On one hand he's an insensitive clod for asking that. On the other hand it could be a strange attempt at understanding.
I would disagree rather strongly that he's an insensitive clod. Rather, I believe that he's simply uneducated.
Most hetero cis-gender people ("normals") have little exposure to the transgender experience other than that which is represented in the popular media they consume, which --even if it isn't a base caricature-- *never* paints a full picture or conveys all there is to know. I think that most people who familiarize themselves with the details of sexual minority issues in general and Trans issues in particular tend to lose sight of just how MUCH raw information is processed along the path to a better understanding.
As an example: A girl I knew once told me the tale of a trans-woman she had been friends with and who was going through a bit of drama which had the potential to disrupt her hormone supply, and the girl equated the loss of the t-girl's hormones with a loss of her feminine vocal pitch. This girl whom I knew was by no means hostile to or belittling of the t-girl, yet she had no idea about the relationship between vocal pitch and hormones. It was a basic fact that she had to learn.
Gavin here is asking something far more fundamental than that. From his perspective, human beings follow the path of least resistance. If you're born male, then it is the path of least resistance to stay male and to adorn yourself with all the social accoutrements that entail masculinity. Rain was born male, and yet she has chosen a path that will offer considerably more resistance with every step she takes, from the breath-taking ordeal of correcting her body to the potentially fatal societal and economic sanctions that will be leveled against her. Why? What element is present in Rain's life that would make this harrowing decision *LESS* resistive to her than that of simply accepting her birth gender?
That Gavin is asking this kind of question isn't, in my view, a testament to his callousness or even his tactlessness (though the question is slightly tacky). Instead, I look at it as an indication that he has the wherewithal to know that he doesn't understand something, and --far more importantly-- that he's willing to learn about it as best he can, rather than fear it. He will stumble along the path, as we all do, but ultimately his destination is one of enlightenment, not hatred.
awwwww. I liked Gavin looking like a hobo
put his beard back on hes sooo much hotter with it!!!
@texanzeppo559: It is the path of least resistance. For me, what makes it that is I don't lie. My personal policy is truth is always better, but my body lies to everyone, all the time, and tells them I'm something other than me. I'm sick of it. So, I need to do something about it. To me, it's like wearing a police uniform everywhere when you're actually an archaeologist. Once or twice a year it's okay, but every other time you squirm when people glance your way and you sit there and pretend nothing is wrong.
I think i might have a good analogy of the situation. With most people there is no problem. With transgenders there is. Now think of the genders as those blocks that go into the specific holes, a star, triangle and most of the time also a circle but sssshhh. If you try to put the star into the star 'hole' it's easy, same goes for the triangle. And you don't notice it. But when you try to put the triangle into the star 'hole' you find resistance. :)