Sunday, February 27, 2011

Full of Sound and Fury

I'm watching "Up in the Air" as I type this.  I can SO relate to this movie.  In SO many ways.  I remember seeing it the first time in the theater just after Christmas 2009 and it resonated with me then, too.

"Cocoon of self-banishment"....that's one of the terms in it.  I like that.....

There's a scene where she fires "Mr. Samuals" over a video-chat thing and he starts crying.  This stuff gets really personal.  I feel it every time I watch it.  The funny thing is that in many ways I consider myself an optimist but there are a number of pessimistic things in this movie that move me, that I feel, that I agree with.  Career things.  Relationship things.  Life things in general.  It's fascinating how movies or songs or books can bring out two different, sometimes directly opposite, aspects within yourself.

"Will you be my co-pilot??"  Great line.

This movie resonates.  With me, anyways.

One new take-away for me this time is that I need to get the soundtrack.


I went to the fitness center today.  That in and of itself is no big deal.  The significance today is that my visits there have been infrequent because of other obligations and I intend to change that.  I'm still in good shape but there are 6 weeks between now and the 2011 version of the US Wrestling Championships so if I'm going to do it again (which I might) it's time to get serious.  I'm sure others got serious about it many months ago but their bodies don't creak and crack nearly as much as mine does so more practice isn't necessarily a good thing once you get past some point in life that I think I've already passed.  I'm just saying......

I see the general pissing match going on by those who are yelling about "IS/TS" vs everyone else.  I've stated how I feel about it in the past and haven't changed my opinion.  I don't need to waste my time here writing too much about it - if you see me out and about I'm happy to say it in person.  The anonymity of the internet has given rise to a bunch of yahoos who in other contexts should just shut-up and provides a platform for them to shout.  Very well, then.  Keep shouting.  It doesn't make anyone any more valid or right just because they yell, or because they can build a private little empire on Facebook, or because they can regurgitate kitchy phrases in various combinations.  Shakespeare hit the nail on the head in Macbeth: "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

If you expect respect you need to give respect.  It's that simple.  And those who cling to outdated theories, simplistic definitions, personal judgements, and empty arguments demonstrate time and again that THEY are that simple.  I truly don't care what terms people choose to use when they write or talk about me.  I outgrew that a long time ago.  It doesn't affect me one way or another to called trans or transgender or a mentally disturbed freak by cowards who hide behind a keyboard.  So when I say that many of these people are simply transphobic, homophobic snobs made from the exact same cloth as those who justify their hatred with their faith, or their religion, or their God that really doesn't matter either.  It also doesn't change the fact that each of us has an opinion - and that's mine.

Just because someone gets their photo taken time and time again with people who have achieved something in their lives doesn't bestow similar achievements to anyone else in the photo.  The more that these Sarah Palin clones continue to talk the more their true motivations become apparent, the emptier their convenient little arguments become, and the more they alienate.  As for me - I am not nor have I ever suffered from a "medical condition" regarding my gender.  I am not part of a "Transsexual Revolution".  Nobody has or will "co-opt my personal narrative.".  In short - although their realities may very well be very different than mine it doesn't make it better or more right for anyone else.

My advice to anyone who wants to gain some new perspective - go and spend a day or two at an LGBT Youth Center.  See the kids of today.  See how comfortable they are in the fluid nature of their expression and their identities.  See how much courage they show, see how resilient they are, and recognize that THEY are the future, not retread ideas from the 50's.  If you do that you will truly realize how unimportant it is to simplify the human condition to meet your own personal reality, or to one or two letters of the alphabet.

A couple of weeks ago my organization held a fundraising event to benefit our Youth programs.  Several drag queens in the area sold raffle tickets and all the proceeds supported the organization.  A handful of them raised well over $1,000 for us.  Why?  Because of the kids.

The drag queen who sold the most tickets became the Queen of Winter Hearts.  In this case, the person who won was deaf and had an interpreter.  When she found out she had won she cried like a baby - it was very touching.  And I personally dare reduce this person who has overcome so much to a simplistic definition that they can then stigmatize and judge.  No way.  Not on my watch.  Just because she and I are different I'd stand and defend her any day of the week because the thing that seems to get lost in all of these words and labels is the fact that it's not what outside that really counts - it's what's inside.  It's not WHAT you are - it's WHO you are.  And - those who choose to overlook that simple reality for the sake of their own self-importance clearly demonstrate who THEY are.

Our gender (or any one particular trait for that matter) , or how we perceive it/explain it/express it, is far less an important defining attribute of who we are than our character.   Character is the main ingredient in humanity.  Character endures.  And those who demonstrate their true character will eventually come to realize that, like dignity, once you've forfeited it you can't get it back.


She ends with, "I'm not ashamed, and I'm not afraid.  What a blessing that is."  Amen to that.

That said - it's time to get back to what's really important.  My pups are looking at me and are waiting for me to take them to the park for a run.  When all is said and done that's what matters, not yahoos sitting behind a keyboard gaining some level of credibility based on who they can pick a fight with.  In three short words, if any of this defines you and you somehow want to pick a fight with me then my message to you is a simple one - Kiss my a**.

In "Up in the Air" George Clooney's character is explaining who NOT to get behind in a line at the airport for various reasons:

Ryan Bingham: [on getting through airport security] Never get behind old people. Their bodies are littered with hidden metal and they never seem to appreciate how little time they have left. Bingo, Asians. They pack light, travel efficiently, and they have a thing for slip on shoes. Gotta love 'em. 
Natalie Keener: That's racist!
Ryan Bingham: I'm like my mother, I stereotype. It's faster. 

Yeah.  Stereotyping IS faster.  That doesn't make it better.....

5 comments: said...

Amen, hun !

Common Teri said...

Great post!

sweetbrandigirl2004 said...

WOW Donna !! Someone sure got your panties in a twist. While I admire your passion for what you believe and I always support the children who are acting out on whom they believe they are. You must remember that most of those children will get a formal diagnosis and will follow the SOC guidelines to complete transition and therefore these are young ts children and not young tg children. I understand that that when working for a equal rights org that protesting for complete equality is necessary as well as it being your own believe. I wish you well as we all must stand for what we believe.

Anonymous said...

As hard as I look for it, there really is no moral high ground here.

"If you expect respect, you need to give respect." I couldn't agree more. So why do you descend into disrespect within a few sentences? It's not that I blame you for fighting back, but it's not exactly Gandhi-esque.

As for kids at an LGBT centre -- well, duh! It's an LGBT centre! I would expect those kids to have different views of gender than other kids. But they're not the future. They're just part of it. Most people, including kids growing up now, even enlightened ones, are going to be just as binary in the future as they are now. The so-called gender binary is largely cultural, but sexual dimorphism is biological.

I loved Up in the Air as well. Now I want to see it again!

Anonymous said...

"Yeah. Stereotyping IS faster. That doesn't make it better..... "

Much as you do throughout your blog toward: Republicans, political/cultural conservatives, and your Andrew Sullivan-like obesession over Sarah Palin?

Respect IS a two-way street. It might be wise for you to confront some of your prejudices and bigotries as well as those whose views differ from "accepted" LGBT orhtodoxy.