Sunday, 26 February 2017

it was bound to happen and I'm glad

Yesterday I was in the city centre for a bit before meeting my friend Lyne for dinner and stopped to have a light snack since I hadn’t eaten lunch.

I sit down to eat and turn to my left and I see one of my work colleagues staring me square in the face. He knows me very well so he knew it was me. After two seconds of trepidation I waived him over and we started to chat.

Not only wasn’t it a big deal to see me dressed but he was fascinated. He is a lovely fellow and you could see it changed nothing for him, in fact he said as much.

He was there with his wife and baby daughter and we all spoke for about 45 minutes.

I went into my lifelong struggle with gender dysphoria and he listened intently. He later added that if I ever needed to make the change that people would adapt and accept me. I believed his earnestness. They were both lovely and matter of factly about it all.

I was very glad this happened because it was further proof of my solid stance these days. I didn’t miss a heart beat and was comfortable which in turn made him even more comfortable. He told me that people need to be who they are.

How right he is.

I discussed all of this with Lyne over dinner and she found it delightful and almost prophetic.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

it should be easy to be tolerant

No matter what the so-called "Conservative Christians" in the Trump White House try to do to roll back transgender rights it’s actually too late to delay progress.

Many people will see the mean-spiritedness behind these moves and it will only add to the sense of outrage that this Presidency continues to instill in people who see this as one more attempt to bully and cajole. These despots are not reasonable and one could argue they are not even sane. They certainly are dogmatically motivated but in a direction that goes against the tide of societal advancement.

If the evidence supported their claims would be one thing but the truth is that transgender people go to bathroom to do their business like everyone else. It is obvious to any thinking person that a transgender woman shouldn’t be made to use the men’s room because that’s just dangerous and foolish. But these are not thinking people in charge.

In the past when governments have pushed the population too far, there have been revolutions and protests in the street which eventually produced results. This presidency is only in its infancy and yet every week some new stupidity surfaces which only reinforces the fact that Trump is an imbecile surrounded by zealots.

This is bullying because you think you can get away with it but it will backfire because common sense is not on the side of these crazies. Some school somewhere will soon see the immediate impact of preventing a trans girl from using the ladies room and Trump will once again look like the clueless idiot he already is.

Already large silicon valley giants are criticizing the move as counter productive and many more will chime until they are embarrassed into reversing course.

Upholding human dignity is not hard. If someone wants to live a certain way and they are happy without harming others who are we to stand in their way and why would you want to?

Not surprisingly this has many more progressive nations shaking their heads in disbelief as for them protecting transgender people is seen as being perfectly normal because of course it is....

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/us-trans-kids-toilets-federal-issue-45710819


Friday, 24 February 2017

my dinners with Rhonda

Rhonda Williams is a very happy person, has a contagious laugh and very much knows who she is.

As she was travelling on business to my neck of the woods, she contacted me in advance to see if I was available. Of course, I happily and wholeheartedly agreed to do so but looking at the photo of us below I realize I should have worn a different top; oh well...

We all have a long road to get comfortable with our identity and I have never met another transgender person who personifies coming to terms in such a positive way. She got there long before me and there is a comfort there that says: “this is who I am, take it or lump it”. Of course she doesn’t need to worry because she looks amazing and very few people would hazard to guess that she was anything other than a classy and well-dressed woman.

Needless to say we had a great time over both our dinners and the hours flew by. As I expected, our lives were eerily similar as we went over the different phases of how we came to finally accept who we are.

Rhonda lives in both worlds and slips back and forth with an ease that many of us in the community would envy. I think it comes from the wisdom of a life lived and coming to a place where you just don’t care what anyone else thinks.

In her own words:

"I am both genders psychologically and always have been. I take both roles seriously, being the best person that I can be. I am an individual who can be more or less masculine and more or less feminine as my frame of mind and circumstances allow. I think that is true of everyone, but a few, like myself, exhibit this greater prerequisite and range. In computer terms - my operating system is flexible.

To be forthcoming at this time in my life I consider myself to be female having worked as female for the last eight years. Also having a female gender identity for the last 30 years. I am in principle, gender nonconforming/gender fluid. I have learned that a full understanding can be both deceptively simple and extraordinarily complicated at the same time. Popeye said it best – I am what I am.

I had nothing to do with creating this gender incongruity and I accept the fact it is a permanent characteristic. My life is now “out to the world” so I had no alternative but to own it."




Thursday, 23 February 2017

the resistance

Trump shouldn't have come after the media as "the enemy of the American people" and Keith Olbermann very emphatically takes him to task over it....


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

entitled to the same rights

We have a hypervigilance to gender and even we trans people notice when someone else breaks the rules or doesn’t pass well enough so that they stick out. It’s one of the fundamentals that we first learn: this is a boy and this is a girl and this is what each one is permitted to do.

As someone who long struggled with self-acceptance I had to try and remove that sensitivity in order to repair my psyche. When I was working hard at ignoring my dysphoria I would wince a little when someone flirted with the rules and was brave enough to be themselves. Inside I felt an admiration for them that I thought I could never muster.

For many of us our salvation lies outside of the binary system because that itself can become a form of enslavement. “Be a man or be a woman but for God’s sake don’t be a transgender person because that is just confused” and so some of us switch sides when it may not be warranted or beneficial.

Being a gender outlaw is less difficult when you blend in and the less you do the more you become a potential target of slurs and dirty looks.

In my less confident days I would get the glaring long stares which were met with me looking away and pretending I didn’t notice. I just knew not to look back but could feel the piercing eyes trying to make out what they were seeing. This happens far less or not at all which has everything to do with my elevating my body language and demeanor but most importantly my attitude.

In spite of the risk, I personally prefer not living in fear and being out in the world instead of a closet because, as I have now learned, there is much reward to be gained. It is why I am enjoying the fruits of my labour today.

There are plenty of other people out there facing their own challenges that they cannot mask. People who are disfigured, obese or physically disabled do this every day and find ways to lead normal lives.

They haven’t chosen to be that way and neither have we but we can all hold our heads up high knowing we have every right to the very same things as everyone else.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

you will get what you think you deserve

I had already prepared this post but then it became even more relevant upon reading Jack's latest Crossdreamers post on finding love.

It’s very common to see trans people feel they are lucky to be with someone who tolerates them and for some this may be very true. For example if you have pushed the envelope into transition after not announcing you were trans from the outset, you should consider yourself very fortunate.

Conversely I think some set themselves up to get only what they think they deserve. What do I mean by this? That our natural self destructiveness conspires to set the bar very low and some of us are prone to settle for someone who is at best not repulsed by the idea that we are transgender. This is not exactly an earth-shattering gold standard.

Yes we represent a needle in a haystack but if we exist then so do they and I am certain that there is statistically a larger group of women who would welcome a transgender partner than our actual percentage in society.

Setting the bar low from the outset will only ensure that both of you will suffer should you realize later into the relationship that you want a freer range of expression than she is prepared to accept. I understand this is hard for people already in existing relationships but for those open to engaging in something new, here is your chance to be who you really are.

Take the time while you are alone to really understand yourself and, once there, be open to possibilities without bending one inch of your identity.


Monday, 20 February 2017

Wilmore to the rescue

I need to apologize to Whatever, Yeah because not having watched the entire episode of Real Time on HBO I had not realized that Breibart's Milo Yiannopoulos had come after transgender people during the show. It does not surprise me however since he is a disgusting piece of work.

This is one area where Bill Maher himself is also confused and actually agreed with Milo over transgender bathrooms which is deeply disappointing.

Comedian Larry Wilmore comes in to the rescue and rightfully tells Milo to go you know where....

http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/320234-feud-erupts-between-larry-wilmore-and-milo-yiannopoulos-during