Understanding Transgender I: Black Hairy Limbs
Reading and writing is entertaining when funny stories lead to the main topic. But this time you will be brought to the subject of Transgender. Also mentioned, are helpful ideas about how to respond to a family/friend/co-worker who is LGBT. Most people dislike reading lengthy posts, or at least want a quick pick-me-up when blog- scrolling. Time on this plateau will NOT be quick, more like a meander, trying hard to stay on the path and not trample on delicate flowers. This documentation is divided into 8 parts. I will post this as one complete body of work, for those who want to read it all at once. Then I will post each section separately for those who need/want a shorter read.
Learning about the LGBT community is a process for me. My feelings and findings may evolve during the next decade. Most people know what it means to be homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual. Lately the word queer hasn’t been used in the familiar context of being attracted to the same sex. In recent years the word has evolved, in Ann Dohrendwend’s book, Coming Around, she explains queer thinking: “Queer has been reclaimed by today’s generation…Those who refer to their sexual orientations as queer reject traditional labels of heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual. They see such labels as limited and limiting, because they are majority conceptions shaped by majority biases and mores.” (8) Growing up the words, ‘Gay’, ‘Lesbian’, and ‘queer’ were used for taunting. In my 36 years of living, I have never personally used it to taunt. However, to write about LGBT is still a bit daunting for me. By worldly standards, I am conservative. Within my LDS religion, I am liberal.
The dial on the iron is turned to cotton-press. Quickly the iron slides over the yellow polka-dot sleeveless blouse. Slash-like holes are burned through the side of the back. Clearly the blouse is not cotton. A thought occurred, necessary precautions were taken so this wouldn’t happen again. All well, if a cardigan is worn, the blouse will provide its function; to match the color scheme for our family photos. Family and ironing prompt the pondering question- what are roles of masculine and feminine? Ironing is not my strong skill-set nor is being a delicious cook; I fancy performing neither of the two. Since my skills of such lack the luster and shine, does this make me an incompetent female or house wife? A pale part of me says yes, at least to the latter.
In grade school, mother let me dress myself. She took me shopping and spent a great deal of money. Disagreements over which clothes to wear or buy, never occurred. Mother has my honor for leasing the right to self-govern my image. However, my style never seemed to be the same as my classmates. Occasionally she offered that I make more an effort on my short-haired perm; to not let it flop flat and wet. Up until High School I was the odd boy… oops, girl. The word ‘odd’ is used because my teeth said it all: crooked, too big, and a major over bite. Lucky Me had such a huge mouth my teeth hadn’t a chance to hide, so I got braces. I desperately wanted glasses, so in 7th grade, dear mother bought me a non-prescription pair. I loved having braces and glasses. Looking back, my mom was probably thinking, “Whatever keeps the kissing and hand-holding at bay.” The word ‘boy’ is used because I was flat chested with black hairy limbs. In church once, my older sister leaned over and instructed that I shave my mustache before coming to church. One morning in 8th grade I used a Nair-type product. Time was limited. So half my upper lip was complete and consequently it burned the skin. So imagine in classroom setting, a half-burned, half-haired lipped girl engaging in shallow conversation with a hairless boy nicknamed Egg. Somehow he got her on the topic of mustaches. Hmmm, wonder why? She couldn’t help thinking that the joke was on her.