Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

theatre-faces

Humor is to provoke laughter, providing amusement.  ‘Laughter is the best medicine’, a phrase we all have heard.   It rings true in the face of almost every human experience.  It breaks the tension between quarreling people; it interrupts the hurting, hate-filled nonsense we sometimes experience.  It’s manifested in smiles, bursting into joy…sending soothing chemicals from the brain, igniting a pleasant release of stress.  It’s been a mainstay for many relationships, both personal and professional.  It works!  It works for ALL of us, no matter what we are going through or suffer from.

With that in mind, let’s talk about the types of humor.  After all, we all enjoy humor, but certain humor causes our laughter to commence.  Some like raunchy humor, full of cursing and sexual innuendos.   Some like the clean, family type humor.  Some like the silly type humor, the dummying down type.  Some enjoy the intelligent/witty type of humor.  And of course the most enjoyable, laughing at ourselves.  Most of us like a combination of them, that work to loosen the burgeoning chuckle or hardy laugh that we all enjoy and need.  There is a long list of the types of humor that are experienced by millions during their life experience, although different in taste, the outcome is the same…laughter.

With the birth of well-founded laws protecting minority classes of people, there has developed the need of political correctness.  Being politically correct, or PC, is now written in bylaws of various companies and corporations, slowing the belittling in unhealthy workplace environments.  More of late, PC has flowed into most TV production and personality, evoking reprimands and even termination of those who cross those sensitive boundaries.

Staying in the same vein of being PC, I feel that there are words that we as mature humanity need to leave behind or evolve away from.  We all know the power, history, and representation of various words that evoke memories of pain, whether in the general public or on a personal level.  Words that evolved from the playground, into our adult lives and conversation.  Our species is one of many that developed pecking orders 150,000 years ago, back when tribes ruled.  Intimidation was and is a tool people use to develop these sometimes cruel events, using nicknames and bullying techniques that still work today.  Although most quell those immature events as adults, there are those that carry those same deceitful techniques into adulthood, honing it’s poison into more ‘legal’ level.

This behavior has been deemed an acceptable form of ‘art’, when used by comedians and performers.  It has been woven into cultures for eons.  Since early times of this great nation, using any ‘different’ group or minority were used as the butt of jokes, allowing and celebrating the denigration of peoples for a mere laugh.  Allowing this type of humor leans to a devolving society, especially here in the U.S., where we are the most diverse country on the planet.  “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” …one of the biggest un-truths ever spoken!  Ignorance on the playground between children is one thing, but to carry that into adulthood is a hurting disservice to us all.  Social evolution is a continued must for a diverse culture and society. 

What I’m saying is this, we all know the words that hurt. Those condescending or maligning words or remarks that we allow ourselves to enjoy at the expense of others as an ‘accepted’ form of entertainment, to permeate our lives without remorse. 

I think it’s time to evolve.  Stop the masked prejudice, and evolve our humor to something more tasteful, not to be cloaked as a recognized ‘art form’.

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I’ve posted the meat of the article for you to reference. This is such a complete assessment of our daily drama’s and experiences I’ve seen. Enjoy!! – POST WRITTEN BY: MARC CHERNOFF

#1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

#2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

#3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.

#4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

#5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

#6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

#7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

#8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

#9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.

#10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.

#11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
#12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

#13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

#14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

#15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

#16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

#17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

#18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

#19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

#20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.

#21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

#22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

#23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.

#24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.

#25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

#26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

#27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.

#28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

#29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

#30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

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Innocence – the freedom from guilt, the lack of knowledge of things that are hurtful in life or of the unknown.  We start this life out with the purest of innocence, completely dependent upon the loving caretakers of our life.  We knew nothing of the planet, it’s inhabitants, it’s wonders or it’s harm, only the sustenance and the warmth of our loving creator(s).

Soon, we begin viewing the world with all it’s vibrant colors, smells, tastes, sounds and touch…our inquisitive nature intact!  Our personalities just beginning to bud, and oh so malleable.  Soon we arrive at conciseness, when we begin to become aware of others and our learning of other reactionary forces that are generated by our choices, as innocent as they may seem.  We begin to relate to others, learning the difference between bad choices and good choices, all the while taking in what we see and hear from our loving caregiver…good or bad.  It’s at this time that the flood of information is processed at lightning speed and our morals are formed;  Respect, friendship, sharing, self-worth or fear, insecurity, feelings of worthlessness, blame or anger are planted and watered.

We start in an education system geared to prepare and make aware the gears of a society and the untapped potential we have in each of us.  The world in ALL of it’s wonders are explosively powerful should we become enlightened.  We become honed through expression, the arts, physical challenges of sports, math/science and friendships that will last a lifetime. But then, the hormones begin to kick in, and what a shock to the system we’ve come to know and find comfort in.  Puberty is a shock and causes unstable emotions within either sex.  It is during this time of the stress of peer pressure and hormonal instincts that the bud of sexuality opens, drawing others to us.  Innocence is a word we are acquainted with by this time, only to be discarded by the sexual urging of reproduction, millions of years in the making.

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There are various experiences of innocence.  One example has been experienced by recent generations.  As we look back at the many things we have lost, we’ve learned to reflect on the utopia of it’s predecessors.  A time when we all seemed to be making a living wage and college was in the future for so many of the middle class.  We championed various types of production of manner in our world, giving hopes and security that we became complacent within our personal lives.  Then one day on Sept. 11, 2001, the proverbial ‘shit hit the fan’.  Terrorism brought our norms to their knees, buckled by fears and animosity.  Our innocence was shattered, leaving us only one choice….to rebuild.

What I mean to convey is this; Innocence, in some form, is attained over and over again within our short life experience.  When you reach that ‘Goldie Lock Zone’ or your comfort level that has once again been rebuilt, do not find yourself in complacency, but love and live your life on a daily basis…as it was your last.  After all, that is all anyone has.  Enjoy!

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New Beginnings

Posted: March 20, 2014 in Family, LGBT, Perspective, Transgender
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Today is the first day of spring.  It’s a time recognized as a time for new life, new growth.  Look around you, the trees are budding, the crocus blooming and the green is returning to the ground that just recently lay with cold snow.  The robins are in large numbers, busy eating the fruits of a now thawed ground, as hormones are rushing in all life…wanting to begin the cycle anew.  It is a time to open the windows, activate those convertible tops and enjoy the fresh smells and sounds of life…the awakening!

New beginnings take many shapes, and just like the advancing spring, our experiences yet to be had are burgeoning within us.  New hopes or desires that long lay at rest; begin to sprout up…those seeds that once lay dormant.  Care needs to be given to these dreams, as they are vulnerable in their infancy.  Most rise quickly, only to be abused by the excess of the unforgiving elements.

New beginnings come in various diverse formats.  New jobs, new homes, new locations, new friends, new loves, are all part of our lives, and how we treat or cherish them will determine the outcome of those beginnings.  Herein lays our success, failure and our very understanding of our own fragile lives.  To abuse these delicate buds, is only to destroy the new life that has sprung up within our experience.  Many never identify the destructive methods of supposed care in their life experience; only to relive it in each ‘spring’ experience…a disappointment to say the least.  We all have tasted of disappointment, denial, uncontrolled fear and misunderstandings that have snapped of the very bud that was yearning to open.   These experiences are not unique, but to us, it seems like the world has pitted itself against us and our happiness.  We are usually our own worst enemy.  Our state of psychosis has become emboldened along the way, bringing with it panic, insecurity, anxiety and fear that paralyzes our chance to fertilize our budding efforts.

This spring, allow your thoughts, concerns and actions be toward nurturing those budding dreams and desires that are yours alone.   You are your own best friend, or worst enemy.  Believe in yourself, apply yourself, and your dreams can and will flourish!  Should it not happen for you this time, learn from your mistakes and enjoy the realization of those dreams that belong to you.

Enjoy your New Beginning!

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something else 

In every culture you will find subcultures.  I want to discuss the LGBT community…more specifically, the ‘T’ or trans community.

When I answered the call within myself of sexual orientation, I was freed of the guilt, stigma, and overall disgust of my family and the world I had come to know.  This new world of just ‘being myself’ was full of newness, freedom…enabling me to enjoy that part of me that only a fore existed in my dreams.  I soon started learning of many subsets or subcultures within the “gay machine”.  Not only were there many relationships between gay men that were just like traditional hetero ones, most were even more honest in design than the mirage of a Puritan construct that plagues most hetero marriages today. There were so many ‘types’ of men…boys, bears, leather, muscle, club, drag/fem, etc., each with their own gatherings and parties across the nation.  Most groups tolerate the others as a matter of ‘getting along’, as we were all seen from the outside as degenerates, sinners…repulsive to ‘normal’ humanity.  Soon, those within the LGBT communities became avid activists, showing just how hypocritical those who fought against us were, and still do.  Soon, we were being represented as mayors, senators and leaders…not just in the stereotypical ways. (drag queens, hairdressers, etc.)  Exposure began to show the average person, just how ‘human’ we really were, different yes, but certainly not freaks of nature.  We pulled together and changed the face of the gay community.  Though we were very different, we in the LGBT communities, fight the same enemies…ignorance and intolerance. 

The trans community is different from the LGB communities in that the LGB communities are defined by sexual orientation, we on the other hand, are dealing with another unrelated issue…our gender and the associated dysphoria.  In short, sexual orientation is who you want to wake up ‘with’, and gender is who you want to wake up ‘as’.  It’s not about just making a statement of who you sleep with, but who you are at your very core.  This incongruence is a cruel torture to both mind and body, sapping your mental and physical health.  The mountain of circumstances that must change for us can be completely overwhelming.  The bullying, the jibes, the labeling as ‘freaks’ are sometimes too hard to bare and many trans persons try to commit suicide, many sadly succeed.  So the battle we face goes beyond our sexual orientation, it cuts to the very core of society…our gender.

Under the current umbrella of ‘Trans*’ there are many subcultures and layers.  There are those who are cross dressers and transvestites that merely enjoy the fetish of dressing and acting as women, but I want to talk about those with gender dysphoria within this colorful ‘trans*’ arena.  These are the women and men that were assigned male/female at birth, but the emergence of their gender was the very opposite of that obvious assignment.   Most live their entire life with this dysphoria, tortured by the fact that they continually attempt to fit a mold that society has shaped for them by the mere observance of their genitals.  It is unhealthy both mentally and physically for them, and they need to transition to align their bodies with their minds.  The level of gender dysphoria varies person to person.  Some women want their lower surgery immediately; to quell the dysphoria and some never have surgery because of health or financial reasons.  Most women with this dysphoria go the path of HRT, or Hormone Replacement Therapy, to assist the changing of their bodies to be congruent with their minds.

Many never ‘need’ surgery, as HRT is enough to quell the painful dysphoria thus allowing them to lead healthy lives as their identified gender.  Many obtain FFS (Facial Feminization Surgery) to give them a softer, more feminine facial appearance.  Many obtain BA (Breast Augmentation) to give them the confidence that so many women lack.  Some cannot live with themselves without being completely physically congruent and have GCS (Gender Confirmation Surgery).  These are all personal choices that each trans woman will or will not make in accordance with their level of dysphoria.   Many desire surgery but cannot afford the procedures because insurance will not cover it, or they have no finances to draw from.  Those persons go on living with their painful dysphoria.  Thankfully the healthcare industry is changing to accommodate coverage for Gender Dysphoria, as it relates to the persons health…both mentally and physically.

Attitude

Both pre-op and post-op girls (those who have had GRS or not) will always have one thing common; “We all started out as something else”.  Those who have been fortunate to obtain financing or have the money to obtain surgery, should not belittle those who cannot or do not have surgery.  We are all women, just the same.  Your needing surgery shows your level of dyphoria.  Many just have the surgery to be congruent with the rest of their body.  All of which is ‘good’, as we all want to live happy and healthy in a society that has yet to understand us.  Most of us agree that we have never really been men, although we’ve had to masquerade as such.  What I’m trying to say is, “Why the infighting?”  Is it just human nature that some try to lift themselves up by putting someone less fortunate down?  When I came out trans, I did so coming out of the gay community.  Yes, we had our differences, but we worked together for ‘our’ common good.  We in the trans community need to pull together, not deflate or depreciate one another’s experience and realize that AS A WHOLE, our society thinks we are abhorrent freaks of nature, and our battle is the same, to fight it! 

So if you are living a ‘stealth’ lifestyle because you can, remember that those who cannot or choose not to be hidden, are fighting for YOUR very right to exist and be eventually respected in our society.  I personally did not leave one closet, only to live in another.  From the outside, looking in…we are all the same. WE ARE ONE.  Let’s start acting that way.

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“We Are Trans Beautiful!” – Ally Raymond

The Resilient Child

Posted: February 14, 2014 in Family, LGBT, Perspective

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The bond between parent and child is a bond like no other.  Mammals have an innate, keen, protective interest in the care of their offspring and their bond is unequaled among other species.  Parent’s look into the eyes of the life they’ve created with extreme awe and wonderment as to the little ‘them’ they hold in their loving arms.  Children completely depend on their parents for natures necessities for the first 3-5 years before true ‘consciousness’ is acquired by the child.  It’s awareness of the world and how it reacts to them.  When they start school, this new awareness wakens a desire to please and be pleased.  Friendships blossom, social likes and dislikes become more defined.  Experience of bonding beyond their family, feelings of rejection and misunderstandings are communicated on the regular.  They are very fragile, impressionable, still needing the care, teaching, and protection of their makers. 

 

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The Questioning period

Children are so curious!  They want to know so much about their world, and all its wonders.  As parents, we are like gods to these bundles of joy.  We supply sustenance, both physically and just as critical, mentally.  When the questioning starts, we are more than willing to help them understand things, anything from colors, numbers, letters, shapes, animals, to their place in the family.  This is also the time where people introduce the concepts of god, shame, judgment, rule, and an understanding of good and evil.  All this taught by ‘well meaning’, loving parents. I have watched as parents would ignorantly introduce prejudice, vocalizing mean spirited remarks and responses to others in their lives only to ‘poison the well’ of the very offspring they love so much…forever setting in motion, actions that will stain their young minds forever. 

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Cause and Effect

I remember going to the fair at a young age, and hearing the jibes of ‘adults’ concerning others that were disabled, obese, skinny, short, tall, ‘ugly’, or other ethniticities, as they attempted to be humorous with their other small minded friends.  This gives license to children to do the same!  I would see couples showing public displays of affection, and this was completely accepted within a heterosexual context.

In my young adulthood, the terms and lifestyles of the LGBT community were beginning to surface in the public eye.   Disgust to anything considered ‘unnatural’, was accepted as a ‘healthy’ response.  Those in the religious community championed the discrimination all in the name of their ‘god’, adding to the insanity of demeaning treatment to those of the LGBT community. 

We have come such a long way from that time.  The more visible we became in leadership, politics, and the community, the less ‘threatening’ we seemed to appear to those ‘stained’ souls of our past.  Although we are gaining ground in most states with Marriage Equality, this is only the start.   We have always had lives and loves, just as the hetero community have always had, but we have yet to stretch our freedoms so comfortably.  They can speak of their dating, loves, relationships, vacations, children, etc., but it still leaves a very bitter and disgusting taste in the mind of most if we speak so boldly.  Holding hands, a simple kiss, your arm around your significant other is something we in the LGBT community have never taken lightly.  Many parents still today, do not want to acknowledge the very things their children embrace everyday…diversity.   They fail to be responsible parents to their children and call it ‘protecting them’, only to let the children learn from others… and that with the usual negative, damaging results.  These results could last an entire lifetime, just because a parent thought they were protecting their own children’s minds, when really they were bolstering their own ignorance.  Children are very impressionable, and it is UP TO THE PARENTS to teach them early.  The kids of this generation most likely have seen gay parents/couples, or have a transgender girl or boy in their school.  To refuse to correctly teach your children, you could be dooming them to a destructive, segregationist mentality that will only continue the cycle of ignorance and cruelty toward anyone not like you.  Children are resilient!  Teach them how to think, not what to think.  Explain to them as a caring, adult parent should.  Lead them, not poison them.  You will be loving them more than you know.

 

Prepare them, don’t blemish them.

 It’s in your hands.

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