Friday, May 20, 2011

Acceptance verses understanding

Directing your attention to the picture below. The bottom left is the chat box. The guy I'm talking to said he had nothing against being trans. Moving to Florida was also an attempt to be accepted.

It's hard to accept something you don't understand, isn't it?

The vast majority of you reading this don't understand. And none of us trans people can expect you to. Sometimes people just dig their claws in a little too deep though.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Weekly TFAQ

Now that Blogger is working and my blog has been repaired I've prepared a post for you! One of my readers wanted to know a few things and I thought what better to do then answer them on here? I hope to continue the trend as I get more readers. So keep the questions coming to my e-mail, my facebook, or in comments!

"What I want to know is how you view yourself? What makes you a female? You mentioned what a struggle it has been as far as make-up and clothes. Isn't that just the outward appearance of a female? And isn't that what society has trained you to think of as female? What makes a female a female, (anatomy aside). There are plenty of females who are not your "girly girls" with makeup and clothes so that can't be the only definition. Is it the emotions of female? The appearance of female?"
~ Paraphrased quote from a reader.

I've taken the majority of the fluff out of the message I was sent so that it's easy to see what the reader wanted to ask. I will break this down into sections so it's easier to manage and for everyone to read.

"What I want to know is how you view yourself? What makes you a female?"

How we view ourselves is in constant flux based on our current emotions and beliefs and constructs. But to get to your question in a more general sense this depends entirely on the stage of transition and pre-op post-op status. And as a rule of thumb it's different for anyone that's trans. I spent the vast majority of my life feeling like a monster. My escape from the pain of my daily life was in daydreaming and make believe. Early on... that's what it was. Learning that my sex was unchangeable was inevitable. We all learn this eventually. And once it becomes perminent in our brains we do what we can to correct the mistakes that our brain has been programmed with. At a young age I couldn't think the way I do now. I didn't think about identity. I only knew what "was". I liked for what "is". Typically we start to view ourselves, or feel, like women trapped in a man's body.

In my mother's third marriage she married a man who spoke few words. There was one thing in particular that he said many times that stuck with me. It was a joke, for him, though looking back I suppose anything is possible and he may have been as he said. He would say "I am a lesbian trapped in a man's body". And for most of us girls early on... this is eactly who we are. We are women, trapped in the wrong body, trying to adapt our brains to the reality around us.

As it is now, this far into my transition, I have moved on from identifying as a transgirl to that of a woman. I view myself as a girl and as a woman. I'm not yet old enough in girl experience, skill, and looks to consider myself a full woman. However I am old enough to be considered a woman. Both words have different connotations associated with them and different feelings associated. You spend a good amount of time identifying as trans. Thinking of yourself as a transgirl. And then one moment you wake up and you say to yourself... but I'm not. I am not this transition. I am a woman transitioning.

What makes me female? I suppose I could ask you the same question. Or any tattoo clad biker bitch that hasn't worn a bra since high school and refuses to adapt to a male dominated society. Some things you just know. Some things aren't taken for granted and aren't part of something we control. If you're speaking in terms of sex, I am far from totally female, and may never be totally female in typical right wing conservative respects. I will never have ovaries. I will never bare children. I will never menstrate. However... there are many women who have these vital things about themselves removed for medical reasons. Many have their uterus removed, their ovaries removed, and forever remove themselves from furthering our species. Does this make them any less women? Perhaps in some views. However in current culture? No. It has little to do with what is considered female.

In a gender sense, in the sense of my mental and emotional (and spiritual if you are so inclined) being, I am completely and utterly female and have been from the moment I was eight months into conception. As I said before some things just are. There's no logic behind it sometimes and no medical reasoning. What makes me female? The fact that I repeatedly wished for well over ten years that I would wake up in a female body. The fact that I was so "sissy" as a child I was constantly ridiculed by my father. Empathy. Comunication skills. Emotions so strong I had to shut them down so they didn't turn me to tears. Aptitude for things that female brains are wired for. Growing up watching Disney movies and identifying, fantisizing about being, and daydreaming about being the female lead characters. Now these that were truths before the influence of sex hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progestrone, and all the other things that flow through your viens. Why do I keep defering to who I was before these things? Because now on my hormones I have been feeling intense changes in emotion, thinking patterns, and what I am interested in. I have no way of defining those things before the introduction of sex hormones.

So what makes me female? Kirie makes me female. Who I am and have been since I was born.

"You mentioned what a struggle it has been as far as make-up and clothes. Isn't that just the outward appearance of a female? And isn't that what society has trained you to think of as female? What makes a female a female, (anatomy aside). There are plenty of females who are not your "girly girls" with makeup and clothes so that can't be the only definition. Is it the emotions of female? The appearance of female?"

These questions all relate to each other. I had actually started a post about the ramifications of social construct on trans individuals but by the time I was halfway through I noticed I was hardly making sense anymore because there was simply so much to consider. As I reread this to edit it I've noticed it's following a similar pattern. For your sake I'll avoid getting into a sixty page research novel.

Dislodging female sex from female gender is very difficult because... well... in a perfect world there simply wouldn't be any disparity at all. Then again without some form of random generation we wouldn't have so many unique and screwed up individuals runing around would we? Females are now doing more and more previously male activities and men are now doing many more previously strictly female activities. Tanning. Gaming. Sports. Comics. Manicures. Highlights. Makeup. Now... both sexes are engaging in all of these things are rediculously high rates compared to ever before in history. There are women gamers. Women sports comentators. Men who get highlights in their hair and manicures. Both sex's now go tanning. Girls are getting into comics and super heroes. Men are wearing makeup. The gender behavior construct is falling apart and quickly. Men are cooking and staying at home with the kids while women become CEOs. The world is slowly mixing itself up.

That's not to say that society isn't still telling us what is female and what is male. What is appropriate and what is not. I myself am a girly girl. I see myself with makeup, long pretty nails, long flowing hair, and heels. I see myself as the flirty girl who dresses for male (and female in my case) attention of all kinds and would be more than happy filling in that submissive fem type of slot in another person's life. Society has instilled in us many differences between typical men and women that I agree with and enjoy.

You mentioned that what I am struggling with in my other post is only the outward appearance of female. That there are many girls that do not follow the standards and things society tells us that women "are" normally. I think the best way for me to describe this is to follow the three "you" model I read long ago. There is the you that everyone else knows and sees. There is the you that you know and who is inside. And then there is the you that you hope to be, that you aspire to be, and that you slowly work at your entire life. It is hard to seperate ourselves, sometimes, from that which we want to be and what we are. Transitioning and being female isn't just about option one. It isn't just the you that everyone sees. That you share with your partner. Being female is in it's entirety being female. It is embodying your definition of female. What you are looking for is a difinitive answer on perception of females, a truth that I have been able to uncover, but the truth is simply that perception is reality. It is society that we wish to be part of and be in sync with. It is our future selves and who we want to be that is part of that.

It's being a part of what you consider to be female more than what you consider to be male. In all fairness to persons all over the world you can not determine another person's gender. They have to give it to you. They can personify whatever they wish but until they give you a difinitive answer on what they are how can you tell them that they are? An ideal would be to have more words for gender than we do. More than a binary. We have some words for slight gender variation but they are, mostly, insulting or slang. Metrosexual. Bull Dyke. Lipstick Fem. Flamer.

But as a general rule of thumb, here is the answer you're looking for. Being female is being female inside. Emotions, reactions, wishes, goals, and thoughts that match up with what most females have. Being female is being female on the outside that is socially recognised and accepted as female. Wishing to be more female than you are. Aiming for the ideal you. What makes you, or I, female is quite simpy being female as it is defined by our society with all it's advantages and disadvantages. Society is a terrible wonderful thing. Without it we could not be where or who we are today. Without it... well many things could be better and worse. A comprehensive list is for another day.

I've actually given you a lot of answers to those questions. To look at it objectively and come up with a truth to the matter would be insanity or narcisism. Follow the three self view. Outside, inside, and goal self. If two of those are distinctly female? I would say you are female. For me two of these match up as female. The third is simply a matter of time and money. There are many many parts of self. It is the culmination of all things that are part of you that makes up yourself. Keep that in mind.

Now there are a lot of things to talk about when it comes to society. Sociology is not my strong point because all sociologists seem to decide that they are also philosophers and are unable to give bias free information. For transgirls and transboys... society is our construct moreso than it has to be for everyone else. It is this normalicy that we strive for. We are pushed to walk a line where society accepts us and society rejects us. The line is covered in hot coals and we're barefoot. Every step is scary and painful. We hate our society for the fear it injects in us and the pain it forges into our skin. On the other hand we want so dearly to be involved in it, be part of it, and be accepted by it, that we idolize it. We can't change it by ourselves. We can reject it and we can hide from it but we can't change it. It takes a long time and a lot of people to slowly change society. Someday things for transsexuals and transgender folk around the world might be different.

But not today.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Stress - The natural sleep cure

It is only after having been severely stressed for going on three weeks that I have been reduced to this. To being so alone and depressed, so emotional over the amount of stress I am in, that I have lost my strength. It is in this moment that I want to educate those of you who are willing to listen in an English lesson. You know not what you do, what you imply, or how you've hurt someone by something you've said. You know the rules of speaking if you're "not racist" because you've grown up around it or avoiding it. You know how not to talk about certain things and what not to talk about. If you care about anyone that's different from you, especially me, you'll read this and consider your words any time you speak with anyone about transexual or transgenderism.

This is especially aimed at those older than me. I will not name you, because I expect that you will apply this to yourself, and will react accordingly. I want you to consider the English language and how it is formed. I want you to consider how a simple letter on it's own without proper use of language can turn a sentence from a simple statement to an unacceptable prejudice.

I will start with an example. The civil rights movement made sure that "African Americans" "Niggers" "Blacks" or any other label that you could possibly put on them have the same rights that we have all enjoyed since we could remember. Racism, however, is something that most people will say they are not a part of. However when we do not embrace everything we say, think, feel, and do around that statement we are telling ourselves and everyone else a lie. Starting with a simple statement;

Ron is black.

There is nothing wrong with this statement. Ron has black skin. So Ron is Black.

Ron is a Black.

I want you to notice that I capitalized Black for a reason. Because this is how someone might say this statement. It's not right is it? Because you've suddenly turned Ron, who may well be your friend, into something other than you. Less human.

Ron is a black Man. (Substitute any pronoun for him in place of man)

Notice the A is still present. Notice that black is no longer capitalized and Man is now. In saying this you have gone back to the original statement. While you have categorized Ron into a division once again. While this division is less harsh than simply labeling him as Black, you have labeled Ron as a Man. In the construct of society this is a perfectly acceptable statement. You have categorized his gender and his sex in one sentence. For around 29,999 out of every 30,000 men this is a perfectly true statement.

Now I want you to think about these things. Say each line in your head, one after another, in your head. You'll notice, if you really take the time to, that each of these three statements is intentionally saying something completely different. You may have not meant it, saying it slightly different, but a single word in English missing or present can completely change the tone, feel, division, separation, or inhumanity of the subject.

Ron is a Black,
Joe is a Homo,
Samantha is a Dyke,
Kirie is a transgender.

I invite you to realize that every thing you say, everything you type, has meaning. After all that is why language is created, to convey meaning, and I think few people realize that meaning directs thought. Before you knew language you thought things. Try thinking in this very moment, this very second, a thought without speaking it in your own mind. I promise you that more than 99% of the human population over ten years of age can't do this. So taking that into consideration... what do you think happens when those of us without any kind of mastery or insightful thought into English can do to ourselves, our society, and our dearest friends with a simple... small slip... from English? Even in our own minds?

Your brain knows all the rules of English, or most of them, from growing up with it. Or any language for that matter. Your brain knows why an A needs to be placed in front of Black, Transgender, homo. It knows the rules and so do you, when you think about it, but if we do not condition ourselves to speak and think correctly our brains will do as it has learned to think.

Dehumanize. Categorize. Differentiate.

You don't know how Ron wants to be labeled unless he tells you. You also don't know how someone else is thinking or if they have incorrect views. Thinking or miscommunicating by adding or losing a simple word is every bit as much racist, sexist, and wrong as doing it on purpose.

A construct based around sex itself is a terrible thing. It makes us feel unwelcome, that something is wrong with us, with what we see in other people. Most of us would agree that this is a wrong thing to do. We are still human. But we are behaviorally different in a way that makes us apart from the rest of society. There are many many forms of sexuality. Segregating by sexual preference is every bit as terrifying as by color, bloodlines, or language.

When all of humanity is considered to be only male or female and we are labeled as neither, as A transgender, A tranny, A transexual... there is no place left to fall. All that is left is something other than human. Something other than Kirie. A singular definition of difference.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Restart of a blog.

I am finally restarting my blog after a year of absence. As those who read this no doubt already know, I am a transexual female, and I have been on hormones for a year and a half. That is to say, generally, a year and a half. I have only been on progesterone for two months. I plan on continuing this blog, now, as an outlet for my feelings and what is happening to me. I hope that what I type here might help fellow transpeople out there in any way. Especially if you are trans or questioning your gender I'd be more than happy to talk with you.

Transitioning is quite possibly the hardest thing anyone can go through. When you join the military they break you down, make you nothing, and then they rebuild you as a person so that you can fill your roll in their society. As transgirls, we have no such thing, and transitioning is layered with prejudiced acid and fear. Something that one might want to consider is that what you want, that thing inside of you that you have not let out for countless years, is something that society builds in people from day one. As you transition you are fighting society to re-establish your roll. Since females (in my case) are raised a certain way and boys are raised in another way we are suddenly thrown in to (in my case) twenty years of conditioning that needs to be pasted over your old life in a matter of years. To expect this of anyone, in any way, is completely wrong and unfair. However... it is society that has built this image of who you want to be in your mind and helped you define what it is to be female in the first place.

It is because of these constructs that we have to be stronger willed and emotionally than anyone else ever has to endure. The only people who may ever (and they don't realize this) be able to connect with you on that level is a military person. The only difference is they have direction and often we do not. We break ourselves down, almost revert to a childlike status of relearning everything, and the vast majority of us have absolutely no direction. I know that I have very little direction.

I plan, near the end of my transition, to stay part of the trans community. I hope to write a guide to transitioning for girls that are going through this so they don't feel alone. I don't have any direction and I know what it's like. So going over things like what to consider when coming out, dressing out, when to try makeup, where to go for things, places that are friendly for people like us for employment... all of those things would be so helpful and I want to help give that to those girls. We are not alone out there but we are scarce. It's not our fault, choice, or trauma that made us this way. We were born with it. We are not part of the LGBT community in any way unless we are literally Bi or Lesbian.

One of the things I hope to do for the future is make medical insurance cover our disorder. That's right. It's a disorder. Just like depression or anything else. You do not have a normal brain for your sex, you have a brain for the opposite sex, and the sooner that insurances cover our medical expenses from hormones to surgeries and hair removal... why should we defend ourselves as labeling it as anything other than such?

If you have a way of following these blog posts, please do so, and recommend that friends do the same. For the most part people find this sort of thing fascinating so it shouldn't be that much of a stretch. If you know of places that are trans friendly please feel free to email or add it in comments to any of my posts.

Thanks for reading,