a most poignant few words from a fellow-blogger,
please read on
a most poignant few words from a fellow-blogger,
tomorrow is mother’s day!
somehow, magickally, i find myself still in that honorable role.
it has been a 32 year running engagement. three lives, three girls
with whom life has entrusted me…for a time.
tomorrow we will go over to my mother’s house. one of my sisters, two brothers, my daughter and i. we’ll share family stories no doubt as is common for us to do when gathered. we’ll laugh, joke, and whatever pain we may still carry with us from our childhoods, from our children, will be forgotten for the time, in lieu of celebrating that most hallowed of relationships –
as i write this many things are on my mind.
the 3000 mile journey upon which my daughter and i will embark cross country to our other home; the things we will get to share along the way. and the thunder overhead tonight as i ponder the wonder of life.
sitting out on my front stoop, watching the skies grow nearly black long before the sun has set, feeling the wind rise violently to thrash the boughs of trees and drive the rain at odd angles, no sense of doom fills my thoughts. storms for me are always omens of good.
journeys and storms don’t scare me, they don’t give me pause, or imbue me with anxiety. instead they remind me of life, which is the great journey, fraught with many storms. some people have preferred their journeys to be along well-travelled highways, with guidebooks available to preview the way. some prefer not to get purposely lost, or frequent the roadside attractions. and while no one i know is anxious for death, the journey’s logical end (or is it?) many seem to have forgotten or lost the sense of adventure.
life is a grand adventure! no matter how predictable a day might seem, there is always something surreal in each one for me. i have been clinically dead twice, and revived, put on life support then survived the experience, only to pick up my rucksack and sally forth anew.
maybe it is this spirit of adventure that let the universal weaver know that my tapestry could include such things as my various children would require of me. especially true of my threads being woven into designs that allow me to be ziona’s mom.
she is special in every way and has taught me so many things. even without the fact of her being transgender, her autism has given me new eyes, a different aperature through which to perceive the world. she has opened me like a book and written my own story in words i could not have imagined.
together each mother, each caring parent, alongside their child is given the rare opportunity to blaze a trail. to go where no one else has gone! no matter how mundane the world and all its days might seem, no one moment or situation is ever the ‘same’ as another. as it is said, “you can’t step in the same river twice”
so here i am, a mother still, feeling all the newness of life despite the apparent sameness.
in two days, like every year ziona and i along with our small dogs (i call them accessory dogs)will again drive cross-country between the panhandle of florida, to the mountains of northern california. we never take the same way twice.
it’s just like life!
please read, then go to the link and sign the petition…because different is NOT disease!
Kelley Winters, Ph.D.
GID Reform Advocates
The American Psychiatric Association announced a third and final period of public comment on proposed diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), ending June 15. Criteria for the draft diagnostic categories of Gender Dysphoria in Children and Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents or Adults (formerly Gender Identity Disorder, or GID) are unchanged from the second round proposal in May, 2011. The Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Workgroup of the DSM-5 Task Force only partially responded to concerns raised about the GID diagnosis by community advocates, allies and care providers. Their specific diagnostic criteria continue to characterize gender identities and expressions that differ from birth-assigned roles as pathological and therefore contradict access to medical transition care, for those who need it, rather than lower its barriers.
Worse yet, the punitive and scientifically capricious diagnosis of Transvestic Disorder (formerly…
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today i picked up ziona’s hospital band from off the bathroom floor where she had discarded it. you know the one, that paper bracelet tagged around the wrist upon sign in for a procedure? it typically has any pertinent information about the patient.
date of birth
any allergies or medications being taken
and of course
a simply m or f usually
when we had checked in for the procedure, as i was answering all the pertinent questions, the scene was something like this
intake person “any allergies?”
me “no, she has no allergies of any kind”
intake person “any medications?”
me “well, she takes about 12.5 milligrams of diphenhydramine for sleep issues”
intake person, looking up from her paper work with questions in her eyes “i have done here that ziona is a boy”
me “god! don’t let her hear you say that!” jokingly, then seriously “she’s transgender. affirmed at age 3. she lives as a girl because she is one.”
notation on chart. no reaction.
about this time ziona comes from around the corner where she’d been checking ou the books to see if there were any she found interesting.
the intake person engaged her cheerily. complimenting her on her beautiful big blue eyes and purple outfit, using all the correct pronouns in genuine friendly manner.
it was a hard procedure for zee.
an ultra-sound that had to be performed because, in addition to being at or very close to tanner level two, that magickal time when steps must be taken to prevent a further betrayal by her body, that time when we must decide ‘implant’ or ‘injections’, her testicles were found to be hiding…way up inside. or so zee’s doctor thought. the ultra-sound was to confirm. which it did.
it was hard for zee because she doesn’t like anyone, even herself, to see that she has those things which pertain to a boy, on her girl body. and this was worse because the technician needed her to hold the (whispering now) penis, off to each side while she probed with what we decided to call the “wand”. of course this holding was done with a thick white terrycloth towel over the offending member…but still.
the technician offered ziona to look at the monitor to see what the ultra-sound was showing. yeah…as if! of course she didn’t want to see the “ball-shaped spare parts” as she calls them. but she was curious as to what the red and blue lines were, which the technician explained referred to the arterial and venous flow. to make sure the blood flow wasn’t being blocked. ziona said simply
“isn’t venus a planet?” her confusion about the word diffusing her own discomfort with what was happening.
so the tech and i began explaining about arterial and venous flow, something that she had just been learning about in our homeschool biology class whilst discussing the circulatory system. she even remembered that arterial flow is away from the heart, due to our mnemonic A for artery and A for away.
when the technician saw the depth of the testes, she explained that the usual way forward is surgery to ‘descend’ them. but added that perhaps given our circumstances we would opt to have them removed. ziona was on cloud nine for the remainder of the day.
i wondered why she had left the little band on her wrist for so long after we got home. she usually takes them off immediately. but this one stayed on, for the next two whole days, until her bath day. i thought maybe she kept it on because it reminded her of what the tech had said. (and what she hoped would happen, like yesterday!)that maybe soon that at least one of the wrong parts would be gone.
it wasn’t until i was cleaning up after her bath and came across the band that i discovered what was another reason she might have kept it on for so long
the letter F
right there next to the date of birth and name
the letter F
i’m not sure if that’s usual procedure. surely in some instances it might even be inappropriate to do this. to mislabel the physical body of a patient…
but under the circumstances, the technician knew that she wasn’t looking for undescended testicles in a girl. and i suspect that a phone call from the intake worker may have even smoothed the way. in fact…i think we may have had a last minute change of technician because of this sensitivity. i could’ve sworn the intake person had referred to the technician with male pronouns. and i’m pretty sure about that cause my first thought was, “hope this doesn’t make ziona uncomfortable” …and because we were taken in earlier than we had originally been scheduled, i suspect that a trade may have occurred to allow a female technician. i may never know for sure.
what i do know is that ziona wore that simple paper hospital wrist band for two whole days! and i think it was because of that simple kindness of the intake person. by typing in the letter F
thanks to deanna, a woman i follow, for the link to the article and for her insights
I thought for those of you who might be interested in reading an article called The Spirit of Transgender by Holly Boswell, I have linked to it here. It is long but I think important with regard to the ancient roots of the transgender nature of spirit in many spiritual traditions, including those of our Native American brothers and sisters.
I am including one paragraph here that I believe summarizes the essence of the article which I hope you will take the time to read in full.
We are discovering that traditions of Transgender Spirituality span all time and place, thanks to the efforts of anthropologists and others who are resurrecting various aspects of history which were nearly erased by the patriarchy. Transgendered people throughout history assumed special roles suited to their unique abilities, many of which were spiritually oriented. They have been seers and visionaries, healers, celebrants of ceremony…
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just awful! in florida, she may have been able to claim self-defense under the same law that allowed zimmerman to kill trayvon martin.
society must change!
the statistics in this post regarding violence against trans-women and especially trans-people of color are staggering.
maybe there’s something each of us can do to help her time inside go a bit easier. links are included in article as well as an address.
think i might have a new penpal
McDonald, a black transgender woman, was walking with a group of friends past Schooner Tavern in Minneapolis on June 5, 2011. Words were exchanged, including racist and transphobic slurs, between the group and Dean Schmitz, a white cisgender man, and other white bar patrons who were outside smoking, according to court documents filed at the time.
Schmitz and his friends called CeCe and her friends “faggots,” “niggers,” and “chicks with dicks,” and suggested that CeCe was “dressed as a woman” in order to “rape” Schmitz, according to SupportCeCe.com. A fight ensued, and someone threw a glass and cut McDonald’s face, and Dean Schmitz was fatally stabbed.
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