So it’s a few days later (and a few drinks later…whoo Friday night!) and I’m slightly calmer. I’m still stressing out, and I think that’s a combination of the hormones and legitimate stressors, but I’m better.
Part of that’s coming from having talked to my doc today and he suggesting another month on lower hormones, which is a deadline rather than just “well, lets wait and see.” So that’s helping my stress level.
I went to the sperm storage facility yesterday afternoon to make a ‘deposit’ (ahh, clinical language). The experience in and of itself was pretty awkward and uncomfortable, as the doctor wasn’t a very personable character and did little to make me feel at ease (or, indeed, make me feel like she at all cared about me as an individual). So already, this thing that I didn’t really want to do and had very mixed feelings about was an unpleasant experience. But I did it, I filled out the paperwork, and I got the hell out of there.
Then, last night, I got a call from the lab technician: there was no sperm in the sample. I was, to adpot a useful piece of slang, shooting blanks. And since my fear all along was that I’d have nothing to ‘deposit,’ I’m not horribly shocked, but am kind of freaking out.
And yet, Apogonos had always known some part of him was not right, was off somehow. In his heart of hearts he was sure he did not want to grow from boyhood to manhood, and would much rather cast off maleness entirely and claim a woman’s body. But he would have violently denied any such accusation, said they were wrong, he was a boy and would be a man.
For Apogonos had been struck at birth by the poisoned shaft of Ares, and drawn into a whirlpool of male and female.
The poison had seeped into his blood, lay mostly dormant for ten years, but was slowly coming to a boil.
The poison had always whispered in Apogonos’ ear, telling him that something was amis, and on his tenth birthday Apogonos dreamed:
Black History: Loving v Virginia – a post about the 1967 Supreme Court case which ruled that laws against interracial marriage were un-Constitutional. Particularly interesting is a quote from Mildred Loving, the African-American woman married to a white man, who in 2007 said:
I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.
Orson Scott Card Calls for Violent Overthrow of Govt if Gay Marriage is Legalized – I’m still not sure how I feel about Card’s (fiction) writing. I loved Ender’s Game, enjoyed most of the other books set in that universe, and really enjoy his short stories (a delightful find from back when I was at the sci-fi/fantasy bookstore, as I’m not sure they’re in print any more). Unfortunately, he’s also a raging homophobe and, at the end of a long rant (in which he denies his homophobic status through a BS semantic argument) says:
How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.
When I was a child it – I must have been 6 or 7 or 8 (certainly younger than 10, for my family had not yet moved for the first time) – I remember playing a ‘make belive’ game with SB. I don’t remember the specifics, mainly just running around the park behind my house, going ujp and down the small hill and playing on the playground. I think we were searching for something, or hunting for something, or being hunted by something. Perhaps we were spys?
I do remember that, at some point in the make belive, I was transformed into a girl. SB had to rescue me, but I don’t think ‘rescue’ meant ‘transform me back,’ just ‘free me from the bad guys.’ I remember it being important (for some pre-puberty, gender-affirming reason) for me to be naked on the bed in my room, my penis tucked between my legs in a hairless V.
I told him not to tell his mom, but he told anyway and I was told that was not a good way to play and being naked with each other wasn’t OK. (At least, that’s what i remember being told, so many years later.)
But the part that was actually important – not the nudity but the gender – was never mentioned. I don’t know if he even told his mom about that part, or if she told my mom. But in retrospect I feel like yelling at my in-the-past-mom, “The point isn’t that I didn’t want to be clothed! The point is I didn’t want to be clothed and have a penis!”
Apogonos had been struck at birth by the shaft of Ares.
The gods on high looked down from Olympus and saw him, barely formed, and Ares, god of war, of bloodshed, of the slaughter, picked up his bow and notched an arrow, straight and true.
It was an arrow dipped in poison.
Now, let it be said that not all the weapons of Ares are dipped in poison. Some are objects of great strength, of power. Walking with Ares need not mean death and destruction. But, for Apogonos, it was a poison arrow.
But, perhaps, by beginning at the beginning I have in fact done a disservice to the story. So let us, for a moment, take a step back and cast a wider net.
Just had an interesting discussion with PW and AR on the back from bowling, inspired by the Kate Perry (according to Google) song ‘I Kissed a Girl.’ I was saying that the part of me which has been reading too much feminist/trans/gender theory wants to say the song is reinforcing negative stereotypes about homosexuality by saying kissing a girl is ‘naughty’ and ‘not what nice girls do.’
The conversation also sort of turned to why kissing a girl is OK (for men and women) but a similar song about kissing a guy, by a guy, would most certainly be viewed as too ‘gay’ to make it mainstream (and be played at a bowling alley on a Friday night).
I was wondering why that was, and why (for example) in our group of friends there were girls who were okay making out with each other while drunk but no guys who felt the same way. We talked about how that’s culturally true, but that’s not really an explanation, just restating that it is true. PW suggested that there’s an aspect of arrogance in it, that guys think two girls kissing is just because they don’t have a guy there to ‘really’ satisfy them. (Leading to the common fantasies by guys, about having multiple female partners.) AR also suggested that it might have to do with penetration being seen as such a feminine act and while two women (who are ‘allowed’ to be penetrated) can make out without changing that ‘penetratable’ quality, if two guys make out it takes them both from ‘penetrator’ to ‘potentially penetrated.’
Now, I am firmly of the opinion that penetration of a man does not need to be an inherently heterosexual or homosexual act. Likewise, specifically anal penetration doesn’t automatically need to be gay or dirty; if AR wants to find a strap on and fuck her boyfriend silly, that doesn’t change his sexuality any more than if he then rolls over and fucks her silly, even if culturally it might not be seen that way….
Julia Serano, of who I am a huge fan, posted a long piece about the Michigan Women’s Music Festival and, more broadly, trans issues as they relate to feminism, over at AlterNet:Rethinking Sexism: How Trans Women Challenge Feminism. Her points are in part extensions of what she stated in Whipping Girl, that trans women’s issues should be viewed as part of larger feminist issues. In addition, she talked about how the MWYF’s policy (at times explicit, at times implicit) of allowing trans men but not trans women is hypocritical.
The essay itself is certainly interesting, although as someone who has read Serano’s other work much of it was familiar ground, but the comments had some things that I’m sure will keep me all hot and bothered the rest of the evening.
From one post, by hagwind:
Feminism and transgender ideology are uneasy bedfellows at best. Feminism says that women are as capable as men, and that the biological differences between men and women don’t justify making women second-class citizens.
Transgender ideology in essence says that men are men, and women are women, and that if you’re born in a male body you have to live like someone in a male body is supposed to live, and if you’re born in a female body you have to live like someone in a female body is supposed to live. Biology, in other words, is destiny, and the only way to change your destiny is to change your body.
Your relationship with your dad confuses me. When he’s not supportive you get mad at him, when he is supportive you get mad at him.
I know I’m the outside looking in, but I think you took his email the wrong way. I think he was trying to show you that he’s getting his act together and wants to be there to support you, and that never again will he let you down.
I don’t think he was implying that without him you’ve been alone.
I think that you’re right, my relationship with my dad is a little ridiculous right now. When he’s not supportive I get upset, and when I think he’s either being ignorantly supportive or self-centeredly supportive, I get upset. That said, I’m conciously trying to restructure the relationship and not cut him the slack I feel I have been. My therapist and I have talked a lot about my relationship with my dad (tres cliche, I know) and we’ve been very satisfied with a ‘status quo, don’t rock the boat’ relationship.
Well, I don’t want that kind of relationship with him anymore, if I ever really did. So I am giving him a hard time, hopefully to get our relationship to a place where I feel more comfortable interacting and spending time with him.
PS – He replied saying, basically, “change ‘alone’ to ‘without my support'”, to which I replied thanking him for his support because it does mean a lot. I’m not trying to scare him away or hurt him when he tries to be supportive, but I’m also not trying to let him off easily when he’s saying something I think isn’t fully thought out.