I have transcribed parts of my mother’s memoir, written while she was suffering with terminal ovarian cancer. It reveals the deep sadness of a mother who has lost her first child to sex change surgery. The family was first aware of Myron’s gender dysphoria in 1968, and he had the operation in 1975. My mother died a few months after she wrote this.
The names “Myron” and “Myra” were chosen to obscure the identity of my sibling; they are names used by Gore Vidal in the book Myra Breckinbridge. I have also chosen to name my father, “Dad,” instead of using his real name. Here is an excerpt:
“Twenty-one years ago today, Myron became Myra. She phoned me up today to remind me, but what she does not realize is that it was the death of our family and certainly the death of my first son whom I had loved so much.
She said that she remembers how excited she felt that day, when she woke up to find that she was now a woman and had lost the male shackles which she detested all her life, the physical pain was more bearable because she could now be called “Myra.”
For me, when she phoned that day, twenty-one years ago,it was agony and disgust at what Myron had done.
Myron was a wonderful scholar, and anything to do with words would always score high marks. He wrote excellent poetry, and was in the debating club at school, editor of the magazine at the college, and vice-president of the Young Conservatives in Quebec in the early days of the party. There were not that many members at that time, and Dad was appalled that Myron should be supporting the conservatives, and not the NDP or a socialistic party. Myron was always doing the opposite thing to what Dad wanted him to do.
Sometimes I wonder if this perverse attitude was the reason he wanted to change his gender, because it would really shock his father, and the hurt would be stronger than anything that could be handed out to him.
We had started to go to a counsellor together, because of Myron’s behaviour of lying, stealing and not working at college. This turned out to be a disaster, as the counsellor wanted to know about our personal sex life, and she brought in Myron’s two younger sisters, whom we considered innocents in this whole business. The drift of her counselling disconcerted us, and it was causing more confusion and animosity between Dad and me. We were all scared and angry.
What we did not know is that Myron had told her about his hopes for a sex change.
We knew nothing and were working in a different direction.
We were scared and angry at each other, and we all became confused and more and more angry with Myron.
He wrote me a letter, while he was in college to tell me that he was determined to have a sex change.
When I received it, I became hysterical and called Dad at work. We decided to confront Myron at his flat that evening. When we arrived, he had slipped out of the flat, leaving the roommate to explain. We waited for a while, and Dad started to look through Myron’s belongings and school papers. I did not approve of this, but I was astonished when he brought me some magazines for me to see. One was the National Enquirer, and the main article was about Christine Jorgensen, a man who had had a sex change in Denmark.
For Dad, it was the culmination of despair. Life would never be the same for any of us.
Dad (he died only four years later at 58 of a massive heart attack) would go to his grave wondering what he had done to this child, whom he loved so much, for him to want to change his sex. At first, he blamed me for being too soft with Myron, as he grew up. He said that I had made him a sissy, always protecting him from his father’s anger, whenever he got in trouble. Dad had very high standards for Myron in his schoolwork. Although he had known that Myron had been very physically sick, over the years and would never be any good at sports, he insisted he should be involved in soccer and baseball. Myron was inept at all sports and, consequently, was criticized by his father.
When Myron first went away to Winnipeg, we hoped that a change of scene would be just what he needed, so we helped him all we could, providing a trunk and new clothes, bedding and money to tide him over for a few months. Little did we know that Winnipeg was a hot bed for the transsexual clinics that he was looking for.
Of course, Myron had researched all of this in the past few years and was in touch with others who were interested in transsexualism. The clinics were interested in their own research, and Myron was just another guinea pig to them.
The doctors allowed him as much of the female hormones that his body would take. Soon he developed breasts, and his whole body softened.
He worked as a skip tracer for a few years and attended night school to become a typist. By this time he was cross-dressing and growing his hair. He worked hard at his jobs to get his bonuses for the hormones.
He lived in downtown Winnipeg in a slum building. The first winter there, we sent him warm blankets and a food parcel for Christmas, but my heart bled for him. I missed him even though he had put us through such a terrible time in the past few years, he was still my first baby, and he had shown such promise as a young boy. I constantly worried about him, whether he was having enough to eat. I knew he could not cook and I guessed he was eating a lot of pizza and junk food, when he could afford it.
I felt like we had deserted him, even though he had left us.”
in an ideal world, i would like to see each and every one of us have the inner peace of accepting oneself. however, i know that many issues trip up this utopian dream.
here are some of the issues i wish to raise on this blog. i do have the background research done of several of these issues, and now the challenge is to write.
1. Who funds the Transgender/Transsexual clinics? Why does this matter? It matters because there is an inherent agenda in philanthropy (the giving your money away part of it), and often, it is political and comes from deep personal experience with an issue. Why does this matter? It matters because the phenomena of trans-identified people is recent (like the past 100 years.) It matters because people with deep pockets are making their names out of giving money to promote the concept, and the execution of transsexualism. Some of these people are working hard to enshrine identity politics in our hospitals, our educational system, our legal system, our military and in our daily lives; pushing this agenda without the evidence based science behind their theories.
2. What happens after transsexuals take the cross sex hormones for a long time? We do know the effect Premarin has had on the female population, and that impact was harmful enough to cause alarm. This resulted in the Big Pharma machine losing $3 billion dollars, after the Women’s Health Initiative was published in 1991. Gynaecologists and cardiologists are extremely hesitant about prescribing female hormones to women, unless absolutely necessary.
3. What happens to families? The negative side to a person’s transition is rarely spoken, or written about in pscyh journals, family therapy journals, etc. This is the hardest aspect for me, because I was a young teen going through puberty and I had severe depression as a result. I will attempt to explore my own puberty and how my brother’s transition affected my journey.
Tonight I decided to flip to the documentary channel from CBC, and I fell into the world of a transsexual named Samantha Allen. I do not know who she is, but apparently she is some sort of figure in social media, writing on mainly gaming blogs, talking diversity. I decided to google her name….and what came up but an article on the Daily Dot, which proclaims: “Crowdfunding bought Samantha Allen a vagina.” Click here to view the article:
Now I might be naive, but I did not know that people now crowd-fund their sexual organs. Click here to see the crowd fund website. Mine came with my birth. A vagina has been a site of conflict for women for a long time, but to objectify and treat a vagina like an object, to purchase, and to make light of the procurement of a vagina, creates a war zone of ideas.
And here I was thinking that women, having control over their own reproductive process was still a revolutionary wish, to most women on the planet.
Take Ireland (like Henny Goodman’s famous one-liner, “take my wife, please”,) where gender recognition on birth certificates is legally permitted, but a pregnant woman cannot legally choose an abortion. Therefore, a man could decide to buy a vagina and have the birth certificate state their femaleness, but a woman cannot decide what goes on in her own vagina? Has the world just gone nuts? Or lack of nuts to be precise!
I am going to bed to ease this headache of thunderous thoughts…am i just a reactionary who cannot see the truth of sex and gender? or am i the child who cries “the emperor has no clothes”?”
At least I can see a joke in all of this!! Thank you grumpy cat.
Mockingbird: A long-tailed thrushlike songbird with grayish plumage, found mainly in tropical America and noted for its mimicry of the calls and songs of other birds.
Over the past year or so, a role model of sorts has emerged for the transgender identified community; Janet Mock has pushed a new version of the transgender narrative. I read her blog and watched her video clip about the appropriation of the Hawaiian culture by Hollywood in the new movie, Aloha, with Bradley Cooper and Rachel Macadams. While I have not seen the movie, nor read much about it, I cannot comment on Mock’s criticism of the film and its use of Hawaii as a setting. However, I found that she is disingenuous in her charge of “appropriation” of her indigenous culture, because I can see very strong appropriations in trans-women identified people of Western culture’s female sex-role behaviour in dress, customs, and social expectations, and the language of Western feminist struggles against exploitation and subjugation. In other words, transsexuals like Mock have taken our beauty mythology and somehow mixed it with the rhetoric of liberation. If these men want our discarded notions of femininity, let them have them. If men want to use women’s liberation rhetoric to liberate themselves, I am about to call a spade a spade.
What I have done in this piece is to use Mock’s own writing style, sentence structure and message to highlight the insincerity of the trans-identified narrative. To view the blog, click here.
- So I have something to tell you: I’m addicted to bloggers…there is nothing more affirming to me at the end of a horrible day than to see ….a silly web blog. Every. Single. Time.
- So this week I was so ecstatic to see Janet Mock’s So POPular! until I meditated on its title. She is ready to “pop” or is she just part of a pop culture that demeans the role of women in our culture…anyway, she is trying to state her cultural relevance…. or she wants to be like her pop idol, Janet Jackson? Who the hell cares…pop goes the weasel….
- To view the website and the video segment, click on this sentence.
- The web-show is based on Janet Mock’s views on a variety of topics, but they all come down to her transmission of her “new” transsexual narrative. In her latest instalment she talks about how the movie industry has appropriated Hawaiian culture in a new romcom with Bradley Cooper and Rachel Macadams.
- Like RuPaul’s Drag Race, “Janet Mock” is a Hollywood product where transgender is centered, females and female culture is appropriated, and native-born women are nowhere to be seen. And when I say native-born women, I am not talking about the people who claim that they feel female since birth, I mean women who are born with vaginas and ovaries. I am referring to Women, like my mother, grandmother, my sister and myself—the native indigenous women who have reliably birthed and populated the earth since, like forever, whose gametes predate the arrival of men who want to be women. Harry Benjamin arrived in North America, after failing to cure his impotence with Dr Freud’s psychoanalysis, he turned against the “talking cure;” he promoted the surgeries that resulted in men purchasing women’s body parts. These men are the colonists who have objectified women’s sexual organs and wish to recreate themselves as women out of their own male tissue.
- Echoing what Bowlby might have said, I wrote on my blog “what is difficult about being a woman is that everyone has a female figure, called mother, in their psychological composition and attachment history, so everyone thinks that they know what it is like to be a woman.” Womanhood lives vividly in people’s minds as nothing more than a soft place to land….a space of escape, fantasy, and paradise. But womanhood is much more than a special place or an imagined image…just as female is more than just a term given to us at birth.
- The on-going appropriation and commercialisation of everything female only makes it clearer as to why it is inappropriate for those with no menstruation or ovulation to invoke the female experience, culture, language and body. This is uniquely true of the word “female”…a term that has been bastardised, deconstructed and diminished with its continual adoption by men who wish to change their gender.
- Most who invoke the term do not seem to know its true meaning. Female refers to the organism of the sex or sexual phase that normally produces eggs, normally meaning to have a vagina, a uterus, ovaries and enlarged breasts. When we perform coitus, the female of the couple, not the male, produces a baby. If two men lie together, etc. you get the drift. That’s female.
- When Janet Mock uses the language of the marginalised, native-born female, whose body, culture and experience have been stripped from them by the politics of transgenderism, she contributes to a long tradition of reducing native-born women to her own limited imagination…and this is dangerous.
- To put my own words to a quote that Janet Mock uses to promote her ideas on appropriation:
- “Embedded in every male theft of femaleness is the denial of that theft, be it theft of role, culture, oppression, all the things that define womanhood, all that we need to struggle as a people. The exploitation and appropriation of Woman’s identity and cultural identifiers, like subjugation, inequality and violence is in keeping with that millennial old traditions of misogyny and patriarchy. This sort of appropriation is possible, because women have been remade and deconstructed, turned into a strangely passive icon that represents entertainment for men who claim to be women.”
- A message to those in Transland: If you are not native born female or intersex, you do not get to spread the message of womanhood because you own the product, the objects, the purchase of female sexual organs, because they are not yours naturally. You have objectified the female form even more deviously than the Playboy king has done. Our body is not yours for appropriation or profit, even as a Janet Mock self-promotion of realness.
- My target of this editorial is Transland, and not men who take the roles usually ascribed to women. There is an entire system, that more often than not, silences native-born women’s voices, rather than include them. I am also aware that though I am centering on native-born women voices, I do not wish to erase the presence of men who naturally inhabit some of the culturally female stereotyped roles and expectations, but who have contributed to and have embraced feminism.
Google the term, “transgender,” and there is a wiki site that purports to help a person to decide if he or she is transgendered.
There is a graphic of a young woman holding a toy truck and a young man holding a doll.The author tells us that boys who chose dolls are not identified as male.
Girls who play with trucks…well, it is self-explanatory. These images create a very rigid narrative, and people who find themselves preferring non-stereotyped activity are questioned. It goes on to say that if you chose these toys, you are expressing a binary identity.
What fucking rubbish!!
Play into archaic sex-role stereotypes why don’t you!!
Many an afternoon, Janet and I were content to take dozens of Dinky toys onto my gravel driveway, and with our bare hands, scoop out roads for the cars and trucks to travel along. Cities filled with schools and shops, parks and houses. We did not stop to think of ourselves as boys. We were Builders of Empires.
As my father did not own or drive a car (oh my…what a girl!) we were left all day to imagine our worlds with our powerful drive for control and domination. No real car to interrupt our imaginary kingdom on the driveway. My father would walk past and smiled at our miniature world. There was no Wiki writer to spoil our vision, to upset our identification, to tell us we were identifying as boys. My Word! Could Janet and I have been true revolutionaries? Rejecting the Binary? Maybe we were boys with vaginas?
Hey Janet, did you ever tell me that when you shared your mother’s sex ed lecture about bleeding between our legs that was coming soon to a body near you! The Bleeding was kind of a frightening and mysterious shroud that made us women; I never thought to ask if boys had it too
Back to the graphic narrative…..it also says that a person is never too old to act on their identification with the opposite sex. Above the man’s head is a large light bulb, implying that eureka moment that only geniuses and Oprah Winfrey must have. For Janet and I, we were never thinking about our gender identification. We were simply kids trying out life, in every permutation we could create.
Of course, we knew we were girls; the requirement to wear a skirt to school pretty much verified that designation for kids like Janet and me.
We did not choose our dress code, but when we arrived home, the skirt was dropped on the floor and pants were pulled up to our waists in its place. Easier to play in, and we didn’t get our underpants dusty in the gravel.Trucks for boys. Phooey.
Trucks for boys……Phooey.
Reuters has reported that Dana Contreras, a well-known Twitter executive, has accepted a plea deal on a rape charge. His ex-wife was the victim of a vicious attack carried out in her home and overheard by her daughter. According to the San Francisco Examiner, the rape charge was dropped as part of a plea deal. In other words, the transgender-identified male accepted the guilt for the charge of rape, in order to stay out of prison.
One of my concerns is about the lack of coverage by media outlets, and the perpetrator’s link to the media through his high-profile employment at Twitter.
This story is ripe for discussion; I wish to question the “popular” acceptance of transgender-identified men who keep their male sexual organs. In claiming they are women, they make a mockery of reproductive classification, and of rape.
Rape is the ultimate statement of misogyny, and men must understand the important message the act tells women. This is one of the first sexualized fears that girls learn as they grow up in our world; “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman,” (Simone, who else.)
These learned experiences form a type of universal experience for women, all around the world. I remember how my own father used to insist that I carry a pair of scissors in my purse to ward off rapists. He understood the mind-set behind these violent acts, as most men do ( I do not think for a second that most men have rape thoughts), and he wanted his young daughter to be safe, helping me to internalize a common female experience.
A woman cannot perform a penetrative rape on a woman with her sexual organs. That’s the truth!
There is a wholesale denial in this story of Contreras, his rape of his ex-wife, and the media’s reluctance to spotlight the story.A Gazette newspaper blogger (it is a transgender themed blog) answered my request for a remark on the case in this way: “There’s not much for me to write about. Trans people commit crimes, too.” Inadequate at best…..
Men, who masquerade as women, are men. Men, who have penises, are not “women with penises,” as is the common phrase these days in transgender lobbyist circles. This issue goes further than simple semantics. It is an important a social construct.
As a female, and as a politically-informed female, I think it is up to informed and concerned media portals to clarify and spotlight the dangers of accepting men with penises who identify as transgender. We must discuss the consequences, such as rape, that are happening to some women. The Bathroom Issue!
One rape is one rape too many.