Why I Had Sex Reassignment Surgery

I was born transsexual and when you get through all the layers of psychobabble and rationalization, all the talk about gender this and gender that, being born transsexual meant I felt intensely uncomfortable in my own skin.

I was pretty feminine even before I came out and started hormones.

I’ve heard a lot of people who don’t want or need SRS ask, “What difference does it make?  Who sees what is between my legs except for me and my partner?”

And you know they have a point…

The reality is I had SRS to feel at home in my own body.

I didn’t do it expecting some package of rights and privileges, hell in 1972 there was no guarantee that I would get any rights or privileges as a result of SRS.

I’ve said all this a hundred times before.

Today a quote caught my eye: “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”  Hemingway.

Today Monica Helms wrote she has been Monica full time for 15 years.  That’s something in a world that is a bit harder for those who don’t get SRS than it is for those who do.

I’ve seen her change a lot over the years, mellow out, fight for lots of different causes, generally become a wiser person.

I withdrew from the Transwars not because the radicals quoting Transgender Borg Dogma, but because I saw that most Trans-Activists weren’t. Instead they were talking about fairness and equality, they were also getting involved in other causes as well.

They were talking about the same issues of equality, health care, housing, employment, marriage, and social justice I care about.

I never much liked the HBS set because they sounded like a bunch of Ayn Rand worshiping right wingers.

When they talk about post-op rights they sort of make it sound like it was an accessory package added to the base price of a car.  Something you had to purchase the car to get.

That doesn’t  line up very well with my values which include the idea that equal rights and protections shouldn’t be something limited to certain groups while denied to others based on the color of their skin, the shape of their genitals or the amount of money they have.

Today the Republicans blocked the Pay Check Fairness Act from coming to a vote in the Senate.  They said that approximately half the people in this country didn’t deserve to have their rights protected based on the shape of their genitals, or if you will, their gender.

That is not equality.

I am horrified that CeCe McDonald is being put in men’s prison for defending herself from being assaulted/murdered by a Nazi and his gang of thugs.

CeCe is an example of the multiple intersects of oppression. Race, class, cis-sexism the presumption of guilt rather than innocence. They didn’t even give her the right to defend herself.  Had the Nazi murdered her he would in all likelihood have been sentenced to less time.

It sort of seems when people are all obsessed with being better than other people because of something they had the money to buy, in this case SRS, then they are sort of placing the wrong value on SRS.

I mean, “Did you get it to feel whole and comfortable in your own skin, or did you get it to use as a status symbol that conveys greater rights and privileges?”

What exactly have you learned, how have you grown as a person?

It would be very easy to look at the pain I experience over the years with that Ayn Rand sort of view that says, “I had to suffer why shouldn’t the next person?”

Except my friends who went through the same sort of pain are all dead. There but for fortune go I.

Empathy for the suffering of others is something I’ve learned.  Compassion was shown me when I was hitting bottom.

Giving the same compassion to others and showing the same empathy that was shown me seems a far better path to walk than spending my time beating up on others who have a harder life than I have.

I’ve traveled the circle back to the values I sought to live when I was a young hippie woman living in Berkeley.

I’ve learned to ignore the idea that I am superior to others just because I had a little luck that they didn’t.

Hemingway was right. It is better to strive to be better than you were before than it is to try to be better than others so you can heap scorn upon them.

Patti Smith – This is the Girl

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Patti Smith – This is the Girl

Leslie Feinberg arrested in Free Cece action

From Leslie Feinberg Group Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/155129424499130/451884848156918/?notif_t=group_activity

By Minnie-Bruce Pratt
June 5, 2012

Reposted with permission

Leslie Feinberg arrested in Free Cece action, Minneapolis.
Make June a month of Pride, Protest and Struggle to Free Cece!
Read Leslie’s statement here: “My name is Leslie Feinberg. Many people across the U.S. and around the world are watching, and history will record, what happens today— June 4, 2012–in this courtroom in South Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
CeCe McDonald survived a fascist hate crime; now she’s being sentenced today as she struggles to survive an ongoing state hate crime. As Martin Luther King Jr. reminded: “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

As a white, working-class, Jewish, transgender lesbian revolutionary I will not be silent as this injustice continues! I know from the lessons of histories what it means when the state—in a period of capitalist economic crisis–enacts apartheid passbook laws, rounds up and deports immigrant workers, and gives a green light to white supremacist, fascist attacks on Black peoples–from Sanford, Florida to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to this courtroom in South Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This prosecutor and judge are upholding the intent of the infamous white supremacist Dred Scott ruling in 1857.

That same year Frederick Douglass concluded: “Without struggle, there is no progress!”

CeCe McDonald is being sent to prison during the month of Juneteenth: celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation—the formal Abolition of “legal” enslavement of peoples of African descent. The Emancipation Proclamation specifically spelled out the right of Black people to self-defense against racist violence.

Yet today, the judge, the prosecutor, the jailers—are continuing the violent and bigoted hate crimes begun by the group of white supremacists who carried out a fascist attack on CeCe McDonald and her friends.
CeCe McDonald is being sent to prison in June–the month when the Stonewall Rebellion ignited in the streets of Greenwich Village in 1969. From the Compton’s Uprising to the Stonewall Rebellion, defense against oppressions is a law of survival.

This Pride month, I will be bringing the demand: “Free CeCe–now!” to the regional Pride march where I live. I believe many other individuals, groups and contingents will help thunder that demand in Pride marches and rallies all over the world—informing millions who take part, and millions more who support.

The prosecution hopes this struggle is over. But it is not over: Free CeCe–now! An injury to one is an injury to all! Come out against racist, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT/+ and sexist wars at home and abroad!”

“Justice for Travvon Martin & victims of the Tulsa massacre,
for Paige Clay & Brandy Martell!
Free CeCe McDonald–now!

“The oppressed & exploited have the right to fight back!

“Overturn white supremacy & transphobia!
Come out against the racist, anti-immigrant,
anti-LGBT/+ and anti-women wars at home and abroad!”

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Leslie Feinberg arrested in Free Cece action

I’m Transgender… And thats okay

Not everyone see transgender as problematic and that’s okay. You get to pick your label I get to pick mine.

Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald 6-4-12

From Free CeCe McDonald:  https://www.facebook.com/notes/freecece-mcdonald/press-release-chrishaun-cece-mcdonald-6-4-12/287632077999029

by FreeCece Mcdonald
on Monday, June 4, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 4, 2012

Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald Sentenced to 41 Months for
Reduced Charge of Manslaughter

Supporters Vow Ongoing Solidarity with McDonald for

Duration of Sentence

Contact: Katie Burgess, Executive Director, Trans Youth Support Network, transyouthsupportnetwork@gmail.com, (612) 363-757 and Billy Navarro Jr, MN Transgender Health Coalition, mntranspr@gmail.com, (612) 823-1152

Minneapolis—This afternoon, Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald was sentenced to a 41 month prison sentence by Judge Daniel Moreno. Although McDonald initially faced two charges of second degree murder, earlier this month she accepted a plea agreement to a reduced charge of second degree manslaughter due to negligence. The sentencing proceedings included statements from community leaders, clergy, and McDonald’s family, testifying to McDonald’s loving character and expressing concern for her safety if she is sentenced to serve time in a men’s prison, given the high rates of physical and sexual violence against transgender women in men’s prisons. Around 80 Twin Cities residents arrived to show their support for McDonald, overflowing the courtroom where sentencing proceedings were held.

Although McDonald has been under state supervision for the past 366 days (in jail and under in-home monitoring) the judge determined that she will only receive credit for 275 days served, excluding the time she spent on in-home monitoring. Between this time served and time off for good behavior, McDonald will likely spend less than two more years in prison. Additionally, McDonald was ordered to pay $6410.00 in restitution.

The Department of Corrections has not determined where McDonald will spend the remainder of her sentence, but it is likely that she will go to one of Minnesota’s men’s prisons. In recently released federal standards on the elimination of sexual abuse in prisons, the Department of Justice notes that transgender people should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to place them where they will be in the least danger (not solely based on genitals). Moreover, the DOJ guidelines seek to minimize the use of solitary confinement for the alleged protection of transgender prisoners. These standards apply to state prisons that receive federal funding. They may impact McDonald, who has been held in a men’s facility for the past year, and twice been sent to solitary confinement against her will.

For supporters, McDonald’s sentencing marks a turning point, but not an end to their efforts. “This is not a resolution to CeCe’s case: she should not be serving time simply for surviving a vicious attack. But the prosecution felt so much pressure in this high profile case that they knew they had to offer a less egregious charge than second-degree murder, ” said Josina Manu. “We’ll stand by CeCe throughout her sentence and after she’s released.”

Supporters have consistently rejected County Attorney Michael Freeman’s claims that the prosecution of McDonald is race and gender-neutral, emphasizing that McDonald’s attack and prosecution are part of a pervasive culture of violence against transgender women of color. They note that Freeman’s responses to CeCe’s broad support campaign only underscore the fact that the criminal legal system provides no real means of securing justice and community safety.

Roxanne Anderson, the Director of the MN Transgender Health Coalition and McDonald’s former employer, said, “Today was a shining example of how hate and fear result in racism and transphobia, and how those play out in the courts of our land. I hope people keep supporting CeCe in every way they can, including showing up to the Power to the People tent at Pride, which was created to squash this kind of racism and transphobia.”

Billy Navarro Jr of the CeCe McDonald Support Committee & MN Trans Health Coalition reflected on the fight to free McDonald: “Our victory today is the beautiful community of support that CeCe has brought together. We will keep fighting back against the incarceration of our loved ones and community members. This June marks the 43rd anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, which was led by trans women of color, and this year we’ll be celebrating CeCe’s courage and the struggles that women like her have led for decades.”

For more information on McDonald’s case, visit supportcece.wordpress.com.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald 6-4-12

Donna Rose: Pride – A Transgender Perspective

From The ACLU Get Busy Get Equal:  http://gbge.aclu.org/blog/donna-rose-pride-%E2%80%93-transgender-perspective

By Donna Rose

Donna Rose blogs at TheDonnaBlog, where she advocates for transgender and LGB equality. In her
contribution to the ACLU’s online symposium in
celebration of LGBT Pride, Donna discusses what Pride means to the transgender community and reflects on her life as a transgender woman.

Click here to learn more about the ACLU’s weeklong online symposium on LGBT Pride.

At first glance I’m pretty unremarkable.  I’m a middle-aged woman, and a single parent to a 22-year-old son.  I was divorced after a marriage of almost 20 years.  I have a successful career as an IT consultant for Fortune 500 companies.  I have two dogs, I rent a home, I enjoy photography and music, and I live paycheck to paycheck just like millions of other Americans.

The thing that makes me unique is that I’m transsexual.  More specifically, I’m a transsexual woman.  My path to womanhood was admittedly “untraditional” and arguably a bit more difficult than most, but somehow that seems to make it all the more valuable to me.  That single fact about me doesn’t make me better or worse than anyone else.  It doesn’t make me more or less worthy of basic human rights.  It doesn’t define me.  Unfortunately, there is a world of people that choose to disagree.

Some labels become defining labels in that they trump all the others.  Somehow, the moment that others learn about my unique pedigree all those other important facts about me and my life seem to get called into question, or forgotten altogether.  Even more disturbing, however, is the fact that to acknowledge that single fact about myself is to forfeit basic human rights that most take for granted in this country.  Suddenly, I can be fired from my job for no reason related to job performance.  I can be denied housing, and health insurance.  I can become the target of harassment or violence at the hands of those who choose to hate and may very well get away with it.  How can that possibly happen in this day and age?  Simple.  Prejudice, Ignorance, Discrimination – all are alive and well in the 21st century and those who challenge gender norms often pay a horrific price because of it.

I, like many transgender people, simply want to live my life and to be left alone.  I consider my transgender journey to be a pursuit of self-fulfillment and happiness more than a journey specifically about gender.  In that context, it’s a much more universally human journey than many seem to want to acknowledge in that my gender is simply the pathway, not the destination itself.  Still, I refuse to live my life trapped by fear of discovery or satisfied with the table scraps that others would force me and people like me to accept.  I refuse to reduce the scope of my life to fit the comfort levels of others, or to accept that other people’s fears somehow require me to expect less out of my own life.

Continue reading at:  http://gbge.aclu.org/blog/donna-rose-pride-%E2%80%93-transgender-perspective

 

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Donna Rose: Pride – A Transgender Perspective

Transsexuals line up for new IDs as groundbreaking Argentine gender identity law takes effect

From The Washington Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/transsexuals-line-up-for-new-ids-as-groundbreaking-argentine-gender-identity-law-takes-effect/2012/06/04/gJQAE0F9DV_story.html

By Associated Press
Monday, June 4, 2012

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Transsexuals lined up Monday to be the first to take advantage of Argentina’s groundbreaking gender-identity law, which enables people to change their names and sexes on official documents without first getting approval from a judge or doctor.

No other country in the world allows people to change their official identities based merely on how they feel.

Many other countries, including the United States, require people to pass barriers that sexual identity experts describe as painful or humiliating, such as hormone therapy or surgeries to physically change their sex organs and psychiatric visits to demonstrate they have “gender identity disorder” or other abnormalities.

Argentina’s gender identity law won congressional approval with a 55-0 Senate vote last month and took effect Monday. A small group of transsexuals chose to assert their rights immediately at a civil registry in downtown Buenos Aires.

Silvana Daniela Sosa, who was born Miguel Angel Sosa, emerged with a form showing her new identity card is being processed.

Another transsexual, Maria Mara Brodos, said, “It’s important to have the freedom to decide by myself and not have anyone deciding it instead of me.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/transsexuals-line-up-for-new-ids-as-groundbreaking-argentine-gender-identity-law-takes-effect/2012/06/04/gJQAE0F9DV_story.html

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Transsexuals line up for new IDs as groundbreaking Argentine gender identity law takes effect