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I’ve been observing some of the commentary, not just in the blogs, but also in the world at large, and have been debating with myself about whether it is time to start over, with a brand new education campaign, rather than just continuing the old one.

Some people just aren’t up to speed...like the right-wingers who keep referring to us transpeople as being "gender confused".  Nobody here is confused, except the people who can’t grasp the concept of the separation between sex and gender...or the fact that DNA is not a life sentence, but rather a suggestion.

The thing is that we transpeople have done the deep digging into who we are and have come up with an answer that some people don’t like.  And those people think we deserve to be punished for acting on what we discovered about ourselves.

Sprinkled amongst the words in my essay is music supplied by some talented transfolk.  I apologize in advance for finding nothing actually by Wendy Carlos at Youtube (but a lot of stuff "in the style of").

Originally posted at Docudharma


Georgie Jessup
The Traditional Values Coalition, the self-styled largest non-denominational grassroots church lobby in America," warns of us the impending doom that would arrive with the passage of ENDA:

Schools will then be forbidden to reassign any teacher undergoing a so-called sex change because this would be considered 'discrimination'.

This hits rather close to home, because I'm a transsexual woman and a teacher.  From personal experience, I can tell you it is not that students have trouble comprehending, even supporting, one of us in transition, it is their parents.

Alvin McEwen has a response at his blog, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters.  You could buy Alvin’s book, if you wanted to do so.  You could certainly add his blog to your blog roll.


Dana International
Sally Cat made the following comment last weekend:

Being an outsider to the GLBT community I have a lot more questions about transfolk than about GLB.  Even in the SF area it is not a general topic and we don't know what or how to ask how to be supportive.

Just a thought.

RadioGirl brought us the sad story of Victoria Arellano, a transwoman from Mexico and undocumented immigrant who was jailed in a male detention facility and denied her AIDS medication...and died after two months.  By reporting this story, RadioGirl was being supportive of our community.


Harisu
More personally...local to you, yourself...you can try to expand your knowledge.  Transgender people (aka transpeople) are people who have genders which deviate from the norm.  I like to use the term "gender-variant" myself.  Transsexual people, on the other hand, are people for whom this variance is so severe and life troubling that we seek to alleviate it through medical intervention.  Transsexual is a medical term.  Transgender is a group identification term...maybe even a political term.  Many transsexual people, but not all, identify as transgender as well.

It was obvious that we, as a culture, have a hard time trying to understand the difference between a drag queen, transsexual, and a transgender, yet we find it very easy to know the difference between the American baseball league and the National baseball league, when they are both so similar.

--Ru Paul


Katastrophe
Supportive people know and respect those differences.  If you encounter someone and are unsure of that person's status, you can always ask.  You might even make a friend.

Supportive people do not refer to one of us using plural pronouns in order to avoid choosing the correct singular ones.  They use third person singular pronouns which we prefer be used...and they probably know what those are because they have asked.  Most importantly, supportive people do not refer to transwomen as men or transmen as women.

Just recently Sam Allis of the Boston Globe wrote a piece about gay history in Boston, in which he referred to Rita Hester, whose murder sparked the creation of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, as a "transgender man".


Lipstick Conspiracy
I wrote to Mr. Allis and asked,

Was it really your intent to murder Rita Hester once again?  She was a transgender woman, not man.

The paper corrected that, the next day, probably some place mostly unseen.

I can only speak for myself, but I fully expect that when I die, someone will think they have to share my "real name" (as if people are never allowed to legally change their names) and use the wrong pronouns...as some people do even now.

We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path.


Michelle Alexandria Vaughn
--Paolo Coelho

I may not be able to judge people's lives, Paolo, but I can judge their actions, and so far in my life, they've come up severely lacking in compassion and empathy.

Sex is between your legs.  Gender is between your ears.  Thus it is never your job to decide the gender of anyone besides you.

And please try not to dehumanize us.

This whole educational process works best when people ask questions and I try to answer them.  I'll give it my best shot if you will.

Originally posted to Robyn's Perch on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 04:05 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Some news items: (55+ / 0-)

    An arrest was made in the murder of Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar.

    Music by Jenny Slater.

    The University of Pennsylvania, where I once matriculated, is offering medical insurance to its students which includes sex-change coverage.  All told, there are now, apparently, 30 colleges offering some degree of coverage.


    Syndirella Heart
    A burned rainbow flag was discovered outside the LGBT Community Center in NYC a couple of days ago.  The Anti-Violence Project has put a watch alert out to be on the lookout for acts of violence as a result.

    The Maine Human Rights Commission is hung up on The Bathroom Issue.  Let's see how Fox News reported it:  

    Maine Commission Shelves Move to Ban Gender Specific Bathrooms, Sports Teams in Schools

    Ah, I see.  Not only do our rights stand in the way of the existence of Gender Specific Bathrooms, we are also out to abolish team sports.  Got it.  

  •  My knowledge base is so limited, that (10+ / 0-)

    I feel compelled to learn more.

    50 yrs ago, divorce was a subject that resulted in truly weird ideas and discrimination. (Divorcees were HOT HOT HOT, Males who divorced were somehow 1/2 a real person, a shadow, just to mention a couple). It took some time for America to realize that not all matches were made in heathen, and that some religious cults in Italy would have such control over marriages that divorce was nearly impossible. But society learned, grew, and pretty much made the church irrelevant and irreverent.

    I suspect that we are seeing the awakening of a new realization, that the way we view humans and humanity needs some serious updating and improved understanding.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 04:21:45 PM PDT

  •  The way it was explained to me, back when I was (6+ / 0-)

    working at Eros Guide and I admit that I had been very protected before that, it was Transsexuals are people who either have completely the process or are somewhere in the process to have their gender reassignment; however Transvestites were just guys who preferred to dress in drag.
    {{{Robyn}}} sweetie, am I anywhere close to being right?

    Economic: -7.62 Social: -5.74
    Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!

    by triciawyse on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 04:54:10 PM PDT

  •  I think transgendered people re-define courage (6+ / 0-)

    Seriously, if I was to hand out medals for courage - I would pin one on the chest of every person who has made the decision to reassign their gender.  Those are individuals who have done deep introspection as to what it means to be "true to oneself".  I salute each and every person who has made that decision.  Brave.

    Our culture is squeemish (sp?), to say the least, about all matters concerning sexuality.  My take on the matter is summed up best in the movie Kinsey when he likens sexuality to your arm --there are some whom are extremely hetero and/or extremely homo being at either end of the arm's continuum w/ most of us falling somewhere in between on either side of the elbow.  While I can relate to this statement, I don't think it even begins to address the different world that transsexuals live in. I'm venturing a guess here but if you follow Kinsey's logic, you change gender from male to female or female to male and you could still be primarily attracted to your new opposite sex or your prior opposite sex.  

    While I've never thought of reassigning my own sex, I've always been fascinated with the subject.  As a child I had reoccuring dreams that I was a boy and a bad, bad, mistake had been made my spirit being born in this cute little girl encasement.  As time progressed, I am very comfortable in my female encasing.  Just pissed off that I feel society awards men privileges not accorded to women by virtue simply of what they have between their legs. For awhile I was into new age stuff - and if indeed there is such a thing as past lives - I believe gender switchs according to what it is we need to learn in that particular lifetime.  Above and beyond childhood dreams, I've written papers - my very first serious college paper - on sex reassignment and have read any number of books on the subject.  I ADORE my friend Gary.  I often feel badly for him because he is SO misunderstood...yet, he has carved out a place for himself/herself where he/she is loved for whom he/she is - full out being who he/she is.  I accord you someone I don't know personally the same admiration.

    "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

    by Dixiedemocrat on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 04:57:40 PM PDT

    •  If courage means doing what one needs to do... (9+ / 0-)

      ...for oneself in order to feel whole, even when it is hard, then I will accept that designation.

      I'm also a believer in the fact that we have lessons to learn in this lifetime and sometimes one doesn't know where that will lead.  Choosing the easy path may just be a way to avoid learning a lesson.

    •  What took courage (8+ / 0-)

      was walking out the door every day trying to pretend I was someone I am not. And knowing that I was an abject failure at it.

      Every horror committed by man begins with the lie that some man is not a man. - Jyrinx

      by kyril on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 05:18:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, re: your second paragraph (7+ / 0-)

      Kinsey's work is just as applicable to us as it is to everyone else. I identify as a gay male, a Kinsey 7. The fact that my body doesn't match that doesn't mean it's not my brain's orientation.

      There do seem to be more of us who are GLB than there are in the general population. But all that says is that sexual orientation and gender identity are formed separately.

      Every horror committed by man begins with the lie that some man is not a man. - Jyrinx

      by kyril on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 05:25:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The rough numbers I have used are... (7+ / 0-)

        ...that after transition, 1/3 of us are straight, 1/3 of us gay or lesbian, and 1/3 bi- or a-sexual.

      •  I'll be honest... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel, rserven, kyril

        I have, due to recent events, had an opportunity to re-evaluate my instincts and intellectual development with respect to the transgender community, and while I'd like to think that I've got a good handle on the compassion and support part of having transgender friends, really all I can think is "God, I suck at this."

        I identify as a gay male, a Kinsey 7.

        Having three friends/acquaintances who indentify this way completely baffles me. They outwardly appeared to be "normal"; that is, to be a member of one gender cohort in a relationship or attracted to the other gender. Just regular straight folk...

        But under their skin they were trapped in a body that was the wrong gender, which, when taken a step further, means that they are not only transgender, but also gay.

        I...

        I just...can't wrap my brain around that. (Don't get me wrong: having now seen it three times I respect that it exists and I totally support my friends who identify this way. I'm just too dumb to figure out how it works.) I'm finding it incredibly difficult to separate gender identity and sexual orientation in my brain so that it's indeed possible for someone to be both born/living/trapped in the wrong gender, but also dealing with the same issues I am with respect to their sexual orientation. In my Cro Magnon old-school way of thinking, if you've got the body of a girl and you're attracted to boys, well, goshdarnit, things are the way they're supposed to be? Right?

        Wrong.

        I'm back to square one, and it's giving me a headache. And I'm rambling. But dammit, I'm trying. Don't even get me started on pronouns. It's damn awkward to always include a person's name in a sentence when referring to them. "I was talking to Joe about blahblahblah, and Joe said blah blah blah, and I told Joe..." is incredibly awkward versus "I was talking to Joe about blahblahblah, and I told him, er, her, er...dammit, this is hard and I quit."

        "Why are people so tied in knots about two people tying the knot?" --Julian Bond FOR THE HORDE!

        by PerfectStormer on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 07:35:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Think about gender performance vs. identity. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PerfectStormer, rserven, kyril

          And the familiar question -- how do straight people know they're straight? How do cis people know we're cis? It's easier to figure those things out when there's a dissonance -- the 'what's wrong with me?' bit -- but there's some sort of awareness even otherwise. (I assume, anyway. Maybe for some, being able to happily go along with the way things are 'supposed to be' lets them avoid self-awareness. Wouldn't be surprised.)

        •  This is my experience of it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rserven, Marja E

          (not to be generalized):

          I knew I was a boy before I knew I was gay. Not that, if I had been born in a boy's body, the early signs of Teh Gay wouldn't have been obvious - close female friends in early childhood when they treated me like a boy still, a fondness for glitter and shiny things, putting on jewelry and makeup and dresses in my room alone (and trying to hide what I was doing if my mom walked in), colour-coordinating my mom's outfits.

          But my experience of all of that was as a boy - a boy who knew he was transgressing gender roles, and more often than not was ashamed of it.

          I was raised in a feminist household by a single mother, and in that house girls could be whatever they wanted to be. Girls could be strong and fix cars and wear pink and play with dolls and be smart and be beautiful all at the same time. All very empowering, if you were a girl and absorbed those messages.

          Boys, on the other hand...I didn't have any brothers, but through my mother just talking in general (about the men she was dating, men and boys on TV, my male friends) I got a pretty good idea of what she though a boy "should" be like. It was the standard stereotype: tough, strong, smart, and not at all effeminate. And those were the socialization messages I absorbed for myself. It was all very automatic - whenever I heard messages like "boys should X" or "girls should Y", I internalized the 'boy' expectations and discarded the 'girl' ones.

          So I emerged from childhood with a pretty fucked up self-concept - as a boy, but an inadequate, secretly effeminate boy with major genital deformities who everyone thought was a girl. Consciously, I knew my body was female, but I never actually accepted that until it started to completely betray me at puberty.

          And then the sexual attraction showed up. And it was directed at boys. So now I was not only a sissy, not only deformed, now I was a fag too. Now I was that kid on the baseball team checking out the other boys, reflexively looking away and trying to wear a straight face when they made homophobic remarks. And it didn't matter one bit that it was "ok" because they thought I was a girl (they didn't, really - that was impossible when I was standing around with them spitting and talking shit about women). I had internalized the 'boys' rules, and under the 'boys' rules I knew, that attraction was wrong.

          I got the 'girl' act down a little better by my late teens - I started consciously listening to advice directed at girls on how to behave. I even read trash like Seventeen magazine and stuff, trying to figure out how I was supposed to dress, talk, interact with men as a woman, because by that point I'd figured out that I was trans and that because I was gay I was probably stuck with this body because according to the internet in the early '90s, gay trans people didn't exist. I was really terrible at being a girl, but just making the effort was enough to physically attract straight men. And then the other problem came up.

          You have to understand that heterosexual relationships are weird. Even post-feminism, even with very feminist men, they're still weird. The overwhelming majority of straight guys don't want a relationship with me or someone like me. If they wanted to date a man, they'd be gay. Not that they have a problem sleeping with me - the purely physical stuff works - but the actual relationship doesn't.

          This is going to piss off the straight feminists, I know it, but the truth is that actual women are different from men, and nearly all actual straight relationships are built around that complementary, yin/yang dynamic. That's even what bi guys expect out of heterosexual pairings. The specifics - which partner is assigned which particular role in each situation - differ considerably, but the existence of complementary roles is consistent.

          But I'm wired for symmetrical relationships rather than complementary ones. And while not all gay people are into symmetrical relationships (think butch/femme dynamic among lesbians for a counterexample), virtually all straight people are into complementary ones. I married one of the extremely few exceptions. Prior to that, my most successful relationships were both with men who later came out as gay. (If only I'd come out as trans then...)

          Obviously, the relationship thing is something I can live with, since I've found one that works well. If I could tolerate living the rest of my life being physically female, everything would be fine in that department. Problem is I can't.

          Basically, Dan Savage (video clip, audio NSFW, content likely offensive to women) sums up my feelings on girl parts. I know a lot of trans people don't like him for his transphobic slipups and I respect that, but be talks openly and honestly about his views on female anatomy as a gay man, and I relate - I agree with him absolutely. But I've got that stuff in me. Ick. And that is really central to my sense of being trans - the fact that I'm utterly revolted by my own body. As I understand it, that sense of repulsion is common to all trans people, but for those of us who are gay or lesbian, it's doubly harsh: we're not only repulsed by our own vagina (or penis, for the women) but we're repulsed by vaginas (or penises) in general. And we've got one attached to us.

          So yes, superficially, it can look like everything's as it's supposed to be for closeted gay trans people. But it's really not. Not at all. Everything is wrong. Possibly even more wrong than it is for the straight ones, who live and date in a community where different gender expressions and relationship dynamics are accepted, and who at least have some aesthetic/sexual appreciation for the body parts they feel like they aren't supposed to have, and who have an explanation they can give to their parents/friends early on for why they're gender-variant in their birth sex, and who don't tend to be as likely to be gender-variant in their adopted sex as do those of us who are gay.

          Every horror committed by man begins with the lie that some man is not a man. - Jyrinx

          by kyril on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 03:17:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow! Thanks for sharing. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rserven, kyril

            I've previously mentioned my sense that "I should be a tomboy."

            I sometimes wonder, if I were cis and weren't asthmatic, whether I'd be a butch instead of a butchy tweener dyke, but I ended up reading more, as a kid, and running less, and I ended up trying to compensate, in transition, for my body and my missed chances.

            Remember Duanna Johnson. Tortured by the Memphis PD for being black and trans. Killed by the Memphis PD for speaking up.

            by Marja E on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 05:20:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, on pronouns (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rserven, Marja E

          As far as I, personally, am concerned, you can use whatever pronouns you want on me. I do like the male ones but am not at all offended by female ones.

          In general, people under the trans* umbrella typically prefer to be referred to by the pronouns of the gender they present as.

          For those of us who consider ourselves transsexual or identify specifically as transgender (in the sense of feeling like a member of the opposite gender), consistent use of the pronouns of the preferred sex/gender is ideal.

          For those who shift among different gender presentations abruptly (drag kings/queens, crossdressers) it's usually preferred that you shift pronouns along with them.

          For those with a more fluid sense of gender (genderqueers, genderfluid, androgynes) the only thing to do is ask. And remember that some of them are actually trying to fuck with you, me, and the entire idea of binary sex/gender.

          Every horror committed by man begins with the lie that some man is not a man. - Jyrinx

          by kyril on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 03:34:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Always interesting topic (8+ / 0-)

    I guess for me what got me to realize that my concepts of gender were outdated was when I got into the library at high school and started reading about hermaphrodites and other intersexed people. At some point it became obvious that our so called "norms" were just not adequate to describe these people. Add to that our knowledge about chimeras and how genes alone don't determine expression of sexual characteristics and the whole concept of genetic sexual identity becomes ambiguous. In the end you have to let people be themselves.

    Wal*Mart isn't the root of all evil but you can buy the plastic, cadmium-tainted, Chinese knock-off of it there for $4.27

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 05:01:01 PM PDT

    •  There you go. (8+ / 0-)

      In the end you have to let people be themselves.

      When people ask me directly what my gender is, my preferred answer is , "Robyn."

    •  Absolutely! (6+ / 0-)

      When you see these documentarys on hermaphrodites and their parents making a decision as to which gender to assign - that opens up a whole new can of questions.  I don't know the answers to the big questions of the universe---i.e. past lives.  Lately, I've been thinking, in terms of sexuality, that in our culture a whole lot of people want to put aside the notion that we are animals.  We are human, but humans are animals people!  I don't belive in discrimination of any sort.  Yep, I'm a never-ending optimist, but I believe we are evolving out of discrimination towards "others" in the sexuality realm.

      "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

      by Dixiedemocrat on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 05:14:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Biodenialism (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rserven, kyril, Marja E

        Lately, I've been thinking, in terms of sexuality, that in our culture a whole lot of people want to put aside the notion that we are animals.  We are human, but humans are animals people!

        It's really the notion that humans are souls, not bodies and that we can overcome our biology (which we can, and then our loved ones hold services). It's as if the fact that we have to eat, sleep, urinate and defecate are somehow shameful (the prudes haven't figured out how to treat breathing as shameful yet, but I'm sure they'll find a way). Anything sexual, of course, is purely biological; angels are asexual.

        IMHO, many anti-gay arguments that appear to be coming from closet cases actually aren't; they're coming from plain-vanilla heterosexual men who have been brought up to believe that having and acting upon any sort of sexual desire is sinful. They've managed to persuade themselves, not very convincingly, that their own sex lives aren't based on following their desires, but rather on doing their duty. Therefore, they're threatened by gay people because we show them what a bad job they're doing with their rationalizations.

        Facts are sweet, but some people are factose intolerant

        by ebohlman on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 06:51:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  In the end (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rserven, Predictor, kyril, ontheleftcoast

      you have to accept people as they see themselves.

      (Pardon the slight edit.)

      We all have differences.  Some are just a little trickier to wrap our minds around.  But we're all still capable of being good neighbors and friends.

      I used to be Snow White...but I drifted.

      by john07801 on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 07:10:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks {{{robyn}}} for all the teaching you've (9+ / 0-)

    done here over the years. You are a wonderful asset to this blog and to all of us who have gotten to know you.

    What do we want??? Equal rights! When do we want them??? Right now!

    by tnichlsn on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 05:13:10 PM PDT

  •  That's a problem I have with teaching -- (6+ / 0-)

    every now & then, you have to start from the beginning. Sort of reminds me of collecting seashells as a kid -- I'd 'finish' one area, then go back to it later & there'd be new shells there. No such thing as finished, sometimes.

    This part:

    DNA is not a life sentence, but rather a suggestion.

    is something that the culture as a whole really needs to work on, from the basic scientific understanding of genetics to the notion that anything "unnatural" (in context, an impossibility) must be actively suppressed.

    rapid switch: did you change the rainbow logo? It looks different to me. Might be the monitor.

    another switch: don't suppose there's any chance you'll make it to the NYC meetup Tuesday?

  •  Michaelle (9+ / 0-)

    I met Michaelle on my first day as a teacher in a Vocational Technical School in 1974, located in very conservative small midwest town. I was scared to death to face that roomful of mostly young adults: I'd never taught adults before.  

    There in the very front row sat this slightly built young man with longish blonde hair, wearing a tank top and jeans, and full make up and nail polish. The seats on both side of him were vacant. I saw no "Michaelle" on the roster, only a "Michael". As I called roll and came to that name, he said, softly, with his head held high,  "I like to be called Michaelle." The class tittered and laughed behind their hands. And so it began: one of the most wonderful experiences of my career.

    Long story short, Michaelle taught us all more than I could have ever taught that class. It was very rough at first. Then I talked to her alone, and asked her if she was willing to tackle this head on, with the class, if I facilitated the discussion, and she said in a trembling voice.."I think I have to."

    Long story short, by the end of the year, that class had raised 5000.00 towards the cost of the surgery she so desperately wanted to have. She came to the graduation looking simply radiant in a beautiful dress and heels, and at least half of the guys asked her to dance at the party afterward, along with a couple of gals!

    We stayed in pretty close touch for several years, through her surgeries. I still get a card from her now and then. I will always be grateful for all she taught me, and a whole lot of others.  

  •  I'm a proud papa. (6+ / 0-)

    I picked up my daughter (a high school sophomore) from school today and she told me she'd had a tough day. I asked why...

    It turns out the Gay-Straight Alliance had participated in the:

    Day of Silence,
    "On the National Day of Silence hundreds of thousands of students nationwide take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools. "

    She said not a word all day, handing the following note to her teachers and anyone else who asked why she wasn't talking.

    Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT bullying, name-calling and harassment. I believe that ending the silence is the fi rst step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today.

    DAY of SILENCE
    What are you going to do to end the Silence?

    She helped organize the club at the beginning of the year as a brand new school club. I couldn't be more proud. If the kids' attitudes are changing, I can start to believe we can end the discrimination one day.

    "Except for the few...we take home to experiment."
    - Tom Lehrer, "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park"

    by davewill on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 06:37:09 PM PDT

  •  A profound quote. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dadanation, rserven, KenBee, kyril

    Sex is between your legs.  Gender is between your ears.  Thus it is never your job to decide the gender of anyone besides you.

    And please try not to dehumanize us.

    R.I.P. CNN (1980-2010) We thought we knew ye. @vcthree

    by vcthree on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 09:06:48 PM PDT

    •  It made the most sense to say... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dadanation, kyril

      ...in an opening presentation.

      •  I'm still frustrated by the meanings of gender (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dadanation, rserven, kyril

        Sometimes it means what's between our ears, and sometimes it means what's between our neighbors.

        That's one of the reasons I'd like to see more diaries about knowing and discovering one's gender identity. If we can express the myriad ways that we can be trans, and the variation in the ways, that can show just what we may mean by gender identity. Because it's not exactly the same thing that the psychologists mean by it.

        Another reason I'd like to see more diaries about knowing, is because I'd like to help transsexual folks just finding out. An earlier start means an easier transition.

        Remember Duanna Johnson. Tortured by the Memphis PD for being black and trans. Killed by the Memphis PD for speaking up.

        by Marja E on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 09:36:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are two distinct meanings (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dadanation, rserven, Marja E

          There's gender performance - what gendered activities do I want to do? What gendered cultural signals do I want to send?

          And then there's gender identity - what gendered box do I want to be put in? Do I want to be socially sorted into "boys" or "girls," "men" or "women?" Or neither? Or both?

          Every horror committed by man begins with the lie that some man is not a man. - Jyrinx

          by kyril on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 10:28:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We should coordinate a diary series on how we (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rserven, Marja E

          each came out as Trans.

          •  Perhaps (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rserven

            There's just so much to say... and I'm nervous about starting.

            Remember Duanna Johnson. Tortured by the Memphis PD for being black and trans. Killed by the Memphis PD for speaking up.

            by Marja E on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 10:32:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Will you do a diary (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rserven

              describing the idea and making a poll with the options of servers like yahoo and gmail or facebook for group formation as the poll questions? From there we can coordinate who does what Trans diary when. I could see us making sure we are visible every day on Kos.

              Lifting the cloak of invisibility from our lives is the biggest step towards us being recognized as politically relevant.

  •  This is difficult.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven, kyril

    and thanks for helping us, myself included, deal with these issues and try to relieve the distress (and by distress, I mean the difficulty of trying for real understanding of our humanity in all it's complications) we all are trying to cope with.., but this, really???

    If you encounter someone and are unsure of that person's status, you can always ask.  You might even make a friend.

    For example, I just met someone, and her and the context had me wondering...yet to ask could be devastating to someone...and I will not ask unless I get a couple of strong cues, otherwise will mind my own business and deal with the person I see before me, not the who might you 'realllly be' , from my own confusions really.

    I am not a number, I'm a free man!

    by KenBee on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 10:27:29 PM PDT

  •  thank you robyn. thank you. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven, Marja E

    _

    There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

    by dadanation on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 10:32:05 PM PDT

    •  It is discouraging... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dadanation, TiaRachel

      ...that I can't even get people to vote in an f'ing poll about what I should do next.

      •  as a matter of course (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rserven, Marja E

        i rarely if ever vote in the polls in people's diaries.

        but i did vote in this one.

        i would ask you, had this been more of a class setting and you were constructing the next lesson/curriculum, what would YOU sequentially feel the most vital next component to be?

        my preference would be a diary that looks at gender identity versus gender expression versus gender performance.

        but that's just me.

        _

        There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

        by dadanation on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 04:16:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We need to do a series on how we each came out (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rserven

        Trans since you are our research maven I would suggest you include more public coming out stories to bring the ability of the reader to identify.

  •  Thanks for all your work, Robin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven, Marja E

    i voted for more info about discrimination against Transgender people because, as progressives, i think it's important for us to understand we're all little boats floating in the same ocean. We need to be reminded that when some of us are discriminated against, it becomes harder for the rest of us to achieve freedom, respect, equality, what have you. The divide and conquer thing. I recently wrote about Olivia Records, and Sandy Stone, who was their first sound engineer. It pained me more than i can say to have learned that a couple prominent feminists had applied pressure to the company over it, and ultimately left the company. As a teenage feminist in the late '70's living with a divorced mother, i was a big fan of the idea of Olivia Records.

    "Looks like we got ourselves a reader" - Bill Hicks

    by blueoregon on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 06:40:42 AM PDT

  •  Way back when I was new here on dkos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven

    I found your series on sexual identity (I forget exactly what you called that series).  It was very informative and incredibly moving.  I learned about a whole population that I knew nothing about.

    I think it would be good to separate (in your writings) the hateful from the ignorant from those who are both.

    There are some people you will never reach. So?  There are many you can reach.  

    So, I checked "other" because you didn't have "all of the above" (well, all but "shut up about it already", of course).

    There seems to be a widespread fear, in humans, of the "other" and transpeople are very other, so you have more to conquer in terms of the fear people have.  Your initial series conquered this, for me, in two ways - one, by providing information.  The other, by providing yourself.  Ah.  Once I know you, you aren't "transperson"  you are "a transperson".  You are Robyn.

    And I'm glad I know you.

    We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

    by plf515 on Sat Apr 17, 2010 at 08:20:22 AM PDT

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