Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Bring 'Em All In

Trigger warning: Awkward girl tries to explain herself below
Enchilada Platter from Pequena in Fort Greene
In the end the joke was on me because Latin Heritage Month is in September but I could have sworn it was in June.
Related image
At a Mexican restaurant recently I went on about how the gays not only stole my Cinco de Mayo celebration at work, but they took over the whole darn month of June, which I thought was when we celebrated Hispanic heritage.  Overall, I was a little short with the whole gay spectrum and I was trying to understand why.  At first I figured it was because they had the gall to celebrate an entire month when most groups barely get recognized for their one day (I also didn't realize it was the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall).  I have this same reaction with people that claim entire birthday months.  This is unusual for me though because I have big love for homosexuals. I have always seen their struggle and frankly in my youth I thought they were way more interesting than straights 99% of the time.  But now I admire good character in individuals regardless of who you're schtooping. So I broadened my spectrum.  I'm all for everyone having the right to get married, and equal benefits, access to needed support and care. Of course we should have all of that.  I certainly see the huge steps the world needed to take from the 1980's to now for the LGBT community, absolutely.  But I was feeling somewhat pressed this year, in 2019.  I struggled to see what they could still possibly want.   What I mean is sometimes I see us all in lines like at the DMV and in those lines we have our Blacks, Asians, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Whites, Women, overweight people, soldiers, poor whites, uneducated whites, Jews, the 99%, Midwesterners, Southerners, Refugees, Immigrants and the line really goes on quite a ways.  In other words ALL of the other oppressed and suppressed groups.  And so the next number comes flashing up on the screen and who keeps getting to go from the same line?  The gay activists! This is the way it feels to me anyway.  I like things to be fair.  I totally see there are big issues but they exist for many people in many forms and shouldn't we prioritize based on the urgency?

We are in a strange time where I struggle to understand if our improvements are positive or ridiculous. Sometimes it feels we've been completely turned around and shaken off our axis.  We've been completely distracted with this fight between parties, where every topic is politicized.  It reminds me of how in families oftentimes we despise the one who we are most similar.  The far right and the far left are not so different suddenly.  We've taken truth and reason out of the discussion.  But truth is a funny thing because it's like lemons, it can cut through just about anything and come out clean.
speaking of lemons, a delicious lemon seltzer with scoops of lemon sherbet, super refreshing! 
You never know what will surface with all this muddling.  People seem to be searching out and finding more critical thinkers that are having unmediated, long form discussions without the influence of corporate branding.  And these folks are willing to dish out but also take truth from both sides of the argument.  A proper discussion, how refreshing.

Another positive thing surfacing from all of this is instead of regurgitating trusted news source rhetoric the every day Joe's are challenging each other to form their own unique viewpoints around these complex subjects.  It's not enough anymore to come armed to lunches with friends quoting articles because we all have access to the same bullshit. It's time to have your own thoughts again.

So I was corrected the other day on my use of the current and ever growing acronym of LGBTQIA+.  They added an I&A plus a '+', which is; "Not just a mathematical symbol anymore, but a denotation of everything on the gender and sexuality spectrum that letters and words can’t yet describe".  New York Times.  Someone must have yelled Infinity!  Why add so much specific terminology on descriptions so personalized?
Gah!!! Honestly, wouldn't the gays be the first ones to call complete bullshit on all of this if the straights were to start charting up all these Scattergories???  I'm sure there are just as many ways to identify in the NON-LGBTQIA+ spectrum.  And don't we all bounce around a lot in expression?  Where is the science in all of this?  How are we abandoning that humans are only male or female or a version of something in between?   This just feels very fast moving to me.  And maybe this isn't the radical lefts doing but I'm still shell shocked from the masses making such swift moves on the condemnation of all the men that behaved badly recently.  How they took everything away and marked them forever bad without any proper legal means.  That hit like a tornado.

If we accept that someone is not male or female legally, then identity is fluid for everything.  Where could you then draw the line?  Age and race would then be subjective.  How could we manage that within our structures financially or otherwise? Someone is suing right now and it's not the first case. Not kidding.  What if you don't feel like being white any longer and prefer to identify as black.  How is this any different?   Who's rights are more valid?  I feel more 14 than most 14 year olds I know.

And if you think this is not going to be an issue and people are making too big a deal, consider that in Canada if your little girl starts claiming she's a boy and you don't take her to begin counseling for transition, she can be taken away from you.  And there are a lot of those little gems that I had no idea were already laws.  I see wording sneaked into our harassment training, 'even if the person perceives something, dot, dot.  Companies are financially liable if a worker does something that could be conceived as disrespectful, even implied.   Of course this is making companies so fearful that they're trying to get ahead of the curve putting in policies to save their ass and operating out of fear. Now you must do things that I would have been happy if asked but when you enforce a policy, I don't support that.  I back up not allowing racial or slurs of any kind, that's obvious.  But how is making me call someone xyr rational?  I can't get my company to call me by my preferred nickname which is only a shorter version.  But I could get fired by not using a made up pronoun and be faced with a $250,000 fine.

At work we had a whole company policy and shift in the way we could grammatically address a group of new hires, some in order to protect their right to identify as non-binary people.  I'm not yet down with non-binary as a term recognized by laws and government. With the people I have no problem.  I'm very pro self expression of any kind.  I think the science should be there though in order to declare yourself another human specimen.  I do want better lives for transgender folks I'm just afraid we're not staying reasonable. As a matter of fact, I am so happy to learn of parents and schools not pushing binary toys and letting the lines blur as they will for kids.  I've been on the pink princess hating bus for years.  I never liked that we guided kids to certain types of toys.  I loved going into my dads tool shed and pounding nails and building stuff, getting dirty and running like a wild dog in the woods but I also loved fashion and my sister and I would draw out wardrobes for the next semester year in grade school.

At a home furnishing store you would expect to find lots of gay men and they are represented but the number of women has grown by leaps and bounds in the last year.  Not only your garden variety lesbians but gender fluid, gender non-conforming, non-binary, trans, gender neutral and its been interesting to have this new evolution happen so quickly.  I feel a bigger connection.  If indeed it's true that 40% of the transgender community attempts suicide and that number is only 4% for straights, I want to listen because those are drastic emergency level numbers.  I think people are ready to have humane discussions outside of our political leanings that could be resolved without the government.  But that requires respectful honesty.  I think some liberals are operating solely on empathy.  Sometimes you have to tell people they're full of shit. That's something I actually learned from my gay friends.

I think we can support, respect and give credit when its due and stay clearheaded.  Just because you're gay doesn't make you a hero.  The real heroes in the community were the men and women in the 70s, early 80s, the thousands who took beatings and constant jabs throughout every facet of their lives but still stayed true to themselves.  Yes people still get violated but so do blacks, women, Mexicans, short people, nerds, etc.  Americans are cruel motherfuckers.  It's a horrible reality.  If you come out today, good on you and for real.  I'm just saying social media puts people on pedestals for the wrong reasons.

The truth is I like all of the new theys much better then all the other Cis hes and shes at work because they're different and I feel more connected to different.  But in the end, I'm much more concerned with identifying as cool, humble, kind individuals seeking to work because I'm old like that now.  My problem was never with the thems but the lawmakers and the radicals who took it way the fuck too far, too soon and put the money and pushed the bills to create all this unnecessary distinction without proper consideration for how it affects everyone, businesses, parents, schools, etc.  In their rush to save the world, I feel it's created its own new set of problems and division.

I am not yet equipped to counter the argument that we don't need to acknowledge up to 31 different protected genders in New York, several of which are not actual genders but expressions thereof.  See 'priorities'.  But by the way here they are and I am keeping my lips tight when I read that 6, 7 & 10, 11 differ only in abbreviations. Don't get me started on the definition of gender-gifted:
  1. Bi-gendered
  2. Cross-dresser
  3. Drag King
  4. Drag Queen
  5. Femme Queen
  6. Female-to-Male
  7. FTM
  8. Gender Bender
  9. Genderqueer
  10. Male-to-Female
  11. MTF
  12. Non-Op
  13. HIJRA
  14. Pangender
  15. Transexual/Transsexual
  16. Trans Person
  17. Woman
  18. Man
  19. Butch
  20. Two-Spirit
  21. Trans
  22. Agender
  23. Third Sex
  24. Gender Fluid
  25. Non-Binary Transgender
  26. Androgyne
  27. Gender Gifted
  28. Gender Blender
  29. Femme
  30. Person of Transgender Experience
  31. Androgynous
One would think the easier but turns out just as serious subject is the laws are such that you must address these new genders by a plethora of new pronouns, some words new to anyone on the planet.  How did we get here so quickly?  I sat and watched about 30 Ted Talks with people unwrapping this topic for us Cis folk. Could that term be anymore abhorrent by the way?  It sounds like a soulless clone born out of a laboratory.   After watching various transgenders describe gender identification and pronouns as if its nothing out of the ordinary and how we should just abide by their wishes and if you screw up then apologize quickly and move on.  Okay, so far I don't follow on the actual gender descriptions, I see them more of expressions, and as far as the pronouns, they, them, sure no problem.  But then it keeps going and they explain the list may grow to whatever (currently we have 56).  Respectfully, there should be a middle ground here.  I'm not so concerned about grammar, although that's also hard to change, as I am opposed to being force fed some new behavior.  Like I said, logic has to play in.  I can definitely get the link between identifying yourself and feeling respected. One separate pronoun is reasonable and easy enough for folks to adapt.  In Sweden they say 'Hen' to describe gender neutral as opposed to Han or Hon.  My bud suggested some are using 'friend' which I love! I don't like guilt tripping people by citing Cis privilege though.  Just because you're labeled straight doesn't mean you're free from oppression.  These are very complicated concepts and I don't think it's fair to expect everyone to just hop on board without proper discussion.
My question is will all this new language and categorizing truly make the situation any better or widen the division gap?  Time will tell when the chromosomes settle.
A quick last thought: I had an amazing therapist in my 20's and she once told me one of the hardest things for me will be to realize that I am much more like other people than my fear of being so different.  It was a huge bombshell for me.  Sometimes I feel like all this division from the 'norm' is coming out of hurt, anger and rebellion, as well as preference.   Dividing us up further especially legally is a sad way to deal with this opportunity to come together individually to see that everyone is always many things.

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