Thursday, February 28, 2013
So what are the standout things that have been happening? What have I learned lately? How is my life different after 4 months of a new existence???
Well, I enjoy my gal friends a lot more now that they understand who I really am. And I know that hair spray in your eyeball hurts, and then you're mascara runs and it will only happen when you are almost late for a meeting at work first thing in the morning. I know that a nice pair of warm snow boots gets you into the office where you can slip on your nicer shoes. I know that shared confidences are treasures. I know that going to lunch with a friend on a whim rocks! I know that having the right outfit on the right day gives you a certain power. And that when your friends tell you, "You look great in that color" you should listen.
I know that coloring your hair so it matches your wig means you don't have to hide so much. And I know that pulling some of your hair through you wig cap means you can feel the breeze.
I know that standing in front of a judge and having him declare that you are now legally Dianne is exciting. And especially if four of your friends from "the community" are with you to share it, and then two women attorneys waiting for their cases catch your eye and give you big warm smiles.
I know that holding the fresh new grandbaby of a friend, whose daughter you've known since she was 9 or 10, is pretty awsome. I know that having co-workers call you "sweetie" or "girl" makes you blush, and they say it because they care about you and mean it.
I know that having your son and daughter in law exclude you from their lives, and your grandchildren's lives, makes you wonder where you went wrong as a parent. But then you know that it had to work out this way because it is just part of your journey through life.
And I know that having the right people in your life makes your life, Right. And it's priceless!
And mostly I know how lucky I am.
Friday, February 8, 2013
Honestly, I don't have an undue fascination with the ladies room. I'm just amazed at how inflammatory it is.
Riki Wilchins wrote a great commentary about her restroom travails 30 years into transition. It scared the you know what out of me! What the heck chance do I have to avoid bladder disease if she has issues in public restrooms after 30 years! Some of the comments were strident trans responses. Some of the comments were strident feminist responses. I couldn't help but respond as follows because this whole thing just tires me out. Sometimes I think that SRS isn't the real answer, getting a giant bladder implant is the answer.
My comment on the article at http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2013/02/07/op-ed-its-womens-room-and-other-bathroom-complications
Thanks! Seriously! Finally, Nedra Johnson has linked to some "men/crossdressers disguising themselves to commit crimes" articles. ( http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/men-love-the-ladies-restroom-transgender-edition/ ) I looked and looked for something like this a while ago. Unfortunately, all I could find were dozens of incidents where trans women had been beaten or assaulted for using the women's room for simple, legal bodily functions. The gal in Baltimore had the additional misfortune of being videoed while she lay on the floor having been beaten into a seizure while people laughed! This link, and the other somewhat trans related incidents, do show that there is some incredibly tiny shred of truth to the "Trannies in the Rest Room" meme. So should we be segregated because a small number of vaguely trans people have been involved in crimes in restrooms? Should we keep brown haired people from driving because of the number of brown haired people who have been involved in fatal car crashes?
I totally understand women just wanting to pee in peace. That's all I want to do also. I don't want to get shouted at, I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, I don't want to get beaten into a seizure. I know it's selfish, but I also don't want to be judged as a potential rapist because a quirk of molecules made me get born as a guy. If you met me and knew me, not just saw me in the restroom, you would find it crazy to think of me as a threat. An that's true for almost every trans woman I've met, I throw in the "almost" simply to be cautious. I'm just trying to quietly go about my life. Riki is just trying to go quietly about her life. EVERY transitioning trans person I know is trying to just go quietly about their lives, and there is no "almost" there.
This doesn't come from some sort of latent "male privilege." It comes from simple human dignity. I'm not demanding entry into the sacrosanct refuge of womyn born womyn. I just want to go pee without confrontation. Honest, I'm quiet and clean and safe. So what do we do? How do we fix this? As a culture we gave up on segregating black people. So can we start on this now? Can we just see someone who looks a bit more husky or square jawed than most other women and not assume that they are an imminent threat?