I had a dream that I was with my dad at a farmer’s market ran by Amish or maybe Mennonite farmers. It was the best farmer’s market ever: corn for popping, eggs, canned salmon, jerky–lots of dried goods. Immediately after waking up, I accidentally called Boyfriend, “Dad.”
I’ve been watching a lot of tranny movies lately, Transamerica, Southern Comfort, and the latest: You Don’t Know Dick, presented by the SLC Film Society and Gay Alliance at the library last night. Boyfriend is, to a degree, genderqueer. I think he is comforted to be around similar kinds of people. I am comforted (w/c?) to be around similar kinds of people. The film was interesting, but about 10 years dated. The panel afterwards was good, with a male to female woman stealing the show. She held her young daughter on her lap. She was an active member of the LDS faith. There were also three female to male men who were men.
Interesting Idea: They had spent most of their lives trying to pass. And yet, as they became more successful at passing, they were less of a community. The more they pass, the less the public is aware of the large numbers of transgender people out there. The more people see this as normal/common, the more it will be accepted.
I thought of E. Everyone wants to know how other people have sex.
Finally, the androgynous panelist. She was so smart, so confident. He said finding partners had never been a problem for her. “No,” I thought to myself, “I doubt it has.” E, back in the day, you would have taken him out for a “drink.” She was the kind of person you want to follow around to imitate or just to see what will happen next. He said to use pronouns interchangeably.
This is why I moved to Salt Lake City.
which is not even to address my fascination with what sex other people are having
While I don’t clearly understand the whole transgender thing, I respect it. Saying this I worry sounds condescending sometimes, but by this I mean I don’t understand it the way I don’t understand a lot of things, like different religions, etc, while still honoring them as valid and true ways of living.
And I am, of course, fascinated by anything I don’t understand.
This post also brings up thoughts of ENDA, which I’ve been wanting to say something about for some time, but haven’t done so because it’s hard to get my little brain around what it is I want to say. I am, as I feel all people–gay, straight, genderqueer, democrat, republican, born again, etc–should feel. That excluding anyone (in this case, transgendered people) invites what, to me, is terrifying divisiveness. That anyone could be left out of some protection is to say that someone is lesser. To say that someone is lesser makes them open for not only discrimination but in a sense state-sanctioned violence (also one reason why DOMA is so problematic). It also leaves open the possibility to exclude others. In summary, I would rather ENDA did not exist at all than to have anyone left out.
In actuality the language that passed in ENDA allows people to be fired for not conforming to gender norms. With this language a woman could be fired for wearing pants, or not enough make-up; a man could be fired for long hair. Because gender norms are not specifically outlined (which they shouldn’t be, can’t be logically, and part of the reason ENDA as it stands is such a problem), it really leaves it up to the individual company to decide (which could, of course, be challenged in a court of law, but then the court would have to define gender norms, which would be a slippery slope towards further possible discrimination).
Labels bother me. I mean, Boyfriend is just human. He’s a man, but he encompasses “human” characteristics that other people don’t view as “masculine,” and his appearance can sometimes be quite androgynous. I love him. We’re good together. Labeling so often leads to “othering.” Maybe labeling is “othering.” But, this doesn’t feel like “other” to me. It feels normal. It feels right, just like everyone else in love out there. I’m reminded when we go places together. We are different. The looks we get. And Mom, I love her, but she even refuses to french braid his hair anymore. It freaks her out.
Mom never french braided my hair.