“J” and Some Definitions
Posted by Jody Ann Malsbury
This was written by my woman friend “J” who had the misfortune of being born with a birth defect–she was born with a body which characteristics are generally described–i.e., labeled–by society as “male.” Individuals born with this type of birth defect, including boys born with bodies characterized as “female,” in addition to other individuals whose bodies and/or minds do not meet society’s either/or “binary” concept of gender are often referred to as “transgender.”
First, some notes written by me:
Note 1: The correct term is “transgender,” not “transgendered.”
Note 2: While a small number of people use the word “transsexual,” they are in the minority; it is considered offensive by many and the word “transgender” is generally the appropriate word to use, if a label is necessary at all.
Note 3: The word “tranny” is offensive and should never be used.
Note 4: A transgender person should be referred to by the gender they are–NOT by the status of their genitals. For example, my friend “J” is a male-to-female (MTF) transgender woman–refer to her as a “woman” as you would to any other woman. And don’t look like an idiot–use the correct pronouns!
Note 5: Pre-op vs. Post-op. WHO CARES? Do you appreciate being judged or viewed as breasts or genitals? I didn’t think so. Is the state of your genitals anyone else’s business? So mind your own! A woman is a woman and a man is a man and if someone defines themselves as both, neither or a third, fourth or other gender, that is also none of your business.
Note 6: This is a great video to watch to avoid the usual mistakes made by cisgender people (i.e, those born with bodies that conform with their genders):
Okay. Here is J’s note:
Seven days from now I will have been admitted to ████████ Hospital for the surgery which will at last bring my physical body into line with my mind and my spirit. I and others like me have had many labels applied to us. Transsexual, Transgender, Male to Female, even Gender Bender the list goes on. Actually these days I can’t hear the term Gender Bender said or written without thinking of this:
But anyway, it doesn’t really matter to me what label is used to describe me, I’m way past worrying about it or how other people see me. I don’t really know if I would say I finally get to be the real me, because the real me has always been there. What I would say though is that I will finally get to look in a mirror and not be horrified or distraught or even sickened by the reflection looking back at me.
It has taken me a very long time to get to where I am now and to actually manage to stop feeling a sense of guilt over being so single minded that I would stop at nothing to get to where I need to be. There have been times when I thought I would never make it through, and that things had gotten to hard for me to go on. I admit that I have stared into the abyss on more than one occasion and once the abyss actually stared back. I have a three inch vertical scar on my wrist as a reminder of the day when I subconsciously or otherwise decided that it was the only way to make the pain stop. Now I am thankful that my life didn’t end in that second and that I am still here and fighting.
For a long time, I carried the legacy of my Roman Catholic upbringing, which I now realise has held me back from being myself. I stopped being a Catholic many years ago, pretty much when I learned to assert myself with my parents. Please don’t get the impression from this that I was unhappy with my parents or thought that they didn’t love me, because that really is the furthest thing from the truth. I loved them very much, and although my mother drives me absolutely berserk at times I still love her dearly. My lovely dad has gone though, taken very young some 16 years ago now from a heart attack. I still miss him very much, and its actually made me cry thinking about him just now. The sad thing is that he never really knew the daughter he had all along. My mother on the other hand does know me but just doesn’t want me. Hard as that is for me to deal with, I guess I have no choice but to do so.
I don’t have any particular fond memories of my teenage years, especially those at school where I was bullied for a lot of the time. I was different from those around me, there is no denying that fact. I did not fit into the miniature society that was high school in an industrial area of [an area in the UK] in the middle 1970’s. My life at school was made hell by bullying on a daily basis. I have to say though that the physical violence which had become very much a part of my school life at the time was difficult, but it paled into insignificance when compared against the constant, insidious, psychological cruelty I faced at that time. I knew very clearly who the main perpetrators were, but there was also those who were involved for fear of being singled out themselves. If I met these people today, I can’t say that I would seek out their friendship, but neither would I wish them any harm. They, every bit as much as me, were a product of their upbringing and environment, and although it doesn’t excuse what they did it at least goes some way to explain it.
Facebook has been blamed on more than one occasion for being an easy way for people to be bullied on line. But Facebook and other social media can have a big part to play in being part of the solution. In my darkest days in school had Facebook existed and there had been someone there like the fantastic Lyndsay Winegarden whose work with Stop Teenage Suicide is nothing short of inspirational, life despite bullying would have been slightly easier,as I would have had somewhere to turn when in fact there was no one at that time. I went to a teacher one time for help and was told to stop being such a girl. The irony of that comment stays with me today. If I could say to one person who is going through bullying in any way it would be this: Do not ever keep it to yourself, there are good people who will help you, and you just need to find the courage to reach out to them.
Today as I move headlong towards the big day life is good. I have many friends on Facebook who keep me going, make me laugh, and occasionally post stuff that makes me think wtf? but I wouldn’t change any of you for all of that. To all of of the fantastic [friends] S████, Jody, E████G████C████, A████, V████, K████,L████, E████, E████, C████, K████, T████, L████ G,████. You are such fabulous ladies and together we would probably make the world sit up and go wtf 😀 And to everyone at [groupname] especially the wonderful D████ [group administrator] I just love the discussions and randomness which appear so often on the page just fabby.
And there is one lady in particular I have to make special mention of.. the gorgeous and completely wonderful Miss S████. My darling I love you unquestioningly unconditionally and without measure. You are my reason, my muse and I will be with you always my love.
And so as Sunday April 8 the Day of Oestara comes to a close for me good night to all and to all a good night. Actually why say good night twice in that sentence? I’ve never really understood that and…and.. *mutters something about stupid expressions and goes to lie down in a darkened room.
Posted on May 27, 2012, in transgender and tagged bullying, Calpernia Adams, cisgender, Facebook, gender, gender bender, gender binary, Gender reassignment surgery, mtf, post-op, pre-op, pronouns, suicide, tranny, Trans woman, transgender, transgenderED, transsexual. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.