08 April 2009

The Perfect Blend (Part Two)

The Perfect Blend

This post is dedicated to the memory of Angie Zapata, Lateisha Green, Tracey Thompson, Ebony Whitaker, Duanna Johnson, and thousands of other Transsexual murder victims, known and unknown. They were people to whom God had given everything, but blind human jealousy, ignorance and hatred brought a violent and premature end to their lives.

However, there is something wrong with claiming you’re fully male or female when your genitalia and other physical traits indicate otherwise. Gender identity defines gender only up to a point; the physical aspect must be taken into account as well. We live in a corporeal dimension, after all, so the body can't be ignored!

Most Transsexual folk realize as much, and that's why so-called "sexual reassignment" surgery has grown in popularity. Despite their dubious origins in Nazi Germany, the medical profession has seen fit to approve these risky procedures as “treatment” for transsexualism. Major complications like tissue death, fistula, blood clotting and hemorrhage haven’t deterred Transfolk from seeking them by the thousands.

The Transsexual patient’s reward for risking her life and emptying out her savings account is a strictly artificial result. The subtleties of inborn biology are such that a lifetime of medical maintenance becomes necessary. It's impossible to "assign” gender after birth; the body knows what it was born to be! Some people successfully transition with little or no surgery at all, which calls into question the necessity of such radical procedures. Yet all too many Transfolk feel that the only way to validate their gender identity is with syringes, scalpels and stents. To me, that’s heartbreaking!

I would never presume to tell anyone how she should or shouldn’t change her own body; everybody's got the right to do what's necessary in order to feel whole. Even so, an artificial penis will never be the key to manhood; a surgically-created vagina isn’t what defines a woman; and you can’t buy legitimacy in a silicone syringe! Nobody will ever be more masculine or feminine than they are on the day they're born. If physical characteristics can't determine gender at birth, they certainly can’t determine gender later on!

“Sexual reassignment” shouldn’t be considered “treatment” for anything! It should be viewed in the same light as other forms of plastic surgery: A cosmetic option that’s available to patients. This idea that Transgender bodies must need be altered to fit traditional gender concepts is tragically misguided! As long as Transgender activism has this idea as a core motivation, the world will view transsexualism as a malady . . . and that is entirely the wrong view.

How could a blessing from Heaven be a malady? Transsexual men and women aren't born into the wrong body; they're born into the wrong society! Society must change to accommodate them, not vice-versa!

The rulers wanted to fool people, since they saw that people have a kinship with what is truly good. They took the names of the good and assigned them to what is not good, to fool people . . . for they wished to take free people and enslave them forever.

The Transgender = Sick mentality is widespread among Transfolk, but who can blame them for having it? How could they avoid having it, given society's extreme prejudice in favor of binary gender? In fact, extreme is much too mild a word. "Maniacal" is a better description!

Most cultures, including my own African-American ethnic group, are maniacal when it comes to enforcing strong separations between male and female. Breaching those separations invites cruel punishments, ranging from ostracism to physical violence to murder! There aren’t any hard statistics to cite, but I'd bet you any amount of money that most victims of heterosexist murder are Transsexual! I’ve heard far too many horror stories like those of Brandon Teena and Gwen Araujo in my lifetime to think otherwise.

It’s easy to wake up dead if you’re a female-born man or a male-born woman. Even worse, it’s easy to wake up alone. Finding a mate can be a b*tch if you don't conform to binary standards of physical gender! The same is true of binary gender norms that dictate behavior, and the prejudice is equally strong in homosexual and heterosexual circles.

For example, most of the men I've been interested in have let me know that I'm entirely too "nelly" for them. However, I refuse to do what some have suggested and "butch up". It's also been suggested that I go as female. No way! Locking myself inside a gender role closet has never been a viable option. Since childhood, I've insisted on expressing the totality of who I am. It has cost me dearly, but I've never regretted making that choice. Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time accepting the Transsexual population’s hunger for hetero-conformity.

LGBT folk love to think and speak of themselves as revolutionaries. Well, the revolution begins at home, sugar! If it doesn’t begin at home, it sure as Hell won't begin anywhere else! When I say "at home", I mean that place within our own minds, where our perceptions of who and what we are lie.

There's nothing revolutionary about people who represent themselves as "queer" or "gender queer".  Au contraire, mon frère!  That's counter-revolutionary thinking, to perceive yourself in the same way your oppressor perceives you! If you dare suggest that LGBT status is in any way sick, deviant or in need of correction, the only blow you strike will be a blow in support of ignorance and discrimination.

THE GNOSTIC GOSPEL OF PHILIP (reconstructed scripture)
Ignorance is the mother of (all evil). Ignorance leads to (imperfection, because) those who come from (ignorance) neither were nor (are perfect), nor will be. (But those in truth) will be perfect when all truth is revealed.

Real sex and gender revolutionaries reject narrow definitions of male and female! They also know that male and female isn't the whole story. They acknowledge and embrace the Transgender body, the Transgender soul. Most important, they realize that in order to be authentically Gay, Lesbian, Pansexual and/or Transsexual, all they have to do is haul ass out of bed in the morning! Natural beauty needs no embellishment.

LGBT individuals don't have to talk a certain way. They don't have to walk a certain way. They don't have to dress a certain way. They don't have to have this or that protruding from their chests or dangling between their legs! All they need do is be true to their sexual orientations and gender identities and go about their normal business on God's Earth. That's all, folks! Who knew revolutionary thinking could be so uncomplicated?

Transsexual people owning their Transgender identity instead of running away from it will be one of the most crucial developments of the revolution. It will require a tremendous amount of courage, and it won’t happen overnight. Even then, a certain number of Transfolk will always loathe the bodies they were born with. There’ll always be a market for "sexual reassignment" quackery (pardon my French). However, that market will shrink considerably when the civilized world abandons its maniacal obsession with binary gender.

Whether that day ever comes or not, male-born women and female-born men must start giving themselves permission to be everything that they naturally are! Persons of homosexual and pansexual gender must do the same thing. We’ll never be totally free of heterosexism until we shake ourselves loose from the insane compulsion to be “all-man” or “all-woman”!

In his second letter to the Corinthian churches (chapter 12, verses 7-10), the Apostle Paul wrote about a metaphorical “thorn in his side” that he begged God to remove. Some scholars believe that the reputedly homophobic preacher was referring to his own homosexual (or transsexual?) orientation. Whatever this “thorn” was, God refused to take it away.

The Lord told Paul that his secret burden was an example of almighty power “made perfect”. Made Perfect . . . I can’t think of a better way to describe the miracle that is Transgender existence! I can’t think of a Scripture that’s more relevant to Transsexual experience, either; every Transgender Christian should learn it by heart. Here’s another one worth remembering:

All those who have everything should know themselves, should they not? If some do not know themselves, they will not enjoy what they have, but those who know themselves will enjoy their possessions.

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