Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Here's a little bit of queer tranny joy for you today. It was definitely the high point of my day, which you can take however you want.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bad News

A UU church in Knoxville was attacked by a man with a gun, apparently mainly because of their acceptance of LGBT people. He opened fire during a performance of Annie featuring like around 25 children.
Luckily, he only got off a few shots before members of the congregation tackled him. Stuff like this just makes my heart hurt.
Here's the story.

thumbs up to Keira Knightly, there are weird people in Decorah

Keira Knightly has publicly stated she doesn't want her body to be digitally enhanced for her next movie, the Duchess. Go Keira for not going along with "the industry's" attempts to create body standards that are unattainable.

In other, way more local news, the house next to me was torn down today. They started at 6am. I sleep with my window open. And the house is oh, maybe 20 ft from my window. Needless to say I started my day a bit earlier than usual as well. When I biked off to work I noticed the old man who lives two houses down had brought out his lawn chair
and was watching the machine tear down the house at 7:30am. I got back from work around 4:30, he was still sitting in the chair, watching the house get torn down. Seriously? That's weird.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Summer of Outings.

Apparently, this is just going to be the summer of outings for me. First I got outed to my summer employer, then to people at Luther, then to my grandmother, and now by my employer to another friend.

I ran into this friend of mine on Thursday night outside of the Haymarket. It's Nordic Fest in Decorah, and he was back in town visiting. It was one of those awkward conversations where he had heard that I was transitioning and brought it up right after he said hi so I didn't even have a chance to tell him myself.
He also used to work for my current employer. He looked after her son when he was younger and he also worked in catering. He had apparently stopped in to see my employer at her job and visit and say hi. All nice, polite, normal things to do, though this visit included her telling my friend that I am transitioning. And really, that part is ok with me. I would've told him if he hadn't heard already, and it's not like I'm deeply in the closet, or in the closet at all about being trans. The part that has me a little upset is what her comments to my friend were.

Apparently her commentary on the situation was something the lines of "so you're rebelling by becoming the status quo?"

That really hurt. It threw me off for the rest of the evening, I ended up leaving and going home after that and thinking about transitioning for a few hours. Hearing comments like that are difficult for me, it makes me doubt myself. It's similar to the argument that I'm less of a feminist for transitioning, that I'm conforming to the system and all that. It's the same message I get from my parents, from some of my friends. That I shouldn't have to transition if I really believe that gender isn't real, that what a "real" queer would do is live without transitioning, or that I'm somehow a better person and a better activist as a female. That I'm selling out. It makes me scared, that maybe I am selling out and being less feminist by transitioning. When did feminism become about policing others choices, bodies, identities?

And now my dilemma is that I don't know how I'm going to feel when I face my employer again on Monday. I know she respects me as a human, but I want her to respect my transition even if she doesn't understand it. On the one hand, I don't want to perpetuate any cycles of gossip so I don't really want to confront her with what my friend told me. One the other hand, if that's how she feels, she could have the decency to tell me, and she could then have the decency to listen to me instead of writing me off. Her kid gets it better than she does. And he's six.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Recent Reading

I love google reader. One of my favorites on my google reader that I think should be on yours is the website Today this lovely story about rethinking marriage popped up and I thought I'd share.

Here's a little quote, then the link to the rest of the article is at the bottom. Happy Monday!

I've spent more time than I'd like to remember in the past three or four years explaining to family, friends, and perfect strangers why I'm not dying to walk down the aisle (note: he has spent at least half as much time doing so, an incredibly irritating discrepancy). Usually my answer goes something like this: 1) I don't want to participate in an institution that's been historically sexist and currently discriminates against my gay friends, especially considering that my partner and I couldn't have been married in some states just 40 years ago (we're miscegenators), and 2) I'm uncomfortable with the "till death do us part" rhetoric that seems to suggest that two people parting ways is an inherent failure, rather than, as is so often the case, a necessary moment of growth and change.

For the latter explanation, I usually get a pitying look and an onslaught of romantic counter-argument, as if I am a princess in a fairy tale who has suddenly lost faith in the glass slipper. (Never mind the cold, hard fact that over half of marriages end in divorce.) For the former, I get little more than skeptical silence; people always suspect that the political argument is just a big cover up for my boyfriend's frozen feet.

Public reaction aside, I'm starting to doubt my own justifications. What am I to make of my commitment to not participate in a sexist, historically racist institution when my own gay friends are flocking to the coasts so they can join in the gift registry and the white-dress hoopla? Of course they deserve all the legal protections and economic benefits of a legalized marriage; according to the Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, there are over 1,400 state and federal rights guaranteed by marriage, while there are only 300 state benefits and no federal protection for civil unions. But do these rights really trump the woman-as-property history and discriminatory present (on a state by state basis, of course)? Why do so many of my gay friends have such faith that they can transform the institution when I'm still so unsure?

Click here to read the whole article

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Facebook is stupid.

Last week after I got home from Hearts on Fire I finally got up the nerve to change my name on facebook. I had been putting it off for some time because my siblings, father, and some people from my parents congregation are all friends with me on facebook and I didn't want to cause any massive freakouts and whatnot. I got back to town and was doing the whole "look for people I just met on facebook" thing. I must've been on some sort of LC/NA HoF induced high because I decided that it would be a brilliant idea to just change my name, and hope that either a) no one noticed or b) someone would ask me and we'd have this deep, connected conversation where they would instantly understand trans issues and be completely supportive of me.

Needless to say, neither of these things happened. Instead, Wednesday when I was at work hanging out with Rex I called up my mother to ask her if she had found the star wars soundtrack at home so I could make a copy for Rex to listen to while we played star wars. No, she did not find the soundtrack. However my father (of all people) noticed that I changed my name to Dylan on facebook. She proceeded to become very upset, inform me that my parents don't support me in this, that my insurance policy is still under Amy, and that I shouldn't be changing my name on facebook because it's not true. Also, I was informed that I need to tell my parents at every step of the way every little decision I make concerning transition. In addition, she went off on Thomas Beatie (aka the Pregnant Man) and how that was confusing and was "it" a man or a woman, and that it just wasn't natural. Basically, I think she needed to vent a lot of her frustration and confusion.

However, I was at work. I was tired, I had been sick the day before, and I didn't really expect my parents to notice that I changed my name on facebook before my siblings did. I should've responded better than I did. My response was initially to explain that I know my insurance and legal documentation is all under Amy, but facebook is a social networking site and I want to socially network in my preferred name. What threw me was her launching into the diatribe about Thomas Beatie, and the fact that my mother, who I typically consider to be a very intelligent woman, hadn't taken the time to get past the sensationalistic aspect of the story and was trying to compare my experience to his experience. In the end, I got defensive with my mother, and told her I couldn't continue the conversation because I was defensive and unable to be open to talking with her.

I get frustrated because I don't know how to not feel attacked when I talk to my parents about trans issues. I also get frustrated because I feel like I have to be more calm, collected, and informed than my parents. In addition, I get frustrated because I feel like I have to continually be educating my parents. I give them information, books, websites, and pamphlets, but it seems like they don't take the initiative to read them or discuss them with me.

In the end, my slightly immature solution was to unfriend my father, siblings, cousins, and church folk on facebook. I probably should've just left everything as is, because people are going to learn about it eventually anyways. It just seemed the easier route to take at the time when I was upset and angry.

I don't know how to handle talking with my family about transition gracefully.

Monday, July 7, 2008

San Francisco

I got back last night/early this morning from San Francisco. It was a really great week. Long and exhausting, but great.
I met a lot of amazing people, had some great discussions, and some downright silliness. I got to see a close friend who I haven't seen in a year. I also was in the church that they filmed the funeral scene from rent in so that was cool.
I think one of the most enjoyable parts of the week was being called Dylan by everyone, and not needing to worry about the name issue. I also really enjoyed hearing Gene Robinson speak, and also John Selders. I would go more into all of this.. but I'm tired and can't really process this all right now.
So yeah.. Lutherans Concerned conference was good, even though some of us joked about our hearts being on fire with the heartburn of the lord.
Tonight I'm gonna shower and go to bed early cause I did not get nearly enough sleep. Soon to come, some reflections on Lutheranism. woo.