Thursday, November 30, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Before last night I was a GBS novice. I knew of them of course from the radio, but it turned out I was only familiar with five of the songs they played. Despite that, there wasn't one song I didn't like. We got there early and claimed a spot in front center almost within arms length of the security crew that was guarding the stage. We had to be vigilant to make sure our spots were not claim-jumped, but it was worth it. Not only did you get to see the band better, but that was where everyone was dancing and singing along. Up at the front was where all the action was, but Heather warned me that up there I might get shoved. She was right.
Once Great Big Sea started playing a lot more people pushed up to the stage, this was actually fun until She arrived. I don't know her name of course, but she was short and jovial looking. She and her boyfriend didn't just drift to the front, they forced their way. She pushed her way right in front of me, which meant she had to wedge right between Heather and I. I got shoved back and Heather got shoved forward. Heather reached behind and grabbed my arm and tried to pull me back to where I was. I did my best to get back behind her, but this meant I had to push the jovial woman over a bit, which was hard because a) I am polite, and b) that woman wanted to be where I used to be!
I managed to get a foot-hold back onto my territory, but the woman was not budging much. I was now sort of half behind Heather and half behind the pony-tail girl beside Heather. It was a pretty good spot except pony-tail girl's pony-tail was paint-brushing my face as she danced. I decided I could deal with that though if it meant a peaceful co-existence with the jovial shoving woman to my right.
The shoving woman though made it hard for me to be comfortable. She wanted to dance! I don't mean the jump-on-the-spot-hands-above-your-head dance that everyone else was doing, she was much more elaborate. She was making little kicks, swinging her hips, swaying all over and generally just flailing about. It was like a full-body upright seizure! I had to stand with my right foot sort of pigeon-toed so that she wouldn't be able to step on my toes. With every beat of the music she'd bump into me until after a few songs I was feeling a noticable sweater burn on my right arm. The worst though was when she would raise her arms above her head and swing them all over the place. Every once in a while when her arm swung in my direction I'd feel her diamond ring stab me in the forehead. It was almost embarassing for me to watch because honestly, it was like she was doing semaphore without the flags. It takes less arm motion to guide in a 747! Thankfully right in the middle of a fit of arm motions worthy of a drowning swimmer she left as suddenly as she had arrived. I felt a relaxing peace fall over the crowd and everything was perfect again.... until she came back a 20 minutes later.
It was right in the middle of Heather's favorite song (the Na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na-na one) when I felt another great big shove. Thank goodness there were a hundred people pushing up behind me or else I would have fallen over. I looked over and saw that She was back. From the force of the shove it felt like she must have fallen onto me from the rafters or something. As I straightened up I saw a glint of light and ducked just in time to avoid that damn diamond ring. I leaned forward and said to Heather, "I just want to punch her!" Heather said "DO IT!!!"
I didn't punch her but I decided I was going to get back to where I was. The woman was not going to let me squeeze back in this time and she put her elbow out to stop me. I decided that it is about time being a transsexual worked in my favour, so this time I used my size to my advantage. I put the squeeze on her so hard that a few seconds later she popped like a zit into the row behind me. Thankfully she realized she was not going to win this fight and wordlessly surrendered. She stayed behind me for the rest of the concert. She still danced around like crazy, but it turned out to be a lot less painful to get poked in the kidneys with her boobs than poked in the face with a diamond ring.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The case against same-sex marriages, as regurgitated by my office-mate, is one that I have heard often. People want to maintain a religious definition. This argument is not believable because the definition has already changed without any outcry. Marriage is no longer governed by the church, it is governed by laws. In fact, marriage is recognized legally without requiring that religion of any kind be involved in any way. Even if the roots of marriage are based in religion*, it cannot be denied that marriage has become, first and foremost, a societal institution with religion as just a footnote in it's history.
Some who oppose same-sex marriages believe it is OK to allow a "Civil Union". Interestingly, this is exactly what marriage has become anyway. The religious aspects to marriage may be important to some people, but these days that doesn't count. After all, it seems to me that every person who has divorced a spouse has already broken an oath to god. If the church was still in charge then why is divorce allowed? Marriage has changed so much that the only thing that universally matters to society are the legalities.
However it may have originated, marriage is currently practiced by the nonreligious and religious alike. It spans religions, cultures, and societies. Marriage is a worldwide tradition and for any one group of people to claim it is unrealistic. It would make more sense for religious groups to assign the definition they want to preserve to a different term such as 'Christian Union', or 'Catholic Union'. This way marriage can stay a legal institution, and all the religions can set their own definitions. Once religion is separated from marriage, then any push for discrimination** will go with it.
To my religious friends,
I mean you no disrespect, and I mean you no criticism, and I in no way believe you to be discriminatory. I just feel that the argument I most often hear against same-sex marriage is completely discriminatory.
* I believe that the roots of marriage belong in our biology. Many species of animals are at least somewhat monogamous by nature, and given that humans are simply another form of animal life it isn't hard to believe that humans are the same way... somewhat monogamous by nature.
** Banning same-sex marriage is discrimination. If people wanted to ban interracial marriages we would clearly see this as discrimination, yet such a marriage used to be considered immoral and unnatural. We know this to be wrong now, but at the time it was considered gospel. In fact it has been less than 40 years since a Virginia judge upheld an interracial marriage ban stating god's intention to separate the races. Luckily the decision was overturned by the supreme court, who had these wise words to say:
Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia )
Friday, November 10, 2006
I spent a couple weeks listening to them all on Ventrillo, and I just started liking them more and more each day. 'Vent', as we call it, is a program that allows someone to speak into their microphone, then everyone else logged into the same server can hear what was said. I would only ever listen, because I was shy about my voice. I think that I sound... OK. I am not really worried when I am talking face to face because I think my appearance helps a lot, but when I am just a faceless voice I am always worried that I might be easily mistaken for a male.
Instead of worrying what people might think, I decided to just tell people what is really going on. I sent out some emails to my favorite people in the guild and quietly waited for their replies. I was pretty nervous, but I really felt like I could trust these people. As it turns out, I was not disappointed. I receive a very positive and heartwarming reaction from everyone and now I just feel closer to the bunch than I did before.
I was chatting with one of my guildies the other night, and was asked if things had been hard for me. I said that it was for a while, but now things are really good. I thought that since some new people might be reading my blog that I'd tell them a little bit about what it was all like for me.
During elementary school being transgendered was very interesting to me. I loved knowing I was a girl inside. It was a big secret, but it was MY secret, and I was actually quite proud of myself that I was lucky enough to be a girl in my head - even if I wasn't lucky enough to have the body to match. I'd go to bed every night praying that I would wake up and be a girl... but that didn't happen. I wasn't ever truly disappointed, but eventually I stopped praying. I always felt silly praying anyway, because even back then I didn't believe in god.
During highschool being a transsexual became excrutiating. Hormones I guess. They changed the other girls in such good ways, and changed me in such very bad ways. I started to feel uncomfortable in my skin. I wished I had her skin... or hers... or hers...
During university I couldn't think of anything else. I'd go to the library and study study... about transsexualism. The worst part was that out of everything I read, I thought it was all wrong. Honestly, who wrote those books? The UofS had a lot of books on the subject, but they were all written before I was born. It was almost scary what some people would right down as 'facts'. I was starting to believe that the only comfort I'd get would be from whatever sense I could make of things myself.
After failing out of university I started losing things. I lost self-confidence probably first. I lost friends. I lost hope. I am pretty sure I lost 2 or 3 emotions altogether. Then one day I lost interest. Losing interest is, in itself, very interesting. When you lose interest to the degree I was losing interest it is like an asymptote - you can plainly see that the curve of interest vs time is tending to zero, but it never quite gets there - because you are always interested in your lack of interest.
Jump ahead now 10 years or so. I was driving along and I was thinking "I wonder what I should have for supper" and then I crashed my car into another car. It wasn't a serious crash - nobody was hurt. Still, it was very loud, and very jarring - but for some reason my first thought immediately afterwards was, "I think I have some porkchops in the freezer." Later that day it struck me that even before I knew it wasn't a serious accident, I had no cares about what could have happened to me.
I realized my life was turning gray. I wasn't unhappy or sick but it was clear I was just waiting to die someday - and I was only 32 years old. I thought back to that young girl who lived in my head so many years ago. I remembered how proud I was back then and I started to wonder when it turned to shame. I was upset that the biggest part of my life was the part I kept most secret. I thought that perhaps my life was so uninteresting to me because it was just the wrong life. The life I should have led is that one I always dreamed I'd someday have. I knew right then that I wanted those old prayers to come true, but if there is no god, then the only person who can answer those prayers is me - so the day after my car accident I went to see a psychologist.
It has been 2½ years since that accident, and a lot has changed. My name, the letter on my driver's license, my hairstyle, my wardrobe, even my personality. Best of all though, my interest in life has come back, stronger than it has ever been.
I recently got a comment on this blog entry from a WoW friend of mine from the Old Gang, and it just made me realize that I don't really know if either gang, old or new, realizes how good it makes me feel to meet such friendly, caring people. Thanks!