Pasupatidasi's Blog

thoughts, poetry, life as it is…


2 Comments

so, this happened…again

it is horrible when someone is murdered.  death comes to us all, of course, but to have one’s last moments of life be an act of violence so cruel … words escape me!  what could be worse? right?

well, the horror being murdered sometimes is not the final insult.

another transgender woman was murdered,  her breath, her future, taken from her.  but as if that inhumane blow that ended her life weren’t enough, the media that reported her death robbed her even further, by declaring her “a man dressed in woman’s clothing”

this travesty, this ignominy of having added to the violence done to India Clarke, strains the limits of belief. in a day and age when so many high profile persons, celebrities and other heroic individuals, have led the way in helping to open the eyes and minds of our society; in a day and age of marriage equality and breaking away from stigmatising those who differ from previously accepted norms, such a hideous betrayal of common decency cannot be blamed on ignorance.

i am raising a beautiful transgender girl who has just turned 12 years old.  she has lived as a girl since she turned five, when i finally understood how i could support her, how to help her be who she truly is.  she still struggles with the fact that her body is wrong for her…she worries that she will die before she is “all girl”.  i can only imagine the horrendous reaction she would feel from beyond the grave if her death, (not even by murder) were reported as the death of a ‘boy dressed as a girl’.

life is hard already hard for a transgender person in these times of change,  when people still feel free to make jokes of transgender people, call them names. in many states, assault and even murder can be considered justified if the person who is attacked is transgender and the assailant felt “tricked” or “deceived” by the clever ruse and thus couldn’t control their response! (it’s called “gay or trans panic” defense and has been overruled in some states, but in many more is still an accepted defense

it’s bad enough that such  blatant disregard for another human life  exists in this the 21st century and  to consider murder and/or assault defensible is truly unconscionable. but for the media to report this vicious deed while at the same time demeaning and robbing the victim of dignity seems beyond a failure.  it is a further crime!

i can only hope for my daughter’s sake that society at large and the media in particular will grow the fuck up!  maybe evolve some compassion…so that if not in life, at least in death our loved ones who happen to be transgender will not have to suffer the behaviour of fools.


Leave a comment

Peddling Hate: The UK Gutter Press Back to its Old Tricks (It Never Stopped)

a most thoughtful piece by a person whose blog i follow with great delight, precisely because of the clarity brought to various subject matter…

enjoy

Peddling Hate: The UK Gutter Press Back to its Old Tricks (It Never Stopped).


2 Comments

so much the same

just had to pass this story along.

perhaps some of the readers of this blog have already been aware of this amazing girl and her family. the facts of their little girl’s path and my ziona’s are soooo similar. especially the scary parts when at first the child tried to rid herself of the penis, and was despondent enough about having the wrong parts that she expressed suicidal thoughts.

the very same things happened at our house! now ziona understands that i will make sure that she gets what she needs at every stage of the process so that she will grow into the girl she is!

i know that all transgender folk have their very own unique stories about how they come to be whole. but this one and ours are so much the same!

read and enjoy…there are videos in the story too.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2211729/Transgender-Danann-Tyler-9-tried-cut-penis-craft-scissors.html


2 Comments

wisdom of squirrels

i just spent the past half an hour watching a squirrel in my front yard. the curious behaviour caught my attention in part because it was so repetitive. you see, he was picking up acorns from underneath the southern oak which tends to drop them by the thousands, and then carrying them after a careful taste-test scrutiny, to another location in the yard. as soon as he’d ‘planted’ the one, he’d run back to the tree and taste-test another…sometimes eating a bit, but more often, running back to the same general location of the yard as he’d planted the previous ones.

over and over again the squirrel repeated the behaviour, relatively mindless of being observed and seeming to be in a bit of a hurry.

i know from long hours of watching squirrels in the past that they quite often dig up one of the acorns from their cache, only to put it back into the ground and cover it over. it is because, as anyone who has made ‘nupa’ (a mash made of acorn that the native americans used to make) acorns must be ‘washed’ and ‘rinsed’ to free them of the tannic acids that give them a bitter taste. so i did understand the reason for burying them, digging them up, tasting them and putting them back again.

but what surprised me about this clever little fellow was that he was taking the acorns from a place in the yard that rarely gathers a puddle of rain, (because of the overhang of the oak branches and the relative high ground upon which it stands), then bringing them to the only place in my front yard where, to my dismay, large puddles form during a good rain.

over and over again…and just as a storm was gathering strength enough to really let loose!

as i watched, my mind drew parallels. this activity of ensuring that his acorns were exposed to the element needed to rid them of their bitterness made me think of how certain kinds of exposure about transgender issues can help to make them more palatable to the general population. just as the squirrel was exposing his treasures to the rain to make them less bitter on some happy morrow, we who expose our stories about transgender issues cannot but help to improve the attitudes of the society into which our children must eventually find themselves. maybe making it a bit less bitter of a place.

it may seem like a bit of a stretch, and perhaps not a very good analogy, but as i sat watching the little guy, who seemed to have mapped out in his head precisely the regions that would provide the best exposure, i thought about the programs on t.v. that have brought exposure to transgender issues. i thought about chaz bono’s high profile courage in being who he is and how people like him and the thousands of others bravely being themselves are improving the savour of trans issues. i thought about the readers of this blog and the writers of countless other blogs like this one in cyberspace.

i couldn’t help it.

it seems to me that the wisdom of squirrels is far more broad than merely making sure of a stash of acorns, they know just where to plant them in order to get the desired result.

ziona and i have to save up money like crazy for the massive costs of hormones and the eventual surgeries she will go through to achieve her tomorrow. she is only eligible for medic-aid as she has so many other conditions that no insurance company would have her, and medic-aid doesn’t in every state cover the hormones, much less the surgery. so like little squirrels, we are stashing away the necessary funds.

but we are indebted to the other wise squirrels who expose their ‘treasures’, their very selves, to public scrutiny and awareness, because all the dollar saving in the world won’t help to remove the onus of being transgender…for that enlightenment is necessary.

so here’s to the wisdom of squirrels! and cheers to the people planting the seeds of tolerance by sowing them where they’re most likely to lose their bitterness: in the public eye.


4 Comments

the normal of us

yesterday when ziona and i were finishing up at the check-out counter after shopping, the clerk smiled and told me how much ziona has grown, what a beautiful young girl she’s growing to be…etc.

but behind her eyes i saw the unasked question, “didn’t she used to be a he?”

no, the clerk didn’t come right out and ask (altho others have). in fact, the closest she came was saying “didn’t she used to keep her hair cut really short?” quickly adding something about how nice she looks in long hair.

this isn’t the first time i’ve noticed the ‘unasked question’ in the face of people who have seen us, clerks at stores mostly, since we don’t go many places outside of home, my mom’s house, or shopping. on occasion, the person upon whose face such ‘unasked questions’ register will actually allow their mouths to frame the inquiry.

usually something like, “where’s the little boy you used to come in with?” or “i always thought she was a boy”.

to these folk i offer a short explanation. such as…’turns out he was a little girl all along’ and if they appear open to further discussion, i teach them the word “transgender”.

teach is the proper way to describe the interactions, because most of the people have either never heard of the word or confuse it with ‘inter-sex’, an unrelated condition in which a person has both male and female ‘parts’. keeping it light and avoiding a tendency to be pedagogical whilst doing so, i briefly illumine them as to the meaning of transgender. usually by saying something like:

“some people are born with female brain, but a male body, or a male brain in a female body”

then i direct them to some information online, or the t.v. documentaries done by barbara walters, and recently lucy ling on oprah winfrey’s network. the name-dropping of such well-known and esteemed personalities whom they have invited into their living rooms via their televisions in the past, from whom they’ve learned about subjects far less controversial, seems to dispell the judgmental thoughts that begin to creep in after the initial curiousity has been sated.

and so, i’m thankful for the recent media attention, the high-profile appearance of chaz bono on dancing with the stars, and other such attempts by documentarians to elevate the social discourse about people like my daughter. i’m eternally grateful to such resources as genderspectrum.org and boston children’s hospital’s dr.spack for paving the way forward for young people who are gender variant. and as for those brave souls going forward with being who they are, despite the mountain of discrimination that they must face, clearing the myriad hurdles to becoming themselves and doing so unapologetically and in the open, i wish i could meet them, embrace them and let them know how awesome they are for the courageous endeavor of being who they are!

shortly after leaving the woman ‘with the unasked questions’ as we started towards the exit, an older gentleman, maybe in his mid-seventies, gave us the biggest compliment of our short shopping excursion, when he said simply: “what a beautiful little girl…and her mom”

tho i am clearly too old to be the mother of an eight-year old, and ziona is probably not exactly the little girl he imagined her to be, i turned to him and said a great big ‘thank you’, knowing that the fact that ziona is adopted and transgender didn’t make his statement any less true!

i smiled inside thinking about the truths he’d not seen or had chosen to overlook. feeling a bit relieved, perhaps for his lack of ‘unasked questions’, but most of all, very pleased that someone that day had perceived the normal of us: just a pretty girl and her mom.