To The FemmeMobile! Away!











{February 12, 2014}   Changes

Well, I’m getting married!

Q asked me to marry her just before Christmas, and I said yes. We tie the knot next February, on the anniversary of our first date (so I only have to remember one anniversary). After that, I’ll stay in my house and she’ll stay in her house and we’re good. 😀

Most people I’ve told this to have been like, “Coolio!” The people who don’t say “Coolio!” though, really freak out. It seems I’ve been freaking people out all my life, so that’s all normal. Suffice to say, we’ve got this covered.  😉

It’s quite the jump to go from commitment phobic to getting married. It only took us 4 years. *grins* Five by the time we actually get married! What’s fun is that the law will even acknowledge it now. WOO HOO!

That’s not the only change going on, though. The other big change is that Q has started taking testosterone to look more masculine. She says she doesn’t feel like a man, but she doesn’t feel like a woman. Within about a month of T she started growing facial hair. I figure as muscle develops (she’s started hitting the gym) and hair grows in, and then when she gets top surgery, people will start calling her him, and I’ll switch over. I’ve already started referring to my boyfriend here and there.

She’s having her own things with all this, but I can’t speak for that. What I can speak of is my end of things, supporting my wonderful honey in the changes she needs to make, muddling through my own identity as, to the outside world, it starts to change, and what it’s like.

So far, I’m surprised at how okay everything has been. It’s helped that she didn’t say, “I am a man,” but rather, “I’m somewhere in between, so the pronouns don’t matter.” In fact, when she realized that for herself it lifted a HUGE weight off me. I was no longer looking at seeming straight to the rest of the world. I could continue to use whichever pronouns. Now, I’m getting eased into it, and that’s easier for me. In the end I’m sure effectively the world will see me as straight, but this way I can wade in slowly instead of diving into the deep end.

(I also have to take a moment to say that I REALLY appreciate her support of me, while I’m supporting her. She’s realized this will affect me, too, and has been very aware and we’ve had lots of conversations on it.)

Initially, when Q was thinking she was a man (before she realized that didn’t quite fit, either), Q was saying she wouldn’t ever wanted to be outed as trans. I was really struggling with that, because it was one way for me to continue to claim my own sexual identity. I was at war within myself: part of me wants to support Q and be a good ally, and knows that outing trans* people is, at best, indicative of transphobia in our society. I’m not sure where my outing someone would fall, given my reasons, but it doesn’t matter: it would be encouraging that attitude in society in general. The other part of me wanted to keep my sexual identity. It is as much a part of me as being a man is part of her.

In the end, as stated, Q decided that she was neither man nor woman but somewhere in between, so it became a moot point. (How we’ll maneuver going forward will be something that we have to see as we go.) Since then, there really hasn’t been anything that’s made me hesitate. I kind of am suspicious about how easy it’s been for me, in fact. I keep waiting for something to hit me like a ton of bricks.

Anyway. The allied femme’s intimate dealing with trans in an SO. I’ll attempt to keep you all updated more than once every six months. 😉

JB

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So, my cousin posted this thing on Facebook.

Wait, back up. You should know that both sides of my family are socially and religiously conservative. That one set of cousins (as in, the children of one particular aunt) has broken with the family conservative-Catholic beliefs to say, “Actually, maybe teh gays aren’t all that bad. In fact, they might not even be ‘teh gays’ but be actual people. WE SHALL TREAT THEM THUSLY.” A few of the others simply are loving and I don’t actually know where they stand on religious-political issues, but they do talk to me about my life and ask me with big beaming smiles about Quin, so I have no problem with them. (This is a little contrary to what I’m about to say. I’m still puzzling it out.)

But. There are another set of cousins that are really anti-gay marriage. They post anti-gay marriage things on Facebook periodically. Mostly they’re consumed with pro-life stuff, so the gay marriage stuff doesn’t come up so often, but now and then…

One of these cousins posted some speech the Pope gave with the comment, “Thank you Pope Benedict!” The speech was, in part, a reaction to the school shooting. The title (which pretty much captured the story) was “Pope Says: True Peace in the World Requires the End of Abortion and Gay “Marriage”.”

Because clearly abortions and gay marriage were on that guy’s mind when he shot all those kids.  */snark*

Anyway, it wasn’t the Pope’s statement that bothered me — I know the Catholic stance on both those things — it was my cousin’s sharing it with the comment, “Thank you Pope Benedict!” It was her making that statement despite knowing I’m gay and in a long-term relationship.

I wasn’t sure what to say. Whether to let it slide as her opinion she’s entitled to, or whether to step forward. That’s a hard line for me to see, the difference between opinion and bullying, and worse, she’s family. I don’t want to create family fights.

I very nearly said nothing. My mom raised us while keeping the peace in the family. She said (and this was true) it was so that we could make our own decisions about whether or not we wanted those family members in our lives, without her burning our bridges. But what I learned, and am slowly unlearning, is that you should keep the peace in the family AT ALL COSTS.

I’m also a big believer in complicity by silence. Er, not that you should do it, but that it happens all over. I’ve been working really hard not to be complicit by silence. To speak up if I hear someone being hassled or bullied, and to call people on it when I hear hateful or predjudiced language being spewed. But here’s the thing: at what point am I being complicit by silence vs just acknowledging that people have their own beliefs?

And here’s the other thing: is it even good for me? I think it’s good for society for people to speak up. But I did speak up yesterday, and I didn’t sleep last night. I was in a state of high anxiety most of today, thinking about her possible responses and my possible responses and whether or not I was going to catch flack at Christmas, where I’ll see her, and so on. (As it turned out, she didn’t respond at all.)

BTW, my response was: “You know… I just don’t think the downfall of civilization is caused by my loving and possibly marrying my girlfriend. That action would, however, stabilize and give more support to her two kids’ lives, which seems to be what Benedict wants, anyway.”

So… I guess I’m actually here asking for opinions. When do you speak up? When would you like to see people speak up, in an ideal situation? When “should” comments slide? I’m still not sure if I did the right thing or not. I can’t say I did the wrong thing, but I can’t say I did the right one, either. It doesn’t help that this is family, so there’s learned and familial issues there, anyway. But at least if I had a better understanding, I might feel more confident about saying something vs keeping quiet.

At least I have realized one thing for sure: I no longer have qualms about inviting some of my cousins and not other cousins/aunts and uncles who aren’t supportive of gay marriage, should I ever get married. And I’m finally realizing that if that creates family rifts… I’m okay with that. I’m not even doing it because I feel angry at them, which I expected. It’s more like, “Well, why would I invite them? They would be there out of obligation, not because they were happy for me. I want to share it with the people who would be happy for me. And if they’re angry because I didn’t count them admist those numbers, I’m sorry for that, but I don’t think I’m wrong. And if they are happy for me, and are sad they didn’t get to share, then I’ll apologize and we’ll bond. Or we won’t.”

It’s kind of freeing.

J



With apologies to my friends who don’t like long things, and the friends who have been assaulted and can’t read things even remotely about it. I’m not putting this behind a cut. It’s too easy to bypass; at the very least, the number of episodes should be noted.

I have never been badly assaulted. I’ve never been hurt. That said, if you can’t read anything remotely alarming, I suggest you scroll past. Thank you.

**

I read this essay and as I read it, I thought, “The sad thing is, this isn’t uncommon. But I bet most people reading it will think it is.” The first comment I saw confirmed that.

I also thought, “If a lot of people started making lists like this, I bet we could raise social awareness. I bet more people would report it. I bet more guys would step in.” (I feel sad that I believe that’s what we need to happen.)

So. These are my stories.

When I was fifteen, I was taking the trash out behind the pet store I worked at. As I walked back to the store, a small man got out of his white, window-less van and started walking toward me. He was, stereotypically, offering me candy. He had some in his hand. Would I like some? I said no. He had other flavors in the van. No. They were free. No. I’d be doing him a favor; he had too much. No. By the time I reached the pet store door, he was ten feet away. I got inside and told my supervisor. She laughed: how stereotypical. I asked if we should report it. She said it was probably nothing.

I didn’t report it.

When I was seventeen, a group of college friends and I swapped addresses to stay in touch. This included a 40-year-old man. He started sending me letters detailing what he wanted to do with me, sexually. The letters made me feel like a piece of meat, worthless, horrible, disgusting, at fault, a tease, ashamed. They were vulgar. At best, he talked about “watching your tail swish when you walk away.” When they kept coming I showed them to my parents, in tears. My father talked to a police officer, who told him there was no point in reporting it: by the time anything happened I’d be legal, and fighting it would be almost impossible. It was only words. My dad helped me draft a letter to the man harassing me, and we sent it. My dad intercepted any following letters and kept them, in case we ever needed evidence. (I found several more in a drawer years later that I never knew had come.)

I didn’t report it.

When I was nineteen a supervisor walked around alternately yelling at or telling his underlings they were dressed like/looked like sluts. Several times a week a girl would be found crying because of his actions. I was never accosted, but every time he came near I’d verge on tears and bristle all at the same time. When he walked around behind my station, I would hold my breath hoping he didn’t call me a slut or say I was wearing inappropriate clothing or yell at me. I started having panic attacks about going to work. I quit that job.

I didn’t report it.

I went to Thanksgiving dinner with a family not my own, and was seated catty-corner to an uncle. He spent the meal looking at my breasts and leaning into my personal space. By the time we left I was on edge and felt dirty. When I hesitantly said something, knowing I’d see him again, I was told not to worry: he was a good guy. I was probably imagining things.

I didn’t report it.

When I was in my early twenties word came down from my bosses: one of the business’s members had been caught making unwanted sexual advances toward one of the employees. We should, at all times, send him to one of the (two) male staffers, and not be alone with him. Though the employee who’d been harassed reported it to our bosses, no one reported it further. The member continued to come, and continued to try and get girls alone.

I didn’t report it.

I once received an email from someone who’d seen my photo on a dating site. The email detailed explicit sexual things he wanted to do with me — and my long hair. It was hilarious, because if it wasn’t hilarious then it was creepy and made me feel sick, used, and disgusting.

I didn’t report it.

In my mid-twenties a client hit on me, and when I rebuffed his advances as gently as possible, he fired me.

I didn’t report it.

When I had just moved to my first apartment, a friend came to visit and help me move. He told me we should have sex “just because.” I said no. He argued with me. I argued back. I didn’t want to have sex with him: I shouldn’t have had to argue with him about it. When the argument started I stopped drinking beer. I locked my pit bull in my room that night, and hoped that if he came in she’d help protect me. When he returned to his home (several states away), he started texting me, calling me, saying horrible, abusive things. When I told him if he said abusive things again I was going to hang up, he said them again. I hung up. He accused me of being abusive and controlling the conversation. I continued to try and be polite. I continued to try and tell him carefully, gently, politely that I wasn’t interested in dating or having sex with him. He yelled at me for not being attracted to him. He called me names. He harassed me with phone calls, emails, and text messages multiple times a day. He lived in another state, and I was still afraid for my safety. I finally told him to have a good life, I hoped things went better for him, and not to contact me again. I deleted everything he sent thereafter, ignored his calls, and eventually he stopped trying. I lost a friend of 13 years when he became verbally and emotionally abusive because I wouldn’t have sex with him.

I didn’t report it.

When I was twenty-seven I got a flat. I pulled over into the parking lot of a corner market I frequented and began changing it. A man in a white “Christian-something” van with no windows pulled up and asked if I needed help. I said I didn’t. He stopped his car, blocking mine, and got out. He insisted. I insisted no. He stood and hovered over me, leaning against my car, petting my dogs. He asked if they could get out through the windows. He asked if I lived nearby. He asked if I had a boyfriend, a husband, a roommate. When he finally left, the grocer — who spoke very little English — came out and asked if I was okay. I said I was. Maybe the guy really was a Christian trying to help. Maybe he was using the name to make people comfortable, and help wasn’t on his mind.

I didn’t report it.

When I was twenty-eight a man asked for my number so we could “hang out.” I gave it to him. When he got pushy about going on a date, I tried to explain that I wasn’t interested in anything more than being friends. He said he thought I wasn’t like those “other bitchy sluts.” He thought I was different than “other women.” He told me that he had to be pushy and force women into dating him because otherwise no one would ever go out with him. I avoided the place where I’d met him, afraid he’d use the force he’d spoken of.

I didn’t report it.

I was walking down the street one night when a group of young men started to approach. They said, “Hey, baby,” and “Want to have some fun?” They cat-called and made lip-smacking noises when I walked past. I felt safe because I had a dog on either side; 175 pounds of muscle and teeth, and both dogs were on high alert.

I didn’t report it.

In point of fact, this happens at least once a month; usually during the day, in public, where I at least feel safe. I never report it. I just keep walking.

When I was twenty-nine I met a neighbor I wasn’t attracted to. We hung out as friends when we were both around. He told me late one night that I was falling for him. I told him I wasn’t. He argued with me about it. I said I knew my own mind, and I wasn’t interested in him. He said I was, I just hadn’t realized it yet. We argued for ten minutes, maybe more. After that he started accusing me of avoiding him (I wasn’t, yet) — he would come by my house and when I wasn’t home, he’d accuse me later of hiding from him. He got into my personal space. I stopped hanging out with him.

I didn’t report it.

When my client became a widower, he started hitting on me. Maybe. Maybe he was. Maybe he wasn’t. I disconnected ties, because after all of the above I couldn’t be sure. I would rather be safe.

It’s a scary thing that “being safe” means I can’t even talk to someone who might just need a helping hand, and has no other interest in me at all.

It’s a scary thought that in most of the cases I’ve listed above, even if I’d reported them, nothing could have (or would have) been done.

It’s a scary thought that of all the people I know, I feel I get harassed very little. I feel, overall, safer than most of my female friends.

We need to start teaching, “Don’t rape. Don’t be a creeper,” rather than, “don’t be a victim.” If you see someone in these straits, help them. If your friend is creeping, whether or not they mean to, tell them. Use peer pressure. Report things. I don’t want to assume all men are rapists. Men, I assume you don’t want to be seen as a possible rapist. Let’s fix it.

J



{March 7, 2012}   Trans and sexism

I’ve been thinking about that last trans post I made, and the comments (which I thought about a great deal, and started a hugely long post on, but… then I got busy and never finished it, and it all boils down to what I’m about to say, anyway).

You know what I’ve realized? I don’t think this is a trans reaction I’m having. I think it’s a sexist reaction. Now, I do my best not to be sexist, but cultural sexism is rampant in everyone. Including me, much as I try to keep purging it. I don’t think it’s so much that I look at types of trans and see different genders, as it is I look at “man” and have specific, sexist ideas of what that is. If something doesn’t fit it, it is therefore “not man” and needs another category.

Now that I realize that, I can start working on it.

It does make me wonder, though: how do we define gender? Most definitions say something along the lines of, “Gender can be identified by the dress, behavior, and speech of an individual.” But we’re breaking those rules, now. So… what DOES make a gender? The way someone feels? I mean, that’s how I define my gender… but then, most people have no clue that my gender is femme, as opposed to woman. How do you differentiate femme from woman? Heck, most femmes I know can’t. It’s a feeling.

So if gender is a feeling, and there are no definitions, then how does one say, “I’m attracted to women” or “I’m attracted to butches”? If the ultimate goal is to break down the definitions, then we’re also breaking down an important way to navigate the world. But if we don’t… then you get problems like mine, above, where the ‘man’ gender has gender rules, and if someone doesn’t fit them then I’m not categorizing them correctly, and sexism is born.

This is what I’ve been mulling over.

J

 



{October 7, 2011}   Cross posted to my other blog!

Y’know. The one about my whole life. 😀

My sister got married! For more hilarious stories on how awesome that was, click above. For the gay bits, read on!

For me, the best part of the wedding was the pressure to get married. Crazy, right? Who likes that, after all? It’s definitely not something most single people look forward to when they go to a wedding, but for me it’s a sign that my extended family is getting over the fact that I’m dating another woman, and they’re treating me like they would any straight niece or cousin. It was AWESOME.

Q didn’t show up until Friday night (the wedding was Saturday, and I was there by Tuesday.) Mark and Cathy — my favorite aunt and uncle — were there before I got there.

Things have been a touch strained with Mark since I started dating women. I knew they would be, but hoped that, like so many other things, he’d do the flip he does sometimes and end up in my camp. Usually, once something becomes personal to him, it’s not so bad! For instance, despite being rabidly right-wing, he’s pro-choice. My mom used us girls as an example one day, and he changed his mind completely on his pro-life stance. Things like that.

But religion is a strong factor, and he’s conservatively Lutheran. His wife, Cathy, has a gay sister — which hasn’t actually helped my cause, because her heart’s been broken by women. Never mind that everyone has their heart broken, Mark just sees this as proof that it’s not good to be gay.

Now, note that he’s never been anything but nice to me about it. It’s not what he says, but what he doesn’t say: he doesn’t ask how my love life or my girlfriends are, or if I’m dating, or anything else like that. He’s always kind to the people I bring home (all two of them, yes, shuddup), and he never says anything bad. Cathy told me once that he’s just worried for me, because being gay is a harder path in our society than being straight, and he just needs time. That’s okay, but I’ve still sort of been… waiting.

Anyway, Friday night was the rehearsal dinner, and Quin flew in right after it. I was talking about her — all week I kept trying NOT to talk about her, because it seemed like every other line out of my mouth had to do about her — and Uncle Mark was tipsy. He told me in that solemn-tipsy way that he really liked Q, because anyone who could make me that happy was good people. He (and my Aunt Cathy, at separate times) then proceeded to ask me if we were getting married, and if and when we got married could he play? (He played at Chelsea’s wedding, as she was walking down the aisle.)

I was totally touched. When Q got there, he was thrilled to see her. She danced with my Aunt Cathy at the reception, and Mark gave her a nickname: Rug Cutter. He even did his fist-bump with her; both are signs of high approval! And we were invited by both of them — again, separately — to come visit this spring. YAY! Everything very nicely fell into place, inside me. It was awesome. 😀

Hilariously, despite KNOWING who Q was (in part because I was introducing her as my girlfriend), another cousin (sort of — my second cousin once removed) said it was nice meeting my friend. *amused* That didn’t bother me: I was really only worried about my Uncle Mark, and the rest I know how they’ll react. It IS nice that everyone, even the people who strongly disagree and fear for my soul, are being sweet. (My aunts weren’t always nice to my mom, and she wasn’t even gay!) Mac was kind enough to sit Q with people who’d like Q and she’d like them, so I had no worries there! (My bff, Danny, was at that table too. Mac told me at one point, “Yeah, I sat Q and Danny together. Then I realized that the only other gay person at the wedding was also at that table, and I thought, ‘What is this?! The gay table?!’ So I switched him.” I nearly died laughing.) One of my favorite cousins even came over and introduced herself to Quin while I was off doing something, but that wasn’t a surprise: I knew she’d be fine with everything. 🙂 For all that I’m generally sure my aunts and uncles won’t approve but will at least be polite, I’m equally sure my cousins will be awesome!

Also, speaking of homophobia and weddings, check this out! I can marry either of my cousins Chasen or Taylor (my two unmarried male cousins), but I can’t marry another girl. So, so wrong.

Ugh, so annoying. Here, have this much more entertaining wedding picture. This was one of the weddings I went to this summer, where I was the bearer of the ring bearer. 😉

Ha! I love that picture.

J



{October 5, 2011}   Too tired for sex.

I just have a little bit of time (which is to say I should have gone to bed already), but I had something on my mind. It’s been on my mind for a while, and I don’t think it’s anything important, really, but writing stuff down helps me look at it differently.

Anyway, it’s about my sex life! When Q and I first started dating, we humped like bunnies. All the time! For large blocks of time! A part of me was a little distressed at the large blocks of time, actually, because it was ALWAYS a large block of time and sometimes I didn’t have two and a half hours to dedicate, you know? But anyway, I’m digressing.

A while back — maybe 8 months ago? — Q was talking about her distress because we weren’t humping like bunnies so often anymore. I actually tracked it for a few weeks, just in my head, and came to the conclusion that we weren’t really having sex much less than before, and that we’d each realized the other wasn’t going to bail soon, so we didn’t have to have lots of sex out of fear it’d go away. (At least that was the case on my end!)

Since then Q stopped worrying about it, but I’ve started thinking about it. I think the big thing is that we’re both busier and more tired these days (which in turn makes me wonder — IS that the case? If so, why? What are we doing different? …I’m working a lot more, actually…), and we’re not doing crazy drives to see each other even if it’s only for an hour; we’re subconsciously hitting a maintenance schedule that we can keep up indefinitely. Which is a good thing! But I do miss having sex more often. Or… I think I SHOULD miss it, or I miss wanting it so badly. The thing is, I really am too tired most of the time to start something myself. And I don’t feel unsatisfied, I feel more like, in a perfect world, we’d be rested enough to have it more often. But I’m not rested, and my desire for it is more like a desire to have a desire for it, if that makes sense.

Just a few weeks ago I noticed that Q has been very wonderful and listened to me very well, so unless I’m totally frisky she doesn’t pounce me so often (as opposed to gently seducing me or anything else that doesn’t involve physically hauling me around). Which made me laugh, when I realized that her pouncing me is a total turn on, so even if I’m not frisky I’ll often become frisky. Pretty funny, how good communication worked against me, there! (Also, she’s extra tired too, lately, so she’s not in much of a pouncing mood. I can’t blame her — I wouldn’t be, either!)

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m actually quite happy with our sex life, even at its slightly diminished state. We’re still like “normal” people, impressive since we live an hour apart. I think I worry sometimes that it’ll keep diminishing, though, even though when I stop and think about it I don’t believe that’s the case. Still, the concern lurks in my head. And because Q was worried about it months ago, I worry that she’s still worried! Ah, the inner life of a secret co-dependent-trying-not-to-be-co-dependent…

Anyway. These thoughts and feelings have been buzzing inside me. I would like more sex in an abstract way, but when I think about having more sex I’m like, “Whoa, no, way too tired to put forth that effort.” I’d really like more sleep. Then I could have more sex.

The good news is that we’ve finally gotten pretty good at having half hour sex, so we can have it when neither of us have energy for hour-and-more sessions. That makes me happy. 🙂 Also, then we can have more of it, because I have more free half hours in my day than hour and a halves… Semi-quickies are a good thing!

In other news, my baby sister got married! And my uncle, my favorite uncle who’s been fighting his homophobia for me, says he looooooves Q because anyone who makes me that happy is awesome, and he’s pushing me to marry her. I never thought I’d be happy to get marriage pressure from my family, but there you have it. It’s like his subconscious has realized it’s okay, so now he’s adding pressure. A funny sort of won battle, hmm? 😉

J



{August 28, 2011}   Failing spectacularly

You know, I generally try to be the better person. I try really hard to keep my cool in the face of stupidity and think to myself, “If you attack, they won’t take anything away. If you reason, they might listen.”

(Part of me also then thinks, “No they won’t! Reasoning is for the middle-of-the-road people, not the maniacs who’ve already made up their mind to one extreme or the other!” I’ve read WAY TOO MANY STUDIES on this kind of shit, and sometimes become my own worst enemy.)

But I try to be the better person and keep my cool. When I can’t, I try and walk away. And hey, I’m good at letting claws peek out while I’m smiling, anyway, or at least I think I am.  Though, in general, I try to be reasonable and not prick people… though I AM more likely to do it if it’s someone I don’t know. Less respect, less personhood for unknown people, you know? Same reason it’s easy to be an ass to someone online that you’ve never met: they’re faceless.

Anyway. Some (self-identified) masculinized-female is being a dick over in DK’s old blog. DK wrote this in his new blog: “My friends defended my honour and theirs with grace and cutting verbage,” and yeah, it’s definitely Nezu with the grace, because I am certainly not acting with any of that. (I like to think I have cutting verbage. >.>)

…I don’t feel particularly bad about it. I haven’t come right out and name called (though I did use the words “judgemental” “discriminatory” and various other socially-triggering things, but I don’t really care), but I certainly feel like the claws are out.

I have very sharp claws. I generally keep them sheathed, mostly because when I don’t I regret it. Either because I hurt someone and have Guilt, or because I kick myself later for burning bridges, or because I’ve been such a shit that I’m a little horrified at myself. So far, I’ve managed to travel the line that keeps me from being horrified at myself, and I don’t have Guilt.

The last time the claws came out was also over gender issues, on my blog — well, in comments that never made it to my blog, and then email. That person showed up here a while later to lambast me some more, and those comments didn’t go through, either (though I was sorely, sorely tempted, out of sheer spite. See, I would have felt bad about that – I’m guessing she didn’t think the comments would go through, since it was pretty much vitriol aimed at me. *sighs* And even over email and in the face of insults, I remained polite. I want a cookie, damn it). (It should be noted that I used something that person said as an example of a fallacious argument, so I wasn’t at all surprised I got the vitriolic comment/email… See, I’m really not so innocent. That would be claws-out-with-a-smile, because I never attributed it to her, I was polite in the email, and I didn’t pass her extremely nasty comment through to let everyone else see what a shit she was being…)

What is it about lesbians hauling off and being so very nasty to transpeople? (Is it supposed to be Trans people? I think I read that somewhere, but can’t remember.) I mean, I hear straight folk say some dumb-ass things, but I haven’t personally heard anyone straight say bitchy and outright insulting things. Lesbians, though, I’ve heard that to my face, as it were, twice, and overheard it other times.

Is it that FTMs are threatening? Making the already-small pool of possible partners smaller? Is it hard-core feminist lesbians who see FTMs as selling out? Is it that it makes us aware that, gasp, our own gender journey could not be finished and there might be MORE hard changes in store, and so it’s scary to see? Is it that lesbians are like everyone else, and things that are very different alarm them?

Probably all of the above, to one extent or another.

Anyway. I feel like a bitch in the 1700’s, when conversation was everything. When if you wanted to say something truly mean, you still found a pretty way to say it. I’ve failed spectacularly in being the better person, but at least I’m saying it with confidence and in thoughtful, creative ways. *wry smile*

J



{July 21, 2011}   My tender, transgender heart.

Ha, I love talking about shit I know nothing about. >.>

So, this is a post that’s been literally months in the making. Months and months ago, while at Texas Rose (a women-only two-step place), I picked up a flier for Texas Rose. I was scanning its info, as you do, and I saw this:

“Texas Rose: for lesbians and their FTM friends.”

Now, at first I was like, “Excellent.” But then I got to thinking about it a little more. This gets tangled pretty quickly. I mean, if FTM are, y’know, male, wouldn’t they prefer to be in a male space? Except it’s partly to find people and possible partners; assuming most of them are still attracted to women (either a huge or very minor assumption, depending on what you read), wouldn’t they rather be here? But then wouldn’t the lesbians who are only attracted to women and not trans folk be offended?

Then I read Bond‘s post (forever ago) on Trans being pretty damn invisible in the LGBTQ community, and how it gets lumped in various places, and I thought about it even MORE.

See, there are several sides to the argument here, just that I can see. There’s the side that’s lesbian-centered, of the lesbians who say, “If they’re men, they’re MEN and not lesbian, and therefore do not belong here.” And I can see that point; in that theory, FTM gents still attracted to women would, I guess, belong in a straight bar. But!

There’s the theory that says an FTM will have a lot more luck (and MUCH more safety) partner-hunting in a space that’s already queer-friendly, where they likely already have friends and contacts and people who’ve seen them through the transition, in a lesbian/queer space. I suppose you could say an FTM should then head to a gay bar, but there’s issues with that, too. What if they’re attracted to women? What if gay men are less interested in dating FTMs? I don’t know if that’s true, but given the underlying desire NOT to date an MTF in the lesbian community — as if you’re no longer lesbian if you date someone who’s MTF — I’d guess it’s pretty close.

I’ve also heard that trans folk should have their own trans spaces (not in a ‘get out of here’ context, but in a supportive context) and I tentatively agree. I mean, I like having my queer spaces, and if I were trans I imagine I’d like having a trans space, too. Of course, the BIG problem there is… well, there aren’t a lot of trans folk in general, so it’s much harder to be feasible.

Q and I sat at dinner and talked about it a while the other day, coming from varying viewpoints and basically chasing it around in circles. On one extreme, Q knows several die-hard feminist lesbians who really feel violated by FTMs being in their space, because it brings a male energy. On the other extreme, we both know several people dating FTMs, who feel like of course the FTMs should still be allowed in lesbian space because that’s how their partners (often) identify, and because that’s where their friends and exes and support is. To be honest, I can see both points (even if I don’t agree with both points), and I can also imagine how, if I were trans, I could feel either way (don’t want to be in a lesbian space because it’s a lesbian space and I’m not lesbian, and at the same time much prefer to be in a lesbian space because it’s probably a bigger pool of likely partners – I know a fair number of lesbians who would date/have dated FTMs).

It is a conundrum.

In short, there are a lot of problems and no answers that I see, and I’m selfishly glad I’m not trans and it’s only something I have to ponder, not live. But really, the point of this post is that Judy is still my favorite character in any movie ever and I want to be her when I grow up, and I ‘ship Judy/Francis.

 

J



{April 1, 2011}   It’s all about the smile

Something really cool has happened over the last few weeks, maybe even months. It happened really slowly, so I didn’t notice it at first. And initially, it only happened in safe spaces. Then toward stereotypes. But the other day it happened while I was walking a Great Dane (is there anything more femme than a blue Dane with a bright pink

This is not Bentley, but it sure looks like her!

collar complete with fancy ribbon and crystal-studded ID? I THINK NOT. She’s owned by a very straight woman, but damn I feel femme when I take her out.)

Anyway, the very awesome thing is this: I’m flirting! Like I did to boys before I came out (to myself), which is to say that it comes as naturally as breathing.

At first, it was to women I knew were lesbian, at gay bars and gay two-stepping and so on. Then it was to the people in my (very gay) town, the ones I could identify as masculine-ID’d. Then to the stereotypical dykes. But the other day I was walking down the street with Bentley and her bling collar, when I saw a cute woman sitting on a bench, reading. Before I knew quite what I was about, I’d pulled myself up and given her that knee-jerk saucy grin I use whenever I’m flirting without necessarily meaning to.

She didn’t look up. But that’s not the point! The point is that a few months ago I would have been worried about flirting with strange women, because god forbid I offend or give the wrong signals, even if that’s just another sign of cultural homophobia. But now, I’m flirting without thinking twice about it, grinning at women just to see if they’ll grin back! I’m totally interested in Q, and the flirting wouldn’t go anywhere, but… well, it really is as natural as breathing, and it makes everyone feel good.

I can’t help it. I’m a flirt. *laughs* It’s coded right into my DNA, I tell you! And now I’m no longer worried or anxious or anything about flirting with random women, which makes me feel fabulous! Plus, how could I not flirt when I have Bentley? She’s like, femme personified. 😉

J



Given the latest bouts of bullying, I though I’d spread the word on parents who are coming out in support of their gender-bending kidbits.

Even when those kidbits are five.

Especially when those kidbits are being bullied for a Halloween costume, by — this was the worst, imo — parents.

I kind of love this mom.

J



et cetera