Oklahoma Insanity

Through the courts, same-sex marriage has become legal in Oklahoma, and there’s been a ton of backlash. Not from people, from legislators. The legislative session started on Feb. 2nd, and they’ve been trying to push bills through the committees. Some are already through and will be heard.

This isn’t my writing, but I’m posting it here to help the world know how screwed up the happenings right now are.

House Bill 1125 would strip county court clerks of their duty of issuing marriage licenses. It would allow clergy to issue marriage “certificates,” but any couple not married during a religious ceremony could have only a “common-law” marriage. Rep. Todd Russ of District 55 introduced the bill under the guise of protecting elected officials’ religious freedoms. The bill has passed out of committee and will be heard by the full House.

House Bill 1007, put forth by Rep. David Brumbaugh, targets same-sex couples wishing to be married and seeks to protect clergy persons who do not wish to or cannot perform weddings for same-sex couples. Under present Oklahoma law, only clergy persons willing and able to perform same-sex weddings are allowed to. Under existing law, no one is forced to perform same-sex weddings. The bill has already passed the full House and is now before the Senate.

House Bill 2215 was filed by Rep. Mike Ritze. If the bill became law, it would require marriage-license applicants to provide medical histories regarding whether they have had gender-reassignment surgery. This would be a violation of privacy and is nothing more than an attempt to single out transgender individuals. It is intrusive and violates all acceptable social standards. It is in the House Judiciary and Civil Procedure Committee.

House Bill 1598, the Freedom to Obtain Conversion Therapy Act by Rep. Sally Kern, would codify the right to obtain certain counseling or conversion therapy; prevent certain infringement by the state; and protect mental health providers who engage in sexual-orientation change efforts with a child. It is in the House Children, Youth and Family Services Committee.

House Bill 1599, the Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act by Rep. Sally Kern, would prohibit the use of public funds for any activity licensing or supporting same-sex marriage and would prohibit public employees from recognizing same-sex marriage licenses. It has passed out of committee and is before the full House.

Senate Bill 440, the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015, introduced by Sen. Joseph Silk, says that no individual or religious entity shall be required by any governmental entity to do any of the following, if it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex, gender or sexual orientation: 1. provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges; 2. provide counseling, adoption, foster care, and other social services; 3. provide employment or employment benefits, related to, or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement; 4. solemnize any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement; or 5. treat any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement as valid. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 724 by Sen. Joseph Silk would change the nature of legally recognized marriages in Oklahoma by calling them covenants and not marriages and restricting them to male and female couples. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill  478, by Sen. Corey Brooks, the Protection of Religious Freedom in the Sanctity of Marriage Act of 2015, would establish a religious exemption for any elected official or government employee or private business that does not want to issue a marriage license, officiate or solemnize a marriage, or provide business services to a individuals they do not agree with because of individual religious views and would exempt them from lawsuits or disciplinary action. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 669 by Sen. Nathan Dahm, would limit marriage to male and female couples and would establish a “civil declaration of marriage” that would have the same effect as a marriage license. Only the parties to the marriage or an attorney could draft the declaration. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 788 by Sen. Dan Newberry says no judge or religious officiant would be required to perform a marriage that violates his or her religious beliefs. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 805, the Preservation and Sovereignty of Marriage Act, by Sen. Josh Breecheen, would make it illegal for a state official to issue or recognize a marriage license to a same-sex couple or for any public funds be used to issue a marriage license. The bill also declares that no one could challenge it in court. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 733, by Sen. Anthony Sykes, would require a blood test from a physician to be presented to the court clerk at the time of application for a license showing that neither applicant has a communicable or infectious disease or, if infected, the disease is not in a communicable stage at the time. Under this bill, HIV-positive people would not be allowed to marry. It is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Unchained

The needle: silver, gleaming,
tapering down to nothing,
a tiny funnel for gold
sliding into my leg.

I can feel it!
a tickle in my throat
a lower voice
a few tufts
fall from my head,
I don't mind a new hairline.
My muscles strengthen,
my shoulders widen
suddenly everything is lighter.
fat moves, smaller hips
making a little tummy
that I will run off tomorrow.
My face changes,
slightly but enough.

I look in the mirror,
finally seeing myself
for the first time.

I imagine this
again.

everyday for another
two years.

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New year, new semester

Disclaimer: I’m definitely a nerd. I really love school.

For me, the year starts with a bang. Practice, work, classes, groups all starting on the same day, which makes me grateful for the three day weekend.

I e-mailed professors ahead of time about pronouns again. I try not to be in people’s faces about who I am, but it if I want to be called the right pronouns, I have to vocalize it. Both professors were good about it. A couple professors I’ve had before misgendered me in the first couple days. It’s frustrating, but with one prof, I know she doesn’t mean to, she just has trouble with it and is sorry about it after. At least she doesn’t make a big deal in class, which is good. The other prof kind of hurt because he went the entire last semester without misgendering me at all. Actually I think he went the whole semester without gendering me at all, period, haha. In the end it’s okay because I know they are both supportive.

Another one of my professors was awesome about it. I’ve had him before for two classes. In the first, neither of us really knew how to address it since I knew most of the people in that class. The second class, he just used the right pronouns, and one kid in the class thought I was a cisguy for a couple months. This class is even better! On the first day he used the right pronoun, and commented that there were almost all guys in the class before the two girls joined. It was an incredible way to nudge people’s perceptions along and I’m really excited to have a possibility at being stealth in a class. It just feels good to be perceived like I want to be perceived, and it not be a big deal.

I also went to a PFLAG meeting this week and met a lot of parents. They don’t run into youngish transpeople much so it was good to meet them, represent and be there as a resource for their kids. I’m getting in really good shape running and I can tell it helps me pass better. I think it helps calm people down about their kids when they see that transpeople can look “normal” and not be harassed in public. I’m pretty lucky that even though I’m pre-T I never get a second look in public. I think if I work on my voice a bit I’ll generally get gendered right (even if it’s as a 14 y/o boy!)

I feel pretty lucky to have worked for the past 7 years running so I could have a body I feel pretty comfortable in. We started arm weights and core workout so I know that’ll help my confidence too, working on my scrawny bits. I’m thinking about posting pictures of how I dress and progress working out because it’s working out really well. Not sure yet though.

How has your year started?

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Why?

Warning: Some language and pessimism.

I’m so frustrated. Why can I have months and months of levelness and WHAM. Upsetness. I was so strong, and it feels like my mental strength has gone down the shitter. And the worst part is, anyone I’ve ever felt comfortable talking about feeling bad to is happy to see me doing so well so I can’t even talk to them about it. I feel like I can’t even talk to anyone. So I find myself reasoning around, trying to figure out how I started slipping and what I can do to stop it.

I think it started when my coach didn’t put me in the half-marathon. I know I could’ve gotten the qualifying standard and quite frankly I’m so jealous of everyone that got to go and qualified.  Apparently the course was relatively flat, wind to the back, overall downhill, the works. I’m not totally sure why my coach didn’t put me in and I’m not going to ask.

It probably continued when my roommate threw a birthday get-together for me (very nice of her) and only a few people came and then left to go to a party. It made me realize how shitty I am at interacting with people. It kills me that I have this disconnect. I want to interact, but I don’t get the rules. Reading people’s faces is lost on me. Hell, I can’t even remember what people’s faces look like or recognize them if I see them in a different place. If I see someone I won’t know their name of where I know them from unless they have a certain backpack they carry around or unique something. Hairstyle. Glasses. Anything. I just feel like everywhere I walk there’s strangers even though I should know them, so I’ll not know the name of someone I’ve known for months and months. And I don’t know how to read people’s faces. And I don’t know how to project emotions genuinely on my face when I’m talking so they think I have no empathy.

Then the real fork in the cake was tonight when I heard about hanging out with visiting recruits about 3 minutes before it’s happening. Everyone has my phone number. They have no problem using it when they need fucking homework help. It feels like it happens every time, so I start thinking my coach doesn’t want the recruits to meet me because I’m fucking queer and it’s so fucking conservative here that maybe them meeting me will dissuade them from joining the team. So maybe the reason that I found out 5 minutes ahead of time from someone who wasn’t even organizing it kind of suggests I wasn’t really invited to a team function. Maybe my coach told the not to tell me. And I know I’m being paranoid but it still sucks.

I just feel so alone. The worst part is I want to be alone so I shouldn’t even complain that I’ve isolated myself. I don’t have any interest in interacting with people because it’s so stressful. I feel like I have to be doing something like running or studying and people just want to hang out and I don’t get it. I want to be with someone too. I never have and I want to know what it’s like to have someone, but I don’t want anyone to touch me. I can’t stand physical contact, even from my own parents. I don’t know why something that feels good to other people makes me feel sick.

I’m done. I’m done thinking, because that’s what gets me in real trouble. I’ve worked too fucking hard to lose it now, so I’m going to fight against the part of me that’s trying to kill the rest of me. Here goes.

– Who care’s about the half-marathon? You’re training for the steeplechase and you’re going to do damn well at it.

– You beat 19:00 in 3, almost 4 of the races this season. In the 18:30’s? that’s so much better than last year. You’re set to have a good track season.

– People in your life respect you. You’re a youth mentor for group, and a leader of the trans group. Professors respect you, and that is worth more than you need.

-You’re one of the most intelligent, considerate people I know. You’re going to kill it academically these next couple weeks and enjoy working hard on applications and GRE studying over winter break. It will keep you occupied and focused.

-You are focused. You have goals and can achieve them. You don’t need to be the best at everything though. Just keep being yourself and everything will be okay.

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Filed under and track, cross country, running

A body behind Barrs

I think in terms of science. I think I even feel in terms of science. Usually I have trouble making connections to humans, but connecting to an idea, theory, thought causes me to stop thinking and start feeling. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced love in the romantic sense; this is the closest I know, so sharing this profound experience is like sharing a deep, hidden part of a relationship. I’m gonna talk science, and 99% of you all are probably going to click away, thinking

Last year I had a class called cell biology. Basically, we studied cells – the tiniest reproducing units of life. Thousands and thousands of proteins, lipids (fats), DNA/RNA, organelles float around each one. More than thousands. There has to be at least millions, maybe billions. I’m not really sure. But the point is there are an unreal number of things in each one, but only a few we can see with a light microscope. Maybe you did the ol’ swab your cheek and see the miracle that is life when you were in high school. For some reason I never had.

Anyway, I took a good hearty scrape of the inside of my mouth with a small wooden stick and slapped it on a microscope slide. I added some dye and waited for the magic to happen.

I looked at my worksheet.

Question 4: Pair with a partner of the opposite sex. What structure is visible in female students’ epithelial cells that is not visible in males’?

Cell Male Female

A Barr body is a darker dot on a mostly translucent field of view. It’s the duplicate X chromosome, condensed to a tiny dark dot and silenced because we only need one to carry out functions.

I stared down the microscope at my own cells, each with their own tiny dark blue dot.

You know, I never really listened to the trolls in the comment section of every trans-related article ever, insisting that chromosomes never change, once an XX, always an XX.

Somehow I had convinced myself that, yeah, maybe my body looks like a female, underneath all the patterned shirts and binders and sweatshirts and just loose enough pants and short hair, but I’m really truly a guy. My body might look female, but it doesn’t feel female. I’m really a guy. I’m sure if I just sequenced my genes everyone would see that I’m a guy. XY, all the way. If I just had the money to do a sequence I could collect the paperwork from the doctor’s office and wave it in everyone’s face. See?? I told you. I’m really a guy. No need to call me “she” anymore! It was all just a bit of misunderstanding on my birth certificate. Yeah, I know, crazy, right? How could they mess something so basic up. And I didn’t even notice it was wrong for so long. But I can get it fixed now, see?

Only I don’t need money to get my genes sequenced. With a toothpick, a piece of glass and a drop of water I can see those second Xs. And if I look long enough I think I can even see them waving, saying “we only made you feel like you had bars on your body so you could be like us, forever stuck to the side of a nucleus.”

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Ever wondered what it’s like to be transgender?

Imagine being a kid. Your favorite toy is a remote control dump truck, and even though your sister tries tirelessly to bribe you into playing Barbie’s, you gravitate towards the huge diverse bin of legos. Your birthday party involves Thomas the Train, and your mom whispers in your ear “I know you won’t really like it, but when you open the square-shaped one over there, pretend like you’re thrilled.”  This is not a new phenomenon. You nod, acquiesce, and make sure to profusely thank the parent that gave you a deluxe little-kid hair accessory set. You also begin plans to shoot the hair bands at your sibling from afar. By grade five, you’ve already assumed the characters of Abraham Lincoln and some other important dead guy for school projects and ignore your mother’s polite requests to embody more feminine figures; after all, you came, you saw, and you conquered elementary school.

You’ve realized, by then, that you’re atypical. But it’s elementary school… not that big of a deal, right? So what does being different mean when you grow up?

It means getting a cold, clammy, rush of epinephrine every time you even think about applying for a job. School dances? Public bathrooms? Forget it.

It means hearing “on your mark, ladies” echo louder than the .22 caliber pistol at the starting line of a race, or putting on rank, sweat-stained clothes and muddy, worn-out shoes every day, knowing that you’ve been running for 20 years and there’s absolutely no getting away from this problem.

It means going to a trans group and knowing that at least half of the people in there have tried to take their own lives, and others have made 2 am calls to the suicide hotline. You see people that may as well be orphans because their family is dead to them. Or rather, they are dead to their family.  You see a person whose arms are so trashed with white-hot remnants of self-mutilation that you don’t even want to imagine what it’s like on the other side of zir eyes. You notice on each person’s face a shadow of a constant fight with demons. On the rest of the world – an expression of ignorance transmitting the all-too-clear message that people simply don’t care.

It means waking up, looking in the mirror, and seeing hips the size of Alaska, even when they’re probably just the size of Colorado, and hating your voice not for the load of shite it normally carries, but for the utterly wrong frequency of energy that rolls off your tongue. You wonder why a bunch of adipose tissue and hyaline cartilage in the wrong places can cause your neural pathways and lacrimal glands to go haywire.

It means tasting the salt on your face at night, and wishing all the next day that your contacts didn’t sting so badly. It means being upset and then getting more upset about being upset and trying in vain to hold it all in because Boys Don’t Cry.  It means knowing that you have to live like that every day for at least the next two and a half years, until some therapist deems you not crazy (or maybe crazy enough) to shoot yourself up with some man.

It means being called by anything from he/she, it, tranny… and recognizing the rest of the world can tell you what you look like, sound like, feel like, and even smell like, but they will never be able to tell you who you are because that part of you just is.

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Lovely Blog Award

I got nominated for the Lovely Blog Award by Because I’m Fabulous. Definitely one of the best blogs I’ve gotten to know and you should check it out. Thank you!

one-lovely-blog-award

I guess I’m supposed to say 7 facts!

1.  Unless I’m doing a road trip, I typically put more miles on my body than I do my car.

2. My dream house is this itty bitty home.

3. I’m intelligent enough that it makes it difficult to connect with other people.

4. My 5k PR is 18:59.49, which I somehow got after I did a 3k steeplechase.

5. If I could have anyone’s acceptance in the world it would be that of my high school coach.

6. Though my plan is to go to grad school, get a PhD and become a professor, my real dream is to be a lead singer and guitarist in an alternative band.

7. I use T-shirts as pillowcases.

Rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Include seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know about the award.
5. Display the award and follow the blogger who nominated you (if not already!)

In no particular order:

1. Naominizer

2. Today I Am A Man

3. a little more each day

4. Joy Runner

5. Mom. Wife. Runner. Coach.

6. That Lesbian Teacher

7. My Life Without Tits

8. 278 to Boston

9. The Flannel Files

10. Running Shorts

11. A Boy and Her Dog

12. American Trans Man

13. Neutrois Nonsense

Thank you all for writing such lovely writings to keep me entertained and fulfilled.

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