Friday, August 1, 2008

A couple of useful links

My friend Kira has posted a couple of useful links on her website transgendergirl:

I'm not a lesbian, but I am bisexual, so some of it applies to me as well. Certainly the parts about growing up as a female in a boy's body.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Judge Asked To Void Election Due To Transgender Candidate

Well, in Georgia, I guess they do it differently. It seems as though some people think it's a fraud to change your sex. At least the two losing opponents of a city council race think so. Michelle Bruce is in the run-off race for a city council seat, but the election is being challenged by the two council members who lost saying Bruce committed a fraud by running as a woman instead of a man. Bruce is publicly out as transgendered, identifies as a women and has all her ID as a woman.

Can't these people get it through their heads that a person's identity is between their ears and not between their legs? When will the public at large begin to understand this. This is a petty case of sore losers, trading on a misconception, and flaming bigotry and hate. I hope the judge is smarter than they are.

Day of Rememberance

Today is the Transgender Day of Rememberance.

Today we look back and remember all those who have been killed or have died simply because they were gender variant, or didn't fit into society's rigid definitions of what gender they should have been.

Gender is truly a fluid, continuous plain of expression and reality. One can find themselves anywhere on that plain. Gender is not fixed. One can find oneself moving about on that plain. But society decrees there be only two genders, Male and Female.

I live my life mostly around the female node, but with a fair helping of androgyny as well. I'm not the super-feminine type of transgender person you see. I never wear dresses, rarely wear make-up, etc. Most of the time I'm in a t-shirt and leggings. I get "sir"d infrequently, but it's usually by people who don't really look at me and just take me in in a glance. This doesn't bother me. When they actually see me, they correct themselves. but 90% of the time, I'm seen as female. This also doesn't bother me. In about 0.01% of cases do people recognize me as trans. This also doesn't bother me, and it serves as a springboard for education and sharing. So far, my experience with being out to people has all been good.

This, however, is an anomaly. It is because I have chosen to inhabit trans-friendly areas and keep to trans-friendly spaces and generally surround myself with people who are evolved and high-minded.

I still remember a time when I was visiting Ala(forking)bama, and was clocked by a cop in a Burger King. I was waiting outside for my friend to come pick me up and he came out and rousted me. He was concerned because I was "hanging out near a playground" -- the old canard about trans people being paedophiliacs. He had trouble getting my license processed because the records were still on hold at the California DMV (this was just after I had changed my name with them). I gave him my social, and he ran that and finally was satisfied that I had no jacket and eventually stopped harassing me.

I consider myself one of the very lucky few transgender people who has successfully transitioned without a lot of problems, stress, or loss. I'm gainfully employed in my chosen profession, still have loving relationships with family, have established new friendships, have had relationships, and generally been navigating my way through life.

So today is about the people who didn't make it. Gwen Araujo. Ruby. Countless others who've been unable to deal with their gender dysphoria and committed suicide. Remember them. They were your sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends, colleagues, peers.

Please, light a candle today for them.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Staton Fired

Well, they've done it. The City Commision voted 5-2 to officially fire Steve (Susan) Stanton. Good followup report at the Towle Road blog.

I never really thought they would reverse their decision. The council members who voted to fire him originally were sure not to change their minds in just a little bit of time. All the activism to educate people and the Commission was to fall on deaf ears because they were not in a place to listen constructively. They were angry, they felt betrayed, lied to, let down. This is a common reaction. Spouses and significant others transsexuals often have this same reaction. They need the time and space to get over this reaction. For some people, they never get over it. Transphobia runs deep and wide in America, especially the South.

Now it remains to be seen if Stanton will bring a suit against the commission for discrimination. Many are urging him to do so. I haven't heard anything from him saying he has changed his mind about that yet. Many people believe he has a case and he is represented by legal counsel that is pretty substantial in dealing with discrimination cases.

I really feel for Stanton, having this media circus surrounding what is a very personal, transformational and emotional process. I transitioned on the job, in public, but had very good support from my workplace. Thank the powers that be that I live in an area that is more progressive in its thinking and a company that values employees' contributions above their private lives.

MTF TS Marries GG

A transsexual married a woman Friday morning at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.Barbara Lynn Terrry, 58, was born as a man, Ronald Terry.Terry considers herself a female, but Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge David Hansher said that according to a doctor he spoke to, Terry is still physically a man.

OK, this one baffles me. Is Terry a pre-op MTF TS? The doctor certified Terry is still a man. I would guess that's so. Does Terry have plans to become a female? I don't know.

However, if Terry is post-operative, this brings up very scary precident, i.e., that a person will not be allowed to change their sex in the realm of marriage. This is ridiculous, of course. And yet one more reason for passing same-sex marriage laws to remove the confusion factor.

An update on the law covering the Stanton dismissal case

Dr. Jillian Todd Weiss has posted an update on her blog about the law in Florida regarding discrimination against transgender workers, especially those employed by government agencies. Good read, but it's not clear-cut that Stanton would win a case against the City Commission. That would depend on whether the court held any bias against transsexuals.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Stop all the Bullshite

Kimberly posts on her blog to Stop all the Bullshite: asking the trans community to support each other.

Things rings true for me, in a lot of ways. I think a lot of us are on our own, we don't support each other, either financially or socially. I think a lot of us are go-it-aloners. I know I am. I find it difficult to keep hearing the same stories from people that bring up my own history of pain and misery. I find it hard to see people struggling and not taking advice from others who have been down the road because each of us must find our own way.

I am scared I may end up like Kimberly, poor, bitter, alone, without support. Employment means everything, it means survival. Yet employment is the number one barrier for transsexuals post-transition. Even with protective laws in place, it is hard to get by the interview. Bias is often hidden from the interviewer's own process.

I used to facilitate a support group at the local LGBT center for Trans Women. I think I did an excellent job of running the group, making it inclusive of all trans people, all perspectives were welcomed, all experiences were valid and shared, people were invited to ask questions, it was a safe space to be new in. But I eventually had to give it up, as it was so draining emotionally for me.

Yet I need to have a place where I can get support. As a facilitator, I am separate from the group to a large extent; I am watching the process of the group, they are embroiled in the content. Where do I share my content? How do I explain my fears about being outed or clocked by someone? Where do I share my desires for a relationship? Where do I find people who understand what it means to be trans? I need my own support group. Maybe I should go back and just be a regular member, though that will be hard.