Monday, November 11, 2013

A Challenge

yA Conversation on Facebook messenger November 5th between myself and tmy cousin Anne.  Unedited except for the italics, which I did to separate speakers. 

Anne: Gonna ask a few questions that may same daft.1.Is there a "halfway house",where people who are transitioning can stay til they have living accomadayion sorted out?Is there Social workers or workers who support people who are transitiong ,to advise on benefits,work rights,help with any physical or mental illness?I sthere in deed a charitable organisation in your area who help transitioning people a safe haven until life gets normalised?

 Me: No, yes, no. We're on our own.

Anne:  Well just maybe you and your sisters got together and form a charity that could raise enough funds to get accomadation..lets face it ,every one of you have skills,there may be lawyers ,doctors amongst you,fund raiser,maybe you lot should be the faces of Erin Brokowhatsit.I am sure you lot could create a safe haven ,raise enough fund seventually to employ transitiong people to run the place..
Create Sophies Place.or Lisa Haven,you get the picture,grab the world by the baws..
There must be plenty of powerful transitioning people out there and you have the brains and beauty for it

Me:  Most of the powerful tgs are stealth or not transitioning as we become unemployable outcasts

Anne: Stealth?gradual?In my opinion there is nowt more powerful than a bunch of pissed off people.If the world will not protect ,support or employ you ,then ,its time to start by looking out for yourselves,creating a safer environment for you all,physically and mentally.It only takes one or two of the brave to bring the have Jenny Boyland ,think who else?

Me: My friend Donna Rose, Mara Keisling, Former SEAL Kristin Beck...

I live in a country ruled by fanatics. I can be legally murdered. I'm broke and all but homeless, and my transition is stalled. I'm useless.

Anne: STOP that ,you are not useless,stop bringing yourself down Sophie Lynne,if you were here I would be giving you a good talking to!Given the pop of the US they are not all fanatics,there are, I agree what would be quite a few.Now you can either decide to throw your arms up in the air and say it is all hopeless or you can get back up on those shapely pins and get back to babysteps.Now you have named a few transitioning people,think if you had a magic wand and you could do something for every transitioning people in your state ,what would that be?What is it you all crave when going through transitioning.....

Now you listen to me young middle age lady,[daughter] is your daughter too,would you really want to be part of the MIL Christmas in her house ,I think not,time for Sophie to spin a wonderful Christmas for her and her daughter...don't be sad be inspired,create new magic for you both..this is new beginnings Sophie,the traditions that you are so familiar with ,while being with the MIL and [wife], they belong with [birth name],who has disappeared...its now Sophies time with all the new Thanksgiving and Christmas trim.Same for us ,no Mum this year or at Hogmany so we are also coming up with a new Christmas and New hold my hand and one foot in front of the other.x


Anne just beat cancer, and doesn't take well to Pity Parties.  She is a Scotswoman after all!


Let's first answer her question.

"What is it [we] all crave when going through transitioning."

Well, there's always the funding aspect that so many of us direly need.  But more important are our basic human rights.  We are denied them in many places here in the US and worldwide.

So, in a sentence, I'd say this: 

All We want is to have the same rights as Rich White Protestant Straight Cisgender males have.  No more, no less. 

Cisgender women don't even have these yet, but let's shoot for the Gold, shall we?

Now of course, some of the privileged, etc, males will complain that we want "special" rights.  Well, that by wanting what they have, THEY have said special rights.  Not very fair, right?

How do we do this?  Well, one person can't do it alone.  VERY few people have enough money to change an entire culture's perception (but the Koch Brothers are trying.)

If one voice is drowned out, we try two.  Not enough?  Four.  Eight.  Sixteen.  Get the idea?  We organize.

There are already MANY organizations out there who fight for our rights.  NCTE comes to mind immediately.

What am I prepared to do?  What CAN I do?

Let's look at FACTS, not opinions.

1) I work 70 hour weeks for less than $21K a year.  So large donations, etc, are out.  Even if I save every penny of my pay, I wouldn't be able to afford any surgeries until 2050. 

2) Pennsylvania, the state where I live, has NO laws protecting me as a Transgender personOpinion time: As I wrote to Anne, I can legally be murdered ("Tranny Rage defense" anyone?)  And that assumes the police even FIND the perpetrator, as many really don't bust their humps looking for people who kill a TG.  After all, we're just freaks to them, so we had it coming, right?

3) As long as right wing radicals and fundamentalists run the GOP, we will NOT have significant change.  And they run things in Pennsylvania.  They also currently have the US House of Representatives by the neck.

4) I am still not a Full Time woman, as my employers do not know I am TG.  To date, neither does my family, nor many of my friends of my "drab" self.

5) I am pretty much tethered to the Philadelphia area.  This is where my daughter lives, and I want to be in her life. 

So.  With those current parameters, I ask again:  What am I prepared to do?  What CAN I do?

Prepared?  Anything I CAN do given the above issues.  So that leaves us with CAN.

And therein lies the problem. 

It's not like I'm a famous activist who people will pay to speak at places.  Hell, my TG speaking experience has ALL been for free!  (I have given seminars at the Keystone Conference.)  Y'know for that matter, it's not like I get invited to speak for FREE...

My time is VERY limited, so travelling into the city to volunteer on a regular basis is problematic.  Donations?  See above.

Seems all I have is my writing.  Like here- on this blog.  Do I want to transform this blog, my personal space, into a platform on which I rage about the lack of TG rights?  Well, I could start an all-politics blog...

I don't have any answers.  All I know that there is a Need.  And my cousin's challenge.

What am I prepared to do? 

What CAN I do?


  1. In a perfect world, we need for someone to decide that having a trans friend is fashionable- hey, it worked for the gays.

  2. I read this blog and know all to well the intricacies spoken about. I do think we are making a difference by being out and in the public eye and the current is slowly changing. Our sisters who are stealth because they have completely transisitioned and are undetectable in the public eye and want to remain that way don't exactly help the TG population's position in society. Today for 99% of us it is necessary that those without job protection to live in duality. Pennsylvania has many support groups, yet many of their leaders are living dual lives and when I listen to them discussing REAL issues based on ideals and not with first hand knowledge or personal experience, you have to walk the walk to give advice. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Yes, our transgender population is in need of better leadership; these organizations spoken about here are making change and in time it will come, however to the public at large they are invisible which is why day to day the transgender population need to be visible, not only at pride events and social nights. I also believe that by the time one has conquered transition they have endured so many negatives they are mentally and emotionally exhausted. I know I am. But a difference is being made, people and parents are identifying the transgender child sooner than say, 10 years ago. It's coming around. The ironic or paradoxical and hardest thing for me to swallow at this point in time is listening to another talk about that 'beautiful' transgender child receiving support, empathy and/or positive public opinion when I or we are looked at as scum and ruined a family. Only myself and God knows how much I tried to make this go away. Our time is coming, or should I say, their time is coming. Today I still have a hard time saying the Pledge of Allegiance's last sentence final words, "...with liberty and justice for all" but we're getting there.