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Remember Me???

Hey!  Remember me?

Yeah, it’s been a while.  I know.  Things have been a little crazy hectic here.  But we finally got everything moved out of the old house and into our new home (and the garage and shed).  No, we aren’t actually unpacked yet…  but I’m making slow progress.

We have our computer/crafting nook set up.  Which, let’s face it, is of prime importance in this family – and I’d suspect many more others than will admit to it.  The girl has already been busy at work both on the computer and sitting at her own little craft station, making all sorts of things.

The girl’s bedroom is MOSTLY set up.  For now her mattress is on the floor and she does have some boxes still that need unpacking.  She has usable space though, and her clothes are all accessible in her closet.  So I’m happy with where we’re at there (for now).

We moved in our little antique “three bears” kitchen table and chairs yesterday so finally got to use them.  If you remember way back when, I blogged about them when we first bought them.  🙂  They’re super cute, but I’ll be honest…  while their style fit in perfectly at our old place?  They don’t match quite as well here.  So I’m open for suggestions on how to paint/stain/refinish them to help them blend a little better in a European kitchen.

Our bedroom is partially put together.  Still a long way to go in here…  but we have a bed, a closet, and a tv (as well as a butt load of boxes).  I know it will come together yet, but yeah.  Our room isn’t exactly the priority.

The bathroom requires some work…  new tub, new vanity, new counter top, new light fixture(s), new floor.  Honestly?  I think the only things I’m okay with keeping are the toilet and the sink.  So we’ve definitely got our work cut out for us in there.

So yeah…  exhausted.  But I am slowly putting things together.

Damon had taken the last two weeks off to help pack up the old place, move, and get started on the unpacking.  Today was his first day back at work.  It feels kinda odd not having him around.  I’d gotten used to it.

Today was also the first day I used my new key fob for our alarm system.  I’ve never had an alarm system, so it does take some getting used to.  Gotta get in the habit of pushing those buttons when I’m supposed to.  LOL

Today the girl had her school photo retakes too.  And yes, I’m sure this one will turn out MUCH better.  She was just too darn busy playing with her friends in line to want to bother with the picture last time.  Where today it was just her in the room, so it went much easier.

Further, today marks the International Day of Remembrance.  A couple years ago I had organized a candlelight vigil down at the memorial bandshell beside the North Saskatchewan River.  This year I’ll mark it quietly at home with my family.  And I do ask that those of you who aren’t doing something en mass do the same.  Just take a moment to remember all those amazing people who lost their lives simply for having the courage to live authentically.  It is simply not right that so very many *trans women and men are murdered EVERY YEAR for being themselves.  It is so beyond a time for change.  Some Women have penises, and some Men have a vagina – get over it.  People should not have to die because they don’t fit into some other persons idea of what “man” or “woman” means.  My *trans sisters and brothers are incredible, strong, brave, compassionate individuals and they should not have to fear for their safety every time they leave their homes.  So yes, if you do nothing else, take a few minutes out of your day to remember the many, many men and women who have been brutally murdered for the crime of being who they genuinely are.

A Trans* Doll’s Journey!

I had to share a recent project by an artist whose work I really enjoy.  It’s not their usual medium, however they were inspired by a find at the family cottage and so set to work.  She is refinishing a dollhouse originally built by her Grandfather and played with by her mother, and is sharing the progress on her Deviant Art account.  Why do I feel the need to share this?  Well, the most recent addition to her tiny home is a Transgender doll that began it’s existence as female, but has transitioned to male…  right down to the binder (worn a little low, but still poignant).

I’d like to introduce you to this bibliophile of a doll, who is yet unnamed, but seems quite happy in his new life:

Trans* doll by Ullakko

You can check out more of Ulla Thynell’s work at DA, where her username is ullakko.  Here is a direct link to her journal, where she first introduced us to our unnamed friend and shared a little about his transition:  http://my.deviantart.com/messages/#/d595iqi  And while he was not created with the intent of any kind of deeper meaning, I believe there is some truth to be found in how his physical self had to be ground down to find his final and true form.

Being a Unicorn – Living Authentically

To be your true, authentic self in a world that rejects even the possibility of that self, is a very brave thing.  Yet there are more and more people who are doing just that.  And more astoundingly?  There are more and more young people embracing themselves and refusing to live a life that doesn’t feel right, refusing to live the lie that their parents, doctor/midwife, and society has insisted they live.

I can’t even imagine the bravery of these young Transgender individuals.  Knowing that they don’t fit into their assigned gender, and refusing to be forced to live according to some standard that insists they are something other than what they feel – what they KNOW to be true.  That’s pretty freakin’ huge.

I have so much respect and love for the two individuals who have come out to me recently as being Trans.  For such young people, to have such a deep understanding of themselves, and to know what they need to do to make things right?  It’s an amazing thing.

Far too many people (both young and old) find it easier to live, trapped in societies view of what they should be, then to make the changes required to live authentically.  So when individuals who are half my age know what they need to do to make their world work for them?  And are willing to commit to making those changes happen?  They’ve earned themselves a wealth of respect in my eyes (of course, these two people already had both my respect and love… ).

So here’s to all those who haven’t gotten there yet, to all those still struggling within themselves, living within societies view of who they should be:  Here’s to finding inner strength, to finding love within yourself, and once you have those things to finding the support you need.  Here’s to being who you really are!  I believe you can get there.

Rainbows and unicorns my friends.  I wish you rainbows and unicorns!

 

A2Z – Removing Stigma while Reintegrating Socially

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Removing Stigma while Reintegrating Socially

So yeah…  it’s Friday, and here I am… blogging.  I know, I know.  I don’t blog on Fridays.  But I’m breaking my rule tonight with a double letter post.  That’s right, here we are with R and S…  and all so that T will fall on the 21st.  LMAO  Not sure why that’s important?  Well, just make sure you come back tomorrow.  😉  Now, onto Removing Stigma while Reintegrating Socially!

I’ll admit, I’ve never had to come out to my family and friends as being a different sex or gender than I was assigned with at birth.  For that?  I feel very blessed.  I can only imagine how difficult it would be, and how brave you would have to be.  Coming out to yourself, and finding who you are when it doesn’t match who you’ve been told you are takes courage, but then going even further and coming out to everyone who knew the OLD you?  That takes big freakin’ brass balls.  And I have SOOO much respect and admiration for all of my Trans brothers and sisters.  It’s hard enough to live authentically in our world, but to live authentically when you face that type of obstacle?  It takes someone who is amazing: amazing, incredible, and fierce!

After all that?  Well, the good news?  Stigma just falls away when you get to that point.  When you are ready to take your life back and live for YOURSELF?  Your TRUE self?  Then anyone who matters will be so in awe of everything you went through to get there that the only thing there will be LOADS of freakin’ respect.

No, that doesn’t mean it will be all roses.  There are going to be asses in your life that will make things hard, and they may even make you question everything you’ve lived through up until that point…  but cling to the fact that you are amazing, and that you DESERVE to be yourself.  You have a right to live the truth, to be who you are, and to do so surrounded by people who get just how long of a journey authenticity can be.  So forget the h8rs, you don’t need them, and be gentle with those who are trying (but may occasionally misuse a pronoun or old name) they’re worth the reminders.  It won’t be easy, but once you get there it is SOOO worth it.

Nothing but love!

And know you aren’t alone.  If you are in Saskatchewan, check out TransSask at http://www.transsask.org/ and if not, check out some of the resources listed in my A2Z Community post.  Building a community of people who love and support you is one of the best things you can do for yourself!

Dear Lady in the Women’s Bathroom – Ivan Coyote

Some of you may already be familiar with this piece.  It was something Ivan E Coyote wrote for her column in Xtra.  I remember reading it, and applauding it at the time.

For those of you who have never had to stop before going into a public washroom and consciously make a choice which door to walk into, be thankful.  It’s not an easy choice to make.  A person takes their safety into their own hands every time they walk into a public washroom, especially when the individuals on the other side of the door may not agree with their choice.  We don’t all fit neatly into one gender box or another – nor should we have to.  So here is Ivan, on being shrieked at, on life in the gender variant spectrum, on discrimination, and on compassion:

It’s well worth the watch folks, whether or not you’ve read the personal essay that ran in Xtra.

A girl is a girl is a girl!

A “girl” is not defined by what is between her legs as this Girl Scout and her family believe.  Having someone so young spouting such bigotry and hatred breaks my heart.  I don’t blame her though, the fault lies with her family and community at large.  It is hard enough growing up confident and secure in oneself without the added problems faced by transgendered children.  To recommend that people boycott Girl Scout Cookies because Girl Scouts (as an organization) have chosen to accept transgirls as they are, as GIRLS, is abhorrent in every possible way.  This girl’s family should be ashamed for spreading such hate through their child.  Talk about pushing an adult agenda.  Hate is ALWAYS an adult agenda, it’s never the choice of a child.

So go!  Buy your cookies.  Heck!  I’m considering having some shipped up here to Canada just to say YES! We support our girls!  ALL of our girls.

Want to see what has me so upset?  Check out the hate below:

And some people wonder why my project “The Power of SHe” is so important, now more than ever.  For more information on The Power of SHe, and how you can get involved, head on over to:  https://td365.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/the-power-of-she-2/  I’m currently looking for women interested in being photographed…  I have some captures in mind, but some will be based on the stories of those who apply.  Let’s challenge the view of what defines Women.  We are mighty!  Diverse yet united!

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Not all of us are lucky enough to be born into a body that matches our gender.  We all bare our battle scars.  Growing up is tough.  Growing up transgendered is even more so.  And sometimes – thanks to the ignorance and brutality of others – it is actually impossible.

Today is the 13th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.  Today, I ask you to do ONE THING.  Regardless of your beliefs, regardless of your feelings, regardless of who you are or who you know or who you want to be.  Take a few minutes and read through the list of people at this web page:  http://www.transgenderdor.org/?page_id=1663

The people listed there are all individuals who have suffered and died at the hands of others for being born different and having the strength to live honestly.  23 people who have suffered horrendously because they had the courage to be who they were.  23 people who lost their lives because of bigotry and hate.  23 people, this year alone, their lives stolen, savagely, all for the crime of living a genuine life.

I’m not asking you to change.  I’m not asking you to weep.  I’m not asking you to speak out.  I’m just asking you to read their names, read how they died, and remember that they were people once.

http://www.transgenderdor.org/?page_id=1663

Kids get it!

It gives me hope knowing that kids get it.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/09/14/transgender-girl-10-tells-of-classmates-reactions/

What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

The fact remains, that while this is a nice sentiment, there is a lot loaded into a person’s name…  especially when the name and gender don’t match.  I know I gave a lot of thought to my daughter’s name before gifting her with it.  A child who grows up feeling their name doesn’t fit, or doesn’t belong, is a child who grows up with a lot of pain.  My daughter can choose to be called Lily-Ann, Lily, Lil’, Ann, Lilian, or my son could choose to be called Andy – not all of us are fortunate enough to have our gender at birth, match with our gender as we grown into personhood.

There has been a surprising amount of stories about transgendered children in the news recently, and it’s an encouraging thing.  Most of us know very early on if our assigned gender matches our actual gender, and until recently people tended to “poo poo” these thoughts away – especially when a young child brought them up.  It gives me hope knowing that parents, and adults in general, are giving more credence to these children and accepting them at their word.  That there are adults who are willing to step in and help them transition to their actual gender before the hormones of puberty kick in, and make it even more difficult to do so in the future.

So, what’s in a name?  I’d say a whole lot.  Especially when Don is actually Donna, or Nicole is actually Nicholas.

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