I've been thinking lately. That can be good, and bad.
I drove 1,400 miles over last weekend. Part of it was to escape the cold. It's freezing here, as in single digit nighttime temperatures. The temperature when I woke up Monday was 1 degree. One friggin' degree. That's crazy. Driving 1,400 miles for such a short stint away from it is crazy, too, but road trips like that give me time to think. That can be a dangerous thing, depending on what I'm thinking about...
I've got a busy couple of weeks ahead. I spoke to a group at a local high school yesterday. Speaking to kids is different than speaking with other groups. The questions are unique and insightful. Anyway - thanks to the group for such a warm welcome.
I spoke with someone at a company where one of the managers will be transitioning shortly. That was a worthwhile discussion as well.
I spent a good part of today getting ready for our board meeting this evening.
My days are all different and fairly interesting lately. A friend texted me yesterday and asked if I was "enjoying" myself. The answer is: sometimes. Lots to do, and I generally feel a step behind no matter what I'm doing.
If I think I'm not liking the cold now just wait until next week when I'll be in Minneapolis. The last time I was there was for a Super Bowl and it was downright bone-chilling cold. I'll be headed there to attend Creating Change and to be honest I expect that the only time I'll leave the hotel will be to get to and from the airport. Brrrrr.
I've watched the "debate" between some who identify as "transsexual" and others that they define as transgender and find it to be both unfortunate and embarrassing. My own personal stance on the topic hasn't changed - nobody is any more worthy, better, healthy, moral, valid or entitled than anyone else. To turn the discussion into a wedge issue, or a platform for personal validation at the expense of others that they identify as "different" exposes just how deep that various phobias that plague many of us run. I, personally, accept that any number of labels may apply to me and I have no problem with accepting transgender and transsexual among them. To believe otherwise is to accept that either or both are pejorative or insulting and I do not.
I've said time and again and I re-iterate that I am not, will never be, nor do I want to be just like any other woman. I've had a unique journey that has absolutely affected how I perceive myself, my gender, my personhood, my character, and my spiritual nature. Different is not a synonym for bad for bad in any of us. The fact that any of our paths was different, however, does not invalidate it or diminish it. Indeed - I'd argue that the things we work hardest to achieve are the things we appreciate most. That's true of my womanhood.
I refuse to acknowledge any form of caste system within the gender "gifted" spectrum which chooses to validate some while invalidating others. I refuse to accept or adopt some artificial hierarchy of legitimacy based on narrow views, stereotypes, or imposed labels that do not recognize the fluid nature of our existence. And although I'll sit and watch people engage in a pissing match I myself refuse to participate. These are my beliefs. I feel no need to argue or defend them other than what I've stated here. My perspective has been consistent for many years and, if anything, I've become more comfortable in them.
I posted an Opinion on my website back in 2005 titled The Ugly Activist and it's as valid today as it was back then, which is a pity.
Others may or may not agree and I'll respect that. It's when these arguments, which are nothing new, become so public and angry that it makes everybody look like a bunch of loonies so it's a wonder that we have a hard time being taken seriously. Where is the respect for people's right to be or believe who they are? Who is worthy of judging but refusing to be judged? What kind of a legacy is this leaving for kids who don't buy into the same kind of structured, label-defining binary of validation that seems to fuel this trash-talk? And how is this in any way constructive other than to provide a platform for one-trick ponies to spout off empty Sarah Palin like sound-bites over and over and over?
My blog has long been a place for me to share my life, my opinions, my thoughts, and news that I think is relevant. This topic is one I've discussed here before, and I'll reiterate that I know and respect others who feel differently. As with so many things it's not necessarily what you say so much as how you say it. However, if you're a jerk you're a jerk whether you're some flavor of trans or not. Just because you and I share this one particular trait doesn't make us friends. And I will ALWAYS stand with the broader community of people with unique gender expressions and identities rather than to validate my own realities at the expense of others.
Anyway - that's my rant for the day. Now - time to get to work.