Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…


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framing our own narrative

i’m gonna rant…it’s been coming for awhile now.  it’s about all this business about where one is allowed to pee.

disclaimer: i am a cis woman and so privileged. i no longer wear my head shaved, so face no challenge as to using the appropriate restroom.  but my daughter is transgender, a beautiful 13 year-old transgender girl. so it’s not as tho i don’t ‘get’ why the issue is important.

here’s where i have a problem with this. since all the hoopla about bathroom rights has been going on, other major issues with regard to trans-persons have fallen off the radar in a big way.

no more worries, it seems, about the much higher incidence of homelessness among trans-folk, or the much higher suicide rate, or the fact that many in the medical profession and insurance agencies routinely deny the treatments and medications necessary to transgender people, this despite obama’s ACA having passed.

no more about how many transgender people are being killed, for nothing more than the hatred and bigotry rampant in society towards them.  just to ‘be’ seems a thing not allowed to some, never mind ‘to pee’!

now, i get that it IS a big deal that unenlightened sheeple fearmonger their way into seeming justified in denying something as basic as a bathroom break, but it seems to me that the narrative has been altered.  altered in such a way that the worst elements of life while trans have fallen to the wayside.  and instead of coming from a place of power, the right to self-definition, self-detemination and even self-defense, now transgender folk are put upon to defend against the notion that they are perverts.

this is a drastic departure from the narrative that is true, which is that transgender folk are normal human beings who have certain inalienable rights, just like the rest of us.

so in my mind, it’s time to piss and get off the pot.  don’t throw away all the progress toward an empowered future.  reclaim and reframe the narrative.

after all, there are way more congressmen, senators, and preachers, who are fond of using public restrooms for prowling. and there are countless sundry other perverts who really are dangerous to our children.. in the bathrooms and elsewhere.

so can we talk? about unemployment, healthcare, suicide, hate crimes, murders and such as transgender people fall victim to…instead of pretending that their trans-ness makes them predators?

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it comes to this!

so much has been in recent media, both t.v. and written journals, here and abroad, about transgender issues. for the most part i try to focus on the positives, the progress made, the greater understanding because of exposure, the protections being finally fought for the whole of the transgender/transsexual community and the recognition of the needs exclusive to them ~ medical, societal and otherwise. i tend to be a ‘cup half-ful’ kind of person anyway.

so when the burchills of this world begin with their vapid and hateful tirades against transgender folk i don’t let it rile me to any greater extant than i allow my blatantly racist and idiotic uncle’s remarks about blacks and other people of color. it just isn’t worth ruining my day over their bullshit. but whereas my uncle only sends out emails to folk who either manage to overlook his idiocy because of a blood relationship (i just delete anything with his address on it) or the few throwbacks of that dying (thank gods) breed that actually share his views he is only able to reach a few, but the burchills and rush limbaughs of this world have a much broader platform. and yes, i did just equate judy burchill with rush.

i let the whole media furor in and out of my thoughts chalking it all up as similar to dyed-in-the-wool white -hooded KKK hangers-on who should really have already been relegated to the distant past of a misguided society. i understood that ms. burchill would almost surely never so vehemently attack jewish or black people to attempt a defense of another writer who had come under scrutiny for their remarks the way she did in defending suzanne moore. what i didn’t and still don’t understand is how she could possible justify her ranting hate-speech against transgender people.

but of course, as with many radical feminists (not all though) she obviously considers transgender women as not women at all. and as is the case in any oppression, the first step is to deny the group in question their goddess-given personhood.

suzanne moore’s observance of the ridiculous standard of beauty foisted upon women by the lecherous patriarchal society is of course spot on. but to single out a group of people as exemplifying the fake ideal was wrong. brazilian transsexuals are people…real people. and as women they are just as oppressed and suffer the same imposed standards as any other woman.

so, that furor has come and largely gone…tho not in my mind or the thoughts of others who were rightly offended by burchill’s remarks. now there is a new and even more outrageous reminder of closed-mindedness and outright oppression in the news. and it aims even lower…pardon the pun…as it seeks to bring back the same sort of pre-civil rights era segregation of transgender/transsexual folk: requiring them to show i.d. before being allowed to (wait for it) PEE!

what the fucking hell?

passing laws that actually make segregation of a whole community of people not only easier, but legal? sometimes i am certain that our evolution as a species is questionable. outside of lemmings, what other creatures on this planet seem to go out of the way to ensure their own demise? and isn’t that what we are doing when we legislate against a whole group of humans simply because we don’t like them? white people used to think it was fine to do this to black folk of course, along with any other people whose skin was darker than their own. straight folk think it’s quite alright to allow legislation against gay folk too, denying them the right to marry, serve their country without hiding who they are. but now! really?
it’s come to this?!!

despite anyone’s notions to the contrary, my daughter is and has always been a girl. she lives her life as a girl, she suffers being bullied by ignorant boy children because she is a girl. and like the older girls in our society, she will likely earn less, be scrutinised more closely and oppressed in precisely the same way as is common in our patriarchal world, regardless of her having been born with male genitalia.

so how dare anyone make laws that hinder equality and legalise oppression, against this or any other group of people whose only crime is that they are different? and really! bathroom privilege? what’s next? separate water fountains!!!


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change the world

today while reading through the voluminous emailed news stories to which i subscribe, it hit me. not unlike a bolt of lightning out of clear blue skies.

it really does get better!

cliche, to be sure. but no less accurate because it is. there have been literally hundreds of stories about progress made in attaining basic civil and human rights for the lgbt community. marriage being legalised in a number of states. bills and legislation being passed to protect against discrimination on the grounds of sexual preference and gender variance. there was a transgender beauty contestant, and the controversial case of recognising that a state cannot deny an imprisoned transgender person the right to have appropriate treatment provided.

there have been high-profile media events on talk shows and magazine type t.v. programmes such as 20/20 that have focused specifically on the subject of child and adolescent transgender people, like my beautiful daughter. in our personal life, no one in my family circle or even in our neighborhood thinks twice about referring to ziona with the proper pronouns. acceptance is seamless and utterly without strain these days. (it wasn’t always this way.) and it goes without saying that ziona is much happier than she was before she began to live outloud, our term for her social transition.

it does indeed get better it seems.

until it comes to this. as time marches steadily forward, we draw ever closer to that time when ziona will approach puberty. this will mean puberty blocker implants, blood draws to monitor hormone levels and eventually cross hormones so she can go through puberty as a girl. in addition, no matter how much more accepting society, friends and family might be of ziona, she naturally has difficulty accepting herself.

it must be so difficult, every time she has to go to the bathroom, to be reminded that nothing ‘down there’ is right. she can’t bear the sight of her naked body, so every bath is overfilled with bubbles, the better to obscure the unkind reality. and despite how better things might be in the world at large, for ziona, it will only be ‘better’ once she has had the surgery that will right the wrong of her ‘birth defect’.

altho she knows there’s nothing that can be done about it for now, she resents that fact, and often tells me, that the reason she doesn’t smile as much as other people is because there is always sadness about the being “a boy on the bottom”. and altho i know that nothing can be done about that for now, it fills me with a similar sadness at the betrayal her body seems to her soul. if i could wave a magick wand over her to make it alright i would of course. but for now we both are trapped by the circumstances.

i’m gonna admit something here. i almost wish sometimes that she weren’t transgender. but only because i know how hard life is for her now. and because i fear that despite the leaps and bounds of progress that seems to be happening in society at large, life will be hard for her even after the surgical gender alignment, and throughout her later life too. i know that despite the legisation and increased awareness in the world, people can be cruel, hate and ignorance can’t be legislated away, and many folk cleave to those parts within their religious traditions which seem to them to justify rejecting and fearing people like ziona. even in the larger LGBT community there are some who will take issue with her, and feel righteous about judging her as less than a ‘real woman’.

so yes, i admit that i wish ziona didn’t have such things, such hurdles and hardships, ahead of her. but i also wish she didn’t have autism or juvenile polyposis syndrome.

it is what it is.

despite these things i wish were otherwise, paradoxically, i wouldn’t change her for the world! instead, i will go out of my way, exercising whatsoever powers i can muster, to change the world for her!


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vested interests

been doing a lot of reading of all things transgender in the past few weeks.

there’s the case of the trans-woman jailed for murder having the state pony up for the appropriate treatment for her medical condition…boy, did this one stir up a powder keg online!

there was a blogger who declared that no lables are good…that using them segregates us as a community.

there was a woman who declared that she didn’t feel the need to have gender reassignment surgery to be the woman she is…what lies between the thighs doesn’t negate her womanhood.

there was a commentor on an article who claimed that there’s no such thing as cis-gender privelege, but the same person also didn’t think transgender people were ‘real’…just weird and confused.

there were a couple of reports and articles about transgender women being attacked by straight males, which brought up the whole issue of a little thing called ‘disclosure’ or ‘rules of engagement’ which ended up going to that familiar “she had it coming”, ‘blame the victim’ philosophy heretofore used by rape apologists.

on a support site i visit, usually lurking and reading but not posting too much, there have been instances of endocrinologists refusing to treat transgender children…in the middle of testosterone protocol.

there were cases i read of people fighting the school system to win the right for their trans-children to be called by their affirmed name, referred to in the proper pronouns and use the bathroom which is true to their gender identity.

as i read these various stories, i always have an opinion…something that perhaps is common to the human condition, having opinions i mean. and tho i surely have strong opinions about a number of issues, few of them are are held as adamantly, as those i bear for issues about transgender people. (that ‘mother bear’ thing again)

not for nothing, even before realising i am raising a transgender girl i had strong opinions about issues regarding trans-folk, having stood up for these, my sisters and brothers, on numerous occasions when their ‘validity’ as whom they believe themselves to be was held to scrutiny by others in the lgbt community. (prescient perhaps?)

but even tho in the past i had ‘strong opinions’ about their right to self-identification and self-determination, the plight of transgender people in general was usually out of sight and out of mind.

not anymore! my opinions are fierce these days!

of course the murderer spending the rest of her natural life in prison deserves to have the state pay for necessary medical treatment, just as the state pays for bi-pass surgery for murderer’s or daily doses of insulin. there should be no doubt that this person has the same right to gender reassignment surgery. damn it!

labels? yes, they are certainly used by some to drive a wedge between groups of people. but to others they are proudly worn! signifying who they are now and what they’ve gone through to be here. every label that can be placed upon me i wear and own, reclaim and redefine until they are no longer the labels put on me by others, but designed and embraced by myself to state my truth to the world. my daughter is glad of the fact that there is a word for her, one that separates her life-experience from those of other little girls: she’s proudly transgender.

the transgender folk who don’t feel surgery is necessary? more power to them! and how dare anyone try to tell them that they must go ‘all the way’ or they are somehow ‘less’ their affirmed gender! at times i wish that ziona didn’t feel so strongly about ridding herself of the “boy part”. she is every bit a girl to me even tho it still is there, but she will never feel right until the surgery is done. more power to her too!

as to non-disclosure being used to justify attacks against transgender people? i’m as outraged about this as i am when i hear ‘she was dressed like a hooker’ justifications of rape where the victim is likewise blamed for the evil that is done to her. what exactly must my daughter disclose? when? and why? she has been a girl all her life! the fact that she had to have surgery to undo a birth-defect is no more necessary to disclose, in my mind, than a person having surgery to mend a cleft palatte or remove a nasty mole, or colon polyp. and were there no stigma attached to a person’s choice of sexual partner, partners or the genders thereof, it wouldn’t matter in the least that one disclose who they were at birth. it’s outrageous!

primary care physicians, pediatric endocrinologists and school personel who are ignorant of the fact of transgender children, and the attending proscibed protocols and standards of care should be made to go back to school and catch up! they should not be allowed to bail on their patients or students! i think doctors actually recite a rather beautiful oath that would preclude them doing so. as for the public and private school systems, well, i’ll just say that i am grateful everyday that we don’t have to use them…that i can stay home during the day and teach my own child, with my own values, and that her ‘socialisation’ doesn’t include being bullied by other children, but rather sharing fun with the few friends that she enjoys.

i guess i’m much more strident in my opinions these days, much more likely to express them too! i have a vested interest in the world changing for the better…my daughter will have to live there!


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and now for something completely different…

or is it?

came across this story today, in of all places, the morning yahoo offerings online. and while at first blush it seems more sensationalist than informative, it is just another link in a chain of stories about transgender people that recently have broken in the square mainstream media.

i for one think that la leche league needs to alter their policies in light of 21st century gender politics and the reality of people, like the subject of this story…

what say you?


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understandable?

yesterday another mass shooting happened. this time a sikh temple. even before reading or listening to the mainstream media’s coverage of the event, i knew what would be said. it is the same thing i’ve heard ever since the 9/11 attacks. because sikhs wear turbans and beards, as per their religious culture, they were “unfairly” associated with muslims.

this sort of statement, used countless times when sikhs have been attacked since 2001, implies that it is ‘okay’ to attack muslims. that it is at least ‘understandable’ to habour hatred towards muslims, and therefore since the latest redneck racist thought he was attacking muslims, it is only a shame that his ignorance prevented him from knowing the difference between a muslim and a sikh.

“unfairly associated with muslims”, a case of mistaken identity. the implication of even the terminology used makes it clear that while murdering muslims, or those that look like muslims isn’t legal, isn’t justifiable under the law, it is at least “understandable” somehow.

it is the same thing we hear in the news when some homophobic psychopath murders or attacks a gay man, (he was coming on to me) or a transgender woman (the he-she deceived me!) [“i thought it was the real thing” shades of ‘rocky horror picture show]

it isn’t that we, as a culture, absolve the perpetrators of their crimes, but they are given a slight nod…a bit of a pass. because after all, the victim looked like someone who had it coming.

vilifying a whole group of people as nearly ‘fair game’ is way worse than blaming the victim for the murder or assault against them. and when we as a society can be manipulated into feeling less horror at such things simply on the basis of the victim’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity we have already become monsters. we have already declared the horrific as something understandable. we have lost our way

“unfairly associated” with muslims, as if that should matter.
“the he/she came onto me”, as if that made it right.

we’re doomed!


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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.