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It’s Not Me! It’s, Um, Jesus Who You Keep Pissing Off

I probably should have brought this up a while ago, but got distracted for a bit and was living off of older written posts while I sorted things out. Some pretty scary things have been going on lately, haven’t they? No, I’m not talking about all the B movie horror stuff like mailed body parts and drug crazed zombies eating off people’s faces. I mean the wave of videotaped hate messages spouted by “respectable” people in authority. Pastors of all people! The living embodiment of Jesus here on earth, or something of that nature; I was never sure how that worked exactly. Also not sure who trumps who when proclamations of what the grand divine will is, as there doesn’t seem to be any kind of recent endorsement more credible than the ‘South Park’ episode where hippo-god proclaims the Mormons to be spot on.

The viral videos that keep popping up have to do with ringing endorsements of seriously bad treatment of homosexuals, and by extension I would imagine, trans people. Even if not the latter, I’m not one bit less incensed about it. It’s not really a good sign when people whom other people give up a splendid Sunday morning to listen to for some reason start advocating violence against children, Nazi style concentration camps, and train young kids to sing nasty little anti-gay songs as they look on approvingly. I know it’s way overused to compare anyone we disagree with to Hitler, but after all these decades of doing it for any old reason, I think we finally have a good contender. And these are just the instances being leaked! I imagine this probably goes on elsewhere as well where the sermon is smartly prefaced with an admonition that broadcasting this copyrighted material to non Manson family members will get you holy hell.

When busted, they offer a lot of excuses. “It was taken out of context!” I haven’t yet heard the context where “the government should kill all gays” can be properly inserted and make the message OK. Maybe, “the government should kill all gays, or wait, better yet, treat each member of the LGBTQ community to chocolate Frosties at Wendy’s so they know we still love them”? I’m not one for bets, but I’ll send you my very favorite shoes if you get me a hard example. It’s OK, I got them at Payless, so it’s not that big a deal. I also like “we don’t hate the actually sinners, just the sin!” I know this is followed up with a muttered rumble of, “unless of course the two are inextricably linked and then well, just fuck them both.” You know it’s there.

The reason for all this is that we are finally getting some wins under our belt. Gay marriage in 7 states with more coming. GENDA type protections in both states and individual municipalities. Positive media exposure. Glee. JC Penny. And finally a kind of half assed endorsement from Obama, but still, way better than we got from any other president. Think about it. This is seriously fucking up a sizable demographic of people who think things have to be exactly a certain way or it’s going to be bad; really bad. Forcing people to live by their very specific brand of religion is all they seem to have to hold it together. I’m not saying it’s the same thing, but I think we are seeing the same effect as if we banded together to start dressing sinister and following around clinical paranoids. The real difference is that we simply want to be recognized as people with equal rights and protections under the law. It’s not our fault that it’s making these folks batshit, but now we are seeing the rabidity of the response.

The APA has finally gotten around to inserting ‘Religiosity’ as a recognized mental issue. I think this is a very good thing and follows right in line with the common sense thought process that clearly links nonsensical hatred, death threats, and even denial of rights of a population segment to sheer lunacy. Can you imagine if I took a public stance that ethnic Danes should be rounded up and deported after receiving enhanced interrogation techniques because my dog told me it was right? You can’t conclusively prove she didn’t give me that message. I mean she’s right there where you can see her. Isn’t that enough? Yeah, well, what if lots and lots of people believed she gave me that message, and more importantly, prefaced it with the mark of being sacred. That should count for everything! Plus, she’s a very good girl. Yes she is, yes she is a good girl! Who wants a treatie? Who is that? … Sorry, got off track, but she is a really great dog.

I know there are many who are going to feel that I stepped over the line here. I’m going to have to disagree with that. I think it’s fine that people have their sacred beliefs, and if there are many others like them who want to share their worship and come together as a community, I think that is a wonderful thing. When they try to thrust these beliefs into legislation against people who don’t share them, I have a real problem with that. When they go even further and start spewing these dangerous messages to captive audiences, I think it’s time to sound the alarm.

I understand they are scared. I understand they are deeply enmeshed in a belief system that predicts apocalyptic doom on the nation when changes occur that don’t line up with their biblical faith based paradigm. I understand they may be suffering from bona fide clinical mental disorders that drive them to this. For the whole of the nation to accommodate this, and allow for millions of citizens to be threatened with such heinous, inflammatory rhetoric, well, that’s just crazy.

I Hate “Transsexual”

I know I already talked about allowing words to push my buttons and how I wasn’t going to go apeshit on someone for calling me a tranny. I still hold to that, but let me tell you, I still can’t get comfortable with the word transsexual. It’s stupid, right? I mean, by very definition, I am a transsexual and meet most or all of the criteria as defined in the DSM V… that says I have gender identity disorder? Shit, my copy at home is still the III-R from back in college. Nevertheless, I, Michelle, am a Transsexual. It’s true… buy why does this make me uncomfortable?

I’ve never made it a secret that my preferred term is Transgendered. I know this is an umbrella term and by co-opting it I’m pushing aside the cross-dressers, female impersonators, gender queer, third sex, intersex, no sex, two-spirit, and every other slightly different but equal group that might also prefer it as an exclusive definition. It’s not fair of me, but I still want to do it. Why, why, why? I think it really comes down to the fact that ‘transsexual’ just sounds incredibly creepy.

I don’t think there is such a thing as a good ‘creepy’. Creepy is when you shake hands with someone who uses way too much lotion. It’s like going into a corn field with disconcerting blonde children who never smile. Too creepy; I’d rather be boiled. Maybe it’s that double ‘s’ in the middle of the word. It’s very German. These are the people who turned the whimsically delightful notion of going to camp into the worst thing ever. I think if someone opened a transsexual gym, people would imagine it has whips, chains, leather and probably a gimp or two running around. I’m probably one of the people who would think that.

That half the word is ‘sexual’ doesn’t help at all. When many people hear the term, I would not be surprised if they assume it’s some sort of fetish where the person being described derives some intense orgasmic delight over the prospect of changing their gender. Those of us who are trans know there isn’t an iota of truth to that. It takes about a week on hormones before even the thought of arousal is a thing of the past. Yes, we know it, but just type it into any search engine, even wavy-gravy hip Amazon, and the vast majority of offerings are meant to titillate, to put it politely. I’m OK with being misunderstood, but not so much when it involves shallow breathing and upper lip perspiration. Ew.

So what do we want to be called? If we stick with the DSM, switching it up to become GID’s would fit, unless we don’t care to sound like we fast tracked a later in life high school diploma. Given a choice, I’d just go with ‘woman’, but we are human and must classify well beyond logical reason. ‘Transgender’ you know I’m down with, but tired of being corrected or asked to qualify, bringing me back to ‘transsexual’. Something about ‘t-girl’ just pisses me off. I have no reason for this, but it does. We could make up something new. Sisters of Loki? The Untesticulated? Reidentified? I’m being facetious.

Truth be told, if I could come up with some catchy new term that would be enthusiastically adopted, I’d do it. This blog just doesn’t get enough hits. Our lives are such that unless we are unquestionably passable, we are going to have to spend a significant portion of our lives having to explain what we are supposed to be anyway. If a single word could sum it all up succinctly, it would be a wonderful thing. In the mean time I’ll stick with transgendered and the strong probability of invasive questions to follow.

“Tranny” And Other Buttons

Once again I’m going to buck the trend of transgender populist thinking and make a counterintuitive declaration. I refuse to take offense at the word “tranny”. Oh, there she goes again trying to be all controversial and avant-garde with an inflammatory statement. Just what we need, another snarky shock blogger. Ooo, she probably thinks she’s so cool. Maybe. Sometimes at least. In this case I am hoping to make a larger point. If you got this far, stay with me and I’ll keep it short.

The language of every culture, probably that has ever been, contains within a rich array of sounds, when put in the right context, have the power to make someone feel bad about themselves. We as humans are really good at that. After all, we are pack animals, and aside from the primal tools of “corrective” violence, we naturally developed other means to dissuade others from straying outside the lines of whatever arbitrary and ridiculous set of norms were established by the last strong man leader to set policy rather than enforce it. For those unwilling to beat someone into submission, and not particularly verbose, name calling is a great way to express in one word that they feel, from a ‘regular person’ standpoint, that the other is something less than that. Often times, very much less.

The prime example of this is of course ‘The N Word’. Honestly, I’m not even comfortable seeing it in print, much less writing it, even for the sake of example, such is its power. Uttering it aloud, especially in the context for which it first came into being is like shouting out the secret name of god backwards in attempts to undo all of creation. Volatile and unpredictable, it can be a weapon of mass destruction when flipped into the crowd by a 90’s character actor, or sell a million comedy albums. This dubious gift to America is like giving Newt Gingrich a Green Lantern ring. Maybe there could be some good that comes out of it, but holy shit, chances are it’s going to be really, really bad. What really happened is that intolerant assholes were upgraded from a bow and arrow to a nuclear weapon. I can’t see how that is good for anyone.

The equivalent word in transgendered culture seems to be quickly becoming ‘tranny’. Like the N Word, ‘tranny’ is rarely ever thrown out there give anyone the warm fuzzies. Like all other name calling, the real reason for using it is to hurt someone’s feelings and make them feel less than. That is why I’m drawing the line. I can’t tell anyone else what is going to hurt their feelings or isn’t, but for me, I’ll be damned if I’m going to put such a convenient shiny, red, candy like button on my forehead for someone to push just because my existence offends their delicate sensibilities. If you want to hurt my feelings, by god, you are going to have to work for it.

I  know there are some like me who are trying to take it back; make it our word and all. I’d rather just see it stripped of meaning and impact. I won’t respond to it, nor will I use it against my sisters, and aside from this obvious exception, I  have no plans to even talk about it again. If we leave it alone and refuse to let it bother us, it may die a gradual death, lonely and misunderstood ,and come to rest beside other toothless old anachronisms like ‘wisenheimer’, whatever the hell that used to mean anyway.

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