Tuesday, June 2, 2015

If We Open Our Minds Our Brains Will Not Fall Out. I Promise.

I want to write about the Caitlyn Jenner thing but I'm not even quite sure how I feel about it. I mean, I'm very certain that I'm glad she's been able to do this- to become the woman she's always felt she was. The cover shot that Annie Leibovitz did of her is gorgeous and what I wish is that every trans person could have that feeling. That he or she is a gorgeous human being in the skin they want to be.
I wish that every trans person could get magazine covers and TV deals and book deals and every kind of respect and encouragement that they deserve.

But they don't and even Caitlyn is going to be attacked on every side by people who have no idea what they're talking about and whose minuscule little minds can't conceive of how it would feel to be born into a body that does not match with what someone feels is their true self.

I have a friend who has gone through hell and back getting reassignment surgery and he has suffered like no one I know and I have encouraged him to write about his experiences from childhood up until now. He is a very good writer and I think that a book that he wrote would be of huge importance in opening people's eyes to what it means to want a body that matches the soul and would inspire those who are going through similar situations.

All of the trans people I know are unsung heroes to me. Even as prejudice and intolerance towards gay folks is slowly ebbing and laws are being made to ensure their equal rights, we're not nearly there with trans people and as with most things, the more society learns, the less they will fear.
So yes, Caitlyn Jenner's very public transition is a good thing as was Chaz Bono's. (Brave man there!)

But it is one person at a time, you know. And some people are very public about their transitioning. Some are not. Some people don't give a damn shit about what society thinks but are simply more private people and some people risk losing their careers, their families, their communities if they follow their heart's dictate. Trans kids are bullied by their peers, misunderstood by their parents and teachers and doctors, and often told that they are "just going through a phase." Suicide rates are high. People like Matt Walsh proclaim that transgendered women are a threat to all women which strikes me as absurd as saying that homosexual marriage is a threat to heterosexual marriage. That statement is as illogical as it is bizarre. Mike Huckabee just delighted his followers by saying that he should have pretended to transgender in high school so that he could have showered with the girls. Florida's government spent I don't know how many hours this year trying to pass a law proclaiming that you had to use only the public bathroom which aligned with the gender you were born with.

And this is the thing- we're all so obsessed with private parts. What others do with theirs whether in bathrooms or bedrooms and it's just so absurd.

Tearful wrote the most beautiful post today and it got me to thinking that if we are all indeed one (which I truly believe) and that if we as humans share the every-ness of all, then those of us who spend our lives trying to create categories to fit people into whether of religion or skin color or gender or by country or beliefs or differing abilities and talents and interests, are really wasting a lot of time in an effort that in the end is fruitless. And to try and exclude people because of any of those things is insane.
Fear is at the root of so much of that sort of behavior I think. Sometimes, in my most compassionate of moods I feel sorry for those who are so filled with fear that it comes out as hate. Sometimes, I have to admit, I just want to smack the crap out of them.

But. Here's what I think- I think that each person should be allowed to be exactly the person they feel they are. You tell me you're a man and I'll take your word for it. Tell me you're a woman, the same.

It's all so much more complex and interesting and involved than a baby being born and someone saying, "It's a girl!" or "It's a boy!" and then knowing exactly how that child's life is going to go based on one organ or another. As if.
It's all part of the grand complexity of the human mind and heart and body and spirit that create the glorious color and texture and beauty of our existence here on earth.

And you know what else? Unless someone wants to tell me otherwise, it ain't my business what's in someone else's pants and for the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone else would be concerned about it either. Look- we're all just trying to live our own lives. Why must any of us feel the need to be so fucking worried about what other people are doing if it's not endangering anyone? And don't be making up stupid bullshit reasons to prove that they are endangering others when it's patently not true in the least.
Guns endanger others.
Extreme religion endangers others.
Prejudice and intolerance endanger others.
Poverty and hunger endanger others.
Violence endangers others.
War endangers others.
And so forth.
Not Caitlyn Jenner unless she's driving. (Sorry. Bad joke. Very bad joke.) And not your coworker whom you suddenly notice is growing his hair out and painting his fingernails and starting to refer to himself as "she."

All right. Go forth and be who you are. Who the hell else can you be? And don't be afraid. Don't waste your life trying to be someone you're not and don't waste your life trying to tell others who they should be. That's pathetic. Worry about shit that matters.
Which might very well include being accepting of the transgendering of that coworker. Here's one more thing- they're just going to be the same person they were before. They might dress a little differently (or they might not), they might look a little different, they might wear their hair a little differently, they might be more relaxed and happy. They might have a different name. But they themselves are still the person they always were at the very core and heart. And if you loved them or liked them before, you're still going to love or like them.
Maybe even more. And use the goddam pronoun they'd like you to use. Okay? It's not that hard. You can do it. It's a sign of respect and acceptance.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Nicely written, and spot on correct. That Vanity Fair cover was pretty amazing.

  2. Well said Ms Moon and thank you for writing. I hope you are doing okay. Sending a big hug to you.

  3. Amen, Mary Moon. Amen. Beautifully expressed......... thank you! Exactly what I would say if I had the golden tongue and gift of writing that you have.
    Susan M

  4. So true and so well said, as always. The picture of Ms Jenner is exquisite. I am so happy for her.

  5. Damn, woman. You can be so fucking to the point and so right. Why indeed? That's the $64 Thousand Dollar Question, isn't it? Why is it so hard for some people to grasp that the mental me doesn't always line up with the physical me. Especially when they assign gender at birth to babies whose organs aren't clear. And why the obsession with organs, with what is in other people's pants? If a girl says she's a girl, she's not going to ogle the other girls in the shower. My son has a friend who is genetically male and mentally male but his organs were 'inter' so they made him a girl because it was easier. He was socialized as a girl but he is a man who likes girls. Human sexuality is not either or, it is a whole range of combinations and ALL are natural. Why is that so hard to understand and accept?

  6. You should be on the cover of Vanity Fair.

  7. I was on the Vanity Fair site yesterday - there's an interesting interview with Caitlin on there, and part of the article - and what struck me was that she is, in some ways, a different person from Bruce. Most people who know her seem to agree that she's friendlier, more generous, more fun - and she herself agrees, because she can now be herself, and doesn't have to lie any more, and can get on with things as she is. I loved that, while being sad that it had to take her so long. She missed out on so much because she was hiding.

  8. Excellent and spot on!
    I think the anti-gay marriage, anti-equality arguments, which are nothing but expressions of hate and rage and bullying, have nothing to do with child welfare or christianity or traditional values or whatever their reasoning. It's all about images in their heads, being disgusted by/afraid of male sex, lesbian sex, male sex change etc. and using "family values" as a cover up. Idiotic fear of gays, lesbians, trans people is fear of sex and yes, it exist but it's a matter for therapy, not something that needs legal protection.

  9. Thank you for this, dear Mary. This is the whole truth right here.

  10. My son has been on a waiting list for a year to see the only doctor in our province who deals with trans people. He can't go forward with any surgeries, hormones or having his gender officially changed (although his name is officially changed) until he starts seeing this doctor. To say it is frustrating to watch is an understatement. So the Caitlyn story has me feeling bittersweet. I WISH my son, and every other son or daughter going through this, could have things move so quickly (from the medical standpoint) to get on with the business of living. Mind you, my kid is about 45 years ahead of Caitlyn in the whole coming out aspect, so there's that. LOL!

    I recently visited the Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg. I was so moved by the messages that people left there. Sure, there are ignorant assholes in the world who wave their bibles around in fear, but there are SO many more people who just want the people of the world to be healthy and happy. It's uplifting.

    Anyway, great post. I wish your friend would write about it too, because I'd read every word.

  11. Bravo. I completely agree. (Who is this Matt Walsh, anyway?)

    My biggest problem in dealing with transgender people is remembering to use the right pronoun. It's not a matter of disrespect -- just a matter of remembering that a shift has occurred in how that person expresses their identity. It can be surprisingly hard to bear that in mind!

  12. I think you got it just right Ms M. Fear. It is a giant silent but deadly motivator. It cripples and maims us in ways we don't notice until it's eaten half our liver. How to deal with fear? I'm going to think on that today.
    I agree with Elizabeth. I want a picture of you on the cover of Vanity Fair.

  13. Your last sentence wrapped the issue. It's a simple matter of respect. R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

  14. Allison- It's a beautiful cover. I agree.

    Thank Hank- And you're my boy!

    Joanne- Big hugs back, darling.

    Susan M- I appreciate that so much. Thank you.

    jenny_o- She surely seems happy, doesn't she?

    Shannon- And I love YOU!

    Ellen Abbott- I think most people want everything possible to be black or white. Everything you said is true. Although- some trans women are gay! So they might ogle other women in the shower! But hey- we all had lesbians in our gym classes. Or were lesbians. Didn't hurt anyone. I just think it's so interesting that we're all so much the same and yet have such differences. It's part of it! It's beautiful! Can't we just appreciate that?
    Obviously not every one.

    SJ- I love you too.

    Elizabeth- Only if I get to pose with a chicken and Annie Leibovitz takes the picture.

    Jo- Yes, ma'am.

    Mwa- Exactly! It took a lot of courage for her to do this and I think she must be as thrilled and relieved as champagne bubbles exploding from the glass.

    Sabine- You are absolutely right.

    Angella- Well, not the WHOLE truth, but some of it.

    Desiree- Thank you so much.

    Heartinhand- One of the many reasons I adore you is your pragmatic and loving attitude towards your son. When it's your own child, that's where the petal meets the metal. And you have supported him and been proud of him and I know for sure you love him in every way. Go you! And go Gus, too!
    May he get in to see that doctor soon! Shit.

    Steve Reed- Pronouns can be hard, I admit. But we learn, we can do it.
    And Matt Walsh is just an asshole with a blog. I think.

    Yobobe- It's so funny how I am afraid of so much in this life and I know that it does cripple me but I have no fear of other things and I guess I'd rather be the way I am than a homophobic/transphobic/racist asshole who loves to do scary things like...well, whatever scary things people do that I don't.
    Thank you. I love you.

    Joanne- That is it, isn't it? Respect people enough to trust them when they tell you who they are. And so forth.

  15. i just wish we lived in a world where people could just be and not have to live out someone else's idea of gender, race or cultural roles.


  16. Thank you for writing this. I am sick to death of the Bible thumpers who are wailing about what a transgression it is. It is not another's business.


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