Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…


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surf’s up

yesterday i posted two things on this blog.
one was a video of a transgender girl named jazz, whose story on a barbara walters special in 2007 started me on a path of research and understanding for my own transgender child. jazz’s story is a positive one; one that has encouraged me and given me hope.

the second thing i blogged about yesterday was the death of my friend and canine companion, benji. it was such a sad post that my daughter, who usually likes me to read her what i write on this blog, said “i’m glad that was a short poem, mom…it was making me sad.

life is like that.
it has those moments that bless us with hope and happiness and those that touch us to loss and sorrow. like the waves on the ocean that rise and fall, just so, our lives have their own waves. they buoy us up one minute, then wash over us the next, til it feels we might even drown.

altho this is completely normal, there are corporations that try to profit off our moods by convincing us we need to buy their latest product to be always feeling our best. big pharma, with its tentacles in every corner tell us that the natural lows are depression, and need to be medicated. the waves we experience are called ‘bi-polar disease’. but not to worry, there’s a drug for that.

children being children are diagnosed adhd and medicated to make the classroom tolerable for the teachers, and yesterday i read an article about the higher than usual percentage of foster kids that are on ‘something’ or the other, as a way to chemically restrain them. the article was about floriduh (intentional misspelling) but it goes on all over the place. and of course, nursing homes are excellent examples of the use of big pharma’s wares as a way to make their residents a more controlled population.

but life is ups and downs.
it is feeling, experiencing, processing and learning.
how can we grow our hearts if we shy away from these offerings, these boons, turning instead to a drug to dull our senses? how do we begin to know our innermost self if we are frightened to embrace our emotions? how will we ever learn to like ourselves if we are always accepting the message of corporate driven media telling us that we must be younger, thinner, cooler, richer?

the metaphor of a surfer comes to mind as i ponder my own ups and downs, the waves that course my own seas. with my back to the oncoming swells i ride them to their zenith then plunge down their depths to shoot the curl, and let the waves carry me, then wash over me and bring me closer to my own shore.

i am not sad today.
benji died, everything that lives dies.
i have said the same goodbyes to friends, lovers and elders.
someday, folk will be saying goodbye to me.

but death is only one small part of life.
its bittersweet taste becomes lost in the next ecstasy.
without valleys, no mountains.
without waves, what would the ocean be?


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while my dog lay dying

this is one of those, “etc” pieces that i sometimes leave on this blog.
in a way, it is about the sadness of losing a friend.
it is also about choices and awareness.

as i sit at the keyboard of my ‘get by’ MSI notebook, (my usual computer having suffered a massive stroke in its hard drive, dead now, and part of my growing collection of laptops-turned-paperweight) listening to “lucy jordan” by marianne faithfull, my dog of six years is laying by my side, dying.

i have called in a home-visit vet to come and give the injection that will help the process along. if i didn’t have sjogren’s as one of the chronic manifestations of sle my face would doubtless be drenched in salty rivers.

sometime during the weeks long roadtrip my daughter and i took, benji must have gotten ill. otherwise, how to explain this sudden death. two days ago, i was outside while benji went out to relieve himself. i happened to see, the color of his urine was almost pitch black. it was after hours for a vet, but i knew that even did we get into the office immediately, it was already too late.

the next day benji wouldn’t take water, even if forced. nor would he eat. last night he lay by my side as i slept on the floor, like usual. but in his breath i could her the rattle that means death is at the door. today, i called the ark hospital and asked them to send a veterinarian to help him pass on.

they asked me if i wanted to bring him into the office.

my lover of ten years, who died 6 years ago chose to die at home. we helped both of his aging parents to ‘cross over’ from the comfort of their home as well. when i am dying the last place i want to be is in a hospital.

i told them that it would be more comfortable for him to die at home.

the person on the phone tried to convince me that perhaps there is something still that could be done. i know better. i have seen death, many times.

death is messy. when it happens the body releases more than the spirit it sends into the ether. (yes, i believe…been there, done that) there’s all the orifices letting go their contents. there’s the hours spent in holding hands, (or paws) while your own eyes unleash cascades of tears.

ziona loves the dog. but she is blissfully unfocused on the happenings, busying herself with what she usually does of a day…playing xbox, watching movies, acting out scenes in her bedroom with her godzilla toys. autism can be kind, i guess.

the veterinarian will arrive soon, with a shot of kindness. then i will bury my old friend, and plant a garden above his grave.

i keep going over the ‘what ifs’ in my head. what if i hadn’t gone on our trip when i did. would i have seen symptoms, been able to get him to a vet before it was too late? what if i walked him everyday, instead of simply opening the back door to let him out to pee? maybe i would’ve seen his urine becoming darker.

i’m alone in my grief.

the other dogs seem to know something is wrong, but are content to run around playing, chasing and doing doggie things. the cats only turn their noses up at the smell when they pass by benji and i. and my daughter, plays her games, goes into her room to watch a movie or make believe disasters with her dinosaurs.

my lack of awareness of a problem no doubt added to the situation; my faithful friend, laying near me, dying. i’ll never know for sure.

but i choose for him to die at home, like i will want to when the time comes.

we only accept cash or credit, the vet told me. it isn’t cheap. a home visit, a shot of kindness. more expensive since it is off-hours and the office isn’t open until monday. my choice not to wait. my choice not to pay with credit card, since the following month’s billing statement would be a bitter reminder.

i’m sad.
it’s never easy to say goodbye.


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and all that’s jazz!

without this young girl and her totally supportive family having done the segment with barbara walters, i would have taken much longer to ‘hear’ ziona’s truth.

she is a beautiful, vibrant and wise young 11 year old role model.
this is her acceptance speech for a well deserved reward she recently received.


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right now

a storm is brewing…miles away.
the skies overhead portend none of the possibilities of the coming reality.

sure, tropical storm debbie may not come my way. but the allegory which the meteorological situation has provided for how it feels when i ponder the future ziona and i face is brilliant.

right now, she is a 9 year old girl. innocent of the knowledge i possess of the various squalls on the horizon. like wrangling medicaid to cover the hormone therapy, setting up and keeping appointments thousands of miles away, battling against the frozen minds that would label her, judge her…

right now, her biggest worries center around being able to win her latest xbox game. she’s just a normal kid, like all the others on our block.

except she’s not.

right now, my biggest concerns have to do with making preparations for the future. setting aside money for the trip to thailand, the cheek cell vaginoplasty and gender realignment surgery that she insists happen as early as possible, getting records between the various care providers, working with the national center for lesbian rights to ensure that her rights are not violated.

right now, my job is to pay attention to her present needs, while looking ahead to her future. it is the same job being done by every other parent on the block.

except it’s not.

because saving up money to send a child to university is seen as commendable, by everyone. whereas saving up money to help my child afford surgery to change her body, is not. many people judge me more than they do her…because she is just a confused child, but i should know better.

only she’s not confused, and i DO know better.

i know about the prospects for children whose parents don’t stand by them, those kids with no support system. they run away, engage in self-destructive behaviours, find ways (sometimes dangerous ways) to pursue all of this on their own, they commit suicide.

right now, just like a lazy, sultry summer day in the south with blazing sunny skies, we go about our routines. she and i each doing what ‘normal’ people do.

except i do it knowing that there’s a storm brewing, somewhere just beyond today’s horizon. i do it with an eye to the future skies. and prepare.

debbie is dancing pirhouettes in the warm waters of the gulf.

like any wise gulf-coast inhabitant enjoying a summer cook-out under clear skies, my hurricane plans are already in place. for whenever it may come.


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the lion sleeps tonight

yesterday i was in a state!
it’s not often my mind whirls about so frantically without being able to find its ground.
i’m like a lightning rod, usually. most mental activity passes through me, then into the earth. its a gift.
but apparently not a constant!

i should explain.

ziona was found to have testicles that were undescended. at least that’s what the primary care physician thought and a subsequent ultrasound revealed.

enter urologist appointment. after gathering support from mental health and legal professionals, lest surgery to descend the testes seemed imminent over the more logical procedure for a young trans-girl nearing puberty blocking time..removal.

all my ducks neatly in a row, monday night, i got maybe 2 hours of sleep. nothing short of knock out drops would coerce the sandman to close my weary eyes. i knew it was anxiety for what could be my first real fight for ziona’s rights.

tuesday, we arrived at the urologist’s office to find that the physician’s assistant for the doctor, was the same one that ziona had seen before at the gastro-intestinal doctors office! the first sigh of relief escaped my body unnoticed by this familiar face.

this p.a. already knew ziona as both zion and ziona. he had seen her for follow ups and pre-ops for the annual colonoscopy she must have to remove the polyps that keep cropping up in her large intestine. it made telling him what our needs were much easier.

it also made it easier for ziona to allow him to try to manipulate the testes out of their very deep hiding place. it was a painful procedure, but he was able after many weird leg positionings and much wrangling, to get them into the scrotum. only one at a time and only briefly! they popped right back up inside of her the minute he let go of pinching them into place.

but still, good news! no surgery!

so we followed up with the primary care physician, because whether retractile or undescended, getting a ‘feel’ of the testes to determine tanner stage was not going to be possible. so the logical next step, the alternative, is to do a blood draw to measure lutenising hormone levels.

i was shocked to learn that she wouldn’t order the test. she seemed to have been on board all along. even claimed to have had a transgender patient ‘graduate’ out of her practice in the recent past. all the times when we had spoken about the implanted form of the puberty blockers and hormones, she listened and once even said that the procedure was easy enough that she could do it in the office.

in what seemed like a blindsiding about-face the doctor started talking about legal ramifications, mentioning the fact that ziona is a minor and digging in with statements like, “you’ve got to understand where we are”, meaning the deep south, where every good christian will tell you where folk like ziona and myself will be spending eternity. she claimed not to know anything about the protocol involved, like it was an experimental procedure i was asking her to perform. and i felt betrayed, … big time.

surprised, i said, “but i thought you had had a transgender patient in your practice”. then she explained that the person in question had parents who wouldn’t sign off on anything and had waited until 16 “pursued it on their own”.

i offered to send her links from various studies, links to various clinics around the country where the ‘protocol’ and proper therapies for treating a transgender child are in practice. when i got home i did just that too. frantically, and profusely firing off email after email from the web. and then i sent her the link to the ucsf program that ziona and i had decided on for pursuing her care.

but i was puzzled.

why had the doctor listened and seemed to ‘be on board’ for so long? had someone or something scared her? it occurred to me that maybe she thought i expected HER to ‘do’ the protocol. so i sent her a release form from the program at ucsf, asked her to fax them ziona’s records, then emailed her to apologise for not communicating well enough the fact that she, as the primary care physician, is only involved tangentally in the whole process. just to order the occasional test, and otherwise simply to see to ziona’s health and well being.

the sandman eluded me for a second night in a row as i pondered what had gone wrong.

i admit, my reaction to wednesday’s events was almost ballistic, altho since i tend to be rational, on the outside at least, no one probably knew the extent of my panic.

but what a difference a day makes!

today i spoke with the intake person at the ucsf program, got ziona registered, got her first appt set up, then bought airline tickets to bring us to san francisco and back to florida the same day, even lined up a neighbor to look after letting the dogs out to poop and pee while we’re gone for the day.

i think i may even sleep tonight.


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more positive role-models for our transgender kids!

enjoy

LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Although Qian Jinfan didn’t start living as a woman until she was 80-years-old, she knew at age 3 she wasn’t meant to be a male. Sex reassignment surgery came at age 82 and now, at age 84, Jinfan outs herself in an interview for Southern Metropolitan Daily advocating for trans people.

Jinfan, who is now China’s oldest trans person, is a former government official, a calligrapher, and an art critic. She recalls always thinking it would be great to be a girl when she was younger, but kept these things inside until her marriage to a woman ended at age 80.

Jinfan: “I don’t think I’m inferior to anyone. I will not give up so easily. I have done nothing wrong.”

Qian Jinfan, China’s Oldest Transgender Woman, ‘Outs’ Herself In Advocacy Bid.

———-

British trans woman April Ashley, the first Briton to have SRS…

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