“Mother,” I slowly repeated in Korean. “I am not a boy. I am a girl. I am transgender.” My face reddened, and tears blurred my vision. I braced myself for her rejection and the end to a relationship that had only begun.
Silence again filled the room. I searched my mother’s eyes for any signs of shock, disgust or sadness. But a serene expression lined her face as she sat with ease on the couch. I started to worry that my words had been lost in translation. Then my mother began to speak.
“Mommy knew,” she said calmly through my friend, who looked just as dumbfounded as I was by her response. “I was waiting for you to tell me.”
“Birth dream,” my mother replied. In Korea some pregnant women still believe that dreams offer a hint about the gender of their unborn child. “I had dreams for each of your siblings, but I had no dream for you. Your gender was always a mystery to me.”
I wanted to reply but didn’t know where to begin. My mother instead continued to speak for both of us. “Hyun-gi,” she said, stroking my head. “You are beautiful and precious. I thought I gave birth to a son, but it is OK. I have a daughter instead.”
such a beautiful story. as a queer person, waiting is filled with anxiety about what to say, how much of myself and my life would i be able to reveal? the fear of rejection is so huge, but i also desperately want my family to know me, my life, my trials, my triumphs.
i just want to look into someone’s eyes and see myself, feel like i look like someone, like i can see where i came from. i want to know if i am an oppa or hyung.
i want to know if i had a name.
i have heard all the stories, all the possibilities from bad to good that can happen when you find your birth family. but this…this is the best. the absolute best.
This gave me chills. This is wonderful.
This is such an incredible story. I wish every trans person could have this support from their family. Warning though, I definitely got misty with this story.
You are not allowed to say
- He’s a boy, but
- He’s not actually a boy
- He’s actually transgender
- He doesn’t have the right “parts”
- He was born a girl
- He used to be a girl
You are definitely not allowed to say
- and “Hers”
When I have specifically told you to use
- and “His”
If you don’t know don’t assume; ask.
If you do know, don’t out.
The only circumstance when it’s okay for you to out me is if I say it is okay.
Public Service Announcement.
Lmao if you think the male/female divide when it comes to biological sex is an immutable biological fact, you have an elementary school understanding of biology.
The way we determine biological sex is generally very arbitrary. When it comes to genitalia, there’s pretty much a sliding scale of vagina with clit -> vagina with Long Clit -> Ambiguous -> Small Penis -> Normal penis (With more levels inbetween those, of course).
For most babies, karyotypes are not performed, unless they show signs of a developmental disorder that can be caused by chromosomes. This means, potentially, one could be designated female due to the condition of your genitals, while having chromasomal patterns more in line with “male” biology.
Beyond that, there’s the additional layer of hormones. It is possible for one who was designated a particular gender at birth to have hormonal patterns of the “opposite sex”
And even beyond that you have the secondary chracteristics, which are pretty obvious, and also completely arbitrary. Things like bone shape, breasts, hair growth, certain tissues etc.
Now, considering that even if we solely judge based on the axis of genitalia, there are a multitude of other configurations besides vagina/penis. Thus, not binary.
The amount of potential configurations increases even more when you consider additional axes, so to try and partition it down to the male/female dichotomy necessitates grouping together large groups of incredibly dissimilar people arbitrarily.
Pansexuality isn’t “bisexuality but you are also attracted to trans* people”. Pansexuality is the attraction to all genders, even those outside of male and female.
Also, it’s pretty much a terrible, horrible, awful idea to insinuate that trans*people are fundamentally different from cis people and are their own separate gender. Please don’t do that.
YES THANK YOU
I hate it when people use the word pansexual that way. Binary-identified trans men and trans women are men and women.
If you know of individuals who have been in a correctional/prison facility in Nevada who were/are transgender and subjected to any sort of problematic treatment (particularly being segregated from the rest of the inmates in a solitary-confinement situation) please contact me as soon as possible. The ACLU is doing some important research and documentation on this issue, and we need to get in touch with folks quickly for potential interviews or written reports. Please spread the word far and wide, and contact me directly with any leads at the information below:
ACLU of Nevada
THE NEVADA ACLU IS STARTING A CASE THAT WILL END TRANSGENDER CIVIL RIGHT VIOLATIONS IN PRISONS. IT IS BEGINNING HERE IN NEVADA BUT THIS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO INCITE MAJOR CHANGE
I CARE NOT WHERE YOU LIVE< WHAT CITY< WHAT STATE< WHAT COUNTRY PLEASE REBLOG
this will help trans women be housed where we should be housed, this has the potential to help persons like CeCe McDonald
PLEASE PLEASE REBLOG
THIS WORD NEEDS TO GET OUT THROUGH EVERY MEDIUM WE CAN
Sylvia Rivera kicking ass on stage after some radfems & transphobes tried to refuse her the right to speak at the 1973 Christopher Street Liberation Day rally. Said radfems then had their own march in part protesting trans participation in Pride. A precursor to today’s Dyke March.
40 years later in the very same park trans women are still fighting for space within Pride as this year’s Dyke March fiasco demonstrated. I’m feeling challenged and troubled by the narrative that trans women’s response to transphobia must take the “form of serious, calm, point by point analyses of why radfems are wrong” as Stephen Ira pointed out.
What strikes me about this video is that she isn’t trying to be calm and collected after being attacked. She’s not internalizing the notion that fighting transphobia has to take on the oppressive notion of “respectability.”
These conversations have left me wondering: has the non profit industrial complex and professionalized activism gentrified our political activity?
So within all of that, I say: nothing but love and power to trans women creating space for ourselves in queer community! Special shout out to Voz who inspired this post!
“I have been beaten, I have had my nose broken, I have been thrown in jail, I have lost my job, I have lost my aparmtent for gay liberation, and you all treat me this way? What the FUCK is wrong with you all?”
This is an extraodinary essay I hope everyone reads, by a remarkably talented woman named Natalie Reed. It actually took my breath away.
I haven’t posted a lot of positive reviews for Batgirl here on Tumblr, for a lot of reasons. First, I don’t know, it seems kind of, needy, I guess? I repost nice things readers say, sometimes, but posting really positive reviews comes across weird to me. But additionally, I know that a lot of readers still have mixed feelings, or hard feelings, about the New52, and Batgirl in particular.
And I get that, and it feels weird to be posting reviews, it seems like it’s only being done to counter any negative arguments, and I really don’t want to go that route. I don’t want to use people’s real lives to make a point, for one thing. And I don’t want to flood people’s feeds with that stuff when we could be looking at pictures of Ragdoll cosplayers. ;)
But the thing that’s true and powerful that I would actually like to talk about is that Batgirl IS very meaningful to a lot of people. I get emails and letters that are sometimes incredibly moving…I got two last week forwarded from DC, snail mail letters from two people whose stories were almost overwhelming (one survived a trauma that left her paralyzed, and another was born with a specific disability). Their generous comments had me literally shaking. I’m not going to go any further, except to say that they found something inspiring in the new Batgirl’s struggles.
When I took the book, the idea was that almost all the DC characters would be de-aged, moved back closer to their starting point. But nobody wanted erasure. It’s already tricky enough, no one wanted to say Barbara never had struggled and survived and triumphed over the events in the Killing Joke. I could just about accept a healing in the magic- and science-heavy DCU, but I could not accept that she had never been disabled.
So after a lot of thought, I agreed to write the book, for several complicated reasons (none of which had anything to do with commerce), but I have always understood the people who disagreed with the move. I love Oracle, I love what she represented, she was a PWD icon, all that stuff, I will always love classic Oracle and the Classic Birds of Prey, possibly above all other things in comics.
I agreed to do this on the condition that we could continue to focus on Barbara’s inspiring nature, in this case, that of a trauma victim. She’s the victim of a vicious and psychologically devastating home invasion. This sort of thing is routinely forgotten in comics, like characters can shed this stuff like a layer of skin. But most of us have either been the victims of such an event, or know someone close to us who has. And it doesn’t get treated believably in comics, as a rule.
Most real trauma victims can’t just forget and move on, not that easily. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work at Crisis Centers and you can see how deeply these wounds go, mentally and physically. I wanted to show that she could survive and be a hero, and still go through all those emotions that most trauma survivors experience, the PTSD and the survivor’s guilt and flashbacks and the body that betrays you when you least expect it.
It’s really resonated with a lot of people, and many of them have sent me their stories. I don’t want to belabor it any further, but it’s meant a lot to a lot of people. I don’t think Batgirl is like every other superhero book out there, and I don’t think Barbara should ever just be another girl in a cowl.
And then there is this.
An excellent writer named Natalie Reed, who is a trans woman, noticed that Batgirl had a large number of very vocal trans readers. And she asked me why I thought that was the case. I have a couple theories, but I didn’t want to speak for anyone.
Natalie took it further and wrote this very passionate essay about comics and Batgirl and trans readers. It absolutely took my breath away. I hope you will read it, and if you liked it, maybe leave Natalie a message of support for her great work. It is really, really worth your time, even if you disagree with her position.
Thanks for reading this, everyone. And thanks for the wonderful article, Natalie! You inspire me!
This is what I aim to change in LGBTQ organizations. I want the focus to be on greater issues, more grave issues.
TW: CISSEXISM AND BRUTAL VIOLENCE
… imagine a 19-year-old girl being dropped off at an acquaintance’s home by a taxi on a Sunday night and finding three men on the lawn waiting for her. Imagine them kidnapping, torturing, decapitating, dismembering and burning her alive for sport, as young, raucous boys would to a Barbie doll. Imagine them chucking her torso on the side of a highway, with absolutely no regret or sense of immorality. Imagine being the mother called into the morgue to identify a defiled torso as your daughter. Swallow that bitter pill of reality and tell me that marriage is the most important issue for the LGBT community in 2011. For several in the transgender community, it might as well be 1969 all over again, because nothing has changed for them.
Fucking thank you. We’re getting beat the fuck up and murdered, and their biggest concern is gay marriage.
“I have nothing against marriage equality; I believe in it. But I also know that marriage means nothing if we aren’t alive or otherwise able to enjoy it.”
Yeah, the whole “we want gay marriage!” whilst I have to worry about myself or my friends getting killed all the time kinda sucks. This is why the gay community sucks balls and I don’t identify with them.
Hi, queer anarcho feminist scene! LOVE YOU!
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