Thursday, August 04, 2011

Poles Apart

Did you know all the time but it never bothered you anyway
Leading the blind while I stared out the steel in your eyes

-David Gilmore

I've not been around a lot lately.  I have regrets about that.  Basically my life is so full that I do not have as much time to write as I once did.  I'm also far enough into transition that most of my day to day life doesn't revolve around gender anymore, and it leaves me with little relevant to say here on a regular basis.  It's just work and love and family an all the mundane things that mark a typical life now.  There are steps I still need to take in transition, but in the interim, I have very little to contribute.  

Lately I've been thinking about some of the blogs I once followed closely, and friends I haven't spoken to in a while.  I just wanted to catch up, so I returned to read.  But the very first entry I read reminded me of the divides in the trans blogging world. 

On one side, you have a faction of crossdressers who lash out at transexual women.  They assume that transexual women have the same motivations they do, that they are delusional, and that transition is not healthy for anyone.  

On the opposite side, you have a few elitist transexuals who think that anyone who does not share their motivations (or in some cases, just have not completed the transition process) have no right to express their gender.

Between these two extremes you have so many people who are just innocently trying to document their transition or their transgender experience, who get bombarded with comments that pull them into this completely pointless debate.

What I really want to ask, is why can we not all get along?  Can we not accept that people have different motivations, different goals, and that there is no reason to judge each other?

We are each the primary stakeholder with regards to our own gender identity.  Why can't we just accept each other at face value, give each other the proper respect and move on?  Does it matter if someone else is on a different path, has different motivations, or has a different understanding of gender?  Some of it deserves intelligent debate perhaps.  But does misgendering, bullying and childish name calling really contribute to an understanding of gender?  I don't think it does.

I'll probably be quiet again for a while after this.  The whole debate just makes me sad and I don't like getting pulled into it. This little corner of the internet used to be so pleasant and informative.  Now it feels like two polar opposite factions vying for control and everyone else just in the middle trying to dodge the bullets.  

The irony is that both sides of this want mainstream society to embrace them, take them at face value and give them respect.  If you can't respect another view, and respect another's right to gender expression, how is it fair to expect the mainstream to embrace you?  Don't ask for more than you are willing to give.  


Andi said...

I am so bummed to see this last post. Last I looked, you were excited about the results of your fantastic surgery, new love and making progress toward life goals. I think you are about 6 months to a year ahead of me in surgeries. You have inspired me as I followed ypur journey. Please don't let skeptics and judgemental people discourage you. There are people like me who like you just the way you are and appreciate what you have done and shared. I have an ask of you. Can we continue this offline? My e-mail is


Lori D said...

I agree with you 100 percent. I recently returned as well and experienced the same divisiveness. I refuse to give up hope, though, and I'd hope that you at least once in a while continue to share your amazing story so thoughtfully. I've seen you blossom into woman you are today in such a short time, you've become a true role model to those who need to transition.

ms.shandy said...

Thanks so much to you both. I do want to point out that I've not been personally attacked really, and I'm not angry. Just kind of disappointed with the environment in trans blogging. I've seen people I once had the utmost respect for, attack totally innocent people that I still respect.

It really effects my reading more than my writing. I'm mainly not writing because I don't have a lot to say right now. I'm still happy, just a little sad about the state of this community. It was such a resource for me in early transition. If it were in the condition it's in now, when I first started transitioning... well I don't know what I'm trying to say. It just seems like all this polarized back biting is a disservice to people trying to understand themselves and plan what they need to do.

ms.shandy said...

@ andi Feel free to write me!

Andi said...

I am traveling on biz in CA. Back in Denver tomorrow. Will write you this weekend. Thx for the personal reach out...

Caroline said...

Another 100% agree from me.

I feel really sorry for anyone new arriving looking for what I found on the net, it is just nowhere where I have been for a while now and that is just so sad and disappointing.

Happy to see that you have found your life and are getting on and living it, that is just what we all hope and strive for.

Cynthia said...

Terrific to have you write again. I, for one, have missed you. I started reading your blog long before I set up my own, and I learned so much from you. Didn't learn how to fight or backbite or sling garbage at anyone though. Gosh, you were dull,LOL.

Honestly, you hit the nail right on the head. I think Caroline said about all there needs to say, except,

Glad you are moving on in your life as I have been praying just that for you.

Many Blessings and Hugs,

Cynthia XX

Anonymous said...

You mean you don't like fighting to be the alpha-trans? don't like arguing, fussing, and fighting? Oh Shandy, you're such a girl! :)Suzi

Tina said...

Well said! I feel the same way. :)

Debra said...

So very true. I blogged about this a while back as well. You communicated it very well.

I'm glad things are going well for you and I can relate to not having time or maybe even motivation to blog about gender-related things anymore.

I actually have another blog under a different name that I'm blogging under....on the next journey I've embarked on.

*hugs* all the best girl!!

Val R said...

Nicely written post, Ms. Shandy. And it is sad that there is this "draw a line in the sand" mentality. After all is said and done, the tide will wash the line away.

We each have a journey. Sometimes it resembles another's journey, perhaps at another time it resembles yet someone else's journey. At other times you are creating experiences that are yours alone, without precedent. All I can do is respect another's journey and ask that she respect mine.


Rebecca said...

Well said Shannon. It is sad how divided our community has become. I'm glad to hear you're doing so well and living such a full and happy life.

Caroline said...

Time for an annual report...

Anonymous said...

SUZI<--seconds Caroline's suggestion. :)