Fungus

i tried to explain
the majesty of mushrooms
who grow best in darkness
and thrive in the damp
and flourish midst breakdown
and live in the bullshit

but he just laffed derisive
and opened his wolfmouth
and said you are still
just a fungus
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To All Trans-allies:

Remember, the steps you take so effortlessly are nearly impossible for us sometimes to even think about, let alone get over.  While you are busy “ally-ing”, be mindful to look down and let your eyes rest on us…

…and if we are scrabbling at the curb you stride over without thinking, just a lil hand on our bottom to skootch us up and over is so appreciated!

Oh…and that curb can be anything btw…from using the bathroom, to applying makeup, to obtaining healthcare…to getting a fair shake on a job application without having to hide gender status to merely walking down the street in peace without dodging globules of spit.

Thanks to you, Ally…you are appreciated greatly…just be mindful of us lil kittens!

Police search for clues in murder of transgender woman in Texas – LGBTQ Nation

Police search for clues in murder of transgender woman in Texas – LGBTQ Nation.

Constance, I am sure you already know about this crime, and so my posting it here is redunda…oh wait…of course you haven’t heard about it yet!

It is just a “so-called transgender woman”…poor thing just got what she deserved.

Nope…nothing wrong here.  Move along, move along.

Obviously, I was writing sarcastically to expose the reality of the underlying assumptions that empower the continued lack of it being any sort of an agenda item to protect the rights and well-being of transgender people.

And the count rolls on…good thing we have a transgender remembrance day so her death will not be in vain, right?  She can now serve as a lil tidbit for the cis-gender world to consume as an assuagement of conscience!  A lil “transgender tums” to relieve the indigestion caused by the wanton devouring of transgender people.

Do JUSTICE

Love MERCY

Walk HUMBLY

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Transmisogyny 101: What It Is and What Can We Do About It — Everyday Feminism

Transmisogyny 101: What It Is and What Can We Do About It — Everyday Feminism.

Dear Constance…I would be honored if you would read the article I linked to above.  It is about a real thing, a thing that I am experiencing more and more each day that goes by.

For real…transmisogyny is real.  I know first hand.

I want to tell you something:  if someone you know is transphobic and/or transmisogynistic, and you know better but do not stick up for the transgender people you know, then you are empowering that transphobia/misogyny.

They are not going to truly understand and get it that it is not okay to be that way until it hits them directly…affects them directly, and with consequences.

Constance…this is not the ranting of a shrill disenfranchised jealous outcast.  I was for 53 years considered amongst the brightest and the best.  I am a college graduate, with a 4.0 GPA since I was in the 7th grade.  I was a respected speaker, thinker, and leader.

And then I committed “Gender Murder” when I chose to transition and become myself…I was guilty of two unforgivable sins in our patriarchy:  first, choosing to be female when I could simply “be” male…and second:  “wasting a perfectly good man” as I was told…literally told that.

Did you get that?  To be a woman when I could continue to fake it as a man was a waste.

Cis-Sisters:  when you allow transmisogyny/phobia to occur in your presence, you actually reinforce your own worth-less-ness in the eyes of the patriarchy in general and the person hating in specific!

Cis-brothers:  when you allow people to hate on transgender people, especially when you allow other males to do that, you are tacitly hating too…and you are not only hating transgender people, you are devaluing your own wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers and female friends.  You make a mockery of nobility and civility and honor.

Strong words.

I know, right?  The nerve of me…pleading for sincere and honest action to back up words with.

But hey…it’s either that, and the potential discomfort it will cause for a bit, or it is stay silent, and work on that Transgender Remembrance Day Roster for next November…and you can sit in silence and feel good about your courageous acknowledgement of more dead people while their blood cries out in echo of the previous year’s…and the previous year’s…and…and…

My prayer is that one day we don’t even know what a transgender remembrance day is…because there is no more need for one.

PS:  If you are reading and thinking “but I don’t even know a transgender person” then I will clue you in:  you likely do, but don’t know they are transgender…and even if you don’t, then I ask why not?  If you have sympathy with our plight, there are services you can volunteer with, there are transgender people who need help, and all of us need a friend.

PPS:  And you still should make sure those around you know that it is not okay to be misogynistic/phobic, trans- or otherwise.

In serious stillness and love,
Charissa

Charissa and the Dementors (Part 2)

Back in late April I posted here about a book I wanted to recommend…

This book is by a woman named Stasi Eldridge and it was so challenging to me, so ministering to me, so full of life and hope.  It took me 5 months to read the whole thing, as I had to stop often to digest and even more?  I had to figure out how what she was writing translated to a transgender woman like me.  Many things she wrote about assumed riches and legacies that are part of the given riches that accompany a biologically female body, and may of the trials and resulting insights arose from dealing with the particular conditions that being biologically female present too.

I want to say right up front how I admire Stasi’s vulnerability and humility.  From years and years in leadership in various churches, and from some travelling ministry as well, I am all too familiar with the tendency of humanity to set people up on pedestals and elevate them improperly into lil demi-gods.  I continually resisted that effort, using self-deprecation and humble vulnerable openness about my own failings and issues as the ways to avoid being elevated into something I am not.  Stasi does this too, and does it well.

I read most of the book as “a colleague”, understanding a lot of subtext in technique and approach…but I received the book as a gigantic deposit of wealth into my bank account of womanhood…and then I got to thinking…about the other women like me, who could benefit so greatly from these kinds of ideas…which got me to thinking one step further:

What kinds of books is the church writing to christian trans-women, trans-men?  Stasi’s husband writes books to men (I have read them and taught from them, btw…they are very good too).  Are transgender women openly invited and welcome to christian women’s spaces and events?  If not why not?  Do transgender women have hearts that need touching from Jesus, from their Father, and from Mama…and sisters too…sisters who know how to do make-up, who know how to skillfully handle when men act like, well, men…would transgender women benefit from the fellowship of sisters who would receive them into corporate worship together as half of God’s Divine Image in humanity and thus help them to be more fruitful?

What about…what about…well, if you read here you know Charissa’s lil pea brain when it gets churning.

So I had the bright idea to write to Stasi, and short email telling her thanks for the book, a bit about myself, and my thoughts regarding trans-humans and the church.  Oh, I was so excited!  I checked in with Mama, and got a nod and a kiss on the forehead and She shooed me away on the  task, and I was so bubbly and excited as I sought to locate a means to communicate with Stasi.

A pretty thorough search was fruitless in obtaining an email address to write to.  Oh, I found plenty of Contact Us forms that are administered by others, but as the topic is delicate for most Christians because they assume a priori that being transgender is evidence of sexual sin somewhere, I was reluctant to use those forms.  I eventually did give it a shot, but was quite general in what I wrote in the desire for discretion and giving no occasion for someone to take offense.

It is important to know that I did do this, as you will see later…a dementor “knows” that I didn’t and “knows” that I ended up writing where I did for nefarious reasons that she lists…it is illustrative of the way of functioning that I alluded to in part one, and the deleterious effect of such way of being.  More on that later though.

I eventually found a blog that Stasi writes for and thought “Bingo!”  I can leave a comment and then she will contact me if she is interested, or merely not post the comment if she is not.  I did what Heather tells me is a great quality and a weakness:  I looked for and expected the best in people, and then foolishly expected they would act or speak in similar good faith.  See…that happens here at Grace Notes all the time.  People get in touch, want to correspond, and so I take it off the blog with them and we do our best to connect and build relationship or discuss concepts.  Right?

Obvi that is what would happen.

So…with Stasi alone in mind, not even thinking about anyone else who reads, I went ahead and wrote the message that leads the next post…and then in chronology I will copy the entire comment flow.

Why?

I will tell you why…I want to expose to a different audience the way of functioning that goes on in christendom…the insidious and hateful way that othering and policing operates and all in the name of love, or speaking the truth.  It is neither loving or truth telling…and often the perspective that the dementor type comes from is not even true in the first place, except to them in that it is their truth.

I wanted you here to see for yourselves the use of ad hominem attack, straw man arguments, and about as many other formal fallicies in argument and rhetoric as their are.  Sadly, the biblical truths that all souls are equal at the foot of the cross and that all biblical truth belongs to everyone and not just privileged clergy sets many people up for these errors.  They do not invest the time and study into the topic, or if they do, they do so in the effort to prove an already assumed point of view, which does not make one an expert on a topic but an expert on their own view of that topic.

Generally, when resisted or disagreed with the reaction is to other the disagreeing point of view with judgment…either of heart, of motive, or or status as “in the light” or “in deception”…and that othering is not based on any biblical teaching regarding ways of discerning truth and dealing with controversies but in the person’s own emotional investment in the topic.

And lastly, I share it here because it also is exemplary of the kind of comment that comes to my blog a lot and that I simply have kept to myself as part of the price to be paid in being transgender in a cisgender world that is being dragged into a paradigm shift kicking and screaming…Some trans people have a different style:  they post every hateful comment and nuke it with their own emotion and experience.  I have a different sense of what is effective and what I am called to.  But know that I deal with the bullying and trolling and threats mostly by just trying to be above it.

OK…read on for the comment flow…

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For Kat: My Friend, Sister, and in many ways my Hero

Mom confronts TERF bigotry aimed at her family | The TransAdvocate.

My friend Kat is a mom like this…Perhaps this article will not only educate you about a very specific form of trans-phobia, but show you the awesome power of a parent whose only lense for viewing their child is that of love.

Thanks Kat…

Your friend ‘Rissa

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Transgender Violence Is a #YesAllWomen Issue | The Nation

Transgender Violence Is a #YesAllWomen Issue | The Nation.

Constance.

Please.

Read this. Sorrowfully, sadly, I confess…before I came home to myself as who I am…a transwoman redeemed, I blindly and unconsciously participated as an oppressor in this issue.  <sob>

I am sooo sorry, Sisters…never again.  Ever.

And now, to find myself near the bottom of the power pyramid, by choice and never happier…the irony is rich, and radicalizing.

Teaser quote:

“All women are subject to the threat of violence when they exert agency over their own bodies, defying the expectations of men. For trans women, this agency also takes the form of choosing to express their true gender in public. They act against society’s expectations, especially those of men who feel they are entitled to define trans women’s gender. When trans women attract men, they anger those same men who cannot accept their attraction to a woman who was assigned male identity at birth. Because of this, trans women become the targets of violence…

“Like women who are held responsible for being raped because of their dress or demeanor, trans women are also blamed for presenting themselves according to their true gender. Like other women, trans women are accused of deceiving men, and their histories are used to justify violence against them…

Understanding trans violence as a women’s issue benefits both the trans and women’s movements. It allows trans women to connect their struggles with a broader and more extensive history. But more important, it also deepens our understanding of the struggles of all women, highlighting the lengths men are willing to go to in order to preserve their control over our bodies. It is only when women achieve equality, successfully battling against male entitlement, that trans women will no longer pose a threat to this social system. Trans women’s rights therefore serve as an ideal barometer for women’s rights in general.”

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Did you hear the one about…

…the 5th (read FIFTH) transgender woman of color in 41 days who was murdered in the Baltimore area?

No?

I didn’t think so…after all, she deserved it…she had it coming…she brought it on herself…she had a choice…

…victim blaming at its finest.  Let it soften your resolve, let it waft into your conscience like opium smoke and numb your “give a F**K” so you can sing the dreamy song of the addicted “same as it ever was, move along move along”.

Just keep on chooglin in your ordinary and safe, insulated and comfort lined…nothing going on here…

<SARCASM>

Yeah, right.  Nothing going on except a probable serial killer on the loose…well, isn’t that what we would think if it was the 5th young white girl murdered, mutilated and discarded in 41 days?

Constance…it does start with you.

If you read here regularly, if you by some miracle have found value in the things that I have written, if by an even bigger miracle you have seen me, desperate and kicking in my bondage, but slowly getting free with the help of modern science and the Love of God, then you need to realize that whoever is killing these women would kill me without a second thought, and throw me in the trash.

When will we discover the courage of our convictions, and speak out?  Wilberforces of our day and time, Esters to our generation of the oppressed and murdered?

They cannot free themselves.

Speak up.  Tell your friends what you are learning about what a transgender person is…and isn’t.  Correct ignorant statements, confront misogynistic statements, reject transphobic words and behaviours, and call into accountability the lifestyle of xenophobic  ostrich emulation.

Gawd, above all, when you see one of us, just greet with normal eyes and soft voice of kindness.

This morning I confess that I am slammed hard with the fresh reality that there are those who mouth the Precious Name, and then spit it into the mud and treat it

just like a murdered transwoman.

Staring you in the eyes and asking will you go?  Will you speak for us?

Will you speak for me?

Charissa Grace

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“That’s Good Enough” (Debi Jackson, Mother Of Transgender Child, Gives Moving Speech)

G’Morning Constance!  Another amazing mom tells her story of love and finding her girl inside a little boy’s skin.

I listen to these stories, and wonder what if…

This story is somewhat different, in that this Mom, Debi Jackson, experienced quite a bit of discrimination and trans-misogynist blame.  She takes on the typical tropes that were thrown at her like stones in attempts to police her and her family…and her daughter.

She is a fabulous, poignant speaker.  She is not afraid to show tears and passion…she is unashamed of her love of God, and knows biblical references to refute the hatred thrown her way by so-called christians.

Please…won’t you take a look?  These stories are all similar, but each unique experience adds a special tile to the mosaic of the expression of God to us in humanity.  I am excited to be a part of shining forth the parts that trans-gender people have to show for Them.

Love, Charissa

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Debi Jackson, Mother Of  Transgender Child, Gives Moving Speech

Posted: 07/15/2014 11:43 am EDT Updated: 07/15/2014 11:59 am EDT

“My daughter is six years old. She transitioned, which means she changed her outward appearance from male to female and started living full time as her true gender, when she was four. Until that point she was quite a rough and tumble little boy with a buzz cut and a shark tooth necklace.”

And so begins the absolutely beautiful speech Debi Jackson gave earlier this year about her transgender daughter, AJ, at the Unity Temple on the Plaza in Kansas City. As Jackson continues, she outlines how her family came to realize that AJ is transgender, what happened the first day she went to school “in girl clothes” and the bigotry her family faced.

But the best part of the video may be when Jackson addresses the comments she’s heard about her daughter and sets the record straight about statements like you “wanted a girl so you turned your child into one” and “kids have no idea what they want or who they are — my kids wants to be a dog, should I let him?”

Spend six minutes and get to know Jackson and her family a little better. You’ll be happy you did.

(h/t A Note To My Kid)

Transgender Violence Is a #YesAllWomen Issue | The Nation

Transgender Violence Is a #YesAllWomen Issue | The Nation.

Constance…this is must reading, but even more so…must living.

It must stop.

I do not care if you are male, female, gender fluid, straight, gay, bi, asexual…

I do not care if you are conservative or liberal, christian identified or not…the killing of women in general, and trans-women specifically is literally unacceptable!

By any standard, in any ethical system.

And yet it continues…

Men:  if you do not begin to lead out strong in your groups and spaces, and live out just and humble relationships, then you are as guilty of these crimes as the actual perpetrators…

Women:  if you stay silent, in word and deed, and do not find a way to make it clear to the people you are in relationship with that this way of living is unacceptable, then you are the modern day equivalent of the 1940s Jewish collaborators who sought to avoid persecution by collaborating with their oppressor.

I regret that I did not understand these things years ago…but that is irrelevant, for this is now.

Change must start now.  Right now…for if not, when?

After thousands more have been brutalized and senselessly slaughtered?

Sober and sorrowful,

Charissa

So: We see bald-faced…the trans-panic defense!

Quamar Edwards, suspect in transgender woman’s slaying, turns self in | Local News – WLWT Home.

Warning:  trigger alert.

I have not watched the video attached to this story, but I have read the account.  In it, we find the victim mis-gendered, and then blamed for her own death.  The murderer presents HIMSELF AS THE VICTIM!!!  

Think about it…isolate it out in your mind:  This huge strong man gives a transwoman a ride home, claims he panics because she made a pass at him (but he is thinking that she was a man and gay…so I guess that makes it justifiable to take a human being’s life?)…and so the only thing, really, to balance the scales of having an unwanted pass made at him, was to murder her, and then put her body in a fucking dumpster!!!!!

And then turn himself in while saying he wants to do the right thing.

Are you kidding me?  To my female readers…do you kill people when they make an unwanted pass at you?  If you did, there would be no men left on the earth!

I am asking you, Constance (and this means YOU…) to vocally and openly expose this form of victim blaming anytime you encounter it!

It is never okay to kill someone.  Period.

The worst part for me?  What these animals do with their victims’ bodies, which shows that it is never enough to just kill them…they must be dehumanized and demeaned to the ultimate, reduced to garbage, or fire fodder.

This is my world…I could be killed at any moment, should some animal decide I have no right to life merely because of how I was born!

In sorrow and tears,with broken heart…

Charissa Grace

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