Archive for the ‘Transgender’ Category

 divineright1

 

In the Middle Ages, various kings would cloak their own will with the supposed ‘will of God’.  Those who would not obey the King, Christian or otherwise, would be to commit treasonous sin.  The judgment could be imprisonment, banishment, or even death.  With this ‘divine right’, Kings could rule as they pleased, as they claimed they were appointed by God, and answered to God alone.  This kind of flawed, supervised rule goes on still today…but wrapped in other titles.  Priests, Rabbis, pastors, Popes, shamans, prophets, Ayatollahs, reverends and various supposed ‘holy men’ that claim to actually ‘hear’ from God, are still poisoned with the same human weakness today.  The ability to mold and shape groups of churches, temples, mosques and other holy places, affecting millions of individuals around the globe, shaping ideals that can be helpful or disastrous.

This type of leadership and dominance has been part of humanity since civilizations began.  It was a way to rule, a way to control the masses.  It gave indelible power to the ones that learned to wield it.  They could rule, sway, and bring judgment down on the innocent free-thinkers who would challenge their decisions…after all, the ‘Almighty’ of the times, was on his side.  Soon, the ‘sheeple’ would line up as commanded…this was surely NOT a democracy.

Today in our democracy, there are those voices ‘crying in the wilderness’ that would draw the people in, using the ‘authority of God and his Word’ to manipulate and tarnish the very freedoms and evolution of our society.  The ‘Will of God’ and the ‘Fear of God’ is used on a regular basis to ensure compliance, or as in the Middle Ages, banishment, apostasy, death and separation from this supposed God, the whole time wielding the ‘will of God’ through their own interpretation and misuse of humankind.  They have moved into government, where they can influence this democracy and once again, set up a system by which they will rule…all in the name of ‘God’.  A theocracy, wrapped in an American flag and worshipped as ‘freedom’, only to destroy the true freedoms we of every creed, race, and culture have enjoyed of late.

We have been very fortunate to be born here in the U.S.A., where free-thinking and diversity is not only encouraged, but celebrated.  Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of Church and State are paramount for our democracy.  Let’s not fall back into the rule of a Divine Authority mentality.

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.

deserve

Until Love is Equal

Posted: April 3, 2014 in equal rights, LGBT, Transgender
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I was just watching a commercial from a prominent dating site, in which the couple ended up on the couch, making out in front of friends…with their apparent blessing on their physical show of love. (and/or lust) I thought to myself, “what if this was aired with 2 men in love, or 2 women all over each other…how much would the public be celebratory of ‘that’ kind of love?”

We’ve come a long way with LGBT rights. Our visibility and work in the court systems allow us to openly celebrate our care and love for each other… OR DOES IT??

I believe we have fought for the right to ‘exist’, to love who we want to love, but as a society the majority of the population is not ready to actually SEE us as the loving couples we really are. I hear this all the time..”oh, it’s cool that you are with someone you love of the same sex, but com’mon…don’t put it in our face!” Why? Because they still view anything other than typical hetero relationships, with public displays of that love, not acceptable. I’m not necessarily advocating PDA’s, as I believe there are times and places for that, no matter who or what you represent.

I realize we have such a long way to go. We need to continue to be visible, and help validate not only our existence, but our place among humanity as well. 

equallove

 

Estrangement

Posted: March 24, 2014 in LGBT, Transgender

estrangement

es·trange·ment

noun

 1. the fact of no longer being on friendly terms or part of a social group.

I’d like to approach this tender subject in it’s duality.  There is a natural estrangement that can happen between friends, lovers, or spouses who were close, but their growth either took them in different directions, or one chose to grow, while the other chose to stay behind in their relationship.  Relationships grow if fed and watered, but sometimes incompatibility causes a fungus that gnaws on love’s lifeline, causing serious and irreparable damage to the relationship.  It’s better for the relationship to end while there is still respect and genuine concern for them, rather than fall into a ‘burned bridge’ experience, creating bitter memories to be drudged up with a simple song or future visual remembrance of them.

estrangement

Estrangement can be healthy for you, enabling you to move on with new friends, companions and lovers…but there is also a darker side to estrangement.

 I have had prior estrangement experiences that were both healthy and benign, but the estrangement that cuts to your very being, causing screaming echoes within the soul of your heart, is when your flesh…your very children, choose to walk away from your life.

I know I have taken the path of health and happiness when I transitioned from male to female (MTF) in order to live what remains of my life, as the gender I was born to be.  Coming out to loved ones can be extremely difficult for all parties involved, causing much discourse, questions to ask, answers to give.  Many of your loved ones may not choose to take your journey with you, even though it’s crucial to your mental health and happiness.  Many will see your decision as a selfish one, never really beginning to understand the difficulty you have faced for the many years while raising them in love, trying to be the best mom or dad you could muster.  They sometimes draw lines in the sand, giving you the choice between them and your transition, springing guilt and self-hatred for just wanting release from years of complying to a mold society had chosen for you.  This type of separation causes horrible, heart-wrenching estrangement for all parties, whether ignorant or not.

 Although I have experienced the depths of pain from negative estrangement, I find that our minds and hearts are resilient, and can overcome the darkness of longing for restitution with loved ones.  Time is our friend, whether or not the optimal outcome is achieved.  They may never come to mend the tear that ripped your heart open, but other loves and relationships will help to bridge that fisher and allow you to thrive in your new life.

 

Choose to be happy and healthy! (I’m glad I did!)

New Beginnings

Posted: March 20, 2014 in Family, LGBT, Perspective, Transgender
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spring

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.

 transbeautiful

“We Are Trans Beautiful!” – Ally Raymond