Monthly Archives: October 2011

casual transphobia bites hard

i came across this post tonight.  dude, it made me sad.  like, maybe this guy is joking around and shit and his reply to my comment will make me feel like an overly sensitive asshole, but it still seems pretty transphobic.  so here’s the  comment i posted:

trans women are women. they don’t WANT to be women; they ARE women.  likewise, trans men are MEN.  and non-binary trans people, like me, are simply people whose gender is neither male nor female.

gender identity, the feeling that you are a woman/man/other, stands alone.  gender identity affects gender expression, but it isn’t dependent on gender expression.  appearing female doesn’t make a person female.  a female gender identity makes a person female.  gender is internal, man, and trans people are not “unfortunate tweeners”.  trans people often have clear gender identities; we know what our gender is.  you’re the one who is confused.

“just curs[ing]… god” isn’t an option for trans people.  if a person who was born with a penis and who is female still presents as male, that WOMAN is being perceived as male.  that’s a pretty stifling closet, man.  like, it sucks hard, man.  if that woman transitions to a female presentation, whether or not said transition includes surgery and/or hormones, she is doing what she has to do in order to grow as a person and to not simply suffocate in her closet.

furthermore, you simply have no right to conclude that, for example, all men must have dense facial hair and must be over 6 feet in height.  that is sexist and unrealistic.  even people born with penises may grow sparse beards, may be short, may have difficulty building muscle, and/or may be “super adorable”.  what is “manliness”, anyway, and how much “manliness” do YOU ooze?

you say that you’ve “formed an opinion on transgender people”.  here’s a definition for you:

prej·u·dice

noun
1.
a. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
b. A preconceived preference or idea.
2. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions. See Synonyms at predilection.
3. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.
4. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/prejudice)

is that a rude comment?  if the blogger just deletes it, should i be surprised?  cuz i don’t know.  i just know that i’m put-off by his totally casual transphobia.

i don’t think he’s trying to be an asshole— i think he’s just totally clueless.  so i don’t want to be rude to this guy and just jump all over him and stuff.  yeah.
what do you peoples think about this?

look! no pants!

this post was inspired by alexthesane (read original post).  check it out.

peoples of all creeds, aliens of all planets, i would like to tell you the veryvery sillyful tale of mx. punk and pants.  this story involves pants-dilemmas, pants-removal, and general pants-related tom-foolery.  to be fair, i must warn you that this post contains “graphic” pictures of mx. punk without pants.  ready?

once beneath a time, i, mx. punk, pull on a pair of baggy guys’ jeans.  they’re super comfy and they take me back to the days when i actually got read as a guy.  i, mx. punk, ponder why i ever stopped wearing guys’ clothes exclusively and how i arrived in this timespace where i always get read as a woman, if not always stereotypically feminine.

i wear guys’ almost shirts every day, but i have this silly, spiky haircut and i almost always wear chicks’ jeans— until now.  so i slide into these faded black jeans and i feel something shifting.  something is remembering that people used to relate to me in a different way than they do now.

before i found my love, i was terrified of the way people tried to lock each other into these tiny fucking boxes— “oh, you’re wearing a cap-sleeved shirt; now you’re a girl FOREVER.”  but my sweetheart accepts fluidity in other people, so he’s sorta been my talisman against erasure as i’ve explored endless sides of myself.

see, i’ve been exploring stuff for the past 3 years.  like boot cut jeans, lacy bras, giggling, and bracelets.  i’ve felt safe enough to try out traditionally feminine things because my sweetheart knows who i am and is not confused about my gender.

i’ve been exploring stuff for three years, but now i’m putting on these guys’ jeans and they’re hooking into my flesh.  they’re gossiping to the something that keeps circling inside me like it’s trying to get comfy.

so i go to school; i’m wearing guys’ clothes, but i don’t pass as a guy.  nothing weird about that; this isn’t the first time i’ve worn guys’ pants since i started exploring more stereotypically girly things.  something feels different, though.  i, mx. punk, feel like parts of me are at war and hissing.

i check myself out when i walk past the office windows; these pants do NOT make my ass look hot.  i mean, they make it look like i don’t even HAVE an ass, let alone a hot ass.  this makes the something very smug; it thinks that women care about having hot asses, but that WE don’t need to care.  we’re just awesome.

(the above paragraph clearly reveals the silliness of the something.  for starters, lotsa men are concerned with their asses and lotsa men wear jeans to show off said asses.  the something is not concerned with logic.)

however, wearing tight, chicks’ jeans for years has led me to expect that my ass will look reallyreally good all the time.  part of me doesn’t want to wear comfy jeans if they don’t make me look good in a stereotypically feminine way.  i realize that i’ve been judging my appearance based on stereotypically female standards.  i mean, fuck, right?

have i become the enemy?  have i really been holding myself up to certain stereotypical standards based on my genitals?  why does my ass have to look good?  and, on the off-beat, why don’t i want to just shave my head again and be all soft and snuggly-headed?  i’ve been exploring stuff, sure, and i certainly don’t look (stereotypically) GIRLY, but does it really matter if i wear jeans that are physically and emotionally comforting if aesthetically disconcerting?

when i get home from school, i tear off my pants, even though they feel all mx. punky.  they make my gender identity (the something, i think) feel safe and somewhat genuine, but they piss off the thing in charge of my gender expression.  they make it feel all ugly and shitty.

so i pull on these torn-up boot cut jeans.  they fit my ass and my thighs, but they’re still mx. punky.  they feel ok for awhile, but the something starts shifting again and grumbling and mumbling things about copping out to fit a stereotype.

so i, mx. punk, hatch a splendid plan.  my plan will stop all bickering between my pieces.  my plan will give me time to shout at all my pieces to just shut the fuck up and to grasp that pants are just pants— nothing more, nothing less.

i will tell my pieces that i don’t have to bind my tits when i wear guys’ jeans— even though that’s what i thirst to do.  it’s what i used to do, but i don’t have to go back to where i used to be.  i, mx. punk, am allowed to move to a new timespace that has less (stereotypically) girly explorings than this timespace does, but that isn’t my oldold timespace.  it’s ok, really, to get read as a woman sometimes, even though i’m not a woman.  i’ll tell my pieces that there’s time to figure all this shit out.  pants are only the symbol, so don’t fret about them.  we’ve got real things to think about, my mx. punky pieces.

and my plan?  it’s this: no pants.  fuck ’em.

the gender bill of rights

i’m posting an article by Asher over at tranarchism.com (read original article).  this is pretty fucking amazing shit and i want to help spread it around.  so, yeah, make everyone you know, trans or not, read asher’s gender bill of rights.

’nuff said.  here’s the goods.

“These rights are inalienable, mandatory, and to be taken seriously at all times. This is a model of gender that is fully individual, consensual, voluntary, and free from state intervention.  This model of gender has been designed not to oppress anyone and in fact has been designed to benefit all who are affected by gender in this society (that is to say, everyone), including men, women, non-binary people, agender people, cis people, trans people, intersex and non-intersex people, hetero, queer, and asexual people.  We are a long way from adopting this model, and to do so would take time.  But doing so can ultimately only benefit us all.

1. You have a right to have your gender treated as valid, equal and real.

2. You have a right to be referred with proper forms of address, including pronouns, honorifics, correct names, and appropriate gender descriptors.

3. You have a right to change how you feel about, talk about, relate to and wish others to relate to your gender, or indeed to change your gender itself, in any way, at any time.

4. You have a right to not have a gender.

5. You have a right to privacy about your gender or lack thereof.

6. No one’s gender should ever be assumed.  No one should ever be assumed to have a gender.

7. You have a right to full control over your gender beginning at birth. No surgical alterations should be made on unconsenting infants in order to fit them into a certain paradigm of gender. Gendered names, pronouns, and descriptors should never be used until children can decide for themselves how they wish to be known to the world.

8. Education should be unbiased towards any gender or lack of gender. Children of school age have a right to role models of any or no gender.

9. You have a right to be attracted to anybody of any gender or lack of gender, and to carry on sexual or romantic relationships with any number of consenting individuals regardless of gender.

10. You have a right to engage in any consensual sex act, regardless of your gender.

11. You have a right to say no at any time to anyone, regardless of your or their gender.

12. You have a right to raise children, regardless of your gender.

13. You have a right to access contraception, permanent birth control, and abortion as needed, regardless of your gender.

14. You have a right to express any emotion that you feel, regardless of your gender.

15. You have a right to dress and present yourself in any way that you desire, regardless of your gender.

16. You have a right to total control over your own body and sole authority in making decisions about it.

17. The state of your body should not be considered a factor in the validity of your gender. Levels of hormones or number of surgeries that you may or may not have undergone should have no influence on how your gender is viewed by others.

18. You have a right to employment and fair wages, regardless of your gender.

19. You have a right to housing, regardless of your gender.

20. You have a right to education, regardless of your gender.

21. You have a right to healthcare, regardless of your gender, including the right to vital psychological and medical services which may relate to your gender, including hormone therapy and transgender surgeries of any kind. Access to these necessary services should be unabridged.

22. No one’s gender should ever be pathologized.

23. You have a right to relieve yourself in public bathrooms which are safe, private, and desegregated.

24. You have a right to expect that the state, if a state there must be, shall not interfere with, demand information about, or mistreat you on the basis of your gender. You should not be identified to the state or to others by information about your gender. There should be no need for gender markers on any form of legal identification.

25. No organization, governmental or otherwise, has the right to demand information about your gender. Medical professionals need only know details about their patient’s anatomy, and appropriate polite forms of address to be used with their patients, including correct names, pronouns and honorifics, nothing more.

26. To the legal system, if a legal system there must be, your gender should be immaterial. You should not be placed in solitary confinement based on your gender. You should not be placed in segregated facilities of any kind based on your gender. You should have a fair trial, regardless of your gender. You have a right to a jury of your peers, i.e. transgender people have a right to not be judged by cisgender people who may be viciously biased against us.”  —Asher (read original article).

stuff to tell kids: hate crimes suck hard and “queer” isn’t a dirty word

“being a child doesn’t protect you from hate crimes…”  —reneta xian (read original post)

this is a very powerful statement.  most people just “protect” their children from such “grown-up” concepts as sexual orientation and gender identity (including transness).  most people don’t even consider why they think these ideas are too grown-up for their kids— they just instinctively “protect” their offspring.

i mean, i have 5 nephews and 1 niece.  they’re all more awesome than velociraptor astronauts (that’s pretty awesome, right?), but they don’t know much about queer issues— other than what i talk to them about.  their schools won’t touch an issue if it isn’t as straight and as cis as possible— which is pretty fucking lame.

a few months ago, when i first tried to explain to my niece and my two oldest nephews that i’m not female, my niece chimed in with “of course you’re a girl!  you’re in love with uncle d_____!”  ew.  let’s talk about that, o_____.  sometimes, women love women and men love men.  sometimes, a person isn’t even a man or a woman— but they still date and fall in love.

my niece and nephews were kinda bewildered; i don’t think they’d ever really heard of something as simple as real gay people.  let alone people who aren’t male or female and who don’t really care about the gender of their partner.  nobody, not their teachers or their parents or the books in the children’s section at the library had really talked to them about gender and sexual diversity.

and that makes me sad, folks.  this isn’t a “dirty” topic.  i’m not talking about discussing the detailed mechanics of sex between two women or about the details of bottom surgery.  i’m just talking about the existence of people who aren’t heterosexual and/or cisgender.  that’s it.  just that queer people exist and that ALL people, queer or otherwise, deserve respect.  i understand that schools don’t want to upset parents by discussing controversial issues with their kids, but human diversity should NOT be considered controversial.

leaving kids ignorant about gender and sexuality doesn’t result in a bunch of unqueer children— and it doesn’t protect queer children from bullying and erasure.  leaving kids to figure out the truth about human diversity leads to hate crimes, shame, and loneliness.  ignorant queer kids grow up feeling isolated and afraid.  ignorant unqueer kids grow up thinking that queer people aren’t really human and/or don’t really exist.  to me, this totally looks like a great way to keep the brutal pot of hate criminals and their victims perpetually bubbling.

tv shows are including increasing numbers of queer characters.  and in real life, people don’t always lose their jobs and their families as soon as they come out as queer.  things are looking up.  shit is getting better.  but what we’re seeing today in the media and in society at large is increasing tolerance of queerness.  what we need is education from an early age— education promoting basic respect as opposed to half-assed education promoting tolerance.

children can be victims of hate crimes.  children can commit hate crimes.  the adults they will grow into can also be victims or perpetrators of hate crimes.  the only way to protect children is to educate them.

so, yeah. what do you guys think about this?  how soon is too soon to discuss queerness with kids?  what about discussing gender and sex stereotypes with kids?  is that shit too grown-up?  talk to me, peoples!

note: reneta xian pretty much says it all; i just sorta bounced off her sweet post.  go read her stuff.

being trans in concert band— a tale told in colorings

ok, so i’m currently trying to get my bachelors of music in jazz studies.  that means that i’m, like, taking 9 courses every fucking semester and that i’m drowning in mixolydian and solfege.  it’s fucking fun, obviously, or i wouldn’t be doing it, but going back to school and having to deal with gendered public washrooms, sexist profs, and all sorts of ridiculous situations is… enthralling.

one class i’m taking is pedagogy.  the point of it is to learn how to teach a group of kids how to play their instruments.  we go about this by each choosing an instrument that’s from a different family than our main instrument, and then forming a class concert band.  my main instrument is my voice; i chose to play the electric bass for this class.

bass is turning out to be rad!  when i’m playing bass, i like to stand all badass and make the “face of funk”— you guys all know what that looks like.  you know.  “bass-face”.  yeah.  it’s splendid.

so we’re playing stuff like “mary had a little lamb” and “hot cross buns” because these instruments are brand new to us.  we go to play some silly little duet with a part “a” and a part “b”— and, well, my colorings will tell the rest.


yay!  and that’s my silly pedagogy incident!  it’s a true story, folks.  my prof told me not to swallow my (bass) strings!  you like?