Reality TV?

I know…yuck. But, I am a social media professional and what better way to promote myself than through the one avenue I haven’t touched yet…TV!? So vote for me here if you’d like to see me on a show about remarkable people who happen to be TG.

http://www.realitywanted.com/calls/allapplicants/25097

Advertisements

Twelve Habits of Happy, Healthy People Who Don’t Give a Shit About Your Inner Peace

Top 10 Unlikeliest Heroines in Comics

Check out our Top 10 List of the Unlikeliest Heroines in comics…it’s TRULY BIZARRE. Oooooh!!!!

Year of the Snake

My goodness it’s been awhile. I’ve been so busy writing for others that as per usual I’ve neglected my own personal blog…and…I’m also fairly certain this preamble has graced the opening lines of pretty much every post I’ve ever written, but what can I say? I’m commitment-phobic. 

So, as some of you may or may not know…I’m a bit of an astrology nerd. I won’t say I’m super-knowledgeable about it because I’m totally too lazy for that and it can get rather complicated what with trines and conjuncts and all that other stuff BUT I do know this is the Year of the Snake according to Chinese lore and my, can I tell you, it’s been spitting plenty of venom thus far! Even still, viper up-chuck and all, I’ve learned plenty about how I handle conflict and, as one of my film profs pointed out, when faced with conflict true character gets a chance to shine. Or, in my case…explode.

I feel like everything that had to happen up ’til now in my life has and for a good reason, as cliché and “un-proveable” as it is. My journey’s never been easy, I don’t think anyone’s is, but even when things seem bleaker than black and you feel like you’re just the WORST person alive…you’ve got to keep believing in something. Believing that you feel that way in order to identify patterns that have led you there and neutralize them, so that in the future, the path you walk down is a lot less jagged. And also believing in the good you’re doing for others, though neither of you may see it that way at the time. Granted, if I’m honest I must admit others’ feelings were the least of my worries during times of conflict (the whole self-preservation thing, I guess), but in retrospect, I’m sure every single interaction, exchange, glance even…just…rippled. And who knows how many different windows and doors were slammed open by all that. As my friend Anna told me, “The problem isn’t that there are problems in life…the problem is thinking there shouldn’t be any.” Once you stop expecting life to owe you some modicum of “the ideal,” you can instead focus on building it within your own life from the dust and rubble of past mis-steps (or what you perceive to be mis-steps, anyway).

That’s what the snake has shown me so far…without the poison, there can be no cure.

When Queers Attack…Fighting Back!

Here’s the thing that really pisses me off. Scouring articles for topics to blog upon and finding repeated cases of violence and injustice within the system against GLBT individuals. Why should safe-guarding your life be handled differently just because you’re fighting back while G, L, B, T or any other letter of the alphabet?!

Surviving a violent encounter used to be something to be lauded. Wow! You had a brush with death and managed to make it out unscathed. I’m so glad you’re alive! Not for LGBT people…the system seems to hate the fact that society lost a “normal” to a “queer.” Read more of this topic here. I wrote it for the UDGLBT, which you should all be sure to follow…because they’re doing wonderful things for LGBT individuals in an area that, originally was rather desolate in terms of resources. Share this, support this, make it big…because as I say in the post…if we don’t support one another and make noise for ourselves, there’s not a blessed soul out there that will.

Hey guys…please read!

So, I’ve been blogging for the Upper Delaware GLBT Center as part of my internship and unfortunately today I had to blog about something very disconcerting regarding one of our trans-members. I strongly urge all my followers to read the article in the link provided and commit to holding Daniel Tosh accountable for this transphobic episode. 

http://udglbtcenter.blogspot.com/2013/02/where-is-love.html

“Snake Women,” Transwomen and Hate Crimes In Myth

As someone who’s always been fascinated by mythology and the archetypes that evolved from those timeless stories, I find it enthralling to see how many cultures have developed similar symbology regarding the same things. Though the symbology may have differed, based on the specific phobias and hang-ups of each distinct society, the same figures emerge time and time again. One such figure is the Snake Woman. Before I delve into this any further, allow me to divulge my original source of inspiration for this topic.

I had taken an Anthropology class called, “Magic, Myth and Religion,” when I first started college and my professor had mentioned something that really struck me. He told us that numerous cultures have “snake women” or “serpent-goddesses” in their folklore, which must be challenged and defeated by some virile, sweat-soaked (not at all homoerotic, *coughcough* yeah, right) champion typical of male-dominated societies at the time. He then went on to equate their serpentine parts with penises, which seems to make sense considering a woman with a penis (whether it be a figurative or literal one) might potentially pose a significant risk to the patriarchal status quo. Whenever a male-born person relinquishes the privilege bestowed upon them by a patriarchal socio-cultural system, they are shunned. They are denigrated for essentially denigrating themselves. And as this pans out across ancient cultures, the fear of the feminine bubbles up into self-righteous indignation and “The Outcast” becomes immortalized forever as “The Monster,” in myth and legend. In the case of female monsters, many are given male qualities, the most prevalent of which are aggression and outspoken natures, at least compared with the ideal of womanhood as concocted by the male.

We are then left with beings like Medusa, who fornicates in the temple of Wisdom and as punishment for asserting her sexual power is cursed, her crowning glory taken from her and replaced with a mane of unruly serpents and a petrifying gaze. Or the child-eating Queen Lamia, who is turned into a half-serpent and who according to Aristophanes, sprouts a phallus “for monstrosity’s sake.” Throughout the world we see Nagas, Shirabyoshi, primordial sea goddesses, and even the biblical Lilith becoming conflated with gender-variance and almost always they are then demonized in some way. The snake has always been a phallic symbol, and by extension a symbol of power. What better way to illustrate the adoption by a woman of a powerful role than to physically morph that woman into a half-woman, half-man? In this way, folk tales and myths were able to be understood by masses which were by and large, uneducated.

It’s funny how a lot of the cautionary tales against the Snake Woman in myth mirror the “trans panic defense” that’s so often used to murder young transwomen today without consequence. Demonizing us in the same way that these seemingly primitive-minded people used to; responding with “justified hatred” against any threats to their patriarchal societies and, by extension, their collective sense of manhood. If it’s a monster, it’s okay to kill it. And monsters are deceptive, in the same way transwomen who deceive men into thinking they’re natal females are. That’s the erroneous line of thinking anyway. However, isn’t a delusion that the human being in front of you is a demon just so it makes it okay in your mind to hurt them a form of self-deception too? That’s the problem…far too many people never question the myth and as a result, our roles have become perpetually engrained in black and white, to the extent that in modern-day China, Thai transfolk or Katoey are referred to as “renyao,” a term which, when analyzed, can mean both “enchanting” and “monstrous.” The sad reality is that in today’s world, too many victims of hate crimes are still held to be exactly that. Until we replace the myth with a new one – an empowering one, filled with heroes and heroines who confront transphobic ignorance wherever it sprouts we will remain, to many people, “enchanting monsters.”

“When The World Ends,” A Reflection On Hormonal Mood-Swings

It’s not often I use the blog to address my personal life, but as the year is nearly at an end, I’d like to take some time to reflect on just what this year has brought me. Lately, I have been very stressed out. No, not even stressed out…I would say “slightly derailed,” better describes how I’ve been feeling. For me, 2012 has been a year of sudden change and sustained effort, two things I typically despise. Between the 20-page research papers and hazards of my daily hour-long commute both ways, I’ve been thrust by providence or fate into the proverbial spotlight. Doing speeches, and panels and attending board meetings and functions and lots and lots of parties. I’ve met many people, some of whom I simply adore, and others I decidedly don’t. Handling these waves of new personalities is a challenge in and of itself as I’ve found it’s integral to alter your approach depending on who you’re dealing with and I think that’s something a lot of us fail to take into account. This world is full of people and people are like little machines you’re constantly having to punch codes in…the wrong codes lead to breakdowns, the right ones lead to updates. Not sure if that allegory even makes sense (it’s early!), but it is a demanding process that never seems to end.

In the midst of all that melee, it has been integral to do one thing: take care of myself. For my own personal self-care routine (and I’m assuming, for many of my readers as well), balanced hormones are fundamental and the only way to maintain them balanced is by taking them every day at a regular time and scheduling periodic blood tests with your physician. I haven’t been and finally it showed yesterday before a holiday party I attended. I was in my car, crying and had, in a manner of minutes fallen completely out of love with life and the people in my life. Almost systematically, I became disillusioned and livid all at once and when pressed for the reason, I had none to give. I felt a loss of control and an utter dearth of joy. It just spilled out of me and it was a mood-swing. One of the side-effects of estrogen therapy many of us fail to take into account because we don’t think it’s as “serious” as stroke or thrombosis. But I assure you, it is. I know because I was one of those people who scoffed at the “mood-swing thing” as being something I could easily handle. And I realize I must admit my fault in all this, too. In the frenetic chaos that my life has been this past year, there have been many times when I’ve gone to sleep after pulling an all-nighter at some ungodly hour and forgotten to take (or just been too lazy to take) my hormones. Thus, I’ve experienced spikes and lows and kept pushing them aside, brushing them off until the holidays rolled around and my seasonal sadness became the catalyst for a mood swing that left my nerves jangling when they should have been jingling.

The world can wait. It’s important that you and I know this. It won’t fall apart if we take the time to take care of ourselves, but we will. If we allow ourselves to grant importance to our problems, even when others we confide in may not consider them very important at all, we also grant ourselves importance. We don’t put on the “I can do it all” facade and power through it. We each have differing levels of resistance to outside stressors, and it’s important to be respectful of that. My pain may not be the same as yours, but it is just as significant. And as a tg woman who’s been undergoing long-term HRT, I sometimes forget the element that was missing from my life during last night’s mood-swing: balance. So, I had a rare moment of practicality and made an alarm on my phone at 10 AM sharp that reminds me to take my hormones every. Single. Day. No matter what. Equally helpful is my return to this blog and being able to take solace in my writing process again. Never ignore your outlets! For me, that outlet is writing…but lately it’s been something I haven’t had the energy or time for…or at least that’s the excuse I give myself. And that’s another thing: Be mindful of your own excuses and analyze ways to break them apart, because most of them just injure you in the long-run. So, sisters, my advice for the new year…cut through the garbage you give yourself ABOUT YOURSELF…cut through the garbage other people fling at you and just focus on you. Sounds so simple, but often, it’s exactly those simple things we fail to remember.

Queen

I opened a window back to his world
A world of “I could be’s” and “maybe”
A world of prattling prayers and possibilities
That the “me” in the mirror could not yet see

Maybe I could be a Queen…that steals all the boys’ hearts
Maybe I could be a Queen…that’s completely off the charts
That zigs and zags every which way…just like they do in all the chess games
Maybe I could be a Queen…enthroned and scheming to fill her humdrum days
Maybe I could be a Queen…of riches…all of which, I’d give away

Maybe I could be a Queen…that trades her crown for love
Maybe I could be a Queen…that never bites her tongue
Maybe I could be a Queen…dipped in blood and hard as stone
Maybe I could be a Queen…armor-clad and barbed-wire bad…to the bone

Maybe I could be a Queen, a Queen and not a pawn
Maybe all my rights of manhood could be willed away…long-gone
Maybe I could be a Queen…a lion turned to lamb

Then maybe I remember…I already am.

Why Mitt Romney Bothers Me…A Transgendered Perspective

There are a lot of reasons why I find Mitt Romney’s participation in the 2012 Presidential Election thoroughly disturbing; mostly because in this day and age I find it revolting to see fear-mongers such as himself rise to such powerful positions, and teeter on the edge of turning our beautiful country into a white-washed wasteland, reflective of his own distorted societal views.

This is a man who makes big promises and pretends to be what you want him to be (fine, like every politician you’re saying and, to a certain extent, you’re right), BUT this is also a man who bullied his classmates on the suspicion that they were gay and forcibly attacked a suspected gay classmate with a pair of scissors, shearing off his hair because he found its length inappropriate. What his supporters, especially the ones sympathetic to LGBT causes for whatever reason, fail to see is that he wants to project that same juvenile attitude onto all LGBT families on a much wider scale. He wants to cut us out of his vision. A vision that sounds fine enough if you’re a straight, non-minority with a lot of money and an undeserved superiority complex. That I’m not so offended by, because quite frankly, I wouldn’t be a part of this man’s anything if he paid me by the million. The part that offends me is that he’s taking that skewed thinking even further and wants to cut us off from our fundamental human rights. This is a man who actively supports measures that would strip LGBT folk of marriage equality, and anti-discrimination policies in the workplace. This is a man who was too afraid to attach his name to an anti-bullying pamphlet because it contained the words ‘bisexual’ and ‘transgender.’This is a man who “threatened to shut down the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth and vetoed a $158,000 budget item meant to counsel violence victims in the LGBT community.” This is a man who believes there is a “gay agenda.” What exactly is it, pray tell Mr. Romney? Requesting help to recover from the life-long trauma that bullies like you have caused us throughout our crucial formative years? Trying to heal the suicidal near-misses because a lot of us have been so put off by the kind of hate you and your kind engender that we would rather end our lives than continue dealing with you? No sir…if anyone has an agenda, it’s you and your camp. The “gay agenda” if you can call it that, is a cry for equal human rights and the same life, liberty and pursuit of happiness you have. It’s not a “gay agenda,” it’s a “human agenda.” Because like it or not, Mr. Romney, we are human beings…just like you, some of us just happen to be gay or transgen- oops, I forgot…that word’s scary for you.

That being said…I must admit, I’ve never been the most politically active person in the world. I always tried to stay away from ‘stuff like that,’ deeming it too frustrating and too complicated to deal with. Additionally, having to deal with the intricacies of my own transition all these years left me little time to involve myself. Until I realized that all of that thinking is horse-puckey. ‘Stuff like that’ is what effects every American person’s life and we should all take an active stake in seeing that things continue to evolve by not allowing them to decay. I don’t typically vote (mostly becuase my mother always told me once I registered they’d be able to make me do jury duty…don’t believe it, they got me long before I ever registered anyway), and I know a lot of LGBT people who are either politically apathetic or Log Cabin Republicans, but please…for all our sakes, stop Romney! Stop him because he doesn’t want you to be a part of anything he does. Stop him because he wouldn’t have supported you in high school and he won’t support you now! Stop him because he doesn’t see you and he never will. If you can’t recognize another person’s human rights, you essentially fail to recognize them as human. I can’t wait until November to show Mr. Mitt Romney how very human I am by voting for Obama and making my voice count, just like you hopefuly will, even if you don’t usually…so that you can show him how human you are too.