We Had Our First Kiss at the Altar

When I got married, we didn’t kiss until after our pastor pronounced us man and wife!

Here’s why we did it, and why I believe it was positive for our relationship.

But being transgender, there was also a major plot twist in our life that dramatically changed how I tell this story and what it means to me now, almost two decades later.

On Proverbs being for “young men”: Prov 1.8; 2.1; 3.1; 4.1, 3, 10, 20; 5.1, 7; 6.1, 20; 7.1, 24

I Used the Men’s Bathroom

On Twitter and YouTube, I am currently in conversation with radical feminists and other gender-critical folks.

So I got into a discussion about the bathroom issue. These folks see transwomen as men. And many of them do NOT want men in women’s bathrooms.

And I’m a transwoman.

 

Should transwomen use the men’s bathroom?

While I personally think those folks are probably wrong on the bathroom issue, I don’t KNOW that they’re wrong. I can’t make a case for them being wrong. At least not a case that I find compelling enough to make me sure.

If anything, it seems me that bathrooms segregate based on biological sex, not on gender. Seems that bathrooms are about keeping exposed penises away from exposed vaginas. They are not about keeping male-presenting people away from female-presenting people. At least it makes more sense to me that way.

And that sucks.

That sucks big time.

I have been using women’s bathrooms regularly since I transitioned. I have never had a problem. No one has ever given me a strange look or a double take. And I’m pretty sensitive to that sort of stuff.

We don’t make people reveal any other aspect of their biology. In fact we have very strict laws in place to ensure that our biological information is kept private. My sex, the state of my genitals, or any other aspect of my sexuality, is private.

 

Today we went out for Easter buffet

My whole extended family met at the restaurant for lunch: my mom and dad, my ex-wife, the kids, and me. It was nice…until I had to go to the bathroom. No gender-neutral bathroom.

Damn.

Today is my first day since I made this decision. And I REALLY have to go.

I look around. No one is near the bathrooms. I peek in the men’s room. No one seems to be in there. Good.

I dart in quickly.

Urinals. Weird. Haven’t seen those in years.

I try to open a stall. First one’s locked. Someone’s in there. Damn.

To the next one. It’s open. I enter and lock the stall door.

Ah. Safety.

I look under the wall of the stall and see a pair of men’s shoes. I look at my feet. I am wearing women’s boots with a three inch block heel. I shift my feet to the far side of the toilet, hoping the man does not see my feet. He probably already did.

Someone else comes in and I hear him using the urinal. I’m done with my business now but I’m freaked out. I’m not going to leave. Not while he’s out there. Not until he’s gone.

He takes a looooooong time.

Finally he leaves. The guy in the shoes is still in the stall next to me. What if I get up and he gets up at the same moment? Won’t that be awkward when I leave the stall?

I stand up. Automatic flush on the toilet. Ugh. Really?! I didn’t need to announce that I was done. Now I have no excuse to stay in here if the guy in the shoes gets up to leave.

But he doesn’t. He stays sitting. I readjust my clothes.

He’s still sitting. Deep breath.

I quickly open the stall door and dash out of the bathroom. Today, washing hands is an unnecessary luxury.

 

But don’t I pass?

As far as I know, I “pass” as a woman. I never get ANY social cues in my day-to-day life that I don’t. When I have told a few coworkers that I’m trans, they all acted quite surprised.

A few folks on Twitter have felt it was very important to convince me that I do not pass and that literally every single person I encounter daily is just being nice. I have no logical way to prove them wrong.

But passing is a non-issue anyway. If bathrooms are segregated based on sex rather than gender, then passing is irrelevant. I am biologically male, and nothing I do could ever change that.

I take it very seriously that my actions line up with my beliefs. I made this decision to stop using public, multi-stall women’s bathrooms after a few nights of having my conscience tug at me.

Therefore, segregated bathrooms mean that I will have to broadcast to the world that I am transgender every single time I have to pee.  So yeah, that decision sucks beyond words.

 

I hated Easter dinner today

Maybe I made a dumb decision with this whole bathroom thing. But this is where I stand. This is who I am as a person.

 

I hate gender. I hate gender. I hate gender.

How to Treat People When You Disagree

I have argued that we should stop calling people TERFs, which stands for “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist.” The problem comes when everyone who disagrees in the slightest with the transgender political behemoth is labeled a terf.

Case in point: a single hyperbolic tweet on Twitter does not mean that “TERFs believe transwomen should die.” No. They don’t.

And even if the tweet was intended to be entirely literal, we ought not judge an entire group of people on the basis of the worst among them. After all, I hate this same tactic when it’s used against the trans community.

I believe that we should all extend grace to our opponents—whomever we are, and in whichever conflict we happen to be involved in—and never use our perceived slights as a justification for returning abuse. I value peace, understanding, and treating others with respect.

I try to model that in every conversation I am involved in. This week alone, that has made me the target of the alt right, transwomen, and radical feminists. I’m not talking about disagreements, which can be productive. I’m talking about outright attacks.

Still, I hope that when someone slaps me on the cheek, I will always be the one who refuses to hit back, but instead turns the other cheek. And I welcome you to call me out on it if you see me violating this principle.

Stop Calling People TERFS

It’s time to stop calling people “TERF.” It generates more heat than light and gets overused for even the smallest of perceived slights against transgender people. Here is a better alternative and a way to disagree with one another and remain respectful.

Doobly Doo:

First Public Usage of the term “TERF”
TERF as a slur
The Racist Tree (offensive language)
Check out the book I recommended, Crucial Conversations

This video makes use of copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of US Copyright law.

How Radfems can Win Back the LGBT Community

I’ve had a several women ask my advice in the last couple of weeks about how radfems can get transgender folks, especially transwomen, to listen to them. Here is my advice.

Six steps to gain an audience with someone who disagrees with you:

  1. Establish which side you’re on
  2. Overcommunicate respect for the other side
  3. Adopt the other side’s vocabulary
  4. Start by finding agreement
  5. Present the other side’s case as strongly as you can
  6. Understate the strength of your own argument

 

This video makes use of copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of US Copyright law.

Doobly Doo:

“You Might Be a TERF if…”

Let’s Bring Back Michfest

The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, better known as Michfest, ended in 2015. Its demise was caused by the refusal of the organizers to welcome transwomen to the festival. I personally know a lot of womyn who were devestated by the loss. Here is how we can bring back Michfest.

Regarding the tag at the end of the video…yes, I still call myself Dad, because I think the kids still deserve to have a dad. But they use she/her pronouns for me. Mostly it’s just the youngest ones that still call me Dad. The older ones just call me Rya.

 

Doobly Doo:

Nancy Burkholder and a transgender perspective on Michfest
Lisa Vogel’s apology for Nancy Burkholder, and her response to trans activists
WWTLC FAQ: Downloaded from the Facebook group, not posted on the website

The Truth about TERFS

I finally decided to enter into the polarizing debate between Transwomen and Radfems, commonly called “TERFS.”

This is the video that will make you either love me or hate me. Prolly hate. But I’ll let you be the judge.

Disclaimer: This is easily the dorkiest video I have made to date.

The Doobly Doo:

Ohio Lesbian Festival
Radfem/Fundamentalist/Transgender diagram
Cathy Brennan
Stop calling women “terfs”