Friday, July 31, 2009

What is Transition mean to me?

Transition will mean many things to many people, so bare with me as I describe what it means to me.

From Wikipedia:
“Transitioning is the process of changing genders - the idea of what it means to be female or male. For transsexuals, the new gender is "opposite" that of birth sex; for intersex people it is different from how they were raised; for genderqueer people it is neither solely female nor male.”

For me it is the journey we all take in our lives to discover who we are and how we will handle things in our future. Transition is not all about the process of just changing genders or taking the final step toward SRS. It is so much more than that. It’s a process, a process that may start 2, 5, 10 or even more years before even getting to the point of SRS. And in my option, transition does not stop after those final surgeries. This journey we go through will take us to so many places deep within ourselves, some will be dark and others will shine a light that gives clarity to many misunderstood thoughts and feelings you may have had in the past. This clarity is an important part of transition, because without it we may get ahead of ourselves and jump into something before we are ready to take the correct steps.

This journey took me to many dark places because I resented that fact I could no longer play with the other girls when I got to a certain age. If I didn’t play with the boys I was looked down upon because “boys” don’t play with the girls. You must stay in the male pack. I hated my body in my teens as it changed with more masculine features. I was envious of the girls around me because I felt I should have been growing and socializing right along with them. Yet my body was forcing me in a different direction then I wanted to go. To survive, I immersed myself in other things such as music and drawing, but those things really never could relieve the torture I felt inside. To add to the pain, I knew I could not tell anyone because I knew that if I didn’t even understand what I was feeling no one would either. On top of that, I knew I would me mocked and labeled a freak. All of us at this age (teens) are trying to fit in somewhere, and to be left outside of a group was to live a lonely life.

Without the knowledge or resources we have today with the internet and so many other places of support, life for me looked rosy on outside, but very cloudy on the inside. I only mention the above to make a point. The point being that because of that journey (painful or happy side), it eventually led to moments of clarity. The search for knowledge began as the internet began to emerge. I always wondered why I felt I was meant to be a girl? Why dressing made some of those sad feeling go always, but only for a moment. Why did I still feel something was missing? Why? So many whys went unanswered most of my life.

I tell most people that I’ve been transitioning for the last 15 or so years. It could have been even long if you consider the whole journey apart of transition. But it was about then when the internet emerged and I slowly found answers to some of the burning questions I’ve always had. In every new peace of knowledge I grew. I grew to better understand my thoughts and feelings. I grew to know myself better. I was finally able to cut away some of those barriers I’ve built up so long ago to protect myself from harm. The barriers that held me back from being authentic to me and others. I began the journey of self discovery. Slowly the clarity in my mind began to shine a light on the path that I knew I needed to follow. The clarity of self acceptance was the biggest stumbling block, because at first I didn’t want to admit I may be a transsexual. I was afraid of what that would mean to me and the family I now had. It took a while, but the more I read and compared it to my past and present, the more I realized that this was never going away. The more I realized this, I could finally declare to myself that this is who I am and trim away the shame I attached to it for so long. It also helped to know I was not the only one out there. I soon learned that there are many that have traveled down this path and did something about it and are much happier for it today. I wanted to be one of those people that were happy with themselves and life.

Since I got serious about my transition, I am happier which makes the hard time more bearable. With each step I take toward my goals, the light shines even brighter. Even though the transition is not complete, I now know in my heart that this is the right thing for me. Complete. Hmmm, I wonder if anyone can ever call a transition complete, because the discoveries won’t stop after going full time. And they sure won’t stop after SRS, at least that’s what I believe. Maybe I can settle on that a step in the transition will be complete:)

So after all this rambling, what is transition? Well, it’s a journey of self discovery that for some will never end, but with each turn in that journey you’ll discover new and wonderful things about yourself and life in general. It’s a process that’s not made for everyone, but for the select few who go through the process it can be a life changing experience. So take a very close at yourself and find where your journey will take you.

And by the way, what does transition mean to you?
Hugs Michelle

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Lateisha Green Murder Trial (Update to my last post)

Well, yesterday after posting my note I read the blog from TLDEF on the trial. It seemed odd to me that some of the witnesses where suddenly forgetting what they had said in police interviews, even suggesting that they were just saying yes to what the police told them about the case because he was scared of the police.
In today Syracuse paper there (and a mention in today's TDLEF blog) that witnesses were being threatened by friend of the murderer. After reading this everything I read yesterday made since. they tell the police one thing during the night of the interviews, they receive threats, then try to change what they said or somehow blame it on the police when they testify. This ASS plays dirty. I truly hope he does not get away with this. I'm not sure how this would normally work, should they put the trial on hold, investigate the treats and charge the offenders and bring it up in this trial, or do they do the investigation after this trial is over? However it should work, this stinks me BAD. What did this fool think he was doing? This just makes him look so much more guilty then before.
What do you all think?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some things are getting out of hand

Some of you may be aware of an upcoming trial of Dwight DeLee which begins July 13. He’s accused of murdering Lateisha "Teish" Green with a rifle outside a house party in Syracuse, NY. Teish was a 22 year old transitioning transwomen. Teisha was sitting in a car with her younger brother Mark while attending a party when Dwight DeLee came over to the car with a rifle and fired his weapon. Dwight DeLee is alleged to have made a number of hate remarks about Teisha and her gender presentation and sexual orientation at the party. Her brother was injured during the attack, but Teish was mortally wounded and was pronounced dead at the hospital. I feel that our community must stay on top of this case just as we did in Angie Zapata.
I’m not sure what the deal is lately but I have noticed attacks on trans people on the rise. Even closer to home we had two attacks within a month of each other. Luckily these women survived.

From On Top Magazine:
Two men face up to 15 years behind bars for assaulting a transgender woman in Queens, New York on Wednesday, NY1 reported.
Carmella Etienne says she was pelted with rocks and beer bottles by Nathaniel Mims, 25, of the Bronx, and Rosheed Thomas, 22, of Queens.
The 22-year-old aspiring fashion designer says the men called out homophobic slurs at her – and threatened to kill her – as they attacked her.
“I was being attacked because of who I am,” Etienne, who was treated for a large cut to her leg, told the New York Daily News.
“I'm pretty traumatized,” she added.
Thomas admits to the name calling but says the victim did not see him throw anything, according to prosecutors. The two men were arraigned on Friday.
The incident comes on the heels of a nearby Jackson Heights assault where a transgender woman was beaten by two men with a belt buckle. Thirty-year-old Leslie Moran says her attackers repeatedly called her “faggot” in Spanish as they beat her. Two men, Trinidad Tapia, 19, and Gilberto Ortiz, 32, have been charged with assault in the second degree. The transgender rights group Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) and other advocates have urged authorities to charge the men with hate crimes enhancements.
“There's mounting concern in the community and anger at the violence and prejudice,” Brendan Fay, a leader in the LGBT community in Queens, told the paper. “Clearly these aren't isolated incidents.”

We're sad to bring you the news of another brutal attack on a transgender woman, this one coming during the height of LGBT Pride month. On June 19, 2009, at approximately 2:30 am, Leslie Mora was walking home from a nightclub on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens when she was accosted by two men who brutally beat her with a belt. They stopped only when a passing motorist threatened to call the police. Throughout the attack, Leslie’s assailants called her a “faggot” in Spanish. The attack left Leslie with multiple injuries, including bruises all over her body, and stitches in her scalp. Police called to the scene found Leslie nearly naked and bleeding on the sidewalk. They also recovered a belt buckle from the assailants that was covered in blood.

On top of that the Queen District attorney is refusing to prosecute this case as a hate crime. WTF! How many trans people must be attacked or even murdered before our government takes this seriously? The media does not help in most cases either with their biased reporting (or no reporting at all) of the cases. I’ve seen too many reports where wrong pronouns are used or just refusing to report their correct gender identity. Teish’s case is a prime example of terrible reporting. In the first reports out on the murder the paper in Syracuse referred to Teish as he or man throughout the news article. People, she has been fulltime since she was 16.
I don’t know what it will take, but our society has to change. Transgender people have been around since the beginning of time, and that’s not going to change. We have been silenced for far too long. One thing I do see as a positive, is that trans people are making their mark on our society in positive ways. We are SLOWLY making turns for the better in our own lives and I believe it’s come mostly through positive education. Positive episodes such as 20/20, CNN, and a few others have made their mark. Also laws in some states have changed for the better. All this has changed because of people like you and I. We must make our voices heard and speak out against the injustice that we see in our daily lives. It will only get better if we can make our voices heard. Without our voice and our stories, the world will continue to leave us behind. For me, that is not acceptable.