Gender Identity Disorder has started to ring truer with me in recent weeks like the increasing low vibrations of a tell-tale bell. It's something that I have grown fascinated with for a multitude of reasons, how close it hits to home, and how callously it is disregarded among them.
It's the latter that has struck me harder as of late. To read the rhetoric being pushed about the internet, some of it by those who have otherwise shown themselves to be intelligent and tolerant people, is, in a word, disappointing. Read any publicized news story on an issue regarding Gender Identity Disorder and the hate comments spew fire from the mouth of ignorant dragon after ignorant dragon. It is, to far too many people, something ridiculous that can simply denied through force of will or buried under a veneer of other thoughts. As though the problem with schizophrenics and those with bipolar disorder is that they need to merely "stop acting crazy" and that those with Parkinson's or Cerebral Palsy or Epilepsy need to "stop acting disabled."
To me, one of the key facets of maturity or enlightenment is a heightened sense of self-awareness. I think that's what gets me in regards to the public outcry against Gender Identity Disorder. To treat such issues as though they are uncommon, and such people as though they are blights is, simply put, hideously un-self-aware.
We like to put everything into neat little boxes, but nature doesn't quite work that way. Every single person has an aspect of their personality that is at odds (sometimes severe odds) with their biological gender. In denigrating those who do not conform to such boxes members of society are, like Tom Riddle, shredding a part of themselves in the process.
I'm not sure what's sadder, making fun of someone because you see (subconsciously) a part of yourself in them...or making fun of them because they were born with the brain chemistry of one gender and the physiology of another. Of course, chastising people for something they cannot change is nothing new.
We are truly a cruel people.