Tag Archives: F2M

What makes terms like lifestyle good or bad?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a lifestyle as such.

:the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture

In its purest of forms this make people calling how LGBT people live a lifestyle correct. BUT, one thing they are forgetting is that we do not refer to the heterosexual way of life as a lifestyle. We do not refer to it as a choice. It is just what they do. This is why the word has garnered such a bad reputation among the LGBT population.

There are plenty of words that have been used to describe LGBT people. Most of which are no longer acceptable to say despite their more traditional meanings. Calling some one gay in a derogatory manner is frowned upon. Yet no one remembers what its original meaning is. The same is said for the word queer. The word simply meant happy. It still does. No one complained about the film Nightmare Before Christmas when Jack Skelington sang the words ‘how queer”.

The song described Jacks new experiences in Christmas town. Its use of the word queer came from the more traditional definition so the audience had very little to complain about. Now had he said it about another character in the film I am sure it would have taken on a completely different meaning.

On the opposite end of this is the Green Day song American Idiot where the song used the line “maybe I’m the faggot america”. This caused an uproar and forced the song to be censored without even knowing the meaning of the lyrics. The following line in the song is “I’m not a part of the redneck agenda”. A very provocative statement. Especially in this era where the conservative movement has pushed harder to deny LGBT rights.The use of the word was all anyone heard. It was enough for an uproar. At least for those who are incapable of looking at the bigger picture.

The worse use I can remember over the last decade has been in some of my favorite films. I love watching Kevin Smith films. From Clerks all the way to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. These are great classic comedies that talked a lot about the culture at the time and often poked fun at it. Jay and Silent Bob Strike back had one joke though that pointed out a very dark look at his films for me. In it a female bad guy does something that is considered weird or abnormal. Her friend turns to her and simply says “you are so gay”.

As funny as his films are they quite often have very derogatory views on the LGBT community. I do excuse Chasing Amy from this because of the many LGBT issues and messages it gets across, but this only furthers my confusion when I think about it. The earlier films were a voice of their time. The early 90s were full of this kind of talk. By the turn of the decade though things were not so crude. So it made the comment in Jay and Silent Bob very uncomfortable.

Another great point of how those who aren’t labeled by the terms is when actor John Barrowman defended his use of the term tranny. In his opinion the trangendered people of the world should quit whining and be okay with the term. Yet I can only imagine how angry he would feel if he was casually referred to as a faggot and told to accept it because that is what he is to some people. He of anyone should have known better. The power of labels can be hurtful.

So why do I bring all this up you ask? As much as I would like to say I have a simple point I do not.The use of the word lifestyle in our current culture carries one meaning when regarding the LGBT community. It is a way for those who don’t understand LGBT people to understand what they consider to be a choice. This is the only answer I can think of that makes sense and this answer makes the term very unhealthy.

This version of the word has been around for a while. It was further re enforced to me over the weekend when a family member was talking about how she knows gay people and a gay friend was offended when she referred his lifestyle. She felt he was being to sensitive. I even told her as an example what if he was to refer to your religious views as a lifestyle. Yet she pointed out how its not a lifestyle and kept on saying how people are too sensitive.

Like I said earlier. No one refers to heterosexuality as a choice. We don’t refer to being human as a choice. We don’t even refer to ones religion as a lifestyle choice even though people chose which religion they believe in. So why should we hear about our “lifestyle” when it is naturally who we are?

What I personally hear when I hear my life being referred to as a lifestyle is that I have chosen a fetish that I live unhealthily. When I came out my sisters response was “that’s fine just keep it in the bedroom”. Like it was some sort of turn on. This opens up to a much bigger conversation for a later time. For now I want to stick to the issue at hand.

If you feel I missed the mark or see things differently please feel free to comment. I would love to talk about this.

A voice in North Carolina

With one of the worst pieces of legislation passed in North Carolina many people have spoken out against its homophobic ramifications. Sure IBM and a few other companies have spoken out against the new law, but it is a trans man that makes me smile the most. He is doing something I think shines a perfect light on the situation that the officials in North Carolina don’t understand.

I wont show his face but i will mention that he has my support and my hopes are with him. With the new law in place, it is now unlawful to use the restroom that doesn’t correspond to your birth certificate. Charlie has posted online that he will adhere to the law as he doesn’t with to violate it. What this does mean is since he was born a woman he is now going to be using the women’s restroom.

What you cant see here is the fact Charlie has undergone hormone treatment for some time. Any idea that he passed as a woman is long gone. Even if he could I am pretty sure the tailored beard would not help anything. So thanks to a new law that was designed to “keep predators out of the bathrooms and make these areas secure” now enforces those who pass as their real gender use the restroom that doesn’t match them.

Charlie will be in the restroom just like any of us. Little girls will see him in there and be lost as to why he is there. what is amazing is what charlie has decided to do in case he is confronted by a woman. He has printed out a card that explains the situation and informs the person with the problem that if they have a problem with it to combat such a hateful law. He has even said he will not give argument to those who confront him. Just a simple handing of the card and off he will go.

This move is not only brilliant, but completely brave and in the face of those who didn’t understand what they were actually doing. If they wanted to protect from sexual predators then they could have found more appropriate ways of doing so. As it stands all they do is bully a group of people who have done nothing but try to live.

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I love what Charlie is doing so much I have begun wondering what I would do if the same type of law would attempt to be passed where I am. I was told before by my therapist that I am a great speaker and would greatly help. That however is not me. I can speak just fine but what does this do for my stealth ability? Is that something worth giving up?

My answer is actually a resounding yes. What better way to prove a point that by pointing out the fact no one has had issues with me and the only reason I would be out is to show that I was thrown in to a rule that shouldn’t even apply to me. I smile as I think of what Charlie is doing. Part of me cant help but smile when i remember when I first started passing. I didn’t realize it at first but it had become apparent pretty fast.

I was in the men’s bathroom at work washing up after a long 8 hours. As I washed my hands a customer opened the door to come in. I could see him stop in the mirror as he saw me. He leaned back and looked at the symbol on the door. He was clearly shocked by my being there. He even waited for me to leave before coming in.

It was actually that day I had to rethink the bathroom situation. So the question stands could I go back in to the men’s restroom. If this is what it came down to where I am then I would say yes. And I would document the whole thing. I even have more ideas. Hopefully I wont need them, but if I do then I can guarantee they will happen. Way to go Charlie. You are an inspiration to me and probably thousands of trans people across the country. It should be interesting to see what happens.