Wednesday, 24 February 2010

New, shiny hobbies bring out the past anew

Namely, sports. I'm not going to go into specifics here, 'cos I'm not sure it'd be safe for me to. I enjoy my new hobby hugely, it's very physical, very intense, very technical and demanding, it's what I wanted as a kid and it definitely is what I want now.

I'm reclaiming my past. I'm doing the stuff I wanted to do when I was a kid. It feels very, very good. It's also painful as hell.

Pursuing your dreams late is very complicated. On one hand, you get this immense kick from doing stuff you dreamed of doing. On the other, the kick makes you realise just how much stuff you've missed out on. It's at times so painful you find it hard to breathe, yet you know this is the way forward. It brings out the little girl you were, the things that were denied to her, what you could have been had you not been forcibly masculinised. What I could have been.

On some imaginative level it's like watering a live plant that's been dry for decades. It's all very well and good, but imagine how it's for the plant - it gets new water for its cells, they expand and start growing, but the stress on the supporting cell structures is probably rather hard. Yet should the plant stop drinking?

Hell no. I'll rather take the pain and the growth than die a slow death by drought. If my joy comes with pain, I'll take the pain unflinchingly with a laugh. It's not like us Christians aren't used to laughing at death and horror (1 Cor 15:54-55).

Friday, 12 February 2010


I disclose my cis/trans -status when applicable. I decide when it is applicable. Not anyone else.

That's about it, really.

That's why I will be right pissed at you if you decide for me. I feel inclined to explain myself a bit. Here goes:
  1. If I'm doing something trans-unrelated (that is, +90% of my time), it's not only irrelevant, but it also tends to be a major distraction to whatever I'm enjoying at the moment. Well, it's not such a distraction to me, but since good many other (mostly cis) people stop dead in their tracks when trans is mentioned, there's good sense for me in not saying anything about my cis/trans -status. Unless, of course, I want to discuss it endlessly and run in infinite loops around their prospective prejudices, instead of the enjoyable activity of my choice. It's really, really hard to get why I prefer not to disclose, isn't it? ;-)
  2. If I'm doing something trans-related, it might be relevant. But unless everyone else puts their cis/trans status on the table, oh, just forget about it. Sure we can discuss my sex and gender, but you go first. There is one exception, however:
  3. Which is, when I decide that I want to discuss my experiences of growing up as a trans girl, living the trans woman's life - trans being relevant and something I want to discuss and feel comfortable discussing. This does not happen that often, except maybe in this blog. I've been known to discuss this sometimes.
Just like Cedar wrote, I don't feel educating people is the way to stop cissexist oppression. The way to stop oppression is for oppressors to stop their oppressive actions, and perhaps apologise, too, and make amends. Doesn't have that much to do with education. Doesn't, indeed, have too much to do with me. Oppression isn't that difficult to spot. In fact, whenever you feel a sudden urge to police other people's actions without being able to pinpoint concrete examples (as in not hypothetical, but something that has actually happened) of bad consequences of said actions, there's a fair chance you're about to oppress someone. One doesn't need education to stop this, just chilling out a bit, taking a deep breath and seeing that nothing awful will happen even if you don't engage in said oppression is probably enough.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Ever have a doctor misgender you?

Ok, I might as well admit up front that the question is somewhat rhetorical for trans women, at least. I've been misgendered so many times in epicrises it's not funny any more - it's just stupid. I have been able to have it corrected a number of times, and I think misgendering no longer occurs in my medical papers, but I've to admit I haven't checked for a while.

Think about it for a while, though.

Some trans women get referred to as "genetic men" in their medical records. Not only is it false (the whole term is so full of fail you just need to take my word for it if you can't think yourself through it), but it is also intensely demeaning - it's like the dear doctor's trying to drag you down to gender hell again.

In general, we're supposed to trust our doctors. Trans women, on the whole, don't. It's pretty damn clear why, innit? No respect or trust for us, no respect or trust comes back.

It isn't rocket science. Trans women are referred to as women. Trans women are given trans woman -specific medications (i.e. none of that stupid menopause-level HRT - most of us are definitely not in our menopausal age). Trans women are listened to. Our needs and wishes are to be respected. No stupid patronising. And if our doctor visits are not about our trans-related medical needs, leave the trans bit alone. It's just not relevant.