Hate is Blind

They say love is blind. What about hate? I’ve said this before, but it’s important enough to repeat on occasion: I try to love every person I meet. I am rarely unsuccessful. Some people would seem to make this effort more difficult than others. Still, if I can empathize with these people and recognize the divine within them, I can’t help but love them. I regularly have interactions with a man who has expressed perspectives many of us would identify as bigoted. He, on occasion, talks about those with darker skin in negative ways. He recently referred to a transgender woman as “it”. When I said “she” in reference to this woman, the man replied, “No. He”. I said that the person identified as a woman and wanted to be called a woman. To which he replied, “He was born a man and still is a man”. I saw no common ground in sight and decided to leave the conversation without letting it build into an argument. The next day, I found the man sitting next to another transgender woman, making conversation. It was clear the man was unaware the transgender woman next to him had been born with a penis. This, to me, illustrated how ignorance inspires perspectives of hate. He was unloving toward the first transgender woman as a result of his understanding that she represented something that made him uncomfortable. But when the man was unaware he was sitting next to a transgender woman, he was cordial and even a little flirty. When this threat of malleable sexual identity was removed, the man felt at ease. There was nothing particularly offensive to him about the two transgender women other than the fact that they had been born with penises. If this man could get past his preconceived notions about transgender people, he might find friendship in place of fear.

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