Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…

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so same sex marriage passes…so what?!

more and more i see what is frustrating to transgender folk about being lumped into the lgbt acronym.

lesbians and gay men already enjoy many ‘rights’ and ‘perks’ that aren’t available to the transgender community.

*bathroom priveleges
*laws restricting descrimination in:
– housing
– employment
– military (soon)

now gay folk can marry. and it’s great! they shouldn’t ever have been precluded from the right to have their love acknowledged.

but for people like my daughter, even getting their own real selves acknowledged and deemed lawful is still a struggle on all sides!

* birth certificate and other I.D. to reflect their true gender
* laws that would prohibit discrimination in
– housing
– employment
– military

and altho in the states that now allow ‘gay’ marriage it’s possible for a transgender woman to marry another woman, this is simply a side-effect of a law intended for the more privileged letters of the lgbt acronym.

my daughter is at least or maybe more female than those born into the gender. she will have to take hormones and have surgery, just so that her body will comform to her true self. and yet there are those, even in the gay and lesbian community, who see her as less.

less of a woman,
less of a reality.

as a member of the gay community for many years. (about 30 to be exact) i well know the gains that have been wrenched from the hold of the dominant culture. but what of the gains of the transgender community whose letter (T) is tacked onto the end of that acronym?

the gay community has very often tried to distance itself from people like my daughter in order that they might have more acceptance, more validity. that they might get ‘theirs’.

but what about ‘hers’?

who cares about her rights to safety when she needs to use a restroom that reflects who she is? who cares about her self-definition if her birth certificate says ‘male’, simply because she’s not yet old enough to have undergone “treatment” (read surgical alteration)? in some states even having gone ‘all the way’ doesn’t ensure an easy road to your legal I.D reflecting your true gender. who cares about that?

and if it seems fair that the lgb part of the equation ‘get theirs’ first so that they can open the way for the t part of the equation, (which it doesn’t to me) let me point out that in the civil rights battles, women stood along side men to stand up for the rights of african-americans but women still haven’t even been able to get the ERA passed.

those liberated don’t always turn around to give a hand up to those whose rights were not considered.

my daughter is only eight years old. and as luck would have it she will probably be able to marry the woman of her choosing even if she does so as the woman she wasn’t born to be. but what of some of my straight transsexual friends? what good does the right to marry do you if discrimination and disregard haunt every aspect of your life, except nuptials?

my daughter relates to the l part of the lgbt more than the t part. in her pure mind she is simply a girl. the wrong equipment can be put right, because that’s what a girl requires, in her opinion. she has no idea, how oppressive society is of people like her self. and hopefully by the time she’s old enough to realise this things will change for the better.

but it’s not getting better if other oppressed groups within the society and dominant culture only seek to improve their own lot, whilst asking the others to wait…to trust that their own hard won freedoms will somehow, eventually trickle down.

trickle down….hmmm. that sounds familiar

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the grapevine: a parable

this year i planted a grapevine in the garden in front
of my house. my porch has a small railing with almost a
fence. watching the little plant grow and wind itself
along this has been filling me with insights not pertaining
to grapevines at all

i’ve been thinking about how like our children this vine is.
how it supports itself on nearby things, even the most
meager structure. how it sends forth branches that feel
their way to find places and means to hold up the new growth. how little is necessary outside itself, save the necessities of light and water, to encourage its coming to be.

vastly different from the prim and crucified vines of the
napa and sonoma vineyards, this little creature winding its
leaves and vines onto my porch is wild and full of potential
since no one is bending it to a purpose outside its own.

society often acts more like a vineyard than a garden in
this respect. in a vineyard, thousands of little crosses
stand row upon row preparing to receive the plants then bind
them to its purpose. and the same is true of society, and
the dominant paradigm.

many parents play into the vineyard mentality as well. not
allowing their children to simply “come to be”. instead
imposing ‘therefores’ and purposes beyond the needs of the
child, which, as with the grapevine, are relatively few.

outside of the necessities of food, shelter and such, they
require some support from those nearest them. but in order
for them to grow into their own they should never be bound
to a cross, then trimmed and pruned to purposes not their
own. because if allowed, like the grapevine, they will send
forth tendrils and branches, and find places to anchor
themselves to their world.

some parents, like the keepers of vineyards, have expect-
ations of a certain fruit in a specific quantity. so they
bend and bind the little vines in their care.

i believe that as a parent it is not my job to decide upon
the purpose of my daughter’s life. her purpose in life and
the fruit she will bear must in the end be her own. after
all, this isn’t grapes we’re talking about.

but to provide only the basics of of food, shelter and such
would be a mistake. to act as that ‘nearby support’ requires
something more. it often means being there to allow their
various branches to find anchorage in their world. and from time to time, helping a tendril to find the porch, or
doing a bit of bug control. (smile)

my daughter is one of those for whom society’s vineyard
just wont do. from the moment the doctor declared, “it’s a
boy” the reality of the vineyard has been at odds with the
reality of her being.

it is wonderful to see her,like the grapevine on the front porch, growing free of the restrictions of the vineyard!

it would be better still to see society
act less like a production oriented people factory and more like a nurturing wild garden.

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don’t ask – don’t tell?

my child is a beautiful eight year old girl;
full of wonder, light and tomorrows.
she doesn’t have to be much bothered right now
with things like cis-ist attitudes and
judgmental opinions about who she is.
but as she becomes a bit older,
no doubt she will one day come up
against the brick wall that is
‘the dominant paradigm’.

today we went to the bank to deposit a check.
we hadn’t seen the teller who assisted me
for well over a year. she may have been
at another branch … who knows.
zeeona was playing at ‘hide from the cameras’,
a game she plays to avoid the many not-so-hidden
cameras scanning the place for potential robbers
and thieves.

as i was filling out the deposit slip,
out of the corner of my eye, i watched as
the teller’s face registered first recognition,
then disgust. she had caught sight of zeeona
and remembered that ‘she’ used to be ‘he’.
i braced myself for the inevitable.

“how old is your son getting to be now?” came the question.

zeeona was blissfully oblivious to this insult
and was still busy ducking and dodging the cameras.
as for me, i contemplated turning to the teller
and answering her.

then decided to feign oblivion, as tho
i hadn’t heard her.

if she asked again, i would tell her,
“my daughter” is eight now, isn’t she beautiful?”
then if she pursued the matter further
i would tell her that zeeona happens to be
a very special girl.

but the teller didn’t ask again.

i finished filling out the slip and
just before handing it to the teller
i called out to zeeona

“okay, girlfriend (a term we use for one another)
done here soon”

again, out of the corner of my eye
the face across the counter registered disgust,
and even a slight and no doubt unconscious
shaking of the head as she accepted the slip
and began to print out a receipt.

she didn’t ask, so i wouldn’t have to tell.

but a part of me wished she’d’ve had the guts
to inquire further.
a part of me wanted to gently awaken understanding in her,
not only for my daughter
but for others who are in some way different
from her self.

what kind of world will it be for zeeona if who she is
must be kept hidden: a secret.
what kind of world is it that wont even allow
discussion of the obvious!
(because obviously, the teller knew!)

being cis and bi it has always been easy for me to ‘pass’
within the confines of the dominant paradigm
if i so chose.

but the rebel in me always wanted folk to know
how i differed from their reality. will zeeona feel the same?

since she already lives as a girl.
and will transition into puberty as a girl,
then shortly after she is 16 undergo surgery to
put everything just so,
will she feel the need to be recognised as
someone who started out life in a male body?

or will she feel more comfortable just being seen as
the girl she’s always been?

i don’t know.
what i do know is that this special faerie child
has opened my perceptions to myriad ponders
even before and ever since she surprised me with
who she is.

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truly disturbing: when art imitates life

i just finished watching a movie that was
truly disturbing.
not because it was one in which a woman was
murdered. nor because of the dirty politics and
police corruption it depicted.
it was staged, after all, partially in new orleans
and in a nearby backwoods parrish.

the movie starred billy bob thornton, a favorite of
mine and patricia arquette.

in the short description netflix had about the plot, it
said that it involved the murder of a transsexual person
and the sheriff who tried to unravel the mystery surrounding
the death.

the location was awesome! i love the swamps down here. as
does my daughter. the circumstances of the plot were
absolutely believable and the acting was very good.
in the end the sheriff does find the perpetrator and
even resolves a rift in his relationship with his brother,
who is gay and whom billy bob’s character had had to
‘run out of town’ so that the sheriff job could be his.

the disturbing part wasn’t the beginning of the movie,
when the local law enforcement yokels were standing around
the dead and nude body of the victim which was laying on
the coroner’s table. this is undoubtedly the way folk
here in the deep south would react to such a sight.
immature, joking rudely to alleviate their own discomfort.

the disturbing part came at the end of the movie, when we
realize that a perverted, sub-human gas station owner
just barely able to string a noun to a verb to utter a
coherent sentence, was the murderer.

peering through a peep-hole, he’d lurked at the women
as it became evident he’d done countless times before,
with probably every woman who used the restroom
when this barely sentient thug realizes that he’s
been ‘jerking off’ to ‘a man’ he becomes enraged!
he storms out of his lurking place to confront the
woman. sputtering and beside himself he screams at her and tells her she shouldn’t have used the women’s restroom.

she tries to get out of the bathroom, somehow to get around his huge sweaty body and out to the road. he begins to
beat her. she escapes, but he follows after her with a gun
screaming “you’ll never tell anyone about this.”

so,in the end, it was some perv’s inability to deal with
his own orgasm that was the reason for mona’s death.

but why it is disturbing for me, is that such things
really do happen still in the real world. the woman at
mcdonalds whose beat down after attempting to do what
any woman should be safe doing, using the restroom,
went viral and shone a light on our not so tolerant

this is the only thing about my daughter’s future that
scares me. the thought that there are people out there,
who can go the place of horror show violence, just because
of there own inability to cope with what is different
to themselves.

i have no therefores.
i watched the film, fearing that it would offend me with
it’s insensitivity to trans issues.
but it was instead, its true-to-life-ness that got to me.

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who knew?

today my lovely little daughter decided to use
one of the boy avatars on a game she likes.
what was extraordinary about this is that she
asked first if it was okay for her to use that
avatar, “even tho” she said; “i’m a girl.”

she wasn’t asking permission. she only wanted
to make sure that it would be apropriate.

you see, tho the doctor that delivered her upon
spying the penis, said: “it’s a boy”.
and despite the fact that this part still hasn’t
fallen off, as she’d imagined it would someday,
my daughter is a girl.

who knew?

since then, every official document in her life has
repeated the obstetricians false call. this
checking a box as to the alleged gender of a newborn
is much like someone else choosing your avatar
for you. it just doesn’t play well.

tho she’d prefer to play her games as
the girl she is, sometimes she plays with one of the
given male avatars. but it feels odd to her to do so.
and sometimes there isn’t the option to play
as a female on her favorite wii games.

she hasn’t the slightest doubt about who she is!
she really doesn’t know what transgender means.
in her mind she is quite simply, a girl.

she’s aware, as much as an eight year old can be,
that to ensure that her body doesn’t betray her by
going through male puberty, she will need to take
medicines. hormones and such.

she is adamant that at some point, when she is
old enough, a surgical procedure to change her
gentalia must happen.

i stand in awe of the strength of this young person.
despite even the supposed or imposed ‘reality’ of her gender
she declares who she is.

my daughter is a constant reminder
for me of just how mighty the entity/energy we call
“god” must be…how creative!
this mighty one that gives rise
to such incredible variety.

and then…
it occurred to me that there might be an infinite
number of gender expressions. feminine and masculine
are the only choices presented to the world at large
for gender, but within and beyond these two might
we find that we’ve been imposing limits on god’s
creativity when we exclude other realities, that we
oversimplify the world to accomodate this duality.

for instance,
i was born female, but i am not feminine by
societies standards. not like other women i know are.
altho, did they know they had options who can say?
in the main, options are denied us as regards gender.
we are ultimately defined by what lies between our

perhaps the innate understanding that this is so,
is what lies behind zeeona’s intense insistance that
she have everything ‘put right’ as soon as it is
medically possible. (surgery)

it is in so many ways outrageous.
because she was born female! no matter that most
folk can’t see this truth. still she must go through
a surgical procedure to become who she is.

as for me, it is so natural to see this vibrant
young girl growing up right under my nose, that i often
forget, that i had originally adopted a boy.

who knew?

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her selfhood is beyond your judgements!

alot of things have got me to thinking of late.
about misogyny, sexist and cis-ist attitudes and
the liberation movements that have engendered the
acceptance of various groups in the last few decades.

reading a blog by a transgender woman a while back
enlightened me to the fact that while the goals of
the lesbian, gay and bi-sexual communities have much
in common with those of the transgender community,
it is sometimes felt by members of both communities
that the other gets in the way of their purpose; of
being accepted or acceptable.

i was well aware from my time in the gay community that
some folk felt that the transgender community when
included under their own umbrella, served to make the
acceptance of gays as ‘just like you’ to the straight
people an impossible venture if there were inclusion of
the oh so NOT ‘just like you’ transgender folk.

the blog i read had the opposite point of view.
that transgender issues are not served by being lumped in
with the gay communities agenda.

the writer acknowledged that the gay liberation movements
indeed paved the way and was of inestimable value to the
beginnings of a path to equality for transgender people,
but took a ‘what have you done for me lately’ tone,
and as the blogger pointed out,unless the transgender
person is also gay, the two groups don’t really merge.

at issue was the fact that cis-ist attitudes are rampant
in the gay community as in the straight world. gay men often
don’t get why a man would want to be a woman, after all,
he can still be with men as a man. this point of view might
reflect more on misogyny than the sense of loss of possible
sex partners to the gender to which they have no desires.
but for whatever reason it is there.

in the lesbian community, trans-women are often excluded
from all women’s events unless they have had the ‘bottom
surgery’. and often even in the event that they’ve gone
“all the way” some lesbians say they ‘could never’ really
go there, as far as a relationship with a trans-woman.

trans-women have not only the cis attitudes to deal with,
but are often under intense scrutiny to be ‘feminine’,
whatever that means. and they are put to far higher
standards with regard to ‘beauty’ (whatever than means)
than are cis women.

this misogyny exists, furthermore and inexplicably,in both
the minds and attitudes of straight women and lesbians
toward these women, who are in fact ‘sisters’ to them
in every way, save one!

now, to accept a trans-woman who has had the ‘surgery’ but
not the one who for whatever reason, has NOT is hard to
fathom. is it only our bodies that make us women? does the
presence of a body-part incongruent with societal dictates
for female invalidate? what if a woman hasn’t the money to
get required procedures? what if she simply knows who she is
without getting them? why would ANY woman, straight or gay
discriminate against another woman?!

i am raising a trans-girl. she is only eight right now, but
has known, (and informed me and everyone else) that she is
a girl ever since she was a little more than three years old. as a pre-pubescent person, the differences that make male and female bodies discernable have not yet come into play. so for now, no one is the wiser.

she loves to wear dresses, and climb trees. she plays with
dolls (tho she’s outgrown them lately) and trains. (altho
these days it’s more video games) she will be raised as the
girl she knows herself to be. before puberty she will take
cross hormones and testosterone blockers so that she can
begin to grow into her life as a young woman, right along
side other girls in her peer group.

so who will dare to tell her that she is not a woman?

already she knows that she is attracted to girls, wants to
marry one someday and adopt children together. (she is
adopted after all, and knows that adopted kids are never
an accident) she worries only that she’ll fall in love
with a woman who isn’t gay. altho i’ve told her that i have
had women decide to be lovers with me who ‘weren’t gay’.

i worry more that the woman she decides to be with will
reject her because she is transgender.

what a world!