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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reblogged from natalie reed…’de-transitioning’

http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2012/11/06/on-detransition/

i put the article before my post, for a good reason.
it is important that people understand that i, as a cis-gendered woman, no matter that i am raising a transgender daughter, would be just another ‘gatekeeper’ did i not give credit where it is due.

some folk on a parents of transgender children chat site to which i subscribe have recently posted on forum that their previously transitioned kids have done an about-face. this despite the support of their family. whenever i read about this, my mind goes two ways.

first, i am embarrassed to admit, i think that i would be totally okay with it did my daughter decide that she isn’t really a girl. that she is, after all, a boy. altho i would wonder why she were changing her mind. it would be in so many ways a relief. not because of the cost in money and time invested in going forward with the puberty blockers, cross hormones and surgical procedures, or the legal name and gender changes. but because if she could live as the boy her body declares her to be she would be more safe. she wouldn’t be singled out by bigots and haters, trolls and bullies…at least not just for ‘being’.

the second way my mind goes upon hearing about young people deciding to ‘de-transition’ is addressed in the article. what sort of psychic pain at being ‘different’, or rejection by peers, or sense of fearing never being accepted into their perceived gender might be behind their change of heart. does it just seem as if it is “all too much”, overwhelming? a sort of suspiciousness enters my thought upon hearing about this which belies my cis-gender privelege…as if it were my place to judge the person’s motives.

it seems clear to me that ziona wont be one of these who reconsider their gender identity at some point and decide that she is a boy after all. but it would be her right to. and altho as her parent i might want to have some explanation, some reason given me to smoothe over my confusion or assuage my suspicions, none would be necessary for me to support her right to self-definition or re-definition.

i am part of the cis-priveleged dominant society…it isn’t for me to say what is the right way to be ‘transgender’. nor is it my place to declare that there is an underclass of ‘not true transgender’ folk, as many within the trans-community feel is their right when a woman doesn’t opt for the ‘surgery’, or falls short of their guidelines for whatever reason.

it is a source of wonder to me that people within one’s community might be so ready to disregard the personal reality of those who share membership therein.

don’t we get enough of that from the oppressors?


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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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mom lost custody of her transgender child…why?

it’s every mother’s nightmare, right?
you love and guide your child, do your best to teach them, support them and protect them from danger or harm.
but what if supporting your child, believing them and trying to do the right things to protect their needs and alleviate their suffering results in the courts taking custody of the child away from you?
how can this happen?

i exhort every reader i may have to seek out ways to help this woman.
she’s going through a kind of hell that my mind wont even let me imagine!

here’s her story…or part of it.

Courthouse News Service.


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enough to go around

lately in the news is a story about a brave judge, making the right decision. i refer to the massachusetts case of a transgender person, in prison for murder, and the decision the judge passed down declared that denying this person treatment for their condition constituted ‘cruel and unusual punishment’, thus making way for this prisoner to have a gender reassignment treatment and surgery.

you can imagine that is going over like a led balloon with the ‘tax-payers’, especially those of a prejudging bent. but what if the treatment were a triple by-pass to correct a congenital heart defect? would the tax-paying public have a chance in hell of denying that person who will spend the rest of their life in prison the life-saving surgery and treatment they would require?

i think not. but maybe…

now this person, who currently resides in a prison for men, is certainly not a poster child to elicit compassion, i guess. she killed her wife, after all. imagine the irony of being a woman in a man’s body in a men’s prison for killing a woman!

but the judge made the right call. gender dysphoria is a real and treatable disorder. and from what the various reports have said, she had it bad! suicidal, self-harming and self-destructive behaviours. and who knows to what extent the circumstance of her psychological torment figured into her inability to restrain her actions with regard to the murder.

to withhold treatment from a person because we find their crime heinous is not an excuse. and their are protections in place for those who inhabit our far too extensive prison systems for good reason. the fact that the prisoner is transgender is irrelevant and the treatment and subsequent gender reassignment won’t make her less a murderer, nor will it commute her sentence. (altho she will most assuredly be transferred to a woman’s prison after that.)

the judge’s decision is the correct one, and a big step forward for transgender folk in our society. so it is no surprise that many uptight, right-wing nut jobs and people vying for political office are all weighing in on the ‘wrongness’ of it all.

but imagine my surprise, when among the various news stories and blogs i found that made mention of this was one in which a blog cites the possible danger that advancing the rights and equalities of transgender women poses for the women’s rights movement. can you imagine?

like, would white women feel threatened in the sixties that black women being able to register to vote would somehow lessen their own right to do so…lay waste the suffrage movement? what the bleep?!!!

the blog was on wordpress somewhere, but i didn’t bother to take note of its url. reading the mission statement at the top of the page said all i needed to know. apparently women’s rights, in their estimation, do not extend to trans-women. the very notion that these transgender type women are recognised as women threatens the advances that ‘real’ women have fought for. and rights being extended to these ‘faux’ women apparently might actually make it necessary to include them in all women spaces, programmes and such. a horror story!

my daughter is way more woman than these fraidy cats! she will have to fight for the right simply to be recognised as a woman, not just to be empowered as one! she will have to have surgery to correct the mistake her body has made and will need to take hormones for the rest of her life just to be who she is…a female.

who the bleep do these women think they are, cis-gendered pretenders to the throne of all things female? they’ve never had to work at being the girls they are…it was simply their birth right…and like all other types of “entitled” folk, they are content to lord it over the likes of my daughter, to deny them access or entry into their exclusive club.! i don’t even consider these types women! since they have allowed their cis-gendered priveleged status to justify looking down their collective nose at transgender women. real women don’t deny other women their place in society!

i’ve met this type of woman before, at women’s gatherings…many of which exclude even post-op trans-women, some that allow them but would like to check them for a residual penis before letting them enter…like the michigan’s womyn’s festival for one. and now, apparently, just having the world at large, (and especially this judge’s decision) grant transgender women equal rights, acceptance as women etc. is a threat to the community of “women born women” (goddess i hate that phrase!@)

what the frack!!!???

do these women think there’s not enough equality to go around?

****************************************************************
on the other hand, there have been some very thoughtful and forward thinking articles about the issue of this judge and the woman whose rights he protected.

http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/09/07/814131/boston-globe-publishes-columnists-anti-transgender-screed/

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/09/is-denying-treatment-to-transsexual-inmates-cruel-and-unusual/262074/


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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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omg! wtf?! goia!

as you might have guessed from the abbreviations of the title, this is gonna be a rant. but maybe one that others can relate to.

in a previous post i told the story of learning that one of my sisters, patsy, was ‘uncomfortable’ with the whole transgender thing with ziona and that this was behind her not even being able to be in our company, or speak to me.

this morning, mom called me to say that our ‘appointment’ for me to come over and do some yard and garden stuff at her place while ziona’s cousins were there, might have to be rescheduled for sunday sometime after church. right away i sensed a ‘sin of omission’. there was something she was not saying. for example, usually the cousins aren’t there on sundays, as mom goes to church and they don’t behave well so visits are almost always scheduled overnight friday, then home saturday afternoon sometime. mom made some excuse about not being sure when she would be ‘getting the kids’ and said something about going ‘rummage saling’ on saturday morning.

whatever…

i told her i could always come by saturday afternoon. no problem. or sunday after church for that matter.

more hemming and hawing from mom.

then suddenly she launches into how whenever patsy does deign to be in the same room as and speak to me, it would probably be better if i didn’t mention the transgender thing or try to educate her about it, because she probably isn’t ready for that.

omg!

ah! the sin of omisssion is clear now. patsy has recently left her husband, (for about the eighth time) and is currently residing in one of mom’s spare bedrooms for an indefinite length of time. no doubt mom was trying to ‘arrange’ things so that patsy wouldn’t have to face me but doing so in a way that didn’t make me feel ostracised.

big fail!

for one thing, i am fine with not ‘bumping into’ patsy at mom’s house, because like i said in the previously mentioned post: i almost wish i cared

in answer to mom’s suggestion that i NOT bring up a certain subject, unless she does, i told her, (perhaps in a less than civil tone) that it isn’t my job to open people’s small minds about ziona being transgender, that it is a medical condition with a proscribed therapeutic course…that it is the same as ziona’s juvenile polyposis syndrome, also a medical condition with a proscribed therapeutic course.

i couldn’t stop myself. i went on.

i told her that i almost wish i cared whether or not people approve of us, that i don’t feel compelled to educate people about the juvenile polyposis syndrome she has, or the autism, the spastic diplegia, the lesion on her brain or the anomalous electrical activity in her frontal lobe that registered on the last eeg she had either. then i added that probably no one would think less of my parenting or of ziona for these things and that it was the problem of the ‘beholders’ if they were ‘uncomfortable’ with us over the transgender ‘thing’.

it wasn’t clear by the end of the phone conversation, after i’d had my say, whether or not we were ‘on’ for saturday. i think we decided to let it be up in the air…she’d get back to me.

wtf?!

one of my grand-nieces, is named aria. she has been going through chemo, radiation, surgeries and all sorts of things because it was learned that she had ‘wilm’s tumor’ a pediatric kidney cancer. diagnosed just last year when she was four. people are all over it with their compassion and prayers.

let’s compare

wilm’s tumor: born with it or develops in the first four years
transgender: born that way and often discovered in first four years

wilm’s tumor: untreated can lead to death
transgender: untread can lead to suicide, depression, self-destructive
behaviours

wilm’s tumor: prognosis excellent following proscribed treatment
transgender: prognosis excellent following proscribed treatment.

wilm’s tumor: a medical condition with a proven therapeutical course
transgender: a medical condition with a proven therapeutical course

so, what’s the difference?

it’s okay for a child to have cancer. people feel compassion. they empathise with the parents. hold bake sales to raise money for the family to offset costs not covered by insurance.

no such considerations are given for our transgender children. people feel repulsed. the villify the parents. call child protective services to report us for abuse because we follow the proscribed therapeutic course.

it’s about as much a case of child abuse as chemo, radiation and surgeries that my grand-niece suffers to ensure her survival!

goia!

for the uninitiated:
(omg = oh my god!)
(wtf = what the fuck?!)
(goia = get over it already!)


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i almost wish i cared

yesterday, while speaking to my mom, she disclosed to me that one of my sisters who hasn’t been speaking to me for the past few years would like to be able to sit down and talk with me. my mom thought this was great progress. then she disclosed to me that the reason patsy hadn’t been able to tolerate my presence wasn’t that i had called children’s protect services about the boyfriend who had been abusing her grandchildren. but because she wasn’t ‘comfortable’ with the way i am raising zeeona.

i’ve known for quite some time that it was patsy, my own sister, who had sent child protective services to my house. one of the two calls that they’d been sent to investigate concerning my support of zeeona’s right to be the girl she is inside.

i didn’t hold it against patsy, even tho my brother thom, who revealed this to me mistakenly thinking that i already knew, believed that she did it as a way to get back at me for turning in the abusive boyfriend, (a guy who is currently serving time for endangering those same grandchildren…not because of my phone call or the investigation by child protective services, but because he kidnapped them from daycare and informed their mother, patsy’s daughter, that he wouldn’t bring them back until he got $500 dollars.)

i was quite surprised that it was the offense of supporting zee that was behind patsy’s attitude toward me. but i told my mom that i would be happy to get together and talk with her. maybe educating her about transgender issues would make her less uncomfortable with our decisions.

imagine my surprise when my mom, who this year finally bought ‘girl’ appropriate toys and clothes for zeeona, countered that suggestion saying that she was herself still unaccepting of transgender issues, even after having learned more about them from me. that no matter how much information i can bring to her she doesn’t think she’ll ever be ‘comfortable’ with zeeona living as a girl.

well, excuuuuuuuuuuuse me!

i almost wish i cared!

i almost wish i cared that they are so uncomfortable with my decision to alleviate the pain my child had been in, with my having educated myself so that i could understand what she was going through. with the fact that i care enough about her and love her enough to do what i can to spare her years of future pain and frustration by believing her and supporting her today!

my mother is fully aware of the fact that when zee first told me that she was really a girl, that i was alarmed and concerned. that i took her to an endocrinologist to see if maybe an imbalance of hormones could be to blame. that i’d had the pediatrician schedule an ultrasound of zee’s abdomen to see if she had ovaries too, was intersex. she knows that i tried convincing zee that she could still play with ‘girl’ things and dress however she wanted, even if society says boys can’t do these things. my mother knows that zeeona was so upset upon learning that the spare parts wouldn’t just ‘fall off’ one day that she tried to eliminate them herself, that she begged me to do it for her, that she’d cursed god for the mistake and expressed suicidal intents as a means to be ‘born again in the right body’. my mother knows all of this. she also knows that it took me three years to really hear what zeeona was saying and allow her to live as the girl she is.

yet, despite this…despite all the information i’ve shared with her in trying to help her accept us, she’s still uncomfortable!
and fully understands why my sister can’t bear even to inhabit the same space as us!

they’re uncomfortable?

zeeona is wearing a body that is the wrong one, she will have to undergo surgeries to become who she is, take hormones the rest of her life. she will be more likely than almost any other group to be assaulted, prejudiced against, discriminated against and in general relegated to the periphery of society. jobs, housing, even just a loving relationship with someone will all come harder to her because of how ‘uncomfortable’ people are with transgender people.

i tried pointing all this out to my mom. but she just said that no matter what i say, no matter what science, doctors or even oprah might say about it, she doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to accept this. to which i say, “yes, but you’re not even able to accept that i like to sleep with women”

“that’s right” she said…in a tone that let me know that the only way she could overlook this fault in me was by not having to think about it. so shut up.

but how can she not think about the fact that zeeona is transgender when she sees her in dresses, with her beautiful long brown hair trailing behind her as she runs and plays. how can she not think about it when i keep insisting on the female pronoun those times when she uses ‘he’ to refer to my daughter.

so, yesterday i found out that i’m not really ‘acceptable’ either…just easier to take because there’s at present no “girlfriend” in my life to make it clear who i am.

well, i will probably still try to educate and inform those close to me, and even the larger world outside the family. but as to whether or not they’re ‘comfortable’?

i almost wish i cared!


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wouldn’t wish it on anyone

the other day, after a long time since last i’d spoken with her, i called up an old friend. we’ve known each other since the early 1980’s when she still wore the external body of a male. but to me, she was and has always been, my sister.

ever since she was able to recall, she had felt as tho she wasn’t male. beaten for wearing her sister’s dresses and derided for being a sissy, her childhood was not a very happy one. only her mother seemed to quietly understand and support her.

like many transgender people who aren’t allowed a choice in the matter, she chose to follow the lifestyle and sexual preference of a gay male, on the inside knowing that she was really something other. like many transgender people before her and since, she knew that being gay was not who she was. but even within the lgbt community, at a time when the ‘t’ part of that acronym was not fully accepted by the community, she was told that she was probably really just a feminine gay man.

she knew better, but just as many others like herself, she began down a long road of self-destructive behaviours and equally as destructive relationships, thinking that the path to her true self would never be within reach.

many long years later she chose to insist upon being true to herself. it wasn’t easy. no one seemed to support her in this, altho as always, her mother extended quiet acceptance and support. so when about a decade ago she started on the path to becoming the woman she had always thought herself to be, there were few who stood beside her and many more who abandoned her completely.

as of today, she has been living outloud as a woman for ten years, and as a post-op transsexual for the past six. we often talk together, by phone since we live in different states. i feel honored to be one of the few with whom she’d always known she could count on.

in the early years after her gender-reassignment surgery our conversations were filled with her expressions of joy in finally being HERself. there were all the emotional differences between male and female to take note of, and she did. there was also a sense of regret at not having been able to ‘grow up female’, as she felt that ‘culturally’ there was much of nuance she had missed. still, she felt empowered as a female in a way she had never experienced as a male. she gloried in her new found sexuality, because altho she had been with men as a man, it was a whole other feeling to experience this as a woman.

often she would tell me that the lovers with whom she had been intimate since becoming a woman seemed disingenuous; as tho they were only ‘hot’ for her because it was such forbidden fruit. few seemed very interested in her as a person, and fewer still wanted to commit themselves in any real way to a relationship, or even being seen with her in public, in that small rural community of america’s mid-section.

she was equally as frustrated by the reaction of women, her peer group really, because there seemed to be little acceptance of her into their hallowed sorority , or even acknowledgement of her womanhood. and among women who knew not of her being transsexual, she often sensed jealousy directed towards her for attention men paid to her.

as i started out saying earlier, i called her again after a long time…months. she was depressed and going through such things as i wont mention here, but most of which had to with the prejudice, and oppression cis-centric society imposes upon those who don’t walk the binary line. it seems the most ignoble irony that her struggle to become whole is seen by most as a pathology, a mental illness or personality disorder. in healing herself, many see her as sick.

as i listened to her, i heard her loneliness, her frustrations. the realisation that she was one of the more oppressed minorities in our society, (a woman…and a transsexual woman at that!) was beginning to take its toll. the men with whom she had had real relationships as a woman, treated her the way society has ever allowed men to treat women: as underlings, to be dominated and controlled by whatever means they chose. the feeling of being empowered as a woman was being met headlong with the reality of a second class citizenry allotted to women.

after long hours of listening to her, she said; “i wouldn’t wish this on anyone” referring to being a trans-woman. i wasn’t shocked.
she wasn’t saying she regretted becoming a woman, it is after all who she really is. rather she was saying that the level of discrimination, ostracisation and oppression to which people like herself were subjected is such a curse as to not want anyone else to have to suffer it. she said this knowing that my eight-year old child is transgender and will one day face similar pain.

of course, these are precisely the realities that made me so fearful at my little boy’s assertions of being a girl inside. these and worse fears were behind my reluctance to really hear what ziona was saying. the hard road ahead to merely becoming who she is will likely be fraught with similar discriminations, ostracising and oppression even despite the progress being made to allow transgender/transsexual people to enjoy the same rights and freedoms as cis people. and even if or when society legislates in favor of transsexual/transgender people, it isn’t possible to legislate people’s attitudes away. there are those who seek to harm gay and transgender folk today despite the ‘hate-crime’ legislations in effect.

it is more than sobering to realise that in supporting my transgender daughter in her need to become who she is, i may prevent her from committing suicide (as many trans folk do that are not allowed to be themselves), i may be able to make sure that she gets the puberty blockers in time to prevent any ‘male’ attribute perpetrating its irreversible assault to her feminine nature, i may be able to scrimp and save for the medications and subsequent surgeries she will insist upon pursuing (and she will), but one thing i cannot do is rest assured that society will treat her with the respect to which she is entitled.

but that’s why i speak out. that’s why i educate others, whomever will listen. and that’s why i am encouraged by the strong trans-women who have gone before to show the way, who blog, write books and go about their lives being unapologetically themselves.

there is no therefore herein. wish i could come up with one. altho if a test existed to identify a transgender person while in utero and i should find that the life growing in my womb bore that gene, i would not consider such thing cause for termination, it is still something i wouldn’t wish on anyone! not at least until society has grown to the measure of compassion necessary to ensure equality and acceptance to all its various members.