Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…


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guilty of child abuse? … *face palm* wtf! *head bang on desk*

before i get into my thoughts on this matter, which will be decidedly heated, please read this and the links included therein.

so to those who have read this blog before, a lot of this will be old news. still i feel compelled to include a bit of our journey, as a way to refute the ‘haters’ that deem me a child abuser.

i adopted my grandson and raised him from birth. it was exciting for me to have the opportunity to raise a boy, being a bit of a tomboy myself and having only raised daughters. i was looking forward to sharing the interests i’ve had that are thought of as ‘less than feminine’ by our society, things my daughters were never quite ‘into’.

i bought all the usually considered ‘boy things’, which were toys i had lusted over as a child but had to hope my brothers would let me play with, since they got the hot wheels sets and stuff i wanted, while i got dolls and such. altho, when ziona (zion at the time) requested things usually considered ‘girl things’ i bought them for him. the clothes i shopped for of course didn’t include dresses, or frilly items. altho even had i been buying clothes for a girl child, it wouldn’t have had much of that type. for the first 3 years of life i assumed i was raising a boy child and acted accordingly.

just before birthday number 3 when ziona (again, at the time, zion) requested a baby doll for a gift, i didn’t blink. already there was one baby doll among the many toys in our house. but there was a caveat in the request, it had to be a boy doll (by request). i was happy that (he) wanted an anatomically correct boy doll. i thought it was a sign of (him) learning to differentiate between boy and girl, so as to identify with (his) gender, as a boy.

the day came, but when ziona opened the present with the doll, and undressed it, there was not happiness i saw register on that beautiful face…there was dread almost.

fast forward 6 months. we are at the birthday party for his cousin and friend Lexi. people were saying what a big girl she was getting to be. ziona (zion) told me “someday i’m gonna be a big girl too”. at first i just thought it was jealousy about the fuss being made over Lexi. so i said, “you’re already older and bigger than her,” a big hug, then continued, “but you’re a big boy”.

this was sooo not what ziona wanted to hear. you see, she already knew that the body she was in was called a ‘boy’ body, because of the anatomically correct boy doll she’d gotten for her last birthday. now i was imposing upon her the reality that she wouldn’t grow into a girl, but would only grow into a boy. the next six months saw all manner of turmoil around our house.

included in her reaction to this news were many attempts to rid herself of the penis that marked her something other than she knew herself to be. she tried using her pretend scissors from her doctor kit, to cut ‘it’ off. she tried to pull it off, but cried her heart out because this method only made it ‘stronger’. she told me god had made a ‘big mistake’, that she should’ve gotten a girl body. she begged me to ‘cut it off’ or take her to the doctor to have things made right.

so much pain, so many tears…there was nothing i could say to make her feel better.

i knew she understood that she was allowed ‘girl things’ even to dress up like a girl was allowed. so it was confusing to me that she wanted to be a girl. since being one wouldn’t mean there was something she could have or do that she wasn’t already allowed. but all that didn’t matter to her. she told me “god made a big mistake. i wish i could die so i could come back in the right body”

when your 4 year old child starts trying to maim their body, or seriously entertain suicidal thoughts, you can’t just keep hoping it’s a phase.

i had the primary physician refer us to an endocrinologist to assess hormone levels…to see if something there was off and was the cause of ziona’s confusion. (there wasn’t). a scan of her abdomen was done to see if perhaps she had residual ovaries, there were none. i tried getting her into dance, since she had professed an interest…but as soon as the instructor divided the class and assigned ziona to the ‘boy’s group’, she refused to go any more.

then on my birthday, 20/20 aired a special with barbara walters called “my secret self”. it was about kids like ziona, who identified with a gender beyond the binary and outside of the body’s anatomy. especially interesting to me was the story of Jazz, a transgender girl.

armed with a new focus, i began to research this thing called transgender kids. i have friends who are transgender, so it was only a matter of realising that this knowledge of who one is with regard to one’s gender starts at a very early age. i searched the internet for any and all scholarly research on the matter (there was little at first that directly applied to children) and found articles and interviews with Dr. Spack of Boston’s Children Hospital. i found books and ordered them, i found websites and chatrooms.

in the mean time i acknowledge ziona’s gender identity, but was reluctant for the next couple of years to allow what is called “social transition” to her perceived gender as a girl. that mattered little to ziona, who would introduce herself as a girl/boy and would correct people who wrongly identified her as a boy. she would often ask me whether she could ‘share her secret’ when she met a new friend at the park or something. i could see that it killed her not to be able to reveal her true self.

one day she took up a scissor’s again. and came to me saying she couldn’t wait for a doctor to ‘make it right’. tearfully and hysterical she begged me to help her ‘be a girl’. i grabbed the scissors (which were a relatively safe pair of kid’s craft scissors) and cried right along with her.

it was at this point, when she was 6 years old, a full 2 and 1/2 years after she had revealed to me her dilemma, that i knew that she must be allowed to live as the girl she knew herself to be. dresses and all. even tho she wouldn’t be able to lose ‘the spare part’ (her words) until she was much older, at least her true gender would be what the world saw. altho, she still can’t bear to see or have others (even me!) see that ‘spare part’, the difference in her self-esteem was almost immediate.

today know one who sees her would suspect that she isn’t all girl. my family have all finally learned to use the correct pronouns when referring to her, and to consider that she is a girl when gift-giving times come around.

child abuse? hardly! rather those who would deny a child’s pain, the trauma they suffer from being certain of their gender despite what their bodies and society insists, those are the abusers!

we parents, who have agonised with our children and seek to alleviate their pain, supporting them in their perceived gender know only too well how, despite the encouraging media and changes in attitudes surrounding transgender issues, their lives will never be easy…never a simple walk in the park…never without danger of oppression or outright attack. that our actions to help our children grow and thrive would be deemed abuse belies the fact that the real abuse comes from outside; from societal exclusion or prejudice, from religious judgments to physical assaults that are too often shrugged off as justified.

it isn’t the case that we parents of transgender kids simply acquiesce to some random phase our child is going through. it isn’t the case that we jump at the chance to find doctors to act on a child’s idle whims. we are instead the only voice a minor child has, their ‘gatekeeper’ to getting the intervention necessary to ensure that puberty as the ‘wrong’ gender doesn’t mark them forever with irreversible traits, many of which all the cross hormones and surgeries in the world won’t get rid of were they to wait until adulthood to transition.

far from child abusers, we are their foot in the door, their best hope, their champions and the ones who love and understand their needs better than anyone else in the world.

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reblog:Why I Changed My Last Name When I Got Married–Even Though I Have A Penis

i simply had to post this…

i remember when john and yoko got married and what a big deal was made of the new names they chose to reflect their union. it was awesome for a young feminist to see a strong woman and a real man not afraid to claim and name their own reality.

i never understood why a woman should have to lose her name too, along with all the other things it seemed to me she would forfeit on that fateful day of wedded bliss. her independence, her private moments, her separate space…to mention only a few.

of course, a woman’s name is in our society is the patriatchal “proof of ownership” handed down through all the generations of a woman’s maiden name being doffed, so really, what to do?

my second daughter, who is now raising three children of her own, wears her very own name…not my fathers, nor my mother’s father’s name. when filling out her birth-certificate i gave her a name completely her own. as a single mother there was no one to second guess my decision.

but even years later, when i try to explain my daughter wears her very own last name, people are still a bit confused,,,they ask, “well, who was mr. freeborn?”

that’s just the point, of her name, i patiently add…free born? get it?

Why I Changed My Last Name When I Got Married–Even Though I Have A Penis.


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A line in the sand drawn with a chicken beak

because it ISN’T just about ONE man’s words…it is about people lining up to ‘appreciate’ the culture of inequality and hate that are symbolised by this man’s words….people lining up to support denial of civil rights to a group of people…no different than people lining up to support white only restaurants a few decades ago.

a kiss in is a good response, but more than that a boycott by all queer and queer-friendly people…by pflag, by every lgbt person in america.

it will probably be more healthy for us in the long run. but it might hit this asshole and his hate sponsors (of the chick-fil-a franchises) where it hurts…in the wallet!

read on

A line in the sand drawn with a chicken beak.


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look to the lizards

on my front porch are many different life-forms. some animal, some plant, even some fungi! among the animal kingdom residents are anole lizards. these lovely little green lizards, besides ridding my grapevines and other plants of nasty little insects, offer hours of entertainment watching them.

they manoeuvere the tangle of grapevine branches, leaping from leaf to leaf with all the ease of a marvel superhero at once astounding and comical. their swiftness when lashing out to capture a fly or other insect that dared be in the proximity is amazing.
the males bloat their brightly colored throat pouches whilst showing off their prowess with a serious of push-ups. the females put on their most aloof attitude, glance at them, then scurry away. whether for pleasure or pure necessity these creatures loll around, basking in the sun without a care in the world. or so it seems.

actually, they do have a few worries. – predators! – for which reason they have evolved a most effective weapon.- hiding.

while perching upon the broad grape leaves, they are the beautiful green color normally associated with their species. while resting on a branch of my red,ornamental japanese maple they assume a dull henna color, and clinging to the privacy fence that surrounds my yard, while in the shade while taking a breather before moving on, they attempt to mimic the reddish-brown color it appears in shadows. a more lovely grey i’ve not seen!

in the human world there are predators, so people have their own camouflage too. especially people who are different. like i was, like ziona is.

as a bi-sexual woman my gayer sisters and brothers in the community often accused me of being a chameleon. of having it easier because i could blend in if i wanted to. in reality, my sexual preference only served to make me misunderstood in both worlds, gay and straight.

transsexual women who “pass” easily are often hated. those who don’t are hated as well. ziona may never have to disguise the ravages of testosterone since she will have never suffered its effects, but she realises, even at this young age, that she may have to hide some facts of her life-story from the world at large and will have to share these same facts with the women to whom she is attracted, before becoming intimate with them.

it’s wise of her to already know these things, to understand that in our society there are predators, and therefore reasons to hide. like our front-porch denizens many of us can bask in the open light of day only with risk of peril. our predators are the reason we feel the need to hide, to change color and melt into the background at times. still the so-called normal world takes this survival technique as evidence of shame.

we are not ashamed! but we will not be victimised by those whose ethics and values, falsely so-named, allow for predating upon us. if we seem to hide, it is only because we well know how to spot the shadow of a vulture passing overhead. like my lizards.

i hope for a tomorrow that has grown in compassion, understanding and tolerance. a bright world where being who we are, whatever that is, doesn’t mean risking our lives. but until then, i look to the lizards…they seem happy enough, and they survive!


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big hairy mole

what should they know and when should they know it?

about five years ago, a nearly life-long friend of mine who’d gone through sexual reassignment surgery and was embarking on dating men asked me a question. she wanted to know at which point she should ‘reveal’ the truth of her past.

it was a hard question for me to think about answering. on the one hand, i felt that as a cis-woman it wasn’t my place to advise. on the other hand, this was a dear and very close friend who was asking me really only for my opinion.

but there were even more difficult aspects of this simple request. my fears for her safety made me want to say that she should make sure the person knows before the situation gets involved enough to rouse desire in the guy. (my friend is straight). i know all too well how dangerous the world can be. there are countless stories i’ve heard from people and in the news about men attacking women who are transsexuals. they often feel mislead, betrayed and enraged if they have felt attracted to someone they find out wasn’t exactly ‘female’.

still, i was conflicted by the fact that on the occasions that trans-women have approached me for the purpose of a date, they have felt the need to tell me that they weren’t ‘born’ women. an unnecessary precaution as far as i’m concerned, since even before my own child presented herself to me as other than the son i’d thought i was raising, it seemed to me that a person who’s had to go such lengths to become the woman they’ve always known themselves to be is perhaps more woman than i am, who by accident of birth was born one.

now that i am the parent of a trans-girl i feel even more of a disconnect between the things i feel it’s necessary for others to know and the things that happen if they don’t know such things in advance.

my daughter is a girl and has always been one. the fact of her male body is to her mind a cruel birth defect, one that will be surgically repaired at the earliest possible convenience. so what if it was a cleft palate that was surgically repaired? would it be necessary to inform a potential ‘date’ about that? what about if it was a big hairy mole that was removed?

why is it considered necessary for trans-persons to reveal all? isn’t it only because cis-privelege demands it of them? even some of the most open-minded within the lgbt community think that transgender/transsexual people should be ‘out’ about the gender that was assigned at birth. i know. i’ve met them!

so, and i’m asking for opinions now, what should they know and when should they know it? how much of a person’s past identity, whether physical or merely their ‘history’ must they reveal? and why? should i be required to let a person i’m interested in know that 40 years ago i used heroin? that i’m fatally allergic to bees?

some people who think trans-folk should reveal themselves before dating insist that it is deceptive not to. but what about their own pasts histories do they withhold? what about their own medical histories do they deem private matters? isn’t insisting that transsexual/transgender persons tell all just another way to discriminate between “them” and “us”?

my daughter is very out in the open about herself,and prefers not to hide things she’s not ashamed of. and society needs to see people like her. to know that they are normal. but for myself, i think that it is no more necessary for a girl to reveal such things before we date than it is for her to tell me about a big hairy mole removed from her ass.


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parental bliss

today is a special day.
it is my daughter’s ninth birthday!
as per an old family tradition, the birthday girl gets to choose the meal (or where to eat), she chose ‘red lobster’.
the girl’s got taste!

my mom came with us. and before we left together to the restaurant, she produced a wrapped gift for ziona, compleat with a card in an envelope. inside the box was a ‘girl’ outfit. something my mom has grown to feel comfortable about is buying girl things for zee.

but zee couldn’t get over the name on the outside of the envelope. remarking excitedly “she even got my name right!” it was more important than the gift. it was validation, it was recognition of who she is.

of course, being autistic, she missed that she could’ve thanked my mom outright instead of referring to her in third person, for not just the gift but for the whole name thing, so i reminded her gently to do so. then made sure my mom understood just how important, how big of a deal it was to have the name on the envelop right. zee hadn’t even bothered to read the card inside, until prompted. once again her eyes brightened with anticipation as she openend it.

it reminded me of a scene in the movie “splash” where tom hanks’ character presents darryl hannah’s character with a wrapped gift. being a mermaid, she isn’t familiar with a ‘present’ and gushes about the beautiful ‘box’ she holds in her hands, until he tells her to open it. and she, genuinely surprised says, “there’s more?”

so zee opened the envelop to find a gamestop giftcard inside. she was unfamiliar with what a gift card is. i had to explain to her that it is like money that she can spend on things at that store. she was thrilled all over again.

i love being a mom!

is there anything quite as heart-warming as the genuine innocence of a child’s heart? it is like peering into the mind of an angel, seeing the world through the clarity of their pure eyes!

of course, there are moments of our life together that get pretty messy. the tantrums mostly…the ocd of her anger at feeling dirty and the constant insistence upon hand-washing. the low threshhold she has for the slightest frustration. but even in those very volatile instances, she is nothing less than completely honest about what she is feeling.

the other day she asked me if i wished she were really a boy, (ironic since her body says she is) and if i wished she didn’t have autism. i quite nearly cried at the beauty of her inquiry. she simply needed to know. despite the many times a day i tell her how dear she is to me. she had to know that i not only accept her, but wouldn’t have her any other way.

of course, i reassured her that i would love her no matter what, but sensing her need i added the “but i love you the way you are, and wouldn’t change a thing”.

she smiled, then looked worried, “but what about when i get my body changed?” referring i guessed to the ‘wouldn’t change a thing” remark.

i reminded her that we are all constantly changing. new cells replacing old ones, getting taller, hair getting longer…getting older. then asked her “do you think that there’s anything you could do or say, or become, that would make me not love you?”

a big hug was the reward!
i melted into her love.