So with everything floating around the whole restroom debacle and many people learning from the mass media a bunch of lies and half truths…. I like to do these Q&A’s to help open things up to my friends to help educate and give information they need to now. This one has some more funny questions… And some that are very in depth…. So here we go….
Jess and Lance: When can we plan another game night?
Soon. Very soon. Things should start to slow down for me again.
Danielle: Can you make it July so I can see you again?
Sadly…. No. I can not warp the space time continuum….
Tim: Are you as sick as I am of hearing about this bathroom shit and people creating a problem where there was none previously? I’m so fucking over it. Lol
Yes…. However I can not back off about it for the sake of others like me. This fight was brought on by a state governor who didn’t like what a city mayor did and now it’s become a national pandemic. This fight is one that was going to come eventually because people like me have been the brunt of jokes and the blame for too long.
Ashley: Do you still have those pictures of the homecoming dance we went to? I’d kinda like to see them for giggles. But if that’s weird since it’s pre transition then no worries!
Yes I do! I’ll look for them and see if I can get them to you. 😉
Cindy (my wife): Are you married? Lmao
So the story behind this is that I had a guy hit on me at work… I don’t wear a ring because I do very intense work and I would hate to have it caught or damaged… And he was wondering if I was available…. I was in shock and could only muster “I’m very attached”.
Kari: If you could magically make yourself cis, would you?
No. The struggle and fights that I have hon through have made me the person I am today. I am me because of who I was.
How often do people who find out that you’re trans ask you about what’s “below the belt,” and are you offended by this question?
No…. I’ve only been asked that once and I didn’t answer. To be honest, I’m not sleeping with anyone other than Cindy so she is the only one who needs to know what’s there. When I say I’m trans the usual response is “Really?! I would have never known…”
How have your children dealt with your coming out and your transition? Looking back, would you have done anything differently to help your kids understand/cope, etc?
My children have done quite well through it. Sure sometimes it’s a bit harder for them, but I think the way we handled them, for the most part, was the best way.
Jessica: Weren’t you scared to transition?
Yes I was, but not now. I feared losing family and friends. I worried about violence. I worried about my kids in school. Only when it became life and death did I transition.
Kari: How do you address the issue of people calling you by your old name, or using incorrect pronouns? What is your go-to response when someone refers to you as Mike or he/him? And what if someone refuses to use the correct terminology? How do you firmly let them know that this is unacceptable?
Well let’s see… This is a very loaded question with many answers and it depends on the person. Most of the time it’s pronouns and not name… So I usually smile and jokingly repeat their statement or question with the proper pronouns… I joke for it to break the ice and it seems to help.
If it’s an old friend I don’t see much… I politely correct them on my name. I’m usually not mad when it’s a genuine mistake and not intentional. I mean lets be honest… It’s been a year. And mistakes can happen.
Intentional misgendering or dead naming is another issue. I usually give multiple warnings and reminders that it’s a respect thing that someone should use proper name and pronouns… If they continue… Well I do have a bitchy side and I release my energy appropriately.
Dave F: If you had to attempt to change someone’s mind, what would you say? (Regarding transgender rights and the current debate)
Well it isn’t trying to change ones mind. I don’t find that conducive of a good discussion. I can not change someone’s mind, but I can educate them and hope they are able to change their own mind. I want to earn acceptance, not force it.
Derek: Always good subject matter. I’ll suggest a step deeper into that topic: society’s morale line versus the individual rights… How does a society of differing extreme view points solve this delima?
Well to answer this I will first reference our friendship. Derek is a person I became friends with through the SCCoA and we had a joint love of our cars. He knew me as Michael. He was there when I dropped out of the SCCoA for a bit, and he was there when I returned as Ali.
Derek is a devout man who is extremely faithful to his baptist religion and to his home state of North Carolina and I will always respect that. I can still remember when Gay marriage was “legalized” and he made a post. Now being the person I am I chimed in and made my points and never discredited his. Then later he learned about my hidden little surprise.
Within this last year, Derek had grown as well as I. We have many messaging sessions that can flow between morality and religion and we always have been able to find the middle. Never once has he been overzealous in his religious beliefs and I would never be an ass with my atheism. He is also an avid reader of my blog and has told me he has learned a lot. Now…
To answer your question Derek I will float to how we have managed. For someone like me, equal rights was something that I took for granted. I was a white male and held those privlages of such. Now I’m a white trans female so much of what I enjoyed was lost. Then when you add in the question of civil rights and transgender people it can be cloudy.
Morals are different for every person just as boundrys would be. Even though I’m an atheist I still hold a moral compass similar to that of a religious base. I do not however follow the guide book that comes with it. So in our society and under the basis of our bill of rights and constitution the individuals rights are premier. So as we have discussed before and I’ll lay out here… To be equal would in theory be morally right. Can one morally disregard another’s situation to hold their beliefs.
So following the above context… How do people of extremes come to an agreeable end? Well I would say educate. Derek has watched documentaries, is an avid follower of my blog, and a supporter to me. He has taken steps by his choice to learn more and has sat back and philosophically pondered it all to find his moral area between belief and society. I have spent many nights talking with him about religion and learning where the contexts are coming from and how one interprets verses.
So in this society we need to learn from each other. We need to find the common ground and build a relationship from there, even if it’s started with a car. The lines of communication need to be opened up and we need to have real discussions (like Derek and I have). This is how society will become whole.
Dave: I would be curious to hear, as it stands now, your thoughts on religion. How it has or has not affected your journey. Good or bad. And on the same token, how/if your journey has impacted you on a spiritual level.
This is a great question to close with! When I was rejected from church it sent me on a path to atheism. This hasn’t changed for the most part. The only real affect religion has had is opening my heart to the fact that most Christians are true followers in being “like god”. So even as an atheist it wasn’t religion as a whole that helped… It’s was the genuine love from people who are both religious and loving. People like you and Derek who are faithful and accepting.
On a spiritual level…. I was a train wreck. T-minus my life and counting. I was suicidal and wanting to die… Yet I was a failure in the attempts. So to my spiritual side I always questioned why I didn’t succeed. I started to wonder if there was a reason I was here. Why did I live when I tried so much to die. So I have my days where I think there is something more out there. Someone watching over me… I just have a hard time believeing it’s more than just fate.
Maybe I’m here to educate… Maybe someday I’ll make a difference… Maybe I’ll die alone in an empty room. Maybe there is a God and he didn’t make a mistake with me. Maybe I was born this way to help Christians understand that we aren’t all the same and that’s ok? We won’t ever know until we get to the end and see where we go.
Image found with Google image search