Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…


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please read these powerful words…and be moved

scrolling through my facebook timeline, i came across this article; appropriately titled: “someone tell me that i’ll live”

a beautiful bit of starkly honest writing that sent shivers down my spine, gave me goosebumps and brought me to the brink of tears.

we who are raising our transgender children have a host of ‘right now’ issues with which we must contend.  getting blood labs to ensure that we get the puberty blockers on time, before the hormones which would further betray our child take hold in their bodies….starting the cross hormones at the perfect time so that they can experience puberty as the person they truly are….advocating for them with schools and at other social gatherings…educating where we can so that others will begin to experience the requisite compassion.

but none of this ensures their safety.  when our children become young adults and venture out into the great, big scary world, it is out of our hands.

certainly, at some point before she is older, i will have to help my daughter to understand the dangers.  perhaps get her some judo classes…as she is autistic, she often misses nuances in behaviours of others that might warn her ahead of time when someone isn’t receiving her well.

this article was amazing in its ability to bring to mind the realities of our far less than perfect society, and the consequences to our transgender daughters, mothers, sisters and friends.


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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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what will it mean?

my beautiful daughter, who is transgender, is also autistic. tho each of these facts of her life and mine presents its own special set of circumstances, neither has thrown me exactly ‘for a loop’.

then, recently i received a call from the geneticist. i hoped it was about finding out what sort of nastiness is behind the juvenile polyposis syndrome, a condition which necessitates yearly colonoscopies, and removal of the constantly arising polyps.

being transgender has caused only few issues thus far; acceptance by others as a girl, frustration at having the ‘wrong spare parts’, and wishing she could have the gender-reassignment surgery already are about the extent of it.

dealing with being autistic is a bit harder. there are tantrums, an inability to self-calm, problems with transferring things from short to long term memory, rigidity in ritual behaviours, ocd…that sort of thing.

whereas the juvenile polyposis syndrome is understood to carry along with its diagnosis a significantly increased incidence of cancers.

so it had been my hope that the request by the geneticist’s team for ziona to submit a sample for study, that it would be to find out which of the known gene mutations or transcription mistakes was the cause of this potentially life-threatening condition.

but as it happened, the request was for ziona to be part of research into the effects and phenotypical expressions in people who have a translocation of genetic material from its assigned chromosome to another chromosome.

in the interest of furtherance of knowledge about what such thing might have to do with her developmental delay, (she is very high-functioning and only delayed in ways explained by her autism) we decided to become part of a scientific study that will research the manifestations, if any, in relationship to these various translocations of genetic ‘stuff’.

the chief geneticist, who hadn’t seen ziona since she had been living as the girl she is, looked at her file in his lap. he made the notation “transgender” without any explanation on my part, since his colleague had briefed him. but no sooner than he’d made the notation he told me that there was no way to tell what had caused ziona to be transgender.

i let him understand that i knew that this was just a study about the relationship of translocations and developmental delays. feeling a bit miffed tho, that the study was addressing things that are least problematic in our lives.

after we got home i began to read the voluminous explanations of participation and signed the consent forms. but as i did so, i couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if a relationship is proven? what if it were possible to determine if such a translocation were likely to occur? would there be some who would terminate a pregnancy if a blood test revealed a likelihood of this translocation?

many of my friends in the lbgt community are of the opinion that should a test be proved to predict a baby’s sexual tendencies before it is born, some folk would see it as good cause for abortion. and, after all, since in some parts of the world having a boy is so preferred to a girl that female infanticide still happens, is it any stretch at all to imagine what it will mean when science is able to determine such matters aforehand?

today, some people do terminate pregnancies when it is known that the child has spina bifida, or down’s syndrome. but is it ethical to disclose information that may result in such a decision?

some will argue that birth-defects should be an exception to ethics regarding disclosure because such things result in life-long hardship and suffering for the child as well as expense to the parents and/or society. but there are those who believe the same thing is true of gayness, or transgender; that they are undesirable birth defects.

what will it mean for society as a whole if the quest for scientific understanding turns into a virtual practice of a kind of eugenics that would rob the world of people who are different?

as for me, i can’t imagine my world without this creative, autistic, transgender daughter.

so, although we decided to participate in the study, to further scientific knowledge, it is my highest hope for the sake of our world’s future, and the sake of those who will inhabit it, that compassion and wisdom will advance as well, else science will become the gateway for ‘cleansing’ the human race of some of its greatest attributes.


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tightrope

it isn’t easy raising children. but it’s worth it!

still, no matter how you try to urge them in a certain
direction, hopeful of sparing them pain or helping to show
them an easier way to their dreams, in the end the path they
choose must be as much their own as are their dreams.

zeeona has dreams of being in the proper body one day, of
meeting a nice woman and adopting children together, of
having a store wherein she sells crafts and art made from
nature, of visiting far away places, like china and india,
of building and living in a treehouse.

so many dreams!

and altho i can bring her to far away places and see to it
that she gets the hormones and surgery she’ll need in order
to have her body conform to her true self, all of the rest
she will do or not do on her own.

we have come a long way together since the day i first held
that little 4 pound 7 ounce body in my hands. further still
from the day when at 3 1/2 years old she told me that god
and everyone had gotten it all wrong. that she is a girl.

but the furthest by far that we have come together on the
shared part of our individual paths, is when we agreed that
she is indeed a girl, and should be allowed to live as one.

on that day i promised her to do everything just right as
far as making sure that her biggest dream, at least for now,
of having the body that matches who she is would come to be.

she is only eight years old now, so it is still a few years
before she’ll need to take the testosterone blockers and
cross hormones. another eight years before she can
reasonably and safely have the surgery she wishes she could
have tomorrow. but i think about my promise to her everyday.

the amount of time i’ve spent online researching on her
behalf is indeterminable and wont cease. from finding
clinics and doctors to help with her transitioning through
puberty as a girl, to hospitals from netherlands, to denmark
to thailand wherein the final procedure can be performed.

altho there is not alot to do to make that first promise
come true at this moment. there is the daily recognition of
her as the girl she is, demanding others recognize it as
well, and treat her accordingly (my mom has even recently
dropped the male pronoun when referring to her) and there is
advocating for her and others like her.

the latter duty includes letters to senators, signing
petitions, attending demonstrations and such activism
oriented things. but for she and i, it also includes not
keeping who she is a secret while at the same time not
making a big deal of it all.

it really shouldn’t be a big deal! it happens! people are
born with a body that doesn’t reflect their reality. the
xenophobia that engenders so much judgement and fear
surrounding transgender issues can never be conquered by
secrecy. hiding seems to equal shame to some even tho far
too often in the case of transgender and gay people hiding
has meant safety, a way to survive an unjust, ignorant and
unforgiving society.

and therein is the tightrope of being open about who you are
when who you are is different. this is something i
definitely know a little about, having been queer for as
long as i can remember.

this dream isn’t among the ones my daughter has spoken of,
but it is my most precious one: that the world learn to love
and accept everyone! not despite our different-ness, but
because of it. that our society would come to cherish all of
it’s various members.

how i wish there were a switch i could flip to turn on
compassion in those that lack it greatly for those who need
it most! to somehow raise their consciousness to a higher level.

it wouldn’t make raising children any easier, but i wish it
all the same.