Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

I'd like to say a word about incarnation, being a Christian and all. This (besides resurrection), is one of the neatest bits about Christianity to me. God became a human, was born out of a woman, was a baby, grew up, died - just like I will.

The God who knows me is no stranger. Ze incarnated into this world, and by becoming human, enabled me to become a God's daughter.

This is, now, of particular importance because I'm going through my past, hopefully finally expunging some demons of old. It's painful, and difficult to do it, but somehow it comforts me to know I'm not doing it alone. My suffering is God's suffering - Ze shares in it, and likely my suffering is part of Jesus' suffering on the cross. We're taking the sins of humans (and make no mistake, forcibly sexing and gendering other people is a sin) on our flesh and suffering because of them. It doesn't make us any better people - suffering doesn't make you better, it just hurts, maims and kills.

I know the preceding might not sound very happy to many people, but please give it some thought: I'm at my happiest when I'm present in this world, and suffering and pain are present here, now. There's a forceful happiness in knowing what you are and what's happening to you, even if it's painful and makes you suffer. See, the other option, for me, is not not suffering, but numbness. Not feeling anything, not being connected to anyone - not living, in fact. I prefer life very much to living death.

That God can, and does share in my life is a very happy occasion, and Christmas is the yearly happy reminder of that.  Happy Christmas!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

On the instability of trans and cis

Sometimes I experience myself as trans. Mostly I don't.

But the far more common experience is that other people expect me to identify, or experience myself as trans, which I might not do at that particular point of time. I have experienced myself as more or less constantly trans, but that was before transition. These days, I experience myself more or less constantly as myself, and perhaps I might say I experience myself rather often as cis.My bodily configuration matches my hormones that matches whatever it is my brain seems to want that matches what other people expect of me wrt social roles that matches whatever it is that makes me feel comfortable in my skin. You could call that experience an experience of being cis.

Well, unless you insist on bringing the ciscentric notion of sex assigned at birth. Which I don't.

My experience and other people's expectations of what I am don't always match. The weird thing is, the expectations of people who don't know about my past do, in fact, match my lived experience very very often, almost constantly. The people who know me well - perhaps I should say the single person who knows me in the Biblical sense - her experience of me matches mine pretty much always, with no exceptions I can notice.

Trans and cis are not stable. This is not to say that trans and cis aren't useful political categories, but they take us only so far, and I'd rather not lock myself up in a cage with a cis-derived label on it. "Trans" was invented by cissexual people; it's not our word in the strict sense, and while "cis" levels the playing field somewhat, the pair still doesn't derive from us and our experiences. It's still ciscentric language, meant to other us and meant to remind us of our second-class status, of the assignment slapped on us at birth.

See also Iden-bugger-tity. [ETA link]

Thursday, 2 December 2010

STP puh-lease

"That transsexuality would no longer be viewed as an organic illness, because the gender of a person, trans or not, is not biologically programmed (this is the organic or physical dimension of depathologization);" (STP Best Practices Guide (pdf), p. 17)

Umm, no. Darlings, dearies, do not pretend to speak for me. Transsexuality was very much an organic, physiological illness for me. My sex and gender seem to be biologically determined to be female. There was precisely fuck-all I could do about it, except conform to the fact that I'm deeply unhappy if I a) have to be on wrong hormones, b) have to have a wrong kind of bodily configuration and c) have to pretend to be a man which I am not, and I stopped being unhappy precisely when I a) had the right hormones, b) a suitably configured body and c) could (safely) stop the stupid pretense, and be the woman I was and am in the eyes of other people, too. That required physiological treatments, and those treatments fixed my very organic body. So yeah, it's an organic illness all right.

While I'm at this, I'd also like to point out that while it's wrong to push Western ideas on non-Western people, I've no personal objection to Western ideas and paradigms - I'm Western, and a European myself, and wouldn't want to appropriate some other culture's way of doing sex and gender for mine.

In short: STP folks, you're mistaken at some points. Stop pretending you're speaking for all people who are identified as trans by the cis majority. I may be trans in their (and maybe your) eyes, but I sure don't feel like trans any more much at all. Our needs are different, don't subsume mine under your agenda.