Monday, December 31, 2012

How Beautiful is This?

This amazingly touching and beautiful commercial came to me via the wonderful web site "We Happy Trans*" We see so many embarassing, demeaning depictions of trans people in the media. Ads where the trans person or their "ambiguity" is the punch line. This one makes me proud and gives me hope, and makes me cry...

And please explore Jen's terrific We Happy Trans* site. She is part of the lovely newer generation of trans people who are coming into a positive time where shame may become a useless thing of the past!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Floor Please?


It's been a whole/just 2 months since I came out to everyone and prepared to live my life full time as an honest "Me."  I look back and can't believe that I ever lived any other way! It has been fantastic at work and the people have been wonderful. I am amazingly more engaged with (almost) everyone in my life! On Friday I had lunch with a business friend and we just had simple girl chat and talked about friends and family, the holidays, work-life balance, manicures and coloring hair. What the heck did I talk about back in September at lunches? I Dunno!

Before I went to lunch, one of my co-workers, "B" got a call from a mutual friend, "J", who was unexpectedly early in the lobby of our building and taking B to lunch. B had to "stop off in private" before she went down so I trotted off to see J downstairs. As I headed out I asked B, "Oh, does J know that I've made changes?'"  B said, "No, but she'll be fine."  Well I get down there, step off the elevator and J's jaw drops and she rushes over and gave me a huge hug! She grabbed my face and looked me in the eyes and started to cry. We both stood there sniffing and weeping and carrying on until B came down and then the three of us hugged and wept and carried on! J's face and her energy reminded me so much of my departed Mom many years ago that when she said, "I am just so proud of you!" I just about lost it. It was so affirming and I felt so Loved.

The thing that makes me feel so Blessed is that the love and acceptance I got from J is what I've gotten from so many people. I cannot believe how lucky I have been! I know so very very many trans people who have had such suffering and so much pain. I had accepted that I would have that also, especially since it is what I always had in the past. But I haven't had that, and I feel like I've won the Grand Prize! Sometimes I worry that someone is going to tap me on the shoulder and tell me that there was a mistake and they need to take me back where I was. I also try to tone it down with my trans peers  because I don't want to come off like some boastful thing. I know that my experience is not typical,  but I think it's getting more feasible every day! It is possible. But again, my life is not typical.

So the loss? I can't run into work 15 minutes after I roll out of bed any more, but that's bad for your constitution anyway. I have also lost whatever tenuous relationship I had with my son and daughter in law, and grandson. And that is hard. I reached out to them and asked about us coming by to drop off Christmas and Grandson  Birthday presents. I said I would do Guy but that I wasn't going to get a haircut or have my nails soaked off. I would not be who I am everywhere else. My son replied quite flatly, "No." He said that any "dressing" was too much and they would not have their son exposed to me. 

I am "dangerous." 

I know I didn't raise a bigot so I guess he learned it somewhere else. I sent them a politely pointed email in reply saying how I felt and that they could expect me to keep reaching out to them. It also pointed out that I had tried to compromise and been rejected and that I had been patient and told that patience would not be rewarded. And I couldn't help but underscore that I have a conservatively estimated 150 people in my life who accept me including politically conservative LDS Moms, Marines and Harvard educated attorneys and that my son and daughter in law represented the only two total people who have flatly rejected me. That's a 98.7% approval rating and I consider that a landslide victory! Their total rejection does hurt. And I may not see my grandson, or the second baby they are expecting, for many years, if ever again, but I would have to say it is still completely worth it for the amazing improvement in the way I feel about life. 

Every growth journey involves some loss. The hope is that the tears of joy can balance out the tears of pain. So far for me the tears of joy are winning!

Monday, December 3, 2012


I posted this on my favorite Canadian newspaper blog. There is a bill in the Canadian Parliament to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to include gender identity and expression protections. The element of the bill that has raised the most "kerfuffle" is restroom access for trans people. Yup! The old chestnut of "Trannies in the Ladies Room!" (And, yes, I advisedly used the potentially inflammatory word "trannies" specifically due to it's emotional tone)  Conservative Canadians have drug out the imagined threat of sexual predators invading the women's restroom to carry out assaults on natal women and children. I am seriously looking for any record of any such assault having ever taken place!!! This search is becoming a hobby for me...  And I don't mean embarrassing Colleen Francis episodes where individual judgment and social comfort diverge, I mean actual incidents involving predatory behavior carried out by trans people in restrooms. So please, comment and re-post and help me find actual evidence!

I have been following Ottawa's progress on Bill C-279 with keen interest. I'm frustrated but not surprised to see it bogging down on the washroom issue. I understand the underlying feelings about allowing trans people into the Ladies room. What I don't understand is the rationale applied that there is a very specific threat of child molesters invading these spaces for predatory purposes. This meme keeps surfacing in North America and I just can't help but wonder what tiny kernel of fact can back it up?

Not long ago I spent a weekend of free internet time doggedly trying to find evidence that any trans person, or anyone pretending to be a trans person, had ever lurked in a restroom with criminal intent. All I could find were dozens and dozens of hits where people raised the dire warning of the impending threat of predators just waiting to be descend once they were given free rein. The closest I came was one young trans woman who used the men's  room for a semi-consensual encounter with an underage teenage boy. There are many jurisdictions where trans women are allowed to use the Ladies room. Why haven't those areas seen cases of trans or faux-trans people lurking in the washroom?

Well, what else did I find in my Google frenzy? A frightening number of trans women who had been harassed or assaulted for using the women's bathroom. One young trans woman in the U.S. was beaten into a seizure at a fast food restaurant for using the women's room. I found a website ( that provides a directory of safe places for trans people to relieve themselves. I found reasonable people using these incidents and statistics to push for accommodations allowing trans people access to safe facilities. So yes, I did find evidence of a persistent threat of violence at the door of the women's washroom. It's just not the one that legislators in Ottawa, or Tennessee or any number of places, are bellowing about. It's the threat that an entitled majority posses to a minority. 

So here, again, I implore anyone to show links to real factual evidence of dangerous trans people prowling restrooms. I'm sure someone will bring up the person in a Texas hospital who was confronted when using a women's room who also had a criminal record of sexual crimes. But that logic would also keep anyone who had ever written a bad check from using a bank or anyone who had ever caused a serious accident from driving. While those are attractive things to consider, no reasonable person would begin to consider keeping all brown haired people from driving because ONE brown haired person had caused an horrific fatal accident.

It is a sticky question, but how much of the question relates to the "Ick Factor" of honest discomfort and how much is a truly clear and present danger?