Thursday, April 30, 2009

How low can you go? Pretty damed low.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R. NC) on the murder of Matthew Shepard:

The truth about Matthew Shepard's death is unquestioned. He was not a victim of a robbery; he was murdered because he was gay. Matthew Shepard was lured by two men into their car, driven to a remote area, pistol-whipped, tortured, then tied to a fence and left for eighteen hours before he was found by accident. In a coma, he died days later.

One of Matthew's killers pleaded guilty; the other was convicted. Both are serving live without parole terms in prison. The Wyoming legislature-which did not have a hate crimes bill-passed one in response to the killing. A bill-the Matthew Shepard Act-extending hate crimes as a federal offense to gender and sexual orientation-has been stymied in the past but was up for a vote in this Congress.

Which is when Rep. Foxx opened her mouth.

To say that Matthew Shepherd was not killed because he was gay is a lie. The facts in the case prove it. To make this statement in front of Matthew's mother-who has had to suffer the loss of her child-is cruel and insulting. Rep. Foxx reveals herself for what she is-a homophobic bigot.

The Matthew Shepherd Act passed the House yesterday 249-173, and is up for consideration in the Senate.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Comments, I haz them

I got more comments on my last post than on anything I've written in a while. And I've got followers!

So, a few of those comments...

Caroline said:

We all wish we could just pass and good luck to all who can but nature is cruel and even a lottery win can't fix some of us.

Then again have you had a good look at your fellow citizens? Nature has often also left them short of an ideal beauty and they also just have to get on with life too.

When I was a lil' tranny, my Auntie Crystal said that we should never shun our sisters-even if they are homely. Because their needs and hopes are just as legitimate as ours. And maybe they never had someone help them out-like people helped me as I got started.

Tina Jensen wrote:

...I know I've never been a male as society defines it and I'll never be a girl in that world either. Actually, being a Transgendered girl is something I'm very proud of. Passing can be good in that it doesn't draw undue attention, but do any of us really pass...I mean really?? Maybe we are special people who someday will be accepted as everyone else is. Getting out and setting a positive example is what really counts.

Maybe we are special people-we certainly have a unique perspective on gender. We have experienced both male and female, and we can understand things that others never will. We should embrace this!

I'd prefer to be unnoticed than to be stared at. And to be treated like anyone else. As for being positive examples? I know that's asking a lot, but if you can manage not to act stupid in public I'll settle for that...

Renee wrote:

...I'm glad this particular notion - that passing isn't the "be all, end all" of transition - is gaining steam in our community. It's important that those who feel trapped by their circumstances, when they come looking for information, don't feel doubly-isolated because they happen to have unfortunate genes. And the only way for that top happen is to talk about it every chance we get.

What the community needs is to stop trying to segregate and label everyone and accept that there are no simple answers, and not everyone is going to fit your ideal. Appearance is just part of it, but it's something that we have managed to fixate on. Talking about this will help move us towards acceptance among ourselves and the general public.

Some of you wrote some great compliments, and I'll just say thank you. And hope that you'll continue to find something useful from my stuff...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pass GO, collect your life

There is a discussion on passing on the SCCLounge, which I moderate. One of the questions was about people who don't care if they do or do not pass, and I wrote:

I do not know if I represent "the other side" but do know I'm not overly concerned with being "passable" or "blending" when I go out. But I do think I make a pretty good Zelda.

I am over six feet tall and am not in the WNBA. I can't shop at Bebe or Forever 21-I'm a Lane Bryant and Torrid girl. I've got a few miles on the clock, which I am reminded of daily. And my personal style varies from Goth girl to casual funk to damned near soccer mom.

Okay, this one time, at SCC I went to the mall with a really nice, very cute and feminine tgirl. It was a Saturday afternoon, with lots of people shopping. We spent about an hour and a half in the mall, shopping and talking and in general enjoying ourselves. As we were leaving, this girl asked me "How do you stand it?"

"Stand what?" I said, wondering what had happened.

"The stares," she replied with a slightly concerned look on her face.

"What stares?" I replied. Which took her by surprise. After all, I *had* to be worried about having been "clocked" as a tgirls! Right?

Well, no. I had not paid attention to other people's reactions to me. I had not been looking around to see who had or had not been looking at me. Because it did not matter. I wasn't looking for other people's valitation, or for their acceptance or lack of it. I just was there, another person shopping in the mall.

I do know that the vast majority of people tend not to really say or do anything when they see me. Either I register as another woman in their mind, or they know something is different about me but they don't care enough to stop and take another look, or they know exactly what I am but it is not an issue for them. A handfull will take a second or longer look at me. They may say something to the person they are with, or not. They may smile at me, smirk knowingly, giggle, frown, or something else. And once in a blue moon, someone will actually make a remark to me or at me.

And I accept that those are all possibilities. But I do not let them discourage me. What I *do* is to go out and be myself. Because I have the choice of staying at home, woried that I am not going to blend or pass and trap myself in my own closet. Or, I accept who I am and just, well, do it.

I do feel comfortable with who I am-and that make a lot of difference. It's far more likely that you'll blend into the crowd if you feel like you belong there rather than feel like you're an outsider. Passing? That's good genes and/or medicine, and the ablilty to totally get rid of everything stereotypically male you can.

But for me, I'll just be the best Zelda I can be.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Gathering Storm

Steven Colbert warns us about gay marriage...

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest

TransFeminism/CisFeminism: Why Can't We Be Friends? - Community

TransFeminism/CisFeminism: Why Can't We Be Friends? - Community

But one way hierarchies are maintained is by setting up situations where members of oppressed groups in turn oppress those with even less power and privilege because it is one of the only available ways to demonstrate power and attempt to move up in the world – by moving someone else down.
I've seen this in so many other minorities, yet it's a lesson few learn. The entire post is worth reading, and thinking about. It'd be nice if the gay and lesbian community would get a clue from it, too.

Just my opinion, that's all.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Just a girl out on the town

After weeks of trying to arrange with a friend to go out shopping en femme, I thought I'd give it a shot last Wednesday. I mean, what's the worst that could happen going out by myself. Besides humiliation, embarrassment, having an accident...

Oh, nevermind.

Getting ready took longer than I wanted, of course. I managed to do a more conservative daytime makeup look, picked out a nice pink/black mod print blouse (Lane Bryant Outlet) with black trousers (Torrid) and pumps. My first stop was Wigit Boutique in Burleson. I'd been to in drab before. The time I went, one of the ladies said I should have come dressed up-so I did! We went through ten wigs and found one that's just perfect. Shorter than my usual length, but the same colour (Burgundy Rosa in Noriko). It wasn't in stock, but they ordered it and will adjust it so it will fit better. A very nice way to start out...

Next, a trip to Valley View Center in north Dallas. It's a mid-scale mall, not too busy that day. I found a nice pair of jeans at Ashley Stewart; the manager was helpful, even if she slipped a pronoun once. She looked so embarrassed that I took it as an accident, not an insult. A trip through a few other stores, nothing special.

I was going to a resale shop on Northwest Highway, but I totally missed the exit, so I kept going to Town East Mall in Mesquite. I'd never been there as a girl, and it's much busier than the first mall. A stop at Torrid, found a new t-shirt and tights, and sunglasses at a kiosk (I have a weakness for cheap knock-offs because I lose them all the time).

And then I went back home, cursing silently rush hour traffic, changing back to "boy stuff" and made dinner and reflected...

The good? New hair on the way, clothes, felt totally comfortable, no bad things happened.

The bad? One woman who said something like "Are you a fairy?" to me as I went down the escalator. If she hadn't had kids with her I would have gotten snarky, but I am not going to put someone's parent down in front of them. Even if they deserve it...

The ugly? Spent too much :P

I haven't gone out shopping since Southern Comfort in September. I haven't been out shopping in Dallas in over a year. I think I need to do this more often...