How to think about trans people

Group: Calif. Transgender Law Repeal Will Qualify (AP, CBS Sacramento, 2013-11-11) wrote:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Opponents of a new California law that gives transgender students certain rights said Sunday that they had collected enough signatures for an initiative that would repeal the law.

A coalition of conservative groups called Privacy for all Students submitted 620,000 signatures to get the initiative on the November 2014 ballot, said Frank Schubert, the political strategist handling the signature gathering effort.

It's like prop 8 all over again. Wheeeee.

There were definitely some problems with how the signatures were collected at times (people making outrageous claims about the law while collecting signatures). But it's unclear that this was a systematic problem. *sigh*

Hypatian wrote:
Group: Calif. Transgender Law Repeal Will Qualify (AP, CBS Sacramento, 2013-11-11) wrote:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Opponents of a new California law that gives transgender students certain rights said Sunday that they had collected enough signatures for an initiative that would repeal the law.

A coalition of conservative groups called Privacy for all Students submitted 620,000 signatures to get the initiative on the November 2014 ballot, said Frank Schubert, the political strategist handling the signature gathering effort.

It's like prop 8 all over again. Wheeeee.

There were definitely some problems with how the signatures were collected at times (people making outrageous claims about the law while collecting signatures). But it's unclear that this was a systematic problem. *sigh*

So is the main thrust of the opposition pretty much, "I don't want boys in the girls bathrooms"? Or is there something more nuanced (not necessarily logical or fair) that I'm missing?

No, that's pretty much it. There's the strong underlying current of "all trans people are f*cking perverts by definition and therefore not to be trusted", but mostly it boils down to "even though there are no documented cases of this ever being abused in any of the places where it's been either policy or law, we think it's wrong wrong wrong and will spread misleading news stories and shock-factor advertising to stop it."

In case you don't read the depression thread

/raises hand

Hi, I'm Garden Ninja, and I might be a transwoman.

Really confused. Not sure and I don't want to self diagnose, but yeah... it would explain a lot.

*hugs* I just went and read through the thread. I'm glad you'll be talking with your therapist about things and trying to figure stuff out. It's sad to me that being trans is such a big deal in our society that we feel compelled to hold even the possibility back from the people who we ought to be most open with.

Anyway, wishing you the best. There are other complicated relationships one can have with gender, rather than just being trans straight across the binary... I hope that talking things out with your therapist will help you figure out where you are and where you want to be, and that that will help you be happier over-all.

[[[[hug]]]]

Hypatian wrote:

*hugs* I just went and read through the thread. I'm glad you'll be talking with your therapist about things and trying to figure stuff out. It's sad to me that being trans is such a big deal in our society that we feel compelled to hold even the possibility back from the people who we ought to be most open with.

Anyway, wishing you the best. There are other complicated relationships one can have with gender, rather than just being trans straight across the binary... I hope that talking things out with your therapist will help you figure out where you are and where you want to be, and that that will help you be happier over-all.

[[[[hug]]]]

Thanks. While I know things are more complicated than just binary gender, it's the thing I can wrap my head around at the moment.

The stupid thing is that my ex/roommate/hopefully-future-partner (god this is complex) is really supportive and accepting. She said "this would explain why you let me put a corset on you, and were goofy and flirty wearing it". Yeah, it kind of does. She wants to go to Torrid next payday and pick out a dress.

Garden Ninja wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

*hugs* I just went and read through the thread. I'm glad you'll be talking with your therapist about things and trying to figure stuff out. It's sad to me that being trans is such a big deal in our society that we feel compelled to hold even the possibility back from the people who we ought to be most open with.

Anyway, wishing you the best. There are other complicated relationships one can have with gender, rather than just being trans straight across the binary... I hope that talking things out with your therapist will help you figure out where you are and where you want to be, and that that will help you be happier over-all.

[[[[hug]]]]

Thanks. While I know things are more complicated than just binary gender, it's the thing I can wrap my head around at the moment.

The stupid thing is that my ex/roommate/hopefully-future-partner (god this is complex) is really supportive and accepting. She said "this would explain why you let me put a corset on you, and were goofy and flirty wearing it". Yeah, it kind of does. She wants to go to Torrid next payday and pick out a dress.

Life is weird, relationships are complicated, talking is good, non-binary makes it easier to find a niche (raises hand) but there's a flavor for everyone. We should hang out soon.

(Also, I will happily tag along on any forthcoming window-shopping/money-shopping trips)

clover wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

*hugs* I just went and read through the thread. I'm glad you'll be talking with your therapist about things and trying to figure stuff out. It's sad to me that being trans is such a big deal in our society that we feel compelled to hold even the possibility back from the people who we ought to be most open with.

Anyway, wishing you the best. There are other complicated relationships one can have with gender, rather than just being trans straight across the binary... I hope that talking things out with your therapist will help you figure out where you are and where you want to be, and that that will help you be happier over-all.

[[[[hug]]]]

Thanks. While I know things are more complicated than just binary gender, it's the thing I can wrap my head around at the moment.

The stupid thing is that my ex/roommate/hopefully-future-partner (god this is complex) is really supportive and accepting. She said "this would explain why you let me put a corset on you, and were goofy and flirty wearing it". Yeah, it kind of does. She wants to go to Torrid next payday and pick out a dress.

Life is weird, relationships are complicated, talking is good, non-binary makes it easier to find a niche (raises hand) but there's a flavor for everyone. We should hang out soon.

(Also, I will happily tag along on any forthcoming window-shopping/money-shopping trips)

Thanks! Yeah, we should hang out.

Window shopping would be easier I think to start. Actual shopping was exciting when I was drunk; now it's kind of scary.

Garden Ninja wrote:

Thanks. While I know things are more complicated than just binary gender, it's the thing I can wrap my head around at the moment.

Yeah, that's just me trying to hedge because I want to be all like "OMG, another trans person! Neat!"

Hypatian wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:

Thanks. While I know things are more complicated than just binary gender, it's the thing I can wrap my head around at the moment.

Yeah, that's just me trying to hedge because I want to be all like "OMG, another trans person! Neat!" :D

Woohoo! Confused and slightly tentative high five!

Garden Ninja wrote:

Woohoo! Confused and slightly tentative high five!

I checked the index, I don't think that's a thing.

It should be, probably.

Random thought: one of my design clients does voice training and wants me to feature it more prominently as I put together her new materials.

Voice training thing: Cool. Voices are one of those complicated complicated things...

Lauren McNamara (also known as Zinnia Jones) wrote some rather heated words about the activity around California's AB 1266:

Transgender women in women’s restrooms: A purely imagined harm (Lauren McNamara, Freethought Blogs, 2013-11-12) wrote:

They talk about “rights” as they try to kick her out of a public restroom. They talk about “respect” when they can’t even bring themselves to respect her gender. They talk about “private parts” while making international news out of someone’s anatomy. They offer their meaningless and condescending prayers while refusing to do anything that could actually help this girl. They call it a “problem” when their daughters are “uncomfortable” in the face of no harassment and no inappropriate behavior, yet they have no problem with harassing one girl until she’s almost too uncomfortable to go on living. They don’t even care.

And they think they’re the ones who are uncomfortable? They’re the ones who are “a little bit nervous”? We’re the ones who have to live in the constant fear that just using the restroom might mean encountering someone who doesn’t like how our faces look, how our voices sound, how our necks are shaped, or how tall we are. We have to live with the possibility that at any moment, no matter how unimpeachable our behavior may be, cis people can single us out, question the legitimacy of our gender, and make such an issue of it that it becomes a worldwide headline. And the world will think we’re the ones who did something wrong. We fear this because it’s actually happened countless times before, and it’s certainly going to happen again. Each of us fears that we might be next.

Seems like this year is going to be a good time to support the Transgender Law Center (whose website seems kind of hosed), the National Center for Transgender Equality, and other such organizations.

Edited to add this piece about what exactly the shift in focus of these organizations like NOM to anti-trans-rights efforts could mean, based on what happened historically when anti-abortion groups shifted their focus to anti-gay-rights in order to raise funding.

What the National Organization for Marriage's Shift to Trans-Bashing Means (Michelangelo Signorile, HuffPost Blog, 2013-11-12) wrote:

During the '80s and early '90s, amid the darkest years of the AIDS epidemic and well before the reality of marriage equality, conservative religious groups that were focused on battling against abortion rights would sometimes meet with limited success. The groups often shifted into gay-bashing campaigns (augmenting the work of lesser-known, diehard anti-gay activists) as a way to raise lots of money to re-energize their anti-abortion crusades. The Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA), for example, got an initiative on the ballot in that state in 1990 to require parental notification for abortions by minors. It failed, and the OCA came back in 1992 with Measure 9, which would have had the Oregon Constitution deem "homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism and masochism as abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse."

That failed too, but not until after a long, brutal campaign punctuated by hate and violence in which the OCA and other groups raised a lot of money. The issue of gay and lesbian rights was always a cash cow, because there was much fear and misunderstanding about gays, a tiny and often invisible minority at the time. AIDS only exacerbated that, as the right exploited a panic over the epidemic and further stigmatized gays as diseased, dirty and disgusting. Radical right groups promoted fear and ignorance, putting money in their coffers for the larger ideological battles they were waging against women's right to choose, secular society, free speech and what they saw as widespread sexual immorality -- battles that have re-energized them over the years and which they are still waging, sometimes with alarming success (as evidenced by recent anti-abortion legislation in the states), using the Republican Party to do it.

I really hope that history doesn't repeat in the way he suggests it may. :l

Ok, so gender confusion is confusing. Duh.

I'm doubting that my case is simply being on the wrong side of the binary. Without getting too graphic... uh, one day I'll want a particular set of parts, and the next I'll want the other.

I know for a fact that the gender expectations put on men in this culture stress me out. I can't live up to them and I don't want to. Some of it is stupid stuff, like for the longest time I was super conscious about how I stood because a random girl in high school gym class gave me sh*t for standing with my weight on one foot, rather than legs spread and evenly weighted because the latter is more masculine. Or why I've kept my hair "masculine" because some random dude (also in high school) at a time when I kept my hair long, and well conditioned came up to me in the lunch room and asked me if I was a guy or a girl. Or keeping my nails really short because my ex wife (of all people) said something really transphobic (I forget the details) to me when I had happened not to have trimmed my nails in a while.

And honestly, while I feel like the "I want to be not a dude" or at least "I can't live up to the expectations of dudedom and don't want to" feelings are kind of always there just under the surface, the "I think I want to be a woman" feelings only seem to come up -- in recent memory anyway -- in times of intense stress. I don't know if that means that the stress has cracked open my defenses and my real feelings are exposed, or if they come up as a way to escape the stress. That's part of why I hesitated to post earlier: because I really don't know. I wish shape changing tech existed so I could just change when I wanted to, without it being a big deal.

In any case, I think I'm going to try on the label Genderqueer for size for a while. Which is really just a way of saying I need to learn to be comfortable with myself, and stop worrying about other people's labels for me. I want to experiment with clothing and hairstyles and such and find what works for me, regardless of whether it fits into the binary. Maybe this is a step towards trans, maybe not, but I think it's what I need to do for now, while I think about the rest.

Garden Ninja wrote:

Ok, so gender confusion is confusing. Duh.

I'm doubting that my case is simply being on the wrong side of the binary. Without getting too graphic... uh, one day I'll want a particular set of parts, and the next I'll want the other.

I know for a fact that the gender expectations put on men in this culture stress me out. I can't live up to them and I don't want to. Some of it is stupid stuff, like for the longest time I was super conscious about how I stood because a random girl in high school gym class gave me sh*t for standing with my weight on one foot, rather than legs spread and evenly weighted because the latter is more masculine. Or why I've kept my hair "masculine" because some random dude (also in high school) at a time when I kept my hair long, and well conditioned came up to me in the lunch room and asked me if I was a guy or a girl. Or keeping my nails really short because my ex wife (of all people) said something really transphobic (I forget the details) to me when I had happened not to have trimmed my nails in a while.

And honestly, while I feel like the "I want to be not a dude" or at least "I can't live up to the expectations of dudedom and don't want to" feelings are kind of always there just under the surface, the "I think I want to be a woman" feelings only seem to come up -- in recent memory anyway -- in times of intense stress. I don't know if that means that the stress has cracked open my defenses and my real feelings are exposed, or if they come up as a way to escape the stress. That's part of why I hesitated to post earlier: because I really don't know. I wish shape changing tech existed so I could just change when I wanted to, without it being a big deal.

In any case, I think I'm going to try on the label Genderqueer for size for a while. Which is really just a way of saying I need to learn to be comfortable with myself, and stop worrying about other people's labels for me. I want to experiment with clothing and hairstyles and such and find what works for me, regardless of whether it fits into the binary. Maybe this is a step towards trans, maybe not, but I think it's what I need to do for now, while I think about the rest.

Reading about your open exploration of yourself here is making me a bit giddy - I'm excited for you, I'm so happy that you're looking forward and just trying to find out about yourself. To hell with fitting perfectly into some little box that makes other people feel better about you!

Everything here is positive - even not knowing, and knowing that you don't know, seems like a step forward to me.

Anyway, just wanted to squee over this as a show of total support and encouragement.

Mimble wrote:

Reading about your open exploration of yourself here is making me a bit giddy - I'm excited for you, I'm so happy that you're looking forward and just trying to find out about yourself. To hell with fitting perfectly into some little box that makes other people feel better about you!

Everything here is positive - even not knowing, and knowing that you don't know, seems like a step forward to me.

Anyway, just wanted to squee over this as a show of total support and encouragement. :D

Thanks!:D I know that actually changing my perspective so I'm not always thinking about that box will be a lot of work. Old habits are hard to break, especially if they are the result of 3 decade of trying to be someone you're not. Simply being mindful of the box will help though, and I'm hoping that coming out will help me stay that way.

I struggled with that box for quite a while, even while starting to change my presentation. It's a tough habit to get out of.

I think the biggest thing through my whole experience has been reaching the point where I finally feel I can stop having to lie to people about who I am all the time. Sure, the details are complicated... but in the end, it's all about being myself. Feeling free to even figure out who that is, who I really am, who I really [em]want[/em] to be... Wow. What a difference.

That first (big) step felt pretty good, though. "I know that there are all sorts of things I've been doing just to [em]fit in[/em], and that a lot of them just aren't me. It's been so long that I don't even know which parts are and which parts aren't. But... heck, there's nothing stopping me from experimenting, just with little changes in my life, to see how it goes!"

Human beings are such complicated things.

Mimble wrote:

Reading about your open exploration of yourself here is making me a bit giddy - I'm excited for you, I'm so happy that you're looking forward and just trying to find out about yourself. To hell with fitting perfectly into some little box that makes other people feel better about you!

Everything here is positive - even not knowing, and knowing that you don't know, seems like a step forward to me.

Anyway, just wanted to squee over this as a show of total support and encouragement. :D

+1!

I had to look up Gender Fluid vs Gender Queer. It appears, based on at least one site, that GF is a subset of GQ, which makes sense. GF is where I feel I fit right now. I fluctuate.

I mentioned that stress brings these feelings out. They are not pushing constantly at my thoughts now, and that may be because I feel free of my relationship, or because I've started allowing myself to express "girly" in some ways.

I've stopped worrying so much about how I stand, and I bought myself a plushie to sleep with. Last night I went out for a drink and hot wings alone. I had on my leather jacket, and I felt strong and masculine, but I came home and snuggled into a pillow nest with my plushie for bed.

Garden Ninja wrote:

I've stopped worrying so much about how I stand, and I bought myself a plushie to sleep with. Last night I went out for a drink and hot wings alone. I had on my leather jacket, and I felt strong and masculine, but I came home and snuggled into a pillow nest with my plushie for bed.

There's something deeply empowering about this paragraph. I hope we can all eff the haters and be who we are with pride and confidence. (And respect for others. Sorry, Hitler.)

That's putting it mildly. This is clearly a case in which the children's best interest was definitely not upheld. I'm just seething right now.
I disagree with the article, though, I actually think it is discriminatory for the grandparents to be hateful to their son-in-law. But obviously, yes, they're right, the courts have no right to rule in their favor. It's just wrong. Especially when you know how many very, very bad parents there are out there. Just makes me so angry, especially since I've seen the fallout of this in the ER.

On a happier note, I've been lurking a while, and just wanted to echo Mimble's "squee over this as a show of total support and encouragement" towards GardenNinja. It can't be easy, but you're moving forward, right?

Last week, a court removed the twins from their home and gave custody to the grandparents.

Wait... WHAT?! WHAT THE FLYING F*CK?!

Without any demonstrable harm to the children... they just took them away from their parents and gave them to their grandparents (who I'd be willing to bet being older, are going to have something of a harder time handling the two concurrent terrible-two's)?!

*brain ragequits*

Wow, ugh. This is not an uncommon sort of occurrence for trans parents who have split with their partners... but to remove custody from both parents when they've not done anything wrong and are still together (and in fact were together before deciding to bring children into the world) is taking things to a ridiculous level. :l

The worst prejudice in this case is not that of the grandparents, it is that of the public officials who've decided that a transgender parent is a good enough reason to remove custody, despite lack of any lawbreaking or reported harm to the children. It's basically saying "you harm your children just by existing". Just... ugh.

As usual, some of the comments are infuriating, too. #18 bugged me for a number of reasons.

Time for reality check. When someone makes the decision to transition a woman goes outside, the chance of losing employment being raped should always be taken into account.

With the added bonus of "in most places in the U.S., firing someone or refusing to hire them because they're trans is totally legal". And, socially acceptable. Doesn't matter if they're transitioning on the job, have transitioned, or haven't transitioned, or even don't intend to. Doesn't matter if you're really trans or if people just suspect that you are. (And hey, all of this goes for being gay, too.) And if you live in one of the places where you are protected, good luck proving it.

Which, sadly, means that yes, people do have to take that into account pretty seriously. :l I wish it weren't so, but until a law like ENDA finally gets signed, it's something we have to think about. And after, well, then at least we'll be able to say that "No, I shouldn't have to think about that, legally. I still do have to think about it, but it's because people break the law."

But there is of course a big space between "people can legally fire you for any reason they care to that isn't forbidden by law" and "the court system needs a legal justification for removing custody of children from their parents".

In this case, it sounds like the father transitioned a while back and it isn't obvious to people that he's trans, to the extent that the grandparents had to be [em]told[/em]. So it all comes down to "you're an unfit parent because of what kind of plumbing you had when you were born, and your wife is an unfit parent because she's OK with that."

On Transgender Day of Remembrance we want to honor all of the people who died. We want to make sure that they are not forgotten. One way to do this is to celebrate the lives of trans* people and appreciate those we still have with us. So today we're presenting you a list of some of the awesome things that trans* people did this year and some of the victories that we've won.

I say Yay to Hypatian, for teaching me awesome things this year.

Demosthenes wrote:

I say Yay to Hypatian, for teaching me awesome things this year. :D

Hyp, Hyp, Hooray!

IMAGE(http://www.kazoos.com/images2/greenplain.jpg)IMAGE(http://s4.evcdn.com/images/block/I0-001/013/625/935-5.jpeg_/4th-july-fireworks-spectacular-35.jpeg)