Author Topic: Becoming more active.  (Read 16281 times)

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Cassandra

Becoming more active.
« on: July 15, 2005, 12:00:44 pm »
As groups go the transexual community doesn't seem to be very active. Witness this forum which seems to get so little attention. It's like this is the place were posts go to die.

Kitten asked for some help for a speaking engagement of some kind but received no responses from the rest of the group. Unfortunately I wasn't here when she posted it so I was too late to help. Which is too bad since I've got an opinion on just about any subject and I'm not afraid to use them.  >:D

I noticed in the News forum a recent post from Leigh which ought to be addressed. One of the things about the aftermath of 9/11 was that people kept defending Islam as a religion of peace, but the pundits would always ask, "then why hasn't the Islamic leadership come out and denounced the actions of these terrorists."

If we are not to be lumped in with people like the man in the article (see"just great" in the Community Alerts section), then we must as a community respond to such things before the media turns it into a transgender bash fest or worse.

Fortunately we do have an outlet we can turn to for help the GLBT organizations around the country could be contacted according to the region in which such an unfortunte occurance might take place and a statement issued on behalf of the community denouncing the perp.

From the standpoint of being a trans I know we don't like to draw attention to ourselves because we are busy trying to be accepted as the gender to which we identify. But, we will all loose gains that have been made if we don't take some kind of action.

I emplore everyone to join in here and discuss possible plans of action whenever our rights as individuals are threatened either by the actions of fringe perverts or the religious intolerance of the zealots of the christian right or left. Let us not go gently into that dark night.


Cassie

Offline Kendall

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Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2005, 02:14:08 pm »
I think the window of opportunity to become a active Transsexual is extremely short. In my opinion, only a few transsexual women and men that I have seen on the net, Post Op, dwell with the community. I get the sense (could be wrong) that you experience it, morph, grow, then move on. The ones that I see remaining active are ones that lead organizations or hold similar positions.

New blood that I see come in ( I dont know timelines, just surmising) take a while to become active and intermingle with the community. Then once joining into the community, rapidly progress towards new things.

Many of the very active members I have seen TS are smack down in the middle of the process.

The ones in the middle are also spending vast amounts of money to change, get hormones, hair removal (female), breast surgeries (men remove breasts, female implants), SRS, and facial / body sculpting surgeries to transition, and have less money to invest in causes. I cant see this kind of spending (besides clothes and wigs) from drags and TVs.

I have never taken any surveys, nor sought out factual data.

Now for Transvestites, drag, intersexuals things might be more stable and less changing / morphing (though transitioning intersexed join in with the TS processes and money if they transition radically). I see several gay drag active groups, parades, marches, and contests. These groups have less of a morph and move on process. Transvestites have solid communities and organizations old and young. Intersex organizations are out there, I have seen a few.

Transexuals though are a changing integrating social group that I think tries to blend in and live life out as the real woman that was meant to be. Turning around and looking back would seem entirely furthest thing on the mind, unless thats was an important interest or part of a career.

All of this is just generalizations and personal thoughts and feelings.
Maybe I just live in a more isolated life.

Share your thoughts.

stephanie_craxford

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2005, 03:05:02 pm »
Hello Kendra.

I have to agree with you.  I think that you've got it right.  It's sad to say, but true.  In Canada I think that we are more active because our Human Rights, and our Constitution, almost demand that we are (note the recent same sex marriage legislation that just pased).  This shouldn't stop the TS community from voicing their concerns on an issue.  I know that my hope is to be considered only as a woman by everyone in the near future, and not as TS.  But in the mean time I'll continue to lend my support and voice to trans issues as they manifest themselves.  Personally, it's all that I can do at this time.

Kendra brings up some very good points with the situation of TS who are trying to transition or those TS who have transitioned and their need for a post-op support system.  I discussed these very points off line with another member, and we came to the same conclusion.  Yes you could call us the selfish members of the whole trans community, but I don't feel that way.

I'm going to post this now as I have to dash, but I'll check back on the thread laterto see how it's going.

Steph

Cassandra

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2005, 03:39:40 pm »
Yes, the points ya'll brought up are the reasons I thought of as to why there is so little activism for transexual rights. My thought is that if we could each do a little something along our journey it might help others in the future and to some extent ourselves in the present.

Helping someone with a letter writing campaign, calling in a press release. As I said the GLBT network can help with PR and not cost any one person a lot of time and money. I don't think we're being selfish by concentrating more on our transition instead of getting involved in proactive organizational things. We've spent so much time and effort getting to where we are it can seem a little counterproductive to go off tilting at windmills.

More thoughts?

Cassie

4years

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2005, 04:52:57 pm »
Selfish for wanting to be normal? That normalcy that has been denied us all our lives? No, I would not call that selfish.

As far as activism goes perhaps what can be done is too shrouded in mystery?

stephanie_craxford

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2005, 05:14:55 pm »
Hello all

Those are great points, and I agree that if we can each do something to help with trans issues as we move along our journey then it would be great for those who follow, maybe make it easier.  I know that as I write this that the Ontario Human Rights Commission is deciding on a challenge from the trans community here, that if successful, will see the re-listing of GRS under our health care plan called OHIP.  If it wins then our GRS surgery will be covered.  This is where the trans community can help, by getting behind an issue like this.  It makes a difference, but in this case will only benefit the trans community.

I guess the problem with us is that we are only "TRANSient", although some journeys are longer than others.  Gay, and lesbians are always gay and lesbian, for example, so their cause will never go away for them.  Kimberly I agree, I don't think we're selfish for wanting what been denied us, but maybe others may think that.   :)

I'm not very good at expressing my thoughts, so bear with me.  :)

 I have, or had,  TS friend who I've been emailing for several years.  We both started our transition about the same time, we are both the same age in in roughly the same marriage situation, we even started HRT at the same time.  We used to email each other all the time letting each other know how we were both doing, much like on the forums here.  Two weeks ago she wrote and told me that she had her date for GRS in October.  Although I was so happy for her, and I told her that, but at the same time I felt a great loss, that she was coming to the end of her transition and was moving on.  Am I being selfish???  This is what I'm talking about.  I can be confusing  :)

Steph

Offline Kendall

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Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2005, 06:56:20 pm »
What things are needed most out there, for TSes? (especially things that active community can pursue)

Might be great to start listing ideas, Unless there are some already posted somewhere I dont know =)  Im a new girl, havent seen every post or site yet. If so would like to see any links. See what common issues there are.

Here are first things that I think of: (I have seen a few organizations try tackling a few of these, dont remember the links though)
*Help keep up to date info on transitioning and support (this site does excellent job in this area)(older sites get outdated rather quickly)
*I would put down to help keep SoC current, up to date, and relavent.
*Support science that pursues medicines, dna/reproductive abilities to all humans (ability to create wombs, ovaries, breast tissues, penises, testicles, and such)
*Job and workplace focus on skills and abilities (with all other groups striving for this)
*Ensure Laws recognize transitioned people

Now of this list, only maybe the last 3 would appeal (and if there are organizations doing them they probably do) to even Post-ops

Those are just a few things that just pops into my mind.

kitten

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2005, 07:20:42 pm »
after physical transition it is easy to just drop out of site, as gradually all the paperwork changes and the person builds a new history, not just with paper but by living it in the new role, and it is terribly easy to just accept that saying nothing will result in acceptance whereas revelation may cause rejection.

so one can't really blame people for being happy, for the first time in their lives, and wanting to squeeze all of the juice out of that lemon, however short sighted it may actually be.

nevertheless, some people find after a while that they don't regret some of the things that they learned in their previous gender role, and cannot identify with all of the things in their new one, leaving them as sort of "in-between" people, without much depth in any role, but with a fantastically broad view of all roles.

this positions people to comment on everything they see with some validity, so some people get drawn back into activism to have a voice, and find satisfaction in *that* role.

and then, as noted, some of us were activists anyway, and changing the gender of activists is just more grist for our mills.

so the fascinating range of human behaviour continues to fascinate, and those who go "stealth" and gain happinesss that way are just as important as everyone else, and assure us of the rightness of transition as therapy.

Sandi

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2005, 07:41:37 pm »
Quote from: Cassandra
One of the things about the aftermath of 9/11 was that people kept defending Islam as a religion of peace, but the pundits would always ask, "then why hasn't the Islamic leadership come out and denounced the actions of these terrorists."

Good question, and a few have, though some want to take a neuetral stance. On the other hand there is a lot more that skews the Islam/Muslim perception. The vast majority of Arabs in the United States are christians, not muslims. Also 40 percent of American muslims are black, not Arab.

Also there are democracies in the world that are Muslim besides Afghanistan and Iraq. Both of those still have not proven themselves, especially Afghanistan. Mali and Senegal (Africa) are both stable democracies with 90+ percent Muslim populations.

I'm not attempting to stick up for Muslims in anyway, just trying to show that fundamentalist Islam doesn't speak for the entire Muslim population, nor are all decended from Muslim countries Islam funamental extremist, and what we preceive as Muslim or Islam isn't always the case.


Sandi

Leigh

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2005, 08:29:51 pm »
I was very active in the politics of acceptence, no more.

My opinion, all you do is paint a target on yourself.  Not only the segment of society that wishes to deny our existence and our rights but also those who are somewhere within the tg spectrum.

I stood up, said my piece to the newspaper, had my pictures on two pages to the states largest newspaper, campaigned and spoke up for gender identity ordinances for what?  To be villified because some groups were not included in specific laws!  To walk into a place and eveyone knowing and pointing.

I'll pass thank you very much.

Leigh

Sheila

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2005, 10:04:51 pm »
I have been in the thick of politics in Eugene, Oregon. We have been trying to put Gender Identity into the nondiscrimination ordinance here for about 4 years now. So far we have had little success. i do think that one can be an activist and not get their name or picture into the media. We do need people to stand up and fight for our basic rights, who will do this for us? I don't think anyone will. Usually we get sidelined.
It is a lot of hard work to get something passed into legislation. I didn't realize how hard it was until I started doing something about it. Unfortunately, I had a lot of things going against me, like only having a high school diploma no formal education except life, then transitioning and surgery all in these years, not to mention trying to save a marriage and my family. I also retired and with in a two year span got another job. I was also on the Human Rights Commission in Eugene for about a year. I don't think I would have started this if I would know about all the work that it would take. On top of all of this, I tried like Hell to get others to participate and it wasn't until this last year and half anyone tried to help out. I have quit trying anymore, let others take over or should I say they took over. It is a hard emotional, physical roller coaster to do something like this. Yes, I have been on TV, picture in the newspaper on the radio and in front of people. People in this town and who knows where know me. I don't get bothered at all and I live my life freely as a woman. We are about to put the ordinance change to the city council this fall, hopefully.
In writing this I hope that people would participate in any way they can. We need the change or we will be discriminated against. We have the biggest unemployment rate of all minorities. We have a huge suicide attempts and successes as adults and as youth. We are turned away more times than should be at emergency rooms and we get little or no medical help. Our families and friends disassociate from us. So we need to have a voice and to be part of something in your community. You don't have to be vocal and get into the media, but some help behind the scenes would be grateful.
I guess instead of two cents I must have spent a quarter here.
Sheila

stephanie_craxford

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2005, 10:30:01 pm »
I was very active in the politics of acceptence, no more.

My opinion, all you do is paint a target on yourself. Not only the segment of society that wishes to deny our existence and our rights but also those who are somewhere within the tg spectrum.

I stood up, said my piece to the newspaper, had my pictures on two pages to the states largest newspaper, campaigned and spoke up for gender identity ordinances for what? To be villified because some groups were not included in specific laws! To walk into a place and eveyone knowing and pointing.

I'll pass thank you very much.

Leigh

And this, I think, is the crux of the issue.  I understand what everyone has said in this thread, BUT, when I succeed in my personal fight to transition, I would find it hard to be pulled back into the world (not a great term) I just left.  That is why I think that I, and many other trans people are selfish.  We all know how much courage, guts, conviction, or what ever else you want to call it, it takes to transition, and the hardships we have to over come to get there.  But i think that we/I can be more help to those like me by relating my own personal experiences with trans issues while I'm experiencing them, not after the fact.

It may be considered the cowards way out, but we fight so hard to be accepted as women, and I think that it would be just as hard to distroy that by risking revealing our past by standing up and saying our piece.  A gay person is always gay, and a lesbian is always a lesbian, but a TS is just a temporary state.  For me it is a very hard issue to get my head around as I've been helped so much by those who are transitioning as compared to those who have transitioned (no offence Leigh, but I know you understand where I'm coming from).

This is very hard, but it's something that I think is good to talk about.  Being a successful TS I guess means that you become a role model of sorts to those who follow, and, I guess, that like it or not we may be duty bound to act on their behalf.  As it stands right now I would/will fight tooth and nail for trans rights, etc... but after I transition I'm not so sure I would be so out in the open.  I would be more comfortable working in places like Susan's (see I'm selfish)  :) :)

I just wish I could explain this better.

Steph

Steph

Leigh

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2005, 11:00:40 pm »
Sheila

My last experience was when I drove to Eugene to just be at the college to show my support.

My activism is in the G&L community now.  Volunteering with the HRC and BRO during the No on 36 campaign (gay marriage) and now the current civil union bill that is before before the Oregon House of Representitives.

I didn't go through what I have to spend the rest of my life with a scarlet T branded on my forehead.   

Stephanie I totally understand what you meant.  A person can only spend so much time beating their head against a brick wall before it begins to hurt.  I have tried to explain "Its not about clothes, its about being" more times than I can count, even to ones who should know better.



Terri-Gene

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2005, 11:11:39 pm »
  "I would find it hard to be pulled back into the world (not a great term) I just left."

"To be villified because some groups were not included in specific laws!"


All the pain, all the lonlyness and all the loss.  To die and be reborn in darkness, in quest of love and light,  Only to have to relive it over again, moment by moment and to be called traitor by those who need the least and do not understand the ultimate goal or the needs of those with more immediate, desperate need.

Post about high heels and wigs and start a landslide of replies, start one of need for a cause or a TS in trouble and a few "such a shame"'s and it's over.  Kill thousands of women a year and it's just life, punch one TV in the nose and it's national hate crime week.  It's sad, but it's true.

Terri

Offline ChefAnnagirl

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Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2005, 03:34:05 am »
I believe that since i was well on my way to becoming something like a general human/animal/planetary rights activist in my life prior to beginning transition, this entire transformational process for me, is only adding more and more fuel to the fire as i go along, as it were... There are far too many injustices still happenng in the world to too many people and inncoent creatures of all species, walks of life, and for far too many reasons to be allowed to be ignored for much longer, to the extent that most people still seem to be all to happy to do, in order to just keep some sense of "normalcy", whatever the living hell that actually is...

To me, its just a natural matter of course in my life that i will take a stronger, more active, more visible, and more controversial role in dealing with all of these things, as i grow deeper, and grow older, and become still more aware, more self sufficient, more fearless, more well educated, well connected, and more capable of actualizing all these things like this for myself and all others along the entire walk of life in general, in a world apparently gone utterly mad with total numbness, imcompetence, apathy, hatred, bigotry, conflict, lack of social awareness, lack of global and cultural awareness, loss of connection to our natural world, our spiritual nature of lovingness and therefore ourselves, and the lies, greed and bloodshed of politics, industry, class warfare, and socio-economics gone entirely amok that continues to kill, maim, injure, abuse, rape, pillage, plunder, distort, threaten, misinform, miseducate, and completely disempower the human being and the entire organism of life on this planet as we know it, in all of its myriad and miraculous forms....

Lovingly always,
Love Forever,


Annagirl
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Offline Kendall

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Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2005, 09:36:44 am »
Tried looking around Susans.org at current orgs listed there and somewhat current. Will point out before, that this is a list of what I see, and dont mean to advocate any of them, nor validate the truthfulness nor effectiveness of such organizations. Just putting them up to see some of whats out there. One should research and question each one before investing money or time.


http://www.ntac.org/                                 - USA Transgender Civil Rights -  Law reform
http://www.hrc.org/                                   - USA GLBT equality law - Law reform
http://www.transgender.org/gidr/index.html  - DSM reform org
http://www.transgenderlaw.org/                  - USA TG Law
http://www.gender.org                               - USA gender variant mostly promotes educating from what I see
http://www.survivorproject.org/                   - domestic and sexual violence
http://www.tgender.net/taw                       - helping to form and reform company policies to T friendly
http://www.glaad.org/programs/cim/trans.php? - part of GlAAD mentions Trans

This list is just some I seen looking through Politics section of susans.org

kitten

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2005, 09:43:48 am »
... and don't forget the elephant in the living room:

STEALTH

many people have suffered for a long time being typecast wrongly, and transition represents a flight to freedom, with passing in the opposite role as a reward.

people who succeed with this often remain stealth, and see no reason to tell their past to all and sundry.

can you really blame them?  in my heart i cannot.  perhaps they can live The Dream and be happy, if so then more power to them.

the flotsam like myself, that pass poorly, needs cultivate a Yeah So What mentality as a simple measure of mental health, and end by declaiming Feminist cant.

it will be easier if we all look for ways to help each other; that is how you build a community, even distributed, even electronic.

then perhaps a life of activism, being openly yourself with with no regrets, is as satisfying as Stealth, with it's new restrictions and expectations, and the brightest, kindest of the youth will invigorate our struggle.

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Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2005, 10:51:13 am »
Here's a couple more to add to the list:

http://www.equalitymaryland.org/
They seem to be doing a very aggressively good amount of work here in my home state and i will regularly post updates from their site here on the forum that are relevant.

http://www.gpac.org/
Havent studied this organiztion yet, but they see to also be heading in right direction for all TG rights and issues...

Committment, fearlessness, insight, honesty, and a strong motivation to help others, as well as unfailingly strong motivation to confront and deal with the kinds of injustices and untruths still rampant in the world today that negatively impact so many people's lives....

Forums like this can help to do many of these things, and Susan has given the world a beautiful gift of truthfulness and depth of knowledge and information in this forum and the Wiki, from her willingness to act, to commit, and to gather like-minded others around her to assist in this process - it will all take time, but we can never give up hope that changes will come - but only if we simply accept that failure is not an option...

Lovingly always,
Love Forever,


ChefAnnagirl
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Terri-Gene

Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2005, 11:13:33 am »
  "There is no figurehead for our people. Jackie Robinson did a very good thing for the African-American community; he played Major League Baseball (and helped win a couple games from what I understand). We need someone who will energize <transgender> America. We need an aggressive player who isn't afraid to slap around the opposition. "

What he did was face the racist descrimination and play despite all who tried to prevent him from doing so and thus opened the door for black athletes. He had commitment and the courage to stand behind that commitment.  If the TG community had only a fraction of this kind of commitment for what the say is important to them, things would slide along nicely.

In the first place, The Transgender community refuses to define it self, who is and who is not.  While I understand this from within the community it flys politically like a lead ballon.  It is asking for rights for a specific group which has subgroups which have different diredtion in thier goals and social needs while giving no understandable or workable definition of why some sub groups actually need the gender specific rights of the minority whithin it. .  The refuse to differentuate the importance or need for different segments of the group as a whole.  If one segment is documented and medically evaluated to deserve and need a specific right then the TG community wants that right for anybody and everybody even if having it would have no effect on thier daily lives and is not needed because of the way they identify in public and at work, school etc.

It is my belief we need to work for the rights of all, but define points of full inclusion according to the realistic and medical need within the different subgroups.  This isn't discrimination or elietism, it is common sense and respect for others within the mainstream.

It is asking the mainstream to give up privacy and peace of mind to people who give nothing but the fact that they wear some form of female attire on occassion, while fully identifying as their birth sex in thier public life,but with no medical documentation of any need to do so, or proof of injury to themselves if they don't have full inclusive rights of recognition within the opposite sex.  

For segments who have demonstrated commitment and are medically documented, spcial rights may be justified, but others who refuse to produce any qualification or proof of need expect the same rights though they would only need those rights on specific occassions, not on a daily minute by minute bases 24/7/365.

It doesn't make sense to anyone, even many of those in desperate need.  If the community were to accept degrees or steps of rights depending on documentation and need, it would likely be different, but the community refuses this and wants it all for everybody and is unaccepting of simple gender identity laws which protect their jobs, housing, freedom from harrassment and discrimination and such but doesn't allow them full female acknowledgement.

AS far as figureheads,  It is as Leigh has said.  When those who are truely committed enough to step forward and walk the burning coals for the community, the community then burns them at the stake for not supporting full female recognition for every memember of the community, regardless of full time identification or for only achieving the Identity type laws which don't give full female inclusion, yet protects thier right to crossdress or whatever.  Its almost being brain dead for a truely committed person to get involved anymore as it is an almost impossible task to give the community what it wants under the conditions the community wants.  The ones the least in need of total inclusion outnumber by a thousand to one those who have the true need and yet yell the loudest while also being the ones totally unlikely to come forward and yet still attempt to control the direction of the polititics.

I to would rather work in the G&L for rights that the community has little or no concern for but are important for those with full commitment and documented proof of need.

Oh well, getting to close to a former stand and attitude that the TG community can't stand, and ended up getting me banned from her for a couple of years, but these beliefs and attitudes are still with me, even if I try to be nicer about it these days.

Terri

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Re: Becoming more active.
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2005, 12:15:43 pm »
Terri -

As usual, you totally rock, girl -

HUMANE RIGHTS, in general.... We should all be striving to accomplish everything we can on every level of human relations, and care for our great mother planet Earth, better than we have -
Once people begin to realize that we all need to contribute more honestly and responsibly to ourselves, each other, and the world we live in, in general, the rest simply follows - people will natuarally gravitate towards what moves them - and it is a quite natural selection process -
Everyone will not choose to define themselves or their veiws by what others use to set the same standards for themselves -
What moves you, or me, or the next person, to "activism" on any level, will hopefully be what is right for that individual, made of free will, and from a committed and motivated feeling of honestly being willing and desiring to positively contribute to that cause, whatever it may be...

Myself, I must have acceptance for anyone that feels compelled to express themselves as they honestly feel they need to, regardless of whether any other group, person, or clinical definition supports or validates that person's experience - only that person can know, and therefore, who is anyone else to judge the vallidity of their personal experience unless they are literally walkng in their shoes, feelings, emotions, and experiences with them - i think we all just have to get to better place of unconditional acceptance and loving understanding for all our fellow human beings, and all living creatures for that matter -  - to do so otherwise i believe strongly to be a great shortfall/and shortcoming to our actual potential to truly and unconditionally love - the one true thing that we are all ultimately created from in the first place - not only to the other but ourselves truly as well...

I believe that it is impossible to truly love and learn and have acceptance for any or all others unless we first learn to have that level of loving acceptance for ourselves - look at the world today full of hatred, ignorance, apathy, conflict, and discrimination and hateful judgement - THATS A LOT OF PEOPLE WALKING AROUND AND "LIVING LIFE" THAT DONT HAVE EVEN THE SLIGHTEST CLUE HOW TO LOVE AND ACCEPT THEMSELVES, MUCH LESS ANYONE ELSE, FOR JUST BEING THEMSELVES AS THEY FEEL THEY HAVE TO BE...as long as that self expression doesnt involve the abuse or violation of others' personal rights and freedoms, or supports continued hatred, negativity, ignorance, or unjustified persecution or violence towards any other in any way whatsoever - they are completely entitled to it, as far as i am concerned.... Ths is the essence of unconditional acceptance or at least loving acceptance and the willingness to learn from and celebrate the distinctive individuality of all of our fellow human beings...

Lovingly always,


Annagirl
Level the playing field

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