Friday, February 26, 2016

Reply to Mark

 I've known Mark since 1989.  I graduated High School with his older brother.  The first time we really hung out was at the Who concert at Veteran's Stadium in summer 1989.  I won't bore you, dear reader, with all the details.  Especially since I go over the important ones in the text.

In any case, as most of you know, I am very liberal.  I have posted many times here and in my TG Forum column that I don't understand how any sane TG person can support the GOP as they have declared us their enemies.  (Today, the head of the RNC made discriminating against transpeople  officially a plank in their platform.)

 In any case, I debate politics on facialbook.  A lot.  Mark decided to post in one of the debates- the one about the death of Antonin Scalia.  (I made my thoughts on the topic clear HERE.)  In posting, he took some very personal shots at me.  I decided to reply to him privately.  After a brief exchange, he went VERY public (and extremely insulting) with a small part of our discussion.  And people I don't even know were cursing me out.  So I decided to put out the whole story.  The following is only edited to remove personal information.  

Note:  In this context, Chums are our group of friends in common.


 Right.  I promised you a reply in a different venue, and here it is.  Sorry this took so long, but I debated several aspects of how to deliver this message.  Should I send it as an open letter on my blog, as the reply may help others around the globe?  (Did you know I have a blog?  Figure a Chum would know that.  [R] reads it occasionally, so he tells me.)  Or just reply privately?  I sought out opinions- both with Chums and trans friends.  In the end, I decided that private would be best.  I still may post Part 2 in my blog, stripped of any personal references.

This reply will be in two parts.  Part one will be how I saw the past twenty plus years of our relationship.  Part two will be a direct retort to your comments.  Please bear with me- as this will be a long post.  

Part 1.

 Mark, we are not as close as we used to be.  Yes, I know that's obvious.  Once we were inseparable.  You were in my wedding.  I attended yours.  We helped each other through some very hard times.  Yet, I've been back in PA for 12 1/2 years, and I can count the times I've seen you on one hand.  And one of those times was a funeral.

Why is that?

In 1994, I left Chessex for Games Workshop (GW).  I recommended that you fill the empty spot on the roster.  Both you and Prime were hired.  I was delighted.  Then GW went direct, and you started in on me in the Chessex bulletin.  I didn't care- but my coworkers were merciless.  I was almost fired because of my distribution past.  But when I came home to PA, you were just as nasty in person.  I had ZERO control over GW policies, but you savaged me like it was my brainchild.  That hurt.

Fast forward to August 1995.  Jerry Garcia died.  I was deeply hurt.  I felt like I'd lost a family member.  You again were relentless in your scorn.  I asked you several times to please stop.  You intensified your attacks.  I thought "if this is how he treats me when I'm hurting, why hang out with him?"  So I stopped.  I spent the time with my wife instead.

Since then, I have been glad to see you when the Chums have assembled, but I haven't sought you out.  You've changed your phone number many times, but I've never used it.  I don't need the abuse.  And your drinking scares even me.  That's saying something.

Another thing that frightened me is watching you change.  And I'm not the only one to noticed this.  After the 2000 appointment of GWB to the presidency, the GOP moved further to the right.  But you?  You outdistanced it.  You were always conservative in some ways, but now you are so far to the right as to be unbearable.

All that said, you have been the most accepting Chum of my transition.  Or so it seemed.  I'll address this more in part 2.

Part 2:

 Mark, I will address your points as I come to them.  My comments will be in italics.


[Sophie] No one wished you dead...take a screenshot...she turned your words against you. You wished death on Justice Scaila (The First Italian-Amercian to be Voted to the Supreme Court) on yourself... Two screenshots u[pwards you said the same about Justice Scalia (the First Italian-American to be Voted to the Supreme Court)...So Cut that shit out. 

 Do you care more about his heritage than what he did?  I documented, in that thread, several of his quotes.  There are many more.  If you wish, I will provide them (with citation.)  I don't give a flying f*ck about his heritage.  Just his hate.

Dude as long as I have known you , you have been fueled by Hatred... for a long long time it was a hatred of women and now it seems to be a hatred of women who are conservative... It still puts you level with the GOP you so fight against. 

Mark, you are intelligent enough that I thought you saw, with hindsight, what that was all about.  Guess I was wrong.  I didn't want ANYONE to even suspect my secret.  Was I fueled by hatred?  Absolutely.  An absolute an all-encompassing hatred of myself.   I knew deep inside who I was, and couldn't live with it.  That hatred fueled my alcohol abuse and suicidal thoughts.

As for hating the GOP, I'll get to that.

And FFS, I am NOT a Dude.  Calling me that is misgendering me and disrespecting me, and that hurts.  If you care.

The proof is in the fact that you see no Humanity in Trans Women who hold Conservative beliefs... I do not need to screenshot my argument it is preserved in above and in various other forums...But you still Hate as much as you did back when you called all Women "Bitches" and "Sluts"... 

 See my above comment.

I, understand , you want to vote for Socialism without calling it Socialism...Hey! You went to College... 

 Oh, there it is again- you're SO much better than me because YOU didn't go to college.  Guess again.  Mark, I chose to educate myself, and even earned an advanced degree.  You chose not to do this, despite being easily intelligent enough to do so.  I don't berate your choice. So don't berate mine.  I think Education is a PLUS, not something to be mocked.

Just. Don't. Disown. Your. Own. The Male Imperative is to learn to listen when you want to make it right... I learned that from very Wise Woman... 

 I'm not male. 

But you shouldn't need that much time to understand that. As much as I hate to say it but I say it as a friend... I do not see much woman in the way you act...

Wow.  I'm so glad I have a big strong man like you to tell me how I should or should not act.  After all, I'm just a stupid little woman who needs advice from such an absolute expert on the topic of femininity as yourself.   I mean, I don't know shit about it, being a female and all, and learning that women come in many shapes and sizes and attitudes.  

FFS, stop "mansplaining" to me. I know who and what I am.  And from all I've seen since 1989, your knowledge of women couldn't fill one of my bra cups.

 I see the L word... Honest Injun... I see only the testosterone... Why else would you attack for having Political views non similiar to your own.... Disagree but be Positive to your Sisters...know that Political Values do not reflect an individual's Spirituality or the Love in their Heart.... the assumption works the other way.... . Lets stop assuming because when a Republican Loves more than you do ...You know you are in trouble..

So you spent that entire time berating me for attacking republicans, then downgrade them.  Very disjointed argument.  I'll come back to this.

[His Second Post]

May I interject here... I am a Conservative and almost exclusively vote Republican although I am definitely of a Libertarian slant. I do not believe in God and I do not own a gun. I would like to be an example of how All Republicans do not own guns and pray to Jesus just the same way all Transgenders do not vote Democrat. 

 The current GOP would refer to you as a RINO.  But, by all means, continue.

This is not my problem it seems to be yours. I say this because i spend more time defending Angela Cooper on Facebook than I do downloading Cat Videos... which is a shame.

 As I pointed out on FB, you have defended her exactly twice (both of which are reproduced here) and have never to my knowledge posted a cat video.  So, bad example.

 political alignment or values whether Conservative or Liberal do not alone give you enough information to judge a persons heart. if you want to call me out to defend Ted Cruz against the person's words that were said around him... then defend calling your fellow Women "Quislings" and "Good Germans" and "Going Male.." the last of which is paraphrasing a particular nasty exchange on Facebook this Morning. My 74 year old Father is a Tea Partier. My Brother is the influence that made me Conservative...My friends in both the real and Virtual world are largely Conservative and I have yet to see any Viciousness or Savagery towards Transgenders than I see by Transgenders against other Transgenders.... Let's not even Sugar Coat it...against Conservative Transgenders. None. 

 Right.  Please allow me to put this into terms with which you are familiar. 

I am quite aware of how irrationally you hate anything that even smells of Islam.  Let's say you discovered that your sister or brother were financially supporting ISIL.  Or were thinking of joining them and taking up arms against the US.  How would that make you feel, knowing that people who SHOULD know better, that you have kinship with, were betraying YOUR values so deeply?  That those who ISIL actively wishes to destroy (in your eyes) are helping them despite the fact that ISIL wants them dead?  

Well, guess what?  The GOP wants transpeople DEAD.  I have cited this so many times in so many different places.  How bad has the GOP become?  They have been named a "Hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Is it because of their anti- Islam stance, or their Anti-woman stances?  Nope.  Due to their absolute hatred of LGBT and desire to strip us of all possible rights up to and including our lives (see Cruz, Rafael Eduardo... AKA Ted)  Again, I repeatedly produce proof of these assertions.  

And yet, these transpeople still support the GOP with votes and treasure.  It staggers the imagination.  It reminds me of the Verband nationaldeutscher Juden, who were Jews who supported Hitler, yet still went to the gas chambers (bet they were disappointed!)  Or it reminds me of Vidkun Quisling, leader of the collaborationist Norwegian regime during WW2... and origin of the term that bears his name:  Quisling.

Oh, and Transgender is an adjective, not a noun.   

And [Sophie] you are friends with the core group of friends I talk about... you do not see it from them either. 

 Oh?  How about all the years when politics were discussed that certain chums talked down to me like I was a child.  And yet, I have been consistently been proven right.  About the Iraq War.  About torture.  About the disastrous Bush economic policy.  So you'll pardon me if I call Bullshit on this one.

But I see it from your lot...and by that I mean the people you know not the vague value system or ideology you belong to. Someone said this morning you )again paraphrasing) you are becoming exactly what you hate, And it is true. My White Privileged Ass is more Compassionate towards Gays or trans than you are... because I do not ask f them to show their Liberal or Conservative Pass at the Door.... You get in based on your humanity not on your Affiliation. When You start to Hate your own, then I have to believe you only Love the Agenda.

I'm so glad you're able to so precisely "cis-splain" this to me with your deep and rich experience of the trans experience.  Mark, you are spot on when you say"White Privileged Ass" but you forgot "Male privileged Ass" and "Cisgender Privileged Ass" as well.  You know absolutely SHIT about the struggle I and those like me face.  You know nothing about hating yourself EVERY SINGLE DAY for being born in a wrong body.  You know nothing of having an entire political party telling you that you are not only insane, but also that you don't deserve rights, including "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."  (Some guy named Jefferson wrote about that.)  You were born a white, cisgender male: the absolute top of the heap.  At one time you understood how others felt- you were an Honorary Hutchins, ffs!  But that empathy disappeared completely in the passing decades.  Was it your time homeless in the UK that caused your bitterness?  The failure of your marriage?  Your unquenchable thirst for alcohol that has cost you so very much in your life?  You know what- it's none of my business how you became so bitter.  But you have.  

I've changed, Mark.  I've finally allowed my Truth to come out and to Live as I should have.  And that has made me a pariah.  So be it. But I'll be damned if I let the GOP strip my of my rights without a fight.  And that fight includes fighting their allies, and trying, however fruitlessly, to educate them.  After all, that's what my "socialist" book learnin' taught me- to educate.  

But my fight?  My spirit?  That came from my soul- just like my identity.  I am a Woman.  And I will live and/or die living my truth.

I expect my reply, if you've read this far, will make you angry.  I expect you'll deflect, project, and blame the left wing for all the sins on the calendar, and attempt to riposte my assertions with personal attacks and whatever else.  

Know what?  That's your right.

Mark, you are my Chum, and I love you.  Yet you still misgender me, and assume you know what my life is about.  Please... Don't.  You DON'T understand, and I thank God for it.  The only way to understand it is to experience it, and I wouldn't wish being trans on my worst enemy.  Even a republican.

Be well.  

Mark replied:

Thank you for your honesty. And this was probably the best medium to address things. I started to write a lengthy rebuttal but then stopped myself short. I do not feel the need to defend myself to you as much as I feel the need to stop and listen. l;arity is greater than Victory. I will tell you that I am not Bitter at all. My marriage to nikki ended because I did not want children and so did my relationship with Clare. Both times I took it in the gut rather than end up in a life that isn't suited for me. Nikki and I remain friends to this day. but I stuck to my guns and the knowledge of what I want out of life (Spoiler Alert: NOT Marriage) Know too that I do not see any of the Chums and even rarely my Brother any more... Me becoming a Recluse isn't narrowed down to just you. In fact, I texted you Happy New Year but after no response I thought perhaps I had the wrong number.. Let me just say this...whenever asked about your transition I always said the same thing. Heartfelt thing. "..whatever my opinion is doesn't matter. I do not need to understand it.. All I need to understand is that that is my friend's reality and I support her." Let's leave it at that.

p.s. I do read your blog.


And then, I woke up this morning to the following:

Recently a Dear Friend of Mine Laid this on Me:

"You were born a white, cisgender male: the absolute top of the heap. At one time you understood how others felt- you were an Honorary Hutchins, ffs! But that empathy disappeared completely in the passing decades. Was it your time homeless in the UK that caused your bitterness? The failure of your marriage? Your unquenchable thirst for alcohol that has cost you so very much in your life? You know what- it's none of my business how you became so bitter. But you have".

I am not afraid of my faults... I do not view my Marriage as a failure. And I am not afraid of discussing the times that I was homeless...These are the times that I did overcome and I did overcome them. . But for a friend to keep these things hidden under the chest and then use them after so many speaks volumes. You can label a lot of people in a lot of ways... but when you stop listening to them and start labeling what they are saying...Then Fuck You. Fuck you when you tell me my skin colour gives you any insight into my mind... That my gender is my identity.. .Fuck You. Fuck You. Fuck You. My Politics Do Not Equal my religion and my Religion has always been Kindness...

 I replied, privately:

Ok. I read your very public answer.


I read your first response and thought "Ok.  That's reasonable."  I thought I'd invite you out for a beer and bizznizz [Sambuca- long story there] and I'd ask if you were free Saturday night.

Then I saw that. Message received.  I'm glad you read my blog, Mark. I'll reply there. 

Be well.


Ok.  Everyone up to speed?  

Mark, for someone whose "religion has always been kindness" that's a pretty savage reply.  

I'm not afraid of my faults either.  After all: they are Legion.  However, when I am in a private conversation, I don't expect to see it artfully edited then splashed all over facialbook.  So, here it is, in its entirety, for all to see, especially your blonde friend that doesn't know me one bit, yet who also cursed me.  She did make an interesting point when she asked if I'd ever "looked into my soul."  (I'm sorry, the post was gone when I went to copy it for this blog, so I don't have her exact words.)  

Yes, Mark, I HAVE looked into my soul.  Many, many times.  And do you know what I found?  Anger.  Self-hatred.  Pain.  I examined what was left of my human decency, and determined Who I Am.  

I KNOW who I am.  

Transpeople have that advantage: we don't make the decision to transition lightly.  It comes after a lifetime of thought.  A lifetime of reflection and Pain.  A lifetime of lying to EVERYONE, especially themselves.   To arrive at the point of transition, we have exhausted ALL other alternatives.  

After all, who would WANT to be trans?  Seriously.  As I write this, there are HUNDREDS of anti-LGBT pieces of legislation (including 43 aimed specifically at Transgender people- down from 44 this morning when Wisconsin voted down their "religious freedom" bathroom bill) in front of state legislatures.  ALL of them started by Republicans.  Here in PA, I have NO legal protections.  I can be fired for being Trans.  Denied housing.  Denied everything.  Including my life.

Am I exaggerating?  A transwoman was murdered last weekend in Philly.  Third in the past year.  In the past several years there were several others in the City of Brotherly Love.  To my knowledge, only 2 (TWO) of the murderers have been caught.  None have been to trial.  One of those murdered was stabbed multiple times, dismembered, and dumped in an empty lot.  

Want to know how much fun being Trans can be?  Read any article about us.  Then read the comments.  The word we're called most of the time is "it."  We are threatened with unspeakable violence.  And all too often, we are victims of it.

And what does that lead to?  For many of us, Suicide.  If you read this blog, you already know about Lisa Empanada.  And you've probably read that at least 41% of Transpeople attempt suicide (a number I think is low.)  

Yeah.  This life is a load of laughs.

But it's mine.  I arrived at it because I had no other choice.

So.  You want to publicly denounce me and my politics? You want to curse me out in a very public forum?  Call me "dude?"  Feel free.

Just don't call yourself my friend.

Friends don't do that.

Happier Days

1 comment:

  1. You know how I feel. I don't think, for whatever reason or reasons, Mark is no friend of yours. Friends don't do what he has done. The relationship has become toxic to you and while you need to make the ultimate decision, if it were me: I'd have kicked his pathetic ass to the curb some time ago.

    Again, it's very easy for me to say because I'm not in your position and you have a deep history with him. I know how you well thought-out your decisions can be. Whatever you decide, I will always have your back. Always. Love to you.