Tag Archives: rights

Tennessee Failed Us

I really had no clue what to call this post. I don’t want to call it a rant. What i do have to call this particular discussion is one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. That part of my fate was decided for me before I was done. Ive spent the last few hours crying over it, but I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.

Some news spread amongst the local trans community that lifted me so high I could feel optimism pouring out of me. A new local bill passed making it super easy for local trans to change their gender marker on their birth certificate. A close friend sent this information to me by email. We were so happy. All day was a form of celebration locally by those who had been held in gridlock by the system.

By four this evening I was still brimming with happiness and excitement as i told my girlfriend. We were discussing getting the papers filed and getting this step that I have long needed in to place. Then I found the road block. I was born in Tennessee. I lived there only a few years. I have no memory of the state other than the relatives I had there.

Tenn. Code Ann. ยง 68-3-203(d) (2006) states the sex of an individual will not be changed on birth certificates even with sexual reassignment surgery. In essence. Because I was born their and my birth certificate is from there I will never get to change everything fully. I get to live with this shadow that has caused more stress and fear than any other issue in my life.

So what do I do? I would never go back to Tennessee. Last time I was there was probably in 1989 right after my grandmom passed. Thanks to one backwards state my life will always have this fear I thought would end. Ive spent the hours since this discovery trying to calm myself and think what can be done. Sadly I have no answers. I have a local therapist friend looking in to things for me.

My anger for this has been as great as my sadness. So much so I have decided I will never again declare that state as my state of birth. It is a blemish on my life that I will never shake the scars from. I don’t even know how to end this post. With everything we have read about trans rights over the last year the fact Tennessee has gone unchallenged with this rule is absurd.

I don’t expect this to do anything but I want to start a hashtag. Maybe see if we can get some light shed on this draconian rule that affects not just myself but others who have moved away from Tennessee and still feels the long arm of ignorance strangling them. I know others have to be out there.

No one should ever be forced to face the rules of a place they do not live.

#TennesseeFailedUs

If you wish please share this. I don’t want to see these kind of things hurt anyone else.

A Return to Pushing Personal Boundaries

We all do this. Or at least we try to. I admit it is something I having done much of. After many issues with sexual assault and almost being abducted I withdrew from this idea. The last few months I have been more relaxed with what I like and for once in a log time allowed myself to explore.

The whole idea began with shopping for clothes. Ever since I transitioned I knew one thing was true about myself. I am not a big fan of pants. Sure they have a purpose at times but I much prefer wearing skirts or dresses. Flowing clothes have always been my favorite even when I was young. So it makes sense that sine I began my transition I would experiment with skirts and various other styles of clothes. I would even buy short skirts and mini skirts. Even though I was scared to wear them outside. I would still try them on and wear them around my place free of judgement.

When I started going to college full time I let my ambitions do what they will. Short skirts with and even without leggings. Off the shoulder tops. The stylistic world of clothing was my playground and I loved it. I would enjoy my walks to the bus feeling so free in the clothes I chose. My mp3 player on whatever album I decided to sing along to as I walked.

I would say I was naive to the truth of the worlds ability to react. In truth though I don’t think that was the problem. I like any other women on the planet when they develop their own sense of style wasn’t looking for the worlds reactions. I was looking at just being happy being myself.

As i became more relaxed and content with myself things began to happen. I wore a short sun dress one day to school and a guy pulled over at the bus stop. He asked if i wanted a ride. I smiled and kindly said no. He in turn gave me his business card with his personal number written on it and said i should all him some time. He left and I quickly ignored the exchange.

The next incident was more scary. I had just got off the bus near a department store and began walking towards it. I had needed a new pair of shoes for all the walks I did. No sooner did the bus leave a guy pulled up in the bus stop and honked his cars horn to get my attention. I looked back for a second as he waved me over to his car. This time I was not interested. He clearly was though. He drove his car in to the parking lot and proceeded to follow me up and down the isles trying to get me to listen. With a sigh of relief I finally made it in to a close store. He drove away the moment the glass door closed behind me.

There were worse incidents but I would rather not go in to the dark stuff. Needless to say I was left scared After all this I realized I was always harassed when I was showing more skin. I threw out all my short skirts and closeted all my short dresses. Even my tops became more conservative. I didn’t show any cleavage and walked around in sweaters and hoodies all the time.

What I am glad to say though is I have finally gotten past a lot of my hang ups and emotions about the past. I don’t know if it is because I am older now or maybe I have just let go of the hurt and fear that was once caused. Whatever it was a clearance rack of really cute skirts began my return to wearing more revealing clothing. How does one pass up adorable lace skirts for 2 dollars clearance? You just don’t. lol. I even wear them again. A lot of the short dresses have returned as well.

As I was saying earlier last weekend held something very special for me. I have worn some revealing clothing before. Nothing that showed a lot but just short clothes. Last weekend I took a plunge that terrified me. It shouldn’t have. I was going through my closet and happened across a really cute lavender top that had sequins covering the breasts. I looked at it a moment and asked why don’t I wear this more? Sure the neckline is kind of low but it is really pretty. I put it on and walked to the mirror.

My reflection took no time at all to show me why I had not worn the top before. Everything below the breasts and completely down the back was totally sheer. My belly and back were completely exposed. I could feel myself get a little embarrassed seeing my belly button through the stomach of the top. My hips were clear as day and the slight bulge of my stomach was there for the world to see. In a weird twist though I couldn’t decide if I looked really cute or if fear was going to make me rip it off.

After a few more moments of internal arguing I decided to wear it. After all either I start wearing it or get rid of it. Why own something you wont wear? I found a Basic flowy black skirt to go with it and put my make up on for the day. Deciding I wasn’t quite that ready for so much flesh to be shown I pulled a black lace wrap from my closet and put it on. It covered my back just enough so it wasn’t totally obvious. My stomach on the other hand was as clear as day.

As I locked my apartment I headed down the stars in the early noon sun. There was a bit of a breeze that loved playing with my skirt and top. They fluttered so gently and happily with the current. It felt so nice. I made my rounds for the day stopping at my usual weekend haunts. The day went on and I finally started my way home. Sitting in my car I realized I had forgotten I was wearing the sheer top. The day took me where it would and let me relax to the point it didn’t bother me.

There was no harassment like before. I didn’t feel scared or worried. I never felt that fear that used to urged me to cover up after I got hurt. Just a nice peaceful fall day. I got some smiles but nothing beyond that. I beamed the whole way home. I was so happy. I didn’t want to take the top off when I got home. Instead I just kicked the skirt off and left the top on to cover me. The little that it did.

Pain can be recovered from. I would like to say all scars heal but I know some are still there. That would be fooling myself, but last weekend helped me reclaim something i had lost almost a decade ago. Part of the freedom to be me. Since then my mind has raced with outfit ideas that I want to try. Something that hasn’t happened since i was first coming out. More to come. ๐Ÿ™‚

Equality and Individualism

One would think a word as this would bring up images of people getting along or at the very least not hassling each other. Isn’t that the point of such an idea? That we are all equal and can live together despite our differences?

I would love to say this is the way the world has been nurturing for decades now. America has always been struggling and pushing towards its true ideals. Liberty and justice for all. Though this is something that has been fought hard to even get where it has gotten. Sadly (as often happens) those that have fought the hardest have become part of the problem.

I could go in to the problems with political correctness but I wont. Just as the idea of social justice warriors could be brought up. What I wish to point out is far beyond any such ideals or labels.

The right to individualism.

Simple words that our world has completely forgotten about. I’ve seen it a few times myself over the last few weeks. We are all individuals. No matter how many similarities we share this will never change. I will never be like any one else just as no one will ever be like me. For some reason though our world has decided it is ok to dictate how we should act around one another.Here is an example.

I was having an argument with a friend a few weeks ago on the topic of porn. While at a swap meet a friend found a lesbian porn dvd and held it up giggling. I just like her and another friend laughed. But there is always some one who finds such things wrong and rude. I was glad to see she held off making to much of a scene. Needless to say we had a talk after everyone went their own ways.

Thus began a conversation about how she was insulted and felt it is rude for anyone to pick something like that up and flash it about. To her I kindly responded I understand how you feel but this is how we have always been. It is quite humorous to us to know a swap meet is selling porn. You dont expect to find it there at all. Her response was a simple we need to be more respectful about how she feels.We were going against how she believes and how she wishes to live.

This is the point I let out a heavy sigh. This statement is very poisonous to me. It can be ok, but it is taken to far. Basically it tells the listener when I am around you must change who you are to fit how I live. I am not ok with this idea. I have spent to long of my life listening and agreeing with other people in regards to even how I should be.

As cold as this answer is I could only think if you do not like who we are then maybe we aren’t the best of company for you. We have every right to act and be who we are. Sure we are subject to being judged by others but that is how it works. If others do not like who we are then they look for people who are like them.

What makes her statement even more dangerous is the common issue when these types of things are brought up. It’s always about the individual. Again she has every right to be offended and feel how she does, but that doesnt mean the world has to cater to anyone. I have been with friends who have discussed many things i found uncomfortable and worse. I sit quietly and wait for a new topic to begin, or I can help start the new topic.

Now the friend who was uncomfortable felt it would be best if she informed everyone involved how things should be when she is around. When she said this all I could think was then don’t be around. Don’t change us to fit your world. I would never tell some one to not do something in front of me or to change who they are around me. To do so goes against our basic rights as living beings. We are individuals.

This girl and I are still ok friends. I wouldn’t break off the friendship over something like that. But just as she has her choices to make so do I. I will have to think a lot about having her along to do things in the future.

So all this brought me to the question why do we constantly try to tell everyone how to change for the better? It is none of our rights. I just don’t understand this overwhelming need for some to make the world work their way only. It is not a way of life I believe in. In this world of fear and anger we should be trying to build bridges to not only equality but individualism. You really cant have one without the other.

What does everyone think? Is it truly possible to know when in public we will be exposed to things we do not wish to, or does it make more sense to try and censor?