Content warning: transgender issues, bathroom rights, possibly unpopular opinions.
Hello readers, as we wrap up 2019, I thought I’d write a short post (I can’t make long stories short, but I’ll try) about a series of unfortunate events that had taken place over the last twenty-four hours. While I won’t detail the exact nature of the events or reveal people’s names and genders to protect the privacy of those involved, and thus not risking libel, slander, or defammation of character, I will just write out some of my beliefs to set things straight.
As y’all probably know, I am pretty active in social justice causes, particularly relating to disability and LGBTQ2SIA+ rights. I am working hard to publish my debut novel which features a transgender person and an autistic person in a Latine family. Somebody told me that someone with a disability in a Hispanic family is often swept under the rug. I think saying that is a great eyecatcher when pitching or querying publishers and agents. I wrote these things out of the belief that we need more books about experiences of disability within marginalised communities. Also, I am really thankful that someone was able to articulate the circumstances so well that it inspired me to retitle my autobiography. It’ll now be called, Finding my Voice: A Memoir. before, it was just called My Autobiography, which is a pretty darn boring title, if you ask me. I wrote it in 2013 when I was at the transitional programme at the request of my former vision teacher. I think he wanted to show things about me to some people he was reaching out to after he had won his litigation against his employer.
Back in July of this year, on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1969 moon-landing, someone showed me a recording made by Neil Armstrong. I have actually been ramping up to this by watching the realtime player on Apollo XI’s web site. It was actually during the time that I was at the second Catalyst retreat when I was sent a Whatsapp message, so I played it. Actually, now that I think about it, I think this person and I had a conversation about that before they sent me the message. Anyway, I told this person that I although I liked the recording, I wish Neil Armstrong had used a more inclusive phrase to refer to everyone equally. That’s why I was delighted when I got an E-mail by Pete Buttigiege saying One giant leap for humanity. He articulated very well what I was getting at. I thought about how the recording could be edited. We could splice out the word hue from Houston, take an instance of the word man, and find an instance of the word ity or nity, and then concatenate those phonemes together. Researchers did something like this recently to deliver JFK’s unspoken speech. I don’t know what Neil would say instead of saying One small step for man. Maybe One small step for ME?
Anyway, I have been a little impatient and irritable towards this person, but I think this has been brewing for quite some time due to an unrelated thing, so my message to them might have sounded a little harsher than it was meant to be. Anyway, this person doesn’t have the intellectual capacity for their age, and their perception and reasoning were so flawed that, when they later relayed the situation to one of their friends, that person’s perception of me became largely skewed, and it led them to jump to conclusions about me and saying that I was a selfish and demanding person. Interestingly, this person isn’t probably aware how demanding they could be as well. It may have been because I might’ve accidentally triggered a flashback of a previous experience they’ve had with me or someone else. I noticed some hypocracy on their part because they said that they supported Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, and they had no problems with my being transgender, although they were unsympathetic to my gender dysphoria, and they helped me come up with ways to help my brother, so it really didn’t make sense why they would be making such a big deal out of what a friend told them about me. I also didn’t like it how they talked about me behind my back, but when I threatened to take action against them, my other friend advised me not to because they most likely did it out of fear, and they needed somebody to vent. I felt extremely vindictive towards them when I found out that they had relayed that argument, plus another one, to their friend and only made them believe their version of the story.
So, a month later, after asking if I could be part of a Whatsapp group this person was in, I learned that their friend had developed a strong dislike for me because I was an SJW. I did the best I could to defend myself against these accusations, and I even forwarded some of the messages to my other friend to advise both me and the other person. I know some people won’t often give you the time of day to be put into the crossfire between two or more opposing parties and try to act as the go-between and remain diplomatic, so I am really thankful that so far, they kept standing up for me, for things often happened because my intentions were misunderstood a few times. One of the opposing parties even asked the other person to urge this person to ditch me, but it didn’t work, which I’ll explain later.
We have this norm in our transgender community choir, Transpose. It says Assume best intentions. It simply means that if you say or do something you think or feels right, but other people might not agree with it, or it gets construed in a totally different manner and leads to an undesired outcome you weren’t expecting, rather than argue about it and putting you on the spot, assume that you meant well because everyone has their own experiences and walks of life having multiple narratives, and then try to edify you so that you can try and articulate what you were saying or doing better.
Also, our choir recently started mingling with non-trans-choirs, so our director made a speech about what pronouns are, how to use them, when to practice them, and why they’re important. They also referred us to this web site to get more information, including how to use gender inclusive language.
The most important thing about using someone’s correct pronouns is that it should never be based on assumption of how someone presents. Their presentation may be a byproduct of design, or it may be due to circumstances, but that is in no way an excuse to assume that they like being called this pronoun or that pronoun. Using someone’s correct pronouns honours and affirms the person you are talking to and about, even if they’re not around. Here’s a good example of this. A couple days ago, I was having a conversation with someone who is blind and who ended up misgendering someone at a store by saying, ‘Thank you, sir’, and only using the person’s voice to cue them. That person pointed to their name tag, but since they couldn’t see it until someone had pointed it out, they were totally flustered. The person in question was probably not allowed to verbally contradict the customer, since the customer is always right. That brought up some rampant transphobic comments and a heated debate about how transgender people ought to conform to societal expectations of what is more male-like, more female-like, etc. Someone said that they went into a women’s bathroom, and they heard someone walk in, go standing up, which makes a different sound, and probably engaged in a deep vocal hygiene which made that person feel very uncomfortable. While I understood their concerns, I, as a transgender person myself, refuse to use the bathroom that does not match my gender identity. At the same time, I don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable by using a bathroom that I want to use, but for which my expression or functions don’t match what is expected. I said, in reply to that person, that some transgender people can’t afford to get all the medical procedures needed to pass, but there were some basic things that could be done to pass more reasonably, like shaving, sitting down, and talking in a higher voice. That person responded by saying that it wasn’t very nice for me to define how transgender people should conform, especially since not all of them choose to go through all those medical procedures even if they could afford it. So, it wasn’t just about whether they could help how they functioned. However, my reason for saying this was because I didn’t want more transgender people getting hurt by transphobic cisgender people. Besides, many trans and nonbinary people want to eschew from traditional gender roles, but there are still a few that actually want to do everything they can to look, feel, and sound the way they were meant to be. So, who is to blame, society for not wanting to accept and accommodate trans-people, or is it the trans-people’s fault for not making enough of an effort to pass? Is it a little bit of both, neither, or something else? And, even though we have more single-person and family bathrooms, many of them remain locked to deter illegal activity, so this can be problematic if you have to constantly request the business to unlock if for you every time. This is especially true for places that have men’s and women’s bathrooms in addition to that, and I wish I didn’t have to explain myself every time about why I only chose to use the gender neutral bathrooms that they always kept locked.
In 2016, I was on Facebook, and we were arguing about why nonbinary gender markers should be recognised. I told them that I was transgender, and that I preferred they-them pronouns. Someone asked, Why don’t you just transition to female instead of having to go through all this trouble? While I do relate more with a female gender, I also recognise that because of my gender presentation, people may feel uncomfortable calling someone who doesn’t look female enough she. So, that’s why I always give folx the option to use they pronouns instead, if that would make them feel more comfortable. Believe me, I would do anything I could to fully transition, but as long as I’m living in the current unsupportive environment, I can’t fully transition yet.
Sex segregation has always been prominent despite successful attempts at ending other types of segregation. So, when I use the bathroom, I put a sign covering up the men and women signs that has all gender written on it. Or I will simply use a gender-neutral bathroom, if one exists. It is definitely a ligitimate concern that women are seeking protection from so-called transvestites and cross-dressers who may potentially be rapists, and I don’t blame them for that. So, what can be done so that we can find a middle ground?
Anyway, I recently published one of my books on Smashwords and KDP, which includes both paperback and Kindle editions. It is about what it is like to go on a plane for the first time, written from a blind and hard-of-hearing person’s point of view. It’ll also be available on ACX, Bookshare, and Learning Ally soon. I’m not sure about BARD, though. When I told the person who I’ve talked to before, they thought I was starting to shove social justice down their throat again, and the situation quickly escalated to its zenith. Then, through certain means which I will not detail here, I learned that the person’s friend has judged me unfairly and falsely concluded that I was like all SJWs and said that words like he, male, man, were pretty much bad words in SJW culture. Some of them even replaced words that naturally began with those prefixes with female versions of those words. For example, if you said history, they would replace the his part with hers to make herstory. Others replaced the word dic with tit.
They thought that although actual social justice and equality causes back then were important to stop black people from being lynched, and why laws exist against discriminating against people with disabilities, today’s SJWs are often viewed as victims or heroic fighters for causes that have already been dealt with, so they make up reasons for why things are sexist, genderist, racist, etc when they’re not. Well, I could just as well turn that around and say that today’s anti-SJWs make up reasons for why something isn’t racist, genderist, sexist, etc. when it really is. However, I don’t have too much of a say on racism since I view everything scientifically. And, as such, I prefer to think of them as ancestry or lineage and separate that from cultural identity or place of national origin.
They said that SJWs often viewed white men as being a sin. This person accused me of being tyrannical about how people talked, like why we said things such as oh man, oh boy, oh brother, ladies and gentleman, etc. I mean, yes, I do get offended by using male-default terms and gender-exclusive language, but it doesn’t necessarily mean what this person thinks it means. I also do my best to avoid wirds with gendered connotations, like actors and actresses. Of course, they couldn’t help thinking that because they didn’t know my backstory.
I don’t believe in replacing every single gendered word with neutral ones unless the word itself connoted that only a certain group of people did it. For example, I don’t like the term man-made, manpower, or unmanned, unless you were specifically referring to men who did those things. Similarly, some terms like handiman and marksmanship etc. are occupational titles traditionally done by males. I’m not trying to erase the existence of masculinity, but I’m simply wanting us to use more gender-neutral words when referring to people whom we do not know or are unsure of. For example, if you were talking about how there was a lot of activity done by men, then saying man-made is fine. But if you don’t know who was behind it, then it would be better to say human-made. I have started replacing things like royal noble titles with portmanteaus such as quing, princet, etc. Some people prefer to use generic terms such as monarch, ruler, and heir, though.
It is important to recognise appropriation vs appreciation, and that as long as you are educated and are aware of the history of the words you use, along with being mindful about respecting people who those terms are originated by, then you are fine.
Another thing they said about SJW cults is that they have their own motto, The future is female. Imagine the outcry that would follow if people said The future is male. Ugh! I can’t stand hardcore feminism. It annoys me that people try and act like the lives of women and black people are more important than other peoples’. I mean, it’s important, yes, but it’s not more important. There is a difference. No one is above the law. That’s why I believe in the All lives matter movement. Still, police brutality has always been a problem since slavery was outlawed, and if someone were to tell me that all lives don’t matter until black lives matter first, then I would be inclined to support that. We need to still hold those accountable for killing unarmed B/black people, and we also need to acknowledge the struggles, pain, and suffering that B/black people go through on a daily basis. Ignoring that in favour of umbrella peace statements would imply that you don’t care about them, which would actually cause more harm than good. It’s like the concept of two wrongs don’t make a right.
So, is it really social justice, or is it a sophisticated form of social vengeance? I remember a friend telling me back in 2015 that they almost couldn’t get through reading an article in English class written by a feminist. They said that feminists only did things to help white women, so it took another movement of black women to get them to care about them, as well. Anyway, both groups essentially said the same thing, that they thought all men were evil, and that they wanted all men to die. That’s why I believe in egalitarianism, equalism, or neutralism. These terms are much better than masculism and feminism.
From my experience from working women and under female management, women DO NOT make good leaders. From my observations, women WILL do whatever it takes to get to the top without actually doing any real work, including sleeping with their male colleagues. *I don’t know about those who are lesbians or whatever.* Many women can be just as aggressive, even more so than men. As a woman, you have to dress well, make yourself up to the nines, show off them curves, if you hav them to show off, as well as some cleavage. Yes? No. Not me. I am a hard worker, a ‘plain Jane’ warts and all type. What you see is what you get. I am a little more than overweight, which is commensurate with my age. My glasses and outfits say how I feel. And I do not care. I am big enough and ugly enough to know that face will not fit in many companies because I am not glamorous. I am attractive enough but not attractive enough to others. But again, I do not care. I would never be a leader in any given situation due to my honesty, frankness and temperament. I am vocal, too. The binary ‘in power’ do not like that. But I do not care. The gender binary will always compete against each other, and both of them will use dangerous tactics to get to where they want to be. Men will indeed use their dicks; women, their breasts. *So, a transgender, intersex, or nonbinary person who has both a dick and breasts? Where do they fit in?* Where leaders are concerned it takes a real human being – male, female, or two-spirit or whatever – to genuinely hav what it takes, to obtain the respect, love and trust of the people, rather than use and spit people out once they are done with them. Transgender folks should have the right to take hormones, and parents should not gender their child based on the genitalia they saw on the ultrasound. They should be supportive, not vindictive or unaccepting.
What are these women comparing their idea of a glamourous image to? Obviously, women are measuring themselves up to something within the fashion industry. Humans come in all forms, shapes, and sizes. We need masculine, feminine, and neutral energy to run a society like this. That’s why Native Americans and Eastern cultures favoured two-spirit people because they saw all sides of the world, not just one side.
Anyhow, this person wondered if my being in social justice causes has made me disenchanted, like I have been brainwashed in some way, like how cults do using coersive power. I don’t think so, especially since I have pretty good reasons for doing what I do.
The problem is that each social justice movement is selfish in a way that only rewards the people in it and only focuses on them in the current moment rather than devise a plan to help future generations. In my case, though, I’m just helping those who are non-binary because it is a ligitimate concern. I believe that they should be fully integrated in all aspects of society, and that also means respecting their language. The percent of nonbinary people having jobs is extremely low. I mean, can you imagine someone walking in, looking like a man, but wearing a skirt and a bra, and talking in a high voice?
This is the truth. I do not hate men. I hate men who think females and non-binary people are worthless. I’m actually advocating for Pete Buttigiege, because even if we didn’t elect a female president by 2020, at least he’d be a lot more caring and sympathetic about females, being gay himself. Still, people are like, Oh, you shouldn’t vote for him just because he’s gay.
I know I said at one point that we should start a Female President Now campaign, which would be like the Deaf President Now campaign of 1987, but that was before I learned about Pete. Maybe what needs to happen is that we need more minorities to become president, such as those who are Hispanic or Latine, female, or even blind. I don’t believe in suppressing free speech unless it was really legitimate. Free speech does have it consequences. That’s why there are laws against hate crimes, as well, but unfortunately, I don’t think there aren’t any for people who make verbal and ableist, transphobic, racist, etc harassments towards someone. And yes, it’s true that I do hate people who disagree with me, but only if they disagree with me disrespectfully. If we simply agreed to disagree, then I wouldn’t hate them because they were still being respectful and supportive of my opinion.
I guess the reason SJWs have gained such a bad reputation was because of the whole thing with Brie Larson and Hiliary Clinton, and how the media kept forcing political correctness down people’s throats 24/7. They probably dislike me for being involved with social justice, but my reasons for being in it are different from the ones they despise. In fact, one of my former friends was previously involved in a justice choir until they were told that, because they were blind, it would be a burden or liability for them to keep transporting them to and from rehearsals every week. The problem is that so many justice choirs say that they want diversity, but somehow disability and blindness are not exactly in their agenda, so that would actually make them look hypocritical. They don’t practise what they preach. They think it would be too expensive to transcribe everything to Braille and do all of these access needs for just one person who may or may not be proven worthy of adding usefulness to the choir. Our choir was fortunate to utilise a spreadsheet that we could all use to offer mutual aid and give each other rides and stuff to rehearsals and other events because that allows us to build community.
Here’s a question I asked on Quora. I thought the person’s answer sort of explained the reason for why this person probably disliked me so much. They have been misguided and misled by hearsay information, and probably because of past experience. Some of them told me that they didn’t bother watching the news because of all the bullshit that went on.
Also, the other reason I am very passionate about social justice is because, as a blind and hard-of-hearing person, I’ve found that you can often get support if you have one disability or the other, but not both. That’s why I said in my author biography that intersectionality is important. If you’ve read my posts about what my brother and I have gone through because of our father and mother, and what lengths I’ve gone to advocate for him, then it’ll probably show that I’m a great person. If I didn’t care about social justice, I probably wouldn’t have helped my brother as much as I had. If the people who bully me and criticise me for the stupidest things (like not advocating or speaking up for myself) knew my past, I’ll bet you they would’ve had thought twice about doing that. And, while I don’t wish this upon anyone, if that had happened to anybody, and they were D/deaf-blind and in a Spanish-speaking family, I don’t know how they would have learnt social customs.
So anyway, this friend of mine has been extremely helpful. They were able to plead my case and use that as a basis to explain why they still remained my friend even after all that had happened. I need more friends who feel that mediation and arbitration come easily to them. I wish more people knew how to use peer counselling. We often hear about taking care of yourself in the transgender community, but we often get so lost in it that we forget that we also need community care as well. I once asked, what can a professional counsellor, psychologist, therapist, etc do that a friend cannot do? Friends often mean well but often give you their unwise piece of advice. Of course, it would be unethical to require professionals to go through those experiences to relate, but it would at least help knowing from the patient’s perspective what they were going through.
So anyway, I recently read some books by Marilyn Reynolds in which one of the featured classes is Peer Communications. They say that the best way to communicate is to avoid saying things like You always or you never. No put-downs, and use I statements whenever possible. So, if you have to talk to someone and do it in a way that won’t fuel the fire to make it worse, then make it seem as though you are an ally to that person, so that the information you’ll be providing would be more tolerable. Then you can explain what you want afterword. The important thing is to emphasise things that’ll make the person feel so bad that they’ll realise that they’ve been being unfair and unsympathetic because they didn’t know about the circumstances. Like for instance, it is true that I never fought back when my brother bit me more than one time. I mostly struggled to run away from him. So, whenever he bumps into me, I quickly run away from him to avoid that happening to me. So, they are basically hurting a defenseless person, but I hate to think myself as one, because I’m constantly fighting to find my voice. My personality sort of fits that of Cinderella, who did not gripe. You can actually read about this on Broad Blogs.
So yeah, in the end, I don’t know if I’ll get back together or not, especially since I’ve been friends with this person since 2010. We did have a similar issue back in 2014, and we didn’t speak for almost two years, but we reconnected again. Deep down, I will always care about this person, because I have always stood up for them when no one else would. I don’t think they thought about that when they made the hasty decision to ditch me. I know that I have helped out this person quite a lot, even when they had been taking advantage of me many times and often not giving me things in return, but I did the best I could at the time. So, knowing that I won’t be their friend for a second time will leave me with a guilt so profound that I don’t know if I’ll ever get over. For the rest of my life, I’ll keep thinking about how I haven’t tried hard enough to explain my intentions. Maybe I should think about how I don’t have to worry about their constant haranguing, or the repetitive things they said and did on a daily basis. They told my friend that they just couldn’t be my friend anymore because we were just too different, and that we clashed on a lot of things. I somewhat agreed with them about that, but we also had common interests, and I tried to use that to leverage some of their excentricities so that they would stop pestering me into doing things I didn’t feel like doing. Still, they made me promise to be friends forever, but they thought it was perfectly fine to end the friendship. I don’t think that was very ethical.
However, I learned of something that might make me feel a little better. I heard long ago that sometimes doing a secret good deed to help someone might make you feel better, and it makes the person feel better, even if they didn’t know who was behind it, but knowing that it got good results is enough to be greatly rewarding. So, if my friend and I agree to do something, I’ll probably donate a small amount to begin with, because I don’t want this person to have a miserable life.
Anyhow, I hope y’all understand now where I’m coming from. I look forward to getting my memoir published!