It has been a while since I’ve blogged. I see this as a sign I’m doing well with keeping my spirits up and remembering the tools in my mental health toolbox to keep me afloat. Something happened over the last week that has been weighing heavy on me, especially as I try to walk through it again in my mind. People were hurt, but definitely not intentionally. Their hurt was molded into an inability to keep emotions aside and the topic in sight: A request for education.
I debated on whether to input the topic of education, but I was accused of not really wanting to learn; which is far from the truth. So here it is…. I have questions about transgendered individuals. An acquaintance wrote her own blog about being transgendered, which prompted me asking if I could ask some questions. I prefaced it with, “I know my questions and thoughts are ignorant, but I’m looking to be educated so I can change that.” I am fully aware and accountable that my thoughts lean towards prejudice and ignorance. But, if I had some kind of understanding into the thought process, then maybe I can emphasize and change my view. But, right now, I am only working from my own presumptions from what I read and observe for myself. My observations, of course, are going to be very biased and lean towards my own ignorant thoughts. She assured me that we can have an open conversation, and she would answer my questions as straightforward as she could. This was definitely proved to be the exact opposite.
Now that the topic itself is out there, I further queried whether or not I should display the exact statements that enraged this person. As true with all my other blog posts, I am going to be very open and honest about what my ignorant thoughts are in hopes someone will reach out and have a very candid discussion, despite any hurt. The only way to learn is to ask, process, and work through hurt and pain.
I don’t understand the pronoun importance. It’s even asked of new hires now. It’s on emails in the signature line. I just… do not understand how so many people get hung up on the pronouns. This thought bleeds into being “assigned a gender at birth.” This confuses me so much, it comes across aggressive when I talk about it. You were not “assigned” a gender. You were literally born that gender, due to the genetic make up of both parents. It is very black and white, literally from the first sonogram you get. How can genetics, or God if that’s your belief, be so wrong in SO MANY CASES? The response I received, instead of helping me understand was,
“Who are you to gate keep what pronouns people use?”
That’s just it, I’m not trying to “gate keep” or anything. I just want to understand how this is suddenly a huge thing in our society. Where did it began.
The second area where I am actually rather passionate about, but if explained to me in a way I could understand, I could respect the view and opinion of. I stated, “I am hung up on why Caitlyn Jenner (Bruce Jenner) got woman of the year back in 2015 for Glamour magazine. With all the struggles *women* are still going through, I feel someone like Malala Yousafzai would be a better candidate for this type of reward. I understand, and respect greatly, the struggles Jenner went through to finally come out open and advocate for transgendered individuals. I am in no way trying to take away from the pain and tribulations they went through. But, in my eyes, they have only been a woman for a minute. Women are still not being acknowledged for the greatness they possess. Such as, did you know that the first woman mayor of any major US city was right here in Washington State? Bertha Knight-Landes was the mayor of Seattle. I didn’t know this well until my early 30s. I’m from this state, and we NEVER learned this in history classes. So yes, I feel a woman who has been a female her whole life, living as it, struggling like the rest has earned a woman of the year medal. I’m not saying that Jenner doesn’t deserve accolades for their struggle, pursuit, and change, just not this one. I feel like it diminishes all the hardships women have gone through since infancy. Instead of helping me understand, maybe change some of my views, I was met with,
“Who are you to say who a true ‘woman’ or ‘trans’ is?”
And again, I’m nobody. I am a woman who has strong feelings about being a woman and the crap we go through on a daily basis; sexual, discriminatory, and so on. Hell, look at what happened to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. She’s doing her job, the job she was elected into. She was accosted at work by a man who is essentially her coworker. They both work for the American Government. . . Yet, no repercussions took place against him. Women have only been allowed in congress since 1949; same year Bruce Jenner was born. How does it make me a bad person to acknowledge and address, with facts, that women are still struggling to just be equal? I believe part of what the hang up with it is that I’ve completely separated “real born and bred” women with transgendered women. I think this may be seen as a backwards thought processes. But, there are radically two different types of struggles women and trans women have gone through.
I understand that my opinion can be hurtful to a person who is tending to their own personal wounds. I will support you the best that I know how if we are friends, acquaintances, or even strangers. Because this person I tried talking about it with was still highly emotional after writing her own blog, she grasped and hung onto the hurt, and launched back. I cannot, nor will I ever again, try to have a conversation with someone who is that high with emotional strife. It is not healthy… for anybody. I tried saying this. I replied back with, “We shouldn’t have this conversation over text anymore. It would be better in person.” I also tried, “Please, stop.” I eventually went radio silent. This person proceeded to message me through another service, apologizing and stating that she wants to help, she’s just in a bad place. She stated that it would be better in person, but she has to calm down until then. I wrote back, “I completely agree.” Which, if anyone has been in a domineering, abusive relationship, you know that even opening the lines of communicate leaves you open for more lashes. It started all over again. I then went on radio silent again, so they went to my partner, then they had their partner message me as well.
In all of this, I was called:
* Playing victim
All because I stepped away from the anger, hurt, and backlash as a way to suffocate the fire that was wrecking control. I am not a victim. I am a fallible human being, with biased and ignorant views. I can’t just wake up and say, “Oh, ok my views are a lot better now.” I thirst knowledge and understanding. I have many types of people in my life; gay, straight, trans, bi, black, Asian, male, female, etc. I am also intelligent enough to know that my personal thoughts can be destructive and are definitely hurtful. I do not want to be this way. Which is why I tried reaching out. I’m hurt by all of this. My partner is hurt by this. I know this person is also hurt by this.
But I will say, the therapy I had for domestic violence, PTSD, and trauma helped me stop, back up, and disengage. I am thankful that I had the cognitive thought to pull back; even if that means I’m a hypocritical, condescending, evil person.