Posts Tagged ‘trans girl’

h1

My Barbara Bush Story

18 April, 2018

As so many famous people are sharing their Barbara Bush stories, I thought I would share mine. Two things you should know:

1. In 1998 Barbara Bush spoke at the Augustana College Boe Forum where she gave a talk on faith and family.

2. The exit to the Augustana cafeteria was into a hallway with two conference rooms in it.

Picture it, fall, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, nineteen hundred and ninety-eight. I was a young, trans girl not yet out but playing with presentation. My hair was long, full, and blonde.

I was eating in the cafeteria. Likely, it was granola because they served a lot of pasta and I didn’t want to gain a sophomore 30. After finishing my cereal and studying I dashed to the drop off window and then quick to the exit. Where I ran into, almost literally, two men in dark suits.

One said, “You can’t go this way.”

I said, “I have class in ten minutes.” My class was with history professor Mike Mullins who was renowned for fast spoken, straight through lectures. For the first two weeks, I didn’t even know what the man looked like (smokin’ hot, by the bye) because I never looked up from my notebook. I did not want to be late for class.

“You can’t go this way,” the dark suited man repeated.

“Oh.” I said. Then I slipped my 135 pound self between the two of them and out the double doors where I ran into, almost literally, former First Lady Barbara Bush. I dead stopped and felt my famous too-pale-for-you flush of embarrassment rise from my chest to hairline. Then I felt very heavy hands on my shoulders and left arm.

I gaped at Barbara and she glanced at me and then, to the security escorts she said, “Let her through.”

The hands released me and I dashed past Barbara Bush and down the stairs faster than Peter Cottontail out of Farm McGregor’s field. It was over an hour before I realised the matronly, conservative woman said “Let /her/ through.”

I still smile with the thrill of proper gendering when I think of this.

h1

​An Open Letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

26 October, 2016

Thank you, Mr. Paxton. Thank you for making your opinions on transgender people so clear. In a cultural climate that does not question the unfounded fears and hatred lobbed against those who are different, it is good to know we can count on you to lead a national campaign of hatred and toxic Christianity against us. Thanks in large part to your bigotry we cannot use the bathroom, we cannot get an education, and, now, we cannot even expect our health care officials to use our names and pronouns much less give us medical and psychiatric care.

Mr. Paxton, your rhetoric against us has stirred the coals of hate and fanned the flames of a national Salem witch hunt. You have declared the transgender medical condition “evil.” You use debunked pseudoscience to incite hatred and promote very non-Christ-like attitudes. You have sounded the cry of discrimination against yourself and those who believe like you, but I ask you, are you truly being discriminated against? Have transgender Americans sued the federal government to prevent you from using public accommodations? Have transgender Americans sought legal methods of stripping you of your rights? Are transgender Americans filing suits to prevent you from receiving timely, appropriate, and life saving medical care? How can you consider yourself oppressed when you are the person doing these things and more to a vulnerable population both in your home state and in your country?

Mr. Paxton, you have brought forty-three (43) suits against the government all intended to curtail or remove laws protecting one of the most discriminated against populations in the United States. You sow division and approve rhetorical methods that paint those different than you as malicious, evil, and destructive. Your rhetoric and abuse of power has turned family against family. I know because I have experienced the result of your hatred and propaganda. Your campaign against other Americans, the legal actions you have taken against us, the ads you have supported that spread lies, hold up pseudoscience, and are filked with malicious intent has twisted the thoughts and attitudes of a brother who once stood beside me into a holier-than-thou, self-satisfied bigotry. I would ask if you are pleased with this result, but we both know the answer would be yes.

We, also, know that this is not really a letter to you because even if it found its way to your door, you would not read it. This is a letter besseching my allies to take a stand against bigotry. This is a letter to encourage those whose voices have been trampled by your culture of hate. This is a letter to those still undecided, those riding the fence of public decision, those who believe they can stay neutral in the face of active hate and bigotry. Ultimately, this is a letter to my few remaining family and friends in hopes that they, too, shall not be swayed against me by the rhetoric of a tiny, fearful man with too much authority.
In relation to this article by ThinkProgress.org: 

Providing Transgender People Health Care Violates Religious Beliefs, New Lawsuit Claims

From the article:

The suit claims that even providing “psychiatric support” as part of a medical transition would violate its “best medical judgment and its religious beliefs.” Even simply providing insurance coverage for such procedures would “constitute impermissible material cooperation with evil.”

Combined with a court decision last week that justified a funeral parlor firing a trans woman for religious reasons, this lawsuit sets a terrifying precedent for transgender people. If these cases reach the Supreme Court and it follows the same reasoning it used in Hobby Lobby — perhaps less likely without Justice Antonin Scalia, but still possible— it would create a society in which transgender people could legally be denied the necessary foundations of life simply because of their identities.

h1

Grandma’s Rag Bag

30 July, 2014

My maternal Grandma is 94 years old. She grewup during the Great Depression, buried two husbands, raised three daughters, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and preached. She got her college degree when she was 80. Until this year, she lived independently in an apartment complex for senior citizens. Aside from being my Grandmother, she is, also, my Godmother. When I was little I thought she was my fairy godmother, as a teenager I could talk to her about stuff that was on my mind, and as an adult I have profound admiration for her. I still call and chat with her, not nearly as often as I should but I’m working on that.

We chatted on the phone for an hour today. Our conversations always start with her health and the weather. From there, she will tell me the latest gossip concerning the other ladies, who is mad at whom, who won the BINGO games, or who she isn’t talking with and why. She gets a little muddled sometimes and occasionally repeats herself; I think, when you’re a nonagenarian, you’ve earned the right to repeat yourself as often as you like. She tells me about growing up on a farm in the nineteen-twenties, stories from when my Mum was a girl, or about things we did when I was little. Today, we talked about Grandma’s Rag Bag.

I have warm, comforting memories of Grandma’s Rag Bag that I love to wrap myself up in like a patchwork quilt on a cold, damp day. It wasn’t an actual bag; rather, it was a big, worn pillowcase and it was stuffed fuller than Santa’s sack at sunset on Christmas Eve. Inside were old towels and shirts, pantyhose and stockings, hats and purses, and sundries containing such magic as only a fairy godmother can provide. She would pull out this bag of wonders and let me play in her bedroom with the door closed so nobody would disturb me. This special time allowed me to be anything I wanted, needed, to be. A fancy lady. A Cinderella princess. A princess-knight who slew her own dragons and rescued herself. I could be me and that was important because, as a young trans girl, I couldn’t be me anywhere else.

My Da hated that bag and I knew that. I knew there was something unspeakable about it, but I didn’t care because it was Grandma’s magic and magic is always secret. As an adult reflecting back, I have often wondered why my Da never stopped me from playing with those feminine cast-offs and hand-me-downs. He was uncomfortable with and angry about it, though I didn’t understand why, nor, to be honest, did he.

Today, Grandma told me a part of this story that I had never heard; a part she had kept secret, perhaps, to protect my safe place or, perhaps, because grandma hearts are mysterious and know when the time for telling is. My Da had come to pick me up and opened the bedroom door. I, hosiery pulled up over my denim jeans, too-large floppy hat drooping over my eyes, and purse hanging from my arm, was too enraptured in being myself to notice. But, he noticed and was furious, as my Grandma says, fit to hit the ceiling. He turned and said to her, No boy of mine is going to walk around dressed like a girl.My Da is a six foot, broad-shouldered, farmraised man. He is imposing and my Grandma, four foot nine and plump, is not, but she stood her ground and told him to “sit down and shut-up.” She told him this was my time at her house and she didn’t see anything wrong with what I was doing. He told her, “But, you have to make him mind.” My short, feisty Grandma told him I was minding, because she had told me to play and that was what I was doing. And nothing more was said on the matter.

Grandma tells me this over the phone and cannot see the tears welling in my eyes. I tell her I love her. She says, “You don’t even know how much I love you. You are my Granddaughter and my Goddaughter and you are so precious to me.” She is my fairy godmother and her love is transformative.