Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sticks and Stones Can Break My Bones But ...

There is this old sentiment that states the following.

"Sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me."

Whether this is an American sentiment only or something recognized in most countries ,regardless of language, it's meaning is clear. Basically turn the other cheek rather than physically fighting back when words are used against you. There was once some truth and validity to this statement back when many of us fought for racial equality in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's. It was easy for those of us that were not black because they called is n-word lovers and that horrible word was not meant directly for us. I know how badly it hurt my best friend Karen, the girl who guided me through college and became my lifetime friend.

The problem has always been that those words do "really" hurt and for those of us that were unfortunately born transsexual it can be a life or death moment if you are a child when certain words are used against you. I think it was coined by the person doing the bone breaking and stone throwing, just kidding, because it should read like this.

"Sticks and stones can break my bones but names can hurt me for a lot longer."
As young children, pre-teens, or as teens we are invisible because what we are is unseen even if we are effeminate or not. There is not something as silly as skin color that labels one as transsexual. Being born a minority based on skin color is a life-time experience and something I will never live through and those of us with a brain realize the stupidity of its very basis because under the skin we are all the same mesh of bones, flesh, and brain cells. It does hurt when the n-word is used against a person of color and particularly if it is a child and we as a society are appalled by such actions.

You cannot eliminate hatred or stupidity because laws cannot prevent the ignorance of others but we as a people try and that ignorance wains over time because a child does not hate by his very nature. Children are far more malleable and willing to understand others than adults are willing to admit. Children are taught to hate by their parents and other kids are taught to hate by friends that were polluted by their parents. It is a vicious cycle of hatred but as a society we have changed and calling a child of color a racial slur is about as close to personal suicide as one can get. The public outcry over any racial slur costs jobs and positions of power, as it should, but I have a question and it is simple.

Since when did transsexual children, preteens, and teenagers become fair game for every derisive and nasty comment from "pervert" to "predator" and worse?  Where is the public outrage over what has been said about "Jane Doe" in Florence Colorado? Where is the outrage over the unsubstantiated claims by the Pacific Justice Institute where they openly lied about a fully transitioned child that was just trying to fit in? Why do they try and link kids to the older transgender loons like Francis and nary a word is heard in protest about that from your average Transgender Activist?

The simple and accurate truth is that nobody was upset by this child or any other child like her because kids like this are only a threat to themselves. She was fully integrated into her new school and was bothering nobody and there is not a single wingnut on this planet that could have identified her as having been born a boy unless it was pointed out by another wingnut. All of this because an obvious girl used the girl's room as she should.

Now Jane Doe will be subjected to more scrutiny because the Florence Colorado School Board will be taking up the issue. The Pacific Justice Institute (sic) will garner more fodder for fund-raising among their wingnut constituency. Nobody will ever be able to convince me that this is not as much about her lesbian parents as it is about Jane Doe yet these lesbian parents have received no support from certain individuals within the lesbian community because they helped their child survive by allowing her to transition and be the girl she should have been. Kind of an odd position for a group of women whose aim is to be as mannish as possible but it does take all kinds.

In a clear example of hatred makes strange bedfellows we have the supposedly Christian Pacific Justice Institute and the wingnuts in the radical feminist movement working together to hurt a child. In what amounts to pure irony we have an anti-lesbian group and a radical feminist lesbian group trying to destroy the life of a 16 year old teenager. Congratulations because low has a new low and both of you reached it in lockstep. A proper salute seems in order and I can think of one that fits.

Words nearly killed me and those words first came from adults who claimed to be competent Psychiatrists. When you know you are a girl and everyone around says you are not, life can be tenuous. Words made me attempt suicide not the physical abuse.

Words can also help you and that is their true power but they are rarely used for that in today's world. The words of a brother who accepted me as a girl and his sister started saving me and then the words of Harry Benjamin set me free. The words of a mother that said she would always love me, regardless meant more than can be expressed. The words of a boy that smashed down my walls and saw me as the girl I was and who thought more of me than of his own well being were as they say, priceless.

The kind words of a young woman named Karen who was asked to look after this shy and timid girl that was entering college at 15 were priceless even if she was not quite complete yet. Her acceptance and friendship were what helped me get through the loss of that boy in Southeast Asia. Her girlfriends became my girlfriends and I never had a single major issue in college.

It was a simpler time and for that I am grateful because today social media can obliterate lives and it is used that way. There will always be issues when a transsexual transitions young because for safety reasons it needs to be done both somewhat openly and also as quietly as possible. It is a difficult balancing act and whenever we have issues with other kids it is almost always their parents and we have simply arranged for them to meet the child and her parents. That sounds simplistic but sometimes keeping it simple works best because the children themselves are their own best advocates. Looking into the tear stained face of a young girl rarely fails to elicit a kind response and it was more often than not the father. On several occasions alternative action was necessary and was taken.

Initially our kids used a separate bathroom because that was how it was done then but eventually the other girls they became friends with would take them to the girl's room because that was where they belonged. The simple fact is you always follow the rules setup by the school and the school district because child safety comes first.

This is the face of a young girl with her girlfriends and it is a happy face and their is warmth and joy in her eyes or for that matter all of their faces and eyes. It is girls being girls and Jane is just another girl. You cannot manufacture that or Photoshop that because that is a happy young girl.

Unfortunately the "words" of others have changed her face and I would wager it has incredibly sad eyes and never smiles and it is just because she was born transsexual and her life as she knew it and wanted it to be are essentially finished if she stays in this High School because bullies decided she was a good target for their fund raising efforts and others jumped on because that is basically what they do.

The parents are also going to be suffering because they thought they did everything the right way. They did actually but sometimes "right" is not enough and ignorance wins out or in this case stupidity and pure hatred. I have been where Jane is right now and the despair, hurt, and loneliness can where away at you very existence and suicide seems like an option but it is not because the assholes win.

Of Jane was capable of it I would take her to that School Board Meeting and force them to look her in the eye and that includes the Pacific Justice(Hate) Institute and the complaining parents faces plus I would load that meeting with both kids and adults that support her because she needs that support.

Sometimes words said to a child or about a child can result in permanent harm. Let us all pray that is not the case here.


Anonymous said...

I recall the taunts of "poofter" at school and they were usually backed up by a physical attack in a remate corner of the school grounds. Why do these guys think beating up another kid who basically is incapable of defending themselves makes them look big and tough? It just makes them look like the idiot bully they are and it is usually a group too seldom just one on one. The beatings hurt, of course they did but I recovered from them. It was the verbal taunts that did far more permanent damage and those scars took a lifetime to recover from. The verbal abuse and the alienation from my peers. I became a loner and an outcast unable to socialise. I felt threatened using the toilets at school. It was a boys only school and using the girls was not an option. I only used the stalls and always sat it never occurred to me to stand. When I was older I avoided public toilets period! On rare occasions there was no option I'd wait until there was no one present. If I encountered someone on the way in while I excited there were some very shocked expressions.

All this kind of thing does is to make worse what is a very traumatic but necessary part of this girls existence. The need to deal with natural bodily functions with physical equipment with which you find abhorrent is a bad enough experience. What this girl is being put through merely makes a bad situation far worse. The psychological damage is immense and will likely take her years to overcome.

There are actually two families who allegedly written to the school and their concerns are being discussed to find a solution. There was a complaint made to police presumably by the parents but the girls themselves refused to co-operate with the police and any action has been dropped. This should tell you something about the reality of the situation as far as her school friends are concerned. What we are seeing is a clear case of ignorant prejudice fueled by religious doctrine and ignorant bigotry. There is no other explanation.


Black Swan said...

I was at the Veterans Park in Redondo Beach this morning and I was going to begin writing this down and I opened this fortune cookie from last nights post dinner date at Chin Chin that said, "Just be yourself; you are wonderful." It had the usual meaningless lotto numbers attached. I had my guitar playing and thinking of last nights post coital exercise review with boyfriend, walking off my hi-pro glow, which don't happen that often. A girl has to take what she can get out of this life. My Grandfather was right, "Its a rich man's war and a poor girls fight." Remembering grandpa's army service at the memorial.

As I was making ready to hammer out some prose I noticed that my iPad wasn't in my bag. I felt a sense of panic the rues my day, an 'Oh Shit' moment was coming. Heading back to where my car was parked at double time pass, but not enough to raise suspicions to my athleticism. It's like every time I open a door. I could just throw it open with out a problem but women are supposed to be weaker so I give a perfunctory 'grunt' and look like I'm struggling. Faced passed, heart beating; a panic attach was settling in. I always remember why. This panic attack was very sever. Memories of a broken chile; a mending woman.

This is where the story will begins.

There was this child that was brutally beaten by his father and abandoned by his mother. One beating in epic proportions that sparked the attention of an angelic being. "Move your hands," the father continued, "so I can hit you." The child was protecting its head, so the father, out of anger or frustration, bound the child's hands and hung the innocent on the wall. The child's face only showed fear, like a condemned prisoner approaching the chopping block and screaming, primal screams; no one would help; or could help. This always happens in private. The physical violence; only gore porn for the aficionados who adore corporal punishment. One single audible cry for "help me please!" Then silence.

The child was forever changed after that. Not a lot of people know what it feels like to be angry, to your core. I mean, they understand, teachers and counselors piled hi deeps in thought, everybody understands, for awhile. Then they want that angry little kid to do something they know it can't do, move on. So after awhile they stop understanding. They send the broken child to a special house with people who have lots of letters behind their names. You have to learn how to hide your feelings, practice acceptable behavior in the mirror. Its a mask.

Bullets and bad words are like fire, rust and explosion; the same process at different speeds. Bad words hurt for life.