So ENDA Passed the senate. what now?

I’m happy to see that the senate has chosen to pass the employment non-discrimination act. The process the bill underwent has already told us two things about the current congress: The attitude towards LGBT people as a whole has greatly improved, but the tea party will use this change as a wedge issue to keep house republicans in line.

The last time we tried to pass ENDA, it died in the senate. That failure not only demonstrates how different the current senate is, but also how individual senators have changed.

lets take a minute to talk about Senator Barney Frank. In 2007, the democratic senator from Massachusetts  separated the gender identity protection from the bill.

I believe that a strategy of going forward with a transgender inclusive provision, that would certainly be stricken at some point in the procedure by a vote in the House, would be a mistake.

This move is a sad reminder that the majority of the LGBT community – the minority-majority of gays and lesbians – have been willing to overlook the transgender community to secure their own rights; we can still see this when facing the issue of transgender service members. While DADT was fiercely fought by all members of the LGBT community, we have heard much less support for transgender rights in the military. The relationship between the LGB and the T has been largely formed out of convenience.

Thankfully this seems to be changing. Not only are organizations like the Human Rights Campaign dedicating more resources to fight for transgender equality, but the same senators that allowed the removal of transgender protections in ENDA have changed their tune.

Where do we need to go? We need to create a lot more empathy for transgender Americans. Back to Barney Frank.

As the only openly gay member of the senate, I would hope that Frank would recognize two things. One, he doesn’t really need to worry about reelection anymore. and two, its up to him to champion LGBT rights in the senate. And while he has put in some leg work, he still worries me as being quick to turn on the trans community. He has been especially reluctant to back public accommodations for transgender individuals and parroted trans-phobic attitudes surrounding the issue.

Sadly, I am sure ENDA will not survive the house. Any Republican who votes for this act will be putting themselves in the right’s cross-hairs. Because issues regarding LGBT rights make for an easy tool to rally up conservative electorates, I don’t think many Republicans will risk the bill. I would like to believe that many would  if not for threat of primary challengers.

The Republican party can no longer focus on it’s long term survival as a party. Rather than reflect public opinion and win more races, republicans have chosen to attack and unseat senators and congressmen for personal gain. If a candidate can find the financial backing – which is easier than every – then he can be a primary challenger.

Republican politics is no longer a machine; elections are an open field and marked by chaos and mass appeals.

The democratic electorate still has a framework. There are institutions to work through like city wards and unions. Traditional machine politics still works in democratic hubs. Rank and file matters.

But the republican party can’t keep things straight at the highest levels. John Boehner is constantly under attack from congressman in his own party who want his job as Speaker of the House. Republicans no longer have the concentrated will they need to succeed.

That’s why I think, as it currently exists, the Republican party is terminal.

Until something changes though, governance is going be become far more difficult. I also believe that ENDA will require the democrats to force it down the tea party’s throat.

looks like the Dems could use some of that old-fashioned GOP willpower.

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“It” / “Abuse”

This is a great project that can make a help difference for the Transgender community, and the LGBTAQ community as a whole. Her is some more on it:
“Through Her Eyes, is the emotional story of a young transgender women, as she struggles with her gender identity, and the unwelcoming society she lives in.

Its written to take you through a day in the life of a trans women, from waking up and getting ready – through to going outside and dealing with the public – to friends, dating, and dyshporia. It shot mostly from the perspective of the trans* person. The audience will see, through her eyes, the looks she gets on the street and the comments she has to endure. Whilst the whole time being narrated by her thoughts”

through her eyes

“It” / “Abuse”

This is me, Lily – The organiser of the film.

This photo was taken just as I arrived back from a production meeting for the film. I don’t look very feminine: by this point I had been on the go for 14 hours, mostly working on the film. My hair is just casually tied back, I’m wearing minimal makeup, casual old clothes… All in all, not passing very well.

Even with all this in mind, you are still taken by surprise when the abuse comes.

It’s almost too perfect, is it not? Trans* women, is on her way home from a meeting for a film about trans* abuse.. and then suffers abuse herself.

Somehow the bittersweet timing of the whole thing, did still manage to reach me, as I blocked out the sound of guy shouting

‘WHAT IS IT??’
‘FUCKING TRANNY, IF THAT’S A BOY, I WILL…

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I have no voice – a Poem

So I wrote a poem. This is not something I think I am particularity good at, so no harsh judgement please. I will try and post more later. I wrote this about my struggle to find a female voice. This is something that has held me back and caused me a great deal of insecurity. This poem just came to me after thinking about my voice problems; the process of making it made me feel so much better.

When you read this poem, there are four ways to read it (really one way that requires reading it four times). First in the order it is written, then, backwards from last line to top, then reading the second part of each verse first, and then reading it backwards reading the second part of each verse first. It think that’s kinda cool. anyway:

“I have no voice”

I am sad that I have no Voice, even though I did speak today.

My tone is still not my choice, when I have so much to say.

I hesitate to open my lips, for the reason nothing will sound real.

Just like the void in-between my hips, my voice will never sound as I feel.

~Emily S.

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I’ll be back

I promise I’ll start posting again. I’ve just been really busy and dealing with my problems in ways other than writing about them. Everything has been going great. I’ll get into things in a more detailed post. I am currently trying out a new project as well – http://transinformative.com/

 

Thanks,

Emily

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So, I’ve kinda Been Away for a While.

Last month, I had about a million different thins all causing me stress. well, a couple of weeks ago they have pretty much come to a resolution. I have been really busy, had a couple of depressing  and happy weeks, but have mainly been unsure of my feelings and locked out of my writing mindset. Today i’m back to talk about my life over the last few weeks.

So the big thing that happened, in brief, is that school started. With the advent of class, my housing situation came to a dramatic climax. My parents reneged on their previous decision on letting me live in a single apartment off campus due to money issue and informed me about two weeks ago that they would need me to live in on campus housing. Upon hearing this, I had a panic attack and broke down because I knew I couldn’t live in a room with three random guys. I felt trapped, like there was no way out. the day before, my phone had been destroyed so I was even more isolated. I decided to go to my friends house, borrow her phone, and tell my parents that I am transgender.

I told my mom first. She said she didn’t really understand and that she would support me no matter what. she also let me know that my dad would be up the next day to help me out. She then told my dad, who claimed he always knew there was something up with me.

I’ve had several conversations with my parents since then. They claim they will wholeheartedly support my transition so long as I see a therapist and include them heavily in the decision making process. I’m thankful they will love me, son or daughter, but I am disturbed with the amount of control they want over my body, the doubt they have expressed about my gender dysphoria, and their request to be able to speak to my therapist.

other than that, I love my classes for once, am starting as a reporter for the school paper, have made a lot of great new friends though school programs, connected with member of the LGBT community, become stronger in my transition, and finally feel like I am doing good in the schools community.

~Emily

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I’m Back: 4.5mo/ HRT, End of Depressing Weeks, Optimism in High Gear

I am back to writing and blogging after taking a long break. The two weeks after I got back to DC had been some of the most stressful in my life, due to factors both within and out of my control.

It all started with the destruction of my bike and the unnecessary expenses of getting a new one. A day after getting a new bike, I had my tires blow out and needed to deal with that. This was coupled with the building stress of how little money I’ve put away. It looks like I will maybe have saved 2 to 3 thousand dollars this summer. I have a great paying job and have forgone going out and cooked all my own meals; I’ve also saved  ton of money being vegetarian ( for the most part). But it has been bothering me that I only managed to save about half as much as I’d hoped. I really want to have FFS as soon as possible after becoming full time, and having a lot saved up will really help make that happen. I have also had a hell of time finding a  place to live; my sublet runs out in 6 days. And of course I had been pretty dysphoric about my body lately and was disillusioned with my progress in electrolysis. All of this weighted heavily on me while I felt like my relationships with my friends were being strained and I was being left out gatherings as well. But the one thing that pushed me down even more than my voice or dealing with stress at work was when I thought that my ex (and like best female friend) and one of my best friends were messing around behind my back. I was left pretty depressed for about two weeks – fighting back tears as I spoke to customers at work. This all weighted heavily on me due to my hormones also getting knocked out of balance.

But after all the bullshit, I have emerged feeling better and more in control of my life. I have pretty much locked down a place to live, reconnected with my friends, spread my circle of trust, come to really like this new bike, and noticed some real changes brought on by hormones. One or two of my friends blabbing to everyone that I’m trans, which  has been trying to my patience, but I’ve found I’m not getting too worked out over it. I’ve really missed writing over the last few days. all of my drafts were super depressing and I’ve tried to keep the tone of this blog positive; I have plenty of depressing writings from the earlier days of my transition.

When I sit down and think about it, I have so much to be happy for. granted, of course it sucks being transgender. But, the constant feeling of wrongness and every little thing trying to bring you down lets me really take a time to appreciate the beautiful aspects of life and enjoy my relationships with people. When I look at how my friends have adjusted the way they treat me to make me feel like my proper gender, I can really admire the beauty of humanity. Rather than focusing on all the way my life could be worse. I have had the chance to be thankful for what I do have. Great friends, good education, loving parents,  a high paying job – all positives. While I may get down in he dumps occasionally, I’m trying to stay happy and look forward. I’m so excited to have my own place to live where I can have a space where I can do all the things I never could before. I think that will prove to be very emotionally and mentally soothing.

I have a lot of more substantive stuff I want to write about, I’ll try an get on that later. Hopefully I’ll have more time after I get a new place.

~Emily

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RIP Biancha the bike, 1986-2013

Well, the guys at the bike shop tried, but the frame damage done to my bike was to extensive to fix- she’s permanently out of alignment. I haven’t really felt like writing, but I’ve got some stuff brewing inside me I need to get out. I’m still trying to find a place to live, optimistic about apartments in looking at tomorrow. I bought a new bike off Craigslist so I can get around, I fixed her up a little and am still thinking of a name. It’s an old Carbondale SR500.

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Just a Quick News Update

So I’ve come out to a quadrillion people tonight, and so far NOBODY HAS BEEN ANYTHING BUT SUPPORTIVE OF ME!!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!

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My beautiful bike, Cut down in her pride, and other shit that’s happened

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someone thought it would be cool to kick in the back wheel of my bike

My Bianchi Premio’s Aluminum rear wheel has been destroyed.

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In addition to this, some of my friends told people I was trans, who told people I was trans…. so I’ve just starting coming out to people. One of these people, and I don’t even know how he knows, tried to out me one my Facebook wall. But at least 90% of people have been totally supportive and are already treating me well 🙂 But over all, kinda of a rough time, I’ll post more later. I still have no idea where the hell I’m going to live.
~Emily
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My Visit Back Home So Far: A Tango of Peace and Stress

I haven’t been home in about 7-8 months. So far after being home one day, I’ve realized how much I’ve missed it. I’m been having fun, frank conversations with my mother. My dad hasn’t been hassling either. unfortunately I’ve also learned what has been happening in my absence. I’ll cover the bad before the good.

After a long walk with my mom, I’ve come to understand that my families money problems are worse than I’d imagined. Let me start by saying I had a damn cushy childhood. Raised in a expansive gated community, I never really knew what it was like to not have money for something when I was younger. My Parents paid more for my elementary school and most American pay for their college. Today my mom told me she might need to sell my car to keep me in school; her company is paying her 12% less this year.

“Its so much harder now, there was always just so much money”

I’m not trying to complain, but this has really shaken up my life. My parents want to move me back into on campus housing so that they can put off my housing payments. But as someone who is in transition, the thought of living with a random group of male roommates is horrifying. So now I find myself searching frantically for a cheap place to live or somebody seeking a roommate who I could live with. I’ve adopted a lot of responsibility this summer, taking a grand total of zero dollars from my parents. however, I am being thrust into a new and stressful situation. Anyway, this has been on my mind and has been wearing me out.

The happy times. My Mom and I made dinner together and we’ll be doing it again. We made bruschetta and paninis. The paninis were good, but sadly the bruschetta was a bit bland. The garlic we had was pretty worthless and the tomatoes surprisingly devoid of flavor. The wine was good though, Bolla,  a nice inexpensive Chianti.  Tomorrow I’ll be making enchiladas. Our conversations have been wonderful and I feel so much more at peace around home. Even though I am not out to them, its clear that I have changed mentally and emotionally for the better. I have mellowed out and reorganized my priorities. I am now confident that my parents will accept me for who I am. I desperately want to tell them now, but I think I should wait until they visit me in August.

Hopefully things will turn out well. I’m so thankful to have a loving, whole family. Even thought this is a stressful time, I will learn from it and grow. I am still very fortunate.

~Emily

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