender person needs to transition. Every inch of their body is wrong. Every "it's okay, man," or bathroom full of men and urinals, or every time they have to adjust themselves, they spiral into something called dysphoria. Sometimes, they even would rather die than look at their body again the way it is because it's not them.
They don't want to transition. They need to.
Why is it important for allies to be supportive to people transitioning?
It is important for allies to support transgender people during their transition. If you consider yourself an LGBTQ+ ally, show us! Support and speak for your trans friends. Misinformation and ignorance run rampant. Be the ally willing to take time and educate those asking questions. Be polite. Be strong. Be insistent and don't cave to their ignorance.
A 2011 study by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that:
Over 50% of transgender people face rejection from their own families.
Over 50% of transgender people lose their spouse/partner (and therefore often lose support from the person they love most).
Over 50% of transgender people lose a close friend due to their gender identity.
Over 80% of people who transition over the age of 55 are parents and nearly 40% of those ages 25-44. Over 50% of those surveyed said their relationships were not the same after.
Nearly 20% of transgender people face domestic violence after coming out, and 48% of the people who experienced domestic violence also experienced homelessness!
These statistics are unacceptable - not with so many claiming to be allies. Leslie and myself have lost friends of over a decade due to this. They say they're "mourning their brother," while she's right here. Some said they'd continue to be our friends and support us so long as she was happy. Yet, they couldn't handle what that truly meant.
As an ally, pull yourself out of your head for a second. Realize it is even worse for the trans person. They blame themselves for the strife of everyone around them, and yet it could be that it was everyone around them who kept them in the closet to start with. Tell your trans friend or loved one you've got their back. And, stand up for trans people even if you don't know one personally. They need our support.
To learn more about how to support trans families and become a better ally to the LGBTQ community, visit TLC.com/TransitionResources, then tune in to Lost In Transition Sundays at 10/9c on TLC. Catch up on Leslie and Stacy's story by downloading the TLC GO app or visiting TLC.com/LostInTransition.