To rip off old Willie Shakespeare and misquote him, I would like to say that I come here to praise Pink Essence, not to bury it (and other similar transgender social networking websites).
If you are not familiar with Pink Essence or other social networking websites such as URNotAlone, perhaps you might visit one of them and see if you enjoy being a part of an online community specifically for those who are transgendered and those who support them.
I speak specifically of Pink Essence in this article because that is the social networking website that I have been most familiar and I have participated to varying degrees of activity for almost 4 years. UrNotAlone is notable in that it was the first of it's kind and was begun in 1995. There are some others too that I have heard of in passing but I am not really knowledgeable about them.
There are a lot of people who love Pink Essence and those who don't care for it at all. There are members who have been active on the site and remain very involved to this day, those who briefly become members, find it is not their cup of tea and close their membership without ever having much involvement in the activities available and those who were once very active on the site who remain members, though participate almost in a nominal manner. This latter type of member would probably describe me best. Then there are the members who remain very active since they joined to this day.
There are people who vehemently loathe Pink Essence and denegrate it and its creator for various reasons. There are ardent members of the site who seem to devote much or all of their online life to it like some people on Face Book do.
The detractors complain about all sorts of things they don't like and some of them demonize the creator and owner of Pink Essence. Personally, I admire her. She has created something that has been a source of support during a terrifying time for a transgendered person when she comes to terms with who she is after years of either being in denial of herself, or being aware of who she is but living in terror others learn about her. Typically, she has never known anyone like herself or has no where to turn to gain access to support groups or knowlegable allied health care professionals who could be of help to her. Sometimes even when these resources are locally available she may almost be petrified with fear and a site like Pink Essence is her first foray into coping with herself in a healthier manner. This is one of the most important reasons that these sites exist.
In addition to that, Pink Essence also offers ways to express one's opinion on things Trans, non trans, and trans related including chat rooms and blogging. There is a forum on book reviews, on spirituality, on people who have the same career, information on how to contact professionals who help transgender people. There are political discussions and information on real world support groups, social gatherings and transgender conferences where one may meet others on a similiar journey and have the opportunity to speak with many professionals face to face. Most important of all is the opportunity to forge life long friendships like I have with some of the members of Pink Essence. They don't live very close, but they have become some of my dearest friends and I never would have gotten to know them without the presence of Pink Essence on the internet.
Is Pink Essence perfect? Of course not, silly! It has its strengths and its challenges. Some people call them faults, but I think a challenge is something that can be overcome. A fault is something there is no hope to ever change.
Pink Essence is really a big extended family. As in all families, there are squabbles; people get mad at each other and cut each other off emotionally. Sometimes they "kiss and make up" and sometimes they never have anything to do with each other ever again. They become estranged. They adore their "mother" (the website owner and creator) and sometimes they get angry at "mother" because something occurs they don't like.
Personally, while I have had some disagreements with the creator of Pink Essence, just as anyone does in any type of relationship. Most importantly though, I really admire and respect the creator of Pink Essence for what she has created. She has something she created that hasn't just helped people in the U.S., but it has helped people all over the world. I think that is pretty special, don't you?
For a later article I wrote on the potential downside of membership in Pink Essence and other social media websites please follow this link:
I would like to again restate, I believe that Chloe Prince created something very positive for transgendered people, but nothing is seldom all good or all bad; it is up to the user of social media to be responsible in educating themselves about the benefits and risks of belonging so social support websites.