Archive | November 2013

Thanksgiving? Giving thanks, despite it all.

I sit alone at home today and no, I won’t be invited anywhere. I do have friends but they are all away for the holiday or live far enough away that going to their homes was not practical this year. But this doesn’t upset me.

My daughter and her family are visiting elsewhere, or they’d likely have me over. My sons? No, of course not. I am a pariah to them.

And yet today I am amused. I wonder how I could have raised such a gracious and loving daughter yet have raised such vindictive and hateful sons. But friends have reminded me that neither of them grew up that way. One, who was a long time friend of my eldest son, and simply let that friendship slide away, and did so because he watched my son go from being an open-minded, accepting person early in college, to the close-minded, spiteful, angry creature he’s become today after he married into a rigid Southern Baptist clan. So I take solace in the fact that no, I didn’t do that. They did.

My daughter did have me over for dinner the night before last. She wanted to do something for me before she and her family went to visit in-laws for Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful dinner and I got to chat with her, enjoy her hot-lemon-honey-cinnamon drink that she’s created from the lemons from the tree in her backyard, and chat with my eldest granddaughter.

But then I had to excuse myself and went outside and cried. She came out and consoled me, hugged me, and just stood with me. You see, my eldest son is playing a game. He’s threatening to cut off contact with my daughter and my daughter’s children if she lets her children know about my transition. Since my granddaughter by my daughter and my granddaughter by my eldest son are just one year apart, they are close friends. Thus, she’s having to make a choice. And right now she wants to protect that childhood relationship between her daughter and his daughter, which I understand. She doesn’t like this and she has promised that it won’t stay this way, but this is what she’ll have to do soon and for the immediate future. It’s not right now but it’s coming, as I move further along with my transition and things become more and more obvious.

As I told her, this is not an act of love. It’s an act of raw hatred, anger, power. An opportunity for my son to further split our family against me, or at least he believes so. We discussed my eldest son’s wife, a woman who has been jealous of me for years because of the close relationship I once had with my eldest son. She’s done everything she can to break that up and this was the ultimate chance – cut off that competition. And now that she’s done so? She hardly includes my son in anything other than to just let him babysit their two girls. And her? She’s off running with her friends, or visiting her side of the family. She’s ignored my daughter and not been friendly or open to her either.

I had my cry. I was consoled. And I got over it. Today I’m writing about it and I am sadly amused. Sad for obvious reasons but amused because my son’s close-mindedness would deny his daughters a loving grandparent solely for his “superior moral view”.

Let me relay a story about the reality of my son’s hatred. I’ve seen my older granddaughter by my son just once in the last 16 months. It was last spring, the spring of 2013. We had gone to Denny’s for Sunday breakfast because we enjoy Denny’s pancakes, french toast, etc. And it was busy, as usual on a Sunday morning so we were waiting in the lobby. And who walked up to the cash register? My eldest son, who looked at me, grunted a hello then turned to the cashier. Right behind him, I heard a squeal. “Grandpa!” She ran to me and hugged me, saying, “I miss you so much. I love you.” I smiled down at her and replied, “I miss you too, honey. I love you.” And at that moment, her mother snatched her by the collar, dragging her out the door, with everyone staring and my granddaughter having this frightened, hurt look on her face as she was dragged away from me.

That is the reality of my life. That is the reality of my eldest son and his open bigotry, all in the name of Southern Baptist fundamentalist evangelical hatred. So those who wonder why I take a dim view of fundamentalist Christians, this is why. When you and yours openly scorn me, do not expect me to embrace your bigotry. Tolerance does not mean accepting someone else’s bigotry. That is not an act of Christ. That is an act of a Pharisee.

Thus I sit home alone today, debating what to make for myself for Thanksgiving. I have a few ideas and we’ll see what I decide. And I do give thanks, for my daughter, for my close friends, for my siblings, and for my transgender friends, all of whom have stood beside me.

Finally, just for further reading and viewing about trans experiences, here are two links. Neither is what I would call a perfect instance of journalism. The Rolling Stone piece is laced with binary gender assumptions despite its attempt to be generally positive but they do document different aspects of life as a trans person. The video is one trans person’s experience and is valid for her but each of us is unique and though we share so much, we also walk different paths in certain respects.

About a Girl: Coy Mathis’ Fight to Change Gender

I Am Not My Body

Enjoy and may each of you have a happy Thanksgiving and joyous Hanukkah.

More Great Results from Yeson

Yeson Voice Center has a new pitch centric technique for adjusting pitch for male-to-female transsexuals. I’ve been following the progress of several transwomen who have gone there and have been just floored at the improvements in their voices as they’ve healed and continued voice therapy afterwards.

This is Sarah’s voice experience thread and she’s begun posting about her progress now that she’s a bit more than 2 weeks post-op for her voice. Already her voice sounds great. Jenny, another poster at Susans forums, also has experienced great results as have several others.

For someone with an actual physical problem that hinders voice retraining, this looks like a god-send. The patient still has to retrain to focus on head voice (female) rather than chest voice (male) but I’ve found that is not all that hard to do.

I am looking forward to having saved enough to go there in a year or two.

More Brain Differences in Transsexuals

As the evidence grows and grows that being transsexual is a true medical condition and not a “sinful lifestyle choice” that the bigots and haters like to claim, I try to document some of that here, as references.

A new study, from Taipei in Taiwan, adds further weight to the discussion about the biological differences between trans folk and other people.

For those who are interested in these things, I also highly recommend the A.E. Brain blog, an excellent reference point for many, many more studies that further document our medical condition.

When people make claims to the contrary, you can use the peer reviewed, scientific medical studies available to present your position that being trans is a recognized medical condition, and that for many of us, transitioning to live as the gender we identify as is the most successful therapy available.

I am somebody, even if others treat me like a nobody

Today was the birthday of one of my daughter-in-laws. She’s married to my eldest son, about whom I’ve written before. I previously contacted her and my son on my old Facebook account and told them I would invite them to friend me on my new account. I know that she saw the PM. I do not know if my son ever did or not. Anyway, I tried to tell her happy birthday when I discovered that she had unfriended even my old male account. So I checked on my son. I can’t reach his account from my page though I found a way to reach his page via other means. Very odd. So, I am not welcome at their house. They don’t accept phone calls from me. And they never come over here. So I’ll say this here, even though she’ll never see it and probably doesn’t care even if she does – Happy Birthday.

My sons have not spoken to me in months, despite efforts to reach out the them. It took me quite some time to get over the rejection from my spouse, a rejection that basically said “no, I don’t love you; I love an image of you”, to grieve over that loss, and to come to terms with it. But I’ve known for a long time that my spouse didn’t have deep feelings for me. This simply confirmed it.

It’s a bit different when your own children reject you. There’s sadness. There’s tears. And despite months and months, it never seems to truly heal, just grow slightly more tolerable over time. It’s an ugly revelation when you find out that those to whom you gave decades of your life will willingly and happily pretend you don’t exist.

But the greatest loss are my grandchildren, who I am not allowed to see, to hold, to cherish. My grandchildren, in whose lives I’ve been made a ghost. There are no words for that, just tears.

About HRC.ORG and why I refuse to donate

I support a number of trans supportive organizations, but not one of the largest ones, the Human Rights Campaign. People sometimes ask me why and it’s because HRC has frequently, in the past, treated the ‘T’ in GLBT as a stepchild not worthy of full consideration.

Now, I would love to support HRC but because of their past actions, they need to make that up to the trans community. The presence of trans folk on their staff has always been minimized. They’ve released trans staff over what appear to be minor issues while retaining gay staff, some of whom have been openly transphobic.

So, since I could find no place on the HRC website to provide feedback to their email they sent soliciting donations, I’ll state it clearly here – HRC will get my support when they prove that trans folk matter as much as gay folk to them. And until they do that, my donations will go elsewhere.