Aug. 13th, 2004

jakebe: (raven)
I don't know why I feel the need to defend my group of friends at this point in time, but I'm going to anyway. I think it's because that a certain fellow has gone out of his way to portray us in a harsh, negative light (all the more so because he's moving out at the end of the year) despite the fact that many of us (all right, *not* all) have gone out of our way to try and be friends with this person, and all those attempts have been ignored or otherwise belittled because this person isn't willing to compromise at all. Friendship on his terms, or not at all, no one loves him and no one understands him, he's in hell la la la.

I know that people will get annoyed with the whole 'a certain person' style of this post, but I think the alternative would be starting up a shit storm that I just don't have the interest in dealing with. :) Well, a bigger one, anyway.

[ profile] delphinios posted to his LiveJournal recently about his opinion of the TG issue, and I do agree for the most part. I don't *have* anything as hardcore as species or gender dysphoria, but I can sympathize a lot with those who do. I think the feeling that people never quite fit their lives for whatever reason is a lot more common than those afflicted might think. Some people get the feeling a lot worse than others, and now with the miracles of modern technology, some people can actually do something about it. As is almost always the case with such things, society's attitude about the changes that are possible has yet to catch up with the technology to do it. :)

I have a lot of sympathy for TG people as a whole, and I find the whole issue rather fascinating. What is the difference between sex and gender? Are people identifying with the idea of being female more than the reality? What really *is* the difference between male and female, beyond plumbing? TG has to explore all of these issues and come to some kind of concreteness about very abstract ideas, to explain all of these paradigms to make sense of the issue. This requires an enormous amount of dedication, intelligence, patience and wisdom, and I admire the people who clear through the minefield and come out the other side with a solid identity...even if that identity doesn't match their bodies.

This struggle is an internal one, and people are going to be reluctant to acknowledge the external manifestations no matter what. Male-to-female TGs will *always* have to deal with some cheeky little asshat calling him 'he' in drag; they'll always have to deal with someone who won't play along. This should not crumble the world. The TG individual has enough sense of self (or should, moreso than the rest of us because they actually have to think about it intensely) to survive such...misperceptions. It's just a matter of some guy not recognizing what's actually there inside, and what they're trying to bring out for everyone else to see. These people aren't enemies who are evil bigots not worth friendships. They're just misunderstanding a big part of you. Well, for the most part. Sometimes, people are just assholes about it.

Anyway, my point is this: people who don't recognize *all* of you shouldn't fall by the wayside as worthless and unworthy. Misunderstanding and disagreements happen among friends, and with enough time, patience and empathy those disagreements can be worked out.

This person seems to think that because we don't really recognize his status as a female, that we're a bunch of evil, mean people. Because we drink socially (a lot), and we want him to be a part of it, we're horrific bullies who pressure him into alcoholism. Because we give each other shit about our quirks, and we treat him the same way we treat the rest of our friends, we're incredible jerks, frat-boys and close-minded putzes.

NARFA by no means is a perfect group of individuals, and I definitely have a few problems about some of the ways we do things. But we're not a bunch of immature college kids who drink every night and pass out naked on the lawn. We're not a bunch of close-minded bullies who haze new people. We're just a group of friends who have developed a good way of interacting with each other and we try to incorporate others into that interaction. We make compromises and caveats for new people, even, but we don't change the fundamentals of our collective sociology.

This person has refused hand after hand extended in friendship, has refused thoughtful debate about his TG nature, has insulted and questioned the quality of help he's been offered in the past, and has generally never given us a chance to be friendly. He shuts us off and then blames us for not fitting in. Quite frankly, I'm hurt by this attitude and angered by his insistance to speak ill of us to people who will jump to his side, but have no understanding of the situation beyond what he tells them. It's just been under my skin for a while now and I needed to get that off my chest.

We are not perfect, and a lot of us have done things that were not cool at all to him, and for that I apologize on behalf of the group. But we tried, and that's more than I can say for this individual.

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