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Dear Dr. Dorf,

Because I was  paralyzed by anger the last time I saw you-November 4th 2014-and rendered temporarily speechless by your callous disregard for my feelings,  I’m writing this letter to you today in response to your hurtful and un-professional comments during my second and last  visit.

While I’m sure you’re a decent doctor in terms of diagnosing and prescribing medication, you are a miserable failure at respecting minority rights, and treating minority people with respect and compassion.       I am of course referring t0 myself,  a Transsexual woman,  as the  extreme minority-a minority whose members  are abused and tortured physically and psychologically,  murdered with impunity, and still exist as a group of third class citizens without  full protection or rights as bestowed by state and Federal government.

I had barely warmed the plastic seat of the chair upon which I sat in your office when you asked about my menstrual cycle-and I calmly told you that I was a post op Trans woman. And when you recovered from the shock-you said,

“Ha! I told my son that if it has an Adam’s Apple he shouldn’t date it.”

I could see by the twinkle in your eye that you thought yourself glib…perhaps even entertaining.  Desperate to find help for my diminished respiratory capacity, I overlooked your insult.   But it was during my second visit to you that you revealed your true nature as an ignorant, bigoted, thoughtless, not to mention shallow human being.   Let me refresh your memory:

We were going over my respiratory chart results when you noticed that the values contained therein were listed for a female anatomy. So you said:

“I’ll be back.  I have to see the respiratory tech, and have this changed to male for the right numbers”.

I said, “Oh darn”.

And you said something that I will never forget .  You said:

“Well, at least you managed to FOOL the tech”.

I was so hurt and angry that I could barely speak.   You think I chose this path to ‘fool’ people?   You think I’ve lost my friends, family including children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and fifty years of personal history to fool people?   You think that I am a visible target for misogynists and hate criminals, and that I would risk my life to fool people? As far as I can tell, the only fool around with such callous disregard for my feelings as your patient is you.

Briefly then, I did not volunteer for this life.  Transsexuality, as well as the condition of transgender is a biological imperative.   We have no choice over this torturous convoluted path.   For if we did have a choice, we would scrupulously avoid this condition which brings us into proximity with ignorant, insulting, judgmental oafs like you. As a person with a medical background, you could find out the truth about gender identity rather effortlessly. But you prefer your self glorifying delusions.

Finally, I promise to dfo my best to publicize and broadcast your name throughout my community in order to prevent them from experiencing the same sort of   ‘surprise insult’    I received from you.  As you may have deduced from this letter, I won’t be back.  And frankly hope to never see you again  But if there is the slightest chance that you might be interest in the truth more than your own bigotry, I leave you a few links.

May the truth assist you in removing your head from the deep confines of your anus.

April Rosie Schneider

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_transsexualism

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7689007.stm

http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/TS.html

http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender.aspx

http://www.religioustolerance.org/transsexu3.htm

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Two Spirits

By

April Rose Schneider

Greetings to all human beings and their ancestors and to all sentient beings who honor their connection to Mother Earth.     My name is Rosie and I am a Two-Spirits healer.   I come to you now with an open heart and a passionate desire to share the vision and wisdom of two spirit medicine.   The medicine of my tribe is powerful because it symbolizes balance and harmony.    But more than that, the power of my medicine provides the context for the re-unification of the duality of opposites. In simpler terms, mine is the medicine of non-duality.    These words fulfill my responsibility to share my spiritual journey with the receptive hearts and minds of those who need to hear them.   For readers unfamiliar with the subject, I offer a brief description of two-spirited consciousness, followed by a short history of that tradition.  In the end, I will weave them together in a cosmic mandala for your meditation.

The expression “Two Spirits” refers to the manifestation of masculine and feminine energy in one individual.    It is a relatively new way of describing a tradition that has existed in indigenous cultures around the world prior to the development of western civilization.  In order to understand this tradition, this different way of viewing gender, we must first be clear on the distinction between sex and gender.     A popular saying describes the difference as follows: Sex is between the legs, gender is between the ears.   In other words, gender is not about sexual preference, rather it is the expression of our unique sexuality.

The expression of two-spirits in one individual is, more accurately, one’s spiritual expression of two polar aspects known as yin and yang.    The ancient symbolism of yin and yang, together referred to as the Tao, symbolizes the fundamental principle by which the Great Spirit animates and informs every thing that exists on this material plane.      At its most elementary level, yin and yang describe a balanced energetic relationship where yin is the passive principal and yang is the active principal.   Because yin defines yang, and yang defines yin, these opposing principles hold equal value in an idealized state of balance.    Relativity, interdependence and harmony provide form. From this original concept of the duality of opposites springs all other artificial concepts of division.

BRIDGING YIN YANG

I was born into the body of a male baby in 1951.      By the age of five, I became aware of a subtle disturbance in my energy field.     Within five years of this realization my young personality floundered in the turbulent waters of a gender identity process gone horribly awry.     A feeling of non-ordinary reality, accompanied by a growing sense of detachment, infused my daily existence.    I became depressed and withdrawn.

Over a period of years revelation came to me in dreams, where my spirit showed me the reason for my discomfort.   Each night as I lay in bed, I closed my eyes to find my spirit inhabiting the physical form of a happy little girl.  I didn’t know, or care at all how this transformation occurred. I was happy for a brief moment of peace.   As natural as a falcon taking wing, I accepted this dreaming aspect of my personality as an integral part of my being

Eventually, I found creative ways to stay home alone and express my other-gendered nature with the help of my mother’s wardrobe.   But these occasional interludes created another dichotomy: my joyful affinity for feminine expression would cause me great pain upon discovery.   Though I knew little of the ways of the world that lay beyond the safe confines of the post World War II, working class, cookie cutter neighborhood of my youth, I did intuit one of society’s essential, unspoken principals with profound clarity: good little boys did not live for stolen moments of cross-dressed glory.

In the American middle class of the1950’s, the world was divided into two kinds of gendered people: men and women. Any hint of cross-gendered behavior invited violence and humiliation. L found proof in the daily newspapers of America and felt the violent undercurrents of misogynism.    The realization that I could be the target of such hatred frightened me at the deepest level of my awareness.   From the very beginning of my conscious awareness I was caught in a moral dilemma of immense proportion.     In the place of healthy childhood development, my ravaged young personality resembled a rudderless ship being sucked into a maelstrom of sexual energies that I could feel but not articulate.     I intuited that some cosmic mix-up had occurred between my mind and body, yet I had no words to describe the sense of disassociation that I experienced on a daily basis.

Beginning in early adolescence and throughout the most crucial period of personality development, neurosis and self-loathing poisoned my spirit at every step on the path to adulthood. Contradictions that would not yield to logic confronted me at every turn, on every level of my being.  I had “awakened” in this present incarnation with extreme dissonance of mind and body that I dare not reveal on penalty of death.   While my spirit whispered an awareness of my two spirited nature in one ear, the societal voice of sexist bigotry screamed shame and fear into the other ear.  Imprisoned by fate in this physical form that I could not accept or change, I suffered in isolation for many years.

My sense of abandonment became a prison/fort where I became angry, suspicious, and withdrawn.  Despite a natural tendency as a child was to seek reliefthrough the wisdom of my parents, I knew intuitively that they weren’t emotionally stable enough to deal with these feelings that I could not describe.     Even more injurious to my tender young ego was my conviction that to speak my truth would expose my young spirit to the violence of a world locked in delusion.

By the age 15, a huge gaping chasm developed between the carefully constructed, socially acceptable male image that I exhibited and the overpowering impulse of my secret feminine self.   I was paralyzed by an irreconcilable contradiction.  Caught between the maxim that “Jesus loved me, because the Bible told me so” and the knowledge that if anyone discovered my deep, dark secret I would be burned at the stake, I teetered on the brink of madness with little hope for resolution.

I trusted absolutely no one including parents and friends, aunts and uncles, teachers or preachers.    Artifice contaminated all of my relationships save the one I had with myself.    A deep sense of dread prevented me from even thinking about communicating this delicate issue to anyone.     As a result of my universal mistrust-cum- paranoia, I found myself utterly alone, holding onto suicidal ideation as an antidote to the pain.

A few months after I graduated from high school, my life fell apart.    The flimsy masculine image I had employed as a disguise began to deteriorate. Without a high school audience to appreciate my impersonation of a young man, I was an actress without a part.  Severely depressed, I retreated into my own world–a sheltered, sacred world of intense intellectual exploration into the mechanism of human consciousness…

In 1969, scant information was available on the subject of transgenderism, the psychological model of people with a non-conforming gender identity.   Psychiatry, from the male dominant perspective, continued to treat gender identity as a sort of minor psychosis.  For hundreds of years, institutionalization was the treatment of choice for people who were not comfortable in their assigned gender.  I struggled to maintain my male disguise while searching for a right path to understanding.

Despite my baptism as a good Lutheran boy, and a lifetime of half-hearted supplication, my prayers went unanswered. This dubious god of the pious masses had abandoned me. Two spirited people were not mentioned in the Bible, or any other religious text.  Logically then, I abandoned the notion of this cruel God, whose biblical omission continues to cause untold suffering and needless death.     By the time I had reached my early twenties, as an antidote to the spiritual toxicity of right-wing fundamentalist religion, I embarked on a life long study of the ancient belief systems of indigenous peoples.

 

THE OLD BECOMES THE NEW

I began my education with Native American tribes who perceived the energetic relationship of humans to their environment in a profound way that, as a result of genocide, may be lost to us forever. From the documentation of explorers and anthropologists, I found that indigenous cultures around the world valued the manifestations of the spirit so infinite in its diversity.  The Great Spirit’s creative authority was not questioned in matters of divine expression.  The Native Americans accepted all expressions of the Great Spirit as containing a wisdom nature that provided essential balance in every aspect of their environment.

One-hundred fifty years before I was born, the dreams of my youth would have been a sign from the Great Spirit that I was meant to be a two-spirited medicine person in Native American culture.   An apocryphal story of one North American tribe points to this sort of implicit acceptance of the will of the Great Spirit regarding gender:  According to oral history, a young boy or girl who showed the slightest indication of cross gendered behavior was placed in a grass hut with one male toy and one female toy. The hut was then set on fire. If the child’s gendered choice was ‘opposite’ their natal sex, the Great Spirit had spoken in affirmation of the child’s dual gender/nature thereby placing them in high esteem in the tribal society.

Each tribe had a name for these special people: The Lakota referred to them as Winkte [would-be woman].   The Navaho called them “nadleeh“[one who changes time and again].    In the Crow tribe, they were named “bade”, and the Zuni called them “ilhamana”.     Though the names of the Two-Spirit people varied greatly from tribe to tribe,   the trans-national similarities of their two-spirit traditions were remarkable considering the territorial nature of tribal life.\

Native Americans in general recognized the two-spirit folk as divinely imbued with a special insight regarding human nature.    Based on this gift of the spirit, tribes conferred much honor on them in terms of their position and responsibility to the tribe.    The spiritual gifts of their dual nature promoted them to positions of reverence in the role of hunters, story tellers, shamans, warriors, medicine persons, informal marriage counselors, and leaders of naming ceremonies.

Male born two-spirits were considered especially valuable in the sense that they performed the duties of a woman with the strength of a man.    Many woman born two-spirits were fierce warriors, respected by their fellow male warriors for their high level of skill in horse riding and counting coup.   Indigenous society did not judge, chastise, ridicule or kill the two spirited person as did white society.   They celebrated the gifts of diversity.

This indigenous appreciation for the necessity of balance through the interplay of yin and yang came to a sad end with the genocide of the North American Indian. With the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and zealous Jesuit missionaries, the two spirited tradition of the North American Indians was destroyed by the violence of enforced acculturation.

History now provides us with a tragic account of the many sordid ways that Spanish Conquistadors, driven by a belief  system that married  white supremacy with pseudo-pious religious imperialism, began a murderous, systematic war of cultural attrition against the “brown skinned” cultures of the North American continent.When the Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca landed in Florida in the year 1530 and discovered the Timicuan Indians who lived there, notations in his diary indicated that he had witnessed “soft Native American males dressing and working as women’.

The Timicuan were a small elegant, artistic tribe located in northern Florida.  Far from the violence of the northern and western tribes, they had little reason for weapons and no shame about these soft males whom de Vaca referred to as berdache– from the Persian “bardaj,” a derogatory term   The proud conquistador celebrates while two-spirited people are thrown into a pit, mauled by wild dogs and suffer a slow painful death.   Beginning in the 1880’s, as proper American society moved across the Great Plains and into the mountains and deserts of the west, people encountered more of these “odd savages” and became determined to recreate Indian society in the image of Euro-American culture. Native Americans were taken away from their homes, their villages, their tribes, and families and acculturated into white society en masse.  Dressed and shorn in fashion of white culture, they were often imprisoned where they were beaten like animals for the slightest indication that they might not wholeheartedly embrace the ways of their captors.

The intentional destruction of Native American culture and the subsequent violent imposition of European Neo-Victorian values signaled the beginning of the end ofthe two-spirit tradition on the North American continent.    By the early 1900’s, their proud tradition was little more than a footnote in a rare historical text.Ironically, while religion succeeded in destroying the two-spirited tradition in indigenous North America, the essence of two spirited wisdom persists despite its detractors.   I am living proof.   From my earliest memories, I have known myself as a human being with a male spirit alongside an equally prominent feminine spirit. Long before I had heard of the term two spirits, I experienced it as a psychological context of my existence.

AWAKENING FROM THE DREAM OF THE WORLD

As I delved further into the anthropology of pagan/indigenous spiritual belief, I began to draw strength from the images of proud two-spirited people–celebrated for their diversity, wisdom, bravery, courage, and spiritual power in indigenous tribes across the globe.   I found numerous examples, both mythological and historical, of people with androgynous character. In these colorful pan-cultural narratives, I read of both men and women who were transformed into members of the opposite sex, either permanently or temporarily, for the sake of punishment or education.  From their legacy, I found liberation from the applied stigma of an intolerant, judgmental society

This new perspective empowered me with the knowledge of my inherent spiritual strength, but with validation came responsibility.   No longer was it possible to play the victim. I made the conscious decision to recreate my self image based on a model of the the two spirited elders who had gone before me.   My warrior’s spirit, suppressed for so many years by internalized shame and bigotry, found inspiration in the knowledge that peoplelike me were validated in ancient history.    I embraced this new manifestation of the spirit and resolved to let it guide me in my search for enlightenment  Buddhists call it maya; the Toltec call it the Dream of the Planet. The Dream of the planet is the collective conditioning that creates duality where none actually exists. Maya is the conditioning that justifies war and poverty, abuse and oppression, judgment and punishment, right and wrong, and murder for the sake of ideology.   Regardless of the name, the process that no humans can avoid is the non-critical internalization of information as directed by the intention of the Dream world we enter.   As I assimilated this unified theory of consciousness, my life began to make sense.

 

In his book of profound wisdom, “The Four Agreements”, Don Miguel Ruiz makes the point succinctly,“Humans are dreaming all the time.   Before we were born the humans before us created a big outside dream we will call society’s dream or the dream of the planet dreams which together create a dream of family, a dream of community a dream of city, a dream of country and finally a dream of the whole humanity The dream of the planet includes all of society’s rules, its beliefs, its laws, its religions, its different cultures and ways to be, its government, schools, social events and holidays.” At the crux of the process is our agreement to the terms of our survival. With the capacity to dream from the moment of birth, our attention is contingent upon our need to survive.

Thus, when you are lying in your crib at the age of two, cold and hungry, without the benefit of personal boundaries, you will agree to any ordered condition of your specific environment in order to continue living.  At the moment a parent or guardian, who orders or allows the conditions of our little world, enters our sacred space and infects it with negative energy, we internalize those conditions. The absorbent yin nature of infantile consciousness provides the ideal context for the establishment of layered patterns of dysfunction.    This patterning describes the process of random input that determines personality. As this initial layer becomes fixed in time, self awareness is built on an endless loop of a conditioned patterning and reactive emotion.

With no discrimination possible upon our entrance into the Dream, our attention is hooked by the intention of a world committed to sustaining this conditioning.   This process of indoctrination begins to shape our young personality.   All of our values, institutions, familial obligations, and sense of self are creations of the collective dream state.  By our agreement to this persistent imposition of conditions, we project a reality in which we become our own judge, jury and executioner. Our words become the weapons of the indiscriminate process by which we spread the toxin of judgment and endless suffering.

Our investment in this illusion of consciousness perpetuates our sense of isolation and separation from the whole.  This process, from a psycho/societal view, referred to as identity politics, is the antithesis of a cohesive peaceful society.   Identity politics divides and subdivides human beings into an infinite number of categories based on superficial characteristics.   This elevation of ego by insidious, subliminal propaganda causes great suffering by creating a false hierarchy of values that celebrates neurosis, negates our humanity and establishes a context for oppression.

Invigorated by this new, liberating model of conscious development, I began to review my personal involvement in the Dream to gain a more rational perspective on my two-spirited condition. In a life changing epiphany, ancient wisdom pierced my heart like a lightning bolt –illuminating the darkness of a life lived in the shadows.   The raging river of caustic rhetorical hate and judgment, that had infected my consciousness for so long, was transformed into a harmless trickle that merged with the Tao of knowing.

FINDING THE REAL ME

Like so many indigenous two spirited folks before me, I had entered the world with a Dream of my own.   I am one of the fortunate ones–chosen by the Great Spirit to manifest this noble Two Spirits tradition in a society that manifested lethal sexism.    The simple act of being born with equal parts masculine and feminine renders me a social pariah. In a world so heavily invested in the duality, I represent a threat to the power structure– doomed to a life lived in the shadow of mainstream society, or any society at all.

Throughout many years of suffering, I wandered blindly in the darkness of my own illusion.   I have survived the perilous conflict between the world Dream and my own  personal dream by deconstructing my sexist conditioning through the lens of my essential humanity.    Through the warrior’s act of intention, I have recreated my “self” based on the gift of Two-Spirited medicine that guides me on this personal journey of transcendence.    Personality, based on illusory thought–produced by a shared corrupt ego state–burdens me no more. The Dream of the world has lost its steely grip. My spirit shall not yield to the deception.

My life as a two spirited person today is full and rich because I honor myself in my Two Spirits tradition.    No longer am I afflicted by the illusion of the duality.    Within me, yin and yang are one, undivided–undifferentiated. I am neither this nor that. I represent the unification of the first binary–the primary subdivision that occurs at the moment of birth at the whim of a stranger in white. I reject this arbitrary distinction based on a cursory inspection of my genitalia. I am a human being and that is enough.  Endless subdivisions of identification only enhance my separation from other humans.

All sentient beings enter this material plane with the essence of their luminous character momentarily intact. Our consciousness is tabula rasa–a blank slate upon which is written the disparate elements of our future personality. Within minutes of our birth, we are assigned a gender based on our genitalia.   At the precise moment of this declaration, the infant is set on one of two very different paths whose parameters determine flux and flow of its life.    By the time we reach first year’s end, we are baptized by delusion.    The Dream clouds our vision, separating us from the source of our essential brilliance. And we forget.

We forget that before we internalized the identity that causes us to feel the immense pain of separation and isolation we were united as light beings in an energetic dimension of non-duality. We forget because human consciousness produces a false ego-based concept of gendered duality that is perpetually reinforced through violence and other forms of coercion.  Before we know what or who we are, sexism becomes the engine of social control. By the dominance/submission agreement into which men and women enter, this dream of sexism creates and perpetuates the suicidal imbalance of power and ensures our future disharmony.

While the dream of sexism continues to inflict pain much of man’s violence toward women cannot be understood in a rational sense.  Perhaps this murder by misogyny is man’s way of killing the feminine within himself in an effort to reinforce his self image of manhood.   Regardless of the motive, the prevalence of misogyny is the best evidence of our nihilistic tendencies.   While the Dream of sexism is too powerful to confront directly, its negative consequences are too destructive to ignore.  Until we as a global society are willing to confront this shadow side of our collective unconsciousness, we wobble on the brink of self destruction

We live in a very potent, extremely perilous time.  With the passing of each decade the world, precariously out of balance on the fulcrum of time, slides inexorably into the darkness. With the aid of industrialization and technology, we are losing our humanness under the immense burden of our artificially inflated egos.   What we refer to as culture is a euphemism intended to disguise the totality of our conditioned violence  that includes man’s violence against man, against women and against Gaia.  We are ‘civilized’ animals who have forgotten what is sacred.

The mysterious, awesome spirit of life, that animates and gives meaning to everything, ironically empowers the mechanism of its own demise.    Unbalanced, unbridled ego imbues the individual with the necessary rationale to commit the senseless destruction of life for the sake of ideology.    These are discomforting truths, yet we have no choice but to confront them while we still have our collective human will.    As conscious beings, we must take responsibility for our behavior, or perish in our apathy.    No longer is it practical to externalize authority.  No god will save us-none but the one we find within us.

A WARRIOR’S STANCE

A spiritual warrior must use all of their intention to pierce the veil of illusion that defines our lives, reinforces our sense of separateness, and perpetuates our suffering.  For as long as we are dominated by egocentric politics, a fatal imbalance of yin and yang threatens us with extinction.    A return to balance requires a commitment to a fearless, non-judgmental exploration of the self from earliest memory.    Most of the agreements that we have made since our first moments of life must be broken.    Our numerous defense mechanisms, all of our deepest darkest fears, all grasping, and all of our attachments must be reviewed in the context of the Dream.     Only when these subconscious negative obstructions melt away will we find the light within ourselves.

If we are serious about becoming a spiritual warrior for the benefit of ourselves and the collective, we must first focus on the healing nature of unconditional self-love.     This can only happen when we break with the subconscious, self limiting agreements of our past.  Believe that you deserve love, and with time the many layers of accumulated toxic patterns lose their evil power. Your commitment to begin your own healing with the power of love is the most important agreement one can make, for logic dictates that one can not give away something one does not possess. Begin now. Make a vow to love everything about yourself everyday.    Demonstrate self-love in every moment with every act.

Personal freedom requires a firm commitment to renounce the oppressive conditioning that leads us into the darkness of despair . I ask that you join me now and everyday as I renew the vows that produce beneficial karma.      For the benefit of all sentient beings; I take a vow of non-violence in my words and deeds. I vow to practice compassion toward myself that I may then extend it to others, I pledge to be ever mindful of the rotten fruits of desire, and I will do whatever I must to transcend the illusion of personal identity. Towards that end, I vow to polish the mirrored lens of my spirit that I might reflect the sun’s perfect light that shines in you.

The Divine Light in Me Honors the Divine Light within You.

NAMASTE

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I just finished watching a BBC documentary about Transsexuals in Iran entitled “Be like Others”.      Several issues presented in the film affected me deeply.    First, Iranian transsexuals have no idea what life is like here for their brother and sister trans.    The censorship is second only to Iran’s male dominated, authoritarian society that has decreed that homosexuality is a perversion and Transsexualism is a birth anomaly.

How they arrive at this decision derives from the Koran that vilifies homosexuality and does not mention trans.    Perhaps because when the Koran was written, like the Bible, there were no trans people. or if there were, they were so heinous as to be ignored by the men who wrote those books.   My guess is that we transsexuals are a more modern development.

Back to the documentary, Iran is one of the most sexist and therefore sexually repressive regimes in the modern world.    And if there is a more repressive place, I don’t even want to know about it.    The reality of this distinction, this weird reversal of fortune, is that If you are truly trans, you get more help and support in Iran than here in the land of the free.      Financial support for the operation, short-term facilities for recovery, an instant birth certificate and most likely a life of quasi respectability including legal marriage.

But Allah help you if you were born homo. You’ll be lucky to escape alive. Talk about a weird cultural shift…

I blame The Dream. Read about it HERE          http://02f0972.netsolhost.com/

The dream creates and reinforces Gender as a condition of our humanity.     And the rules, the conditions are written by men.    Now and then, global culture represents the hopes and fears of human beings in the context of a Male dominated society.      Thus morality and ethics are relativistic concepts as determined by testosterone driven consciousness.       Therefore if something is abhorrent to men, those things eventually become abhorrent to the rest, whether there exists justification or not.    Indeed social mores are either designed by male thinking or rejected by the same.

No more or less justification exists for transsexuals as for homosexual behavior. But religion is not, nor has ever been a bastion of scientific or  critical thinking. And the only proof that Iran needs to condemn an entire subgroup to a life of shame and misery is the Koran.    They are not alone in their moral duplicity. All major, patriarchal religions, all religion, uses a “holy book’, which only they as men are allowed to interpret.

The fact that religion post dates gender expression does not matter to religion at all.      Religion specializes in rewriting history to satisfy the institutions of Male hegemony across a global setting. And because men are bigger and stronger, they re also bullies.    Not all men are bullies,  but the same fear that permeates the global trans community silences more sensitive men who might support other’s human rights.

The concept that a state of any kind holds the power to determine gender expression with the ever constant threat of violence is a symptom of social engineering destined to fail.  Nature does not and never will conform to our expectations.  Diversity is the foundation of creation.     Only through the myopic human projection of culture, programmed into every living cell, do we sanctify these predominance of binary gender.  Gender follows the same linguistic pitfalls of the concept of god:  Everyone knows what it is but no one can describe or define it.    Yet because of gender’s importance as a tool of social control, we are light years away from a true humanist solution.

Turning gay and lesbians into post op transsexuals and transsexuals into prostitutes is not only a human rights abuse issue in the guise of religion, it is the best example of violent sexist male dominant culture in the not so civilized world.

The somber end of the documentary included a scene where a post op Iranian woman describe her life so similar to mine.    Rejected by her family, she turned to a life of ‘temporary marriage’ -little more than state sanctioned prostitution and described her inability to love.  She broke down and cried as she felt the loneliness and abandonment that I know so well.    And I cried with her…for all of us.

SISTER POWER

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    I resist the impulse to blog because, well honestly, so few people read it. Blogging to me is an exercise in social masturbation and minor personal catharsis. Yet how cathartic can it be if I feel like I am trying to save water by pouring it through a sieve?    So I write as a therapeutic Taoist Way of dealing with this life  so barren, so lacking in intimacy externally, yet so warmed by the currents of rich internal river of perception and analysis. I project no outcome, and expect no ego gratification.

Often at the place where these two points of awareness meet, the inner and the outer, I feel the inner space expanding at the expense of the outer. The material world shrinks from my awareness perhaps as a means of self-protection. Things are getting ugly out there.

So I have resigned myself to write as an exercise in futility. And I do so while convincing myself that doing  the right thing for the right reason brings the right effect, and let it go.      Then I backslide  and ask myself  Well Sister, if no one reads it, then why bother?  Now it’s getting ugly in here.   Then I remember. I know the reason I blog, remnded by friend who said to me

“But what if it helps one person. What if it eases one person’s suffering?”

So today I do research for the web site that I am perpetually working on, TransgenderLifeSupportServices, and I ran across the website for Naropa University. Naropa enters my awareness so frequently that my brain tries to squeeze some fatalistic forecast out of it. Like maybe I belong there as student and/or teacher.   But that’s impossible. I can’t belong there, based on my unique status as a Two Spirits person. I don’t belong anywhere.

My feelings are all about  Transsexual Class Oppression factor, a very real aspect of our society. Trans people aren’t an oppressed minority. We are an oppressed subset of every other group or minority that exists or has ever existed. We are the people who the oppressed oppress.

But still…many of my inspirations have a relationship with that place. Allen Ginsberg,  B.K.K. Iyengaar, and my friend Kate who lives there and is in that circle. Yet I do have concerns about the classism.. And being at the bottom of the social food chain, I have no resources…and no reason to hope for anything that my resemble success.

And that’s sad for me and the people who will never hear what I have to say. Mine is not a very popular view but most great philosophies, note I did not say great philosophers, must age like fine wine before their relevance is widely known. And I happen to think that my philosophy is as profound as any other.  Socrates may have been a great philosopher in his time, but verily I say unto thee  Socrates WAS NO TRANSSEXUAL, and thus held a lopsided view of the universe . Did Socrates know the suffering of men AND  woman. I think not.

So’s I’m gettin’ a little uppity here, thinking highly of myself and whatnot, and I’m thinkin’ Hey, I’m so darned smart, I could probably larn them Naropa folks sumpin’. Sumpin’ like the Theoretical and Practical Applications of Applied Metaphysical Determinism.  Damn! Sometimes I even impress myself.

So I did a little wandering around on the website just to see if there was the slightest chance that Naropa might take pity on a lowly, aged,  impoverished, self-made philosophical FREAKIN’ GENIUS like me. And then I found this: 

Academics

The pursuit of wisdom at Naropa University means learning both about academic subjects and about one’s own place in the world. The mission of contemplative education—combining the best of Western and Eastern academic traditions—places Naropa on the cutting edge of the newest and most effective methods of teaching and learning.

One’s own place in the world?  I can’t identlfy with that.   I am the wanderer, drifting high over shark infested waters…wary of inclusive statements that don’t include me.  The statement makes the erroneous assumption  that one necessarily has a place in the world. The statement  implies that being spiritually and psychologically homeless lacks equality with having ‘ a place.’  Naropa leans toward one side of the duality. Too bad. That’s my meat and potatos. For the existence of imbalance, in my humble opinion, may only be rectified by a thorough  and rigorous process of deconstruction.  That’s my specialty. I’m the Deconstructionist.

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I’m so confused. I’m building an old Harley. The other day I was shocked to find male dominated, hetero-normative gender baiting language right there in front of me in my official HD Repair Manual on the topic of Tranny Rebuilding….oh, wait. Okay, now I got it.      So apparently tranny means something else to a mechanic.

I should have known that.   I’m a mechanic too.   So I would be, or am, dependent upon your politics, a  MTF Tranny mechanic rebuilding an HD Tranny. More to the point, I am a Granny Tranny and my transmission could be called my Granny Tranny tranny, and I would be a Granny Tranny Tranny mechanic.  I think.

And I do think  about  this problem of  language, and the power it has in the hands of a ruling class and their minions.  While I continue to agonize over the technological aspects of building my website, TransgenderLifeSupportServices, and play with my tranny, I peruse some of the other  radical writers of the alternative sex and gender community and marvel at the politically correct and incorrect lines of thought regarding the nature of the infinitely diverse categories and subsets of the aforementioned labels. In fact, a couple of times I even tried to make some connections with the other members of the group by leaving comments that ranged from the banal to the inflammatory. And WOW, it’s a like the Fight Club in some of those bastions of  Trans-intellectualism!

Rancor and vitriol [hey, those are great names for cats] rule the discussions about the words that are used to describe us…and I hope you know who I am referring to because I am more than a little afraid of any specificity that might incur the wrath of…well, you know, those people.

This absurb suicidal in-fighting, at just the moment when success for the movement seemed imminently possible, is one of the best indications that one of the states oldest weapons against minorities has indeed succeeded in fracturing  a movement already  imperiled by the psycho-social model of liguistic fascism.

To our great peril, we fail to take into account  the supremely subtle methods that the state uses to disempower any movement that might empower a certain artificially constructed group of people.

 If you doubt that this is a tool of the state, read or re-read the brilliant mind altering treatise on “The People History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn, R.I.P.  One cannot truly understand the situation that we  ‘FILL IN THE BLANK’  people find ourselves in without a deep understanding of the classism of sexual politics as determined by the state.

The level of linguistic imperative that exist now across all groups and subgroups of minorities in general is a symptom of a malaise that suits the purpose of the state, whose first and historically succesful weapon is fiendishly clever: Divide and Conquer.     Technically, the purposeful  linguistic division of a community or nation state  initiates the state’s goal of disempowerment. Often then,  the people do the rest.

There is no actual point at which this language based artifice begins. For as long as we have had male dominated society, we have male dominant language. In this sense the outcome of the discussion is a foregone conclusion. If the language is a precondition of our existence, so is the model upon which the language is predicated.

So I read the pages of my favorite TG/TS..okay, maybe I should put the TS first. But wait then I would offend the…okay, so I am just going to call you My People. You know who you are. Where was I?  Oh, so when I read the angry defensive exclusionary comments on so many blogs these days, I do so with a nod to the Apparachik. You, Sir, er uh, M’am… I’m so afraid of offending one of those…you know.    Anyway, YOU WIN!

The abstract divisions between humans, that seem so solid with the use of the state supplied language, exist because we confirm them.  When I was born in 1951, I had no verbal categorical description for the human being that I was becoming, therefore had no means of appraising or judging myself. 

 Later, in David Reuben much maligned book “Everything You Wanted to Know about Sex…” I found out that I was a transvestite. Oh the Ho-wah. Then I discovered Money and Green and knew that I was a transsexual. EEK!

Then I read Will Roscoe and decided I am Two Spirits. Then I realized that by the use of language, I had just created neurosis in myself.  And now after all these years, I don’t know what I am.

And I like it that way. As a benefit of having arrived at a point of linguistic liquidity, I now get to call myself whatever I want because I don’t know what any of it means to you. And even if I did know what it meant to you, I couldn’t change that about you. And why would I? What you think of me is none of my business.

But I can still have fun using the language to tickle or club people’s linguistic prejudice by virtue of their rigid subjective perception. I love to say things I ain’t sposed to,  in fact I would venture a bit further by saying it’s my job. To those who are fond of saying that everything happens for a reason, this is my raison d’etre- a full assault on political correctness.

So I call myself Sissygirl, with the intention of disempowering it as a pejorative of state authorized language. I tell people that my experience  as a post op Trans woman gives me the right to call MYSELF society’s new nigger. Despite the fact that the third definition in the Mirriam- Webster’s defines nigger as ‘any socially disadvantaged  group of people’, this usage always draws gasps  of shock and an indictment of my political insensitivity. Unfortunately, it rarely stimulates a discussion about  freedom of speech as described in the first amendment to the Bill of Rights.

This continual bickering between us, and I mean all of us, must stop, or it will have the same dire consequences as it did for all the other failed attempts at concensus that preceded our movement.  We are not the enemy. We must not turn on ourselves. Let’s take a step back for the sake of a little detachment, and identify the historical enemy of the people. Only then may we succeed by the combined weight of our intention to achieve human rights for all people.

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Confession:  I‘ve been doing it for years and it hurts more every time I do it.  No, it’s not masturbation or any other painfully gratifying form of self absorbing behavior.   In fact, it’s much less satisfying than any of those other things you may now be fantasizing about.

I’m referring to the venerated independent news program called ‘Democracy Now’, currently broadcast on Free Speech Television.   For at least ten years I have been waiting with bated brain for some morsel, a mere smidgen of a reference to the plight of America’s invisible minority–the transgendered population.

Many years ago when I still believed in the power of the press, I held out hope for an independent news broadcast that would disdain the lives of the rich and powerful.  In the early days of Democracy Now, I theorized that the act of monitoring the show over time would yield a percentage of coverage relevant to transgendered issues. I am apparently too optimistic. Now  it seems that even the power of the independent press, which was once synonymous with the power of the people, has been usurped.

For all of these years that I have been l have been monitoring  Amy Goodman and ‘Democracy Now’, I have waited patiently, with very little jaw grinding accompaniment, for the compassionate Ms. Goodman to join the tiny crowd of voices screaming for transgendered justice.    Unfortunately of late, my confidence in Ms. Goodman notwithstanding, I’ve grown suspicious of the  passivity of my television watching habits, and resolved to do some research that might my prove my  observational skills incorrect. Unfortunately, a little research merely confirmed  my perception.

WE’RE SKEWED!

A visit to the Democracy Now website  http://www.democracynow.org proved revealing:  A search for sex and gender  related terms, beginning with the year 2000, showed 538  instances of the word ‘gay’, 175 instances ‘lesbian’,  thirty-four results that mentioned transgender and nineteen results for ‘LGBT’,  all but one of which were exclusively gay related.  Last and apparently least in the eyes of the progressive media, the subject of transsexualism ranked the lowest with a dismal five stories.

]No, it’s not a typo, I counted five stories on transsexualism over a period of more than a decade, of which two were repeats of the transgender related stories.

Another story was an interview of Michael Eric Dyson including brief mention of the need for inclusion of the GLBT community by the church. Dyson’s point of view was contrasted by another article, from 2008 that described Pope Benedict XVI’s case of extreme homo/trans phobia. The earthshaking, yet quasi-compassionate sounding headline appeals to not one but two darker aspects of the human consciousness, fear and the pride of ignorance.

Pope: Homosexuality Could Lead to Self-Destruction of Human Race

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/23/headlines#12

And last, a blurb about the former city manager of Largo Florida who was fired for beginning a gender transition on the job:

City Officials in Florida Fire Transsexual City Manager

http://www.democracynow.org/2007/3/26/headlines#18.

My point in mentioning these stories is to expose their inherent banality and complete lack of a rational, humanistic approach to an emerging phenomenon that means life or death to so many people whom I refer to as the ‘invisible minority’.–invisible because of the violent enforcement of sexism as it frames the gender binary. There are actually two subsets of this socially reinforced invisibility.

The most familiar of these two groups, ironically,  are transgendered people who live lives of stealth, whose goal in life is simply to ‘pass’ as a member of their  innate, internal self identified gender out of the very real fear of the violence that often accompanies judgment and condemnation.   Comprising the rest of this ‘invisible’ minority is the countless number of humans who repress the expression of an alternate gender identity out of the very  real fear of degradation and ostracism

Not only do these crimes against minorities rarely see the ink of major news outlets, according to the TRANSGENDER LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND,    http://transgenderlegal.org/page.php?id=60,  culpability by mainstream news agencies,  for the ongoing persecution of TLGB  people spills out in random waves over a broader section of the populace

“Inaccurate hate/bias crime reporting can unintentionally support a blame-the-victim strategy. Personal assaults and criminal acts may only involve a single victim, but perpetrators often intend them to send a message that LGBT people are legitimate targets for abuse, harassment and violence.  (In fact, the victims of some anti-gay hate crimes are heterosexuals who are thought to be gay.  In 2008, 9% of all victims reporting anti-LGBT violence to the NCAVP identified as heterosexual.)

THE DEVIL IN THE DETAILS

On November 20th of each year, the transgender community holds a vigil celebrating the lives of individuals of predominantly transgender people. The commemoration is  known by the TLGB community as the Transgender Day of Remembrance, completely ignored in  the archived pages of  ‘Democracy Now’ or anywhere else, is a peer collaborative effort to  …

… memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead”  web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in dozens of cities across the world.

A review of the website The Transgender Day of Remembrance, http://www.transgenderdor.org/?page_id=192 dedicated to creating a heightened awareness over the hate crimes, is a daunting experience.   The cumulative numbers  no doubt under report the grim stats.   Yet they remain very disturbing from a humanist perspective. From 1970 to November of 2009, 305 people were murdered here in the United States for the fatal error of being unique in their personal expression.   America, ever competitive in all forms of endeavor, can be proud of its hate, for in the entire world there were only 276 hate murders for the same period.   Although, the similarity of the global figures are suspect due to a myriad of inhibiting religious and cultural implications of reporting hate crime, the grand total of people murdered for the mere expression of gender alternatives globally was 581.

NO REST FOR WARY

Hate is like a mutant virus that thrives in the darkness of societal bigotry.  Nurtured in the infected test tube of the nuclear family, it poisons the heart of all who allow it into their system. Hate toxifies the mind with the bitter rhetoric of societal condemnation, so often based on fear-mongering and a perceived threat to the male dominant hierarchy. Yet the persistence of  hate motivated crimes against the transgender community is consistently ignored by this show, Democracy Now,  that proclaims to support democracy.

We need not look very far at all for a recent example. During the week that I wrote this post, the news comes that Uganda is on the verge of making homosexuality, and no the doubt transgendered lifestyle, a crime punishable by death. This story like so many others received no mention by mainstream media…or Amy Goodman.

The blatant omission of this very newsworthy story speaks loudly about this culture’s lack of concern for human rights and  begs the question WHY. Why are we as a global transgendered minority consistently ostracized and marginalized by a purportedly progressive media  whose archival programming reveals it to be, more accurately, moderate or slightly to the left of center?    Sadly, we  are left to guess at the answer.   But  we can safely deduce that this fatal omission lies in the mentality of those who make the programming decisions-and typically,  they lack the courage to speak their truth.

The act of omitting the coverage of rampant, widespread hate crimes against  any group, especially by  so-called progressive media news outlets like ‘Democracy Now’,   is tacit complicity in the application of oppression, PERIOD.  It is analogous to the act of witness murder from a distance, and using that distance as a rationale for doing and saying nothing that might implement justice.  With the inherent power of the media to influence public attention  in the 21 rst century , the act of non-reporting indirectly condones the suffering of a vast global minority.

For all my years of faithful watching and listening to‘Democracy Now’   I have eagerly  anticipated a show about democracy, small ‘d’, whose stories focused on human rights abuses of the transgendered minority populations  of  the global culture. For a brief, shining moment, with the emergence of the ‘Free Speech Television Network,  http://www.freespeech.org  I allowed myself a thread of hope.  Yet the genre of programming that  I have long  envisioned  has not arrived–neither in mainstream, nor alternative culture.  Then the question remains , if not ‘Democracy Now’ for transgendered people, with innocent lives at stake… can we afford to wait for “Democracy Someday”?

Amy, why have you forsaken me?

Amy Goodman did not respond to our requests for comment.

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