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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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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it takes a village…

a popular saying for a while now has been the one that states, “it takes a village to raise a child”.

i fully subscribe to the intent of that statement. altho, for those of us raising gender variant or neuro-diverse children, the village seems hard to find and far away.

some parents of transgender kids in supporting their child find themselves ostracized, by society, neighbors or even family. to the point that it can feel like we’re alone. despite the wealth of information that is ‘out there’ about trans-kids often the folk that need schooling the most are simply not going to search it out, we parents end up in the wearing all the ‘hats’.

we become advocates, first and foremost, for our children. but we often become teachers as well. we become inadvertent pupils of some of life’s hardest lessons about society, about just how evolved humans aren’t when it comes to welcoming those who are ‘different’. even some of the hairier groups among the primates seem to have more going on when it comes to acceptance. i refer especially to bonobos (by the way; great book to read:’bonobo handshake’)

last week however, ziona and i found our ‘village’.

we had to fly all the way across country to UCSF and the child and adolescent gender clinic there, but there seemed no doubt in my mind that we had stumbled into a most wonderful group of people: ziona’s new team.

the program there owes much to dr. spack and the GeMS program at boston’s children’s hospital, a pioneer in the field of gender issues and their treatment. and the team of folk tending to ziona’s needs include a primary care, a social worker, dr. stephen rosenthal (the department head and best i can tell, an angel) as well as folk with experience in legal issues. in fact, the very person with whom we have been in contact regarding legal issues is becoming part of UCSF’s program. in addition, dr. shawn giamattei is the gender specialist psychologist, well reknowned for his expertise in transgender matters, will be a part of our village.

it almost brought tears to my eyes to have met with such warmth by the folk who will help in my efforts to ‘raise’ the beautiful daughter into the beautiful young woman that she one day will become. the journey to UCSF, and the CAGC program; the planes, airports, red-eye flights and 5 hour layovers were well worth the trouble all things considered.

altho it is much easier these days to find a village when it comes to autism. there was a time when the neuro-diverse, such as autistic children had to struggle to find adequate support systems. and whereas it is still necessary for parents to advocate and fight for these children, recent years have found autism on the rise and understanding to have increased. years ago, autism was blamed on the ‘refrigerator’ moms and the services available for parents to help with raising these special kids were few to nil.

so who knows? maybe in the future the same sorts of programs will be established to help see to the needs of transgender kids, and to work along with their parents to ensure the most favourable outcomes in their treatment/therapy. but for now, like the refridgerator mom theory of autism in the past, the blame (as tho blame were appropriate) for our kids presenting as transgender is likewise hefted onto the backs of the parents/caregivers. no ‘telethons’ for trans-kids, to raise moneys for research, as is now the case for autism.

but my point is that there does exist that village it takes to help us raise our transgender, genderqueer, gender variant kids. it isn’t a very large village, it may be far away, but it’s there. it takes the form of websites, chat rooms like TYFA, rights organisations and programs established here and there across the United states and the world.

perhaps someday, in the not too distant future, understanding and compassion will have caught up with technology, prejudice will lay slain by the sword of truth, and societies finally will evolve to include all of their various memebers, having broken free of fear and loathing for what is ‘other than’ or different…perhaps then, the village will be everywhere.

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Chicago’s first transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex pride

how beautiful!
and i believe necessary for transgender, gender variant folk to have their own acronym! because it isn’t about sexual orientation after all, like the lgb part of the lgbt acronym is. (altho people like my daughter belong have a part in the sexual orientation, the L)…it is about who they are NOT who they love!

so excited about this…and such nice videos and photos! click the link

Chicago's first transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex pride.