My Most Un-PC Post Ever

Politically-Incorrect

I have quietly sat on the sidelines, watching the world pass me by, feeling like a really old cranky woman.

Scarily, I can relate to some of the dotard supporters.

I wonder if being Politically Correct has not gone too far. Way too far.

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Crazy Making!

Some of the things that make me shake my head in bafflement:

  • the ever-morphing gender names
  • the ease with which to transition
  • kids medically and surgically transitioning
  • how one can “be” a she/her in the morning, a they at lunchtime and a he/him by sunset… and how anger feels justified if someone misgenders the person
  • how people quash free speech in the angry alt-right
  • how stupid the president is… and no one is stopping the crazy-making behaviors before he kills all of us
  • how easily people lie (myself included)
  • how men really are led around by their cocks (blame my sex work job for that one)
  • how transwomen insist they were not acculturated into the male world growing up and insist on crashing women-only spaces
  • how people lobby to make Disney characters gay or lesbian
  • how the word “fat” is the nastiest epithet someone can call another person
  • how the more I know about Islam, the less I respect it
  • how “christians” in the US have become the most hateful people on earth (so much for cultivating new christians through love and kindness)
  • how stupid people can be not understanding kneeling for the National Anthem – they are purposefully being angry just to annoy those of us who believe Black Lives Matter
  • how a “snowflake” is now an epithet instead of a lovely geometric design
  • how “The Wall” is quietly being built and people just sit and watch
  • how Flint, MI still doesn’t have clean water (that legacy is going to haunt us for eons)
  • how Puerto Rico is being treated like shit because they are brown people and how Americans bloody well know it and don’t care in the least
  • That In the Heights in Australia was shamed into not being performed amidst accusations of whitewashing when they did their best to fill the actor slots with People of Color

I was tempted to defend myself (I use PC terms when I can, I am not prejudiced against these folks, etc.), but I am leaving this piece to speak for itself.

Thank Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir for the Craft for this vomiting of things I have been too afraid to say out loud. He tells writers to “Be brave!” and write the things that are the most difficult to say.

So I did.

(And yes, I feel shame.)

Checking My White Privilege

My inner-racist/classist/transphobic/homophobic

(etc.)

Disclosure:

Even though I am a fat Latinx who has mental illness, am physically disabled and a sex worker on the LGBTQI spectrum, I have a massive slew of inner (and outer) work still to do. I was raised in the American-Anglo world… the middle-class, English-speaking, able-bodied, white world… with white privilege.check-privilege-gif

I so want to be helpful in the various “causes” going on in our world, around the world.

I do not want to be hurtful.

Not here in my Navelgazing Writer blog.

Not in my Tumblr blog

And most especially, not in my life.

Where I know I still need work (and I acknowledge I surely have blind spots yet to be discovered):

(in no particular order)

#Black Lives Matter

I speak up for #BlackLivesMatter often, as often as I can in as many places as possible. I believe in the Movement with all my heart. I follow along, watching the debates between #AllLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMatter and even the dissention between the ranks about the Movement itself. I write about #BLM where I can, use the hashtags, engage family and friends and am seriously considering a #BLM tattoo. Yet it still isn’t remotely enough. I know that. I want to do something. Do something more. I keep looking for where I could be of more use. I will explore that here.

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Islamophobia

My boyfriend/lover/submissive (my fawn) is Muslim. I am struggling with Islam in ways that make me cringe and hold my head in utter confusion. As an atheist, all religions are confounding to me, but at the moment, Islam stands front and center of my inner conflict. Separating Islam from Muslims seems daunting, as much as separating Islam from cultural beliefs that are Islamic. I am just beginning to figure this stuff out.

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Transphobia

I will write about this extensively, surely over a several year period, but it has to come out. My former partner of (then) 25 years, came out transgender, medically and surgically transitioning from female to male. From announcement to phalloplasty was a little over 3 years. About 6 months after the phalloplasty, we separated, then divorced. So very much to say about the myriad of emotions that transpired during our transition time together.

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Internalized Homophobia

Even though I initially came out lesbian when I was 18-years old and then again when I was 25, dating only women… and being in (what I thought was) a long-term lovership/marriage (off and on) with a (then presenting) woman for 28 years, I know there are still stereotypes and -isms I need to look at and work through.

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Racism

This topic is so broad, it will take many different posts to work through. Even my own inner-Racism as a Latinx will need to be worked through. But the stereotypes of different races and cultures jump to the forefront of my mind when I least expect it… and that shit needs to stop.

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Xenophobia

Interestingly, I don’t feel I have a lot of xenophobia, but I could be deluding myself and need to work on it as well. I just don’t have issues with migrants, immigrants or refugees. I’ve worked with migrant Hispanic women (at the Farmworker Association of Florida and at Planned Parenthood as well as in midwifery school in El Paso, Texas), but that is a specific group of folks, leaving hundreds of other cultures and countries still mentally untouched.

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Fetishizing

Ugh. This one is going to be fucking difficult to work with since I am a sex worker who often creates scenarios and writes pornographic stories that specifically fetishize men and women… both cis and trans. I struggle with the line between attraction and fetishizing in my own mind. I adore black and Asian men. Love “Big Black Cock” and speak and write about it a lot. What are my values and am I contributing to the degradation of oppressed people by having my own desires and, more specifically, fetishizing it in my job.

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Reevaluating Law Enforcement

There have been police officers and Deputy Sheriffs in my family and friends since I was born. My disgusting police officer step-grandfather molested me (several times), in uniform once. My former partner was a Deputy Sheriff for 10 years of our relationship. I have been arrested and jailed twice, including being extradited back to San Diego, California from Orlando, Florida. Yet, my attitude towards law enforcement has generally remained one of a positive viewpoint.

And now, watching the videos of black men being killed for zero reason has jarred me into reevaluating my beliefs. And the really sucky part is until videos started being shown, I barely took notice of the mass of killings of black men, women and children. Even the mass incarceration of People of Color went over my head. I am horribly ashamed of this, but it’s the truth. This really, really is fucked up.

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Sex Workers

My sister was a dancer. I have several close friends and family members who were dancers as well. I am a Phone Sex Operator. One of my family members and I have discussed the inner confusion between feminism and sex work several times. I love what I do, but there are degrading moments that make me feel like I want to wash my mouth out with soap sometimes. Lots to think about.

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BDSM vs. Physical Abuse

I’ve been in the BDSM Scene since 1995, mostly as a submissive to my former partner Zack and now as a Domme in my sex work job. I consider myself somewhat of a pain slut, do bottom to others, have experimented with subbing to my fawn and much of my life is taken up in the Scene.

In 1990 or so, I wrote a piece in the San Diego Lesbian Press about how BDSM is nothing but a pretense for allowing/encouraging physical and mental abuse to vulnerable women (that was the angle; today I would say “people.”) For anyone following the Scene, this is a common argument and one I’ve considered (and reconsidered) over the years. There is ongoing inner discussion.

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Visible Dis-Abilities/Challenges/Differences

I have mobility issues because of being fat (a separate obstacle all on its own) and having brittle bones. As I write, I can think of about 20 preconceived thoughts about physically challenged folks that need to be purged. And not just my own.

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Mental Health

I have Bipolar Disorder 1 with omnipresent hallucinations, more depression than (hypo)mania and have had other psychiatric issues (anxiety & agoraphobia) fluctuate over the years. I honestly think this will be the area where I have the fewest concerns to work with/through. Being in therapy since I was 18 and starting on medication not long after that, I left the stigmatizing beliefs behind long ago.

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Size-ism & Fat Phobia

This will, most assuredly, lead to the most emotional posts of all (that I can predict at the moment). Having been fat my whole life, a gastric bypass in 2001 that initially was awesome, but now 15 years later is fucking with my body’s health and continues fucking with my head. Once in the Fat Activist Movement and still believing in a fat positive outlook, I also believe much of today’s Fat Positive representatives are deluding themselves about the long-term effects of being fat. Lots and lots to say about this.

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Cultural Appropriation

I was a Japanese Geisha Girl for Halloween growing up. I wore cornrows in the 70’s. I wore a medicine bag with crystals and sage around my neck in the mid-80’s. I did mendhi in the early 2000’s. I’ve participated in Blessingways over 30 years as a midwife. I’ve made flower crowns, worn harem pants and love Disney movies.

All of this before I learned what Cultural Appropriation was. It mortifies me seeing how disrespectful I was to so many people over the years. I look around and wonder what I am doing now that I’ll recognize in 5, 10, 15 years that will equally mortify me.

Know better, do better.

My Plan for Continued Inner Work

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I will continue reading articles, books and essays by people of different races, religions, cultures, socio-economic statuses, genders, abilities, sizes, etc. I will believe what they say even if what they say is different from what I know, what my experiences are and what I learned in school and/or in my white culture.

I will delve more into the histories of the people I am not familiar with, learning the things I did not learn in school. Actually, un-learning the things I learned in school.

However…

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Where I have an issue with exploring/learning on one’s own, is it requires some skills some/many people might not have or have access to:

  • Internet access
  • Ability to read
  • Ability to read English
  • Advanced English comprehension

I think there needs to be some alternative plans in place for those who need in-person learning/education of these social phenomena, especially when they are asked for.

Where I Struggle

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Where I do struggle, however, is in how to learn from the communities and cultures themselves. I absolutely understand the reasoning behind not asking the oppressed to educate me/us about their issues/concerns/struggles. I do promise to do my best in educating myself, but the reality is, with some of the exploited/misunderstood/unheard people’s problems/concerns, I am clueless where to even begin.

And then the black holes. Even as I research, digging deeper and deeper into subjects, learning new words to Google and building on my knowledge, there are still going to be gaping black holes I won’t even see until someone points them out to me.

Are there whites that I should ask instead? Isn’t that similar to playing telephone, getting the information second-hand? Wouldn’t speaking to the actual source be more appropriate? Wouldn’t I learn more hearing it directly? I will keep looking for the answer to this puzzle.

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If you see my bullshit, don’t hesitate to re-orient/correct/challenge me. (Without my expecting a lesson from you of any kind. I will be sure to research on my own and try again.)

I need to be more conscious. I promise to work on it every day.

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Mama Learns the Word “Genderqueer”

My mom worked at Disney for 41 years, retiring a couple of years ago. She has felt rather useless since, applying here and there for server jobs, but when they see how she teeters while walking, they tell her “Thanks, but no thanks.” This inevitably leads to tears, my comforting her that she is not worthless and she will find something. Something that helps others, not just herself.

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As we know, on June 12, 2016, the horrific slaughter happened at Pulse Nightclub here in Orlando. As dawn presented herself on that Sunday morning, the LGBT Center opened its doors as hoards of terrified and in-shock community members flooded in for companionship in their grief.

I’d called my mom about 3am and we watched as the terror unfolded, sick to our stomachs and our hearts breaking more with each passing moment.

When we heard The Center had opened, she got herself dressed and headed over. She spent the next twelve hours, holding, crying and touching hands with complete strangers, yet precious hurting humans. While mama isn’t on the LGBTQ spectrum herself, I am a Dyke, my niece a lesbian and one of my daughters is bi. She felt these people in front of her were, quite literally, family.

Over the next three weeks, she went to The Center several times, not sure what she could do, but always finding someone needing her grandmotherly love and attention. I could not be more proud.

Filling Out the Application

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Without telling me, mom applied to volunteer at The Center. When she told me, I am sure I squealed with delight. She said, with tears in her eyes, “I think this is what I have been waiting for, to be with the LGBT community.” I beamed a smile and said I absolutely agreed.

She didn’t hear from them for several days, but she kept going down there anyway. She mentioned they hadn’t called and I thought it kind of odd, so asked what she’d said on the application. She said when it asked, “Why do you want to volunteer at The Center?” she answered, “Because I’m bored.” My eyes bugged out of my head. “WHAT?!? Did you, perhaps, mention the number of Dykes in your family?!” Blankly she looked at me and said, “No, should I have?” (Such innocence.)

I marched her down to The Center myself and met with the Volunteer Coordinator who had mom fill out one of the extensive applications as we talked. On the app is a list of skills you can offer The Center. I could see her out of the corner of my eye that she was not having fun with this part. I asked what was going on and she stammered, “I can’t do anything!” I said that was bullshit, that she had so much compassion to offer, just write in capital letters at the bottom: LOVE.

The Volunteer Coordinator said, “You start Monday.”

Inner Work in Progress

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The LGBTQ world has shifted a lot in the last decade, and at ever increasing speeds. I’ve found myself, a lifelong Dyke, struggling with my own inner homo/trans-phobia. When I learned about them/they pronouns, I was really unhappy. Angry is a more apt description. My partner of over 2 decades transitioned from female to male, me gritting my teeth the whole time, begrudgingly supportive and gradually dissolving all tenderness about the situation. And the idea that someone could wake up one gender and go to bed another completely baffled me.

I’m not really proud to say these things out loud, but there you have it.

I’m working on it.

It is with this knowledge that I felt I should try and get mom up-to-speed with lingo lest she find herself talking to someone whose gender doesn’t “match” the outside trappings or she constantly discounts that she heard no pronouns at all.

“Gender… What?”

 

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I prefaced the lesson with what I shared above, that it was all confusing even to me, so not to feel she has to learn everything immediately or worry if she makes mistakes or even has to ask for help or clarification several times. I also let her know that definitions can shift depending on who was speaking and that all the words people shared were valid and right.

When it comes to asking personal questions… “What is your birth sex?” “Have you had any surgeries?” “Are you a boy or a girl”… are incredibly invasive and inappropriate. So while I encourage asking questions, there are, most assuredly, some that need to remain unasked.

I, most especially, let her know that I am a neophyte with the Non-Binary community and that these words/concepts I share are a mere outline of the scope of language and identities out there, so to please know I am not the best educator… that those that claim/use the words are the leaders and guides. Once again encouraged her to ask for help and clarifications any time she wanted/needed to.

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question

Genderqueer – gen·der·queer – ˈjendərˌkwi(ə)r/

adjective
1. denoting or relating to a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.
noun
1. a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.
  1. “a younger generation of self-proclaimed genderqueers explicitly reject ‘transgender’ as an identifier”

Genderfluid – “Gender fluid is a gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time. A gender fluid person may at any time identify as male, female, neutrois, or any other non-binary identity, or some combination of identities. Their gender can also vary at random or vary in response to different circumstances. Gender fluid people may also identify as multigender, non-binary and/or transgender.”

They/them pronouns – “What is a gender-neutral pronoun? What does English need a new pronoun for, anyway? Many people have expressed the need for a singular gender-neutral third-person pronoun: that is, a pronoun to use when someone’s gender is unknown or when the individual is neither male or female. Such instances occur when addressing transgender and genderqueer people who don’t feel comfortable being addressed with masculine or feminine pronouns, computers or robots with artificial intelligence, sexless fictional creatures, angels, and the God of many monotheistic religions. ‘He,’ ‘she,’ or ‘it’ won’t do, ‘one’ doesn’t work when speaking of a specific person, e.g. ‘Samus washed one’s dishes,’ and in some cases even a singular ‘they’ just won’t work – specifically when a name is used, e.g. ‘Charlie tied their shoes’ or ‘Sam thought they were late to the party.'”

“Hello, my name is Linda. I use she/her pronouns. What about you?” – I explained this can be tricky, but listening is the first step with figuring out the pronouns one is using. When in doubt, introduce yourself with your preferred pronouns and they will probably follow the introduction with their own.

Proud-Ally

My mama… a very, very proud… and wonderful… ally.

And I am oh-so-proud of her.