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My Daughter, Chaz Bono, and What Keith Ablow is Really Afraid Of

My daughter has something to say to Keith Ablow, but since Fox news never asks her opinion, she'll have to speak through me.

She hasn't actually met Ablow, nor have I, but he and I have a lot in common. Both in our 40s, we each got married in 1995, are proud dads, live in suburbs of Boston, and wear our hearts on our sleeves as family men who care about the world in which our kids will grow up. One difference between Dr. Ablow and me is that we fear different things in our culture: He's afraid of the social toll of people paying attention to Chaz Bono, while I'm afraid of people paying attention to him.

As you have likely heard by now, Ablow is on the record as saying that parents should not to let their children watch the new season of Dancing with the Stars because it might lead to gender dysphoria. He claims, in essence, that seeing Bono in tap shoes will make teenage girls want to cut off their breasts. Ablow's comments have since been so widely mocked that I didn't feel a need to join the chorus at first. But as he continues to talk about the controversy on FOX and elsewhere, his comments add fuel to the existing transphobia already responsible for the murder of a transgender person every three to four weeks in America, though that kind of violence does not seem to trouble Ablow in the way that elective surgery does...


Read the rest at Huffington Post, where I blog, thanks to the efforts of Red Room.

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The thing about Chaz is that

The thing about Chaz is that he never asked to be in the limelight. That's where he ended up as a baby, when he was a she, and her parents put her on tv every Sunday night. Like it or not, this guy - who I find rather likable - is someone lots of us are familiar with, by no fault of his own. I don't pretend to understand what he's gone through, but that's not my job. What I do know is he's a pretty brave guy for taking charge of his life the way he has. Why should he hide, and suddenly become anonymous,  when he has nothing to be ashamed of?  He's done nothing to hurt anyone. If I had kids, I'd much rather they encountered someone like Chaz Bono, then...oh...an Enron executive, a Tea Party candidate, or anyone fromt he religious right.

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"Friends" send me emails full of hate talk.  I don't know why they continue sending them because I always respond with anger-tinged words to reflect my concern that they would even read that trash.  My stepmother used to say, "hate in the heart uses up valuable space reserved for love."  I would add, "reserverd for acceptance."

Not too many years ago, the emails were full of philosophical poofery about friendship and kindness and pretty puppies.  What happened?  At least I can delete the hate mail.  Flipping through the television news channels is a different matter.  FOX shines everywhere I shop that has a waiting room.  It is accompanied by its cousin, hate talk radio.

I'm not particularly unique, just an ordinary person moving through this life in the best way I understand for me.  I journey with lots of folks who are very different from me.  I don't see differences as an anathema; instead, they add richness to the fabric of my existence.  It seems to me there are more important issues for the commentators to examine that would benefit all of us instead of ripping at the fabric of our lives.