Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Keys of life in our extrordinary existance....;D

(by Brielle Echo Whitney)
Hi everyone, And welcome Felicia! You are going to be a splendid addition to this spctacular group of women. And I mean that, everyone here brings something unique & interesting to bear on the life & times that we share in this celebration of our unique path in this life. I know that some of you have been waiting patiently for me to open my mind here on Genderevolve, and as such I’ve been mulling over a lot of thoughts in relation to past posts, and still, at the same time, have been trying to take care of business, oftentimes not finding the energy to come to grips with what I’d like to say, in any terms but something flippant, so I’ve been holding off. That said, I ‘d like to try to address a lot of ensuing thoughts , not that I expect anyone to agree with me, but it’s time that I made a dent on the Genderevolve landscape.
Firstly, I’d like to address the idea of why are we here, and how did we get this far still on the planet mentally intact, wrestling with our personal demons. And I say that because a lot of girls find this manner of mental dichotomy to be just that. It is a battleground of the soul (s) that is always at the forefront of our existence, like it or not.
There are hundreds of thoughts that pulse like an AC current in our brains, on, off, on, off within milliseconds each and every breath that we take, especially with regards to the bi spirited nature that we embrace.
Religion, especially Judeo Christian ethics state that the soul is entered into the body at the moment of conception.
Curiously, and not so, it is FACT that we are ALL born female, and that the turning point, involving the “degradation of 1 X chromosome, has determined our male status. This unfortunate chromosomal mapping has given us, due to its genome sequence SRY, testis and the rise of that organ’s main purpose, spermatogenesis. Comparativly, studies show that the Y was once equivilant, or analagus with the X, but has “devolved”, becoming progressively degraded, and now consists largely of repeated sequences as well as degraded copies of X linked genes. The bottom line is that we are all girls. That is the ancient memory stored in our genetic makeup, weather we have fully been blessed with the full monty or not.
Now, on the spiritual level, if we are determined initially female, biologically, does it not then follow that the spirit imbued in us all is as well female? How can that change?... Is it not more likely that we carry that initial spark, “devine gift” as a baseline blueprint for everything else to come? Somehow, the code warrior coming from an aggressive swimmer somehow has changed our initial makeup. And not to say that that isn’t right, but just is. BUT as we are imbued initially female spirited, where does that spirit go? Obviously, with some of us, the attempt to make that spirit dormant didn’t work. So then, is it not so that out of woman, came man? There is no doubt about this. In Biblical text, (not that I’m of any one belief system) Eve stood on the left side of Adam.... Curiously, there is an interesting correlation between Transgenderism and being left handed. I am left handed, and I’m betting a lot of you are too. The demographic of studies shows that 34% of gay men are left handed, 91% of Lesbian women are left handed, and roughly a little more than half of true TG's are left handed, while the CD population makes up the remainder being right handed... This is yet one more bit of evidence that sexual determination / orientation begins in the womb before birth! Interesting! I do not relate myself as gay, that scenario doesn’t interest me in the least, more like Trans~lesbian, The Female is always revered by me, the rest can take a seat at the back of the bus...lol The left hand, as I’m sure you know, is controlled by the right brain, the center for empathy & creativity. Isn’t that interesting! The demographic again for the TG community is that of highly evolved, independant and creative individuals. Coincidence between Eve, the left bank of our outer limits, and society is not lost on me.As they say, only left handed people are in their right brain!
As to Devi’s comment’s about the trans class and it’s acceptance in Indian culture, it all makes a lot of sense to me. Western Ideas of the paradine devision of male & female come from a stilted place that is mired in a wasteland of role play , which often creates mental breakdowns of all participants. I lived in Europe for quite a few years, and the tolerance, and acceptance level, though still not across the board, was anchored in the ability of the general population where I was to see a guy in a skirt as not a cause for a punchup... much more accepting of the idea of diversity as the norm, and a good thing... I should move back there... I just may one day when the politicians make it OK to be a world citizen, and be able to make a decent living there as an independant! Currently, I blame Bush! As I’ve always said of that puppet regime, brought on by George Sr. and the religious right.But that's another pet peve for a different rant...lol
K,! next, I’ll address some other thoughts regarding place in history, from my prospective & knowledge base, especially with regards to my American Indian heritage.
There is a being, referred to by over 159 tribes of native Americans, called “Beardache” , the two spirited one. They understood. The Beardache, Transvestite, the transgendered one was revered as Shaman , Seer, Visionary, Diplomat and was held in a place of honor within these culutures. I am part Onondaga Iroquois. It empowers me to be a part of this living tradition.
The Earlier tribes globally found acceptance & power from the wisdom of these bi~spirited beings... why is it then that we are ostracized as being aberrant freaks? I don’t get it...
On to other subjects...
Yes, It is sad to me from the standpoint of being lifelong TG, and knowing that from an early age, that “newbies” are so transparently influenced by the societal media blitz.
Yes, we see over & over again new girls representing themselves as whores, sluts etc... This obviously bothers me as I’m sure it does you. It harkens to my mind of failed childhoods, where the media has uploaded a reference morgue of the female image, and in their particular cases, is a guarenteur of the wrong stereotype, as this has been played as key to feminity. It disgusts me, and objectify's women. Now, you all have seen my pix... and may decry them as similar fodder. I would take a different stance being that my life has been an ongoing workshop of keen observance of the gender which I feel dominant... heck, I’ve taken over & over the Cognati & Dianati tests amongst every other out there that I could find... and they all come up basically the same, that my brain is about 85% female.... hmmm. We are all bounded it seems in a visual sense by out surroundings.. so therefore, we emulate the women that are around us... and are informed by those criteria... I do have probs though with gurls who want to wear wedding dresses & mall hair, but that’s just me...lol We NY’s can be a different breed, like you sophisticated Canadian gurls! ( Montreal is way too cool!)
I feel that it also has a lot to do with upbringing, and as well, unfortunantly, a negative viewpoint of the female gender. Afer all, if you honored your female, would you be a slut? There are those who claim to help others on URNOTALONE who as well garner my Ire, as I’m sure that you know... Dressing new girls like LITTLE BO PEEP is simply a bitchslap to their advancement and integration of their 2 fold holistic side...enough there... we can and should be examples of a more realized integration, and help our sister...Everyone here is here for a reason, because you all are looked upon and respected as leaders in this community
That said, I’ve been contacted by many girls not involved in UR, hidden, not able to manifest their better hidden natured. I hope that all of us can be very supportive, and as we all seem to have been at this understanding for most of our lives, be responsible, helpful, and willing to be communicative with our sisters who are in need of some answers that we may be able to provide....
I also believe that the key to our passing lies within each of us. To look deeply into the soul and allow the female to breath, and live this way not on the weekends, but in the way that we approach our daily lives...the way we carry ourselves with confidence, pride, and gracefulness which will be shown respect from the very fact that it’s carriage belays a character of depth & quality. To this end, there is certainly a learning curve that never ends. BUT it’s in the details. I’m extremely detail oriented, and also have been a lifelong student of keenly observing genetic girls. Everything is taken into consideration, from vocalocity to carriage to arrangement to smell to well, all factors all the time. I find myself following beautiful cultured women into stores, get close to them on the subway & buses, go where I know they will be like galleries & museums, nightclubs, etc... all fur the intoxication that comes over me to take in the lessons learned. AND RETAINED!!! These are the things that dreams are made of. Mine anyway.
It for me, like probably most of you has been a lifelong pulse, lifeline, that which both drives us insane and in the same breath keep us sane and wanting more of it’s authenticity, relying on each of us to become the author of the phenomyna of SHE WHO IS.
For me, I remember enjoying playing with my neighbor's barbie dolls with her when I was 3, my mom letting me wobble around in her high heels before I was 7. By 10 I was sneaking the neighbor’s dresses off the clothesline, and as we grew older, our sizes were the same... I SO want to thank her, but of course never will...she had nice clothes, her parents were pretty flush, and when they would take the Winnebago off to points unknown I would go to her house ( hoping that they would be gone a LONG time!)...(I was about 16~17, we were allowed to use the pool) and get dressed, nice skirt & real heels my size! (her mom had blonde wigs, go figure...not much has changed there!...lol) and take their car (Bri was a bold child) to the city 40 miles away to wander the mall....lol yeah, I’ve got that shopping gene bigtime as most of you know...lol I was really scared too, but Bri demanded to exist. She will not go quietly into the night nor will she be transparent!
I remember once going to a restaurant on my way home, and walking through the bar...5~6 of my teachers were there! YIKES! I walked past them all and went to the ladies room. Upon coming out of the stall & putting on more lipstick at the mirror... my biology teacher came in, stood next to me, and complimented me on my shoes! She was a little tipsy, but still, she thought that I was a girl...the reality being that I was / am! This was such a thrill that I walked out and strode confidently past my teachers again. I smiled all the way home.
Since those early days, I hope that I’ve come a long way in maturity, empathy, helpfulness , humility & grace. I think I’m ok, I’m pretty much at one with my duality, and I accept that the male is always going to be there...It’s a good thing, he protects her and nurtures her. He buys her whatever she wants. He loves her very very much and is proud of her too. He lets her live.


K, kittens, so you want to know more about me huh...lol well, you’re going to have to wait for the next installment... I’m not one to blow all the chips at once...lol BUT I hope that those of you who I have not spoken to will contact me.. I’m moving away from URNOTALONE, as it’s become a joke, hasen’t it? And focusing my attentions on you folks, the cream of the crop so to speak of intelligent, vocal, insightfull & beautiful women... count me as your friend all of you...

Love Peace, Laughter & Sisterhood... ;D

XO,

Bri

6 comments:

Alexis Rene said...

Brie,
Wow, If that is NOT all the chips... then you most certainly are a wealthy girl! :)

Lets see, While I applaud your attention here(Crave it actually!:) Please don't leave urna. You are one of the originals ! Thus with all the changes that are happening there we need a stake to stand by. One in which helps here 'n there to pose a positive ray of light when possible....

I know the word must be traveling round the net with the ratings system there, as there is a huge influx of people there looking for just that. The ratings game. To each their own, and have no problem with whatever a person(s) aspirations are there, but there are also girls out there who are still looking for their rightful place amongst friends and people to share things with.....True friends!

Girls or boys for that matter, who are brand new to the world and not sure what they are looking for or if they fit ?
I was that person....

Also Brie while you visited the technical view of conception...:)
I want to address the status of perception.

While this may not be the proper arena or heading to say this under ...

I think we need a television show.
Must see TV redefined....And yeah pun intended ;) :)
Something that is weekly, Something that is comical,
Something that has some truth to it
Something that will challenge old ideas.
Something that is NOT a documentary setting.

The idea would be to educate the world about the TG community. But not in a forced educational way as a Discovery channel thing. Just more of a subtle thing. Oh I do love DSC by the way but....

The reason I say this, I was born and raised in the midwestern U.S.. The corn belt ...er uh the bible belt, And while I am spiritual, I am not religious but the point being is.... The ONLY view of T-girls that the midwest has seen is on the Jerry Springer Show. Or something else that is derogatory. I am 32 years old and I can tell you that the world has changed immensely on the views from the public of gay/lesbian culture with the passing of each decade of my life.

I cite television as the reason.....As most genetic girls(locally) weren't original enough to have their cliche gay friend. Now after the spawn of many shows and more recently Will and Grace, it became like having the "in season" handbag to women.(<~ I am not saying there wasn't real emotion and friendship,but just that those realtionships were shunned in the past) Additionally the men in their lives were brought to a closer look at gay and lesbian cultures. While some of the people may stay devout and closed minded. Most have softened their views locally.

So when I say the transgendered world needs a television show I mean one in which will break the stereotypes and the trash that has followed amongst the culture we live in.

Now granted, another decade seems like an eternity for change to happen. But think to your locale and what the general views were in '95...Now fast forward to today.
Totally different isn't it?

The TG World is on the brink of something big called....Acceptance

Think of this...
What if MTF or FTM transitioners were endorsed by the public. What if for example say Michele didn't have to be closeted to some degrees for just helping and seeking her own happiness?
I could pose 100's of examples but ya get the idea....

Churches are welcoming Gay and Lesbian cultures for attendance in central Illinois...Plus endorsing "unions" there of. I am sure if it is happening in the midwest....trust me, The coastal regions should be rolling !

Anyway just my thoughts AND before anything gets misconstrued. I am not saying in any way that if you are a T girl then you must be Gay,Lesbian,Straight,Backward ;) or anything of the sort. I only used it as an example of how things have changed(finally) by positive influence & unity !

Take care all! XXOO, Alexis

Marlena Dahlstrom said...

A slight correction regarding the demographic studies. The figures mentioned were the increased probabilities to being left-hand, not the total number of lefties. I.e. gay men were a third more likely to be left-handed and lesbians were twice as likely to be left-handed. So the actual numbers are probably about 15-20% of the population.

I'm lefty myself and since it's associated with greater cross-connections between the brain hemispheres, I've wondered about the potential associations myself.

Michele Angelique said...

Brielle darling, thank you for this comprehensive and interesting article, “Keys to Life in Our Extraordinary Existence”. You present so much food for thought that I am filled with responses for virtually every sentence. For now I have highlighted and drawn upon several of your points to expand my thoughts...

*****
-->Brielle: Now, on the spiritual level, if we are determined initially female, biologically, does it not then follow that the spirit imbued in us all is as well female? How can that change?... Is it not more likely that we carry that initial spark, “divine gift” as a baseline blueprint for everything else to come? BUT as we are imbued initially female spirited, where does that spirit go? So then, is it not so that out of woman, came man?

-->Dominess: This is a fascinating point, which draws into question - are our spirits gendered? When I refer to yin-spirit and yang-spirit it is not a gender of spirit. Yin/yang represents the two opposing complementary symbiotic polarities in the Universe, of which gender is one of the myriad characteristics that can be described. Is there really such a thing as a male spirit or a female spirit, or do our spirits embody both genders? In other words, is it possible that all human spirits are bi-gendered (transgendered)? We enter a human body which exhibits the gendered form, and are expected to adhere to the stereotypical roles of that gender. Notice how every human being has some balance of both masculine/feminine traits? There is no such thing as purely masculine nor purely feminine, just as there is no such thing as purely yin nor purely yang (hence the two dots in the yin/yang symbol). My question is whether "gender" goes so deep as to characterize our spirits, or is it something that describes just our physical bodies?

*****

-->Brielle: The Female is always revered by me, the rest can take a seat at the back of the bus.

-->Dominess: One of the things I'd like to communicate with mainstream society is that transwomen operate on the basis of a deep seated love and reverence for genetic women and femininity. I am not referring to those who crossdress only as a means to attract more sex partners, because I don't view those people as transgendered. You as authentic TG women dress as a way to outwardly manifest your inner woman. You relate so closely to women because you are women on the inside. It seems to me that you as transwomen study us as genetic women because you want to be like us. You admire and respect us, holding us in higher esteem than ordinary men ever would, and perhaps higher than we have of ourselves.

The world still deems femininity to be weaker and lesser, and even women don't want to be women anymore. "Feminist" women who abdicate their own femininity and strive to emulate men support the notion that masculinity is superior to femininity. Femininity is cast aside by men and women alike, and yet YOU as transwomen are celebrating it. The risks you face in aspiring to be like women include ridicule, isolation, discrimination, persecution, violence or even death.

You defy society's premise that men are superior to women, because if it were true, people like you would not exist. You are living proof that femininity has at least as much value as masculinity. You are evidence that strong can still be beautiful. You are people with the birthright of masculinity, yet you choose to manifest femininity. To me this shows the ULTIMATE regard for women. You love women more that we love ourselves, and far more than ordinary men do. I find this very touching, and I know other genetic women would too. They just need to understand what motivates you because it is such a miraculous and beautiful thing. This is why I revere you so deeply. I see you as a special breed of human whose time has finally come. I will do anything in my power to support you.


*****

-->Brielle: After all, if you honored your female, would you be a slut?

-->Dominess: I think the female persona is some form of "dream girl" embodying whatever the male-self deems most attractive or desirable. For some men, this persona is a slut (but then, what is a "slut" other than a word which has no masculine equivalent?), for others this persona is just a lovely woman expressing herself in any myriad of ways. The female self is a reflection of the male self's ideal woman, and so if he has a low impression of women, he will be more likely to dress/act in a way that demeans women. It is likely that such a person also thinks lowly of himself as a man. The girl manifest is simply some aspect of his inner-girl, for better or for worse.

On the other hand, I can't imagine anyone discovering feminine sexual power and not wanting to use it. Being a sexy woman is an extremely gratifying experience because you get noticed, appreciated, and treated well by those who are attracted to you. It's hard to blame anyone for getting carried away enjoying this power, and I really don't know how to define "slut". A couple decades ago it meant any woman who enjoyed sex, today I think it means any woman who has sex with a certain number of people within a certain time period. Some equivalent male terms for slut are "stud", "player", "loverboy", "gigalo", or just plain old "lucky". None of these terms are negative. Guys can like sex and have as much as they want with whomever they want without being considered dirty, whereas women are expected to keep their legs crossed to avoid being labeled "slut", "whore", "tramp" or "hooker".

Since I'm all about breaking down gender stereotypes, I say it should be ok for women to enjoy sex as much as men, and not be judged badly for it. Sometimes I like to look ultra-sexy, turn heads, make men turn to mush, and I wouldn't give up this power for anything. I may from time to time dress, look or even act like a "slut" because it makes me feel good and I am pleased by the impact on those around me. The way I'm dressed will not change the fact that I only have sex with people that I truly care about, although some might assume differently based on what I am wearing on a given day. Looking sexy and being promiscuous do not necessarily go hand-in-hand, so a book cannot be judged by its cover. So how can we define a slut?


*****

-->Brielle: Bri demanded to exist. She will not go quietly into the night nor will she be transparent. I’m ok, I’m pretty much at one with my duality, and I accept that the male is always going to be there. It’s a good thing, he protects her and nurtures her. He buys her whatever she wants. He loves her very very much and is proud of her too. He lets her live.


-->Dominess: Brielle you are blessed with a duality that enables you to gain satisfaction and fulfillment from within yourself. Because you embody both a man and a woman, you do not require an outside person to "complete" you. You are already complete within yourself. While I am certain that you could thrive in a love relationship with the right person, you are not someone who is searching desperately in need of a partner. While it is natural to require human companionship, many people live with a huge void in their heart and soul, constantly looking for that "perfect" love which will fill the void. Those who are able to fill the void from within oneself are more balanced and whole. Those who forever seek but can never find this total fulfillment from outside of themselves are generally miserable and bitter. The relationship you have between Brielle and D allows you to stand on your own two feet as a complete person, more so than an "ordinary" human being. How many marriages contain the depth of love and understanding that D and B have for each other? This is a beautiful gift, and your two amazing selves are so lucky to have each other!

*****

Thanks again Brielle for presenting these points, among so many others. I'd like to respond to all of the points you make, and will draw upon your article again in the future.

Much love,
Michele

Marlena Dahlstrom said...

I'm reluctant to use ying-yang because that's just another form of imposing a duality on what's really more of a spectrum. There are different personality traits, some of which society deems "male" and some which are deemed "female." But in reality, individuals often have traits that fall outside their cultural norms. Can't remember the study off the top of my head, but it found most individuals fail to fully conform to the expect traits of their gender roles.

As far as biological causes, there was an interesting study that came out last month, showing that genes with a suspected relationship to transsexualism are found in a part of the DNA that's responsible for rapid evolutionary changes. (The same area is responsible for different muzzles lengths in dogs.) It seems like crossdressing does involve low(er)-level gender dysphoria as one driver, although there are many motivations. I think it's pretentious to claim that TGs of whatever stripe are somehow evolutionarily superior. But I do think it's another example -- along with the distribution of personality traits -- of how nature is hedging its bets through variation.

I'd be careful about over-romanticizing the treatment of TGs in non-Western cultures. Some did/do revere TGs, but there are plenty of cultures (including Native American cultures) where TGs were merely tolerated, and some where TGs existed, but looked down upon. I'm sure Devi knows more about this, but my understanding is that the hijra face considerable discrimination. Likewise, the lives of Thai ladyboys aren't as easy as many Westerners believe.

As far as the slut-dressing, I think many CDs are behaving similar to teenage girls who are just discovering their sexuality and womanhood. Both have a tendency towards clothes that are too short, too tight, as well as too much hair and make-up. But since most cross-dressers dress alone or in environments that are a bit too supportive, there's no equivalent of parents to say "you're not going out dressed like that," nor the fear of being labelled the school slut that causes most teenage GGs to tone things down. Another factor is that I think for some, it's less threatening to think they're "perverts" (i.e. fetishetic transvestites) than to acknowledge they have either gender identity or gender role discomfort. 'Course for others, I think it's variation on Margaret Cho's self-questioning (after a lesbian fling): "Am I straight? Am I gay? And then I realized, I'm just slutty." It's just that they probably feel unable to express that side of themselves in the same way en homme. Back when I was in college, and buffed out, I once asked a girlfriend how I could dress sexy for her. She thought about it awhile and then suggested I wear a suit. Ummm, that's not exactly what I was expecting....

Devi said...

To answer Darla, my primary statement about hijras was that they are culturally 'accepted'. There is no religious stricture against them - they're in fact a definitive part of several religious texts and customs, which date back about a couple of millenia. Traditional dances and plays often involve TGs or at least recognized gender impersonators who hone their skills at expressing the female role openly. There are multiple annual social gatherings for hijras around the country, often conducted under the auspices of Hindu temples

All this doesn't mean that there are no lumpen nitwits on the street who will laugh at them, or that there aren't people who wouldn't baulk at hiring one. If a group of hijras were to resort of prostitution, unruly behavior or something of the sort, they most certainly will receive a dim view from the law enforcement and the general public. The point is there's little socially sanctioned discrimination against them for being hijras per se, but more so for what they do. This site itself has explored how TGs have problems due to members of the community misrepresenting everyone.

It is difficult for me to describe all this in a convincing manner unless one is at least somewhat familiar with Indian culture. There's no specific list of commandments and "thou shalt do/not do XYZ" involved. I cannot simply pluck out the treatment the TG community receives and attempt to convincingly explain it in isolation, without going into how societal mores in general are like. Even descriptions of hijras on various websites are quite 'crude'; for example, they are not a 'caste' - a much misused term. In modern day India there's no real hierarchical system as caste implies, just a lot of endogamous communities, and even those lines are increasingly blurred by exogamous ties today. Implicit ceilings of various hues exist as with any other society, but none of them are inviolable - even the most sacred roles, that of temple priests, are increasingly held by those not traditionally from the priestly class.

There's also a much larger gulf between legal and societal perceptions than in western societies. Take for example our President - in a nation traumatized by centuries of Muslim invasions he is a homosexual Muslim scientist (he led the Indian missile/nuclear weapons program) who is also an expert on Hindu religious texts, and one of the most bipartisanly popular public figures. Officially homosexuality is against the law in India (a law grandfathered from the old British penal code), but both the law and the tabloids stay away from his personal life. A somewhat analogous (and apt, since the social view is basically "laissez faire") western case I recall is that of how the French treated the presence of the late former President Mitterand's mistress at his funeral where his wife was also present, when both of them were allowed to mourn in quiet dignity.

Brielle Echo Whitney said...

On the percentile thing... I rarely say anything without having a base in extensive research, but agree that different source materials will gerner diferent returns. I took my standpoint from a cross pollinization of roughly 8~10 sources materials. But, that said, there is room for error in any belief system. I stand by what I have said, and, am flexible to debate anyone's opinion, especially when we are talking about demographics which cannot be fully realized... ;D