The first picture:May 1st.
Broccoli Face: May 3rd.
On swing eating miller: June 8th
Looking out the window: July 10th
Posing on his perch: July 10th
Sideways: Sept 3rd
Shaking off the water: Sept 3rd
Ketchup and Seed Feet: Sept 3rd
Normally if I am reading an article about a transsexual, this is exactly the news story I would prefer to read. It has everything that I think is required for North Americans to better understand and accept transsexuals. It talks about a transsexual living an average lifestyle within a conservative environment. It seems to describe the perfect scenario where frightened conservative people will be exposed to the normality of transgendered people. It isn't that hard to project ahead and imagine that this currently horrified faculty will eventually think of Joy as nothing other than an average woman. All we transsexuals need to become fully accepted in society is for everyone to know/work with/heard of transsexuals that are just normal every day people and not at all how we are portrayed in sensationalist media.
"...massive violation of Torah law, Torah ethics and Torah morality."
- Rabbi Moshe Tendler
Still, this article didn't really make me feel good. It left me trying to be hopeful, but feeling like it is a tainted hope. I don't want to be pessimistic, but I can't help it. The problem is that while I believe people are capable of overcoming the insignificance of what it means to be transgendered, in this case we are not just dealing with people - we are also dealing with religion.
The article above quotes Rabbi Moshe Tendler talking about Joy: "[S]he's a person who represents a kind of amorality which runs counter to everything Yeshiva University stands for. There is just no leeway in Jewish law for a transsexual. There is no niche where [s]he can hide out as a female without being in massive violation of Torah law, Torah ethics and Torah morality." Please note I have corrected Moshe's incorrect pronoun use.
I am sure his comment is, pronoun use notwithstanding, correct. Even if he wasn't a rabbi at a rabbinical school, I've been informed via comments to this blog (all of which were unceremoniously deleted) of my own immorality based on religious standards many times over and I am sure that some of the commenters must have been Jewish. Even if none were, it doesn't really matter because those so zealous in any particular religion all have something in common, and that is either an outright inability to rationally think, or an overabundance of ability to suspend thought while indulging delusion (what they call faith).
I suppose what I just said can be hurtful to some, but that doesn't really bother me. I think what is more hurtful is to think about poor Joy who did nothing wrong, but will be subtly punished anyway during her time at a religious institution. Even if she is by all appearances treated with respect, she'll likely sense the disgust exuded by, and hear the words muttered by, at least some of her co-workers who will fervently believe she is immoral and unethical despite how well she lives her life.
I fully believe that the average conservative individual can overcome his or her misconceptions about transsexuals, and I fully believe that individual people can realize and admit when they are wrong, but religion never will.
At about ten o'clock I was in a marathon Warcraft session with Jenna, Caspers, Stubb, Nighel, Wynch, Boud and Chino when I realized how hot it was in my apartment. I opened the window and soon afterwards I realized there were more voices coming in my window than there were coming out of my computer speakers. I took a look outside and saw a small group of young adults standing outside my bedroom window.
After an hour they were still there. They were laughing and talking. It was only 11:00 and I was still playing the game, so I didn't mind.
After an hour they were still there. They were laughing and talking and smoking pot. I was still playing the game, so the voices didn't bother me... but I am a smell-o-phobe and the smell was getting on my nerves.
After an hour they were still there. They were laughing more and talking louder. They were still smoking pot and they started playing music. I was getting ready for bed, and so I stood at the window for a while so they could all see me. I hoped this would make them realize they were being too loud for 1:00am. If they did, they didn't care. I put my fan in the window and turned it on. It didn't do much to help me from the smoke, but it did cool off my room and partially drown out their voices. Then I laid down to go to sleep.
After another hour they were still there. I was in bed, but not yet asleep. I went to the window and said "Can you guys be quiet?" They thought I made funny joke. Despite my bedroom still being hot, and even though I didn't want them to think they had won, I closed my window.
After another hour they were still there. Even though my window was closed I could still hear them laughing and I could still hear their music. I was more than upset. I was very tired and very fed up. I opened the window and yelled "SHUT UP!" and then I slammed it shut again. I heard them all laugh.
It was a little before 4am when I decided I needed to make a larger imprint on their minds. I thought if I went outside and actually spoke to them it would do more good than yelling out my window. As it turned out this was not a good idea.
I went out the front door. Unlike my previous blog article where the sun was already coming up at 4am, this time it was still completely dark out. I walked around the side of the building and saw a dozen or so people standing in a loose circle in front of the entrance to the building. A couple of them were smoking. I saw a beer bottle or two. The music was coming from the Apartment #1's open window. All of the people in front of me were talking at the same time.
At first nobody noticed me. I wasn't trying to sneak up on them, I was just between two angle-parked cars, and I guess not easily seen. When I came out from between the cars I was seen immediately. I suspected a lull in their conversation where I could interject with my calm voice of reason and logic and perhaps some slightly veiled threats of calling the police. That isn't what happened.
I thought I must have been recognized as the woman in the window because as soon as I was visible one of the girls yelled at me. It took me by surprise how she skipped speaking and went straight to yelling. She told me to 'get the fuck back inside, fuckin white bitch'. Halfway through her question another girl yelled at me. I think she asked what the fuck I wanted, 'fuckin white bitch'. After this second question everyone was yelling at me so it was hard to determine what anyone was saying to me, other than they all ended their questions and comments with the words 'fuckin', 'white' and 'bitch'. I had managed to go almost 37 years without being called a fuckin white bitch at all, and here in just a few seconds I had been called one about thirty times.
From where I was I couldn't really see them except to say they were short or tall, skinny or fat. It scared me that I couldn't actually see their facial expressions, or what any of them were doing with their hands. I could see that the loose circle of once laughing, pot-smoking party-goers quickly changed to a perfect semi circle of angry young-toughs with me in the middle. Every muscle in my body tensed up and I felt both paralyzed and ready-to-spring at the same time.
As I look back on it all, time didn't seem to progress at a constant rate. At this point time felt like it was moving very slowly. I am sure the entire incident had only taken seconds up until this point, but standing there it felt like a very long time. A pretty, skinny girl with a pony tail stepped forward and stood right in front of me. The defiance in her body language and the anger in her verbal language made her seem extremely fierce despite her size. With her face close to mine she yelled, "What the fuck are you gonna do white bitch?" I heard some girl off to my side say, "Yeah, what're you gonna do white bitch?" I didn't answer either question. In fact I hadn't even said a word yet. I was completely speechless.
I don't think my posture was indicating how scared I was. I think I looked like I was ready to fight someone because the fierce skinny girl said, "I fuckin' dare you white bitch." Her backup singer friend to the side said, "Yeah, fuckin' dare you, white bitch."
I took a step back and suddenly the fierce skinny girl said, "That's right step BACK BITCH!" and then I think she thought it would be funny to make me flinch or jump or simply run because she abruptly lunged towards me. Time up until this point had been progressing so slowly, but when she lunged towards me everything sped up to the point I barely remember what happened. What I do know is that when she jumped forward, I didn't recoil from her. I grabbed her shirt at the shoulder and the collar and pulled her around in a circle leaving her flat on her ass in the middle of the semi-circle.I must admit that even while the words 'what have I just done?' were running though my head, I felt some sort of satisfaction among the guilt. I don't mean to say I believe this was a good outcome though. The entire situation had become something very different than what I first imagined. Everything just seemed to have turned so sour and gone so bad. I turned around to go back inside. As I rounded the corner towards the entrance of the building I couldn't even hear what they were yelling anymore because all I could hear was the sound of my blood pounding through my head.