Tag Archive | bigotry

Turn the Other Cheek? Fuck that!

I don’t know very much about Islam, but that’s okay, because I don’t claim to, and so I generally stay pretty quiet about Islam and what it teaches. I know enough about it to know that it’s very close in tone to the Old Testament of the Bible, and I know that, from the point of view of an atheist, it’s pretty much just a different flavor of Christianity. So I generally don’t have any conversations about sharia or what it is, because I don’t know (or particularly care) what it is, just as I don’t particularly care to know exactly what parameters food must meet in order to be considered kosher. All religious systems have codes, laws, and layers upon layers of teachings. It’s both ridiculous and unrealistic to expect someone who doesn’t believe in the religion to know every detail–or even many details–about the layered teachings. My knowledge of Christianity is a result of my upbringing in the south, and not out of any desire that I felt at any part of my life to explicitly find out what is in the Bible.

I want to quote the Bible for a moment, though, if you don’t mind; Mathew 5:38-40:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.  And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

Now let’s get to the point.

Recently, an anti-Muslim bigot was hospitalized, and libertarian vice presidential candidate and Muslim Will Coley started a campaign to raise funds for the guy, quoting various teachings of the Quran and actions of Mohammad to show that this sort of behavior (turning the other cheek) is perfectly in accord with Islam and should be encouraged. At first, this went exactly as one would like: people saw the wisdom in the teaching. After all, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, or so goes the saying. It’s similar to things I’ve talked about before, regarding being transgender in the south–it was not whining and screaming about victimization and bigotry that caused my landlord to change his mind about evicting me; it was my willingness to shrug and acknowledge that he was perfectly within his rights to do so. There are a few other people I know of who hated transgender people and the very idea of transgenderism until they came face-to-face with me, a real person who is simply trying to exist in peace and is very much against the idea of forcing anyone to do or be anything.

Then came the SJWs. And, oh man, did they come.

Suddenly Will was their enemy, despite having the approval of many prominent Islamic figures, and the reason that Will was their enemy?

Because he’s white.

I’m not even kidding. That’s what it all boils down to. It’s often said explicitly.

You cannot defeat racism with racism.

You cannot defeat sexism with sexism.

You cannot defeat sexual orientationism with sexual orientationism.

This is the mistake the alt-right makes. They’ve attempted to meet the left’s increasing racism, sexism, and orientationism with racism, sexism, and orientationism. I’ve directed this message at leftists and rightists. I don’t care who is being the racist–it’s never going to end racism.

That’s where I went after three prominent alt-right youtubers: Atheism is Unstoppable, The Non-Believer, and Autopsy87.

Here’s where I went after the left doing the same thing:

Now, this post is more than just a way for me to collect together various applicable things I’ve made on the subject.

The bottom line is that Will held up a mirror for Christians and Muslims alike to look into, and very few of them could stomach what they saw reflected back. When faced with this situation, they had no recourse but to either self-reflect (something most people are simply unwilling to do, because so few people are willing to acknowledge their flaws and mistakes) or to attack the messenger. Enter the cries of racism and the strange remarks that Will has no business teaching anyone about Islamic teachings… because he’s white.

This is a refrain typical of leftists, sadly. In fact, it just cost them the presidential election. Did they learn anything from losing to the most reviled presidential candidates in modern American history (after all, their preferred candidate lost to Hillary, who then lost to Trump)? Of course they didn’t. If anything, the worst losers in the 2016 election (indisputably, the “progressives”) have only doubled down their hate speech and violence, the very thing that landed them in this mess in the first place.

We have to be better than this.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus, and Mohammad would all be shaking their heads in sadness at what is going on, and I can only commend Will for staying on track. When I released my video about the Liberal Redneck, I faced similar criticism, though Will is obviously facing it on a larger scale (though, it’s worth mentioning, the scale of criticism that I faced for that absolutely dwarfed the attention that anything else I’ve created has received anyway), and I remember how difficult it was, when one comment after the next rolled in calling me an idiot, a traitor, a racist, a Biblethumper, and other similar things, to stay on point and not stoop to their level. In the end, I caved and pulled down the video. I really wish I hadn’t, but… c’est la vie.

I don’t think I’d cave today.

Maybe this is just meant to be a collection of other things I’ve said on the matter. Otherwise, I’d just be repeating myself. But it’s sad that podcasts that I released a year ago are equally applicable to things today because, if anything has changed at all, then it’s only been for the worse.

I recently wrote an article attacking the notion of LGBT Pride and Outright Libertarians. I’m going to repost it in the future, but not until the shit with Cantwell has died down. It’s rather similar to how I defended Gary Johnson with the “What is Aleppo?” thing. I’ll criticize someone “on my team” when no one else is, but if someone outside that team starts to criticize, I’ll have their back–assuming they’re right.

When they’re wrong, I’ll gladly tell them so. If they’re wrong and are rightly being attacked for being wrong, then I will at the very least hold off my attack until the attack from the outside is over (after all, you won’t find me defending Outright Libertarians from Cantwell and his people).

I find that I just can’t say much on this matter with Will. I’ve already said it all–and that, I think, is the sad thing, because I’m far from being the only person saying it. Jesus said it. Mohammad said it. Gandhi said it. MLK, Jr. said it. If people won’t listen to these esteemed leaders, why in the world would they listen to me or Will Coley? Christians, Muslims, Jews, and atheists alike have all had these wonderful ideas thrown at us from every corner for centuries and thousands of years. Yet we only pay them lipservice. Whether it’s Bill Hicks or Mohammad isn’t important.

And, yes, libertarians are guilty of it, too. When Fidel Castro died, many libertarians actively celebrated his death and digitally danced on his grave. Weird behavior from a group of people whose ideology is literally built on forgiveness and love.

We need less hatred in the world.

That starts with you.

 

Gender Identity & Gender Misidentification

After sharing my previous article to an Anarchist, Voluntaryist, and Libertarian page on Facebook–not something I do often; in fact, this was only the second time in a year that I’ve done so–the very first comment was, predictably, that no one cares about my mental illness. Right, because that is a conversation transgender people aren’t sick of having. And it’s extremely common. With almost every video, every post, every article around the Internet that is from a transgender author about transgender things, there is very likely to be some asshat who thinks that he, and only he–because, sorry, I have yet to come across a female doing this–understands that gender is binary, transgender people are insane, and being transgender undermines everything else you have to say because you’re insane. Remembering now that I posted this to a closed group of like-minded people, I found myself having to point out that there is no such thing as a “legitimate reason” for kidnapping, sexual assault, theft, or ransom.

I was also called a “transgender fascist” because of my desire to force the state to accept my right to define myself and to identify myself. This, in the mind of the confused person who is so terrified that I’m going to force my beliefs onto them that they are eager to force theirs onto me, is nothing short of fascism. It’s a remarkable disconnect, and showcases just how warped a person’s brain can get when they hold reverence to dogmatic values and insist they aren’t arbitrary. I once stated that sex was a binary thing–I was mistaken. Sex has never been a binary thing; we simply treated it as one. Initially, we understood sex as XX and XY chromosomes, but more recent developments have revealed how horrifically inaccurate that was, and that the reality is that every cell in a person’s body has a sex, and they’re not all the same. This literally means that, far from being a binary matter, sex is an infinitely fluid matter, ranging from 0.0000001% male to 0.0000001% female.

If we look at these three shades of blue and just say they’re all “blue,” and then spend decades treating them all the same, does that really mean that there’s only one blue? No. It just means we were short-sighted, overly eager to simplify, and mistaken.

And, as we’ve learned more recently as our technology advances and we peer deeper into cells, genes, and chromosomes, what looked like a single shade of blue when we stood back seventy feet from the television and looked at little boxes actually turned out to be totally different shades when we got up close and examined them. So yes, I was again wrong; sex is not a binary thing and has never been a binary thing. So to be so beholden to the idea of sex as a binary concept when all scientific evidence disputes that idea is the very definition of dogma, especially since what we’re talking about is evidently an arbitrary human construct of generalities and oversimplifications. I would call dogmatic loyalty to an artificial construct so severe that it causes one to utterly lose the ability to empathize with another human being the “mental illness,” if we really want to talk mental illness.

Of course, it was brought up that “gender dysphoria” is classified as a mental illness. This is true. And I pointed out, though I can’t find the source, the AMA has gone on record stating that they did this in order to ensure that transgender people’s medicines, hormones, and surgeries were deemed “necessary” rather than “cosmetic.” It’s rather like how some dental plans won’t give you a full set of dentures because it’s deemed cosmetic, and will instead cover only partial sets. That rift between “cosmetic” and “necessary” is a big deal, and while I appreciate their reason for doing it, people who have chosen to treat it like the holy grail of definitive medicine–even as they dispute numerous other diagnoses in its pages (“Addiction isn’t a disease! They’re so wrong about that! Addiction is a choice! But gender dysphoria? No, they’re right! You’re insane, because they said so! Because ‘mental illness’ obviously means ‘full-blown insanity!'”)–end up causing transgender people in the real world no end of headaches.

When I pointed out to this person that gender dysphoria is the disease and “being transgender” is the cure, he replied, “They’re the same thing.”

It’s frustrating, because, as I said, this is a conversation that any transgender person has had countless times. Almost any time the subject is brought up, there’s at least one fuckwad who does this, and it’s always hard to ignore. It’s hard to ignore someone sitting there and calling you insane because they don’t have any understanding of things that are pretty easy to Google. But even if we don’t reply–and for the most part, I didn’t, because a wonderful other person took up the cause for me–it still stings. How could it not? It’s like a white kid being told he’s insane because he likes rap, or a guy being told he’s insane because he’s gay.

More to the point, the basic issue is his inability to understand that this interaction between transgender people and the state… doesn’t impact him in any way. If I fight the state, succeed, and force the state of Mississippi and its police officers to recognize people as the gender they identify as, this does absolutely nothing to force this random person to accept my definitions or gender identity–unless he is one of the police officers in question.

This gets into messy territory, doesn’t it? Do I have the right to force the state to recognize my gender identity?

See, that’s the wrong question, and it reveals how skewed this discussion even is. The actual question is: Does the state have the right to dictate my gender? Does any state employee have the right to say whether I am male or female, and to treat me accordingly? This is the real heart of the question, and the answer is obviously “No.” If state employees could do this, then an officer could tell any woman he arrested, “No, you’re a male. Now get naked. It’s time for a strip search, dude.” According to this guy who thinks I shouldn’t be able to prevent the state from forcing its definitions onto me, this would be totally acceptable. The state defines me, regardless of what I say, and to this Voluntaryist, Anarchist, or Libertarian, that’s totally okay–because the state’s definitions are the same as his definitions. But no, that’s not bias or hypocrisy. It’s just a happy coincidence that it happens to be his definitions that the state is forcing onto people.

By treating me as a male, the state is forcing their definition of genders and sexes onto me. My telling them, “No, you can’t do that. You have to treat me as the gender that I am, not the one you say that I am,” is defense, not offense. It would not be an issue if the state was not attempting to force their definition onto me. But they are, and they did. When I say that I’m a female, absolutely no one has the right to dictate over me as though I’m male. This random person can use whatever definitions he wants and believes me to be whatever he wants, but he has no authority to dictate over me, no ability to impact my life unless I allow him to. If he wants to insist that I’m a male, that’s his right, and it’s my right to call him a bigoted, ignorant idiot and stop having anything to do with him.

See? That’s the difference. I can’t just “stop having anything to do with” the state or the police.

This is the state we’re talking about. I’m not talking about this random dipshit on Facebook. If he wants to treat me as a male, fine. I don’t care. If he says “Turn around and drop your pants,” I don’t have to obey him. And if he pulls a gun on me, I can pull one back out on him. If he attempts to rape me, I can fight back without risking getting beaten to death by fifteen freaking people. He has no authority to trap me in a windowless concrete box with the steel door shut and command me to drop my panties. So I don’t give a flying fuck what he thinks.

Whether we like it or not–and I don’t like it–the state does have authority. It’s stolen authority, it’s immoral authority, and it’s disgusting authority, but the reality is that they have it. In a moral world, it wouldn’t have been an issue because no one could have kidnapped me and held me for ransom at gunpoint yesterday. In a moral world, it wouldn’t be an issue, because someone wouldn’t have a badge giving them the authority to coerce me into doing a strip tease. Without a state, these wouldn’t be issues at all. Fighting against the state’s attempts to define me as a male in full disregard of my own wishes, physiology, preferences, and identity is reactionary–by definition–but it is also necessary, defensive, and justified. It is the equivalent of shooting an armed burglar who has broken into your home. By kidnapping me at gunpoint and coercing me with the power of the badge to do a striptease, the officers roundly violated my rights as a human being. I should not have to explain this to anyone who claims to be a Voluntaryist, Anarchist, or Libertarian.

“What perceived rights do you think were violated?” someone asked.

Well, that’s an interesting question. All the more interesting because it came in this same group of people who are supposed to understand these things. I guarantee you that when the Constitution was written, the American Founders didn’t intend “forcing a prisoner to do a strip tease” to be any sort of reasonable search.

I shouldn’t have to explain to anyone that a male officer forcing a woman prisoner to do a striptease while she’s being processed for a misdemeanor traffic violation and waiting on the paperwork to be completed so that she can leave is a full and total violation of her Fourth Amendment rights. I don’t give a SHIT what the Supreme Court has ruled about it. Besides all of that, this person has completely missed the point–a few other people have totally missed the point as well.

It’s not about whether the strip search can be justified. It probably can’t, and I’ve now spoken with nine other people who have been through this jail–in fact, I’ve been there twice and this is the first time I was strip searched–and none of them were strip-searched, including several people who actually were in custody for a few days. You can’t hide behind “Standard Operating Procedure” when I can present a list of a dozen people who passed through that very jail for the very same charge in the very same circumstances and were not forced to do a strip tease. You simply can’t, because the evidence is against you. If you attempt to play that card, you are being a statist apologist. I can point you to these people right now, my own sister among them. She’s been to that jail twice. She was only patted down on both occasions. You’d better believe I’m compiling a list of names of people who will swear before a grand jury that they weren’t strip searched.

What it’s actually about, though, is related to the above–the fact that I was strip-searched because I was transgender by a cop who abused the authority of his badge to sate his curiosity. That’s the allegation–one of them. Because that’s clearly what happened. I know females who weren’t strip-searched, I know males who weren’t strip-searched, and I’ve now been in that jail three times–once when I was 17, once for 3 days when I was 19, and yesterday. Only on one of these occasions was I strip-searched, and only on one of these occasions “was I transgender.” Holy crap, the evidence is overwhelmingly against Tate County and the officer in question.

Furthermore, there is the fact that I’m transgender. And while this will be the messiest part, and will inevitably land before a federal appeals court, I have full confidence that it is a legal battle that I will ultimately win. A long-time friend asked me today, “If you found a competent lawyer, and Tate County offered you $10,000 to settle, what would you do?” It was a question of such profound ignorance that I didn’t know where to begin.

Dude, you think this is about money? Me? The quasi-Buddhist? The chick who shuns materialism? You think I’m motivated by money?

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll be fighting for money, because that’s all they can offer. They can’t undo what they did, and they can’t fix what they did. Will ten grand be enough to satisfy me? Not by a fucking long shot. The real answer to that question is that I will do whatever my attorney suggests that I do. What the hell? How can he be that unfamiliar with litigation? The attorney would advise me whether or not to accept the settlement. I don’t even understand how someone can ask me such a question barely 12 hours after the incident even occurred.

Beyond that, I do have a goal. Not just for Tate County, but for the state of Mississippi to institute a policy regarding transgender people that is identical to the city of Seattle’s: that all transgender people will be recognized and treated as the gender they identify as. That is what I want. That is my goal. If they don’t give me that, then absolutely no amount of money will appease me. They could offer me ten trillion dollars and I would not take a penny of it if they will not adopt that policy.

If I hadn’t been bailed out last night, do you know what would have happened? I have to wonder if these people have given this sufficient thought. If I had been forced to spend the night–or a few days or weeks–in jail, I would have been tossed into a men’s cell block–panties, makeup, bra, boobs, curves, and all. This happens. In fact, looking into this issue makes me enraged that people are discussing bathrooms, because I read about a transgender woman who served a prison sentence in a men’s block, where she was reportedly raped more than two thousand times. And what are we discussing?

Fucking bathrooms.

It’s true that there is much less rape in county jails, but this isn’t to say there is none, and my friend’s attempt to assuage me by saying there is “very little risk” of being raped in a county jail is nothing short of sociopathic. “It’s fine. There’s only a 0.2% chance that you would have been raped, so what’s the big deal?” It’s a mark of how fucking ridiculous this entire conversation is that someone would even say such a thing. I tried pointing out to him that he would never say that about his sister, his wife, one of his daughters, or even any female friend of his, and that the only reason he’s saying it to me is that I’m transgender. It stems from more of that “You’re not really a woman” stuff that pervades more of their thought processes than such people understand.

He infuriated me in his attempt to play the devil’s advocate, because there was just so much wrong with it. For one, the event, as of right now, happened barely more than 24 hours ago. This shit just happened. I was just sexually assaulted. Yesterday. I was just forced to do a strip-tease by a male cop against my will. 24 hours ago. No ordinary or reasonable human being would ever say, “But what harm was really done?” to someone in such a situation, much less when not even a full day had passed since it happened. He got pissed off when I replied that he was being borderline sociopathic, but I absolutely stand by that assessment. Actually, I’d say psychopathic to stand by the assessment.

No judge, jury, prosecutor, defendant, or attorney in their right fucking mind would ever dare ask a sexual assault victim what “demonstrable damages” were done. That is a question of such extraordinary offensiveness that I informed him bluntly that I would henceforth not discuss the litigation or my transgenderism with him again. Because of that line of questions, he has all but been thrown from my life. These are not questions that any jury would ask. They are questions that Charles Manson would ask. They are questions that the desperate pedophile on trial for child pornography would ask: “But, Your Honor, what harm was there really? I only downloaded the pictures. I didn’t perform any of the acts or take any of the pictures!”

It is unbridled madness to even ask such a thing. There’s being a devil’s advocate, and there’s being an absolute dick. No woman in any modern American court–transgender or otherwise–would have to explain to any sane juror the harm of being forced to do a strip-tease by a male cop. And I told him that if he was to ask anyone the same questions that he asked me, his wife would divorce him, his sister would never speak to him again, and he’d find that everyone thought he was a psychopath. It’s like asking a rape victim, “But you didn’t get pregnant and it was over quickly, so there weren’t really any damages, were there?”

It’s sexual assault. The very act itself causes damage. That’s why we outlawed it.

I didn’t mean to get into all this, but it’s been a full day as I’ve learned who my friends are and who my friends aren’t. It’s been a devastating day. Before I began writing this, I lied in my bed, cuddled with my cat, and cried. I did that for about an hour, and then I forced myself to get up, because I’m not a crier. I won’t lie down and cry–at least not for long. I will fight. I will fight against anyone and everyone who stands in my way. It’s more “You’re not really a woman, though” bullshit.

Because it would unequivocally be sexual assault if a male officer did this to a natural-born female, and even this “devil’s advocate” wouldn’t challenge that. Even asking such a thing is a tentative admission that he doesn’t consider me a female–just a guy wearing women’s clothes. Because I refuse to believe that any sane person could imagine their sister or wife or other female friend in a closed cell with a cop being forced to do a strip-tease and somehow dispute whether or not it counted as sexual assault and whether or not that entailed damages. And naturally when I got pissed off, he pulled the “You’re too emotional to talk about this” card.

You’re goddamned right, you fucking dick, and your bigotry and borderline psychopathy are the fucking reasons why. If your wife came out of this situation and was looking into attorneys and you asked her about “demonstrable damages,” she would divorce your ass. It’s understood, by the act itself.

The Senatobia cop who was both polite and professional, I didn’t care if he referred to me as a male, or called me “dude” or anything else. I didn’t tell him that I’m transgender because I insisted that he call me “ma’am,” although he did. I told him because I wanted him to know in case it became relevant. It’s just like I don’t care if my friends occasionally call me “him,” or if clients think I’m a guy. Their opinions don’t matter to me, and their misgendering me isn’t a concern, because it’s best for everyone involved if they do misgender me.

But it matters when people have authority over you. Holy fuck, does it matter when you’re being forced to do a strip-tease for a curious male cop and facing the prospect of being thrown into the men’s cell block. Despite this “I’m such a devil’s advocate I’m almost a psychopath”‘s assurances, it is not true that “everyone” is in there awaiting DUI trials. I’ve been in county jails before. There are some people waiting on murder trials, some waiting on rape trials, some waiting on drug trials. Some of these people face 25 years. Some face life.

And American prison and jail systems have a long fucking history of placing gay men in cell blocks where they know the men will be raped, only to then say, “You must have been asking for it.” This guy had the audacity to say to me, “They wouldn’t want to add on a rape charge to their jail sentence.”

What?

Dude, how many occurrences of prison and jail rape do you think result in charges? It’s been a long time since I looked at the numbers, but the last I checked it was like 5.7% or something along those lines. It would have been my word against the rapist’s. The rapist would have insisted that I consented to it, and I would have obviously disputed that. It’s a profound ignorance about not just male-on-male rape and prison rape but rape in general. The rape culture hysteria is certainly overblown, but we do have a problem with police officers putting forward and accepting the rationale that “she was asking for it” and “she actually wanted it.” This problem is particularly prevalent with male-on-male rape and prison rape.

One of the main reasons that most men don’t report it when they are raped is the psychological damage of it. Through no desire or enjoyment on the rape victim’s part, his penis will become erect–at least semi-erect–from stimulation of the prostate. It is well-known that rapists use this to their advantage, saying things like, “Yeah, you know you like it–that’s why you’re getting hard.” And you don’t think this ignorant ass officer who forced me to do a strip tease for him would say, “Well, her penis got hard, so clearly she enjoyed it, and she wouldn’t have enjoyed it if it had been rape”? How insulated in a bubble can a person be?

Last night, the state forced its binary, unscientific, and inapplicable definition of “male” onto me, despite my protests and explicit statements otherwise. Realistically, at the very moment I told the officer that I’m a transgender female, it could damned well have meant that I have a vagina. This has to be considered–the officer had no idea what type of transsexual I am, and didn’t ask. Rather than ask, he forced me to do a strip-tease to find out.

For the most part, it’s just so not important what people call me. I call myself the Anarchist Shemale. Almost all of my clients call me “he,” and a few of my friends still call me by my old name. It’s so meaningless to me. These transsexual and transgender people who get up in arms–“Did you just assume my gender?! Did you just misgender me?!”–they are undermining the actual problems out there. Those things are irrelevant. They are issues created by people who have never truly suffered. One of the greatest revelations for me in the last few months was that the Dunning-Kruger Effect applies very much to a person’s understanding of what suffering is. I don’t blame them for that. I applaud them. Congratulations–they have lived lives of such ease and comfort that some random person at a store calling them by the wrong pronoun is an offense and losing an election is traumatic. I don’t care what this asshole on Facebook wants to call me, or if he wants to label me as a male. It makes no difference to me. It’s tedious and exhausting, but I don’t care.

I’m not and will never fight to force Random Joe to call me a female. In fact, I have a long record of fighting for the right of Random Joe to exercise all of his rights, including the right to hate me and disassociate from me.

And this:

And this.

So anyone who accuses me of trying to force other people to accept my gender identity is either not listening, not paying attention, or purposefully misunderstanding me. In his overzealousness to prevent me from forcing him to accept my gender identity, he becomes okay with the state forcing me to accept his and their gender definitions. I’m not trying to force him to accept my gender identity. I’m trying to stop him from forcing his definitions onto me. And I hate myself for even saying this, but his inability to understand that difference is the very essence of the whole “privilege” thing.

When you’re that accustomed to forcing your way onto everyone else, it does seem like someone forcing their way onto you when they stop you from forcing your way onto them. This doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there trying to force their way onto them–there are. Lots of them. There are lots of transsexual and transgender people who think it should be totally illegal to call a transgender person by the “wrong” pronoun. I’m not among them, and any idiot who reads anything I write would quickly realize that. It was outright stated in the fucking initial article about this.

I refused to vote for Gary Johnson, and my primary reason for that was precisely that he wouldn’t allow religious people the right to conduct business in accordance with their religious beliefs. This is a message to all those fucking idiots who don’t understand simple concepts. I have been fighting this fucking battle for the right of people to discriminate against me for years, and I have the record to prove it. To all those people, I have stood by their rights for years, even when it actively harmed me and went against my own direct interests, and I will continue doing so. Now it’s time for those people to shut the fuck up and stand beside me like I stood beside them. I’m not asking them to accept me. I’m asking them to help protect me from the goddamned state, just like I fought to protect them from the state.

I apologize for how this next paragraph is written, but there was no other way to convey it in written words.

I also learned from this experience how seriously damaging it is to be transgender–to be struggling to be transgender because more than 5/6 of your life was stolen from you and you’re fighting against every single day you’ve lived past puberty without the correct hormones coursing through your body… To already be struggling everyday with doubts about “Am I feminine enough?” To look in the mirror at every opportunity, hoping and praying to see yourself more feminine, more how you should be, more how you want to be… To already struggle so much with day-to-day life as a transgender person, not to mention all the other stuff, the family stuff, the parasitism, the economic and financial struggles, the struggles to get a book published… To be depressed deep down inside and constantly in a state of mild cognitive dissonance–because I know I’m not as feminine as I want to be, that I’m not as passable as I must be… And then to have an authority figure slap you back down viciously, rebuke you firmly, and state that no, you are not female, so turn around and drop your pants.

It’s always painful to look in the mirror and not see what I want to see, to have the fear constantly nagging in the back of my mind that maybe I’ll never see what I want to see, that maybe it’s too late, maybe there’s no hope. To then have long-time friends reveal that they consider me a guy in women’s clothes–even if they don’t have the balls to outright say it… That’s painful. And to have an authority–not just any authority, but the ultimate authority, the state itself–rebuke you, spit on your efforts, spit on your life, your hopes and your dreams, and insist that you are a male whether you like it or not. Most people won’t understand. Most people can’t understand.

But goddamn, that hurts.

My Ballot “Selfie:” Voting For McAfee in Missisippi

Well, I just voted.

mcafee1

You would obviously be correct to observe that this is most certainly not a selfie.

I went to the polling place with the knowledge that there was a fair-to-strong chance that I was going to be arrested. The last time I voted, it was just a single room with 5-7 electronic machines in it, all of them in plain sight of everyone else–though little flaps did ensure that no one could see your screen. There was no privacy. Everyone stood in full view of everyone else, and there was a county sheriff there. I knew if those circumstances were repeated, then I was going to be hassled about it, probably demanded to delete the pic, and promptly arrested when I refused to say that I’d even taken a picture.

In some ways, I was looking forward to that. I had a good defense that probably would have kept me out of handcuffs. If my rant about living in a free country where I can’t take a freaking picture of my ballot didn’t work, then I had one more bombshell to drop that probably would have kept me out of jail: I’m transgender, this is Mississippi, and I doubt very much that anyone in my county is prepared to deal with the headache that arresting me would involve.

mcafee2All that said, I was trying to exercise my right to take a picture of my ballot. I was not trying to get arrested. If there was a good chance of getting the picture without causing problems, then that was always my intention; I just didn’t anticipate being able to ninja my way out of it.

The situation with the voting machines in Mississippi is completely unacceptable.

There is absolutely no record that I even voted–except that I signed a log. There is no evidence that my vote was recorded at all, much less recorded properly. For all I know, it was the equivalent of standing here and pressing a few buttons that do absolutely nothing. How do I know that the machine recorded my vote? I don’t. I have absolutely no way of knowing that. I want to see the source code of these machines.

Moreover, how do I know that the machine didn’t write my vote down as one for Hillary Clinton? Again, I don’t. There is so much darkness here that it’s ridiculous. Not only do I have no way of knowing if my vote was recorded properly, but I have no way of knowing if it was recorded at all. The situation is ripe for abuse. For all we freaking know, they’re programmed to record 67.971728% of votes for Trump, 29.718381% for Hillary, and 2.117284 for other candidates, regardless of what people actually choose. We don’t fucking know, man.

That’s why it’s not a selfie. There was nothing to take a selfie with. Try to take a selfie of you and your dinner cooking on a stovetop, and you’ll understand what I was faced with by taking a “selfie.” There’s just no way to do it with any dignity or elegance, and, even if there was, it’s flagrantly illegal and happening in full view of people who will stop you. I wanted to get a pic of my ballot–I couldn’t have done that if they stopped me.

So I’m sure everyone has some questions.

Q. Why John Mcafee?

Because he’s a libertarian. Next question.

Q. Why not Gary Johnson?

It’s true. I *don’t* want the Libertarian Party to be successful this election. I didn’t want Johnson to hit 15% before the debates, and I don’t want him to hit 5% nationally. I want the Libertarian Party to grow for the RIGHT reasons, and Johnson represents all of the wrong reasons.

Q. Why didn’t you put Darryl W. Perry as your VP?

Because I’m retarded. I was expecting to be asked about the VP separately, and it didn’t occur to me until after I was finished that I didn’t even enter one. Not that it matters. Mississippi will throw my presidential vote in the trash the moment they see it’s a write-in.I do hate that I neglected to put a VP, because I would like to formally show my support for Darryl W. Perry. Complete brain fart–clearly. I mean, I didn’t even put down a VP. Obviously, the whole thing was an oversight.

Q. This isn’t a Ballot Selfie.

And that isn’t a question.

Q. Why isn’t it a ballot selfie?

Mississippi uses voting machines, placing 5-7 of them out against a wall, with no curtain or any other divide separating them. When voting, you are in full sight of about fifty other people, ten of whom work there and are watching you, specifically to ensure you don’t do anything illegal–like taking pics of your ballot. I had to do some ninja shit to get these. Additionally, crouching down and doing a back-bend in order to get my face in the pic would have been both ungraceful and stupid. I welcome you to attempt to do it without looking retarded.

Q. Isn’t this illegal, though?

Yes. And fuck them.

Q. Yeah, but–

I said “fuck the system” twice today. Once with the vote for McAfee, and once with the ballot pictures. Not to mention the “Anyone Else” I wrote in for most elections.

Q. Who the hell is Chase Wilson?

I don’t know, but he had “Libertarian” by his name, so I voted for him. I don’t want a liberty-leaning conservative as President, but liberty-leaning conservatives–whether he is or isn’t a true libertarian–will be fine as one member of 500+ in Congress.

Q. Didn’t John McAfee kill someone?

No.

The government of Belize attempted to extort him, and he–being John McAfee–said “You guys can fucking go to hell.”

Because what else would he say?

Because what else would he say?

John McAfee “killed someone” in pretty much the same way that Julian Assange “is a rapist.” He didn’t, and he’s not.

However… The story is that a neighbor poisoned some of John’s dogs, and that John killed him/ordered him killed (like he’s some kind of Hollywood drug lord)/hired a hitman in retaliation. So let me be 100% upfront and honest about this.

I don’t care if he did.

Look, if a neighbor poisoned my cats, then there isn’t a force in the universe that could protect them from my wrath. Punishing them would be a single-minded devotion, and I would not rest until they had paid the ultimate price for doing it. I don’t see this as a violation of the NAP, because I don’t hold to the bigoted idea that non-human life is inherently worth less than human-life. If someone breaks into your house and kills your wife, in the absence of a state police force, there are very few ways to deal with it than direct retaliation. It’s not as much “punishment” as it is prevention against future attacks, and this person has already attacked you. The idea that it’s not a violation of the NAP if you kill the guy while he’s still in your home and killing your wife, but it is a violation if you kill him two hours later–is nonsense.

If I return home to find someone raping and murdering my wife, grab my 38 and kill them, then it’s not a violation of the NAP. Yet if I return home to find my wife raped and murdered, and I know for a fact who did it, it suddenly is a violation of the NAP to shoot them? So what is the statute of limitations on it? If he hides in the bushes and I see him fleeing across the field, is it a violation of the NAP to shoot him, since he’s already killed my wife? What if I chase him for thirty minutes and finally catch him?

I don’t often touch on the subject, either, but it is bigotry to suggest that non-human lives are not as valuable as human lives, and that it’s wrong to kill a human because they murdered a non-human. So because this living being isn’t the same species as you, its life isn’t worth as much? To really get a handle on how bigoted that statement is, replace the word “species” with the word “race.” So because this living being isn’t the same race as you, its life isn’t worth as much? That’s right–you’re basically a 1944 German arguing that Jewish lives aren’t worth anything, or a 19th century slave owner arguing that a black man’s life isn’t worth nearly as much as a white man’s. It’s the exact same bigotry, only here we direct at at roughly 99% of the rest of the planet. Because they happen to be a few chromosomes away, their lives are not as valuable as ours. It isn’t “okay” to kill a dog or cat, but if someone does kill a dog or cat, that doesn’t make it okay to kill them.

It’s just another flavor of the same ego and arrogance. I don’t advocate killing people who kill your pets, and I’m not a vegan. I’m not even a vegetarian. I do, however, recognize that it is immoral and without justification to eat meat and consume animal products. It simply can’t be justified. I still do it, but I accept that it’s morally wrong. Am I saying that you shouldn’t kill a wasp? Not really. But I know that when a wasp gets into my house, I’ve spent quite a lot of time coaxing them out of the door rather than killing them. I’ve never hesitate to kill a spider, though. Fuck a spider.

Hell, a few weeks ago I spent 45 minutes helping a bumble bee get untangled, and then I took him and carried him to a flower. He was going to die, and nothing could be done to prevent that. His struggling while tangled caused him to break a wing, so there was no way he could fly. I felt like he at least deserved to eat.

It’s nuanced and difficult. As I said, I eat meat, and I have no idea if my makeup was tested on animals or not. I’m pretty sure that the estradiol I take has something to do with horse vaginas, too.

I don’t demand that everyone agree. I’m well aware that most people don’t. Happily enough, I side with Richard Dawkins on the subject–long before I’d heard Dawkins say anything about it. I know it’s morally unjustifiable. And the only reason I continue to do it is that it’s the dominant attitude of the day. It’s too much work and effort to avoid all animal products, especially in Mississippi and especially when you don’t really have the money to waste.

Vegans get really pissed off about this, naturally. Of course, to everyone who supports a cause, their cause is the single most important issue in the universe. I support the cause of liberty, based on the NAP, and yes–there is a contradiction between that and not being a vegan. There are, to piss vegans off further, bigger fish to fry. Most vegans aren’t anarchists or libertarians anyway, so it’s not like they have any ground to stand on, either. The only people who can rightly criticize me for my position is all two vegan anarcho-capitalists out there. If that’s not you, then move along.

If you’re a vegan, then you basically apply the NAP to all non-humans. If you’re an anarchist, then you basically apply the NAP to all humans. If you aren’t both, then you have no ground to criticize anyone for not being both. And here I’m as much a hypocrite as anyone: I’d eat a cow, but I wouldn’t eat a human. It would quite obviously be a violation of the NAP to kill and eat a human; it would also be one to kill and eat a cow. Gotta pick your battles, though. If someone wants to take up every single cause, then they’ll find that they don’t get anything accomplished. You fight your battles; I’ll fight mine.

Clear & Concise: Mississippi’s Problems

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one less traveled by…

I hate Robert Frost.

That’s not true. I like Robert Frost quite a lot, and he’s a fantastic poet. I hate the effects that Robert Frost had on poetry, as I think a generation of people who grew up knowing nothing more about poetry than “Robert Frost and Edgar Allan Poe” did a great deal of damage to poetry as a whole, and that’s obviously not Frost’s fault. I would love for American students to have to spend a decade studying the Romantics, because that was some of the best poetry in human history. But that’s actually not what I want to talk about. Just a completely unrelated prologue, in fact.

I began to drop the hints to my colleague today that I am taking steps to move, but it was only something I weakly alluded to. When I left last year, he was the last person to find out. He won’t be the last person to learn of it this time, but I’m still not going to tell him until I’m much closer to the funding goal. That’s a link to the GoFundMe campaign, which you are free to share or donate to, to help me change my life for the better forever.

At any rate, I simply made it a point to bring up Mississippi’s latest piece of bullshit legislation, and my observation that the state is taking babysteps toward theocracy. But just a little while ago a friend shared something on Facebook that I found really interesting.

Diabetes rates across the U.S.

Diabetes rates across the U.S.

But we’re just getting started. Of course, I’ve already shared this one that drags in religion–particularly southern baptists–as well.

religionkeyOf course, poverty is worse here:

We're the blue one. The ONLY blue one.

We’re the blue one. The ONLY blue one.

It’s really hard to put into perspective how much Mississippi truly freaking sucks. Teen pregnancy? Yep, we’re full up on that, too. Might have something to do with the fact that our schools only teach abstinence for sex ed.

Sigh.

Sigh.

Of course, we also have some of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country–and I’m a statistic on one of those, because I didn’t graduate high school. I instead earned my GED and later went to college. Still. Interesting, Nevada is just as bad as Mississippi in this respect.

Slide4Oh, good. We also have gonorrhea.

ghonnoreaThe short version is that this place sucks.

It sucks even more than I thought it sucked, and I’ve always known that it sucks really bad. It’s not hard to look outside my window and see the boards on buildings, the empty, crack and grass-filled parking lots. Hell, even our banks close up and get out of dodge.

That building in the foreground used to be a bank.

That building in the foreground used to be a bank.

On a given day, I don’t notice on this. And I’ve never had an encounter with gonorrhea, so I’d never notice that anyway. But on any given day, I just see the overabundance of churches. That’s the only real evidence that, just below the surface, this state is sick as hell–horrendously sick, on the verge of catastrophic illness. Beneath the dazzling veneer of the holy churches is a society of petty, petulant, and bitter people, convinced that their problems are caused by:

  • The Muslims.
  • Icky brown people.
  • Them dang Spics done took ‘er jobs!
  • It’s them dang ‘um queers o’er thar that’s the problem.
  • Them boys wanna dress lock girls, what’d’ey ‘xpect was gun happen?
  • Obama’s gonna take our gerns!

And I know I’m sounding like the Liberal Redneck here, and I can appreciate the irony of that, but there’s a few important points to consider:

  1. He made his statements about specific people, specific individuals.
  2. I’ve frequently said this isn’t true of all of them.

Yet… with Mississippi’s Anti-Gay legislation on top of their latest “put God back in school!” legislation, with the fact that…

These people went HEAVY Trump (as I predicted, btw)...

these people went HEAVY Trump (as I predicted, btw)…

It’s certainly true of a majority of them.

They’re looking for someone to blame, and Trump didn’t tell them to blame Mexicans and gays. I know Trump likes to credit himself for bringing immigration up to the surface, but who is he kidding? Immigration never really stopped being a large issue anywhere in the world. That we in the U.S. went a few months without talking about doesn’t mean that Trump created the issue. These people–not all the people here, but the majority to which I’m referring–have always said that Mexicans, gays, black people, etc. were the problem.

My mistake was in thinking that the moderates had more sway than they actually do. Clearly, the moderates are powerless here. Our state legislature has proven itself firmly in the grips of religious zealots, and our Governor has proven himself firmly on their side. Rather than veto this horrific legislation, Phil Bryant proudly signs it into law. I spoke in the podcast last night about how this state has lost its mind. But it’s not like Mississippi ever had very far to go to lose its mind. The only thing that has really changed is that the moderates and reasonable people have been swept aside, and the religious extremists have taken over.

There are dark days ahead for Mississippi, and I’m not referring to my suspicion that secession and civil war are inevitable. I mean only that Mississippi has made it clear: Mississippi is committed to pursuing this path of Christian theocracy, where the moral proclamations of a single religion dictate the law. If I hadn’t decided Saturday that it was truly time to leave, then I would be making that decision now. Mississippi already has among the lowest Average Incomes in the country:

I was unable to find one that didn't specifically apply to millennials.

I was unable to find one that didn’t specifically apply to millennials.

When you add in the gonorrhea, the high school dropouts, the teen pregnancy, the high religious rates, the diabetes, and all the other shit, you have a place that is held together only by its religion. So it should be no surprise that Mississippi–which, I think we can all agree, is objectively the worst state in the United States–also has the highest rates of religiosity. What else do these people have, except their hope that they will have a better life in the next world?

Mississippi sucks, and I’m trying to leave it. Unfortunately, most of the problems affecting the statistics above also affect me (except, again, the gonorrhea one :D), and it’s largely irrelevant here that I’m a college graduate with a good work ethic. This is a place where you either work at a gas station, or at an assembly line in a factory (and there are only two factories nearby, both of which only hire through temp agencies and won’t hire someone with a college degree in an unrelated field). This isn’t a place where you get a college degree in I.T. and then stay here, working in your new field. No, as I’ve come to realize, the only option is leaving. And I need help to make that happen. So I ask humbly that you consider helping me with that, in whatever way you can, from donating to liking and sharing–it all helps.

https://www.gofundme.com/transgendermove

Thank you for reading, and thank you for your time.

I’m a Disgrace to the LGBT Community

Apparently.

But you know what? I was a disgrace to the LGBT community long before I went after the Liberal Redneck. I would spend some time talking about how this commenter had literally nothing to say but “You’re wrong,” insults, and blatantly inaccurate off-the-wall bullshit, but, honestly, that’s really not worth addressing. I would go into how it’s not my responsibility to look into the Liberal Redneck to see if there is context that justifies a video that he uploaded wherein he is demonstrably racist and intolerant, with the key distinction being that this is a video that he uploaded, thus one that he supports, and thus not taken out of context. I would point out that it’s not my responsibility to look to an external source to see if there is anything that justifies such bigotry and intolerance, and that we wouldn’t walk up to a group of white people about to lynch a black dude and say, “Well, maybe there’s some context where this is okay…” either.

But, more interestingly, I won’t to focus on the allegation that I am a disgrace to the trans community for going after this guy who is just trying to help bring awareness to transgender issues. First of all, I’ve addressed that conceit before: no one has the right to speak on my behalf. Here is a podcast about it. I would ask who the fuck the Liberal Redneck thinks he is to spew hate speech and bigotry on my behalf, to propagate intolerance and ignorance for my sake, but I think we already have the answer to that, don’t we?

I would discuss the accusation that the Liberal Redneck is “dumbing down” his statements and being crude (which is entirely unrelated to anything I had to say about the matter) because his audience is full of rednecks (aka, white southern people) and how they’re evidently (according to the commenter) rather stupid. I would point out that it doesn’t matter if he’s a comedian who is phrasing his message to be funny or not; the core of his message is still one that is demonstrably bigoted, disrespectful, and racist.

I would rather focus on how I am a disgrace to the “trans” community. And to that unusual insult, where this guy calls me an insult to a community that he’s literally not a part of but chooses to speak for anyway, I have this to say:

GOOD.

If calling out bigotry, intolerance, hatred, and racism, where I see it makes me a disgrace to a community, then I don’t want to be part of that community. But you know what? I’ve long not been a part of that community. Do you have any idea how many times just in this post I’ve talked about “the LGBT community” as something separate from me? It’s the way that I talk about all groups–white people, transgender people, atheists, whatever. I don’t consider myself to be a part of any of these groups, and I don’t speak on behalf of any of these groups. The only group that I speak for has one member:

I speak for the anarchist shemales.

If I was trying to be enshrined and idolized by the LGBT community, would I do or say any of the shit that I do or say? Would I call myself a shemale? Would I still do more than half of my podcasts in my male voice? Would I antagonize Caitlyn Jenner? Would I speak out against the racism of the Liberal Redneck? No, no, no, no, and no. I know exactly what I am, dude, and I champion one cause and one cause alone:

Liberty.

So why would I care if I’m a disgrace to this group that, as I’ve argued in the past, seeks to oppress? I know full well that I’ve been antagonizing the LGBT community for months, and I know damned well that the vast majority of people like the commenter will never hear what I have to say–his comments prove it. Just look at how his brain is literally closed to information.

“The Anarchist Shemale” is staring him straight in the face, but even that didn’t penetrate the walls of selective bias and cognitive dissonance. He comes from a place of agreement with the Liberal Redneck, of agreement with liberals of “fuck Christians” and “It’s okay to be racist against white people.” He will never hear what I have to say. His mind is closed to it.

He did everything in his power to completely ignore what I said. He ignored most of it, by his own admission and by skipping my commentary. So when I call him ignorant, you know that I mean it–I don’t mean “naive” as people so often do. I mean that he had the opportunity to learn something, and he willfully ignored, and that makes him ignorant. Contrary to popular belief, ignorance is not about lack of exposure; it’s about willingness to ignore information.

He also disregarded what he did hear, by throwing insults at me and offering my statements up as shallow and pedantic–a Family Guy quote, by the way. Rather than actually countering anything that I said, he simply, again, ignored it, and called me stupid, moronic, etc. I really don’t care about his insults–I’m more than used to it. And the irony of coming into a discussion where there have been actual arguments put forward, and actual counters and actual explanations, and saying “That’s shallow” is hilarious. However shallow my critique may have been, his statement that my critique is shallow is, by definition, infinitely more shallow than anything I said.

When all that failed, he turned to his last resort: a wild accusation of how I’m one of those crazy politically correct nutjobs. Yes, me, the Anarchist Shemale, as it said on the title of the freaking video, wherein I actually referred to Milo, the transtrender person, as “that THING.” That video wherein I accused a white guy of being racist arbitrarily against white people, which is itself politically incorrect to accuse someone of. Me, the person who made this:

milo

I’m a “politically correct moron.”

That, more than anything, should highlight how closed this guy’s mind is, and how he rejects all information that disputes what he already thinks. He called me one of those wacky politically correct people. It’s a truly shocking degree of close-mindedness. To accuse the anarchist shemale, on the video where she refers to a transgender person as “that thing,” of being a politically correct moron…

Just… wow.

The cognitive dissonance is strong in this one.

I’m probably transphobic, too, I guess. I imagine he would have thrown that one at me, and that’s probably a test I should run some time. In fact, I might rename the video “A White Christian Responds to the Liberal Redneck” just to see how it changes people’s responses.

But as I said in the podcast that I’m not going to post, have you seen the LGBT community? Have you seen the United States? Have you seen our society? I better be a fucking disgrace to that. You tell me I’m a disgrace to that, and you know what that says to me? It tells me that I am right on track.

George Washington was a disgrace to Benedict Arnold.

So let’s get this straight.

Some white dude made a disrespectful, intolerant, and bigoted video attacking a Christian family as fat, stupid racists hung up on white privilege because they spoke out against transgender people using restrooms of their choice, and for daring to speak out against the disrespectful, intolerant, bigoted, and demonstrably racist behavior… I’m a disgrace to the LGBT community.

No.

Disrespecting people, being intolerant, being bigots, and being racists… These are the things that should be disrespectful to the transgender community. Pointing out how FUCKED UP it is to be intolerant, racist, bigots should never, ever be a disgrace to a community, and if it is a disgrace to a community, then that is a community we do not need to be a part of.

I believe we–the LGBT community–can accomplish the goal of equality without disrespecting people, without being intolerant, without being bigots, without being hateful, and without being racists. And obviously, we can accomplish equality without those things. We do not need intolerance, bigotry, and disrespect in order to secure equality.

We only need those things to secure vengeance. We only need to disrespect people if our goal is to disrespect them. If our goal is to make them kneel, to make them subservient to us, to place ourselves above them, then disrespect, intolerance, and hatred are necessary. If the goal is to foster an “Us versus Them” mentality where Us wins, then yes, disrespect, intolerance, and bigotry are the way to go.

But if we want equality, then they have no place in our fight.

If speaking out against intolerance, hatred, and bigotry makes me a disgrace to the LGBT community, simply because the guy expressing intolerance, hatred, and bigotry was “Pro-LGBT,” then sign me the fuck up to be a disgrace, because any group that chastises and admonishes someone who stands against bigotry is a group I do not want idolizing me.

If I’m a disgrace to the LGBT community because I dared speak out against intolerance, bigotry, and racism, then the LGBT community is a disgrace to humanity.

Saying Goodbye

I’ve gone out of my way in the past few weeks to keep in touch with my nephew, to go out when he is home and hang out with him–even if I’m just sitting there watching him play the latest Call of Duty or something–and I did that as recently as Saturday morning. He wanted me to take my PC out there, too, and I did try–it just wasn’t feasible though. The simplest way to explain that would be to say that my PC is pretty much wired into my house. Given that I have speakers implanted in the ceiling that are fed from a receiver that is fed by my PC, that’s not terribly off the mark. So I told him that he could come out some time.

He texted me yesterday (obviously, I removed where he said his name):

13113014_243376576021050_7576293454739092547_o

He knew the reason I asked if everything was okay. His parents fight a lot (almost daily, in fact), and he knows that I hate him being around that, especially when they yell. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. My ex-wife and I fought, sure, but the majority of our arguments were civil, and they never came anywhere close to violence. When we did yell at one another, it was an occurrence that didn’t last long and didn’t happen more than once every six months or so. I think in the 6-7 years we were together, we yelled at each other maybe three times.

Anyway. He knows that the very moment he says that everything isn’t okay, I’ll be on my way out there to pick him up. And one of the main points of this is the heart-breaking second text that he sent me–I’m going to come back to that.

He also wrote this note and gave it to me:

"You need three."

“You need three.”

Again, I just removed his name.

That deals with Minecraft and something he saw in a Youtube video. I have no idea what he’s talking about, but apparently you need sand, dirt, and a bucket of lava three blocks of sand, dirt, and buckets of lava. He said this will let you walk on walls and stuff, and I pretended like it was really useful information, despite not really having any idea what he was talking about, because he took the time to write me a note about it. He even had his mom put it in an envelope and seal it for him, and he gave it to me today.

I don’t have any kids, and I don’t envy people who do. I spend enough time worrying about my nephew and just relishing little moments like that, where all I can do is tear up and think “Oh my god, I love this little dude.” Parents undoubtedly become desensitized to that sort of thing. They forget what it’s like to have a kid do something like that, because for the first few years it happens all the time. Mothers take notes like that and put them away the mundanity that accompanies routine, and they think no more about it. But that note to me is an indisputable sign that my nephew loves me.

Well, of course he does! you might be replying. He’s your nephew, so… duh.

I hope you’re not saying that, because I don’t want to live in the world of a jaded, where the love of a six year old is so taken for granted that it should be considered trivial.

Even my cats aren’t afraid of my nephew. He’s one of the few people they aren’t afraid of; they love him to death, too, because he’s also spent time with them. It says a lot to me that my cats like him. They barely tolerate me.

That’s not true. My cats are deeply fond of me.

There are two reasons that I’ve made more of an effort recently to spend more time with my nephew. The first is pragmatic. It’s my hope that my sister (who is increasingly impossible to predict about me being transgender) will accept the reality that it’s not going to affect him one bit when the time comes. As it is, there is the unspoken rule that I can only spend time with my nephew if I’m a male. In fact, I can’t go anywhere near any of my family as a female, but that’s not really the issue I want to get into.

If you remember, her main response about me being transgender is that it will destroy my nephew’s innocence. It took me more than three months to come up with the resolve and fortitude to offer a rebuttal to that, but at the moment it’s somewhere between an elephant in the room and an unspoken agreement. But around the time I’m sporting C cups, that unspoken agreement is going to fall apart.

If she does go through with her plan to keep me away from my nephew, in spite of how much he clearly loves me and vice versa, then I want him to be able to remember, in ten years, all the great times we had. While I don’t think she would attempt to poison his mind against me, it’s quite possible that too many replies of “I’ll explain it when you’re older” will leave his imagination twisting me into some sort of gnarled bogeyman that his mother had to protect him from. If he can remember these great memories, then he can look back one day and say, “No… There’s nothing wrong with my uncle. Or Aunt. Or whoever the hell she is–she’s fine. It was my mom’s prejudice and turning away from her sibling that was the problem.”

Not that he should turn away from his mother by any means… I don’t mean that, and I’d never want that. But I don’t want him turning from me, either.

Let’s return for a moment to the fact that she’s worried that knowing I’m transgender will affect his innocence, his carefree childhood life. And then look back up to his second text:

Ok but we don’t have gas to go there

Why–Dear fucking YAHWEH, will someone tell me WHY–does this six year old child have any knowledge whatsoever about money, gas, and the reality of not having those?

I remember being a kid and having my mom tell me, “No, we don’t have the money for you to get that.” “No, we don’t have the gas for us to go there.” “No, we don’t have the money to do that.” And I remember having my dad tell me the very same things. 99% of the reasons my mother ever gave about why she couldn’t come see my sister and me… were gas. From the age of 7 to about the age of 14, I hated the idea of gas. I didn’t really even understand what it was. I just knew that people needed it for cars to work, and for some reason neither of my parents ever seemed to have any.

If we want to talk about things destroying a carefree childhood, money and gas have to be at the top of the list. And if those don’t make the Number One spot, then parents fighting all the fucking time will.

It breaks my heart to think that one day he’s going to ask, “Can I go to <Uncle MyName’s>?” and that she’s going to answer, “No. You can’t hang out with him anymore.” And why? Well, it’s not because she thinks all LGBT people are rapists and child molesters–she at least knows better than that. In fact, she snapped on someone for making that accusation not too long ago.

Someone she knows fairly well became convinced that someone had “touched” her son. And this person immediately pointed the finger at me with no justification other than “Isn’t your brother kinda… you know?” Happily, my sister lost her cool on this jackass, because there were so many things wrong with the idea that it was hard to even know where to start. How about the fact that I’d never been alone with the kid? How about the fact that transgender doesn’t mean child molester? How about the fact that the majority of child molesters openly identify as straight–even the men who rape little boys call themselves straight. How about the fact that I’m an extremely principled and moral person and have always stood against all forms of child abuse?

So I can at least say that for my sister. But why, then? Because she thinks my nephew will care? Because he won’t, and we all know that’s true. He’s six. He’s at the exact age where he would say, “Okay. Can I play Smash Bros.?” He has seen pictures of me in female clothing and it’s never struck him as odd or even something worth noting. He’s before that age where such things can even affect him. But I’ve pointed out this already. I don’t want to do it again.

It just frustrates me, because I know my sister isn’t going to change her mind. At least I’ll have these memories to get me through the next 50 years while I become that one family member that everyone forgets about and never mentions because they’re too afraid to face their own inner demons and my presence and mere mention would force them to.

Oh, and what about my dad? He texted me yesterday and said:

I kno u miss ur mom but u could tell ur gma happy mothersday

I didn’t reply. How could I reply? What could I possibly say to that? He had basically just said:

I know your mom was murdered, but mine is still alive.

Obviously, he didn’t mean it in such ridiculous terms, but that doesn’t change what he said. It’s still a fucked up thing to say. My mother is dead, dude. Probably. I say “probably” because no one knows where my mother is. No one has ever recovered her body, and no one has ever been charged with a crime. It’s pretty much indisputable that my aunt’s ex-husband (someone who you might call an uncle) murdered her, since he has been to prison for another murder, but without a corpse it’s worse than speculation. It’s baseless speculation.

All I want is my mother’s body. I would love nothing more than to be able to strike the deal with this man “You tell me where my mother’s body is, and I will remove the knife from your throat, and I will let you walk away and will never press charges.” But the justice system won’t let me do that. Rightfully–in regard to the knife but I’m not a violent person anyway and wouldn’t try to handle it like that in the first place. But I couldn’t even peacefully make this agreement with him, because the justice system denies me the right to forego pressing charges in regard to murder. You can’t kill someone and then have someone not press charges; murder doesn’t work that way.

Would he even do it? I think probably, if he knew there wouldn’t be any consequences. And why would there be? My mother has been dead (allegedly) since I was 12 years old. For more than half of my life, she’s been dead. There is no conceivable way for her to be brought justice at this point, and revenge is something I long ago released the desire for. It’s a simple matter of closure for me. I want to know that she’s dead, and not screaming in some basement somewhere…

That’s undoubtedly the worst part. Because I don’t know that she’s dead. There are plenty of places in the Ozarks to hide a body that will never be discovered, but even so–how possible is it to hide a body and it not be found in the modern world? It’s entirely possible that he is telling the truth, that she did vanish with a truck driver named Tim, and that she has spent the last 17 years trapped in a basement with a broken psyche and battered body, tortured and mutilated and barely clinging to life. Who the fuck knows? No one. And humans have done worse than that to one another.

I would be more than willing to face obstruction of justice charges for refusing to say how I got the information. I’d attribute it to fucking psychic visions; I don’t give a fuck. No jury in the world would convict me for doing whatever I had to do in order to recover my mother’s body after nearly two decades, and I doubt a competent DA would even try. Besides, after two decades even with a confession the killer wouldn’t serve any time–even with a prior under his belt.

But it will never happen. Eventually I’ll be able to rest assured that she’s dead. And, realistically, I can do so now. She’d be sixty years old now. Far too old for someone to be interested in raping, and far too old to still have any will to live after nearly two decades of imprisonment and torture; her spirit would have given up by now. That is the only solace I can find on the matter. “Even if she was tortured in a basement, she would have given up on life and died by now.”

That’s my mother, man. That’s the woman who gave birth to me that we’re talking about. The woman who I loved so deeply and in whom I found such beauty that it more or less made me transgender. And the only definitive thing I can say about her is that “Even if she was tortured in a basement, it has been two decades and she’d be sixty by now, so she would certainly be dead by this point. She’s no longer alone and screaming now.”

To end this with something that will make you laugh: