A Work in Progress: My Response to RFRA, and a few thoughts for Indiana Governor Mike Pence

(note: I have deleted the original and re-posted this entry because of what seems to have been a bug/virus problem in my home computer and not with WordPress itself, if you viewed or commented on the original, please forgive the redundant post… if you haven’t, please read on and enjoy! thanks!)

and what of my disposition
in this juxtaposition,
me in transition
and you…
… ‘normal?’

like the day and the night
the dark and the light
the black and the white,
the on or the off
the this or the that
the me…
… or the not ‘me’

what do you think I think
while your eyes judge
and your words condemn
pushing me to the brink…
while you point at the freak
bleeding breath by breath
suffocating in fear of living
while you plug the leak
in your…
… ‘morality’

and what of it,
my hopes and my fears
my dreams and my tears
my life all those years…
what the fuck do you think
I think?
your cis- life
your hetero- life
your programmed life
forced normality
hypocrisy
and still…
… morality?!

persecution you scream
I suffer the blame
you lobby for ‘choice’
I am silenced and shamed
you claim it’s your ‘god’ given right
to deny MY rights
to deny MY choices…
my very existence
is a blight
a stain
a crumpled edge
to your perfect world
your type faced code
of ideal…
… ‘humanity’

but, though your quips
are rhetorical
and your truths measured,
though you wield your disdain
like Christ his cross,
though you martyr yourself
for money
for ratings
for votes,
though you are the shards
upon my naked soul,
the stake
so many of my brothers
and sisters
have burned in effigy upon,
the steel of our trammels
and the dagger in our backs,
though you would still
our very hearts
in the name of ‘faith’,
we stand…
… resolutely

and what do I think
of this imposition
this inquisition
your decision
to deny the essence
of who I am
who I’ve always been
who I’ll always be
and who you’ll always fear…?
what do I think
of your dogmatic intent
your despotic assault
your enigmatic rationale
your…
… hyperbole?

I think I’ll stand here
a while longer
I think I’ll fight
a little harder
I think I’ll speak
a little louder
I think I’ll live
a little longer
than the echo of your slogans
could ever hope to last…
a little longer
than the sting of your hate
could ever take to wound me…
I’ll live a little longer
than all of I that,
purposefully
happily…
… freely

R. Golightly – 31 Mar 2015

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monogramHere’s the thing… you can attempt to exist outside of the system, taking on (as one soul mentioned to me earlier) a nihilistic stance and shunning anything that is essentially everything in this society… you can scoff at the establishment, buck back against the man, and try to hold your own against a world that creeps ever deeper inward every day… you can spurn the infrastructure and the support needed by so many in order to achieve so much… I’m right there in that mix of those that need help, and a lot of it… I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing without the assistance of many people in many arenas… but the problems I have, that many like me have, are NOT about acceptance as a few with too narrow of a view seem hell bent on trying to convince me of… I. Don’t. Need. Acceptance. I don’t t need to make peace with who I am, I don’t need to grab hold of the life I know is mine… I’ve already f–king done that… why is it when I’m having a really gawd damn terrible day that people insist on telling me I need to quit looking for or expecting acceptance?! do you think I care if people accept me?! do you really?! If I were pleading for that, you’d probably know it sooner than I do because I wear my emotions on my damn sleeve, and probably my shoes, and there’s prob a few dangling off a bra strap somewhere… point is it’d be obvious. But it’s not obvious, I don’t want acceptance, I’ve already made my peace with who I am and what my lot will be in this life from here forward… I made that choice months, no years ago… I don’t need acceptance. What I would like, just to put it out there, just as a “ya know?” kind of thing, is a little human decency… you don’t have to like me when I walk in the room, but saying good morning isn’t such a mind-bending possibility is it… I say it to everybody… half a dozen people just fucking ignored me this morning, that I said at least something to, that I wasn’t involved in conversations with but that I felt appropriate to simply say “good morning” to… and nada… I don’t get it… if it’s the “acceptance” thing that some hold as their judgy little crutch, then apparently unaccepting and complete disregard are synonymous… I don’t care if you like me… I know some don’t, I know that some who were on this very page don’t like me anymore and have since left… so I came out, big deal… I don’t need their acceptance… it could be argued that I’ve said otherwise, but this isn’t true… there are a finite few whose views of my experience I value, whose input I take to heart, but don’t confuse this with a need for acceptance… I’m comfortable enough and committed enough and passionate enough about what I want and need to do, with or without the nod of anyone else that feels they deserve an opinion about it… you want an opinion? pay my medical bills, take a few steps around in my shoes and get a feel for what I deal with every day, get a real good up close and personal feel for the scorn and the disdain and all of it that’s just tantamount to pure hate… and for what? because I breathe? what?! you want an opinion… kick that cozy and privileged little shell to the curb for a few days and see what my life is like, I dare you… I’m not saying I’m better than you because I can and do put up with this crap, I’m just saying most people don’t realize how comfy their lives really are, their normal homogenous little lives… I’m not better than you, and I’ll never claim to be… BUT, you’re no better than I am either… would a quick “hello” really be so fucking terrible?

*end rant*

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from GLAAD: “Model Andreja Pejic comes out publicly as a transgender woman, shares her experience with media and Facebook fans”

One of my absolute most favorite, most adored models ever! I’m so happy to see this positive affirmation of such an admired personal hero!

Model Andreja Pejic comes out publicly as a transgender woman, shares her experience with media and Facebook fans | GLAAD.

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from Fuck the Cistem: “Here’s The Thing, Trans People Exist: An Open Letter To Cathy Brennan”

Here’s The Thing, Trans People Exist: An Open Letter To Cathy Brennan.

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My New Anthem

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Of mice and men

ya know… it’s funny… when I first started this blog I thought it would this grand undertaking, a monumental effort to write down (or type out, which is really the case) all of this great stuff that I was sure I’d want to remember and share and chronicle for looking back upon at some later date. I was eager and ambitious (me? ambitious? no, I’m not high!), ready to take on the blogging world and leave in my wake some unique form of personal expression that’s never been attempted or achieved by anyone… ever… in the history of the world wide web… and the billions of people that use it… yeah, I was gonna do it, and do it big! I had this goal in mind of writing even just a little bit every day that would encapsulate some little gem of experience or pearl of wisdom… I set out to have this well-crafted (albeit likely very random) collection of scribble that months, years, or many crossroads later would be worth the time to revisit, to remember where I’ve come from, where I’m at today, and where I intend to go…

the problem with intentions though is that they usually result in little more than a map of the world perforated by poster pins… a sort of beckoning yet ominous campaign toward the future, bright and full of color and bravado, that whispers through time like a mag-lev… the essence of ideas perfected… as Lennon wrote in “Beautiful Boy” … life is just what happens while you’re making other plans… and so it goes with even the best of intentions. (mind you, this terrible, terrible debate about sourdough jack’s from Jack in the Box just occurred here at our house… oh, the humanity… and shit my roommate purveys upon us!)

anyway… intentions, no matter how large or small, how broad or focused, are far more easily waylaid than they are ever composed, even the most fleeting…the fundamental purity that drives ambition and fuels desire, aiming to set sail for the most distant of horizons, often never leaves the slip, venturing from the dock, breathing the freedom of and liberation of open water… or, if so fortunate as to cast the ties, drifts into precarious unknowns, facing skirmish and squall and battening of the hatches until smoke and storm have settled… here is where the mariner’s truth is revealed, where the compass becomes irrelevant, the charts an afterthought…

(Jack in the Crack has returned, “ordered from scratch…”, happiness… because, curly fries!)

… the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry (J. Steinbeck)… and the point about my blog follows in close form… I wanted so much from my efforts to start this blog, to write it and maintain it… but for all of that vigor, Life’s other ideas have wandered and without abandon served to distract, detour, and otherwise derail the moments I have so carefully plotted and planned, which leads inevitably to replotting and replanning the entire affair to last only until the uncertainty, at which point the whole thing is just a craps shoot no matter what…

life has just gotten in the way, or maybe it’s me… maybe I’m the one that got in the way of Life’s best ideas… maybe what I wanted and hoped for threw the proverbial wrench in the works… (maybe? how existential… ::sigh:: fuck my mind!)… either way, the time I hoped to devote to writing for the hell of it and novelty of it and the memoir-ish-ness of it has been largely taken up by other endeavors… random musings of body, brain, or my better half that no doubt lead to even more distractions… so, way leads on to way (R. Frost) and I do doubt that I shall ever return to take up the paths I’ve left untraveled or to rearrange the pins on my map… and what I had hoped might a diary of those experiences has been realized as less while becoming so much more (but then again, maybe not, I might just be trying to make myself feel better about totally dropping the ball with this thing)… it’s a collection of memories, of important experiences and thoughts, and some random ones too, that I hope to remember and share later on- this point hasn’t changed really… but rather than the perhaps forced everyday entries I set out to write, this account- to me- is becoming an anthology of some of the most memorable of those moments… the gems and pearls, although the wages of unexpected labors, that have affected me deeply, even profoundly… each in some way important, a shape of thoughts to follow or of views in retrospect… I’m not writing every day… I know that, you know that… but who cares? the point is simply that I feel the want and the desire to write and share my thoughts so that perhaps something from my experience can be the thing, that one thing, that diverts someone else to a better course and a better life…

 

(adding the following, at random, from one of today’s Facebook status updates)

some wisdom I’ve gained through my experience over the last couple of years… originally posted to a trans support group that I’m a member of, but I thought would be worth sharing as it can apply in so many contexts…

about coming out, what I’ve learned thus far: it’s always daunting, no matter what you try to do, no matter how much you psych yourself up, revealing such intimate details about yourself is never an easy task… but, in my experience, the more it happens, and the more often you encounter trust and compassion in those around you, the more comfortable it can become to act naturally, with confidence, and in the hopes that all will be for the better… sure, not everyone has the same experience I have been lucky enough to have, not everyone is exposed to the same kinds of social circles I am, not everyone comes from the same kind of background that I hail from… what happens for every one of you will be different and unique and likely terrifying in its own way… I’ve come out as transgender everywhere except at work, and even there I’m slowly making progress… just yesterday I confided in another trusted and much adored co-worker and the fear I felt in doing so was the least it’s ever been… still, there was much uncertainty about how my news would be received, and it seems there’s little to be done to mitigate that… in the long run, though, I’ve gained enough confidence in myself to make the effort despite my fears and I have never regretted doing so! my point in all of this is that you can do it too! I understand the fear, I know what it’s like to wait impatiently on pins and needles hoping for a positive response yet dreading rejection… but it can be done! Have faith, trust in those you care about, and never leave yourself short of the strength to stand proudly in face of any reaction knowing that you are not defined by the acceptance or opinion of others! You’ll make it through, and my hope is that you will always be willing to try! Life is SO much better with hope and confidence on our side!

Much love to you my friends… Namaste! 

~ Racquelle ~

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random post #921 with a side of chili-cheese fritos

one evening’s observations… (or: filed under “a note in passing”)

the truth is, you’re gonna piss people off… let’s just get that out there, shall we? say it first, say it loudest… say it and be done with it… it… will… happen… you can’t change it, you can’t force it to stop, you can’t do a damn thing about it… BUT, when the chips are down and you don’t know what to do or what to think or what to say, FFS ask!!! Seriously! don’t be afraid because someone might or does get offended, let ’em… it’s their fault, not yours, not if you ask openly, honestly, and decently… not if you’re open-minded, understanding, and willing to express your views while affording others the exact same and equal right… give and take, that’s what good discourse is all about… and honestly, if you’re not pissing someone off now and then, you’re doing it wrong… my advice… HAVE… AN… OPINION and stick to your guns when you’re convinced of what you believe in… don’t cave because some one little person gets their feelings crushed… newsflash: people don’t learn to move or get on board until they’ve had their toes crunched a few times… in the long run, you’ll gain an education… they’ll either get over feeling butt hurt or go on sulking like tired old generals that have lost their commands… speak up people, it won’t hurt…

 

(next, pilfering one of my posts this eve from Facebook Transgender Alliance)…

so, as brought about in another thread by one of our many cis- allies, I’ve been pondering the following:

as a community, we value our right to stand freely and proudly with no inherent or implied right to explain why we do so, a liberty we all deserve… but if, in so doing, we go so far as to say that it’s not our job to be educators and representatives of this community, how do we in any way consider ourselves possessed of the ability to criticize those outside of our community for knowing nothing about our community? basically: if we don’t teach them, who will? who are we brave enough to trust (that isn’t us) to teach others (who are also not us) about the values, principles, goals, dreams, hopes and loves that define this community (that IS us)? is this to say that we’re relying on the innocence and curiosity of those that know nothing about us to educate themselves, teach themselves, and form their own flawlessly informed ideas about us? I’m sorry, I just don’t understand this notion, and maybe I’m a minority here, but I think it’s an implicit duty that we extend a hand of knowledge to those that wish it while standing our ground against those want nothing to do with us… no, we don’t have to justify ourselves as individuals, I’m sure as hell not going to! BUT, I believe, as a community and as a body with tremendous social weight and power, that it should be not only a duty but an essential member of the platform from which we tirelessly lobby for the table scraps of a society that has for decades sought to ignore us (and for which we immediately, like Pavlov’s dogs, admit that we’re grateful!)… I, not unlike any other here, am deeply thankful for the safety and recognition that we have thus far gained… but, how can we expect more if we don’t take an active role in educating those who believe they owe us nothing?

(and, my thoughts upon a question posed by above mentioned cis- ally… and notes for the general good of anyone else new to, curious about, or frustrated by the transgender community…)

(unnamed poster):

“as a cis gendered person, i can only imagine how hard life can be as a transgendered person. i am a lesbian but in no way equate my struggles to those of transppl b/c it is a whole different ballgame. for the longest i was ignorant to trans issues. not purposefully so, but i literally had never met a trans person until a few years ago! it was something i really didnt understand at first but i hve really made an effort to change that over the years. i ask questions, seek answers, etc. i am also in a relationship with a transman who has always been kind and patient with answering my questions and helping me to understand not only the physial, but the mental
what i want to say is this: in this group and a few others, my questions are oftentimes met w/ hostile, overly defensive responses. and i’ve noticed those same kinds of responses directed towards others as well. it is disheartening to someone like me, b/c it discourages me from seeking answers and asking questions. as i said…i can only imagine how hard life is and how many of you have had to struggle and been forced to be overly defensive b/c of what u’ve experienced in life. but please realize…not all of us are out to attack! not all of us have ill intent. just b/c a question is asked doesnt meant it is offensive. it means the person is ignorant but thinks enough of you as a person to ask. after all..there is nothing wrong w/ ignorance. it simply means “i do not know”. everyone starts off being ignorant until they are educated. and it is impossible to demand acceptance and understanding w/in the queer community when ppl are ignorant to what the queer community is. if ppl like me did not care to ask if would mean we do not care about you as people!
anyway thanks for reading my essay  i just really wanted to encourage some of you members of the queer community to open up (when you feel safe, of course) and keep in mind that not everything is out of ill intent”

(thoughts I offered to [unnamed poster], hopefully fruitful, in response):

“first of all, thank you for being open and honest about your thoughts… that alone says more about you than many other things might! I applaud your willingness and courage to reach out and ask what others might believe are tough questions while looking for widely elusive answers… next, I’d like to say- only for myself, and no one else- that your sexuality is YOUR sexuality… do your thing hun! that you consider yourself a lesbian or that your SO is a transman is for the business of you two and you two only… who cares what it looks like to anyone else! be you, girl… that’s all that matters!!

“now… all of that said… let me say this… it is indeed admirable that you come to a forum like this with questions, especially as a cis-female… however, this is a place of give-and-take… you can’t present yourself, innocent and curious, and expect that all parties here (or elsewhere for that matter) will be automatically obliging and forever cordial when the questions get tough… you’re correct that we’ve all faced a struggle, and no doubt as a lesbian, you have as well… no one in any venue of this place seeks to discount or belittle anyone else for their own unique experiences… but you do you have to allow a bit of leeway for delicate issues that stir delicate nerves and tempers… that struggle that we’ve faced has shaped us and scarred us, jaded us and guided us and is evident in everything we do and say right here, right now… you’re not going to please all of us all of the time, no matter how simple the question… we are all subjectively experienced, deeply emotional people with a huge array of views and beliefs and tolerances for what we deem okay and not-so-okay… please, by all means, keep asking questions… but, just be patient and understanding when feathers get a little ruffled because, truth is, it isn’t your fault, even if you ask the same question that’s been asked a thousand times already… you’re not to blame for the emotional reaction toward to an honest and genuinely presented inquiry… this won’t always be the case, but just take those occasions with a grain of salt… people will always get offended, it happens, they’ll get over, you shouldn’t have to… carry on, dear, carry on!  Namaste!”

 

I don’t really have any specific message in mind with this, really just that I wanted to share these ideas with anyone else who might find help or purpose in them… I empathize deeply with a need for knowledge and understanding, the thirst of curiosity and the nearly undying quest for ever wider perspectives… it seems only fair, then, that I somehow try to save as much as can- thoughts, ideas, wisdom- and pass them along in the hope that someone later might benefit from them as I have…

If you choose, please comment or contribute as you like… be mindful, be respectful… always!

~ Racquelle ~

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