April 2009


Topic: Why are the transgendered taboo? Why they are looked down upon?   

The 1×6 group is ABrownGirlAricia, BWABW, GlennishaMorgan, SteadyCat, and StudWithSwag, who come together every other Wednesday to answer one  question(s).

To 1×6:  Keep it clean even if you strongly disagree.  I don’t won’t any blood on my SoapBox. 🙂

Viewer comments are welcomed.

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ABrownGirl:  I believe that most people don’t understand what it means to be transgendered. I  cannot imagine what it’s like to be inside a body that I hated. A body that I felt did  not truly represent who I am. A body that made society believe something about me  that wasn’t actually true. 

The majority of the transgendered community suffers with Gender Identity Disorder.  Yes, it is a mental condition, just like being bi-polar. It’s not a lifestyle they have  chosen, just like no one chose to be gay. 

It’s not something many people talk about, including those that suffer with the disorder. Quite possibly it is because we don’t know enough to really have an  intelligent discussion. The pyschological community isn’t really talking about the  results of their research. We don’t hear much in the news about transgendered rights.  And often times is hard to even spot a transgendered person. 

I think the transgendered community is looked down upon because there are people  out there that don’t understand them. There are people that believe they are being  deceived if they are being involved in a romantic relationship with a transgendered  individual. There are other people that don’t understand that it can be more  complicated than a man simply putting on a dress. 

While I’ve seen TransAmerica and Boy’s Don’t Cry, I didn’t truly understand what it meant to be transgendered until I met someone who was transgendered. That’s when it becomes real…

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Aricia:  On this topic, I must say I’m a little disgusted. Although I’ve never understood the whole “I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body” mantra I don’t feel like its right for others to knock it. It all comes down to personal preference to me. 

How can people who are discriminated against for sleeping with the same sex then turn and dislike the transgendered? That’s jus absurd to me. I don’t personally feel like I was born the wrong sex, but I sympathize with those that do. Who the hell is perfect enough to knock someone elses choices?? 

I think they’re taboo because people are jus haters and love to pick out the flaws in others. If people want to change their sex and it ultimately makes them happy I say more power to them. 

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BWABW:  People who look down on transgender individuals generally equate sex with gender when one is biological and the other is a social construction. My understanding of transgender people is that one’s sex does not align with one’s gender identity. Those who choose to transition and get gender reassignment surgery are aligning the physical with the psychological, emotional, spiritual, etc. A lot of the discrimination (and often times disgust) directed towards trans people comes from a place of ignorance. People fear what they don’t understand. They want things to fit neatly into a box. So a person with muscular legs, broad shoulders, and a five o’clock shadow in a dress is labeled “freaky” or “gross.” 
I won’t pretend to completely understand trans identity, but I completely respect others’ right to pursue a happy, healthy life. I used to question if being transgender is a “disorder” (many people do refer to it as this) and still wonder if it is society’s emphasis on genitalia (I mean, the first thing we scream when a baby is born is “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!”) that pressures people who don’t identify as male or female to conform physically to what that societal prescriptions say a male and female should look/walk/sound like. If being born with a penis or a pussy was just as important/unimportant as being born with attached or unattached earlobes, then would transgender identities even exist? Or what if there was no such thing as masculine or feminine…would the physical still not align with the mental/emotional/spiritual/etc.? This is by no means an effort to trivialize trans identity or say that it is only mental. It’s me seeking a deeper understanding. Then again, there are stories of men and women who felt they were in the “wrong” body from childhood—way before gender norms have really begun to set in. 

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Glennisha Morgan:  To be honest I don’t think  I can pinpoint exactly why the transgendered are taboo and looked down upon but, I have an idea.The transgendered as well as everyone else who is a part of the LGBT community are looked down upon because they’re misunderstood and or not understood at all. I think out of everyone the transgendered are probably the most misunderstood.I think where the most confusion takes place is when transgendered are post-op and they date someone of the sex that they turned into. 

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StudWithSwag:  The transgendered are taboo because they deviate from the “normalcy” that gays and lesbians have been trying to project. They do not adhere to the norms of homosexuality, bisexuality, or heterosexuality because they have an actual diagnosed condition that they may or may not get medically corrected at some point in life. Homosexuality was once diagnosed in the DSM as a disorder as well, but it is no longer, however transgender remains a medical disorder and condition. Those affected believe there is something wrong with their gender, which includes their sexuality and this viewpoint is in stark contrast to what most homosexuals believe. After the surgery, they can finally be comfortable in their own body and live their lives as straight, gay or bisexual. Many change their names and can get legally married in most states. I believe the taboo is that they are considered odd by society because they are so uncomfortable in their own skin that they will willingly undergo a transformation. Most people can’t understand this, yet gays are still inclusive because they are similar to us in their sexual orientations. A lot of times they are involved in same sex relationships prior to or after a change, so this is considered strange by society as well. It’s a physical difference compared to a sexual one and they have a hard enough time trying to accept homosexuality.

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SteadyCat:  When I was around ten and visiting cousins that lived in Florida, our group of girls and boys from the neighborhood went walking. Further up the road, a boy about fifteen had on hot pants, a short shirt so that his midriff was revealed and make up. That is exactly how many teen girls dressed at the time.  My older male cousin (Richard) and his friends picked up bricks and started throwing. When the largest brick barely missed the boy’s head, he took off running and screaming.  Everyone in the group laughed but me.  Richard is now a minister in his own church.

Churches, schools, families, entertainment and politics have taught a model that they claim reflects morality/Godliness.  It must have a man as head of a household, a woman as his helper and hordes of children. He has both sex and power over. The model we’re being indoctrinated with is patriarchy at its finest.  According to dictionary.com, patriarchy’s chief institution is the family. It is both a mirror of and a connection with the larger society; a patriarchal unit within a patriarchal whole. 

In church I was taught that the immoral/ungodly must be eradicated or Satan would take over. Gays are thought to fit this picture of ungodliness but the transgendered person becomes an even bigger target. (Unless they have sneaked into the club without being noticed. In that case, they get perks). The correction for the simple minded becomes – in order to save God, my family and my status – I must destroy the ungodly.

Ask your church going family, friends and politicians what they think about the transgendered and why. Ask the relative that watches televangelist programming what they think about the transgendered and why. It will probably all boil down to the myth of the ungodly.  Patriarchy depends on it.

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The next 1×6 will be held on May 13 at  Aricia,

The Question: What do you think about corrective rape in South Africa and its human rights consequences?

Thank you for stopping by SteadyCat’s SoapBox and checking out 1×6.

 

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The ‘working title’ of my novel is SUMMER BREEZE. 

Several days before the event, I received tons of advice from my message board group on how to read without looking like an idiot.  For example:

 1. No drinking beforehand. (I really wanted a glass of wine or two to help me relax)  

2. Read my piece over and over before the event.  (If I I got too nervous – my mind/memory would automatically take over).  

3. Very Important.  Don’t read too fast.

Foyles was filling up and my nervousness was increasing.  My brilliant problem solving head took over.  Before I knew it, I was focused on something even more important than reading.  It was….TA-DAaaa….finding the perfect place to sit.  I tried out different seats for about thirty minutes.  It took that long because none of them seemed to ‘feel right.’ It was either under the air-conditioning vent or too near the podium, or I would have to climb over too many people.  It was exhausting.  This obsessive compulsion behavior continued until there were only three seats left and the show was about to start, forcing me to sit down.

When I stood at the podium and noticed all the people staring at me, my nerves started acting up again.  I couldn’t read my writing and the fainting I wanted to avoid was right around the corner.   In the nick of time, I saw people from my message board smiling and nodding, which helped me get a grip. *punches the air*

Giving my character her first public appearance was literally like giving birth to my baby.  I felt a tug of sadness because the person who had been with me at the character’s conception and through a great deal of my pregnancy wasn’t there. As I was reading, out of the corner of my eye I saw someone jumping about with a camera.  I glanced at her, did a quick smile, and then continued reading the story.  The double take that happened next was so huge, even the audience swiveled their necks like a sea wave to see what I was looking at.  It turned out that the missing person (baby daddy) *displaying my sense of humor* was the woman with the camera.

 Though my voice shook and I kept jutting my papers out at strange angles, my audience kept attentively listening.  My first time turned out to be a very positive one. *does happy dance*

 Thanks everybody for your support.  

Thanks, Chroma DEVINE Mentoring Scheme

UPDATE:  Photos Added

 

 

 

 

I probably should have mentioned it earlier but I’m a last minute kind of person.  It keeps my nerves down.  I will be reading from my novel, Summer Breeze  (work in progress), at Foyles Bookshop in London.  It is my first time reading in public. *gulp*   There will be six other people reading their work as well.   I’ve  met the spoken word artist, Olumide Popoola and am looking forward to meeting the others.

 

Event:  hosted by  Chroma Journal 

Location:  Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road

Date:  Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Time:  7:00pm – 9:00pm

City/Town:  London, United Kingdom

P.S. Buy my book next year .   Whoopwhoop!  *does happy dance*

I’m happy to bring you something bloggeriffic. *rings bell*   Every other Wednesday, 6 very different bloggers (1×6) will come together to answer a single question pulled out of a hat.  *rings bell again*  

The 1×6 group consists of:

 A Brown Girl,     Aricia      BWABW,      Glennisha Morgan,     SteadyCat,  and     StudWithSwag.  

The first topic is: 1×6 – How do you feel about gays and lesbians that supported Prop 8 – the ban on gay marriage?  

Click here  and go to A Brown Girl’s blog if you want to know what we thought.  Come back to my place and let me know if you were digging our vibes.

The next 1×6 will be on April 29th and hosted right here in SteadyCat land.  The topic:  Why are the transgendered taboo? Why are they are looked down on?

As ever, thanks for stopping by.

UPDATE: More Photos Received

On Monday, I attended a picnic in Hyde Park with the message board crew.  You know the one that had the fabulous cake meet?  Well this time it was a fabulous picnic. The day started out gray and damp but that’s OK.  It seems the English will picnic even if it’s raining – or so I was told. It was a bring your own food type of party so I stopped at a store and bought chips, soda, and a bag of M&Ms.  In case you’re worried about my pitiful fare, don’t.  People shared.  I had brownies, cupcakes, a Scotch egg, quiche and all sorts of savory goodies made by people that know their way around a kitchen.  *Sings* I love people that can cook. *does jazz hands* Thanks to Jad and friends, I had my first Scotch egg.  My only regret > I didn’t sneak some of their food into my bag to eat later. 

 

 

My camera sucks and the batteries died before everyone arrived, so you’re not getting a true picture of how many people were there.  

Thanks for stopping by. 

After reading the blog of Nicola Griffith, an award winning author, you might conclude, as I did, that Amazon has joined the ranks of homophobic bigots.  Amazon is now stripping books of its sales rank when it mentions/includes/writes about LGBT people.  I then looked up authors Shaun Levin, Anne Brooke, and every other LGBT author I could think of.  I found the same horrible thing.  Many award winning books and historical novels which have gay content have been de-ranked, thanks to the new Amazon technique.

  To read an explanation go here and sign the protest petition here.

I’m still in shock that Amazon did something this low.

According to the London based IRAQI-LGBT group, Iraqi authorities have convicted over 100 prisoners because they are LGBT, and are planning to execute them in batches of twenty.

According to a blog by Steve W on Care2, this is only the tip of the iceberg.  For more information about how the murders are being sanctioned and supported by religious and political figures, read his blog..

How can you help? Take action now and sign this petition to urge the British and American administrations to do all they can to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Iraqi’s be free from oppression and the threat of these brutal murders. Take action now and sign the Care2 petition.

If your heart hasn’t been moved enough to act, then read the  UPDATE below.

Apr 6: Member of Iraqi Gay Group Pleads for Help “Before It’s Too Late”.  

Please sign the petition.

SteadyCat

 

April 9th – For Your Information 

According to the Amnesty International article dated March 12th “Amnesty International called for the immediate intervention of Iraq’s Justice Minister to stop the execution of 128 prisoners on death row, amid reports that the authorities are planning to start executing them in batches of up to 20 starting next week.”  

My comment: From what I can read – no mention of the prisoners being homosexual or even details of the charges against the prisoners was known at the time of the article.  Those details have not been forthcoming.

A blog by Hamden Rice (male heterosexual) whose website is DemocraticUnderground.com disputes the information about gays being killed.  He is also the same blogger that wrote about an artist tying up a dog in a gallery and letting it starve to death while gallery goers watched – which the media disputed.  Hamden Rice is now saying “Encouraging people to sign onto this “cause” will only discredit the real movement to end discrimination, harassment and murder of gays and lesbians in Iraq.  There are not now, nor have there ever been, 128 homosexuals sentenced to death in Iraq.  Now the bullshit story will basically discredit legitimate activism over the real problem — the murder of gays by shadowy militias, religious fanatics and rogue police forces.”

My comment:  Pointing out a problem about executing gays and signing a petition to stop an execution of 128 people who may or may not be gay makes sense to me.  I cannot see how pointing out a problem about the maltreatment of gays in this instance will discredit legitimate activism.  Perhaps I question his definition of legitimate activism, especially when he (a straight man who has no idea of what it is actually like to be gay in the mentioned country) is disputing the views of a LGBT organization directly connected with Iraq.  I don’t know which blogger (Steve W. or Hamden Rice) is relying on fact or which is pure opinion based on his version of realty.  As a gay person, I’m more prone to believe the voices of gay people who are crying about being murdered than I will a heterosexual man who logically deems that being gay is not illegal, therefore not a jailable offense.  Because I am not the all seeing seer, it really is up to people to judge for themselves and read both the blog by Hamden Rice and the blog by Steve W.   I signed the petition.

 

 

 

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