Third date

Jul. 18th, 2008 05:39 pm
You were tired.

You tell me about your party, and that you asked about trans-inclusion. I appreciate this. You say the "organization is trans-inclusive, but for the girls's event you have to have the surgery." That you have to "be physically female."

I was looking forward to going with you. And I think that you will be going without me.

For those of you who are here in this personal-trust-relationship, here is the context. This is not public information for official bodies.

This CFS meeting was by far, the worst to date.

Sadly, we did not have enough time to discuss membership issues (i.e. so why are SFU and Kwantlen students angry?). Funny how we always seem to run out of time before this occurs.

When we arrived on Saturday, we were presented with loyalty oaths which, it was decided, we would have to sign as a condition of our prior ratifications to the committee being honoured. I believe that this was an intimidation tactic, and it may be illegal. A multiple-hour session of veiled accusations against myself (and, to a lesser extent Capilano's representative) ensued. Titus avoided a nasty confrontation by, at the last minute, pointing out that I'd been appointed in February for a one-year term.

On Sunday, without any kind of warning or discussion, the Treasurer of the BC-CFS printed up a screenshot showing the three prior entries of my journal (too bad this didn't include the equinox greetings!) and handed them around the meeting. I became very angry at him in public. He then relied only on the most recent entry (as opposed to the other cfs-related entries?) as a pretense to have me barred (very likely illegally) from the financial portion of the meeting, and likely future confidential sessions as well. Enough of the Executive Committee and Staff cooperated with this to make this the case. The Chair of the meeting did nothing to stop him. No-one objected to publicly airing my personal gender/sexuality/emotional information in an act of alleged oversight.

I refused to leave, so they took the meeting elsewhere.

I think that this shows a step across the line separating professional conduct from personal attack. I am not happy about this. I don't know how to respond, or whether it's worth my time and thought. I could go on, but I don't feel the need to defend myself or further illustrate.

Still, I felt, and to an extent still feel, helpless, humiliated, intruded-upon, shocked/disappointed, and disgusted. I don't know what other personal information they will go through. I am very angry.

Now. Food.
[The original of this was less precise. It did not include paragraphs 2, 3 and 6. It said only "I hate them" when asked at the CFS meeting about what "I hate them" means, paragraphs two and three flew out of my mouth. It seemed worth writing down.]

I'm off to another CFS meeting. This one starts at 11 am in Kamloops on Saturday, and finishes on Sunday evening. The will cover overnighting on Saturday/Sunay, but not at any other time. Thus we are expected to both leave and return to Vancouver at odd hours with not enough sleep to drive properly.

I hate them; the people who make the decisions. The people who steer the meetings so that they creep along at a snail's pace whenever critical people attend, and, as soon as the only people there are ill-informed enough to trust them, switch tracks to see to it that the meeting is fully "productive."

I hate it when people take a trust relationship and pervert it. I hate the people who have undermined the idea of a student movement.

For a while, I was worried that the anger that I felt towards the CFS-elite was ebbing. But it's come back in a calmer, more comfortable format. I think it's because I'm still mad, but I'm not afraid of them anymore.

I feel confident that we are going to fuck them up.

We'll fix it and expose them, or we'll leave it.

The Cass identity model of coming out.

It's somewhat outdated, culture-specific, and doesn't apply as much to transgendered people (i.e. both transsexual and gender-variant), but it's good.

I need to do two things when I'm writing a self-examining post.

1. Try to infer what external causes have prompted me to write this (AKA take at least a minute to calm the fuck down and think)

2. Don't pull my punches.

Overlooking both. Bad habits. Showing improvement though.

Anyhow, what I forgot in the last post was:

1. Context

I'm growing out my facial hair as a step to going to the L.A.S.E.R. hair removal clinic. This is the last time I have to do LASER hair removal on my face. After this, a matter of electrolysis.

When I do this, I tend to dress in a much more masculine fashion, because while I don't like being a "boy in a dress," I like being a "bearded boy in a dress" even less. The gender of my presentation gets on my mind, as one might well imagine. Each time I grow out my beard like this, I know that the next time, it will be even sparser. This reminds me that I am making, and have already made irreversable changes to my body. It's good, but it drives home that I have committed myself to this.

Also, due to the changes in my face and build, each time I grow out my beard and toss on some baggy shirts, I look increasingly FtM, which amuses me to no end.

2. Pulling punches

The dilemma can better be summarized as:

What's the point of trying to look feminine when the more I try, the more it highlights all the parst of me that don't look like a girl, so I  present like a crossdresser? Am I dressing like a boi out of fear of having "tranny" stamped on my forehead? Or do I actually just not want to look feminine? Is this discomfort and the dire towards the masculine more due to the fact that I just don't feel right in a feminine presentation?

[this was where this post was supposed to end, but following my own advice has led me to really sort things out]

And is the problem with intelligibility more to do with my worries about seeing my family?

When I told my Mum about how her "advice on femininity was welcome, but I'm not a gender normative female," she said that she didn't consider herself "to be a gender-normative female." I had to drive how that when I said "not gender normative" I didn't mean "I'm comfortable being single, kayaking and carrying boxes up stairs" but rather "the kind of woman that, a while back, my Mum would describe with the hushed phrase, 'I think she has some gender issues.'" So I said, when I say non-normative, I mean kinda butch.

"Kinda butch" was not the best term, but I used it because I thought that my Mum might get it. Our former neighbour was/is dealing with his daughter's coming out and suddenly "looking like a butch lesbian." Those were his words - I would say that she looks and acts like a Greenpeace volunteer whose sexuality is her own business, but if that's my mom's baseline of "butch" then that would make me Leslie fucking Feinburg.

A lot of my conversations about my changing my sex (my sex needs changing, my gender is fine) include similar problems. The issue in my head is that most of my family hasn't seen me since December, when the biggest change in my appearance was that I was wearing better fitting clothes than normal. Thanksgiving is coming up and I just want to go to Kelowna and eat some salad and drink punch and talk with my loved one - i.e. I want to forget about all this trans shit

This is likely because I've spent the last week introducing myself to other SFU students as female and having no bloody idea how I'm coming across

But come Thanksgiving, I know that I have the choice of presenting either in an intelligibly feminine fashion, or as the giant (possibly somewhat butch, possibly not) dyke that I am. The former is not something that I want to do - or am going to do, so I guess that dilemma is solved. But the latter may lead to more well-meant expressions of concern over "whether I've really thought this through."

Gah! Of course I've thought this about this

I mean, of course I've thought this through... I think.

Oops again.
I mean: I... guess this is the right thing to do, but if you have a better idea I'd like to hear it.

All of these relate to looooong concerned/worried/loving/irritating conversations that I don't want to have - in part because I want to come out to someone and get slapped on the back and offered a celebratory beer (Anne Travers is, so far, the only person to take this tack) - but largely because I've already had the "Have you actually thought about what the fuck you're doing?" talk about six times with others, and about four hundred times with myself. Maybe I should just write my best guess as to my gender identity down and what the hell I'm doing with/to my body, career and personal safety on a business card, hand it out and say "it's all there, now let's forget about it, eat and talk about the last season of CBC radio, Dynamic Optics, social history and all that other wonderful stuff." And maybe we can actually forget about it instead of using it to cover up the giant ball of mutual concern that is the product of me changing my sex.

Okay, maybe I don't actually want to forget about all this trans shit, but rather be able to have meaningful personal conversations with people that don't rely on me going over the basics to the point where I'm wondering why it's Helen Leung and not me who's teaching "Introduction to Gender Studies."
One of them 11.5-hour days at the office.

A day where we've paid for our delegates to attend the CFS meet only  to discover that one - no two - of the five - oh, no six (apparently someone is coming from SFU-Kamloops... yes, that's right, the Kamloops Campus) - people that we're sending to Friday evening - no,  Thursday afternoon - meeting in Nanaimo (it is still to my knowledge in Nanaimo - check back tomorrow for changes) cancel on the day of.

I run around to our constituency and activist groups to drum up volunteers for a paid trip, and by "paid," I mean that the SFSS covers basic costs. I go to Out-on-Campus, SFU's Public Interest Research Group, the First Nations rooms and... the Women's Centre.

Bad Dreams and Politics
It is only today that I thought maybe repeatedly waking up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding isn't a good thing.

A dream:

I have realized two things about The Stages of Grief.

1. It applies to any major, less-than-welcome life change
2. It would make a good name for an alternative band, or maybe a festival of Shakespearian tragedy .

Today is the first time I've ever told someone explicitly "I'm annoyed at you."

I've flown off the handle twice in the last two years: once over a ticket snafu in a Czech train station, and once in a student-union meeting feeling blocked in my attempts to arrange a debate during a 'get out and vote' campaign. Neither of those times did I say "I'm angry," nor at any time in memory.

Peculiar this; needs mending.



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