“Gender Critical” Conversation

Is there such a thing as a Gender Critical discussion without resorting to name-calling and real life attacks?

I would sure like to try.

This started to be about Male to Female TransAthletes (because I have questions and thoughts below), but seems to have morphed into a post about how I have come to question MtF TransAthletes in the first place.

Of course, I feel I need to start with explanations that may sound like apologies in advance, but here goes anyway. I feel compelled to justify where I am coming from since you do not know me; background is crucial.

My Life with Transfolks

  • My former partner is FtM transgender and I was with him for 28 years, 3 of which as he transitioned medically. He remains my Beloved.
  • In my life in online Sex Work, I spend hours a day with people on the Trans Spectrum, always in a supportive capacity, helping to remove shame and self-hate and replace that with ways to understand society is the one that is weird or freaky, not them.
  • I would never align myself with Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists/ run of the mill Gender Critical folks because I know transfolks are who they say they are. I know that. Believe it with all my heart.
  • In not aligning with TERFs/GC people, I believe transwomen have a right to be in women’s prisons, homeless shelters, bathrooms and everywhere else women are wandering in and out of.
  • I would never want a transperson discriminated for being trans (non-binary). They have every right to work, dress, live as the gender they know they are.
  • I understand trans-hatred and weep at the violence, suicides and murders that transpeople suffer through every single day. The discrimination is abhorrent to me.
  • I do not believe anyone has to pass in order to be the gender they know they are.
  • While I do not understand it as much, I do not have any negative thoughts about being trans without gender dysphoria.
  • And lastly, I freely admit my own cis-bias and that I do not have ALL the information in the world about this (I do not believe anyone else does, either). I do not consider myself a spokesperson for anyone but myself. These are my thoughts; no one has given them to me.

A Bit About My History

I came out in the Second Wave of Feminism in 1987 and the groups I attended were extremely Pro-Separatist. I knew a woman who gave her boy child up for adoption because she was a Lesbian Separatist. I was not permitted in some areas with my children because I had my son with me. I was not permitted in some spaces simply because I had a son, with me or not. I wrote about my experience with the San Diego Lesbian Press and their Separatist ideals that eventually folded the paper because they would not accept money from men.

2nd wave Navelgazing Writer

I am much more aligned with the Third Wave of Feminism, but embrace the Fourth Wave‘s ideals as well.

2nd wave Navelgazing Writer

2nd wave Navelgazing Writer
4th Wave Feminism, still under debate

So My Question Is…

…can’t someone like me also have questions? Where are the discussions… they all are so polarized. I would love to explore my thoughts and beliefs, but find if I step to the left I am in quicksand and if I step to the right I am bludgeoned. I know I am not alone and if I, a really pro-trans person can’t ask questions, how is the run-of-the-mill person supposed to learn? How can we shift perceptions if there is nothing but anger filling the air? And if the discussion moves to transphobia, how can there be honest interchange between people. The conversation has shifted from the focus to the picture’s whole when sometimes, looking right at the subject can be crucial for definition’s purposes.

Where do I fit in?

Now, the MtF TransAthletes

transgender sports Navelgazing Writer
Laurel Hubbard

And then I get to Male to Female transwomen and I come to a halt. Mind you, I am confused about it all… will give you that much… but if a MtF transwoman has the same abilities as a ciswoman, why are they excelling in almost all sports where they compete together? And it happens when the transwoman begins in the sport immediately. It isn’t a gradual increase in speed or strength. It is as sudden as when they sign up for the competition.

transgender sports Navelgazing Writer
Gabrielle Ludwig is the tall woman.

I know many of the arguments about measuring testosterone, some requirements for hormone suppression or for requiring surgeries before they are permitted to compete. I know the International Olympic Committee is struggling to create a trans rule book because, it has “proved far more difficult than expected because this is such a tricky political and emotive issue.”

Transgender Olympics Navelgazing Writer

Not Convinced; Still Questioning

Yet, I am not convinced a MtF transwoman doesn’t have an advantage over a ciswoman.

And why aren’t there Female to Male transmen winning body building, wrestling or weight lifting competitions? Why is it that FtM transmen in sports are in weight restrictive sports like boxing, which involves speed as much as guts.

transgender sports Navelgazing Writer
Patricio Manuel

So, What I Want to Know…

Can someone explain to me, without resorting to “TRANSPHOBE” (because I am not), what I am not seeing? (And yes, I know it is my responsibility to learn, but there has to be a way for those seeking answers to find them beyond Googling. I prefer person to person connections… cis/transgender or otherwise.

Is there anyone willing to help? Is there anybody out there?

trans floyd Navelgazing Writer

2 Years Ago Today…

…I left San Diego.

My daughter Aimee and I got into my red Explorer with my two puppies, Cash & Lilo, and headed east, bound for Orlando.

orlando

Ironically, 15 years before, to the day again, I arrived in San Diego from Orlando, believing I would be with my Zack forevermore.

So many changes.

(The litany of changes are playing in my head: gastric bypass, fires, coccidiomycosis, buying a business, losing a business, having lots of money, having very little money, getting a dog, the dog dying, kids moving in, kids moving out, getting more dogs, getting fat again, midwifery in El Paso, studying midwifery, getting licensed, being ostracized, opiate addiction, mental illness struggles… and then Zack coming out trans.)

Zack coming out trans.

sigh

Zack Coming Out Trans

support

I know I wasn’t, but it felt like I was the only partner who struggled with the transition of a loved one. I mean, I wanted him to be authentic, wanted him to be happy… but what about me? (That sounds so selfish! And it was/is. I have had to come to terms with that, but clearly still feel guilty.)

There were two options when Zack came out:

  1. He comes out, transitions medically and surgically and is happy as a clam.
  2. He comes out and stays in the body he hated and possibly commits suicide.

The real life options for my response to his choices above, to his coming out were:

  1. I miss his female body terribly, try to be happy for him, but struggle for years to find balance and mental stability.
  2. Breathe easy that he doesn’t transition physically, being as selfish as can be that my life won’t be changing very much at all.

support

Zack Transitioned

Of course, we know he medically and surgically transitioned, I freaked out and we physically parted 2-years ago today.

helena-wierzbicki
artist, Helena Wierzbicki

We had emotionally parted several years before, probably in the exact moment he came out.

A non-drinker, the first 3 days after he came out, I got very, very drunk and then we had sex. We did recognize my actions finally and I immediately stopped drinking, but sex became painfully challenging. Whereas we had always had an amazing, physically fulfilling sex life (pheromones!) before his transition, after, to me, if felt like we were strangers in a completely unemotional, clumsy struggle to connect.

Dripping Words

This, the first of sure to be a dozen or so posts of my processing Zack’s transition, took 2 days to eek out. My heart hurts, it’s hard to breathe and the tears won’t abate.

I will keep writing anyway.

This is Not a Drill: CDC’s 7 “Forbidden Words”

 

CENSORED-FACE
vulnerable

entitlement

diversity

transgender

fetus

evidence-based

science-based

Newspeak

The Washington Post relayed the information from a CDC & Trump Administration meeting Thursday night, December 14, 2017 that when the CDC presents their upcoming budget paperwork, they are forbidden to use the above 7 words.

I thought this was fake, ran to Snopes… nope. It is real. Checked Twitter. Real. Checked valid news agencies. Real.

I’m shaking I’m so angry… and even scared… of what this administration is doing to our democracy. By forbidding words, it is no longer a democracy.

Democracy has been dying since Trump took office.

Treating science as a matter of opinion rather than an objective, evidence-based reality appears to have become a hallmark of the Trump administration, particularly when it comes to climate change. So, too, is scrubbing certain words and information from discussions, documents and websites that don’t fit with Donald Trump’s vision. The Department of Health and Human Services has dropped information on its website about LGBTQ individuals.”

Orwellian Dystopia

This edict is one of the most terrifying things that have happened and are surely not the last we will see.

We cannot sit quietly and let this happen. I know many many people have been out protesting, but we have to find another way to be heard.

I am apoplectic… and hope you are, too.

newspeak-1

My Most Un-PC Post Ever

Politically-Incorrect

I have quietly sat on the sidelines, watching the world pass me by, feeling like a really old cranky woman.

Scarily, I can relate to some of the dotard supporters.

I wonder if being Politically Correct has not gone too far. Way too far.

5230ac9f6559c.image

Crazy Making!

Some of the things that make me shake my head in bafflement:

  • the ever-morphing gender names
  • the ease with which to transition
  • kids medically and surgically transitioning
  • how one can “be” a she/her in the morning, a they at lunchtime and a he/him by sunset… and how anger feels justified if someone misgenders the person
  • how people quash free speech in the angry alt-right
  • how stupid the president is… and no one is stopping the crazy-making behaviors before he kills all of us
  • how easily people lie (myself included)
  • how men really are led around by their cocks (blame my sex work job for that one)
  • how transwomen insist they were not acculturated into the male world growing up and insist on crashing women-only spaces
  • how people lobby to make Disney characters gay or lesbian
  • how the word “fat” is the nastiest epithet someone can call another person
  • how the more I know about Islam, the less I respect it
  • how “christians” in the US have become the most hateful people on earth (so much for cultivating new christians through love and kindness)
  • how stupid people can be not understanding kneeling for the National Anthem – they are purposefully being angry just to annoy those of us who believe Black Lives Matter
  • how a “snowflake” is now an epithet instead of a lovely geometric design
  • how “The Wall” is quietly being built and people just sit and watch
  • how Flint, MI still doesn’t have clean water (that legacy is going to haunt us for eons)
  • how Puerto Rico is being treated like shit because they are brown people and how Americans bloody well know it and don’t care in the least
  • That In the Heights in Australia was shamed into not being performed amidst accusations of whitewashing when they did their best to fill the actor slots with People of Color

I was tempted to defend myself (I use PC terms when I can, I am not prejudiced against these folks, etc.), but I am leaving this piece to speak for itself.

Thank Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir for the Craft for this vomiting of things I have been too afraid to say out loud. He tells writers to “Be brave!” and write the things that are the most difficult to say.

So I did.

(And yes, I feel shame.)