Saturday, February 27, 2010

I don't hate the "religious" right!

The "religious" right isn't evil, they just do evil things. I don't hate them, I hate the things they do. I hate the sins they commit: lying, grasping for power, harming people with their actions and words, their pride, arrogance, etc.

I believe they should be pushed to the margins of society, along with their philosophical compatriots, the white supremacists, so the ideals of our country, equality under the law for all deserving citizens, can move forward towards reality.

If they keep committing those sins, I think they should be arrested and imprisoned. They certainly shouldn't be able to marry or have kids - they might infect their kids with their heinous religious beliefs or abuse them by taking them to indocrination programs disguised as summer camps. They should never be allowed to serve in the military (a "religious" right wing person with a gun? Shades of Al Qaida!), or be able to have jobs in places where their coworkers disagree with their militant religious rhetoric. If people see them on the street they ought to show their disgust and approbation by calling them humiliating names and, if they are really being blatant about shoving their hateful practices down the throats of others by proselytizing, by applying the amount of force required to convince them and all their followers to stop.

But really, I don't hate them at all.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Making trouble? Of course!

Perennial "troublemaker," Antonia D'orsay, has asked the LGTB community a series of questions on The Bilerico Project:

1. Why should the LGBT split apart?

2. Why can't people other trans folk speak out on trans topics?

3. Why should the LGBT stay together?

4. Why should people accept letting trans people go from legislation?

5. Why should people accept letting gay men go from legislation?

6. Why are we all allies to each other instead of part of one another?

7. Why do people think there isn't an LGBT community?

8. Why do people think there is an LGBT community?

9. Why don't we start our own political party?

10. What makes a person part of the problem, instead of part of the solution or someone outside the whole issue?

The first 8 questions have, as an underlying assumption, something that's not true - that there are no trans lesbian and gay people so it's actually possible to split the community along those lines. I can't answer these questions without accepting this assumption, something I cannot do without denying the existence of at least part of who I am.

As far as question 9 is concerned, well, what possible good would it do in the political structure that exists in the United States? Even if it were possible to unite those who hold the extremely divergent political beliefs within the TBGL community it would use up so much energy and have so little beneficial effect on the fight for equality that I think it would be a waste of time.

The last question, #10, "What makes a person part of the problem, instead of part of the solution or someone outside the whole issue?" That one made me stop and wonder. How do I define someone who is part of the problem? How do I define the problem in the first place? I have to do that before I even start to consider the criteria for answering question #10. Is this referring to the problem of unity within the greater GBLT community? Is it the problem of the entire community's political and/or social oppression?

I suspect Ms D'orsay framed these questions in such an ambiguous way on purpose, to explore and expose LBTG people's prejudices and bad assumptions. The Deity knows there are all too many of us that hold such prejudices and bad assumptions, many times without even realizing it. It behooves us to follow the old advice about making the world a better place: Start with the one person you are certain to have control over. Yourself.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dallas Area Regional Transit throws woman under the bus

One of the most trying, and frightening aspects of transition for me was having my name changed and then personally having to go to all the organizations, stores, banks, etc. that have records of me, to make the changes in their databases. New York State requires that a legal name change be published in an official legal notice that contains the person's old name, current address and new name before it's finalized. Coming home from work the day mine was published, I half expected to see a mob with torches and pitchforks at my door. Fortunately, no one noticed. Makes me wonder why they call them "legal notices."

A woman in Dallas, an employee of the Dallas Area Regional Transit (DART) system went through a similar process in her state, for a gender marker change instead of a name change, but for her the process didn't turn out as well. Actually, not very well at all. When she went to her employer with the court order asking them to change their records, instead of acquiescing, they went back to court and started the preliminary steps in order to sue, prompting the judge who originally gave the order to rescind it! Just think about this for a minute. Say you had a change done in your life, maybe you got married. Say you went to your employer and asked them to change your last name to your spouse's and update the records to indicate you were married and, instead of complying with your request, your employer went to court which promptly nullified your marriage. How would you feel about that?

This woman had her genital realignment surgery three years earlier. She made compromises with previous transphobic policies that her employer instituted against her. She followed medically established, international, standards of care, willingly went through the legal and common practice for changing her records yet her employer decided she was not qualified to determine how she would be known to the world. And the judge who gave the order rescinded it because of pressure from DART attorneys who used the fact that their nondiscrimination rules prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation but didn't include gender identity.

This is an example of how cissexual (opposite of transsexual) society negates and oppresses those who are born with the condition known as Gender Identity Disorder. The state told this woman, "I don't care who you say you are. You will be what WE tell you to be!" It also shows the egregious harm that can still happen to gender variant people when, as is the case in New York State, sexual orientation is covered in nondiscrimination rules and laws but gender identity isn't.

It's also a perfect example of why this country need to pass the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) that is currently in Congress waiting for action. After eight years of waiting, New York is no closer to providing civil rights protections for its gender variant citizens and we surely don;t have to be told that this kind of law won't be passed in Texas anytime soon. ENDA needs to be passed and signed by the president. Sexual orientation and gender identity also need to be specifically added to the groups protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To do any less is to passively approve what happened to that woman in Dallas and what happens all over the country against people because of who they love and who they are.

Friday, February 19, 2010

How time flies!

Good golly, it's been two months since I published my last entry!

[snark] I must be having fun, the time has flown by so quickly! [/snark]

To be honest, I find I have numerous ideas about things to write about, things I care about and that about which I believe I have something to say. Then, the second thought is, "Well, someone else has probably written about the same thing, and much better than I ever could," or, "Who would ever really care about what I have to say?" While these are legitimate questions they certainly aren't really good criteria on which to base my decisions about what to write or whether to write anything at all and I find they are just excuses that I make to mask the reality that I just don't feel good enough to do it, or to do it "right." Self-esteem, it appears, is a problem here and I think it's a big problem for many people but for trans people, it's huge.

All my life, I was made to feel inadequate because I could not or did not fulfill the expectations of masculine behavior that my genitalia imposed. It was rarely overt, although that did happen, but it was pervasive although unsaid. That generated a belief in my own general inferiority, one that, looking back, was a big reason for my underachiever status.

So, with the goal of denying the spurious belief in my inferiority I plan to be more active on this blog. I'll work at saying things, even if I believe underneath it all, that I'm screwing it up or that it's unimportant. I will instead just send this stuff out into the ether and let others be the judge and, should they judge it even a little worthwhile, then I will have succeeded.