October 26, 2012
From the U.K. comes a story of how complicated love can be. That is, the story appeared in a British newspaper, but is the story of an American couple.
Sadie calls herself a 'failed lesbian' because she has had relationships with three women, and all three of those women turned out to be transgender. In other words, all three of them are now in various stages of becoming men. This includes her current partner of two and a half years
When she was 25, she had become comfortable identifying herself as a lesbian when she found herself in a committed heterosexual relationship with a woman had begun the transition from female to male. Marco, who began life as Erica, had a rock star-bad boy vibe from the start. "She'd play the electric guitar in her underwear. She was hot" said Sadie, but realizes that it would have gotten old eventually.
After Erica started taking testosterone Sadie worried she would become more aggressive, a common side effect, but as she became a man she mellowed out. Sadie speculated that a lot of Marco/Erica's anger came from the feeling of being trapped in the wrong body. As she transitioned she felt more at peace and became a more peaceful person.
Before 1997, anyone who assumed the opposite gender was classified as a transvestite which was listed as a mental disorder by mental health professionals, as was homosexuality at one time. (As this article is by a British writer, I am not sure if that is by British or American professionals.)
"To experience gender identity confusion or some form of gender variance is not in itself a mental illness" says Nicole Giordano, a mental health professional." The violation of the social norm that has defined gender as binary and the accompanied social discrimination and ostracism is what creates the depression or anxiety."
Some studies show that transgender people attempt suicide at 26 times the national average. The study acknowledges that gathering accurate statistics about the transgender community is impossible since stigma keeps many people quiet about their experiences.
Often, the transgender person starts living a gay "lifestyle" before they come to the conclusion that they are not gay, but are trapped in the wrong body and should have been born as the opposite sex, as did Marco/ Erica, and also Chaz Bono, the offspring of Sonny and Cher.
Now that Marco has begun the transition from female to male, Sadie is confronting her own emotions, seeing a therapist and acknowledging that the experience has been trying for her too.
Sadie tried going to a support group for 'trans-partners; but was disappointed with the experience. "...the conversation was so focused on the burden felt by our partners. Very little attention was placed on the burden felt by us as partners." She gave up on organized support groups and reached out to individuals. Over time, as Marco settled into being a man, Sadie settled into the idea of their semi-straight relationship.
Both Sadie and Marco mourn the loss of Erica as if she were another person who they both loved and miss. They're going through an unusual set of growing pains, trying to figure out where they fit in the world. But holding hands in their beautiful roof garden, they are more of a model couple than an anomaly.
So, dear readers. Have you ever experienced gender identity confusion? Do you think transgender people are mentally ill or is this a genuine medical condition? Could you continue loving a spouse, family member or close friend if they expressed a desire for a sex change operation?
I'd like to dedicate this column to the gentle soul of Robin West. I hope you found the peace in death that so eluded you in life. Rest in peace, my friend.
Everyone has people in their lives that are gay, lesbian or transgender or bisexual. They may not want to admit it, but I guarantee they know somebody.
~Billie Jean King~
Nature chooses who will be transgender; individuals don't choose this.
Get it while you can, don't turn your back on love.
Isn't it worth $1 a month to you to keep RGQ in your mailbox? Please click the link and direct your contribution to keep RGQ going.Today's Quotes
Don't be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life. - Bertolt Brecht
Incomprehensible jargon is the hallmark of a profession. - Kingman Brewster, Jr
Love and Marriage
The child was a typical four-year-old girl - cute, inquisitive, bright as a new penny.
When she expressed difficulty in grasping the concept of marriage, her father decided to pull out his wedding photo album, thinking visual images would help.
One page after another, he pointed out the bride arriving at the church, the entrance, the wedding ceremony, the recessional, the reception, etc.
"Now do you understand?" he asked.
"I think so," she said, "is that when mommy came to work for us?"
A man loses contact with reality if he is not surrounded by his books.
Since each nation is undergoing a crisis, they all tend toward egotism. Each country first wants to rescue itself, whereas they will only be rescued together.
Everything is a struggle, everything requires courage, effort. There is no response to history without effort, and effort is required because everything is difficult: passions, interests, rivalries, mankind just emerging from prehistory. Just look around us. Yes, history is tragic. all from François Mitterrand, President of France, born on this day in 1916
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When I was young, we didn't have much money. If I wanted frills, I had to earn money to buy it myself. My first job was mowing lawns, but I couldn't wear out the family mower in the process. I had to buy my own. My parents fronted me the money, all $30 of it. Then I started mowing. In a month I paid for that mower. From then on, it was all profit except for gas and oil costs.
My next job was a newspaper route. It was already established, so all I had to do was get up early, roll the papers, deliver them, then go to school. If I saw someone that I wasn't delivering to their house, I would ask them if they were interested. Sometimes I would get a new customer.
The next real job was working in a candy factory. I started hauling chocolate bricks, flour, sugar, and all sorts of heavy things up one floor and store them. After a while, they trained me on various processes. Eventually, I learned how to make chocolate candy suckers, hollow chocolate bunnies, and creme filled chocolate eggs. Santa didn't lose out. I learned how to make several varieties of his replica.
As a teen, I worked at an amusement park. I learned how to operate all the rides in the park. I started at one ride, but was "promoted" to be the relief operator that went around giving others breaks and such. That led me to my first "raise". I went from 80 cents an hour, to a whole $1.10 an hour by the time my career there ended.
It was time for me to begin my adulthood. I joined the U.S. Air Force. It was there I learned my lifetime skills that have lasted me to the present. Had they not declined me a choice assignment in Germany and a hefty reenlistment bonus, I would probably have retired from there. Instead, they created a rebel, angry with "the establishment".
Thus began my civilian career. I went with a company that was developing the ATM network. It would use my skills and afford me and my family a decent living. That lasted a few years and I went to work for another company. That led to a long tenure at the phone company until an injury brought that to an end.
From there I had to fend for myself. I started my own business and have been plugging away at it since. The economy has had it's ups and downs, but the last down hurt. I must have bumped my head on something on the way down, because I am not seeing business the same way as it was. Because of that, I had to take on a part-time job. Today, I am working 3 jobs, neither of which is providing me any full-time hours, but, together are giving more hours than I was used to. If they all paid the same as my self-employment was providing, I'd be set, but, alas, they don't.
I don't know where I'll be this time next year. The world has changed so much in a short time, it is hard to predict what will become of the business market I once knew. All I know is, I am a survivor. I've been down as low as I could get and was able to pick myself back up. I am going to be able to do it again, if I have to, because I am wiser now. At least I think I am.
Here's your quiz:
What kind of paying job(s) did you have as a youth?
What kind of job(s) have you had as an adult?
What has been your favorite job?
Work - There's A Reason It Is A 4-Letter Word
Cliff (the High-Tech Redneck who doesn't rate a fancy 'signature pic')Kirsten's Krazy Kaleidoscope
"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."
~ Albert Einstein ~
Since the beginning of time - or at least, since humankind evolved to the point of providing children with formal education - parents have had to deal with that old conundrum. What is the right way to respond when a child brings home a dismal report card?
Parents respond in a variety of ways. Some take away privileges, while others make their children go to summer school to make up their grades. There are some who simply shame their children into performing better, and others who plant dire predictions of a bleak future into the heads of their offspring.
A mom in Fridley, Minnesota has an entirely different approach, and it's landed her in some very hot water. When her twelve-year-old daughter came home with an "F" on her report card, she was not happy, and decided that extreme punishment was in order. She shaved the girl's head and made her do sprints in the driveway of the apartment complex in full view of the neighbours, wearing nothing but a diaper and a tank top.
A neighbour called the police, and by the time they arrived, the girl was sobbing hysterically and a crowd of about 50 people had gathered. The girl's mother and stepfather were charged with malicious punishment of a child, and the girl has been placed into foster care pending the outcome of the trial.
This story horrifies me, and it makes me wonder how on earth the mother would even think of such a bizarre punishment. This is definitely a case of the punishment not fitting the crime.
[Part 2 of 2]
So, I have to admit that TJ probably doesn't get the best diet a dog should have. I don't give him much in the way of snack food, although I do share some. I supplement his food with "Cell Food" and 1000 mg. of fish oil a day. I also like to give him brewer's yeast, but it isn't available locally, so I am out of it for now.
(She does share her snacks with me if you can call a ration of 10 for her to 1 for me sharing. Happily enough, both she and Mom are careless about leaving food around. Sometimes, I get to finish the little dog's food when no one is watching. If a fast food bag is left on the table, investigation often reveals sausage McMuffins, hamburgers, fries and other interesting diet supplements. I have to be quick and careful, but I am smart enough to know when to strike..
Unfortunately, she puts a swinging lid on the "All You Can Eat Buffet", and so when she and Mom are done with packaging that still has organic matter attached to it through the slot, there is no convenient way for me to get it back out. As a result, perfectly good chicken skin, food packaging and other gourmet offerings go to waste. And she has the nerve to say she believes in recycling!)
In closing, I wish you many happy years with your companion. I've always been a fan of dogs myself, and have to admit that I enjoy the loopholes that let me take mine to the store and court with me. TJ is a noble beast and I hope I am doing well by him. I am doing my best, and G-d knows I love him.
(If my destiny was to adopt a human, I probably couldn't do much better. Except for that food thing, I know I am well loved. At least, I think that is what it means when a human flings her arms around you, buries her face in your fur and talks baby talk to you. But, you know how it is. Even humans who love you don't understand why it is important to leave the garbage can open so you can do your own sorting.)
Good Luck with Cambel, Lucille
Wags, with my best butt sniff, TJ
PS: The dog ate my real column.
Odds and Ends - Random - Did you know that Whoopi Goldberg's real name is Caryn Johnson; that hot water weighs more than cold water; that iceberg lettuce is 90 percent water; that women in Switzerland were not allowed to vote until 1971; that one mile is 63,360 inchworms long; that almost 3 million tons of pasta is produced in Italy each year; that a Napoleon Bonaparte tooth sold at auction for $11,000 in 2005, and is the most expensive tooth ever; that the harmonica is the world's best-selling music instrument; and that it is impossible to walk in a straight line while blindfolded. I'm sticking with that one.
Thanks for your limericks! Try this one -
I once chased a girl for a mile...
Hints: Here's a great new rhyming/composition tool. http://www.writerhymes.com/
There's also a great rhyming dictionary at http://www.rhymezone.com/
Limerick rules. http://freespace.virgin.net/merrick.sheldon/limerickrules.htm
I once had a skunk for a pet.....
The stinkin'est pet I've had yet.....
He was such a nice guy.....
'Cept for burning my eyes.....
I got that fixed by the vet.
I once had a skunk for a pet.....
And in his ways he was set.....
You incurred his wrath.....
If you crossed his path.....
A smell you'd never forget.
I once had a skunk for a pet.....
His scent was foul you could bet.....
But to get him fixed.....
So the odor was nixed.....
I had to go deeply in debt.
"Someone must have dropped you on your head as an infant."
(I hear this one a lot)Reader Comments
What was your worst restaurant experience?
Bill and I were in Eureka Springs with the boys one day and ate in a balcony restaurant. The menu stated that an automatic tip would be charged for parties of five or more. Since we were four when I paid the bill I included a nice tip. Only when I got home did I realize that our bill included an automatic tip along with the $10 I paid extra. So I actually paid $18 on a $40 meal. Will never return to that place.
How much was gas when you began driving?
I remember gas wars where prices went down to 15 cents a gallon. They normally started at 18 or 19 cents a gallon. That was in southeast Missouri around 1956-59. A school buddy told me a couple of years ago that he saw in Florida a gas war where gas got down to a penny a gallon and the guy across the street started offering to pay a penny for people to buy his gas. When I started driving in 1969 gas was around 33 cents a gallon. Can you imagine the big corporations having gas wars? Oh, those were the days!
Do you think the mollie-coddled youths of today have any concept of consumerism?
If it includes service, then no. Unfortunately service went out the door with the opening of malls and self-service stores like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc. Back in the 60s when I started doing my own shopping I never ever thought I would miss all the sales clerks coming up asking you if they could help you in the hopes of getting commission from my purchase. Sometimes I would leave and not buy anything just so I wasn't being followed around. They didn't follow you around to make sure you weren't stealing anything, they followed you around hoping to not lose a sale. However when you really needed them, they were very helpful. A shoe salesman would stick with someone for an hour getting various shoes for the customer to try.
Today one is lucky if the clerk behind the counter can get off his/her phone long enough to ring up a sale. - Noella
Re: Storm Sandy
I was a counselor for a group of HIV positive people and had many stats given to me. Some were accidently infected, drugs, by their sexually active gay partners, but on average, the gays participate in more violent sex, have more partners, and are more prone to spread this disease. So I would, to error on the side of caution, not advise a openly gay person to be boy scout volunteer. Just as I would not advise an recovering drug addict to test wine at a wine festival. This may sound like prejudice, but it is based upon stats. - BJ
Patti - how about following up with an article about the perils of prediction -
http://www.kspr.com/sns-bc-eu--italy-quake-trial-2012102302713273.story - Opsimath
Disclaimer- All quotes printed in this publication are believed to be accurately attributed, but no guarantees are made that some incorrectly attributed, or even outright false quotes won't get in here from time to time. I assure readers that I will do my best to weed out incorrect quotes, and will print a retraction as soon as I become aware of any errors.
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