Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…

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good news

about a year ago, ziona’s pediatrician seemed to be ‘back-stepping’ on support of the process that would move her toward a full transition. already the doctor knew ziona had been stating her identity since age 3 1/2 because she’s been going to this same doctor since she was 3 years old.

dr. z is a wonderful person and i’m really glad we found her, but she was just a bit daunted by the whole process and was fearful of being part of the ‘team’ as far as ziona’s transition needs were concerned.

flash forward to today.

we went into the office for a soar throat ziona had been experiencing…she was fine…but on the way out of the exam room, dr.z stopped me to talk about how much more is being said about transgender kids these days. she mentioned having seen the update barbara walters did recently about jazz, a young girl i first became aware of six months after ziona had told me that she really wasn’t a boy. i told dr. z that it was the first interview with barbara walters that jazz did back in 2007 which had led me to understand that children like ziona exist.

after mentioning a few other recent programmes about transgender kids, dr.z actually proposed to participate in whatever way she could with ziona’s team at the ucsf child and adolescent gender clinic, including doing the very blood draws to monitor rising testosterone levels that she had refused to do just one year ago.

the really good news in all of this is that i feel less alone. the even better news is that ziona’s primary care physician will be on board. but the best news of all is that the mainstream media is beginning to reach into people’s livingrooms to change perceptions about the issue of transgender children.

on a chat forum to which i used to belong, a recent thread had been about whether or not it is right to out someone as transgender. of course, no one thinks that it is their place to do so…but within that thread were some posts about whether it is presumptuous of parents to ‘go public’ about their transgender chldren. whether it is harmful for the child’s future or even present, given the fact that society hasn’t really warmed up to the facts surrounding this, and tend to ostracise those who are different.

i am so thankful for those parents who have allowed their lives to be a way to chink the armour. because of them, a previously reticent physician who sees to my daughter’s health needs is now supportive and willing to be a part of what is most important to my daughter…her physical transition to the girl she already is.

having been long a part of the gay community, i know that being proud and unashamed of who we are goes a long way toward acceptance. being openly ourselves informs society in a way that would not happen did we remain closeted or cloaked.

that being said, it is still everyone’s sovereign right to be out or not.

i’m just glad there are those who are brave enough to be part of the very beginnings of changing societal opinions..

and this show with katie couric is one of the best i have seen.

so enjoy..’



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in the open

nothing can be more dangerous than a secret. …sometimes.

when i think about what sorts of things are kept secret, it seems most often there’s an element of shame to them. often one is compelled to keep someone else’s secret…their burden. sometimes a secret hides a monster’s deeds. people having extra-marital affairs keep secrets. .pedophiles control their victims by hiding behind secrets. .one might hope to keep parts of an untoward past from being known. the threat of a secret being revealed gives power to the would-be tattler.

not all secrets are horrible. there’s the secret one keeps so as not to let the cat out of the bag about an upcoming surprise party…or an intended marriage proposal. . yes, there are good secrets, ones that are fun, and ones that tickle. and there are petty secrets too, the ones gossipers whisper in corners to ‘inquiring minds’ that want to know.

privacy is not the same as a secret. privacy is about natural boundaries, ones that everyone has a right to…things that are no one else’s business are private…for the purpose of this post such things are in another class from secrets.

the child molester has secrets, not privacy. the person molested has shame and fear, not privacy.

when i was a child i was beaten. it was no secret in our family, but was not known elsewhere. when i realised i liked girls, and not boys so much, i knew enough to keep it secret from my family…and everyone else. this was in the early 1960’s, long before stonewall, and pride parades with people chanting “we’re here! we’re queer! get used to it!” i learned that i couldn’t even share this bit about me with my girlfriends who were gushing about boys. i learned to pretend that i too like the silly creatures. i found out the hard way that disclosing my sexual preference to my girl friends made them put unnecessary distance between us…that disclosing it to boys got me teased and later on in years such a disclosure would be viewed as a challenge to their male egos. i found out the hard way, it could even get you raped.

times have changed alot from those days when donna reed and father knows best blared faux values into everyone’s living room. and tho many rights have been won, often the hard way, for people of the rainbow persuasion…there are still those kids who are afraid of being open about their sexuality, in fear of being rejected, or worse. loving families still disown their ‘different’ sons and daughters. hate and bigotry still exist in our society, even if such attitudes are kept hidden, or secret.

secrets can be dangerous.
if life has taught me anything, and i like to believe it has, it is this.

that is why people who are out in the open about being transgender are powerful. not open in a way that violates their privacy or feeds into the prurient sensationalism of society’s warped curiosity. but in the same way that we queers of an earlier decade reclaimed our power by owning our selves and refusing to let the dominant culture dictate to us our level of visibility or equality. yes, i know we are still fighting.

in the open…a sigh….a weight lifted! no more sword of damocles swinging overhead.

at the age of 3, my beautiful blue-eyed adopted child informed me that ‘he’ was a girl. to say it caught me by surprise would be an extreme understatement. it wasn’t that i had no knowledge of such a thing. one of my long time friends, whom i always considered my sister, had recently undergone sexual reassignment surgery. i had dated transgender women. but i had never, ever heard of a child as young as 3 or even 5 or 10 for that matter, being transgender.

then on my birthday in 2007, 20/20 aired a special wherein barbara walters interviewed a child named jazz. the skies opened up for ziona and i that day. because that family chose to be ‘in the open’ about the subject, i was set upon the way to go forward with my own special little girl. i began to do research and educate myself. .i began to be ‘unafraid’ to allow my sweet innocent child to live life on her terms, and as the person she is! now she doesn’t have to guard that secret, that she is really a girl who got the wrong parts.

the way forward wont be easy for her. she will have puberty blockers to stop her getting a low voice, adam’s apple and facial hair. she will have to use cross-hormones the rest of her life to assist her body to align with the soul that dwells within it. she will eventually undergo gender affirming surgery. but she will NOT have to keep it secret. she is not ashamed, and tho privacy figures in to our every decision, this is different from secrecy.

many parents, it turns out, are dealing with these same issues. when we attended the genderspectrum family symposium 2 years ago in berkeley i was amazed at just how many of us there are! and while each family and each person must approach the matter of whether or not to be ‘stealth’, ziona has already decided that she will live ‘in the open’.

secrets can be dangerous…but like any other bomb they can also be disarmed.

ziona used to refer to the fact that she was a girl in a boy’s body as ‘a secret’. but ever since she has lived as a girl, she doesn’t consider being transgender something that needs to be kept hidden. if people know from the start who she is, there will be no awkward moment of ‘full disclosure’ later on down the line. that is a wise point of view in some ways, and in other ways naive. it doesn’t take into account the bigotry and hate that feels all the more threatened when faced with things a narrow mind can’t comprehend.

i made up my mind decades ago not to keep who i am secret. because society has changed that is working out just fine for me. i’m proud of ziona, and her choice about being openly herself. i only hope that eventually transgender people enjoy the merits of a society that has broadened its scope to include them.

(bonus: update on 20/20 with barbara walters, interviewing jazz.)