I Am J by Cris Beam: Why People Should Accept Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgendered People

Ashley is a 17 year old from Torrance, CA with unique curly hair. She loves writing poetry, trying new experiences, eating spicy food, socializing, listening to music, and giving advice.

acceptance of others, acceptance is the answer, lgbt youth, lgbt teens, i am j by cris beam, rejection, non-acceptance Everyone in the world is different from one another. They are different based on tradition, ethnicity, orientation, etc. Sometimes, this difference can be a problem, as shown in the book, I Am J by Cris Beam.

In I Am J, J, who was born as Jennifer, faces problems with his family, the people around him, the people closest to him, and even himself because of his transgenderism (when a person feels that he/she was born in the “wrong body”, and acts and feels like they are the gender opposite of what they were born as. In this book, J feels like he was mistakenly born as a girl). Throughout his senior year in high school, he has a hard time finding acceptance within himself and from his family. The lack of acceptance he has within himself and from his family becomes so bad that he decides to stray away from school and roam city of New York to study the way men act, dress, talk, and walk—things he wishes to accomplish naturally in the future when he is able to transform himself into a man. He also roams the city to escape from the madness lurking at home and at school. Eventually, he decides to try and pursue his desire of going forward with transforming himself into an official male by running away from home and living on his own to try to get started on testosterone.

Unfortunately, his vision of becoming a male with testosterone and living on his own is not as easy as he thinks. At the time of his running away, he didn’t realize that living on your own is expensive, that you have to be 18 to get started on testosterone, see a physician/therapist for six months before getting started on testosterone, pay to get self-injectable testosterone shots, have parental consent to get started on testosterone, and a letter from a physician in order to be able to be put on testosterone. (Individuals who wish to transition themselves into their desired gender must have the hormones that are found in the gender they wish to be transformed into put into their system somehow. Hormones can either be pelleted under the skin, applied to the skin through creams or gels, or most commonly, injected. For more info, go to: http://www.ehow.com/about_5410820_types-transgender-hormone-therapy.html ).

From this point on, his decides to go back home. He comes home to a bickering mother who ships him off to his best friend Melissa’s house to figure things out and stray herself away from J and his trangenderism. Weeks and weeks later, his mom finally lets J take testosterone by giving him a letter of approval to let him start his round of testosterone on his 18th birthday. The approval is useless, because he is now 18 and able to take testosterone legally. At this time, he is finally starting his journey of transforming himself into something he’s always wanted to be, a male. As J takes this journey, his parents take a journey themselves, to acceptance.

J symbolizes the many transgendered people today.  Like J, most transgendered people (as well as gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual people) have a hard time finding acceptance within themselves and from others. The issues of the acceptance of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered people are most seen in high schools and at home. Some parents and high school students have a hard time accepting them.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. Their orientation or self-identity impedes and goes against their religious views.

2. They feel that gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered people are weird.

3. Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered people freak them out.

4. They feel that a gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgendered person will start to crush on them.

5. They feel that it is unjust to be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgendered.

6. They feel that gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered people affect their school negatively.

7. They don’t fully understand gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered people.

8. They were raised to not accept gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered people.

The two main reasons why high school students have a hard time accepting gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered people is because of their religion and because of the way they were raised to not accept LGBT people. Being raised to not accept LGBT people all start from an individual’s biggest influence, his/her parents. It’s even worse when they influence their teen/tween who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgendered that it’s bad to be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgendered. Parents should not do this to their teen/tween. Instead, they should accept their teen/tween.

Parents should accept their gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgendered teen/tween because:

1. Not accepting your own teen/tween the way he/she is will just destroy his/her self-esteem, make him/her depressed, and make him/her feel worthless.

2. As parents, parents should accept and love their teen/tween just the way they are.

3. If they don’t, they will create problem after problem.

4. Acceptance is the key to being good parents.

5. It’s the right thing for any parent to do.

6. It will make their teen/tween happy and feel worthy. (Parents who don’t accept their teen/tween usually make their teen/tween feel depressed and negative about him/herself. To prevent this, parents need to accept their teen/tween just the way he/she is.)

Parents who accept their teen/tween just the way he/she is will prevent their teen/tween from feeling so bad about themselves to the point where they will resort to acts of self-inflicted injuries, or even suicide. Teens/tweens who are not accepted by their parents or from those close to him/her for being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgendered usually go through a cycle of trying to find acceptance, trying to live a happy life on their own away from their non-accepting parents and peers by running away (like J), and of fulfilling their desires.

Nowadays, acceptance is hard to fully gain. I feel that I Am J is a gateway to help people understand what it’s like to not be accepted because of being transgendered (as well as being gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual ). I believe that I Am J, and other related books, has the power to help individuals accept people for the way they are. We as a society still have some ways to go to accept gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transgendered people. The good news is that more and more people are starting to. If more and more people continue this acceptance, our world will be much more peaceful than it is now and a more enjoyable, happy place to live on for the many suffering and future lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgendered people.

 

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