Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stop discriminating and let people choose their own bathrooms!

So now that the transition is well under way and I've had a requisite number of crisis (I reserve the right to have more, by the way) I'm really noticing how transgender folks are increasingly showing up in the news. I guess now that it's no longer cool to discriminate against gays (more than half the country blatantly discriminatory law? (Yes they amended it but it's still awful.)
Photo by scot2342 via Flickr
favors gay marriage) it's now time to focus on a less powerful (they think) and less organized enemy: transgender folks. I'm not transgender (obviously) but since my partner is, I have a personal stake in this fight. So I ask, what the hell are Arizona legislators thinking with this

Wait: I know. Find new enemies. Target them. Make people think about someone of the wrong gender seeing their junk (sorry because I think it's mostly young men who worry about such things) and voila, like you no longer have to worry about silly things like how the economy is going to hell.

What are they going to do? Make us all drop our pants to prove we're the "correct" gender? Who else did that? Oh, yes, it was the Nazi's. Only way to prove men were NOT Jewish? Make them show their penises. If they were circumcised it was off to the death camps. Literally.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Now we can marry...oh the irony

I just have to post one more thing. Like every queer person (and probably most people in the United States) have been following the back to back Supreme Court cases dealing with gay marriage. I don't need to weigh in on this except for to state the obvious: it's about time. But I just wanted to say how ironic I think it is that now that R has transitioned (well it's actually a process) he will soon legally become male. And guess what? We will legally be able to get married pretty much anywhere. It seems radically unfair that is to women we couldn't marry but now we can. We're still the same people. We still deserve the same rights. I hope the court will get this one right.

Top surgery and beyond

It's been nearly a month since I posted. And I can tell you the reason I haven't posted hasn't been because life has been boring. Quite the opposite. So much has happened it's almost impossible to catch up. So obviously I'm not going to take you through every nuance.  But I will give you the one big highlight: since I last wrote, R  had top surgery.

Yep. It happened.

I have so many mixed feelings about this that I don't even know where to begin. I feel like I should be writing something meaningful but it's almost too close to the bone. You know what I mean? No pun intended.

On the one hand I'm very excited for him. It's actually kind of a relief that he's never expressed any hesitance about going through with the surgery. If it were me, I would feel very mixed. I mean it is surgery. But it's altering your basic architecture.

And yes–I get it. That's the whole point. I'm actually really proud and impressed with R. He did it. It was brave. It was courageous. And it was actually extremely self-loving. And God knows, we all need to give ourselves love.

On that level, he's actually been a role model for me. I'm typically female in respect to needs. Like a lot of girls, I was also raised to put other people's needs before my own. I don't always do them mind you. In fact, I think it can actually make one quite selfish. But I'm learning at my late age to put my needs first. It's actually healthy.

And that means that I get to react to the surgery. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it, but it hasn't been all positive. I feel like a bit of a traitor for writing this here. But I'm going to do it anyhow in deference to the fact that I've said I would tell the truth. Let's just say it's been difficult. It's not that I'm so into breasts that I can't live without them (although certainly I would want to.) I think it's more about being with someone who is essentially altering who they are. And yes–I know that R  is simply becoming who he is on the inside. In other words, he's always been a man. He's just had the great misfortune (and I mean that sincerely) of having been born into a female body.

But I'm still allowed to react, right?  (I'm telling myself this) This is where I'm having difficulty. Because intellectually, I absolutely love what he's doing. I admire it and I respect it, as I said before.  But it's major. I guess the whole top surgery thing–well that's the point of no return. His voice seems to get lower every day. His muscles grow. And his beard gets thicker. And then there is the hair.  and actually I don't mind any of these changes. Some of them I actually like.  But I have to tell you it's really weird to watch this transformation.

 But I will save that for another day–look forward to the post titled, living with a grown adolescent.

So  if anyone is still reading, thanks for the support. I really appreciate it.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Photo by pennstatenews
I always thought transitioning was about changing genders—shifting from being a woman to being a man (or vice versa).

But that's the thing. It's not. Not for the person transitioning, anyhow. For R transitioning means he is shifting from being in the body of a woman to being in the body of a man.

The transitioning person is not really the one transitioning. I mean, he is. But he's not.  R is re-shaping his body (through medical intervention) so that it matches his true gender. He's coming into his own. He finally will be able to slip into the body that fits. Imagine what it's like to go around life wearing the wrong suit of clothing, being trapped in it. I haven't experienced it, but I imagine it would feel like being stuck inside some constricting costume with a false body and head. Claustrophobic.

He's getting to embody himself.  (Forgive me if this is obvious but it's still new to me.)

The transition? The change? The shift? That comes for everyone else. Because everyone outside of R has known him as a woman (even if that's never what he was). He's changing physically. And the rest of the world—those who know him—must shift our thinking. We need to transition our thinking and  adjust to this new manifestation of this human.

And hell, I won't beat around the bush. That's hard. That's fucking hard. Because gender is so hard-coded into us (everyone points out that it's the first thing we humans learn about their offspring: boy or girl). So finding out that someone doesn't fit the mold quite as we expected forces us look inside and question ourselves. Maybe that's why people are so threatened, but they needn't be. The questions are important and the answers are fascinating.

What is gender? What makes me a woman? What makes you a man? And why is it important? Why do we care about gender? The answers, of course, could fill volumes (sorry I don't have many answers; just questions).

So the shift really is up to everyone else. R does not have to shift at all. He's already there. We just have to catch up.