Tag Archives: prejudice

A question left to the bygone days of pop culture news coverage.

Life can be quite funny. Especially when you realize everything runs in trends. What will be relevant one moment and mean the world to some will fall silent as if time itself says you had enough. I have seen this happen many times to many different subjects over the decades. However, now we are left with a passed topic that was not only popular, but affects a small portion of the world, myself included.

If you haven’t figured it out yet I am talking about the great bathroom debate of 2016. What was once daily being spoken of from both sides and found its way in to many governing offices has now gone silent. Understandably so. With the riotous and extremely scary circus that has become our presidential debate how could the eyes of the populous not move to them.

Yet this time it has left a nagging issue for those of us who had our fates being determined by our precious political system. The basic right to use the restroom peacefully is still a question. Will we be arrested if we use the restroom? Will we face recourse from the public for simply answering natures call?

No answers. Just like before. Only this time legal actions have been taken in some places. So thanks to the popularity train no answers were widely reached. The country with the motto liberty and justice for all forgot to tell us that it only happens if the populous cares long enough to make a decision.

This is honestly both a good thing and a bad thing. At least from where I sit. On the positive side there are many states that didn’t bother with the popular debate. They sat quietly allowing people to deal with the issue as it arises. Essentially it is down to the people involved. That is if it even becomes an issue. In this thought alone I feel the loss of the countries eye has been a good thing, but to believe it would be this simple would lead to complete naivete on my own part.

For lack of better term they threw down the gauntlet then walked away. I can’t speak for other but this worries me. Probably more so than if they had actually won in the courts. They bullied Target in to taking back its own ruling. All because of the fear of rape from straight perverts. The opponents of our rights used straight rapists and our children to scare a world in to thinking basically we are dangerous.

What is more perplexing is what the country is also talking about right now. Elitists kids raping women and getting slaps on the wrists for it. I laughed at myself as I watched these events unfolding. All I could think was no wonder people fear the trans community. Rapists get nothing and the poor women who are assaulted are left to pick up the pieces. What kind of justice is that? It actually makes me understand the fear the country has created around people like myself.

After all any man can put on a dress and some make up, claim to be one of us and enter a restroom. Hell the idea of a man in the women’s restroom scares me as well. I understand the idea of safe space really well. There have been times I have found solace in a public restroom from not so lucky encounters.

Then comes the harder thoughts. I have been assaulted. I have had my clothes unwillingly ripped off my body. I have been raped. I went in to a lost state after I realized I could tell no one and trying to cope with my own physical and mental issues lead me to a very depressed state. I tried calling a rape crisis line. I was met with a CIS gender only policy. Family hadn’t been the most accepting of who I am so they were of no help.

So here in lies the problem as far as I can see it. My worth means nothing to this country because I am trans. I get no rights. Or maybe I should say I am not awarded the niceties of our culture because others have lumped trans people like me in with the worst of our species. I would say I get no justice but if CIS women can’t get the help they deserve then I know I am on my own. Even in my stealth a doctor will eventually discover what is underneath. Considering what I have dealt with in regards to this issue over the years staying silent is the only thing I could do. My physical pain healed years ago. I like to think I do pretty good mentally.

My apologies. I am a bit off topic. While it is relevant to my particular case, it doesn’t move the issue along. It is a battle cry I have said many times before. More so over the last year watching rape case after rape case where the attackers are set free. If you violate another human being then you don’t deserve these things. We need more harsh punishments for people (of all genders) who do such heinous acts to anyone. No one should have to go through that. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

So yeah. Bathrooms. My right to pee scares me because I don’t know what my rights are. As a born citizen of this country that scares the crap out of me. I essentially have no real secure rights or protections. Can’t go in women’s restrooms because if I am discovered they can fear I will rape them. Cant go in men’s restrooms because I fear rape myself. Never mind the fact I do not look like a man. Thanks to the attention span of the press and the modern culture trans lives across the country are now left in a heated climate to sort out for themselves what is safe and what isn’t. Kind of like before. But now there is severe animosity.

What I think is actually worse than the bathroom debate not being finished is the cold hard truth the recent news has shown us. Rapists will rape. Whether the world thinks they have access to bathrooms or not. If they want to they will. We are certainly seeing that. So what was really gained by all the fear-mongering over the bathroom debate?

I wish I could leave this post on a happier note. I wish I could say the lack of news or public eye makes it easier, it doesn’t. Keep our brothers and sisters in your thoughts when going in to a restroom. Remember the ease of which you can go freely. No recourse. No hassle. It is a natural right and freedom I don’t share.One that many like me will keep others from living their lives the way everyone else gets to.

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.

Stealth Trans in the Workplace

Spent this morning applying for jobs. Something that always gives me great unease. After my experience with Wal-Mart and their homphobic ways I have honestly been scared to try this again. Then again applying for a job is scary for pretty much anyone. Knowing they can mess with you once you work for them makes it harder. This is what Wal-Mart did.

Not to say the other companies would do such a thing. In fact a few of them I applied to had sections that talked about inclusive nature. This made me feel a lot better. But I can’t help worry about what will happen when I get there. I know there is a big if I even get the job included on that. lol. Maybe I should share the backstory of what happened to show where my timid nature about work came from.

I had to leave a job I really liked because they just weren’t able to give me the hours I needed. I was stepping out in to a personal business venture and needed specific time. They weren’t able to give me what I needed so I left them with a mutual happiness on both sides. It just didn’t work out.

I applied for Wal-Mart hoping they would be able to work with the hours I needed. They did so happily and welcomed me aboard. Seeing this was almost a decade ago times were a bit different. Their immediate concern was which bathroom I used. I understood their concerns even though it essentially treated me like a predator. We came to the agreement i would use the family restroom in the back of the store. I honestly had no problem with this. It wouldn’t give anything away about me and the family bathrooms always have extra space so you don’t feel so cramped.

Everything started off okay. I was given my job and the first day went real well. Then the second day hit and the family bathroom was locked at night. I didn’t need to go so badly and I managed to make it through the night without having to go. The following night not only was the bathroom locked but a bench was placed in front of it. Unable to contain myself a second night I excused myself to the ladies restroom. In and out real quick and right back to work. At least that is what I thought.

I was called in the office the next day by management for using the women’s restroom. I explained the situation and was told I was not to do that. While becoming more apprehensive about the work environment I went back to it stocking shelves. The family restroom was never unlocked during my shift again. I tried to manage but got in trouble again. Same thing and same warning. Another night I decided to be proper about the situation and actually went to my boss telling him I had to pee.

My boss walks with me to the back of the store and proceeds to hold the men’s room door open. He checks for anyone inside and waves me in once he feels it is clear. Horrified I stood there looking at him with his hands beckoning me to the restroom. I decided I could wait. I clearly had bigger issues at hand. I avoided going to the bathroom that day as well even though I could feel the pain in my bladder swelling.

The next day I was called in to the office by all the shift managers and been told I was seen using the women’s restroom again. I knew at this point that I had not and this was no longer a safe place for me. Trying to keep myself together I explained to them I had not used the restroom and was complying with their requests. After they filled their satisfaction of scolding me was finished I went back to work petrified to do anything.

Realizing I was about to collapse in tears and break down I counted down the time till I could log out for lunch. I couldn’t keep it up. It was clear this wasn’t going to be safe for me. Remembering they had already broken the verbal agreement my anger grew. In a last moment of control I went back to my locker to collect my things and walked out. They say the worse thing you could do is walk off your job with no notification. I couldn’t see any other option. Fear had taken me to the point of severe panic.

There are no buses after midnight. The walk home took hours but at least the roads were empty. Walking alone at night has proved dangerous before but the options were gone. I couldn’t stay at work and wait for the buses to start back. At least i can say I had plenty of time to myself to reflect and grow. You would be amazed how much one can think about when you have that much free time on your hands.

Was I proud I did it? Absolutely. There was no way I could maintain my health working in that environment. The sky was clear and the air was crisp. I remember because I could feel the tears chilling my face with the soft breeze. Did it scare me to not be working. You have no idea. I had no clue what my next move was. I just knew it had to be done.

Welcome to why I am scared of jobs. I have had good ones. But most of them were before I lived full time. Afterwards has lead to judgment, ridicule, and flat out harassment. So it is with deep trepidation that I sent out the new batch of applications today. I know a lot has changed since then but I also know prejudice in individuals (especially of those of power) reigns in large corporations to big to see what happens on the ground floor. Just like everyone else I have to work it out. I can’t not live.

I don’t want to leave this on a negative note. That was not my intent. I only wish to show the fear that is within all of us when it comes to what should be one of the simplest things to do. I am optimistic about finding work. Even if I am scared. I would love to have that kind of routine again. I just have to find a place that doesn’t see being Trans as anything other than something that is best left in my application and record. lol.