Saturday, March 31, 2012

On Not Passing

I didn't start to transition untill I was 59, by that time testosterone had already rendered me bald. Even after 21 months of Estrogen patches and nearly as long on Spiro I still present as male. Oh I have boobs, my body hair is paler, and am told my skin is softer but at a glance still male. While I might be able to pass with the aid of a wig I still doubt it. I am luckyvo have a group of trans and gender queer friends who accept me as a woman so not passing isn't as bad as it could be. still to have the rest f the world se me as a man is annoying to say the least. Bathrooms are the biggest annoyance, I hate having to use the men's room and love gender neutral bathrooms. I adjust the best I can to the world around me and gather strength in knowing I am a gender queer Woman.

Morning Does Not Become Me

The bright yellow thing in the sky is back so it's time to post something.

It seems as good a time as any to acknowledge my privilage and I have it on several levels. I grew up as a white middle class male on the west side of Los Angeles giving me boat loads of privilage right there. I had so totally repressed my famine side in middle school Somali suffered relatively little bullying and that stopped in high school. In the seventies in California it was possible to go through the Cal State University system on the cheap, even a working class kid could do it much less me with a father who was an aircraft engineer. So I was a collage graduate with no student loan debt, anther boatload of privilage. Being in collage also meant I didn't have to worry about the draft during the Vietnam war, mor privilage. Even tough I spent most of the next decade clerking in a bookstore when I got married family contacts landed me a good job, privilage in action again. My wife also came from a middle class background so when the occasional period of unemployment hit we had family resources to help see us through, privilage in action again. When our parents passed we inherited two houses the one from my parents was free and clear. My old home was in a formerly working class neighborhood that was now prime real estate so I could sell it for a boatload of cash, another huge amount of privilage comes through for me.

So yes I have had a lot of privilage in my life and I know it. I'm acknowledging that here so you know it too, when reading this little blog remember how my views have been shaped by that privilage. Me acknowledging my privilage is not me wallowing in liberal guilt it is me trying to get a more objective view of the world correcting for my biases.

A Last Thought Before Bed

A year and a half into my transition I know I'll never pass, there is just no way. So do I think transition isn't worth it? Not in the least, I love the way Estrogen makes me feel and helps me cope with life. There's more to being feminine then just looking the part. For all the problems that come with transition I love being a gender queer trans woman. A year and a half of Estrogen has just confirmed that this is me.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Who speaks for whom

In this country it seems stright white cis male pundits with help from a few straight white cis female pundits speake for everybody on all issues. Oh there are exceptions, a few POC who will be quoted if there is an incident involving their ethnic group & a few rich white gays and lesbians who get to speake for all TBLG people. But day in, day out straight white CIS people speake for us all. This, gentle people is bullshit.

The only people who can speake athunticaly for a group are people who belong to that group. Only a black woman who has had to endure the daily injuries of dealing with casual raceism and sexism can truly speake of the effect theses things have on black women. This is true of all groups, it is also true that only members of that group can decide what issues are important to them. The spectacle of conservative white male pundits telling black people in the wake of the murder of Trayvon Martin that they were focusing on the wrong problem is obscene.

This does not mean that only blacks can speake on black issues or trans people on trans issues, it does mean that if your not a member of the group you're studying you have to be damn sure and double check your biases and privilage or risk creating another monument to bad scholarship like Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book)
 or The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. Of course if you're a stright white cis male and produce such idiocy you will be defended for just criticism, if you're any one else you will be ignored.

The glory of the internet is that it has given various groups a chance to speak for themselves. A few of us have even risen to some prominence. Now the rest of us need to listen to the voices of people from groups not our own. It can be difficult to listen because sometimes it seems like what they are saying is a direct personal criticism of us but even if it is we need to listen and learn. 

Morning in the Mountains

*tap* *tap* 'testing, testing, anybody out there?' Well it is morning in the Tehachapi Mountains here in California where I live. I'm just trying to get my brain to start functioning by doing some writing. Now what to write about?

Well how about what a brilliant writer Natalie Reed is? If your not reading her blog you should be. She explores transgender issues better than any one I know including me. She also puts me to shame with her ability compelling entries daily, sometimes twice daily. She is a major talent and I admire her greatly.

Well that's it for this morning. More this afternoon when the topic will be agency and who speaks for whom.