Oh Brazil! You Never Knew Me!

I recall writing this in somewhat of a fugue…for my bestie Dani.


Landscape of Disruption and thick Decadence
washing ever over me in those thin emerald waves
teal and deep blue, muddy yellow and tan.

Your streets of light and music,
aimless, drifting bacchanalia…

Source: Oh Brazil! You Never Knew Me!

Living Above the Curse (Part 2 – Desire)

My friend Jennifer over at Cage-Free Christian continues with her 3 part series on the Curse of Knowledge…that there IS good and evil without knowing WHAT that good and/or evil is…and how this affects us in different ways.

Her insights into the ancient text and what it speaks to in timeless truth about who women are, who men are…who we are not…are prescient and powerful.

I heartily endorse her writings…and for the record?  I find the commenters in Part One and Part Three to be officially full of SHIT!!

Are all men jerks? Of course. So are all women. We’re all assholes – foolish, narcissistic assholes, every single last one of us. Sexism in every form – misogyny, misandry; bigotr…

Source: Living Above the Curse (Part 2 – Desire)

Dread and Presences

I am reblogging this poem from 2 years ago…here is the key passage:

“I step to the rail and look back
peering intently into the fog
thick and lingering,
but 2014 is shrouded, hidden
and if I hadn’t lived it
I wouldn’t have believed it
was anything more
than a dream.

It was a year that hollowed out
thinned out, emptied out
but never declared its intention.
I don’t think it ever knew
or if it even could…”

Charissa's Grace Notes

Dread.

I feel it still.
Laying at the base of my throat and throbbing
dully, quietly slumbering with one leering eye
cocked open always and leaning towards my heart.

My heart…
chipped and worked, touched and chilled
by the frozen fingers of dread

and shards of it lay scattered at my feet
clear, jagged glimmering
broken.tumblr_nf01s3Hemc1sjr8bdo1_1280

I step to the rail and look back
peering intently into the fog thick and lingering,
but 2014 is shrouded, hidden
and if I hadn’t lived it I wouldn’t have believed it
was anything more than a dream.

It was a year that hollowed out
thinned out, emptied out
but never declared its intention.
I don’t think it ever knew or if it even could.

It was a year without windows
but many doors
and ladies
and tigers.

There is more to life than meets the eye,
more than can be measured by the senses or a census
but this morning there is just the fog behind
and…

View original post 115 more words

Silken Tears: Written in the memory of Leelah Alcorn

As a poem…I love this one.  I was blessed to capture some delicate and beautiful imagery, and it emerged in a nice meter that is augmented by the rhyming patterns and their shifting nature…matching the shifting nature of the poem.

Frankly, I was envious of her…and horrified with myself that I was so…this was written in Leelah Alcorn’s memory.

I cannot read this without weeping.


i saw her there, in the dark woods,
so fair of movement, fair of face
she walked beneath the milky moon
and bathed in silken light like lace.

she glowed with beauty’s blessing kist
upon her b…

Source: Silken Tears: Written in the memory of Leelah Alcorn

Advent Poem: The Season of Emptiness

 

This poem is about how the work of Advent involves a preparation of Empty Bequeathed…and it uses transition as its vehicle.
This Christmas,
nothing has been exposed,
revealed as the imposter
it still masquerades as.
I am empty of screams
but full of me and
ready to receive
the Promise of words
to give voice to
what’s unspeakable, unnameable,
to dress that wound
infected with nothing
and salve it with
the scratchy tickle of truth
and set free we
shadowbound, to be
our shining selves,
casting shadows
instead of being flat
and cast by them.

It is the season of emptiness, and places
prepared by pain are hungry
for the Presence
and the Promise
that only emptiness contains.

Source: Advent Poem: The Season of Emptiness

To All From My Past Who Read Here

Hi.

If you are someone from my past and you read here, I want you to know something.

You are welcome to read here.
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If you are someone from my past, and you are genuinely open to learning new things, updated understandings of the ways that technology has revealed realities regarding gender and DNA…if you are willing to meet me…Charissa Grace White…and truly receive me as you would any human being you had met and were getting to know, then you are welcome to be in contact with me.

But know that my choice to transition is not up for debate…it is made and done.  To debate that with you would be as silly as debating with you whether or not it was the right thing to marry the person I chose.  So I will not allow this…I will not put myself at the end of your firing range to become your scapegoat for the social ills you so deeply dread.
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And finally…if you are someone who reads here while thinking of me as that freak who is a “man” but is deceived and deluded by the devil and is now under demonic influence for thinking “he is a woman”, then just GTFU…ur dum.  Holding this position is like boasting about how stupid, intractable and ignorant you are of the incredible body of literature on the subject.  You ought to be asking yourself why you are so deeply upset over this!  Why does it bug you so much?

I am by far a better person than I ever was before…more of what people have always loved about me and less of what people have always despised about me.

Just go away if you are in that latter category…I don’t care how long I have known you.  The length of time you have known me is directly proportional to the ought you are obligated to in connection with me!  You ought to be more compelled to read the literature…you ought to be more compelled to know the open flower and stop worshipping the tightly closed bud.
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There is a male who flat out broke off a relationship that was over 3 decades old, because I “had crossed a river he would not cross”.  He has had zero contact with me since.  This in spite of how his actions violate the very gospel he claims to love.  This in spite of the countless hours we spent together, the countless actions of service and love and support, the walking thru darkness on his behalf…

…clearly the issue is on him.

But I bring him up to tell you that his is the party you want to go join if you are in that latter category.

I am me…free…and flying.  You can fly too, if you would actually take responsibility for your choices and your failures to choose…your fate is in your choice, and may you find surrender to Love as you choose…
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Butterfly And Bone

I’m a butterfly carved of bone
white, bleached, sun-baked bone
Butterfly, Carved Bonemy wings are just my lungs
spongy-red and wet but free
Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, Last Flight, 2009 | Used rubber flops. How cool is this?!:
inside my chest is open space
soaring chasms awaiting light
Fantasy Wire Fairies Sculptures:
butterfly, bone, breath over breadth
I’m a butterfly carved of bone

I am diamonds in the night.

Taking Communion At Pride

In the 57 years I have spent on this planet, I have taken communion tens of thousands of times.

The most recent of those times was at Pride in Portland Oregon on June 19th, 2016…served to me by Pat Christiansen while a gypsy troupe danced to insistent almost militant drumming behind us…

I closed my eyes as I took the elements, just as I always do, and looked to Them to see Them, to taste and SEE that the Lord is good…and I saw the Sacred Flaming Heart Icon…pulsing…beating…THROBBING…in time to the militant drums, and I was certain that this is the heart of the Risen Lord who wears the Two Edged Sword and Eyes like Fire…

The Heart was pulsingpulsingPULSING

There was a frame around the Heart, and it was getting bigger…and it was pushing against the frame.

The frame began to splinter…and then at last, the Heart gave a MIGHTY PULSE and burst the frame, shattered it and splintered it, and then grew bigger and bigger until it utterly enveloped me and I knew it was off to the far reaches of everywhere.
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The nightclub’s name is Pulse.  The city is Orlando…which means “Famous Land, Land of Renown” and lesser meanings of Times of Importance.

I find the entire experience prophetic and insistent…and I wonder…
MC78
…are you going to stay inside the frame?  The Heart has left, departed…gone outside the city gates.

Are you going to sit and imagine Jesus coming to earth to kick ass on all the people you do not like…yunno, sort of like the Pharisees did and when Messiah showed up and punched them square in the conscience they got so mad they killed Him?

Or are you going to understand that God is stirred in Mercy and Compassion to the point that those things become the consuming fire of Light and Love and each thing they touch responds according to its matrix of being…if it is true it becomes pure and if it is not it simply is consumed.
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Stand with The Sacred Pulsing Heart.  The time is now.

If you wanna be in the “next move of God”, it isn’t with the so-called prophets and evangelists who seek after gold dust and commit adultery on a mass scale while the crowd has what amounts to a spiritual cluster-fuck.

No…it is in the highways and byways, where Mama compels to come in, and the Heart races to rush out.

holyspiritfireluke316

On Ghomeshi, Memory and Trauma

I simply have to press this…I am the victim of stories that intimate people tell about me that are lies.

Flat out.  They lie, because of many reasons, and I think all of the reasons are understandable:  my transition, their own cognitive dissonance, it’s easier to scapegoat me than accept that their life is the way it is as a consequence of their choices…it doesn’t matter why they lie.

I still love them, because I cannot do otherwise.  I am incapable of not loving them.  But the consequences of that lie are stunningly strong and toxic.

My only hope is that they come to their senses in a way similar to what happened here in this article.

************************************************************************************

Have you ever had a moment when you suddenly realize that your memory of an event is not actually what happened? A few years ago I was talking to someone about a pretty life-altering event that happened…

o-COURTROOM-facebook

Source: On Ghomeshi, Memory and Trauma

Post Script To “The Aggregate”

I just read a blog post of a new friend…oh, I have known her for quite some time, but recent events have birthed a friendship, I sense…

Her blog post broke my heart for her and her loved ones, as I intimately know the road that she is venturing down…I survived it.  It rose up in me so fiercely, so thoroughly that she not walk alone on this road…

…and I know that I have a reason to persist against the aggregate.  Maybe by pushing back and pushing back hard I can make a space, make a place for the ones who are coming behind me to walk in peace and liberty, and not have to every learn the equations of the aggregate.

Take heart, Sparkle Mom…I love you guys!!  ❤
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Me Moon

when you speak of me
you speak of weeds and brambles
thorns, nettles and stoney ground.

when you think of me
it’s craters and dark
and bare landscape stark
and lacking curves.
tumblr_o46xahyOUR1trdezwo1_1280
I am gardens, moon, roses, sea.
I am me, in bowers and blooms
and labyrinth beds of unusual growth.
I am small trees and tall firs 
fragrance stirs, honey bees

I am Grace in the echo
of the moon’s deep wells
I am tides reaching and running
yearning and aching

I am reflected light
soft yet bright
sometimes yes often no
but always…always…
always aglow

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Please…think of what you know.

the endless ache of bones
the songs sung in your marrow
the shadow in your eyes
the light that holds your heart

think of who you know

vertigo
when gravity gives up
finally worn out
in my grave insistent
persistence at breathing.
tumblr_o46w3ckPYT1s93t2co1_540And why…yes, this is important
the why of me
dancing on desolation
rhyming in respiration
overthrowing tables of treason

and though it is dark,
it is not night, My Love,
no.
tumblr_o47dbqQGpv1sdo23fo1_1280
it is the season of silence
that speaks, that sings
sings in me garden
sings in me moon
sings in me roses
sings in me sea
sings in me
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We must protect rights of society’s marginalized | The News Tribune

We all have a responsibility to end sexual assault. Denying transgender people their civil rights is not the way to do that.

Source: We must protect rights of society’s marginalized | The News Tribune

A truly stunning well reasoned defense of my right to be.

Do you know that in most places transgender people are not recognized as who they are unless they have surgery…and at the same time the surgery is classified as “elective” and thus not covered by insurance…AND is also denied unless the person who needs the surgery obtains the permission and affirmation of 2 separate psychiatrists and surgeons?

Can you see that double bind?

“You are not a person unless you are committed enough to have surgeries…but we are gonna make you pay for them with your own money and they cost in the mid to high 5 figures…AND we are gonna make you prove yourself to at least 4 separate people…only then are you allowed to be a real person.

“Oh…and before you can even start this process, or get hormones or anything else, we are gonna require that you live as your claimed gender identity at least 2 years, after which we MIGHT give you hormones…

“What’s that you say? By requiring you to live as your claimed gender while denying you the means by which you can physically fit in we are endangering your life from transphobic transmisogynistic men? Well, you are wrong. WE are not doing that…YOU are…with your damn stupid insistence upon being a person who is differently bodied than you are gendered.”

You see the double bind?

It reminds me of how amateurism was created in sports to try and keep POC out of the leagues, because only the rich and privileged can live and train full time and not need to be paid, because they already have their money.

In the gender area…only the gender-rich and privileged can make the rules that shut us out.

And then we are told that our life matters, that we have worth, etc…just not enough worth to be made whole. Just not enough

another way of saying not enough is

worthless

And that is why it is important to let us go peepee like any other human…that is why it is important to speak of us as subjects (you/I/we/she/her) and not objects (it/that/he-she).

“Oh, you’re trans? But you look so good!”

What Cis People Say To Trans People Vs. What We Hear

“Oh, you’re trans? But you look so good!”


Rory Midhani for BuzzFeed News

Meredith Talusan is an LGBT Staff Writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Meredith Talusan at meredith.talusan@buzzfeed.com.
Illustrator:  Contact Rory Midhani at info@rorymidhani.com.

A Performance Lecture on the Theology of Gender

I have seen this wonderful man in person and very much enjoyed his presentation.

I am posting this for anyone curious about a theological perspective about matters of gender, presented in dramatic performance and gentle words.

 

When Your Violin is Supposed to Be a Cello | Let’s Queer Things Up!

“In a single scale, I broke my own heart.”

Ohhh SAM!!!  This.

THIS!!

This article captures it so very well.  In a single article, he made me weep!

Source: When Your Violin is Supposed to Be a Cello | Let’s Queer Things Up!

Yes, clothes matter. | the girl inside

Source: Yes, clothes matter. | the girl inside

This is a well written article and I recommend it

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Hear Me Screaming (Transgender Remembrance Day 2015)

I am a ghost wandering in the dark
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

Wandering lost and in sorrowful shades
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

I am a wailing voice keening in grief
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

Wrapped in a funeral shroud black and white
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

You walk into the nook, seeing me here
but you don’t even know,
you don’t even see

you don’t even hear me screaming.

I Don’t Need To Go To Paris

I can stay right here,
no passport, no visa
no access to that fairytale
land of opportunity and liberty

I don’t need to go to Paris
to find those willing
to gun me down, blow me up,
kill me in the name
of their bloodthirsty god
called gender.

Those terrorists
walk the streets
of my world behind
white faces, middle class manners
and smirks to rival the Riddler’s.

Paris comes to me
everyday.

The Truth About Transgender Suicide | Brynn Tannehill

“Suicidal behaviors in LGBT populations appear to be related to “minority stress”, which stems from the cultural and social prejudice attached to minority sexual orientation and gender identity.

“This stress includes individual experiences of prejudice or discrimination, such as family rejection, harassment, bullying, violence, and victimization. Increasingly recognized as an aspect of minority stress is “institutional discrimination” resulting from laws and public policies that create inequities or omit LGBT people from benefits and protections afforded others.

“Individual and institutional discrimination have been found to be associated with social isolation, low self-esteem, negative sexual/gender identity, and depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.

“These negative outcomes, rather than minority sexual orientation or gender identity per se, appear to be the key risk factors for LGBT suicidal ideation and behavior.”

Source: The Truth About Transgender Suicide | Brynn Tannehill

This.

I am sharing this truly scintillating essay, and the pull quote above is the core for me.

I just wanna say that I was raised white, though thru my father there is a truly multi-cultural heritage biologically and racially…but I was…raised white. Fortunately for me, I was never inculcated with racist bull shit, to the point that in college in the 80s I had a dear friend literally shock me when he told me I was the least racist person he had ever met…and yes, I did hear and note his use of the word “least”…which said volumes to me but in a language that I could not decipher or understand.

Well…since coming to terms with myself and understanding my gender journey, my life has changed in shattering ways, stunning and transcendent ways…but most importantly of all I was delivered from the ocean at last…

and became aware of so much that I never knew, could never see, even as a fish in the sea has no clue that it is in the sea.

I understand the comment of my friend now…”least racist”.

I wish I had the words and ways to let my friends, acquaintances and loved ones who are subject to that which they are subject to for the absolute worst and most insignificant of reasons KNOW that I get it now…

Oh, I will NEVER get it for the reason that they are made subject, anymore than any cis-gender person will ever “get it” in any way other than developing a deep and sincere sympathy and resolute commitment to love and live that love…

But I do get it now, the persecution, the othering, the abuse, the hatred and the fucking demonic unreasoning irrational stupidity of those besotted and drunk on the luck of the draw and the fate of biology.

My friends, and you know who you are…this post is for you…may I always find the joy I have found in solidarity with you and the love of your deep suns of being that shine undefeated and undefeatable! May I always have the heart, the eyes to see and to be inspired time and again with your indomitable spirit, will, but most of all your LOVE which just fucking never quits, CAN never quit.

You have no idea, the moments you have dragged me thru…you bearing the hate directed at you due to skin and me bearing the hate directed at me due to a variation on skin but essentially a common thing we walk in…times I was on the way out, and I would read sumfin, hear sumfin, think of sumfin…and be inspired and lifted up in your heart of hearts.

Now? I can at least have the means to find the remaining privilege I have and divest myself of it intentionally…it doesn’t always go, it is stuck to my skin color…but at last it is not stuck to me.

I regret only that it took as long as it did for my understanding and seeing eyes to catch up to what my heart must have known for my friend to tell me what he told me. We intersect…and for the rest of my days on earth I am expanding that intersection with every ounce of love, faith, hope, grace and mercy that is mine.

To the rest of my friends: please take it in faith that your privilege is there, is stuck to you, and is a legacy that you can use if you will but set your heart in a frame of humility and ask that your eyes be opened…hopefully you will gain insight without experiencing it being ripped away…but if that is what it takes, it is better that this occur rather than go thru your life blind while thinking you see.tumblr_lh6nzks1YS1qgnixvo1_1280

The astonishing village where little girls turn into boys aged 12

Source: The astonishing village where little girls turn into boys aged 12

I have never heard of this before!

But!!!

Do not miss the salient point here!!  It is NOT what is between the legs that determines gender, but what’s between the ears.

What’s the Science? | Trans-Parenting

Source: What’s the Science? | Trans-Parenting

This is a good resource page for anyone to be able to find good sources to help explain what our current technological state reveals about the physical side of gender-orientation and the reasons for this particular point on the continuum of the intersection of gender and biology.

Take a look…it will settle you if you are uncertain, and affirm you if you are already an ally.

02, 9/11/12, 2:49 PM,  8C, 5360x5432 (392+1312), 100%, Custom,  1/15 s, R49.0, G34.0, B57.0

02, 9/11/12, 2:49 PM, 8C, 5360×5432 (392+1312), 100%, Custom, 1/15 s, R49.0, G34.0, B57.0

Posting A Very Sobering Reflection

All…this is a post from a tumblr blog I follow, not my own writing, but her concluding question echoes many things I have written about, namely that all the “Remember the Dead Trans-girls” rallies change absolutely nothing.

We don’t want to be remembered.
We want to live…be fruitful and share life.

I don’t want you to say my name when I am killed…I want to say my own name in the zest of life!  Without fear of attack, policing, othering or rejection simply for being born.

I echo Jen’s question:  since last weekend’s events, what has changed?

PS:  Language alert!  If you are offended or defiled by scatalogical language, proceed with caution!  F-bombs and other such things are in evidence!

Maybe if…

smartassjen:

Maybe….maybe if every man who has ever hired a trans escort, if every boy who has ever beat off to trans porn, if all the guys I and thousands of others have hooked up with via Craig’s List, if the millions who fetishize our bodies, who enjoy us on our knees in bathrooms, who press us against hotel windows, who lay with us in our beds, if the men who adore me and my sisters, but only behind closed doors, would STAND THE FUCK UP AND SPEAK OUT…maybe 21 year old women just enjoying an evening out with friends wouldn’t be beat to death.

Maybe if all of you who read this, our allies and friends and colleagues and family, would call out when others make jokes at our expense, even when we’re not around, if you’d tell advertisers and producers and journalists and writers and comics that you’re not okay with them making trans women nothing but the punchline of jokes or tragic tossaways, that you know us, that we’re not disposable….maybe groups of people would stop feeling so free to harass me and my sisters, maybe crowds wouldn’t just laugh when a man spits at me, or just watch when two young men chase me down the street yelling “shemale”…maybe if you ALL stood up and said enough, maybe a young woman just being herself wouldn’t be beat to death in the streets of the supposedly best place on earth to just be yourself.
Maybe if all the gay men who act as if equality means marriage, if all the white feminists who only serve those that look like them, if all the queers who drop “TWOC” like a shibboleth but don’t know or talk to or walk beside any actual trans women of color…maybe if all of you saw what was happening here and how your actions allow it, how every moment of silence, of waiting for people of color to start the conversation about race …maybe this child could have enjoyed a few more years of being beautiful among us.

A 21 year old was beat to death in our streets. It happened because she is a woman, and of color, and transgender. It happened because our men won’t admit they love us, because our friends aren’t speaking out against the thousand little dehumanizing actions of others, because our own “LGBT” community isn’t comfortable talking about race and class.

This has to change. Now.

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130822/central-harlem/transgender-woman-dies-after-savage-beating-cops-say#video_modal_13772731841756

I wrote this two years ago.

What’s changed?

small collection of trans education resources

small collection of trans education resources for cis allies who are interested

Note:  I am posting this as an fyi, and I expect that you will read this and parse it for yourself.  My posting it here is not necessarily an endorsement of any specific person/lifestyle choice, etc.

Rather, it is in the interest of educating you that there are far more variations in that gender spectrum rainbow that stretches between those 2 poles of humanity’s gender, female and male.

We Are Come At Last

Marshal your forces, you protectors of the crown,
send your dogs running, your dogs of dreams,
your dogs howling, full noses of my fur, my pelt!

Bring on your hunt, your horses in full gallop
and chase for all you’re worth, your lust and fear
of free blood running red, and full, liberty’s blood!

Your coats, scarlet!  Your smirks, affixed with tax,
and become terrible twisted rictus in your sweaty efforts
to hunt this free fox leaping, yipping, dancing on the dawn!

They shall come to me, your dogs, and wriggle ‘neath my touch!
They shall hear my dog-whistle words, too high for your dull ears
but so keenly attuned and pitched to their own straining hearts!

And they shall call to their comrades, your horses, who will alert and thrill
and leap into the air to gallop freely there…and you unhorsed…you laying there
upon the blood-stained grass of yesteryear…

Your time is up, for we are come to hunt you down
and tear that red coat straight away right off your back
and tossed into the sky, our banner free unfurled and our war cry…

No Longer!  Not Anymore!

The only way to respond to my transgender child’s desperate plea was with love – The Globe and Mail


The only way to respond to my transgender child’s desperate plea was with love – The Globe and Mail
.

Oh Constance…oh.  This.  I felt this myself, and I rejoice in the knowledge that this child can benefit from the progress we are making in understanding gender identity and what it is, where it is, and how to live and be fruitful when the body and mind are at opposite ends of this spectrum.

Oh Reader:  the stories like this are multitudinous…how long will you dwell in that territory staked out by your ignorant and obstinate predecessors who labelled the epileptic demon possessed or the sufferer of birth marks on the face as touched by satan?

Reader, how long will you add the talmud of your own carnal mind to the Word of God and then use that as a club on your fellow image-bearers who are different than you?

How long will you continue to push your chips into the middle of the table and bet on a losing hand?

It makes me sad…it makes me glad that I have been delivered from that place, and yes, I have “lost all things” but here is what I have gained:  knowing what it means to walk with Jesus “outside the city”, having counted all things loss for this Honor and Delight.  He cut off all other sources of life, and all the more to His glory that it would be not me who lives but Christ who lives in me.

But keep reading…maybe one of these days it will penetrate your fear that nothing can separate you from the love of God:  not even swimming in rivers that you imagine I have crossed.

(c) Salford Museum & Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Salford Museum & Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

In Flames And Becoming (For Charissa, on her first birthday)

I lit myself on fire last night,
so deep within the forest green,
deep in the dark, and black with night,
this full night of birth and dreams
and true becoming in earth brand new.tumblr_nqm8ejLNZa1t54znqo1_1280I found the center of that secret wood
and there in its tough-tender core that lay
so quiet, t’was forever winter and brilliant
and glad in the glade and the still and the snows
and the frozen mists wreathed round that door (Her Door)
and crystal light skittered in ice jewels that glittered
on burnished ground gritty, substantive and pebbled
and real…real like me…and that Ancient stone table
awaiting me waiting there, and charred remains…
hinting at that dazzling “forever-more.”winter-houses-11__880There…in the frozen deep heart so pure,
so true and alive in that rooted green wood
that beckoned me step into it with my courage
and my heart, my faith and my love,
my faith…in love and in Grace.

Why, you ask?
Why did I immolate my tender heart,
and my teary soul?

Because…

I’ve grown tired of misuse,
I’ve grown weary being taken
there, for granted and discounted,
not allowed to breathe or be…
and so I lit myself on fire
with the living breathing flames
and unbecoming sticks of me.tumblr_nr4qqmjdh91qat5pio1_500

Why?  Because…

The river called me, bid me come,
the fields wooed me to walk in them
amidst their wheaty woven tresses
and their rustly whisper blessings
words so urgent, speaking of
the needed fires that would burn
deep in the forest, fires of love
and burn me straight down to the ground
where Phoenix waits, my lost and found…

because the stars swam overhead
and flew across unfathomable deeps,
because the fox ran on the night
because its paws tattooed me sweet,
because the fires beckoned me…
I lit me there, me…blazing bright.

tumblr_nr4phfI7yH1qat5pio1_500There, in the flames my starved soul
it did remember its deep song,
words springing full in fiery dance
and I sang there in my one chance
to reclaim me…and my own knowing of myself
and knowing this Divine Romance…

I came,

ghosty, buried, squirming there
outlawed by law, thus qualified
to call out Law once and for all,
mere smoke drifting in cool night air
and dissipating…disappeared!

OH! How I burned!
I danced in flames fundamental,
elemental and essential in the drum beat
and embodied in the whistle, in the
call and hue and cry in fragile beauty
and in loss and in the cook-fires
and the dreamtime, when bereft
and full of longing OH…I burned there…
OH…How I burned!

In the forest…
In the snow…
I burned there…
Burned for Her
I burned for me.
Portrait-of-a-HeartI’m not going on without me any longer
and I’m not a mark, or soft sweet honey pot
for predacious thrusts of others, NO!
I know when things must die…and when those things must live.

I’ve learned to walk away, I’ve learned to stay
as the watcher and the knower, oracle and visionary
and intuitive gold maker, as creator, quiet listener
inspiratrice, inventor, and a guide to vibrant life
that lies so deep in the deep wood and that same life
it glows in me, grows in me and goes beyond me
always and no matter what may matter, what may come
Come what may, come my way…
tumblr_nr3xil51X51slipiho1_500That was last nite…the fire of my bones
Today I have risen…and walk the path of crones
I am centered, unapologetic, rooted in the truth
and all that I am now is

Raw and wild
with ancient knowing
of the blood
so fiercely flowing
thru the rivers
and the streams
in the creek-beds
of my bones.

Today’s the day
to rise from ruins
(necessary ruins precede my rise).
Today’s the day to burn away,
the old that is just not aligned
with truth that feeds
those fires hot
and fuels transformation.

All of the animals gathered and watched
what they thought was a glorious sunset
on the horizon, that far lost horizon.

But it was just me, burning, on fire,
and all ruins falling and Phoenix arising,
cus I lit myself on fire last nite.

I lit myself on fire…last nite.tumblr_nr4m20hSZM1qat5pio1_500

The Triune Choice of Transgender Humans in a Binary World

I wanted to press this because I admire the courage of this person, and I wanted to call attention (again) to the plight of transgender people.  Sadly, we are limited to just a couple of options:

1.  Be true to ourselves, and get harassed, bullied, and very likely even assaulted and/or killed.

2.  Hide, and be subject to awful harassment, bullying and assault from ourselves from inside our own being.

Of course there is the 3rd option, the one I took:

You can always just rip yourself in two…dissociate, so you don’t “know” about yourself (and neither does anyone else), and you can simply study the prison that you have been given and called life and learn how to perform.

Perform well, and get rewarded with praise, affection, what is termed “love” (and from the perspective of the givers surely is love, but from the perspective of the dissociated person it’s never really known for sure if they’re loved), and all the privileges accorded to one who conforms to their prescribed role.

But the fallout from this…the gender role half life, if you will…is terrible.  Stress, dysphoria, depression, and ultimately despair.  The ripples of that rending of the soul in twain go forth from that moment…

…but they don’t diminish with time, they magnify, grow larger and have increasingly more destructive results in the lives of all who intersect with that person.

I know.  This is what I did…and I’ve been informed by those who had the grave misfortune to exist in those waves and troughs that I ruined them forever in my cowardly and hypocritical choice to dissociate rather than displease (or worse) my parents.

Hey, I was 6 years old…I shoulda known better…I did know worse…eventually.

So there you have it, folks…the 3 fold option for prisoners of the gender binary back in the mid 60s.  If you know a family with a gender variant member, and they are seeking to grapple with it now in a world that is slowly growing more flexible as attitudes and superstitions change…reach out and give them love.

They will certainly need it.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly
Charissatumblr_npuxgzCrCq1qg4kx9o1_1280

riverheadlocal.com

Transgender youth skip school rather than face discrimination, humiliation from educators and peers

The N.Y. Civil Liberties Union is calling on the State Education Department to provide detailed guidance to public school districts on preventing transgender youths’ discrimination and harassment by students and teachers.

Many trans* youth don’t get the education they deserve due to undue harassment and discrimination from both educations and peers.

This is why EVERY school should have a fully inclusive non-discrimination AND anti-bullying policy which protects youth and educators alike on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender presentation.

Neighborhood Bully (Apologies to Bob Dylan for the Adjustments)

Well, the neighborhood bully, she’s a woman
Her enemies say she’s on their land
They got her outnumbered about a million to one
She got no place to escape to, no place to run
She’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive
She’s criticized and condemned for being alive
She’s not supposed to fight back, she’s supposed to have thick skin
She’s supposed to lay down and die when her door is kicked in
She’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
She’s wandered the earth an exiled man
Seen her family scattered, her people hounded and torn
She’s always on trial for just being born
She’s the neighborhood bully

Well, she knocked out a lynch mob, she was criticized
Old women condemned her, said she should apologize.
Then she destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for her. She was supposed to feel bad
She’s the neighborhood bully

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That she’ll live by the rules that the world makes for her
’Cause there’s a noose at her neck and a gun at her back
And a license to kill her is given out to every maniac
She’s the neighborhood bully

She got no allies to really speak of
What she gets she must pay for, she don’t get it out of love
She buys obsolete weapons and she won’t be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by her side
She’s the neighborhood bully

Well, she’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
She’s the neighborhood bully

Every empire that’s enslaved her is gone
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
She’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
In bed with nobody, under no one’s command
She’s the neighborhood bully

Now her holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract she signed was worth what it was written on
She took the crumbs of the world and she turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and she turned it into health
She’s the neighborhood bully

What’s anybody indebted to her for?
Nothin’, they say. She just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
She’s the neighborhood bully

What has she done to wear so many scars?
Does she change the course of rivers? Does she pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Neighborhood bully
tumblr_nnse5t19Z71qat5pio1_500

Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music
Lyrical adaptations by Charissa, in honor of courageous women everywhere, especially transwomen

The Triune Choice of Transgender People In a Binary World

I wanted to press this because I admire the courage of this person, and I wanted to call attention (again) to the plight of transgender people.  Sadly, we are limited to just a couple of options:

1.  Be true to ourselves, and get harassed, bullied, and very likely even assaulted and/or killed.

2.  Hide, and be subject to awful harassment, bullying and assault from ourselves from inside our own being.

Of course there is the 3rd option, the one I took:

You can always just rip yourself in two…dissociate, so you don’t “know” about yourself (and neither does anyone else), and you can simply study the prison that you have been given and called life and learn how to perform.

Perform well, and get rewarded with praise, affection, what is termed “love” (and from the perspective of the givers surely is love, but from the perspective of the dissociated person it’s never really known for sure if they’re loved), and all the privileges accorded to one who conforms to their prescribed role.

But the fallout from this…the gender role half life, if you will…is terrible.  Stress, dysphoria, depression, and ultimately despair.  The ripples of that rending of the soul in twain go forth from that moment…

…but they don’t diminish with time, they magnify, grow larger and have increasingly more destructive results in the lives of all who intersect with that person.

I know.  This is what I did…and I’ve been informed by those who had the grave misfortune to exist in those waves and troughs that I ruined them forever in my cowardly and hypocritical choice to dissociate rather than displease (or worse) my parents.

Hey, I was 6 years old…I shoulda known better…I did know worse…eventually.

So there you have it, folks…the 3 fold option for prisoners of the gender binary back in the mid 60s.  If you know a family with a gender variant member, and they are seeking to grapple with it now in a world that is slowly growing more flexible as attitudes and superstitions change…reach out and give them love.

They will certainly need it.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly
Charissa

riverheadlocal.com

Transgender youth skip school rather than face discrimination, humiliation from educators and peers

The N.Y. Civil Liberties Union is calling on the State Education Department to provide detailed guidance to public school districts on preventing transgender youths’ discrimination and harassment by students and teachers.

Many trans* youth don’t get the education they deserve due to undue harassment and discrimination from both educations and peers.

This is why EVERY school should have a fully inclusive non-discrimination AND anti-bullying policy which protects youth and educators alike on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender presentation.

Here’s What’s Okay (And Not Okay) to Say to a Trans Person – Once and For All — Everyday Feminism

Here’s What’s Okay (And Not Okay) to Say to a Trans Person – Once and For All — Everyday Feminism. Dear Constance, this article will be good review for some, and a great beginning for those who are interested but don’t know protocol.

The one that is most crucial to me?  The one that says my story is mine and not yours…and you have no right to out me to anyone…even though people have done this to me. It’s sorta weird to meet someone I knew then and hear that there is all kinds of gossip about me happening…that means that the paragons of virtue who told me I was beyond a river they refused to cross and that I was demonized?

They started the rumors and passed them along…and likely think they served Jesus in doing it. The trouble they caused me…I weep still at times over things that I could have shared in my own way and time that got shared and soo distorted… …but that’s the way it goes when you deal with the privileged…whatever they say is God’s will becomes God’s will…

because they say so (which makes them God, I guess).
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TransWhat? • Allyship: first steps

TransWhat? • Allyship: first steps.

Fabulous aggregation of basic information!
tumblr_noxeyx9oe11qhttpto5_1280

The River of De-Nile

You know who you are…

here is your judgment, not mine.  By your own words you have made your doom (in the Tolkien-esque sense)…your fate, if you will.

Perhaps you will not have to suffer 50 years before you come to grips with your own self.

But know this:  my life was lived in dissociation and fragmentation.
You?  You are drinking the river of Denial.

Extremely Powerful Thinking: On Femininity and the Patriarchy

Constance…please read thru the sections I am sharing below.  Read it slow and let it sink in.

This is my life.  I am living these sentences (word chosen to echo and double back on itself, those with eyes let them see).

Consider the way that my sentences being served also impact you…and the way that yours can set me free, if you will but begin to speak them.

Just read up on the Bell Hooks-Laverne Cox talk, thought it was really uncool (and unfemininist) of Hooks to chide Cox for her presentation.

I mean yeah, I get that for (feminist) cis women, femininity can start to feel constricting after a while, but trans women have a very different relationship with it. Patriarchy wants AFAB (Assigned Female At Birth) people to be feminine, it does not want AMAB (Assigned Male At Birth) people to be feminine.

For a person that was assigned male at birth, it absolutely can be revolutionary to embrace femininity. It is anathema to patriarchy for AMAB people to embrace femininity, why else do you think trans women get any and all femininity beaten out of them for the first part of their lives?

Besides, cis women had all their lives to try it out and grow tired of it. How many cis women haven’t smeared their mum’s lipstick all over their face as a little girl? At least have a heart and give us some time to experiment with femininity, you were given that time while you were growing up and I don’t see you high-n-mighty feminists going after teenage cis girls for it.

I would like to expand on this, and say that the patriarchy derides and punishes femininity in general. That’s why men who like female-coded activities are mocked. that’s why “girly-girls” are derided as shallow or high-maintenance.

But with trans women, expressing femininity is particularly revolutionary because it isn’t just about social conditioning–it’s a complete rejection of masculinity as the “valuable option.”

Many women–trans and cis–find value in femininity, but when cis women embrace it, everyone assumes it’s because it is expected and because that’s how they were trained. It isn’t considered unusual, because society insists that’s the punishment you get for being a woman, and if you’re very good you’ll reject that and try to act more like your “betters.”

But trans women are offered masculinity on a platter–it’s assumed to be our birthright–and we reject it. More accurately, like most people we reject parts of it. We’re proof that masculinity isn’t inherently valuable or precious–it’s just another thing.

And of course, patriarchal ideals double down on us for that. Our punishment for embracing the feminine and not being “rightly” ashamed of it is to be chained by it, and punished for any infraction. Male-coded interests are “proof” that we’re faking it.

Not appearing feminine enough is grounds for firing or banning us from homes (or from the lives of our own relatives). Expressing anger or standing up for ourselves is interpreted–even by self-proclaimed feminists–as our being aggressive and “really” men.

And revealing anything about our genitals is literally grounds for execution.

People hunt down the tiniest nuances–our shoulders, our voices, or hobbies, or age–and use the smallest infraction against gender norms to completely invalidate our statement that masculinity isn’t precious at all. This despite the fact that trans women, like everyone, aren’t inherantly “pure women” or “pure men” any more than any cis person–we’re mixes of social messages and biological impulses, some accepted some rejected, that go into forming a complex human being.

Trans women highlight that there’s no superior gender or gendered form of expression, and that pisses people off.

20150614_093457

The Transgender Brain | Transas City

The Transgender Brain | Transas City.

Constance, another article that helps explain the reality of transgender brain formation and how this determines gender orientation.

This will be preaching to the choir, but likely might be helpful to those still uneducated that this is something quite different than “living my truth” or any other characterization that seeks to make my gender orientation some version of a choice.

Perhaps you all could pass it on in your own attempts to be allies.

Reader, it’s up to you…you are proud of judging non-christians for ignoring the evidence for Christ…pot meet kettle, if you continue to characterize gender variance as anything other than what it is:  a reality that is as legitimate as your own “owned internal sense of gender”.

It’s a bit like being proud you are not a cleft palate born person, and then trying to deny treatment to anyone who was born that way.

Judith Butler on gender and the trans experience

Judith Butler on gender and the trans experience

Constance, Judith Butler is a very important voice in the rethinking of gender and gender roles, and as such is worth spending some time exploring.

This article is a good introduction, so I am posting it for your opportunity.

“It’s A Healthy Little Baby!” (Gender TBD)

So Constance, on Sunday there was a birth announcement.  A child had been born, healthy and mom was okay too.  Everyone was happy and feeling good about a new little life in the world…and then came this:

“It’s a healthy little girl!”  Followed by a smattering of applause and some coos and happy noises…

…and just like that a potential nightmare of dysphoria is begun.

Can you see it here?  First of all, the very first thing we are told about this child is its gender, before anything else.  Everyone wanted to know this, and from this point on, that child is going to be socialized and treated according to cultural customs and expectations that may have nothing to do with who that child really is, and could be quite harmful to the child in that they would run directly counter to the child’s identity.

And we know the child’s gender how?  Why, because we looked between the legs…and now a human being’s first most basic categorizing has been accomplished in the name of genitalia.  Never mind the fact that there are all kinds of intersex conditions that only show up upon chromosomal examination…no need for that, right?

Now…the odds are that this child will turn out to be female.  But those odds are not as long as what everyone thinks.  And just think…if that child turns out to be like I was, and learns that their very being is wrong, is naught and ought not…

Not to mention how I felt, sitting there…in the midst of allies and friends mind you!  Who in all the reflex of the ritual sat there and gendered a human being less than a week old and without even having met the child let alone heard her tell us who she is! They would all say they support me…but it is sadly still a support after a couple of layers of thought and reminding themselves that I am “identifying female”.

And that makes me cry, because I identify as a human being. 

am female.

I get criticized often for being persnickety about words…I get anxious about what people mean and question closely and then feel like I am an irritant when others say that they were not speaking as specifically as I took what was said.

But I am that way because of things like this…when a whole identity has been rendered a done deal without even a word being said by the person thus sentenced.

When will it be natural for us to announce our healthy children, and the great anticipation that we have in finding out who they are?  Think how they would be brought up!  Think how much more balanced and developed they would be.

Oh, and don’t worry…they will tell us their gender.  It is that basic.  You can rest assured of that simply by reflecting on how you would react if someone sought to police you as a gender other than that which you are.

Gender is more than genitalia…when will our understandings of one another be so too?

Until then, I will find myself alone, and sitting embarrased while gender privilege is handed out right and left, and a certain ratio doomed by this policing to join me in the ranks of those of who sit in the pew together…all alone.tumblr_nnzn95pYkG1rznpc8o1_1280

 

Me and My Cat-Hair

Me and my Cat-Hair go where we want!
Well, my Cat-hair does, anyway.
I just trail frantically, pulled right along
as it wanders and pries and looks into burrows
and lays in the sun and just licks its soft paws
with no care in the world but those mice!
Sometimes it looks really cool, and just perfect!
Purring there, cooing and wanting the touch
of a hand that will smooth its sleek soft furry pelt
and some fingers so friendly with their gentle skritch
skritch skritch and then a flat palm to do obeisance.
But then there are times when my Cat-hair just hisses!
Its eyes glowing green and just brimming with daggers
and it jumps akimbo and arches its back
and it dares me, just dares me to try to address it
with anything less than a rake and a hoe
and better get ready to wrestle a she-devil
scratches for skritches and clawings for pettings!!
My Cat-hair and me are sometimes called names
and sometimes called other and sometimes called mask
and sometimes called liar and sometimes called nothing
and that’s when my Cat-hair sits silent, tail lashing
and eyes focused into the void that is lurking
inside the accusers who say they hate cats
when what they really mean is that they just hate me…

well, Cat-hair is there, and I cannot do anything
to make it dog-hair or human or cow-hair
or sheep-hair or anything else that would walk
off the Ark on that day when the floodwaters drained
and the animals rambled in freedom again.

so I guess I will just go with Cat-hair, just sitting there
being itself, just my Cat-hair and me.

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Transgender Today – Avery Jackson – NYTimes.com

Over 50% of transgender children try to commit suicide by their mid to late teenage years. A large number of them succeed. And the main reason that these children state that they try to harm themselves is the lack of love and support of their family and friends. My wife and I decided that we would much rather have a happy, healthy daughter than a dead son.

via Transgender Today – Avery Jackson – NYTimes.com.

How Living With and Loving Bruce Jenner Changed My Life Forever | Linda Thompson

How Living With and Loving Bruce Jenner Changed My Life Forever | Linda Thompson.

Umm…okay, so this was unbelievably difficult/wonderful for me to read.

Just soo relate to many things, and so impressed by this amazing woman’s compassion for Jenner.

May they both be blessed with compassionate days.

Bruce Jenner’s Special With Diane Sawyer On ABC’s 20/20 Sets New Bar For Reporting On Transgender Issues

Constance, this is a pretty dang good analysis of the Jenner interview.

*I am calling this person Jenner for now…while Jenner has given request for male pronouns to be used for the interview and identification currently, Jenner has also unequivocally declared as female.  I remember those early days myself, and my mindset that I could/would accommodate everyone else, whom I mistakenly assumed were acting in good faith that matched my own…I was wrong to assume this, and wish now that I had just asserted myself*

*Just in case this is true for Jenner too…I will simply use Jenner’s surname until it becomes clear where on the spectrum Jenner connects in*

Bruce Jenner’s Special With Diane Sawyer On ABC’s 20/20 Sets New Bar For Reporting On Transgender Issues.

Gabriel Arana is senior media editor at The Huffington Post.

Re-Posting Nicole Mott on Bruce Jenner

Constance, here is a post from a Facebook friend concerning Bruce Jenner.  While the opinions about Jenner as a person are hers, the concerns/facts about that vast majority of transgender people are quite real, and she so articulately expressed them.

Thanks, Nikki!  Your words RAWK!

So, Bruce Jenner.

I am so tired of hearing this person’s name. So sick and tired of it…

There’s been this stuff swirling around across what I’ve dubbed, the “Transphere” concerning idols, and all of that…what a crock…

Let me first state that being trans is NOT who you are. It is a PART of who you are like having brown eyes, or green skin (I dunno, maybe you do?). A lot of people choose to make it central to who they are as people, and that’s fine…you know what? Those people can do whatever they want to do, but it STOPS there, with them. I’m not in that box.

When someone sees me, I don’t want the light bulb to go off, “Trans.” in the same way someone else you might see triggers something else. When this happens, we surrender our person hood, in exchange for an issue. We are no longer people, but instead representatives of an issue. Try doing that, and having a meaningful existence…I dare you.

I am me. My life experience has taught me that while being trans may be a permanent part of who I am, and always was, it does NOT define me, and even if it did, that definition it yields for me is vastly different from that of another person who is trans.

When most lay people hear the term, “Transgender” they tend to think it means someone like me, for example, someone just like me.

“Oh, I knew someone who became a guy. That’s cool!”

or,

“Yeah I have a friend who became a girl, he’s still my best friend!” (Obvious gender pronoun errors, because who their friend is, and identifies as isn’t important to you, only what they mean (or meant) to you. Grats on being selfish, and inconsiderate or someone’s inherent self-worth and dignity.

In both of these examples, what’s happened is that people think that transgender means one thing, and my oh my, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I will say this now, and I seldom ever just post it on my wall, but I was diagnosed with transsexualism, and that was treated under the care of a team of doctors via gender transition everything ranging from Hormones to Surgeries. My lived experiences are absolutely NOTHING like this person’s.

My personal feelings on this “Bruce Jenner” crap comes from a place of protectiveness. I am sick of this story getting air time, and these well-to-do 1%’s feeding their lusts for attention. This isn’t a game!!! People get hurt because of the attitudes propagated by this garbage….and that is EXACTLY what this is.

My protectiveness comes from the suffering of people who are trans. The people who deal with the shit from ground zero EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. We have the highest suicide attempt rate IN THE WORLD with almost ONE in every TWO people attempting. Then you have this person creating a circus of non-sense giving Cis people and others who have no idea what Trans is, so much ammo to continue the abuses, the bullying, the murders, the legally oppressive laws for us to go about our daily lives.

I AM SICK of it.

What’s more important to mention here, and I did hit on this on a previous post on a friend’s wall, is that as a “community” there really is no “trans” community, but more of a loose grouping of people defending human rights, specifically gender identity and expression. We can not agree on anything at all concerning who or what is trans, what that means or doesn’t mean…possibly because there is no categorical way to classify the breadth and scope of the human experience.

Fact is: We are all people, and gender identity and expression, while an innate part of who we are, is not the defining characteristic of who we are…but a smaller component of a much larger entity.

Get this crap out of the media already. There’s no doubt going to be a negative impact because of it, and I can see it all over our local news station’s Facebook pages.

I do not like this person being in the news, and I think it serves to do more harm than good. Most of my posts are usually much more supportive than this, but we’ve seen too many train wrecks with public figures, and I just don’t want, nor do I care to see social attitudes decline and make life more difficult for every day people like those on my friend’s list.

I feel the same way about this, that I do when someone with Autism commits a murder, and they try to lump all people who are autistic into the murderer categories.

Bruce Jenner is NOT an idol, and needs to go away. ASAP.

/rant_over

Now, I’m going tend to my garden. Have a blessed day heart emoticon

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“Who Are We To Judge…”

Constance, I likely will not post an awful lot about the Jenner Transition Announcement until she gets further underway.

I totally, utterly get where she is at right now.  She is thinking things about how she is not that worried about pronouns, and how she is willing to overlook the othering and policing that is going on right now, yadda yadda yadda…she feels a responsibility to other transgender people to effect a graceful transition with dignity.

But deep down inside…all those things are hurting her, affecting her, wounding her.  She doesn’t need me adding to the cacophony of noise surrounding her (and all of that exacerbated because of the family dynamics she married into). Eventually, she will begin to find her bearings and her voice, or if she already has, she will begin to express it in her own unique ways.

But I will be commenting on things that orbit her transition, things that are revealed and illuminated as a result of her decision, and here is one of them:

On my Facebook page, a friend linked to an article about her transition.  That article is here:

Bruce Jenner’s declaration creates an opportunity

What was telling was in the comments on the Facebook post, all generally very supportive, but one stood out to me.  It simply said “Who are we to judge…”

“Who are we to judge…”

Constance, do you see why that comment jumped out at me?  Yes?  Jot down your thoughts about it…or No?  No you do not see anything odd about that comment in relation to gender identity?

Well, Cis-Constance, imagine yourself being introduced to someone, and them very kindly and sagely assessing you and then saying to you and everyone “Who are we to judge…” and then shrugging as if to say “to each their own”…

 

as if your gender identity is something that is up for judgement in the first place!

as if your gender identity is an article of clothing that you simply decided to wear that day.

as if your gender identity was a moral choice you made or make.

Gender orientation is put into the same classification as sexual orientation and then judged as a moral choice, and this is simply incorrect and unfair.

There is orientation that is a given…and then there are behaviors that descend from choices that we make as creatures who are moral creatures and subject to moral constraints as determined by God and current cultural climate (and those are rarely congruent, btw)…the behaviors themselves are what I choose to do…but the orientation is who I was born to be.

Orientation is not moral behavior.  It is simply the given baseline.

You as a cis-gender person are never subjected to the statement “Oh…you say you are a (fill in your biological chromosomal state).  I see.  Well, who am I to judge?”

And that, Constance, is the very epitome of cis-gender privilege!

Don’t get me wrong…I love the compassion that is at root behind the commenter’s post…but gender orientation is not a matter subject to judgement any more than race is, or that there is a brain in a skull, or that there are arms and legs on a human.

The deep underlying ignorance that is being exposed in the light of gender-education right now is the notion that gender-variance is a moral issue!  The deep presupposition fostered in our binary is that any person who is cross-gendered is by definition subject to moral assessment should they decide to authentically live out who they are in spite of the external casing they are housed in!!

Do you see this?

The commenter is correct:  we are not the judge of one another and should not judge one another.  But the issue that she applied this moral principle speaks volumes of how far we have to go yet as a culture, and why we transgender people are subject to such tremendous othering.

Even the way we are supported is often times OTHERING!

I have the same internal response when people say to me “Hey, whatever makes you happy makes me happy”…and they are sincerely “for” me in terms of their willingness to accept me.

But they have no idea just how deeply they sentenced me to more time in the gender penitentiary.

“Mr. & Mrs. Cis-Gender Constance:  Tear down this wall!!2008-5-10 Auschwitz No 11 - Final 2-1-2009 750

My Friend Alli

Constance, I want to tell you about a friend of mine, and here is the amazing thing to me:  she is a friend because she simply chose to be and began treating me like I was her friend!  That is a very very different experience for me, and has happened to me precisely once before (you know who you are, Tortoise).tumblr_nlao8u1BMn1sooy9go1_1280

Oh, Alli and I are not “super duper besties” or anything like that…we live several miles apart, our lives and schedules do not really overlap…but they intersect at the crucial point of history and that is the Incarnation of God and all that entails.

They also intersect at the place of her total and complete commitment to live out her convictions in truth and with skin on…or to gussy it up with theology, Alli seeks to become a “little incarnation”, a true christian.  And in that sense, we are truly related, truly sisters for this is my aspiration as well.

I really am touched by her offerings of simple and open faced acceptance, because my usual experience is that people cross paths with me and find some outward thing about me to become fascinated with or interested in, one of the many facets of the being I have been created with…but then they get a little deeper and they are chilled by the gaping wounds, the flaws, the fears and uncertainties…and there is sort of a veering away.

That is not Alli…I love that her understanding of the Incarnation is inclusive!  All my flaws and failures and fallings-short are in her eyes the very qualifiers that give her hope and courage and a sense of kindredness, and that leaves me utterly hopeful and amazed…and very very glad.  Oh…and I hope you are okay with my giving you a lil pet name, Alli…if you aren’t please tell me?  It delights me to give heart names to people that I love.

Why am I highlighting her right now?

Because I want to use her example as a concrete way to be a trans-ally, as a blue-print for how you, Constance, can emulate her as she emulates Jesus and touch the hearts of those around you, trans, cis, whomever.

Alli is a real Christian.tumblr_n5ohu2b8WX1t091uro1_500

Now:  below, you will find the Facebook Posting that Alli made on Trans-Visibility Day, and the resultant conversation, which I will comment on a bit.  I am going to go ahead and let the links stand…I figure if you are out enough to be on Facebook, you won’t have a problem being here on Grace Notes, and if you are on Alli’s page, then the content here at Grace Notes should be quite consonant with your own tastes in media.

Please let me know ASAP if you do not want to be up in this post!  I will edit it immediately upon seeing your note (unless I am away from my computer and need to get to it).

Okay…there are several things that are said below.  Alli’s words appear first, and I want to state for the record that though she says “cis” means Comfortable In Skin when it is actually a Latin prefix of some obscure and awkward usage (I mean, really Constance…doesn’t it feel sorta alien to be referred to as “cis”?  Sorta like how awkward it feels to be called “trans”, yeah?), even though she got the technical denotation “wrong”…

she absolutely totally nailed the heart of it!  That’s just sorta how my friend rolls…she gets to the heart, and then she brings it medicine!

Comfortable In Skin:  wow.  That is such a great way of putting it, and I am henceforth going to think of that each time I use that old dry Latin prefix that is used because in the binary, we still lack the language to express the realities that have been excluded.

So do not get all het up over things and feel the need to let that knee kick out in reflex to correct…cus she nailed it dead on.  Period.  (Thanks, Alli!!)1662593_285159418275294_888261035_n

Next, I want to talk a bit about the concerns that come up and the struggle that all of us (including transgender people and trans-allies too) have in the binary, in figuring out how to broaden our tents and walk out the words of Isaiah 61. Specifically, in the area of trying to go to the bathroom.

*sigh*  *Charissa feels old, tired, and teary*

First of all, let me say I perceive that behind a lot of the concerns are hearts that are true, generous, and truly care.  Okay?  That’s a given, for love and compassion wreathes those words and is indeed fragrant.

But I do want to address what I think is nearly always the underlying factor in these sorts of matters, when we are encountering other human beings who seem so different from us initially and then emerge as beings exactly like us on the inside.

That operative factor is simple ignorance.  And do not feel demeaned by being called ignorant.  All of us are ignorant over some things and in some ways.  Ignorance is simply this:  lack of knowledge. Lack of education.  Lack of common identity and connection.

Ignorance is the most volatile state any person can be in, because when we are ignorant we are in our most impressionable place and at the mercy of whatever passions or persons seek to exploit that state!  Ignorance is the beginning of wisdom for those in the hands of true shepherds of the soul (like Alli)…and it is the beginning of national genocide in other rougher, bloody hands.

Okay?  We understanding?  We tracking together?tumblr_nlqg0v5Hxc1t07z8ao1_1280

I shall proceed:  starting with more abstract principles and working to the concrete.

Neutrally gendered bathrooms are the ideal.  Period.  Will there still be some freaks and perverts who seek to exploit those areas for their own evil, sick and twisted purposes?  Yeah…but as a function of their broken, fallen, sick and twisted souls…not as a function of gender orientation!

With just a little bit of thought and planning bathrooms could be made in such a way that the whole issue becomes moot:  someone uses the bathroom because their bodies are designed to eliminate waste products, and that is the simple and gentle truth.

But:  in our world, bathrooms are indeed gendered, reflections of our binary view of gender, which defines what you are and who you are gender-wise by what you are and who you are DNA wise!

Thus, the concern of a person being in a bathroom who is “physically” a man/woman is actually not a very meaningful term.  Because walking around inside a male body, I see the world with a woman’s eyes, a woman’s heart, a woman’s soul!  And it is horror to me!

Every.  Single.  Agonizing.  Second.  To have gentle eyes and see my rough hands.  To have fine, delicate heart and see my rough, crudely drawn face.  To be neat and put together inside myself as smaller, quick and agile and yet see this oversized battering ram of a body.Image 001

It is a non-sequitur to fear the presence of a “physical man” in a female gendered bathroom if the person who inhabits that body is a woman!  No man is present on the scene.  Period.  Further, it is cruel and unusual punishment to make that woman use the bathroom with men…and hear the things they do and say in those spaces (although the truth is there is not a lot of talk in bathrooms anyway, it is more locker rooms that can be a real nightmare).

“Cis”-woman:  imagine if you were forced to use the “Men’s Bathroom”.  You had to disrobe enough to go, you constantly were in agony that someone would recognize you when you were there and perhaps do you harm…not sexually, but violently, for invading their space!  They do not smell very nice.  They are not in the least adorned with anything pretty or elegant.  They very often have crude and horrid graffiti on the stall walls.

Oh, and the real winner:  you have to stand up side by side with some other person and go that way!  With it all just right out there!!  Ohh.  Myy.  GAWD.

“Cis”-man:  I am giggling right now becauseknow you!!  I have grown up with you and you are scratching your head and looking puzzled…what is the BFD you are thinking?  You go in, whip it out, let it fly, give a big contented sigh, try to paint the entire urinal, try to dissolve the urine cake, splash off to the sides and think “Oh shit I missed”, feel a momentary flash of guilt as you recall the “We aim to please!  You aim too, please!” signs, remind yourself that there are janitors who clean, console yourself with the notion that you are keeping them employed, give it a few shakes, and then maybe wash your hands, or not if you are of the school “my mama taught me not to piss on my hands” school…and then in either case swagger out without a backwards glance or a care in the world.

I won’t even talk about when you do the other number.

My point is this:  Even though I present female full time, 100%, I am still a natal XY DNA’d person, and thus defined in our culture as biologically male…but my dear sisters, you literally never ever have to worry about me thinking any of those thoughts you fear!  Because I am not like them!  I am like you!  I am not “physically a man”, but rather truly and in all ways but biology a woman, just like you.  No, you have far more to fear from a sharp tongued critical woman who has her claws out to rip your appearance to shreds with faux-compliments than you have to fear from me!tumblr_nc9in11Rpp1snlnsio1_1280

When I go to the bathroom?  I am thinking “Oh God, please let it be empty, please let it be empty!”  I walk in quick, eyes averted and a small gentle smile that says “yeah I gotta go, so sorry for being human”, and I scurry to the stall that seems most unobtrusive.  I immediately shut the door, and lock it and then give a small sigh of relief that I am “safe”. Then I take care of what my body must do…all the while listening, trying to feel the atmosphere of the room…can I safely wash without getting hurt or freaking anyone out?  Can I maybe even brush my hair and give a close inspection of my makeup without getting mocked or attacked verbally (which is a lot like a flock of robins attacking a perceived threat!  The wings hurt my eyes and the beaks draw blood).  If yes, YAY!  If not, then I get out fast the way I came in and use hand sanitizer short term and look for a place to properly wash up ASAP.

See why you have nothing to fear?

And that is not just me, by the way!  Most all trans-people are just like me…just like most cis people are not freaks either.  Trans people fall significantly outside the range of percentages of sexual predators compared to cis people.  You have a far greater risk in the women’s bathroom of getting preyed on by another cis woman than you do a trans woman, and we both bear the same risk of there being a natal male freak in there to harm someone.  He is in there because he is a freak.

And yes…it is indeed possible for a transgender person to be a freak…but the likelihood percentage wise is less than that of a cis-gender person being a freak…and get this:

the deviant state descends from being a broken fallen human creature, not from their gender orientation!  Just as cis-gender people by far exist in greater percentages who are not sexual predators, so too do transgender people.

Secondly, the whole notion of the bathroom lurker is grossly over inflated compared to the actual incidences of occurrance.  Oh yes, it happens…even once is far too much!  But it is an easy boogey man to drag out when ignorance is being preyed on by the passion of fear and the pack wants to be safe from the unknown and thus uses whatever it can find in service of that goal…and that includes painting the picture of the “evil perverted sex maniac monster” who “dresses female to sneak in and lurk” etc etc.

I cannot tell you how deeply wounding it is to be told this to my face.
I cannot express my inner agony at being called a monster, a pervert, a deviant.
Yes, even the supportive statement that a “male person” presenting as a woman is there to use the restroom misses the true reality of who I am, because it still sees me as fundamentally male and denies that who I really am even exists!

I am not a male person.  I am a female person…and I have been sent into this male body…and that is the crux of the way the Incarnation plays out thru my being, right there on the bloody rivet that nails me to this body…and I must take it in faith that it is for the Glory of God.

I do trust Them…but oh the cost.  Oh the tears.tumblr_nlfdtgZzcd1qdsqp6o1_1280

And the huge contradiction:  how sneaky can I really be?  If you have ever met me, you know my biology betrays me!  I am not sneaking around about anything…that is NOT how I roll.  I am open in who I am, how I am.  In fact, I have been told that this open heartedness is both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness…because I assume that everyone else is like me and searching intently always for a way to bless the ones around me!

So really…what you need to do if you find yourself worried about a transwoman in the restroom is this:  admit that you likely do not know a transwoman, and resolve to get to know one.  Befriend one, or if you are uncomfortable with that, ask some people you know who do know a transwoman, and get introduced.

Hey…I am available.  I do not have many friends, and almost no female ones, and I have a lifetime of loneliness to lose! And also years of imagining fun things to do!  But even more than that, if you just want to know what it is like to be transgender, I am open and willing to talk and share.

Once you get to know a transwoman, you will forget that prefix and just know your woman friend.

Now the next thing that I wanted to touch on is the whole idea of forced presentation and conformity to the “laws” that society is currently steeped in.  This one is hard.

This one is G Damned hard.

For me?  I love presenting as who I have always been inside…but I hate my body.  I hate the awful stubble and hair on my face…my size…the blunt bones of my face, the hulking ones of my arms and legs and feet and hands…and other things best left unsaid that I find just the worst.tumblr_njzf50a1Hs1qg4kx9o1_1280

But I know many transgender people who are truly and totally themselves as female and yet do not feel compelled to take any particular pains with their presentation for whatever reason…and that includes the clothes they wear, any concern whatsoever about the assigned gender of any clothing, and yes, even facial hair.

I also know many cis-gender women who have real facial hair problems:  I met them at the clinic where I get laser treatments for my facial hair!  They are there too, for the same reason, and feel the same shame and agony I do.

What if we lived in a world where we were not sized up, assessed, judged, based on these outward things?

See…we have learned to use these visual cues and do so now without thought, and without realizing that they come from a certain point of view regarding gender that is woefully incomplete and a prison to us all.  There is another way…to see with the eyes of love and compassion.  To trust the Holy Spirit in our hearts to give us discernment and understanding.  And yes, to rule our passions in such a way that the whole sexuality imbalance in this culture of ours comes back underneath a proper moral and spiritual harness (but that is a whole ‘nother eleventy-dozen posts!).

Again…I get it.  I do, and I try to do my part to blend, to make it easier.  We are eating this elephant one bite at a time, and sometimes the more strident of us seek to shove the whole thing down throats.  But you simply cannot ascertain the gender of someone with eyes alone.  That is a fact.

Spend some time with them…you will begin to get in touch with it PDQ!a6e400cc-0cd1-490b-af61-6d8383dcc23c

One last thought to tie these things together:  there is a movement afoot right now, where people who “pass” easily and without thought (I will write about that notion, passing…those people would be seen in the binary as the winner of the gene pool lottery for sure…that is so much more about their biology matching our preconceived notions than any great attribute of authenticity).  Well what the movement does is has these people go into the bathroom of their assigned biology and take selfies there…with other people around who don’t know!  And you can see how uncomfortable the other people are…because of how they have been taught to judge gender.  Remember, they are looking at natal females who are transgender and totally truly male in the ladies room, and natal males who are transgender and thus totally female in the mens room.

It really makes the point well…because it is indeed ridiculous, these laws that want to dictate bathroom on the basis of biology (intersex people totally blow this whole thing out of the water.

Okay…Ima publish now…Alli, just thank you so much.  Mike, thank you for being there for her, and for us all!  

Alli, words cannot express the heart I have, the hope I have because of you in my life.  

I am so looking forward to the garden we shall grow, God willing.

In deepest gratitude and love,
Charissatumblr_nlvxs6yfBf1sooy9go1_1280

Alli writes:

You may notice the change of photographs this morning. I was informed by several friends that today, March 31st, is Transgender Day of Visibility. This is different from days that honor trans people who have lost their lives, or people who have gone before us.

This is about honoring and recognizing that trans people exist – right here, and right now. They are not a joke. They are not predators. They are not doing it for attention. They just want to feel comfortable in their own skin (did you know that’s what the word “cis” means? C.I.S = Comfortable In Skin).

As people whose gender (what’s in your head) and sex (what’s in your pants) match up, we can’t begin to imagine what that feels like – to feel like your body isn’t the way it should be. But we CAN have compassion and treat people as we’d like to be treated: as individuals with worth, dignity, and pride.

Everyone deserves to use the bathroom that makes them most comfortable. Everyone deserves to wear clothes that make them feel attractive and confident. Everyone deserves to be counted as someone that matters.

If you need someone to talk to, I’m here to listen. If you need a bathroom buddy, I’ll go with you. If you need to vent about some jerk who said or did something cruel, I’ll rage with you. That’s what an ally does. That’s what a FRIEND does.

I want to be your friend, if you’ll have me. heart emoticon

  • Angie Conley I’m so proud to call you my friend. There is hope for humanity, after all. If any of your trans friends need more friends, my heart is wide open. I support the LGBT community.
    19 hrs · Like · 1
  • Lynnie Lee Beautifully said.
    19 hrs · Like · 2
  • Melinda Shimizu I didn’t know that’s where “cis” came from. Cool!
    18 hrs · Like · 2
  • Linda Geenty Iskrzak I agree with all of that but wouldn’t want Jade to run into a (physical) man who is more comfortable as a woman in the restroom!
    18 hrs · Like · 1
  • Melynda Poplin A person is a person and we ALL need love and acceptance!
    18 hrs · Like · 2
  • Allison Katsufrakis Linda I totally understand your concern, but the truth is, a male person presenting as a woman using the female restroom is just trying to get in, pee, and get out with their dignity intact. Just the same as the rest of us!If we’re concerned about pSee More
    18 hrs · Like · 9
  • Barbara Stewart Hill If you start talking to your children at an early age about differences instead of trying to shelter them, then they will not be filled with fear and angst when they do run into them in the restroom.My husband had a colleague visiting from TorontoSee More
    18 hrs · Like · 3
  • Linda Geenty Iskrzak I started recording Bold and the Beautiful a little while ago, had heard they were having a transgender storyline. It’s pretty good so far! (It’s a pretty stupid soap overall…as they tend to be!)
    18 hrs · Like · 1
  • Julia Coolman Cis/trans are Latin prefixes used in a variety of contexts, such as geographic (cisalpine/transalpine Gaul) and chemical (cis/trans isomerism), with gender-related use being by analogy to the above. A lot of initialisms are false folk etymologies.
    17 hrs · Like · 1
  • Courtney Anne Goodey I don’t really understand the bathroom argument. If a man were using a women’s restroom, I guess I could see some concern for his motives. But a trans woman? Probably just trying to pee. I don’t see any threat there.I appreciate you posting about trans issues. It is something I would like to support but feel very ignorant about. Keep on educating!
  • Mike Katsufrakis Cis/trans are indeed latin antonyms, but I’ve heard many people use the “comfortable in skin” version to describe their situation. It may be a false etymology, but it’s apt.
    16 hrs · Like · 1
  • Allison Katsufrakis Julia Coolman thanks for the explanation! Courtney Anne Goodey even I am always learning! I can’t begin to feel like I am anything but a student. I’ll keep sharing – glad you’re learning too.
  • Mike Katsufrakis As for the bathroom thing, I believe Linda was more saying that if you’re not outwardly presenting as a man/woman, things could get awkward fast. If I was a trans woman and walked into the ladies’ room with a giant beard, I’m not sure I’d have an argument I could make.
    16 hrs · Like · 1
  • Mike Katsufrakis Of course, that’s reducing someone’s gender to some kind of costume or persona they assume, but I’d probably say there are plenty of straight folks, ally or no, who’d at LEAST raise an eyebrow if it looked like a lady came into the men’s room, or vice versa.
    16 hrs · Like · 1
  • Charissa White I have a lot of thoughts about Allison Katsufrakis post, too many to clutter up this space with.But just one thing to say: if other people had even one one thousandth of the heart she has, well the world would be so much better a place!I am humbled and astonished she would even give me the time of day, which she does… But that is nothing. She gives me completely normal, full agency as well. She actually sees ME.. My heart and soul. The joyous love she has for life also oozes her True compassion. This is not bs empty talk. I know.As to the concerns about bathrooms, those are almost instantly alleviated when you really get to know a Transgender person… But I will write more on that laters on my blog.Jus, Thx Alli… Ya did it again , made me feel good, and cry

Transgender Day of Visibility

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Today is Transgender Day of Visibility. It is a day to show support for the transgender community. It is a time to help fight transphobia by sharing information. image credit- Trans Student Educational Resources My son, Kris, is transgender. I…