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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privilege speaks to privilege

the previous post, reblogged by me should probably be read before this post in order that the reference be made clear. also, read here

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imagine it is the past, during the horrid institution of slavery. would it seem right by any measure for the ‘house’ slaves to demand their liberation and equality while simultaneously denying same to the slaves toiling in the fields?

imagine a child rightly identifying schoolyard bullying as wrong, who turns around and bullies a younger sibling.

these instances and many others seem appropriate analogies to the problem of cis-gender women who wail against injustice and demand an end to the pervasive inequities of the patriarchal paradigm while excluding transgender women.

privilege speaks to privilege.

can it be argued that cis-gender women are not a part of privilege?

while inequities exist certainly that mark us as 2nd class citizens within the male-dominated society and culture, there can be no doubt that we enjoy rights to which our transgender siblings are denied. so when cis-women stand at the door like bouncers to reject those whom they consider “not-real-women” they are playing the role of gate-keeper in determining who is to be granted membership to their club; they are taking on the attributes of the same oppressive system against which they rail; they are become the oppressor and are enemy to their own cause.

when in their ignorance they marginalise the experience and existence of these ‘others’ whom they would exclude from consideration in their struggles by demeaning them, holding them to stricter standards for inclusion, they repeat the same sort of crime of which they are victims. for doesn’t male-dominated society also seek to define for these cis-women what they must be? is it not this same sin they commit against transgender women? seeking to define them? to confine them? and in so doing exclude them from access? why then can they not see themselves as bigots and oppressors as they seek also to define what is woman?

more and more research has come to light which supports the fact that transgender women aren’t just confused males. the functional mri of the brain of a transgender woman far more closely mirrors that of ‘natal’ women. the structures within the brain of a transgender woman differ from those of cis-men and again more closely approximate the size and shape of the same structures in the brains of women. so who’s to say that the external body can define a woman? clearly we are more than the sum of our parts. but even did no such evidence exist that tends to validate the ‘claims’ of transgender women that they are not men, does not everyone have the right to self-definition? isn’t this what the article by susan moore was trying to proclaim? the fact that male-dominated society’s measures and ideals for women are wrong and rob us of personhood? why then do some of these same oppressed people use similar means against others?

privilege speaks to privilege.

that is the only explanation for those who simultaneously make demands that support personhood as defined by the person for themselves, then deny the same to others. it is because one is small minded, ignorant and bigoted, or even just not well informed that one feels entitled to perpetrate the same inequity and employ the same techniques against which they stuggle.

my daughter is transgender. she was born with a body that has never been in sync with whom she knows herself to be. whether or not there is ever any evidence to support her experience, i do! she has the right to define herself for herself. and i will vehemently confront anyone who would deny her, or any other transgender person the right to say who they are!

as to the ‘just because they mutilate themselves (gender reassignment surgery) doesn’t mean they’re women’ crowd, besides revealing themselves the ignorant asshats that they are, i would argue that if one is closed-minded enough they can find an infinite number of ways to split hairs…the racists did, and still do; the nazis did, and still do…just don’t pretend that you have the high ground. because it is still just a matter of

privilege speaking to privilege.


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no such thing

i found this among my transgender news and views items…after reading it, i found it reasonable. but there is one thing that made it seem somehow disingenuous.

the opinion in this article was that in washrooms, where one typically goes into a booth, shuts the door and does one’s business, of course there is no reason to exclude trans-women, pre-op, non-op, or otherwise, from using the facilities. it maintains that changing rooms/dressing rooms are a horse of a different color. in these instances, a person is not typically behind closed doors.

the author of this opinion piece says that transgender people should use discretion, perhaps put understanding over questions of equal rights,..that “tolerance, respect and common sense should take precedence over idealism”.

there’s just one problem. in my experience, the transgender females whom i have known and my transgender daughter in particular, are loathe to ‘expose’, their ‘male organ’. my daughter can’t bear even to see or touch hers! one of my best friends, who finally was able to afford the gender reassignment surgery that completed her, was embarassed as hell before the surgery to have someone see ‘the penis’. even did she find that there was no booth with a closed door to hide behind to change clothes, she made creative use of a towel.

so to me it seems unlikely that trans-women are going to be blatantly exposing themselves in dressing rooms. is this a bone of contention being used as a wedge to justify transphobia and denial of equal rights? are there really that many transgender pre-op women out there that have no qualms about showing off the part of their body they are anxious to be rid of?

i can’t speak to non-op transgender women. perhaps they don’t share my daughters sense of dread at having that ‘member’ being seen. i recognise that a trangender woman is a woman despite the belying nether parts, and that many don’t feel the same need to physically change their bodies surgically. but i’ve yet to meet one of these sort who doesn’t respect women’s dressing rooms, as did my good friend before her surgery.

so is this a real issue? or is it being used to drum up fear and find other ways to discriminate even if transgender women have to use the women’s restrooms? are there in fact transgender women who would act like some trench-coated perv lying in wait to ‘flash’ their stuff at unsuspecting girls?

i’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that there are not!

that being said, i am all for respecting others, when such an extension of grace doesn’t feed into their short-sightedness or bigotry. as proof, i offer the following:

once, at a well-known ‘clothing optional’ (tho rarely worn) local swimming hole, a friend of mine appeared on the path to the water. he called down to me and asked if i would mind putting something on, as he was bringing along his mother and some nieces and nephews. myself, my daughter and another friend of mine were the only ones there at the time. i would’ve been fully in my rights to say no. but out of respect, i covered myself. and when the other friend with whom i had been swimming took offense that i honored the request, i told him that he was free to stay naked, but that i would be putting something on. in the end, he did likewise, tho with grudging reluctance.

so if anyone who reads this blog wants to weigh in on the issue, this is my question:
do you know of ANY transgender woman who while using a public women’s dressing room, would blatantly or knowingly expose her ‘penis’ to others in the room?

in my humble opinion there’s more likely a unicorn in my backyard.


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reblog: roseanne barr controversy, with link to j. skyler article

http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2012/11/02/roseanne-barr-controversy-excellent-article-by-j-skyler/#reblog

http://www.comicbookbin.com/I_Am_Not_My_Penis_A_Response_to_the_Roseanne_Barr_Controversy001.html


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now we see the Real Roseanne Barr!

i don’t know why she felt it was her place to weigh in on any trans-related issues, but roseanne barr failed in a big way.

read this and try not to retch and scream “off with her head!”

perhaps the most offensive part of the article is the very end where roseanne seems to equate transgender people with pedophiles (NAMBLA).

i was going to seriously vote for this woman. she had a great running mate and a solid platform, at least what i knew of it. but oh, thank god for twitter!

now we see the real Roseanne Barr.

unfollowed her on twitter immediately. no one needs a time-line full of that trans-phobic rant!


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A Really Good Point

had to reblog this from becky, someone whom i follow.

it is indeed not real hard to make out which publications, journalists or articles are trans-phobic…just read or listen, then wait for the hackles to raise on the nape of the neck, the stomach to churn, heat to slowly rise up the jugulars into the head…sometimes i swear i can feel the cartoon steam release exploding from my ears.

but an early warning system is always nice. and to not have to had clicked the link, tuned in the channel or picked up the article in the first place can be right pleasant.

so, here is becky’s take,

A Really Good Point.

and the link to the story.


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this disgusting culture

the last couple of posts i’ve made, reblogs from other excellent bloggers, have brought up a host of thoughts about this allegedly civilised society in which we at the dawn of the 21st century find ourselves.

racism rampant despite civil rights gains, hate-crimes perpetrated against those who are judged as ‘other than’, whether it be for their faith, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or even just their gender, inequalities justified by those who imagine their morality to be superior. bullying of our children. and these are only the real world day to day degradations.

add to these the representations of violence in movies, video games, on t.v., the constant beating of the drums of war by political figures and media pundits, the actual drone assassinations our peace prize winning president carries out to check off names on his ‘kill list’ and yet somehow we are shocked when someone dons a batman joker’s costume and shoots up a movie theater, or mistakes sikhs for the understandably loathed (for no reason) muslims and opens fire in a temple.

these things shock us, but what of the things that really ought to shock and disgust us, things like those mentioned in ‘the male gaze’ or in “disgusting” ?

in general, the media doesn’t notice when a trans-woman is assaulted, unless she fights back perhaps, in which case she is likely charged with committing a crime. there is no wide-spread shock at the number of women raped, wives beaten, or gays attacked every day. the reaction of the dominant culture and its participants ranges from ‘oh really? to ‘well, that’s to be expected’

i commented on the “disgusting” blog that i felt that for me to pen such a post would be very healing. if i used this literary device to ‘speak to’ the man who upon realising i’d spurned his advances, (not just because i prefer women by the way, he was one of those disgusting ‘male gaze’ types) decided that i was in need of a good ‘raping’. or to address the many men who only thought such things. or to chastise the father, my dad, who made it clear that i was a disappointment.

i would love to post something that my fellow ‘women-loving-women’ would read and feel shamed for rejecting our trans-sisters as less than women. especially those who would ban them from ‘all womyn’ gatherings (you know who you are). i would love to post something to society in general for requiring impossible standards be put upon women. the acceptable height and weight imposed upon us to be considered worthy, the ritual of shaving our womanly body hair so as to appear pre-pubescent and thus desirable in our male dominated world. the painted faces we are told we must have to be ‘easy, breezy, beautiful’, while men can be ugly, fat and old without derision.

i would like to let our ‘looksist’, ‘size-ist’, sexist, age-ist’, cis-ist society know that femininity is not a commodity. that gender is not genitalia, that love is not the exclusive domain of straight folk, that there is no such thing as ‘passing’.

i would love to be able to afford to buy time on broadcast t.v. networks, as do the people running for office, or those trying to sell their latest snake oil, so that i could declare to this ‘lagging-behind’ society, to the captive couch potatoes who have only this medium for diversion from their slave-wage daily grind, that there is another way forward. that those holding the power are oppressing them too. that only by respecting one another as human beings sharing a fragile planet, and treating everyone with kindness, consideration, and compassion, by joining ourselves as one instead of being suspicious of each other, judgemental and divisive, can we overthrow the faceless monsters of greed and oppression that have taken our world and infused it with this disgusting culture.

but most of all, i would love to make a difference, somehow. to waken those that need nudged. so that the world my beautiful transgender daughter grows into someday will embrace her…just as she is!


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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.