Category: gender

The Mental Health Establishment Is Complicit In The War Crimes Of The United States Government And Must Change Now

It’s Taurus season so I’m gonna get a few things off my mind. The mental health establishment has a ton of built in white supremacy and cis privilege. Most therapists are cis white women, and the goals of therapy are often designed for people with a certain amount of privilege. In fact many studies have shown that talk therapy is not as effective for African Americans. This disparity is usually written off by saying that there needs to be more outreach or that there needs to be more awareness of the issue. But the reason is more nefarious than that.

There is no such thing as a universal standard of “good mental health.” Proper mental health is dependent on the individual and their local environment. When one acts appropriate to the demands of their environment, they are being mentally healthy, but this appropriateness may look like peace and it may look like rage. If one’s house is being broken into and one decides to meditate, it is not a wise course of action. And yet people who live in gated communities that are protected by massive generational wealth and violent police often lecture the poor as needing to embrace mindfulness, peace, and love.

There is a time when the only true way to be is to take up arms to defend against oppressive conditions. Our mental health establishment often writes off revolutionary fervor as unbalanced and needing of powerful antianxiety medications to repress. It is true that acting as a revolutionary is not as simple as running up to your oppressor and attacking them. If one wants to break the chains of their oppression, they should do so intelligently, and, in fact, there might be a place for meditation and mindfulness in revolutionary struggle.

But so often our mental health establishment is in the pay of powerful corporations who are allied with our fascist government. So the answers that are given people who are under attack are usually self-repressive. Self-repression in the face of oppression is a useful thing, but the other side of the equation is not mentioned. When one lives under the thumb of a violent oppressive, occupying force such as black people do in America, anxiety and depression should be treated by removing the oppressive force. If we want to restore our mental health as a people we need revolution, period, end of story.

In my schooling as a counselor, I constantly had to ignore advice I was being taught because it did not apply to me as a transgender woman. Most cis white women, even the queer ones, are unaware of what black people, for example, have to do to live their lives. When the average cis white counselor works with a black person or a trans person they do the equivalent of asking a male inmate in a maximum security prison to smile more and be more open. Inmates in prison HAVE TO be hard and closed off and so do people on the bottom of society.

When I transitioned I tried to hold onto my cis white cultural values, but eventually I realized that the values I had been given as “truth” were merely values for how to live with privilege. When I lost the privilege, I had to learn to be more like a black person. I had to develop internal toughness and honesty with myself. If I want to free my kids from the horrible prison they live in, I have to be a holy warrior, there is no other way around it. For so long I tried to play the cis white game of not trying to rock the boat and avoiding conflict, but my kids are still in prison. I am grateful to God that I was given this lesson so I could wake up to the truth of our society. When I was living as a “cis white male” I truly believed that my cultural values were right and that black people, for example, just needed to be more like white people. Most white leftists would say that they don’t want black people to act more like white people, but then they fully go along with the lies of the mental health establishment which earnestly tries to get black people to act as if they have the privilege of white people when they absolutely do not.

This has been a very hard bridge to cross for me. It is truly horrifying to wake up to the fact that there is so much subtle racism and classism in our society and that we feed it in ways we do not realize. It is deeply, deeply painful to fully accept, and I would guess that most cis white people, queer or straight, have not fully accepted it if they are not calling for revolution and regime change at home.

Now, one can be a revolutionary and still smile, laugh, and have fun. There is a way to balance the need to work tirelessly to overthrow oppressive forces with the needs to be balanced and grounded. And in fact the mental health establishment is starting to wake up to the need to encourage civil rights activism to be fully well. But at present, conflict avoidance and victim blaming are still baked into the act of therapy. Most therapists are highly privileged people, and they live in quiet suburban neighborhoods which are designed to create the illusion that one is not causing conflict in the world. But everyday that one trades one’s privilege for security and engages in the very common and very white act of conflict avoidance, one is complicit and should assume that they are the one locking cages with children in them at the border. They should assume they are dropping the bombs over middle eastern and African countries. They should assume they are breaking into the houses of the poor to terrorize innocent people. They should assume they are the problem. One does not have great mental health and blood on their hands at the same time, and this applies to me as well. I’m not above American privilege although I’ve removed myself from it somewhat.

I do believe in the power of talk therapy and mental healthcare or I wouldn’t have pursued this career path, but I also can’t pretend that I don’t have to wake up and fight to exist every day. I would not need to interface with the mental health establishment if I was not hunted from birth for being arbitrarily different in my gender expression. So I engage with the mental health establishment to help process my pain and get treatment if necessary AND I also go to war to remove the oppressive cause of my pain. Therapists must be real about the true cause of mental health problems with their clients or they are just covering for monsters.

A mechanism by which increased usage of anonymous internet communication leads to increases in transgenderism and nonbinary gender identities

I propose a theory that using the Internet causes gender confusion in general and therefore is partially causing the increase in people wanting to transition or be non-binary. My rationale is based on a concept I call the mode of communication, which is defined as the way that in-person communication is technologically abstracted into a reduced number of variables and related data. Since the invention of language, we have relied more and more heavily in communications technology. Modern varieties of the mode of communication include only sound (telephone), only words (books/writing/texting), pictures with or without sound (selfies/movies/video calls), and other modes.

So for example, when you talk to someone in person, you can receive a ton of data on their gender expression, their physical health and size, their race, and their nationality. When you communicate via phone, qualities like race are much harder to detect. Gender is usually understandable by phone because testosterone causes the frequency of the voice to fall at puberty. What I surmise is that as people began to transition their communication from in-person to telephone in the early 20th century, race should have diminished in importance for the early adopters. The basic hypothesis here is that the technological mode of communication cannot carry certain human categories and that an increase in the usage of that technology should correlate with a change in cultural values over time.

So, going back to my original hypothesis which said that Internet usage should lead to a change in the cultural value of gender as a category, take the following example. When one uses Reddit, one does not know the gender of the person they are communicating with. They just know that their handle is VeryLargeLaptop67 or some other genderless name. If one spends enough time on a message board like Reddit, gender is almost meaningless. Therefore certain societal mores and boundaries for males or females can be crossed without consequence. Children who grow up using the Internet live in two worlds, the physical world with its rigidly defined gender roles and the virtualized world where gender is meaningless. As a note, although gender is still visible in visual modes of communication like YouTube or Instagram, these gender presentations can be faked or the mode can be avoided.

I am a transgender woman that has taken estrogen for a decade. I struggled with my gender identity growing up, and transition has been a difficult but ultimately freeing experience for me. I also grew up very immersed in the Internet, way before most of my peers. I was running a BBS at age 13 in the 1990s, for example. I do think that operating in that environment made gender much less important of a concept for me, but I also think my gender presentation would be feminine even without the Internet. However, because of the Internet I was able to experiment with my gender without fear of being attacked. So I assume that the Internet was therapeutic in allowing me to understand my personal values in relation to what society told me to be based on my gender at birth.

What do you think? Can the adoption of communications technology lead to more progressive values? I know this is a big subject, and this is a simplification, but the way that we are seeing both an massive increase in Internet usage and a massive increase in transgenderism inspires me to think that they may be fundamentally correlated. This could also be a mechanism for social confusion and the splitting that we are seeing. People over 60 really don’t need to use the Internet, and their modes of communication tend to be in-person, telephone, or television/movies, all of which allow for gender to be transmitted. So someone that uses Reddit all day might look at individuals using older modes of communication as bigoted when the difference is largely that both people have adapted to their modes of communication.

Anyway, this is a theory I’ve been throwing around. If I’m right, the covid lockdown should lead to a massive shift towards progressive, genderless, raceless society and culture over time because in-person communication is being replaced with modes of communication that do not transmit gender or race.

Within each of us is a Builder and a Checker. How balancing these forces can improve your flow.

In life, there is a Builder and a Checker in each of us.

The Builder loves creating new stuff and moving forward. They get really bored when there is nothing to fix, create, or build. Life wouldn’t get anywhere without the Builder that lives within each of us.

The Checker loves looking backward and optimizing. They get really bored without getting to see if what the Builder created is worth keeping or if it can be improved. They can prune back and tear down what the Builder builds if needed.

We all have varying levels of the Builder and the Checker within us. Some of us have 60% Builder and 40% Checker. Some of us have the opposite. People who are Builder dominant still have a ton of Checker in them. There is no such thing as a 100% Builder or a 100% Checker person. We are all each a unique ratio of Builder to Checker energy.

Some people say that all males are Builders and all females are Checkers. Well, there might be a higher ratio of Checker to Builder in women. But there are a TON of women who are Builder dominant people. Conversely, there are a TON of Checker dominant people born male. Although there may be a loose correlation between birth gender and being Builder or Checker dominant, it is not a rule. Trying to reduce Builder to Male and Checker to Female will end in disaster for a community. Exceptions must be made for outliers will be sacrificed for the sake of simplicity of model.

And also, the amount of Checker or Builder in a person is changing from day to day and year to year. Living is complicated, and we have a forward and a reverse gear for a very good reason. If we are only building but not checking, we are driving blind. If we are only checking but not building, we never start anything new. There is a natural cycle of Building and Checking built into our reality. We go through cycles of Building and Checking on many different levels, simultaneously.

When I was in the closet, living as a male, I was often forced to participate in builder activities when I really wanted nothing to do with them. After I transitioned, I probably overcompensated by leaning towards the checker side of things. But now, because I stopped legislating how I should be, I feel like I have a pretty good balance for me. But I can still take way too long to get posts and songs out the door. Too much checking, I’m sure!

Why transitioning gender has helped me deal with the current reality

Being transgender is kinda nice in that I’ve already digested the fact that nearly everybody lies about how they care about the poor and the downtrodden. News flash: MOST people don’t care. I heard a Buddhist teacher say once that he liked to assume that things were already broken, like the teacup he was using, so that you can just enjoy what time you have with the formed thing. I’ve kinda already digested that the US is broken and won’t help me. If it does, cool!, but I’m happy just not relying on it and doing what I need to do to survive under my own steam at this point. I’m sure I’m not the only one to experience this.

It’s gonna be ok. Trauma is hard, but trauma is inescapable in life, and you can recover and grow from it. A rose bush thinks being trimmed back in the winter is traumatic, but without that trauma, it would not grow as well as is possible. Peace to you all. Shit breaks, and we put new stuff together. And really, most of the US is already dead branches that need to be pruned.

I still get overwhelmed too, but it seems easier to bounce back when your expectations are appropriate and realistic.

The weight I pull and how it has changed me

I realized something this morning. I have this weight tied to my leg. That weight is composed of rejection, fibromyalgia, child support, hostile divorce, missing my kids, anxiety, transgender, chronic fatigue, and more. Lots of people have weights tied to them, so it’s not like I’m the only one with struggle. But I’ve had this weight since I was a child. I had recurring dreams when I was a child of trying to run but being unable because I was chained to something.

After my divorce in 2011, and my subsequent persecution by the state of California in regards to my inability to see my children, I became convinced that I would not be able to pull this weight anymore to get to the food and shelter that I needed to survive. I spiraled into a period of self-destruction, suicidality, and hospitalization.

But then in 2016, after my last suicide attempt, I had a revelation. it’s very complicated to explain the details of this revelation but suffice to say I decided that I was going to do whatever it took to make myself strong enough to pull this weight where I needed to go.

I had to develop this strength inside of myself which I call faith or trust in myself. It’s been a very complicated procedure and journey to build this strength in myself, but I believe I’ve been successful. Now I can somehow pull the weight that is chained to my leg to get to the food and shelter that I need to sustain myself.

But having to go to Herculean levels of commitment and engagement with life has alienated me from many of my peers. At times I’m very resentful of people who don’t have to drag their weight around because food is always next to their weight. They have privilege to not pull their weight around, food and shelter are brought to them. This is an extreme metaphor but you get the idea.

I feel like if I even slow down my commitment to that strength inside of me I will become swallowed by the darkness. So often I have to balance my commitment to my own strength with my desire to be a social animal and communicate with people I like. But sometimes nobody understands what it’s like to be a person like me. So it feels like a complicated game of chess always having to consider multiple angles at once just to break even.

We all have weights tied to us. That is what the cross represents in Christianity for example; it is the weight of reality that we have to carry in this life. This concept is ever present throughout history and societies. But some people have privilege and this allows them to not have to pull that weight or carry that cross. And honestly if I didn’t have to carry my cross or pull my weight, I might just sit and enjoy myself and not whip myself to keep going.

But for now I have this massive weight that I have to pull in order to get paid and eat and have shelter. It makes me kind of weird and different from my peers. It makes it so I have to just be by myself if I can’t find someone who isn’t dragging me down. I have to be selective about the people I socialize with or I can lose my strength. It’s frustrating but it’s just my reality, and I’ve come to really feel proud of how strong I am now, so it’s okay.

May you have the strength to pull your weight when you need to go where you need to go. May you find guidance within on how to find that strength. Love and peace and strength to you all.

Saying “Transwoman are Women” misses the point.

Honestly, the whole Trans Women Are Women mantra misses the point I think. Women are 2nd class citizens, so I’d rather we just stop massively bullying and marginalizing femininity? If I’m a feminine man to others, I don’t really care. I’d just like the abuse to stop when I choose to do typically feminine things. And I want that for our boys too. I don’t use a male bathroom because I don’t want to be assaulted.

I remember a story of Louis Armstrong, a black musician, where he was adopted by a Jewish family and they gave him love that he never had felt before. I feel like that with the cis-female community. I am not really one of them, but they have given me love and acceptance, so that’s why I transition. My time with the male community was filled with constant alienation and abuse.

I transitioned to be able to breathe and emote how I wanted to emote. It was an imperfect decision that has had its own set of dangers and abuses. It’s definitely hugely complicated and reducing it to commandments and slogans simplifies it way too much. Ultimately, I would MUCH rather live in a society where I could have grown up and been celebrated even if I never transitioned. Things are just so bad in our society that it was transition or suicide.

These are my thoughts today. End Gender Apartheid. We’ll still have a separation between the two because sex hormones create different perspectives, but some people need to be able to cross the line to the other side if they want to. Tear down the walls and let us be.

God is trans and other revelations

My current revelation from the divine is that God is now trans in the Aquarian Age. Transgender, transhuman, and transforming. Uranus was castrated by Saturn, and now he’s back and that’s why queer and trans rights are exploding. I believe that 9 years ago I saw God on DXM, and I realized that transitioning would honor him or her and would be accepted by him or her.

Also Zeus/Jupiter is queer now. No more Jesus, it’s time for GayZeus! The way I can explain this is by astrological ages and other esoteric concepts, but also, I talk to them in mystical dialogue on the regular. And I see Jupiter slap my trans ass and be his queer ass self all the time because he is my personal deity. I just KNOW it’s true, but I understand the subjectivity of that evidence.

The basic, underpinning theory behind this is that God changes focus every 2,000 years or so. From Moses (~2000BCE) to Jesus/Buddha (400BCE to year zero) we were in the a Age of Aries and God was warlike and external. From Jesus to now we’ve been in the Age of Pisces, and God has been compassionate and loving. Now we are entering the Age of Aquarius and God is revolutionary, transformative, individualistic, and progressive.

Honestly this makes more sense to me than trying to do the mental gymnastics of saying that God will smite your enemies and that he also loves everyone. God has to be updated through revelations by prophets occasionally. And right now there is a new God in town, and it’s throwing society into chaos. And by God, I mean the average unconscious self of every person because God only exists inside of people.

I know this is unpopular, but it’s my truth. And really, Christianity SCREAMS Pisces mythology with the martyrdom, fish symbol, compassion, and use of wine. Moses was also very Aries. He was the action hero of prophets, going to war with the Pharaoh and leading his people on a dangerous journey. And lastly, the twentieth century saw the invention of air travel, space travel, and the internet which are massively Aquarian.

But I know astrology is an easy target for the skeptics, so I don’t know how many people I’ll convince of this. But still, God is trans! ☺️

White America is a Giant, Abusive Labor Union Benefitting Beautiful and Rich White Americans over BIPOC.

Someday, we all realize that the racism is a feature, not a bug. The system is working as designed. This thing called White American Life is a total fabrication cobbled together on the backs of a living underclass. We think as “White” people that we can bring everyone poor onto our boat, and the world will be saved! But that is a falsehood. Our privilege is derived from the destabilization of Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color and their attempts at building thriving and supportive communities.

The reason I know this so clearly is because I used to be a “white male” and then I became a “transwoman.” I lost a shit ton of privilege. My once tolerated behaviors became “toxic” and “mentally ill.” I was shamed. Cat called. My brother disowned me, saying I would damage his children. My ex-wife went to war to keep me from my children. I am a gentle person. I am not a violent person at all. I’ve never been in a fistfight in my life. But she has gotten two restraining orders authorized using her dirty, crooked transphobic judge, Judge Smiley of Ventura County, California…barf.

I know how white bourgeoisie life as a cultural thing is paid for by genocide, generational theft, land grabbing, treaty nullifying, and just plain murder. Yeah, there are a lot of “good” white people, but they are just people. This White American thing is a giant labor union used to squeeze as much profit out of brown folks and poor caucasian peoples. I don’t want any part of it, but I can’t just leave it. It’s so pervasive and ubiquitous. How do you escape it? Just imagine for a second growing up a black male in Trump America. Just let me tell you, it FUCKING SUCKS.

IT’S AWFUL ON THE BOTTOM. YOU ALL HAVE IT SO NICE! But I really can’t even say that over the whining and pity party going on all around me. Just grow the fuck up and deal with life. Stop being children. If you want to develop spiritually, you have to give up racism and genderism. This is the new challenge. Jesus and Buddha came to show us peaceful resolutions. Now is the time to move beyond our divisions to one united people and one united world.

That’s all I have to say about that.

Here’s to the deadening of the soul [FaMo Blues]

my voices tell me I should quit
quit what?
it doesn’t matter
my cat looks at me like I’m dying
and she’s 16 so she should know
we look at each other like invalids
I am trans and have fibromyalgia and autism
so I’m the great experiment
there are so many billionaires trying to give me drugs!
And have they!
the voices say what I’m doing isn’t working
but I’m so trapped
My children. Oh my children.
Yes, I’m a disenfranchised transgender FaMo.
The courts have ruled me unworthy of the experience.
But lest I sit inside a Portland tent
I have to kiss the master’s feet.
Oh lords and ladies of the land
sweet owners of stock options and
all yachts and all good graces too
do you?
think that a small and suffering lot
could use a few more trickles yet?
Oh no?

Then we might have to share
your military secrets and
make movies to your sweet demise
the land of former masters
burned

masks

the masks we wear, they wear us out

from when I was a straightish man
to yes, a “sportsman,” I once deigned
and then the mask at once became
a gayish, 19 years of age
sweet Jupiter was wooed I’m sure
the cleverest boy, with boyfriends too
to married father, divorced rage
and this transgender thing they say
I’ve always been quicksilver
darting Mercury through the haze
and so a traveler wearing masks
becomes the masks he at once gazed

and then the deepness tackled out
to bring the truth with Hades’ clout
I’m won because I’m just so sure
Masks are all and nothing more

We Need to Stop Terrorizing our Trans Kids

The transgender experience is not really about gender. It is about the denial of normal socialization to children by adults with no empathy. These adults laugh and sneer at “queers, faggots, wussies, and girly men” and their children duplicate this behavior in the schoolyard. People born assigned as males who are too effeminate for the modern male society are excluded from community until they learn to leave themselves at the door. The modern male experience mirrors our warrior culture, and so males are taught to police their ranks for any semblance of the feminine. Trans kids become the sacrificial scapegoats for this directive, and they grow up lonely, confused, depressed, traumatized, and disconnected.

Those of us who have transitioned gender and know how much more whole we feel after the change can see through all of the claims that trans people are insane. Our definitions of male and female need to be expanded to include those outliers who exhibit traits contrary to their birth assigned gender. Yes, there are biological differences between males, females, and the rest. It’s not all socially constructed. However, the socially constructed part needs to change.

And the root of this problematic construction is in the church. Abrahamic faiths have been at the forefront of the oppression of LGBT individuals for millennia. I really don’t care if the church survives. We don’t need their help anymore. There is a reason that gay liberation arose alongside women’s liberation. Straight men have been the most antagonistic towards LGBT individuals, and as their power is diminishing, they are unable to stop the rise of others’ rights as they would have done in the past with a simple exercise of intimidation, terror, and denial of rights.

This problem is epidemic. We are surviving against the odds. But many if not most of us have some form of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I actually wouldn’t change my path, but I am really tired of the acceptance of the bullying and terrorizing of our helpless children before they know what transgender even means.

Transgender and Gender Atypical People Deserve the Simple Right to be Themselves

I knew that I was different from the boys around me when I was eight years old, and because of this difference, my childhood was filled with tremendous amounts of alienation and secrecy, as I tried mightily to be someone that I was not on the inside. This story is not atypical, and because of this shared struggle, many transgender people are victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and have one of the highest suicide attempt rates of any minority group at levels between 40% to 55% according to a recent in-depth inquiry into transgender peoples’ lives (Haas, Herman, & Rodgers, 2013).

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual version 5 (DSM-5), transgender people who are not yet being treated for their condition are suffering from Gender Dysphoria. Gender Dysphoria is defined as individuals “having a marked incongruence between the gender they have been assigned to (usually at birth, referred to as natal gender) and their experienced/expressed gender” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). There are many different expressions of this condition from individuals who were born with a sexual anomaly such as intersexuality to those who merely enjoy acting in accord with the opposite gender’s norms but lack the desire for treatment.

Those that are distressed by their condition to the point of desiring to live full-time as the opposite gender may seek treatment via various means. They might require the use of cross-sexual hormones (testosterone for those assigned female at birth and estrogen for those assigned male at birth). Also, various surgeries are available to assist in these individuals achieving a body that more closely matches their inner perception of gender. When transgender people who wish to transition are treated for their condition, they no longer qualify for a gender dysphoria condition. Whereas the older versions of the DSM labeled transgender people as possessing Gender Identity Disorder (GID) for life, the newer manual sees gender dysphoria as a treatable and therefore suppressible condition.

This topic is highly controversial, and there are numerous opinions and positions related to transgender people. Often, these opinions come from non-transgender people. I can say that my inner life has grown immeasurably better since I transitioned 8 years ago. I have a sense of peace about myself that I never had when I was living as a man. Also, I know that the transgender people that I’ve met on my journey tend to be some of the most authentic and strong people that I know. Hopefully, with continued advocacy, we transgender people can attain the simple status of just being normal people who are allowed to be themselves from birth.

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

Haas, A. P., Ph.D., Rodgers, P. L., Ph.D., & Herman, J. L., Ph.D. (2014). Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults. The Williams Institute.