Posts Tagged ‘ transphobia ’

Funerals and Shirt Shopping

So I’ve just recently returned home from my friends funeral.  It’s a good thing that me and my peeps were sitting at the back because we did get a bit fidgity during certain parts.  That’s kind of what happens when you have a christian funeral for a hard-core atheist.

On the other hand we were actually invited.  Me and a friend were even palbearers.  I’ve heard of plenty of funerals where the parents are conservative and the children are liberal where the friends don’t get invited at all.

So, it could have been worse

ON TO SHIRT SHOPPING!!!

So I panicked a bit about what I should wear.  Most of my nice stuff are, well, dresses.  So I needed to go shopping.  I’d set my heart on wearing a long sleeved black shirt with a black tie.  So shopping I went.

I’m 5ft 1.5in (I don’t know how to write it properly we use metre’s and centimetres over here but somehow that’s how I know my height)

So, they don’t make shirts for guys with my length arms.  XS got close to the right arm length but were a bit to snug for my little tum and 4hrs of labour hips.  Which is fine.  When I have the spare cash I’ll buy myself some really nice ones and get them altered.  All good.  Didn’t solve my current problem though.

When I went into Hallensteins in the central city I got really nice service.  The guy was really polite and nice and when he realised they didn’t have an XS on the rack he went upstairs to look for one.  He was really apologetic that they didn’t have any in.

So I try the Hallenstiens in my local suburban mall.  They even have a kids section so I thought that maybe I stood a chance.  The woman who served me took a look through the kids shirts and was like ‘No, no black sorry’.  So I asked if there was a chance there was an XS in the adult section.  She went over, looked and said ‘No’.  She was being rather curt at this point.  Then she suggested that I tried a couple of womens stores.  Now, I haven’t been binding every day recently because the heat has just been killing me.  I was binding that day though because I wanted to make sure that the shirt looked right.  The way that I was dressed was an obvious indication that while I may have a vagina (the child was with me too) I obviously don’t shop in the kind of stores that middle-aged suburban women shopped in.

The message was clear.  I’m not comfortable with you.  Please go to another store.

So I did.  I walked a couple of metres over to Barkers.  While the guy there seemed a bit suprised to be dealing with me he was nice, kind and polite.  When it was clear that, no, long sleeved shirts would not fit me he suggested I try on a short sleeved one.  He was even apologetic about it to because he knew I wanted a long sleeved one.

So I bought the shirt.  With my skinny black jeans I looked totally kick-ass hot.  I didn’t wear a tie because the internet informs me that ties with short-sleeved shirts are bad.  I even just got a txt telling me that I totally pulled off the whole short-sleeved thing.  I think my friend would have liked that.

 

So guess where I’m going to go to buy my shirts now?

(although I have to point out I’ve always been served well at the Hallensteins in town.  Perhaps the staff are just a bit more cosmopolitan than the suburban ones…)

13 yr olds should probably not write songs. Unless of-course you are way better than me at songwriting

So, did you write songs when you were 13? Perhaps poems? Or, god forbid start work on a gigantic post-apocalyptic epic that you weren’t sure would turn into a five novel series or a movie?

Are you under 16? If so you should probably stop reading this post as it may make you all depressed and negative and stuff. Seriously. Stop reading kid.

Did you find that stuff when you were like two years older and look back and go ‘Holy shit! My God! Was I honestly that hideously naive and stupid?!? Like seriously, did I have learning difficulties two years ago?!?’

Now I horde all of my shit. I still have the diary that I wrote an entry in when Nelson Mandela got elected. It was all about how positive the world was and we actually have hope and how wonderful South Africa would be now. Ha. Ha ha. So every now and then I’d read something that I wrote a couple of years ago and I’d have my Holy Shit/learning difficulties/Naive Little Child moment.

So, when I started this blog I was all like ‘I’m genderqueer! Yay for me knowing what I am!’ Yeah, fucking right. You would have thought I would have learnt something by now.

When I was in my late teens (about a decade ago) I thought long and hard about whether I had the right gender. I decided that no, I would be as big a fail at being a man as I was at being a woman. I’ve evolved quite a lot since then. I was a reasonably sheltered teenager and my ideas about male/female/personhood have changed a hell of a lot. Heck, the worlds changed since then.

So, what I’m wondering now is, when I was so quick to label myself as qenderqueer why did I completely dismiss the possibility that I might be trans? I adopted the qenderqueer label before I’d even started properly investigating what being a transguy meant. I had rejected the trans label before I’d read any blogs, met any transguys or even formed any ideas about what being trans meant.

I’ve gotten to thinking, what were my ideas about transguys before starting this journey? What images/ideas have I absorbed from my surroundings about them that have formed the picture I have in my mind. I have two memories.
1) Boys Don’t Cry. I watched it while home alone (having moved back with mum) after a break up, when it was all stormy and dramatic outside, while suffering from PMS. Needless to say it was not a good experience. While I am glad I watched the movie there will never be a second time. Images that stuck with me: rednecks, violence, hiding, subterfuge, rape, murder and disaster.
2) Some Documentary Quite A While Ago. I think it was British. It was about several transgender people. The story I remember was about a couple that started out as two lesbians. One of them came to the conclusion that he was trans and started transitioning. His partner started transitioning too. With the hormones came a lot of fighting and they broke up. One of them regretted staring the transition process while the other one was quite happy with it. Images that stuck with me: doing something for someone you love because you’re too young/stupid to think for yourself, regret, heartache, hurting others, regret, unable to turn back.
3) L Word. I forget his name, but you know the one. Images that stuck with me: really bad dress sense, someone giving a blowjob to a prosthetic penis, heartache, black market T, breaking-up.

THREE INSTANCES. That was what I was basing my opinions about transguys on. I’m sure that there are more but those are the only ones that I can recall. THREE!!!!! So what made me think that I knew anything about transguys?

Oh, that’s right, I’m turning thirty next year and I’m still naive and stupid.

 

Update:  In full disclosure I feel that I should point out that while writing this post I went back and changed the word ‘retarded’ to ‘learning difficulties’.  While I felt slightly naff and overly PC doing so I did feel that it was necessary.  Changing a few words took me a few seconds and did not in anyway alter what I was trying to say in the post but leaving it as it was might have upset someone and ruined their day.

Cigars, men shopping and barriers

It’s scary making changes. Even though you know that they are good changes, they’re still scary. That first step can be a pretty big one.

I’m ao much happier though. I’ve been so angry for so very long. I’ve raged at the world and not really known why. I havn’t raged since I came to accept my gender-queerness though.

So far everyone that I’ve told has been really nice. I think some of them don’t really get it but they’ve nodded and said ‘Cool!’. One guy trying to get his head around it asked ‘So, it’s kind of like a makeover?’ and said we should smoke cigars when I was done!?! Because I’ve been asking about what kinds of shops they go to a couple of the guys have offered to take me shopping which puts that sexist myth to bed! The awesome thing about University is that even if people have problems with stuff like this they know that they shouldn’t and keep their mouths shut…

It’s not so nice in the real world though. One thing that makes me really sad is reading blogs and watching clips about how trans people are treated in our community. By community I don’t mean the whole wide world. I mean my community, my people. Trans people talking about non-acceptance from the queer community. Trans-women feeling shunned by feminists. Trans-people of colour feeling ignored by white trans-people. Queer trans-people feeling invisible and having to deal with everyone thinking they’re straight!

WHAT THE HELL PEOPLE!!!

The reason why I’m a dirty socialist leftie is because I believe with my whole heart that humanity needs to take care of itself. When we see someone no matter how different they are from us and no matter how little we understand about them we need to help them out.

What the heck is the point of breaking down barriers if we’re just going to put new ones up?