Friday, 26 March 2010

Opinions and Consequences

This is just a short post to expand upon a thought that occured to me today: Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. They're also entitled to the consequences of voicing them.  

What prompted this was reading the comments here in which someone pointed out, very politly I might add, the author's transphobic/cis privilaged language.  While it's true that she used this language out of sheer ignorance, instead of apologizing and learning when being called on it, she got defensive and essentially refused to be held accountable.

This seems to me to be symptomatic of a pervasive attitude in our society, particularily on the internet.  Starting from the idea that everyone is entitled to their own opinions most people seem to go on to assume this means and therefore you can't tell me I'm wrong.  I however posit that not all opinions are well informed, and that there are consequences to voicing uninformed opinions.  The best thing any of us can do when being called on an uninformed or poorly thought out opinion is to learn, to take other points of view into account, and apologize when necessary.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Too Tired to Party, But Not Apparently Too Tired to Blog

So it's St. Pat's and instead of drinking the night away, I'm sitting in bed with my computer on my lap.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to address the hypersensitivity I've seen on so many other trans blogs and discussion groups.  I couldn't really understand why they were so ready to jump down people's throats any time someone uttered anything that could be even remotely construed as being offensive.  I could guess at the roots of this anger, but mostly I felt sorry for them that they'd gone through something bad enough to make them so bitter.  That wasn't going to happen to me, right?  After all, I'm stronger than that, and transitionning under better circumstances, right?  Well, as I get further along in my own transition, I'm beginning to realize that while they may still be somewhat hypersensitive, it's not without cause.

My first inkling that perhaps not all was right with my world was reading my letter of recommendation to
start hormone therapy.  While I could understand that much of it was lifted from the Standards of Care which is currently about 9 years out of date, I was still surprised and not a little irritated to find it riddled with 'she's and 'her's in reference to me.  I have a certain amount of patience for friends and family who might not understand, after all it takes time to educate.  But to have someone who works with trans people on a regular basis commit such blatant disrespect?  That I could not fathom.  If it got me what I needed, however, I could grin and bear it.  Irritated but undeterred, I shrugged it off.

What really drove it home for me though, was listenning to this same psychologist explain to my mom how trans man and women aren't real man and women; they're trans.  They are and will always be in between.  I sat there listenning to him talk about how he'd felt 'uncomfortable' at a house party full of trans men and how you could always tell that there was something 'off' about a trans person... It dawned on me then that he didn't take this, or me, seriously.  Worse, he was being transphobic.  Here was someone who was supposed to be on my side, and all the while it seems that he's just playing along and humouring this poor, gender-confused little girl.  Because over the course of the session, he as good as said 'I don't see you as male.'

Between this and other social opposition I've encountered, it's becoming more and more clear to me that in the eyes of most of the rest of the world, I'm either a fraud, or else not a person.  And coming from the privilaged possition of being white and middle-class, I'll admit it's more of a shock than I expected.