Roots: Dedication & Identification

Roots explores the egalitarian pathway to healing through constructive confrontation of transphobic concerns in this discussion on dedication, self-identification, and the importance of state-mandated processes to transition.

I’ve spent the past few weeks of my life engaging with a group of transphobic women who I know demonize me and everyone like myself. They don’t understand my roots or the burdens I bear because of them. They degrade my human condition to psychosis and perversion.

They do not know me.

But I do know them.

I’ve suffered a great deal of abuse in my own life, the vast majority of which has been at the hands of men who viewed me as a woman throughout the entirety of our experiences together and overstepped social boundaries with me. I know what it’s like to be traumatized by those sorts of experiences.

My neighbor was recently assaulted and I intervened to stop it. This 3rd party perspective to assault has re-opened the wounds of my past traumatic events, and as a method of therapy, I set out to build bridges and to address the concerns of this group of women I had spent most of my life fearing.

I told them my story, explained how it impacted me both as a woman and as a survivor, and the response has been every bit as horrendous as you might imagine. They have crucified me over and over again these past couple of weeks.

All the while, however, I have been exercising the virtue of patience, heavily. I’ve been listening to the voices of these women and begging them to not argue over gender-trifles and instead, to talk with me about the concerns they have which are a source of fear to them and have been pushing for to spread of egalitarian attitudes toward feminism which will heal the world to the benefit of all people, in spite of our differences.

I’ve used this experience and the buzz it’s generated on social media to spread as much awareness on these issues as I am humanly possible and I am showing dedication to these women in improving the circumstances we share.

Even if they hate me.

Even if they tear away at my flesh.

Even if they invalidate my experiences.

Even if they intrude upon my life to collect my DNA.

Even if they take my bones and force them to dance a male jig.

I’m still their sister.

It’s been a miserable couple of weeks.

I’m so tired. I’ve barely slept over all this in several days.

I’m really hoping that, if nothing else, some of them might at least respect my dedication.

And that, dedication, is such an important aspect to transition that no one seems to realize. Many are of the mind that all trans women are just men who are putting on women’s clothes to invade women’s spaces and abuse women and then, once we have had our fill, we will go back to being men.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Dave Chappelle joked in a recent stand-up special, imagining a conversation between two hyper-masculine men, “Let’s go to the hospital and cut our dicks off and make pussies out of them shits!” The idea, of course is completely ridiculous that any man would do such a thing and the transphobic mind tends to reduce our dedication to being ourselves to perversion or mental illness and that simply isn’t the case. We just want to be ourselves and live in the shape that allows us to best be ourselves and project ourselves into the world.

Much of this perception, I’ve found, comes from people who live in areas of the world where their governments have not been welcoming of transgender people. As such, those who do transition do so in reckless ways and push for what appears to be unreasonable accommodation purely because the state offers no protection to ANY women, trans or otherwise against this sort of thing. In their minds, and perhaps in their realities per their telling of it, men like those Chappelle joked about could simply declare themselves to be women one day and enter into women’s spaces. As I see it, this is a legitimate concern.

Let’s face it, self-identification, while deeply important to the psychological and social processes of gender transition, is also an issue at the state level and can be nightmarish for justice systems to deal with. In my opinion, it is crucial that governments set restrictive guidelines to transitioning in an orderly fashion to discourage and/or prevent this sort of thing.

Many states in the US have these legitimizing processes, which include several months of therapy with multiple qualified therapists, some of which in some cases are provided by the state itself.

I come from Indiana, and here, we have a rigorous legal transitioning process which is difficult but fair in my opinion. To my knowledge, we have never once had an issue with a man invading any woman’s space under the guise of being transgender, because it simply isn’t possible here! We are so well protected by our laws and legitimizing processes to transition that such things simply aren’t possible to get away with under the law.

These processes end in the changing of our identities on forms of government identification, which prove our legitimacy via association with the process. This leads to the safety and protection of all women against anyone who lacks the dedication to undergo these processes.

Any trained law enforcement official can easily recognize dedication and commitment in one’s transition by examining documentation they have available at any point in the process.

It is provable in any case who belongs where. It is easy to interpret intent of all parties in any conflict that may arise, and so peace and social order are maintained.

Such identification also protects me. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to hand my ID to people knowing that there is an F displayed on it rather than an M. For the longest time, the M was there and it led to so many uncomfortable interactions. I never could know when someone might notice and always, in the back of my mind, I was scared one who did notice might turn out to be a transphobe and proceed to bring hell to my life.

You would not believe what peace one letter can bring to a woman.

These systems protect us all from harm and I would encourage any government to adopt them.

Humanity 101: Life, the Universe, and Gender

“There is nothing either Good or Bad. Only thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare, Hamlet

What is humanity anyway?

And for that matter, what is the consciousness we use to infer such things? Are we just bodies here to reproduce or is there something that exists beyond that flesh?

Humanity is what you will find locked in the eternal struggle between the two possibilities of that question.

Is it the flesh itself that drives our intent through to the impact we make upon the world, or is it something that exists beyond that, which drives that flesh?

Are we corporal? Or are we spiritual?

Or is it all just cognitive?

Cogito ergo sum!

Sed quis ego sum?

Do we even exist at all?

Is there an afterlife?

If I am a woman here, am I a woman there?

Do we have any choice in the matter, really?

Regardless of your answer to those sorts of questions, welcome to humanity! This is our condition. We cannot know truth. We can only have opinions of it. This is the human condition.

We are eternally locked in that state of knowing/not knowing the answer to this riddle. This, to me, indicates that there’s really not much point in making a fuss over what we might see as “facts” or “truths” about our reality and we should all just begin to live in respect to one another’s opinions so long as those opinions lead to harmony and not dissonance with the rest of humanity.

As this relates to myself as a transgender person, I am happy to agree to disagree with those who believe differently in this eternal debate of humanity. As such, my approach to the world is to enact as much good intent upon it as I can and leave a positive mark, so they say. I wish not to hate those who hate me. I wish to help them understand me and show them the good will of my intent.

I wish to show comfort to those who find discomfort with us. The best way to go about doing that is to allow them the freedom of their own agency to interpret their understanding of human conditions and to, in spite of that disagreement, not become mired in our differences and instead just work together to end the problems of humanity, all to bring us out of dissonance and into greater harmony.

No matter what you may believe is the answer to the riddle of humanity is, we should all be working together to end the dissonance of our condition in order to bring as much harmony to humanity as possible.

This is why I am happy to lay down arms against the trans-exclusionists. Our disagreement will be eternal because our disagreement is a disagreement on the human condition. That runs deep with people and I understand that I cannot control such beliefs.

All that I can do is encourage harmony and spurn dissonance where I see it.

All of this said, please lay down arms as well and work together as human beings to improve the condition of humanity.

An incredible way you might do that right now is by giving to your local shetlers and working with them to improve these spaces and allow the survivors who need such care access to safety and a harmonious pathway to recovery.

Here are some resources to help you find shelters in need:

Volunteer your time to them and donate to them for the betterment of all humanity.

Thank you.