How do we get to a place of mutual understanding?

I hate to keep going over an issue that really seems to get little coverage on transgender blogs but,when you have first hand experiences that affect you in personal ways it’s something worth mentioning.

What you say am I talking about? it’s the distance between the lgb and the T as much as anyone wants to say that we are somehow in locked arm on issues that concern us all it’s really just an illusion,with most Gay people and particular,those on the male end of the spectrum.

They really have about as much understanding of Transgender persons for the most part as Cis people do.While this isn’t true for all, it tends to be more than not.My peronal dealings with a great many of them,leaves me feeling that they are for the most part a very self centered group of people intrested in moving their own interests forward regardless of what is truly the civil rights movement of our time.

I don’t make these claims lightly  it’s the culmination of years of interaction with gay men,I don’t however find this to be true of  the lesbian community,guess it’s just a girl thing,can’t pin that down for sure,but they just seem more tolerant than their Male counterparts.

Most of you who have followed me for any length of time know that this has been an issue that has had a cumulative part of forming my way of thinking in regards to the LGB—-    T,experience .

Personally I find a gap that lacks very much respect in most of the male gay community  and those of us who are Transgender definitely the struggle is much different for lots of obvious reasons.

I don’t expect this gap t close anytime soon as the goals are far apart,in reality.

As for me I will try my best to close the gaps between all people regardless of their preferences in life.

But I often find some of the LGB   T community out of sync with the real goals of humanity at large.

thanks to all

Butterfly

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Septembers saturday night post

transformationWell as I have spent sometime today finally updating my windows seven device to windows 10, I began to reflect on a time when I had no concept of the internet or the working’s of a PC.

I harkened back to when my Son first encouraged me to purchase a computer in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s,at the time it was a frightening and very strange thing to me, a foreign concept that I only feared because of my ignorance of something I had absolutely no knowledge of.

We assessed  what we thought my needs were at the time and he ordered and had sent to me a marvelous new thing that I   only looked at for a few days and then began assembling it per the instructions,once hooked up again I just looked at this electric monster afraid that if I turned it on I would somehow destroy it instantly.

Via phone conversations with my son I was finally convinced that I could in fact turn this behemoth on and not destroy it with my ignorance.

So forge ahead I did only to open up a grand new world of information that would eventually ,render knowledge that I wasn’t crazy and that there was an explanation to my condition.

I wasn’t nut’s or going out of my mind,I was gaining the knowledge I needed to heal a life long struggle I had no way of learning about it until this point.

And learn I did I must have and still do seek out understanding of my life ,the pain and the part’s I seemed to understand but not fully.

It eventually led me to seek the treatment I desperately needed to end my, in and out desires to end my life out of the total confusion my condition seemed to leave me in,at many junctures of life.It opened doors I would have never gone through without out this fabulous tool,I had now discovered.

And so with this and my very Happy new life I say to you all who have been beside in my journey ,God bless you all and many thanks for your undying love.

Back soon Butterfly

The Invisible Man

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While I have made no secret that it is my desire to enter into a life relationship with a man,I’m reminded by my dear friend Cyrsti that I have embarked on what will likely be a long difficult and maybe impossible journey.I’m sure you all remember my disastrous last  experience with Craigslist not knowing much about  posting a personal there I got a very good education into the way most men perceive girls like me,I know that  the image they in general see comes from viewing porn sites and dreaming of what could be. Few I wager have ever given any thought to what a true transgender is all about they rely on their very skewed image that comes from not the  greatest of sources on the subject. I learned early on that transgender dating sites are no place to look as I always end up with the same type I last encountered  with my first Craigslist debacle. When I ask that they send a picture I had no idea that I would end up viewing so many mens private parts. It was easy to know which head these fellows were thinking with, not saying I didn’t find it somewhat flattering that so many found me attractive enough to have those desires but it just isn’t me to seek out sexual encounters with  every Tom ,Dick and Harry, I’m looking for something more , a cerebral connection  that makes a connection with their heart, not just with what their heart makes throb if you know what I mean. I do want intimacy I’d be remiss to say otherwise but  I have the patience to wait for someone very special  to make an entrance to my life.I thought armed with some experience now with Craigslist I would try again with a much refined list of desires, I may find myself lonely for a great while if the past couple of weeks are any indication,I have however made a connection with a nice fellow interested in being friends and having honest conversations with me It’s a start and I at least have found someone I’m able to honestly share with if nothing else it renews my faith that there are men of decency in this world with the patience to listen. I may indeed end up some old spinster but not for lack of trying I assure you. I know it’s asking a great deal  of the world to have my path cross with a soul mate but I just can’t bring myself to think it is completely out of the realm of possibility. In all my years I never gave up on myself so I’m not giving up on humanity either,I feel in my heart that I have been preparing for this all my life and that it WILL come to me. Meanwhile I’m seeking the invisible man or least one of the rarest of men on the planet.

Butterfly

Guarded Acceptance

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I have spoken on other posts about being accepted by people but I’m still having problems with the level of acceptance I receive from my son  while he accepts me in private when others cannot find out it’s fine but in his words this is my reality and it shouldn’t affect him in his relationships with others.

It all makes my head want to explode,his stand on this prohibits us from having a “normal” relationship we can no longer go to a football game or basketball game together because we might be seen and questions may arise if someone who knows him or both of us would happen to see us.Noting that there may not be any such thing as a normal relationship with a transgender. I can no longer participate in holiday gatherings with them,because being who I am is far too controversial for these situations,essentially I’m just unable to be part of his life anymore.

While I understand he doesn’t wish to be taken out of his comfort zone for the likes of me I find it an untenable situation and don’t find this to be acceptance at all.

He doesn’t read these posts as he wishes to just keep thinking of me as I was in his youth,he won’t friend me on facebook as this too would move him from his comfort level,because people would ask questions,I do not live my life in hiding it is open to all who choose to face me he could easily just say please speak to her about this.

I can’t discuss with him the most intimate details of my life without him making an excuse to end the conversation,I have great things happening in my life now and can’t share them with him it’s most frustrating,he will likely be the last one to know I’m getting married and moving away to live with my husband.

I am at wits end with this whole thing,but will honor his wishes if he chooses not to participate in my life accept at arms length it is his choice,so I feel I will just move on without his blessing.

My happiness is at stake in this as well and he should realize I can’t give up my dreams and my life to make him comfortable always.

Rejected Butterfly

Why?

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I am repeatedly ask by people why did you wait so long to transition,I have ask myself the same question a thousand times,I can only guess that like most people like me I thought that if I practiced “immersion therapy” I could cure what seemed to be wrong in my life.I like most trans women of my age group thought that by immersing myself in in the hyper-masculine world I  would be somehow magically cured that it would rub off on my psyche and cure the fact that in reality I was a woman,But with little support and few coping skills the whole sharad only proved to be a complete failure and things just continually got worse all my life not better or less confusing but more and more the focus of my everyday thoughts.It wasn’t until around 17 years ago when I met my last wife and shared from the beginning who I was with her and she in turn was not only supportive but with her love and everyday help I began to feel emboldened and the fog I lived under began to clear I saw a more clear path to  the person I needed to become to finally have some sense of peace in my life and really begin to grow again.

This question of why is not easily answered even with my limited knowledge of who I really am I’m a work in progress and likely will be for the rest of my life,I think that is really true for all people not just those of us with gender Identity issues.Even still though the disconnect between one’s spirit and body leaves you feeling isolated,depressed and alone at best  but as you traverse this vast uncharted area that lays before you you do pick up new skills and learn as you go, that the journey to join your spirit and body is worth whatever hardships befall you.

I’m sure that for many who have never had to struggle with  identity issues  it is hard to understand WHY indeed we do this late in life, I guess my best answer is to free a soul incarcerated for years in a tomb of confusion.

Still finding your own freedom in life comes with very painful decisions about the lives you affect with your choice,only the very bravest of us ever escape the fear of hurting people we love with our quest to be whole people.

The WHY becomes more clear when you engage with us on an ongoing basis can I give a short answer that clears the air immediately no but I can live among you and answer with my life.

Butterfly

Our History

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I encourage you all to read this great article about transgender history,we are all an ongoing part of it.

http://books.google.com/books?id=kEfZ1knAguMC&pg=PT51&lpg=PT51&dq=Cercle+Hermaphroditos&source=bl&ots=Rp7hMcAyz3&sig=K8rpo7sP-JInUVucixz33CV1oaY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tqswUv2uBIep2gXXpYD4Cg&ved=0CFkQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=Cercle%20Hermaphroditos&f=false

 

Cis-Gender Connection

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Several days ago while reading a post on one of the blogs I really enjoy,another Trans-Lady set me to thinking,She eluded in her post about becoming a part of the Cis gendered world of women and her difficulty breaking into that realm. I began to examine my own issues on this subject and found that I’m really lacking this in my life,I have gone on now so focused on changing myself to a woman and yet I have for the most part boxed myself into identifying as mostly a transgendered girl. Somehow not noticing all along that my real objective was to be a “woman”. I took a hard look into my soul and found it very lacking in this.

Of course I have the women in my family who treat me no different than themselves and I feel most included by,but what about outside my family what are my connections to the world of womanhood,I guess outside of my late wife,who was really more than a marital partner she was my best girl friend and she looked at me the same I’m sure.In the time since her death I have really haven’t had much in the way of a girl friend than someone I met online, it was for me a wonderful friendship but alas when we met on a personal basis it just didn’t work out as we would have liked I guess. While I still think of her often  and think of her in dear terms it just didn’t’ work.

I met a nice woman on new years eve last year and brought in the new year with her,we exchanged information and said we would get together for coffee at a later date but it never really happened as I guess we never pushed the issue forward,perhaps I will try again to make contact with her. I really think it would be a good starting place for me to develop a friendship with a woman and become girlfriends I know surely I would learn a lot of things I am missing about womanhood,and I think it would not only enhance my life but add a lot more depth to who I want to be.

As my friend in her blog entry kind of said though, we as trans persons really do have obstacles in our way when it comes to being accepted into their fraternity,ie, when they find out who and what you are they seem to want little to do with you and this only leads me to the realization that I might never fit into the world I have so desperately wanted to be a part of all my life,How then does one’s psyche  process the fact that you might never fit into the world you belong in,only because of birth circumstance. I think this must truly be something most of us as trans women are faced with in life,how indeed will we ever reach acceptance into this very private club,when we are indeed discriminated against merely because of our birth circumstance? We are really faced with what seems insurmountable obstacles in our path to being what we would consider being “real women”.

Please offer thoughts on how we break down these barriers as a group and reach a comfortable spot in life with the Cis-gendered among us.

 

Butterfly

Looking back to kinder cultures

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In many cultures transgender were revered as people with two spirits,and sometimes were the spiritual leaders or shaman in some.

The Judeo-Christian culture however is mostly responsible for making us something to be ashamed of in our modern culture,the ethics of the European culture are responsable  for the prejudices against us in the modern world and those prejudices and the misinformation in our culture have led to us having for so long  to hide our selves and live in misery and pain for much of our lives and even have led to the death of many of us. The times seem to be softening  some of this but what is deeply ingrained in a culture will never disappear completely I think.

For those tolerant enough to expose yourselves to openness of thought and willing to interact with us I think you will find we are indeed people with two spirits and can enrich your lives immensely if you are willing to engage with us.

We have been around  since the dawn of civilization and in every culture  and not been shunned until more modern times perhaps we should all take a long look at our culture and bring forth a renaissance of the way we were treated by more ancient and civilized cultures.

The ‘two-spirit’ people of indigenous North Americans

  • Walter L Williams
A two spirit Native American

We-Wa, a Zuni two-spirit, weaving

Native Americans have often held intersex, androgynous people, feminine males and masculine females in high respect. The most common term to define such persons today is to refer to them as “two-spirit” people, but in the past feminine males were sometimes referred to as “berdache” by early French explorers in North America, who adapted a Persian word “bardaj”, meaning an intimate male friend. Because these androgynous males were commonly married to a masculine man, or had sex with men, and the masculine females had feminine women as wives, the term berdache had a clear homosexual connotation. Both the Spanish settlers in Latin America and the English colonists in North America condemned them as “sodomites”.

Rather than emphasising the homosexuality of these persons, however, many Native Americans focused on their spiritual gifts. American Indian traditionalists, even today, tend to see a person’s basic character as a reflection of their spirit. Since everything that exists is thought to come from the spirit world, androgynous or transgender persons are seen as doubly blessed, having both the spirit of a man and the spirit of a woman. Thus, they are honoured for having two spirits, and are seen as more spiritually gifted than the typical masculine male or feminine female.

Therefore, many Native American religions, rather than stigmatising such persons, often looked to them as religious leaders and teachers. Quite similar religious traditions existed among the native peoples of Siberia and many parts of Central and southeast Asia. Since the ancestors of Native Americans migrated from Siberia over 20,000 years ago, and since reports of highly respected androgynous persons have been noted among indigenous Americans from Alaska to Chile, androgyny seems to be quite ancient among humans.

Rather than the physical body, Native Americans emphasised a person’s “spirit”, or character, as being most important. Instead of seeing two-spirit persons as transsexuals who try to make themselves into “the opposite sex”, it is more accurate to understand them as individuals who take on agender status that is different from both men and women. This alternative gender status offers a range of possibilities, from slightly effeminate males or masculine females, to androgynous or transgender persons, to those who completely cross-dress and act as the other gender. The emphasis of Native Americans is not to force every person into one box, but to allow for the reality of diversity in gender and sexual identities.

Most of the evidence for respectful two-spirit traditions is focused on the native peoples of the Plains, the Great Lakes, the Southwest, and California. With over a thousand vastly different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, it is important not to overgeneralise for the indigenous peoples of North America. Some documentary sources suggest that a minority of societies treated two-spirit persons disrespectfully, by kidding them or discouraging children from taking on a two-spirit role. However, many of the documents that report negative reactions are themselves suspect, and should be evaluated critically in light of the preponderance of evidence that suggests a respectful attitude. Some European commentators, from early frontier explorers to modern anthropologists, also were influenced by their own homophobic prejudices to distort native attitudes.

Two-spirit people were respected by native societies not only due to religious attitudes, but also because of practical concerns. Because their gender roles involved a mixture of both masculine and feminine traits, two-spirit persons could do both the work of men and of women. They were often considered to be hard workers and artistically gifted, of great value to their extended families and community. Among some groups, such as the Navajo, a family was believed to be economically benefited by having a “nadleh” (literally translated as “one who is transformed”) androgynous person as a relative. Two-spirit persons assisted their siblings’ children and took care of elderly relatives, and often served as adoptive parents for homeless children.

A feminine male who preferred to do women’s work (gathering wild plants or farming domestic plants) was logically expected to marry a masculine male, who did men’s work (hunting and warfare). Because a family needed both plant foods and meat, a masculine female hunter, in turn, usually married a feminine female, to provide these complementary gender roles for economic survival. The gender-conforming spouse of two-spirit people did not see themselves as “homosexual” or as anything other than “normal”.

In the 20th-century, as homophobic European Christian influences increased among many Native Americans, respect for same-sex love and for androgynous persons greatly declined. Two-spirit people were often forced, either by government officials, Christian missionaries or their own community, to conform to standard gender roles. Some, who could not conform, either went underground or committed suicide. With the imposition of Euro-American marriage laws, same-sex marriages between two-spirit people and their spouses were no longer legally recognised. But with the revitalisation of Native American “red power” cultural pride since the 60s, and the rise of gay and lesbian liberation movements at the same time, a new respect for androgyny started slowly re-emerging among American Indian people.

Because of this tradition of respect, in the 90s many gay and lesbian Native American activists in the United States and Canada rejected the French word berdache in favour of the term two-spirit people to describe themselves. Many non-American Indians have incorporated knowledge of Native American two-spirit traditions into their increasing acceptance of same-sex love, androgyny and transgender diversity. Native American same-sex marriages have been used as a model for legalising same-sex marriages, and the spiritual gifts of androgynous persons have started to become more recognised.

 

 

Just some thoughts I wanted to share with you all.

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Remodeling

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Today I decided,to remodel here a bit,do some spring cleaning as it were,I was reminded in a not so kind way by a dear friend that she had designed and helped me get my blog here going,I do give her the credit due it was an act of great kindness I will never forget.

But it is time for sure to make it completely mine in design so for a day or two you may notice a few changes I hope you will see that they reflect me and my likes and you will find them pleasing.

Times change,people change, and slowly the world changes to a more accepting place for baby boomer transgender’s like myself and the many I have been so very lucky to share life with.

The slow steps society takes toward us are like the flowers of  an emerging spring,they give us hope and strength to keep moving down our path’s toward what ever sanity we can achieve in our ever evolving lives.

None of our path’s are the same but in the end they all lead to the same destination,inner peace at least we pray for that destination.Sadly some never do the path becomes too hard until they can’t take one more step.

It is not always easy but giving up will not get you there,persevere and you will be rewarded.

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See you soon Butterfly

The Bramble

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I guess none of us ever knows for sure from birth just how our lives will turn out,for most “normal” people I think as they grow up and look in the mirror they see who they really are and know what they desire in life and it all works out in some wonderful master plan.

This was not the case in my life I looked there and saw someone I wasn’t,after nearly 60 years now and some radical changes  I have made I now can look there and see who I really am, oh it’s not as perfect as I had always imagined it would be but it’s one helluva difference,and a view I feel I can live with at last.

Still though when I see old pictures of myself I don’t see me I see someone who spent almost all my life trying very hard to be someone everyone else wanted me to be. I wish it had been much different,that I had grown up in today’s time when there is so much more understanding and tolerance of gender differences,today you can be open about being gender dysphoric and get help and transition early on in life avoiding all the pitfalls trans-persons went through in my day.

In days past we had to blend in to society no matter how painful it was ,we  looked like the normal everyday boys or girls in school and became quarter backs and track stars and basketball players or where ever things led us but none of those roads led us to the place we wanted to truly be in. For me and most transgenders in my generation those roads led us into closets hiding,escaping when we could to get moments of relief from the agony we lived not being able to be seen publicly as who we were.

For so many the only way to get relief was to give up family and friends and our entire lives and move away from our places of birth and begin new lives somewhere else,never looking back or being able to reattach our selves to our families,hardly what we really wanted but driven so hard by our inner desire to be free from the life long bondage we were living. Not all of us were able to so easily walk away because of obligation to families we had made along the way and the enormous guilt we would have felt in doing so and we stayed fighting on but all the while dying a little each day inside where no one else could see. This turned out to be my path some of it out of obligation and some of it out of pure cowardess,I guess in a way I did a little of both I had moved far from my family for work and not for the cause of my gender issues but it did allow me to be myself for periods of time without worry of them finding out.

By circumstance while I was away I met a woman who married me in spite of who I was and loved just as I was,but alas I lost her to suicide late in my life and shortly there after came down with cancer,and ended up once again in my home town  now once again hiding from my family to be me.

However the battle with cancer had awakened a new way of thinking about life it appeared I would go on living after my operation and I became determined to live out the rest of my days as myself once and for all,I returned to therapy once again and was diagnosed as gender dysphoric (like I didn’t already know after all my life) But you have to play their game it’s the only one in town so to speak,and began straight away to Hormone therapy.

And then on to the really hard part telling my immediate family I thought sure enough I would end up banished by the entire clan,but I couldn’t have been more wrong I found out they were willing to love me and even advocate for me what a true blessing. There is now the telling to the ones like uncles aunts cousins and more a large group in my family but it’s summer coming up and time for family reunions which I will be expected at. I have my  trepidation’s  to say the least as coming out to so many especially since I haven’t seen most of them in in over thirty years will be leaving me doing more explaining than eating at the reunion I’m sure. I have a plan however to soften the blows so to speak before just arriving on scene with no warning to anyone. I will enlist my family that knows to bring it up in conversation to any they  talk with between now and then I think that shall give me some idea what to expect and who to avoid at all cost.I did however promise myself when I embarked on this journey there would be no turning back so forward I go once more into the breech. I will advise later in the year as to the results.

This will be one of the last big hurtles I have to jump in my journey, I had hoped to get the surgery but it’s late in life for me and I know I’m a girl so no matter, I do however plan to get an orchy  later in the year mainly to get me off of some of the expensive drugs in my HRT.

Until we meet again …………………… Butterfly