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Switch to Forum Live View Buddhism and Transsexuality
10 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2008 - 2:48PM #11
Posts: 1
I agree that cultural biases may be a factor, and that while Gay, Lesbian Trans and Genderqueer people are not openly shunned, there may be an unspoken taboo on it in some communities. I participate in a very free and open community on the west coast with Caitriona Reed and Michele Benjamin-Miki who are an openly queer couple and both Masters in the lineage of Thich Nat Hanh. Caitriona is openly TG and holds retreats all year aimed at queer communities and two trans-oriented retreats in the fall and spring. Manzanita Village ( ) is a 100% queer-positive retreat center nestled in beautiful desert foothills. Also, remember the story of Avaloketishvara, who in many traditions is a male Bodhisattva  who transforms into the Goddess Kuan Yin/Kwannon.

I'm TS and while I'm not strictly Buddhist I am sort of "Buddhish". Quack Quack. :)
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2008 - 5:54PM #12
Posts: 50
As a metaphysical mode of endeavor geared toward the transcendence of the intrinsic belief, …extrinsically aggravated by social inculcation,… that one’s physical manifestation, thus the sexuality naturally relevant therein, must somehow define one’s true being, Buddhism in its pure aspect is ascetic in nature.   Sincerity of Buddhist endeavor precludes the supposed necessity of transexualizing oneself.   If such a necessity needs to have its way, however, then the Buddha-aspirant subject thereto is merely a metaphysical dabbler.   The universally unitive Transcendental Spirit, mutually inclusive in all ways and always, is and must be the goal, and not the particularly separative body, mutually inclusive semantically, yes, but semantically only.
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2008 - 8:43PM #13
Posts: 1,552
I think the Buddhist approach to just about anything is one of compassion and deep concern.

I know that Zen Mountain Monastery ran a retreat for gay folks interested in Buddhism.

Here is their website:

I haven't ever heard anything specific to transsexuals...but I thought this was roughly relevant.

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10 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2008 - 12:58AM #14
Posts: 1,420
Buddhists are like any other religious group. Their reaction to things like TS are are result of their upbringing and personal choices. Buddhists' reactions to gender issues are all over the map. It's good that unconventional people can find Buddhist groups that welcome them. But not all Buddhists will be so welcoming. We Buddhists are not saints. :)

This is a Buddhist forum. Non-Buddhists are welcome, but we expect the discussions to be about Buddhist issues. Some people are making statements about Buddhism that show that they're not really familiar with it.

The goal of Buddhism is liberation from duhkha (dukkha in Pali). Duhkha is a Sanskrit word that doesn't have a good English equivalent, but covers stress, suffering, impermanence, etc.

The Buddha's followers included a mass murderer. Obviously, a life lived to some socially acceptable standard wasn't a requirement for becoming a follower. The Buddha's teaching was for anyone who wanted to be free of duhkha. The mass murderer attained liberation, which suggests that anyone can attain liberation. The starting point for attaining the goal is yourself, just as you are. You work with whatever you've got right now. That includes your feelings about yourself and your beliefs about who you are. The goal isn't to correct your feelings or beliefs. The goal is for the person with these feelings and beliefs to become liberated from duhkha. Of course, some feelings and beliefs will change when you practice Buddhism, but they won't necessarily change in a way that makes you fit anybody's ideal.
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2008 - 7:23AM #15
Posts: 1
I travel to Thailand, which is a mainly Buddhist country,  quite a bit. Transsexuality is quite open there and an accepted way of life. There was even a report on a middle school in the north that created a 3rd restroom for the children who were feeling transsexual. They were not comfortable in the boysrooms and the girls were not comfortable with them in the girlsrooms . They call the male to females, "lady boys" and you will find them working in 7 Elevens, travel agencies and banks.

For the most part being Buddhist means working on yourself first and critisizing or worrying about the not hurtfull life choices of others second. We all have our own Karma and path to follow after all. In my opinion any rejection of a transsexual in the Buddhist community soley based on this issue would be counter to the ideals.
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