Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…

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your children are not your children

“…your children are not your children.

     they are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.

  they come through you but not from you, 

and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

you may give them you love but not your thoughts,

for they have their own thoughts.

you may house their bodies but not their souls,

for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, 

not even in your dreams. ..”

kahlil gibran

yesterday i participated in a study being done through the UCSF child and adolescent gender clinic.   the interview, which lasted well over the hour to which it was allotted,  consisted partly of   ‘our story’ ,

since we don’t live in san francisco, the interview was conducted via skype.  it felt as tho the interviewer was sitting in our living room.  and ziona was there, to keep me honest.

i say to keep me honest because really this is her story.  it is her needs that guide me in making choices that only a parent of a child so young  (she’s only 10 years old) is allowed to make.  it is her tomorrows that are in my hands,  her future course begins with the decisions and actions i pursue in the now.

of course, this is truly the case with all parents.  yet often we forget that we are only the soil into which the seed of their lives has been planted.

any gardens i dig and seed, tend and fuss over require me to amend the soil, provide water when their is no rain, pluck the weeds that find their way into it.  but with respect to a child and especially a transgender child,  how can i know with what to amend the soil? how much water is needed?  and most importantly,  how can recognise what is a weed that must be pulled?  it is all ground-breakingly new to me!  (pardon the pun)

this one question that  posed by the interviewer was especially relevant to the above parable,  because it seems to me that most of the other parents in the study would answer it the same way.   it was:  “what is my process, as parent of a transgender child, in making decisions about treatment options.”

the obvious answer, that i do extensive research into the matters, could really only partly answer that question,  beginning in the middle as it does.  because the most important consideration in the process is  turning to the one whose own experienced reality informs me.  i listen to my daughter and try to hear, not only what she says but what she can’t say.

seems an easy and obvious thing, right?  and yet i was particularly slow to manage this task, which is weird,  given my history within the gay community, and the fact of my friendships and even relationships with trans-women over the years.  still, i heard.. but didn’t listen.  i listened… but didn’t hear.

i listened when my child told me that he  wanted a  ‘boy doll’  for his 3rd birthday.  i knew it was to compare genitalia against.  it’s normal, i thought,  and a good thing for a child this age to identify with its gender.  i listened, and zion(a) got the requested doll,  but wasn’t happy with it. i listened, but i didn’t hear.  i didn’t rightly understand the cool response,  the expression that crossed that face when he hurriedly undressed the doll and saw genitalia just like his own.

when my after this birthday gift,   my child would say to me  “you have a penis.” to which i answered “no, i don’t.  i’m a girl.   girls don’t have penises”  and he countered with ” but you used to have one”  i heard his confusion, but i didn’t listen to what was being revealed beneath what i perceived as  a light-hearted joke.

when zion(a) told me, at a cousin’s birthday party, where everyone noticed what a ‘big girl’ lexi was getting to be,  that  “someday i’m gonna be a big girl”,  i once again only heard confusion.  i didn’t listen to what he was trying to say.  i didn’t notice the disappointment on his face when i told him  “no, you will grow up to be a ‘big boy’ someday”.

over the next few months, as i ‘busted’ my beautiful boy trying to cut off the penis on more than one occasion, when he told me that he was really a girl,  that god had made a big mistake,  i knew i had to pay way more attention to what i was being told!  listening to the pain in ziona’s voice i heard, finally, not the sound of a confused child,  but the anguish of a little girl suffering what must be a most horrible nightmare.

every step along the way since then has been one in which i listen, and try to hear not only what ziona,   my beautiful and brave daughter says,  but also what she cannot say.

a garden speaks in subtle ways at times:  the turn of a leaf that hides a worm,  the paling of green that begs fertilizer,  the wilt of a stem that asks for water .   so too, our children speak in subtleties.   sometimes they haven’t even words for what is going on with them.  but if we pay attention, listen and really hear,  we can begin to understand what things are necessary for us to provide for them,   or to pursue fearlessly on their behalf.

 the realisation hit me eventually,  once i began to buy ziona the clothing she preferred, once i let her grow out her hair,   and insisted everyone honor her transition with the appropriate pronouns and acceptance, that i never really did have a son.  ziona was a daughter all along.  the external anatomical evidence and societal conclusions were merely an illusion that clouded my seeing….like the proverbial rope mistaken for a snake.

i started this piece with a quote from a great book;  (which, by the way, you should read immediately if you haven’t)  “the prophet”.   his chapter ,   ‘of children’ seems even more important to me now,  as i raise a transgender girl.   many parents whose children have been allowed to transition feel as tho they have lost the son or daughter they thought they had,  some even grieve.   but truly, our children are not our children.


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a rose by any other name, or the beautiful truth of chelsea manning

it’s official! pvt manning, having embraced a deep personal truth, is now chelsea.

my daughter and i had a lesson in heroism yesterday as part of our homeschool session. our literature readings have included stories of legendary heroes, and of course many of these are warriors of one sort or another.

after reading “mulan” we had a discussion about what really made her a hero. was it that she had proved to be mighty in battle and even achieved the level of general? was it that she took on someone else’s duty in order to spare her family hardship?

the part of the story that most affected my 10 year old transgender daughter was when mulan took off her helmet and cropped her hair, basically into a crewcut. the idea that she forfeited her female identity in order to go off to war with the troops, was one that was devasting to ziona!

our discussion of modern day heroes followed up the story of mulan. a current events tie-in that made mention of other kinds of heroism, like NOT going to war, like a soldier putting down his weapon and refusing to kill, or activists protesting, or hacktivists exposing the lies of the government, lies used to justify murder.

that brought up a couple of, by now, household names…julian assange, wikileaks, the collective known as anonymous, edward snowden and of course pvt manning.

today, with the announcement verified by chelsea herself, that she is indeed a woman and will continue to live in that truth from now on, we once again discussed the heroism of pvt manning. who, like mulan, sacrificed her identity as a woman, only in Chelsea’s case it was more to try to become what society and her birth certificate have always insisted was reality. but as in the truths she uncovered and subsequently shared with the world about the US govt and its war crimes, she began to doff her own lies, so that she could become the woman she’s always felt she was.

as liberating as that must be for her at a time when the US will almost assuredly take away her freedom for most of the rest of her life, it also adds depth to the story of the soldier who could not tell a lie…any longer.

altho immediate rumours have been that the armed services will deny her the hormone treatment and other medical procedures, it bears notice that in Massachusetts, a person guilty and serving time for murder has received a judgement that she must be allowed to transition fully.

it is unlawful to deny medical and/or psychiatric treatment to a person in custody. hopefully all the right people will force this issue in the case of chelsea manning.

from my daughter’s point of view, just having felt compelled to renounce the femininity ms. manning has always known to be true, in order to try to fit the cis-normative society’s designated place for her was already an unthinkable self-sacrifice! from my daughter’s point of view, she is a bigger hero today than yesterday, only because today we know the depth of her soul.

having embraced her own truth, shed the lies, and come clean so to speak, we are reminded that her desire to put things right didn’t stop at revealing hard truths about our govt. she told the world her own truth too!

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nimby syndrome, a brain-eating infection

this morning i woke to this story here’s the letter in full. from twitter.

i’m simply gobsmacked, but not surprised that there are heartless people who don’t mind exposing their own nasty bits. however, unlike the trench-coated pervert who flashes his private parts to an unsuspecting and disgusted bystander, this sort of person doesn’t bother to hid their indiscretions and abominable nature.

perhaps the story mentioned above will turn out to be a giant hoax. that would be some small comfort…but not much. there would still be the whole “who the hell would prank something this awful’ taste in the mouth.

but it isn’t hard for me to believe that there’s one person crazy enough to visit their hate so obviously and openly (altho the letter was anonymous), because there’s whole throngs of people like this raising a stink about transgender kids using the right restroom for them in the school they attend.

high profile, not hiding behind an anonymous letter, making threats, using the court system, slinging their ignorance about like a chimpanzee in a cage does shit, like the lady who sent that letter these folk seem to have more than just the nimby syndrome (not in my back yard). perhaps an extremely virulent form of it that has morphed into a brain-eating infection that renders them incapable of rational, human thought.

some of these “not in my school” variants are pulling their ‘normal’ kids out of the public school systems around the country that have the audacity to treat transgender kids with kindness, consideration and respect. but it doesn’t stop there. no way! they feel they must try to repeal legislation that allows protections under the law to those whom they would oppress, persecute and ostracise.

like the author of this letter, they are convinced of their own righteousness, of their right to feel such awful things about another human being, of their superior standing in normal society and their justifiable lack of a heart.

people like my beautiful 10 year old transgender daughter, who is also autistic have a long row to hoe already…not because of who they are, but because of how full society still is of all these less evolved souls, and outright demon-possessed, frothing at the mouth idiots.

honestly! it’s the fucking 21st century!


#fuckcispeople offensive?

just read a post from a blogger i follow. it definitely bears reading if you are a parent, partner or supporter of trans-rights and an end to the domination of society by those who make no room for those who are ‘other than’.

then i went to twitter to read the #fuckcispeople hashtag timeline. and left a tweet of my own.

i refuse to entertain the notion that it is wrong to have this hashtag, wrong for people to weigh in on an issue that is divisive. it is this very divisiveness that evidences the root cause of the evil wrought by a cis-normative dialogue that allows scant room for discussion.

my daughter is only 10 and because she is transgender, altho she is homeschooled and largely shielded by from the haters in our society, she has already suffered because of the cis-normative mindset that dominates every aspect of the world she will one day be facing alone.

recent court battles have been won that allow for transgender kids to be afforded the dignity of using restrooms in their school which align with their identity. from the uproar this caused you’d have thought that satan himself had birthed these children.

THIS is the evil that an honest and ‘no-holds barred’ dialogue, no matter how provocative the incitement, seeks to address. this demonising of even children who don’t toe the line. this arrogant, bigoted, absolutely horrible belief that it is okay for cis-folk to declare what is right, what is ‘normal’ and what is clearly unacceptable or only marginally allowed.

how fucking dare these medieval minded zealots victimise anyone? where do they get off? who the fuck died and made them god!

the answer to the last question is simple. NO ONE HAD TO! no one had to die and make them god because the whole of society has declared their opinion to be the majority, their reality to be the only true one, their judgments to be justified.

my daughter is so very negatively impacted by her body having ‘boy parts’ that she can’t bathe without copious bubbles in the tub, can’t bear to see the parts that make her ‘not a real girl’ to the point that she has to have me ‘dab’ the penis after she urinates, because she can’t bear to see much less touch that ‘member’. and yet the folk up in arms over whether or not children have the right to use the gender identified appropriate bathroom would have the world believe that little boys will be ‘flashing’ their stuff to ‘honest-to-god’ little girls in school restrooms.

so #fuckcispeople for projecting their own perverted and wicked inner demons on our beautiful and innocent children!