Well this has been an interesting week. The fact that I quit smoking at the beginning of it made me moodier and feistier than normal. But that’s ok, because love it or hate it, change is in the air.
Let me get a show of hands, What happened on November 11th? No, not this year, but in history, in LGBT history. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? The Mattachine Society held it’s first meeting in 1950. This was one of the earliest groups for Gay Rights. Initially for gay men but opened the way for a Lesbian group, Daughters of Bilitis, which opened the way for full on lgbT groups/rights.
For me personally, I was bar tending in a gay bar when I was 18. That would be 1980 and 18 was the legal drinking age. I became friends with gay men, bisexual men and women, married men, lesbians, trannies, transexuals, transvestites and a range of others in-between. I will not use politically correct terms for what my friends referred to themselves as in 1980.
A person that is not on my friend list replied to a comment I made, incinuating that now that I got my ‘rights’ it’s ok to let the T community fend for themselves. I told that person that they had no idea who I was or what my history was. They continued, literally telling me that my life was a sham. My last comment was, “You’re an idiot”
What about the group I started in college? What about my involvement in San Francisco? What about my leadership and community building in NY?
The reason for the heated discussions was because an Elder signed a petition that was controversial. My mistake was that I was given the wrong link. The petition I thought was the problem was to support Malala Yousafzai educate girls up through the 12th grade. My fault for not reading it because it had negative transgender wording. The actual petition was, Drop the T in LGBT.
I’ve read it over and over and don’t see why anyone would sign it. I’d speak up if I had more time, but have been told that because I’m a cis gendered white man, I need to be quiet. Oh yea, that also happens when it comes to Black lives matter. Over and over, messages are made, ‘white people don’t talk’. OK. Alienate people that care and might be able to influence things in your favor.
So getting back to the person that signed this petition. We are friends and were coven mates when I lived in San Francisco. She recently had a stroke and her computer either had a virus or was hacked. I stood up for her, and 3 people unfriended me and countless others just won’t say anything to me. I stood up for her because in my heart of hearts do not think she is transphobic. I stood up for her and am frustrated that there is no explanation for signing the petition.
While other groups may be voicing their opinion, my main source of information is within the Pagan community. I personally belong to an all male group, one that does not have space for Transgender. I ran an all male group in the LGBT community center and for at least 4 or 5 of the 10 years it did not have space for transgender. I belong to an LGBT group where their are no exclusions. I belong to an open group where I am working on making it less hetero normative. I won’t belong to a group that is exclusively hetero normative. It is a mix and not everyone will get to the same spot at the same time.
On the same token, some of the most vocal people that are protesting this belong to all male groups. How are you going to ostrasize this women when you are not allowed to have transgender in your own group?
There are all women groups. Some accept variations, some don’t. I have a friend that does a Yoni workshop. Think of the scene from Fried Green Tomatoes. If you have not gone thru an operation, I do not understand how someone could insist on being in that group of women for that exercise.
I don’t know how to speak for women in this patriarchal society, but don’t tell me to shut up while I try to move the conversation. There are wounds so deep that only another women (for the most part) can help. There are fears for some women associated with men, and no matter how far along a person is in their transition it won’t work for that situation.
You know your own fear, what about the fear of others? Or does what you want trump all others?
I don’t know how to speak for women in this patriarchal society, but when I see a strong woman being attacked I can’t be silent.
and for the record, while I may not have all the terminology, I have always stood for and with Transgendered siblings and would never advocate removing the T.