Icebreaker

I don’t like to write about myself or talk about my life because writing on this topic is about the issues, not my ego.  I want to focus on those issues and not make things all about me.  Confronting transgender dogma, to me, is not a source of personal affirmation.  My womanhood does not rest on the opinions of petty gender tyrants.  It comes from from the wellspring within and flows naturally from deep self-knowledge.  It cannot be granted by experts.

Also, it’s too easy to lose focus on your goal when you start involving personalities and all that comes with that dynamic.  He said, she said, and nobody can keep their mind on anything but the sideshow.  I didn’t like cliques in high school and I don’t like them now.   So I thought I’d write a post all about me anyway.

There is nothing remarkable about me at all.  I am not special.  I don’t have a life full of miraculous achievements.  I’m not a CEO and I’ve never run into a burning house to save a baby.  I’m not a jet pilot or a supermodel.  I don’t own a billion dollar company and I don’t consort with kings.  On the mundane topic of sex change,  I didn’t transition especially early or especially late.  I’m not a girly-girl “transkid” and I’m not a type-A go getter that decided to switch things up midlife to for shock value.  When it comes to transsexuals, I am completely average in every way.  I am not better or worse than anyone else.  I’m just a regular, normal, boring person.

I wrote the previous paragraph to illustrate the difference between what came before and what will come in the future.  The history of the tg movement and the conflicts arising thereof has been one of asserting superior credentials to establish dominance.  This also bled over into the cliques that arose to oppose them, which gave them the appearance of just being splinter tg groups.  This is something that happened with the “HBS” thing.  I really like Charlotte (Spanish HBS founder) and respect her work.  It’s a shame her efforts are hampered by the same cliquish attitude among the members of her groups that feeds into the tg merry-go-round.  I hope at some point she can get that straightened out.

In the “tg movement”,  anyone who questioned the mantra was branded a heathen and cast out.  The dominant members, as established by the superiority game, dispense dogma in place of facts, and these papal edicts were repeated by the faithful as a mantra.  There was a similar pattern playing out in on the flipside anti-tg cliques, and round and round it went.  That’s the way it was.

But that’s not the way it’s always going to be.  For the conversation to change, people have to be willing to go against the status quo.  This is never an easy proposition and social pressure to conform is enormous.  If it isn’t the pressure to belong to the tg clique, it’s the pressure to not violate the new normal that has been established.  It became unacceptable to tell the emperor he has no clothes.

If things are to move forward, we must establish a new paradigm.  We have to do away with the unearned authority created by hierarchy and replace it with the simple respect accorded to people who bring good ideas to the table.  We have to dethrone the CEO; no more big bosses telling everyone how things are going to be, or handing out judgments of non-womanhood as punishment for disobedience.  We must reject the rock star credentialist model that the transgender have adopted.  Change does not come by creating  gods to walk among us.

So who is “we”?  “We” is anybody who wants to put an end to the partisan bickering that we’ve had in place of real change.  That means any transsexual person or others such as crossdressers involved in this issue.  I realize there are a number of transsexual people who use the term transgender or subscribe to the gender theory.  To the degree that this affects their real life and politics, this is not simply a personal issue because our lives touch so many others.  People must understand that they cannot ride the fence when it comes to transition- and that’s not a political statement.  If you are transsexual, fix it.  Shit or get off the pot.

If you are transsexual you will never have peace until you stop playing the tg game and do what you must; there are no half measures that will give you enough peace to continue on in your old life, or the new.  And make no mistake, as long as you try to hold on to anything from before, you will be living that old life.  The fantasy world the TG present you with does not exist; there is no middle country where people can live an à  la carte gender   lifestyle.  People are going to judge you male or female on their own and you have no say in the matter.   Some of the angriest email I get is from people who I think just have buyer’s remorse over tg and can’t figure a way to move forward in their life.  TG has a religious component and can become so ingrained to a person’s worldview that any challenge to transgender is perceived as a personal threat.  TG can replace a sense of self for those in desperate need.   This must change too.

But change isn’t easy!  Those who go first must suffer the slings and arrows.  They must be willing to absorb horrible attacks from other people.  They have to have the strength to move forward when everyone is against them, even people who used to call themselves your friends.  And when you do accomplish your goal you have to accept that you will always be thought of negatively even after your cause has prevailed.  People will remember the acid and so it will always etch you.  You just have to live with it.  Very few people are willing to do this.

So I think of myself in all this as simply breaking trail for those who will follow.  I have to grind through the unpleasantness so that other people after me can speak more freely.  And from there the solution will grow organically, without authoritarian top-down direction from our “betters”.

I don’t expect to rule over any clique.  I don’t want accolades.  My self-esteem does not rest on the outcome of this or any other fight.  I do this because I am driven by a need to see the truth of my birth condition triumph over the self-serving false transgender paradigm.  I just can’t stand to see what is wrong being portrayed as what is right.  The world is upside down and I want to see it right side up again.

I don’t care about who gets credit, I just want to see this done.  The truth will set us free- all of us, transsexual, crossdressers, gays and lesbians, and anyone else who is currently trapped in the rotting carcass of the politics of this dying saeculum.  Once people can speak the truth again I believe these problems will all resolve.  And someday when I see that people can speak freely and without censure, I will know we have all won.  That’s the true reward of activism.

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20 Responses to Icebreaker

  1. lisalee18wheeler says:

    Yay!

  2. catkisser says:

    WordPress lets you edit the name of commenters…..it can be one way of letting off steam when someone insists on being an ass but you want them exposed by their own words too. Just a thought

    Hang in there Aria, this all shall pass as well.

  3. Angel says:

    I’m waiting with baited breath 🙂

  4. This stuff all blew up on her right in the middle of moving across the state. She had some time to kill between locations, so she spent it with me (fun!!).

    Getting everything back in order may take some time, and that includes this blog. Just a heads up.

  5. Kathryn says:

    My breath is bated too…… Woo Hoo !

  6. saphirenz says:

    I too am looking forward to some stimulating debate …

  7. deena17 says:

    Aria, in the previous topic you opined that the chapter of TG subsuming Transsexual is coming to a close. That would be wonderful but I personally am not seeing many signs of that happening. Am I blind to trends you are seeing? Could you elaborate a bit more on that?

  8. Aria Blue says:

    It’s simple political reality. Transgender has run its course and it will no longer be taken even semi-seriously as a matter of courtesy anymore. There will always be crossdressers but in the future they will not be politically legitimate. Don’t confuse the babble on the internet with the actual social situation in the country. How many full time crossdressers demanding rights can there possibly be? The answer is that it was always rather few, and now less all the time. The shifting attitude of the APA is also a big factor here as they have all but told the tg that they will not be endorsing their “identities” any longer.

    So while there are still people on the internet talking loudly, every day that goes by there are less and less. In fact the volume of tg speak on the net has decreased quite drastically from what it was even last year. And compared to 5 years ago, or 10, it is practically a whisper. TG chic actually never came to pass, and like many comparisons to gay and lesbian issues it ended up being a non-starter with the public. Most of what the tg have done is all in their minds.

    In the end they did not succeed in destroying the idea of people born transsexual. They muddied the waters for a time but over the next few years things will return to the way they were before- minus the specter of tg dogma hanging over the situation. There will be transsexuals getting sex changes and crossdressers having group meetings. And nothing else.

    • deena17 says:

      I hope you are correct. I have no way of measuring things like the traffic on the net or the actual social situation in the country. Do you think ENDA Inclusive is dead? Is that good or bad?

  9. Angel says:

    I actually have a lot of sympathy for transgender people… I see them as victims of patriarchal thinking… including their own.

    These days, a woman can wear pants and still be a woman… a woman can wear her hair short like a man, and still be a woman… a woman can hold a job that just a few decades ago might have been considered the exclusive domain of men, and still be a woman. Men don’t allow themselves that freedom though… if a man likes to wear dresses, then he’s considered abnormal… hence the transvestite/transgender identity.

    If society (namely men) would get over their silly taboos, “transgender” would disappear overnight. Gay would still be gay… transsexual would still be transsexual… but a man in a skirt would simply be a fashion choice.

  10. deena17 says:

    Aria I just re-read your icebreaker post. Interesting. It used to irritate me when I encountered people exalting themselves, often with faked degrees, IQ levels and life accomplishments. I would challenge them when there were obvious discrepancies. There were so many it was like a full time job and was exasperating to say the least. The internet is a fabulous place for people to pretend to be what they are not, to live a fantasy. It took me some time to understand that such false claims are nothing more than low self esteem (OK I’m a slow learner).

    My favorite joke is … “well, I saw it on the internet so it must be true”. I think more and more people are beginning to realize that what is real are the actual lives they live and the people they know face to face. You and I have never met and probably won’t. Therefore neither of us can place full credence in our interactions. I do enjoy reading your thoughts and positions. I have great hope that reality slowly overcomes fantasy in our society but I wonder how long that process will take. Perhaps we shall always have a mixture of both. Such is life.

    As to me? I am a simple Ditz. What is important to me is simply enjoying each day and finding the splendor in each moment. I hope you and everyone has a wonderful day.

  11. sibyltd says:

    Located on the inner back, of the spring 1980 Co-evolution Quarterly was a wonderful essay on “what is stupid?” That essay used the still nascent idea of game theory to describe. What is stupid? What is truly stupid? And ergo, defining by its counter, that which is truly smart.

    For something to be truly smart the interaction must be more than a win, it needs to be an “I win and you win” situation which is mutually beneficial to both parties! A rare concept, but beautiful when it happens. Not so smart, well that is where most of us function in our day to day with a “I win, you loose,” or further down the scale, say on a really bad hair day we may have the “you win, I loose” outcome! But defining what is truly stupid in any and all human interactions comes down to that seemingly obvious and simple, “you and I loose” outcome. Shooting oneself in the foot in a pyretic victory…

    This internecine squabble of the past two weeks is the embodiment of all that is truly stupid. There were no winners, only losers, and try as I might, I still do not understand where it all began or why! But begin it did, and knowing most of the parties, I sat here in stunned silence while this battle royal took place. Wishing from the bottom of my heart individual wisdom would prevail or the thread would be shut but neither happened and the bloodletting continued. Friends gutting friends. Women I’ve worked and fought side by side trying to undermine the TG dogma suddenly turning and taking their nastiest shots at the woman beside them!

    Perhaps, because I am a boomer, which it seems has become a bad thing. (Please tell me how to back up and be younger again and I will gladly take the red pill to be an X’er or Millennial!) I steadfastly refuse to have any part of absolutionisam in the form of “loyalty oaths or credos. Yes, hate to admit it but I am old enough to vaguely remember the classic McCarthyite question. Darn hearings interrupted cartoons for Christ sake! “Are you, or have you ever been a member of the communist party?” There were no right answers to that, only wrong ones as is the case with any loyalty oath!

    That same mindless absolutism of McCarthy popped its head up again in the 60s with the war in Vietnam. There was the right wings “my country, right or wrong” and its counter of “never trust anyone over 30.” Both bunkum and the years since only proved it! Yet we never seem to learn do we? Years go by and that same ugly idea pops up again and again

    George Bush took this nations hurt and anger hurt and milked it into a useless war in Iraq and a second term with absolutism. “Question my tactics or me and you are unpatriotic!” Such a damned front loaded statement even publicly clearing your throat became an act of treason

    Wandering among the HBS crowd I saw this same hydra appear but on a smaller scale with the requirement we demand that those who were not HBS/TS/ CT publicly admit to being sick disgusting perverts! Even if they were, which is subject for another time, was it so hard to see why they didn’t take us up on it! “Wow you’re an HBS’er? Well shaaaa, you know what? I’m not, so better sign me up as a danger to the community and myself! Yes sirree Bob perverts, are us!

    Anyone who dared to question that absolutism was summarily ousted from the fold for bald faced effrontery and this happened over and over until HBS was but a lost message. Time passes. HBS a forgotten joke, but the anger, well it returns as it always does at being co-opted by the TG. So with the encouragement of a very dear friend I returned to the fray. Only this time it seemed I was with women of a like mind. Women who had banding together to fight a common foe, with more and more women lost to the years returning to join us. This was amazing to me. To stand shoulder to shoulder with women who not only fought the good fight but who became my friends behind the scenes.

    Sadly it seems these friendships are failing when put to the test. As near as I can tell, its because, on the one hand those alone back in the dark days with no net and no TS road map succeeded and they dared to speak of it… For that sin they have been summarily and ironically tarred, as the TG tar all of us for being …elitist… Why? Because they had the effrontery to not only succeed but to come back and say they had! The other side it seems is what I know to be an erroneous assumption, this vocalization was not crowing but a purposeful putdown directed at those who have not yet made it?

    Ok sure there are always trolls who show up at the doors… Those pathetic men playing “girl on line.” Men who do their hey look at me, with either I’m so pretty or I’m so rich, but have we become so suspicious of them that we must take anyone who says they have prosperity or beauty as a certified troll?

    Fer Christ’s sakes! Most of those women in question, sans the occasional trolls, fought their battles three and four decades ago. Now these woman, in their 60s, isn’t ok for them to crow even just a little about the things they have done after a lifetime of struggle? Particularly when they perchance encountered the rare others who “know” and also made it?

    Women, particularly the older ones I encounter day to day “out there” do this all the time, and I dare say that none of them had this history to deal with in their success, so why the anger at those of us who did? Frankly it warms my heart to know ours can be more than a dead end struggle for “otherness” as the TG would paint it. That we can be normal, we can marry, we can have a family we can become a part of a community. I for one LIKE to hear about the women who not only made it, but made in this it big. I for one wasn’t one born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I know what it is like to be hungry, to be on the streets, to have no one to call friend, to be alone and to be kicked in the face when you are down. I know all too well the little-match-girl feeling of looking in from the cold with all the want in the world on your shoulders at those it seems have oh so much. Still I do not envy those who’ve done better. I look to their success as goals for me just as I also try to extend a hand to those behind me. It’s the woman thing remember? We revel in each other’s success and we help each other to get there?

    But we are different women as is the nature of Classic transsexual women (as it is with all women) and so I know others don’t feel the same way I do and that’s OK! That’s their prerogative, but answer me this, can any of you really look in your heart and say “I know them sneaky bitches were doing this ~to me~?” Really?

    Many tears have been shed over this, mine included. I feel nothing but a deep sadness for what has transpired but what tears at my heart the most. The loss I feel the most deeply is from what happened to one dear dear friend in particular We all know her as the one who was setting the tone for this struggle. The woman I and I others count as a wise elder… (Note I did not say OLD elder!) A woman who has “been there and done that” and she did it long before… well, long before I for one had the moxie to get my own ass in gear and get er done. A woman who not only helped me along the way but who has helped others and who offered the same to any and all takers no questions asked. A woman who really doesn’t have a dog in this fight because she can turn off the computer and never have to deal with this again, but she still was logged into the battle just to make this a better world…

    What does it say about us when we allow someone like that becomes our enemy? Who have we become? What is our message now? What ever the answer, the Brewsters, Helms, and Sandeens of the world must feel like we just handed them Christmas in July!

    Sad, so sad and truly… it is stupid
    Sibyl

    • Aria Blue says:

      As I told several people, all they had to do was stop. Those other people could have stopped being nasty at any time. They could have tried to be decent people. Instead, they carried on being imperious and acting like they were doing me a favor by gracing me with their presence.

      They continued to talk down to me, so arrogant they didn’t even realize how haughty they sounded. They insisted on continuing their unprovoked attacks, and then blaming the victim for their little onslaught. I can’t control other people, and nothing I could have done would have stopped the spleen venting. I bear no responsibility for their actions.

      These other people cared about their own egos so much that the thought they were doing their own cause damage didn’t even register with them. The project took a distant back seat to the exertion of control and the assertion of dominance. In my opinion that is exactly why we have to many problems in this country today; the people in charge expend all their energy on these kinds of ego trips and don’t give a damn about getting anything done.

      As far as the generational thing goes, that is a matter of choice for individuals. Nobody tells anyone to be a yuppie jerk, you have to choose that value set and apply it in your own life. Cathryn has no trouble keeping her moral compass, you don’t have any problem treating others as equals… why can’t those others learn from people like you two?

      Anyone can stop doing wrong and start doing right at any point in their life. It just takes the integrity to do it and to set aside the kind of ego-repudiation you experience as part of the price of change. It’s worth the cost. Childish, base emotions cannot be allowed to rule the adult psyche. When they do we end up with cycles of failure.

      I am sorry that you got caught up in this stuff Sibyl. You are a good woman with a big heart who only wants the best for people. There’s no better kind of person on Earth.

    • When we pointed out the poor behavior of complete strangers, and specifically outlined how it drags us down, the older crowd turned against us. To defend total strangers.

      If you can’t see the difference between ego-inflation to assert authority, and conveying an inspiring story to those who come after you, there’s no point in talking about this any more.

      i’m grateful for advice. i’m hostile toward advice that comes at the price of other people’s dignity. Behavior that drags down our goals and intentions shouldn’t have to be tolerated.

      The question is, why do such successful women, who routinely consider walking away from this debate, care one wit about what a bunch of ‘smartmouthed kids’ do in our little corner of the internet?

      Such energy spent trying to subdue, control and shame us. And we’ve already moved on. No one has a ‘right’ to treat someone else however they please on a blog that isn’t their own.

      We’ve torn down the room full of elevated thrones and replaced it with a conference table. If that infuriates people, then they can leave. If we are considered ‘sad and stupid’ by people, then they can leave.

      We have no reason or desire to ‘convince’ anyone to take the high ground of behavior. People either will do it and be welcomed, or reject it and be tossed out. There is no debate on this.

      But they can look on the bright side. We won’t be around to question and resist their decisions anymore. So they can ask Cloudy and others to come back if they like.

      We will no longer follow any tone set but our own.

  12. zoebrain says:

    “I’m just a regular, normal, boring person.”

    I must disagree yet again. You’re not boring. And you are extraordinary. As are many other women, most of whom don’t have your unusual past.

    Apart from that though… a great post. Thank you.

    I’m still working on the apology I owe you. Can’t seem to put in the right amount of grovelling that would be appropriate, and that you deserve. Maybe if I go away in a corner and quietly eat a bit more crow first….

    • How about skipping the apology, and for once, *just once*, answer questions directly put to you?

      This is not angry snark. This is honest frustration.

    • catkisser says:

      You exhausted my patience as well Zoe…don’t bother apologizing.

    • Aria Blue says:

      I’m not worried about an apology. We will always be at odds because of our differing views on the notion of transgender and this subject is sure to cause fights. This is more than an academic argument at this point because we have gone past the public image damage, and are now talking about laws and possible new restrictions on people born with the transsexual condition due entirely to the actions taken by people flying the transgender banner.

      My anger at transgender is limited to the damage it does to me and people like me. I don’t care one bit what people do with their own lives beyond that. I’ll never be able to just agree to disagree here. And I suspect you won’t change your beliefs that the nature of biology itself somehow proves that anyone who plays games with society’s gender rules is suffering from a degree of transsexualism.

      That link created by tg religionists is the entire issue. Until they, you, stop doing that there is little point in apologizing because you will just turn around and do it again.

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