Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Guest Article by Akilah al-Khaliq
Photo by Mariette Pathy Allen
Many of us face issues daily, some sort of issue regardless what it may be!
I have found that as transgendered individuals (whether mtf or ftm), we are often railroaded and bombarded with expectations of others! We have been caught in the same lapse that others have put us in!
Among MTF transsexuals it's often said, if you use "that" thing, then you aren't a woman and if you are a non-op or don't plan on having surgery then you're not deserving to be called a woman. Which is simply incorrect.
Among FTM's (which I am not but I have talked to one in particular who has hooked me up with a lot of info on transmen), it's often said that if you have no problems with using that "thing" then you can't possibly be a FTM. You're simply a delusional individual trying to not be called a lesbian so you start calling yourself a man. You'll never be a man as long as you use it and not have surgery! This is MOST incorrect!!!
It's most unfortunate that many of us assume that each and every single one of us assume that the other has the same level of discomfort as the next with our bodies! On one hand we have the person who is completely comfortable with the body given to them via genetics and will never take hormones or anything else and will never do any body alterations whatsoever, then you have the one who is completely insecure about their body and will do EVERYTHING to change their body many times not because they want to change their body but because they are trying to live up to a standard that says 'this is what a woman looks like and this is what a man looks like'.
Everyone else fits somewhere in between those two extremes. Somewhere on that line you fit, I fit, and everyone else who is of transgender or non-transgender experience.
In reality, do you know how many natal men and natal women do ALL that they can to CHANGE themselves because they are uncomfortable with what they see in the mirror...they want to change and in a sense feel they HAVE to change!
In retrospect, I look at what I put myself through many times and realize, I've been doing the right thing! I've finally learned to listen to "self" and not listen to what everyone else is telling me!
A friend of mine told me something that is most important to me personally! He told me that I spoke life into everyone I met but refused that same life that I allowed others to partake of! He said in a sense I'm a gatekeeper helping people find their way but my path seems cloudy and unsure! He said to me only thing left to do is LISTEN AND HEED what is being said by me! This is where you find truth, revelation, wisdom, understanding, overstanding, knowledge and love!
This is what I say to all of us today. Let us look deep within self and learn to seek truth, revelation, wisdom, understanding, overstanding, knowledge and love!
So...whatever your path from androgynous to ultra-fem or ultra-masc., BE TRUE TO SELF!!! LISTEN TO YOUR SOUL!!! FIND WHO YOU ARE!!!
People will always have opinions but remember that you are the one who have to live with the opinions of others should YOU choose to live your life through their perception!!!
It's quite tiring hearing from not only the "non-trans" community but also the "trans" community that someone will never be a woman or are not trans
because of these small minor issues! For some reason, both communities are obsessed with genitalia and this mind view is a very narrow mind view!!!
I do agree that there is a responsibility to your sexual partner to let them know what's between your legs before the day comes that you are in the bed together trying to get you some. HOWEVER, this limited view of BEING a man or woman is sickening and poisoning not only to us as transmen and transwomen but to the mainstream population and we wonder why we are not accepted! We have let them define us by their perceptions and have said nothing about it but continue to live up to their perceptions!
Personally, I believe that if I can change one, I've done my part! If I can help ONE person come to a more open worldview of who I am and percieve me and others like me on another level...I've done my part!!!
Am I A Woman Now? HELL YES!!! Without a doubt, I don't have a vagina but a vagina is not what defines me! I DEFINE ME!!! This is the level that we each need to get to! Defining ourselves in lieu of allowing everyone else who has NO idea of what is going on with us doing the defining!!!
Tell me...what is it that makes a woman a woman? Many outside and even within the community will say you must have breasts and a vagina! Well what happens when I am a "real" woman by those standards and I tell a man that I used to have a penis and I get stabbed 21 times in the chest or shot in the head because according to him I used to be a man!?
But society says that being a woman or man is dependent upon either having breasts and a vagina or a penis! This is what society says. So why is there a great number of people who are willing to kill me even though I have those things now?
Or maybe it's having an hour glass shape or a straight up and down body with no curves whatsoever that defines us as a woman or man!? If it is, I know many "men" who are women and many "women" who are men!
Case in point...it's not these outside influences or secondary sexual characteristics..IT IS HOWEVER YOUR POINT OF REFERENCE COMING FROM WITHIN!!!
My authentication comes solely from the inside and that is something that no surgical modification or hormonal modification can change! I also don't believe that someone not having a problem with their genitals and/or function makes that person any less of a man or a woman!!!
As long as you are living up to YOUR standards...life will be sweeter as the days go by! Yes we will have to put up with foolishness but under no circumstances will that make us HATE ourselves because we are listening to ourselves and not to outside influences that affect our perception of who we should be!!!
So...being that we are all different, unique and marvelously made in the image of God...let us not attack one another but let us come together, accept the other person's perception of self and love one another all the same! There is enough outside attackers that we ought not put ourselves and sisters and brothers through this and foremost...DON'T PUT YOURSELF THROUGH IT!!! We most assuredly attack ourselves too much and develop hatred of self! This is what I'm fighting against. Let us learn to love self in all of our forms and not hate self which causes too much bitterness and dissension!