My Mother’s Sorrow

mother with dead childI 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.

mother in sorrow

I felt like we had deserted him, even though he had left us.”

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what exactly are the issues?

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.

Crowdfunding just bought Samantha Allen a vagina

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!

A misogynist can decide to buy space in a vagina (think prostitution.) Or as a gender imperialist/misogynist who can purchase the whole vagina for a few thousand American dollars. 52909755

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.

Appropriation, or the mockingbird’s song.

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. 

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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.

Continue reading

Where to start…a primer for a transgender identified person…

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. 

boysgirlsGirls 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 toysdinky car 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? 670px-Know-if-You-Are-Transsexual-Step-4Rejecting 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 legswierd operation 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.670px-Know-if-You-Are-Transsexual-Step-1 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, 670px-Know-if-You-Are-Transsexual-Step-6but 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.

One Rape is One Rape Too Many

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 of Tamar

Rape of Tamar

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…..Susanna_and_the_Elders_(1610),_Artemisia_Gentileschi

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.

Silent in the Mourning

Silent in the Mourning: My Brother’s Transition.

Even though I knew when, where and how it was going to happen, I was not prepared for the death of my brother. We were told, weeks before, about the doctor, the hospital, the surgery, the outcome, and the exact time of death. The days of waiting wore me down into a deep, dark clinical depression. There was no one to comfort me or acknowledge my grief.machen church statue
My family suffered the same loss, but we couldn’t talk. My friends thought it was cool in that gender bender kind of politic. There was no paradigm for this death, or suicide, or transformation of a man into a woman, the “transition.”
On the day of my brother’s surgical death, I had intense dreams of living in a place where the only acceptable way to grieve was to sleep. Every time I tried to cry, to yell out, or to howl the pain, I was told quite violently that we didn’t cry for this death. Our mourning culture for this death does not include a funeral, flowers, grave markers, or processions. It is a silent grief, cut off from all human understanding.
Each time I woke up from sleep that day, I had a voice inside of me telling me to go back to sleep; that was the proper thing to do, and so I slept for 18 hours straight. This went on for weeks, and I missed days and days of work. I had tumbled into a depression that I could not understand. There was no death, they told me. Only transformation. Presto, another sister!
Not true! My brother was dead and never coming back to us. I didn’t have a hint of his intentions growing up because he never showed interest in girls or girlie things. He hated girls. Still, he is my brother and that will never change.
My identity was changed for me, behind my back without my authorization or consent. The death of brothers and sisters is hard to get over, because so much of who we are, is locked into the other person. Hard-wired. We are the future and the past, rolled into one present moment together. There is the promise that we will grow old together and bring the past along for comfort.
When I heard about Chas Bono’s mother, Cher, having a difficult time with her daughter’s transition, I said, “Hell yes, don’t anyone tell Cher not to grieve or that she is some kind of transphobic!” She is a mother like any other who has lost the child she birthed, and as a result, she is mourning. The political should be left for equal access issues, not personal relationships. It is a terrible loss to a family.
Have I grieved? Not really. I know I will bury my brother’s remains in the family plot, even though I refer to her with her female name, use the correct pronouns, and have accepted that she will not hurt anyone by being a woman. We never did sister-type activities with each other, like I did with my birth sister. It has been over 35 years since she had the surgery, but in my identity, she will always be my big brother.