I have far too much, yet nothing to share. Just wanted you all to know I am still out here. I hope to get back on track someday soon. Until then, please hold for the next available representative.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Today is the ninth anniversary of the brutal murder of Gwen Araujo, killed by a group of “normal teenage” boys merely because she was transgendered. Much has changed in the nine years since. With the changes in military standards that previously banned homosexuals from military service…
I must digress. No, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was NOT the ban on gays in the military. That prohibition dates back to the Articles of War adopted by the military in 1916. Look it up. DADT was the rule change (albeit misguided) that made it possible for gays to qualify for military service by keeping their orientation private. (They used to ask you if you were gay in the multi-million-question entrance interview, DADT removed that question.) Technically, a simple repeal of DADT would have reinforced the original ban restricting gays from enlisting. I really wish people would quit calling the rule change that allows gays to openly enlist in military service the “repeal of DADT.” It drives me crazy, because it proves that we as a society can be fooled into anything. Sorry, back to my point.
… Chaz Bono making headlines as the first trans person to compete on Dancing With the Stars, the “It Gets Better” campaign, and the increasing attention on marriage equality; LGBT issues are at center stage in the great social debate. But with all this press, some things have not changed.
“According to the Transgender Day of Remembrance Web site, there have been 143 transgender homicides in 2009, and it is estimated that an anti-transgender murder occurs every three days.” Statistics suggest that those crimes increased by 23% in 2010. And in 2011, the same year we are watching Chaz on TV, a trans woman was brutally attacked in a Baltimore McDonald’s, because she needed to use the restroom. An employee on duty, opted to record the attack rather than get help. This does not even touch the continued high rate of suicides among trans youth, and the continued incidents of bullying directed toward the entire LGBT community. Something is still very wrong.
Can we fix it? I hope we can. It starts with remembering our past.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
It is interesting how polluted life can become by forces that do not align with our identities. I have had an increasingly difficult time maintaining a positive state of mind in this limbo-esque environment currently consuming my daily life. The struggle is most difficult on the weekends. Those are days I know I should be enjoying, when I know that my life is good; and yet my mood is sullen. The problem - yes, I know fully what is wrong - lies in the fact that I am progressing without progress - or without the perception of it. I am changing – my life is evolving, and I am living portions of it very close to the vision I have for the future. Yet, I continue to make the journey – a journey that is growing longer and more painful – back to maleness each week.
I still have moments of discomfort, and I still have barriers to transcend, but I feel more each day that I am mentally and emotionally ready to make the final break from the male aspects of my life. Even my physical changes seem to be accelerating to that end. I do not think I can adequately describe the tension I feel resulting from this discord. I long for the moment when gender issues are no longer even a passing thought, when my morning contemplation of the contents of my closet has nothing to do with the need to mask who I am. I think (and I hope) that day may not be too long in the future.
It seems the universe is beginning to align with my spirit, or vice versa, or perhaps we are meeting in the middle. With the exception of a couple phone conversations, I do not recall being addressed as sir even once over the last week – outside of work, of course. In fact, (and I was elated to say the least!) during one particular shopping trip last week, my wife and I were actually addressed as “ladies!” I had done nothing to present myself differently than I have over the last several months. My sunglasses held my hair, I wore jeans and a t-shirt, and I wore only the slightest eye makeup. For the first time (under “normal” circumstances), I was perceived as female. It was a massive dose of affirmation that I sorely needed.
I know that I am changing; there is no question. Physical changes aside – and yes, those are many – I am changing. My self-confidence is improving; I am growing more comfortable maneuvering through public places and integrating into daily life. I am changing, and the results are unmistakable. Just the other day, I drove into the queue at a tire and lube place to have my oil changed. As the attendant approached my car, he began to greet me. His arrival at “sir” coincided perfectly with my stepping out of my car, and he stopped himself mid-hiss! “How are you today, ssss… How are you today?” He started to say it, but stopped himself the moment he saw me. I had come from work. I was dressed like a boy.
THAT was a good day.
Those moments both affirm and confound me. They deepen my resolve and make it that much harder to go back to drab. They are good though. They reinforce what I have always known, and they encourage me to keep going. And I will.
Have a great week!