Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New film: Lesbians infiltrate anti-gay church

Two lesbian ministers pose as husband and wife to infiltrate a conservative Texas mega-church in a new documentary premiering today (Feb. 16).

Faith of the Abomination” opens today at The Loft Cinema in Tucson, AZ.

Ceil Melton and Han Nguyen got the idea for the film after that particular church rejected them because of their sexual orientation. Lonely and frustrated, the women decided to go undercover and try to win acceptance as a straight couple in the same church.

Their hidden cameras tell the story of how they successfully duped the homophobic pastor and infiltrated the church, becoming members of the church’s inner circle.

“Prior to embarking on this project, we assumed that the hate rhetoric coming from America’s pulpits was a manifestation of self-righteous religion,” Nguyen says on her blog. “The truth points to something much deeper... unrelenting GREED!”

Their film investigation unravels a hornet’s nest of greed, religious persecution, indoctrination of children, and partisan politics from the pulpit. The church has strayed far from the teaching of Jesus.

I’ve been following the “Faith of the Abomination” film project since 2007. I can hardly wait to seeing the completed film.

For more info, visit faithoftheabomination.com.

Here is a sneak-peek clip from the documentary, showing part of Melton’s transformation from female to male appearance. “Will I still be an abomination in the mainstream church’s eyes to God?” she asks as she cuts off her hair. “Am I really that abomination? Let’s change the outside package and see if my spirit will connect with theirs. That’s what I’m after.”


Terence Weldon said...

Thanks Kitt, this is great. I can't wait for a local release here in London. In the meantime, it deserves as much publicity as we can give it.

Kittredge Cherry said...

Terence, I just read your post about “Faith of the Abomination.” You summed it up well, and I’m glad that I played the role of alerting you to it. Like you, I had fun viewing all the clips on their website. It took courage for the lesbians to go undercover into “enemy” territory. What a dramatic story!

Here’s a link to Terrence’s post. His Queering the Church Blog is full of other queer Christian treats:


pennyjane said...

i have to admit, i'm partial to pointing out the hypocricy in some of these bigoted churchs. but i'm quite uncomfortable with the idea of lying to expose a lie.

i, right away, know that spirits cannot connect, as the question was asked in this clip...if we already know that at least one of the spirits is lying.

maybe it's just my personal history of lying about who i was and what i was about prior to my transition (i am transsexual) but that's the way i see it. you can never know or be known from the lie. that is why i transitioned, to do in the lie and see what the light was really like.

i write in my story, "i came to know that the one thing i did best in the world was lie. i began lying when i got up each morning and put my pants on, then i lied all day and when i went to bed at night i dreamed in full color lies. i was a world class liar, i could lie with anybody...if lying were an olympic event i'd be a shu in to medal and favored for gold."

so, as one with an intimate realtionship with lying, i can say that the truth is better.

much love and hope. pj

Kittredge Cherry said...

PJ, I was hoping to hear from you! Your comments on this are truly incisive, cutting to the heart of the issue.

This film gets at a question that often arises in people’s minds: Am I being rejected for valid reasons, or simply because of my sexual orientation (or race, gender, age, etc)?

It’s kind of like the books “Black Like Me,” about the experiences of a white man who passed as black or “Self Made Man” by Norah Vincent, about a woman who disguises herself and lives as a man to report on male culture.

Living in another identity can be a revealing sociological experiment, but I think you’re right that lies prevent the spiritual connection.

I’m not sure what happens after the women reveal their true lesbian identity in “Faith of the Abomination.” I guess we’ll have to see the film to find out!

I’ve also been thinking of you because you write THE BEST replies to people who leave negative comments (about the “sin of Sodom” and other fundamentalist rhetoric). Usually such people leave this blog alone, but somebody named Sveta left a negative comment recently, prompting some of the regular commenters here to debate whether or not to even dignify it with a response. I believe it’s important to present a loving response to such blog comments.

pennyjane said...

hi kitt. you always off up such encouragment and i thank you for not just disgarding my comments as "negative."

i know i did kind of get off point, but i was quite struck by the question about "spiritual connection."

"black like me" was a book of my youth that had a major impact on shaping my view of the world. the ideas i developed from the power of that work became a fundamental part of my character and still are. so, i understand the reason for the deception and applaud the goal...it was just that part of the clip about making a spiritual connection from that position that i found problematic. i'll look forward to seeing the whole work, maybe there is insight even into that out there waiting for me.

responding to the "fundamentalist" view....sometimes i have to grit my teeth when i do it. coming from a part of the country where that view is the norm i almost find it a duty to respond...as unpalatable as it sometimes can be.

i don't flatter myslef thinking that my words ever really make a difference in the thinking of those who make such assessments. but, from the history of the halocaust i learned that those kinds of statements should not go unchallenged...if for no other reason then to add the challenge to the human "collective memory."

this being ash wednesday, i guess there is no better time to reflect on just how badly our words of pride and arrogance can hurt God. our wonderful ex-pastor once gave a sermon where he asked the question, "is the real stuggle in the world between good and evil or could it be more good against indifference?"

every time i become aware of my own pride and arrogance, and sloth and apathy, i think of that sermon. how can i be so lazy or proud as to allow such words to cut my God and to crucify my Jesus without even offering one word of comfort to Him? i am shamed into opening my mouth, teeth gritted and all just to say, "no, we really love You, dear Savior, and our hearts are with Yours."

much love and hope. pj

Kittredge Cherry said...

PJ, you got me thinking about these hateful comments in a whole new way. Thank you! Until now, I thought only in practical terms about whether to reply: Does it take more time and effort than it’s worth? Is there a chance that anyone will listen?

You showed me that it’s also a spiritual discipline. As you put it so well: How can I allow such words to cut my God and to crucify my Jesus without even offering one word of comfort to Him?

Whether or not anyone else listens, GOD is listening to see how I respond!

I am going to email some of your comment to a few of my friends who struggle with this same issue on their blogs. None of us ever raised this point in our discussions of how to handle the hate.

I agree with your idea that the real struggle is between good and indifference, not good and evil. And, as an AIDS minister friend said in an newspaper interview, “the real miracle is that anybody cares at all.”

Terence Weldon said...

Kitt, thanks for alerting me to this discussion on hateful commetns, and PJ, thanks for getting it started.

Fortunately, I don't get too mnay downright hateful comments at Queering he Church, but I do get some negative ones.

My position is always to assume the bona fides of the commenter, so I aim to reply with courtesy, at the least. I also am conscious that this is not just a two-way discussion. There are likely to be others who read the comments thread, even if they are not participating. Although the most hostile stuff comes gfrom people who will never be persuaded, they might have influlenced other readers that I need to consider.

It is for these other readers that I always aim to provide some form of clear rejoinder, where appropriate. Bbut I do NOT get into lengthy discussions in a comments thread. If there is a substantive point that deserves a long reply, I prefer to pick that up and discuss it in a full , independent post - where it will get a wider readership.

My final principle is that if I have already responded to obviously hostile comments, and I get more hostility in return, I simply say "I have already responded and I'm not going to poursue this discussion further."haker

pennyjane said...

ash wednesday. again...(sigh) and on and on it goes. we have a tradition at our church for the evening service. we each write down our most pressing sins on a small piece of paper. then we possession to the alter where a pan is waiting with a lit candle. there we burn the paper. afterwards we proceed to one of the ministers who paints a cross on our foreheads in ashes, so we wear them in the old traditon.

this year, after that ceremony, as the soloist was singing the most beautiful hymn, the fire started crackling and burning higher. our assoc pastor had to get up and go cap the fire.

later, this incident was described as "run away sin" in our congreation....but our interum pastor offered another theory...."run away forgiveness".

just thought i'd share that moment.

back to my point...ash wednesday until easter...lent. it's always somewhat troublesome...realizing all the sin we do commit...just out of not being able to stay focused...well, that's my big problem anyway. i have reached a point in my personal life (old) where i just don't commit that much in the way of overt sin. i rarely do anything anymore that i know is sinful but i do it anyway...i think i'm just not active enough to get into much of that anymore. but, what i do...is get caught up in the moment too easily. some seemingly innocuous item will come up that needs attending. i will, with the best of intentions, take off after it...start doing this and that which leads to something else and before i know it i'm acting completely on my own without regard for the will of God.

i just look up sometimes and realize that the direction i'm headed has no spiritual component...it's all practical, path of least resistance, unemotional and unled.

jeezzz....you'd think one would learn. i know from real life experience that i have never done a thing in the world without consciously asking for God's guidance and actively seeking out His methods that i could be proud of.

great intentions without guidance is allot like what paul calls faith without works....passe'...to me anyway.

so, that's what i'm trying to focus on this lent....trying to keep my eye on the prize...keep in touch...know that doing little things without God's guidance is as silly as trying to do big things.

i have to learn...and internalize...that God has time for me...all the time in the universe. He will not get upset with me for asking His direction on the little things too. nothing is too minor or unimportant for His attention. i must learn this, and put it into practice.

will next ash wednesday be the same?

much love and hope. pj

Anonymous said...

Love this! And I like how Han emphasizes that she wanted to see if their spirits could connects (because, of course, some "Christians" would claim that isn't possible).

Kittredge Cherry said...

Terence, your blog is similar to mine, and so are your thoughts on dealing with negative comments. You raise a good point about drawing the line if the hostility continues. In my experience, the people who leave these comments never seem to return to see if any reply is made.

Riverwolf, yes, I chose that clip because I like the way Han wants to connect with the fundamentalists. Pennyjane pointed out that you can’t connect by lying, but I think Han was trying to see if they could connect if her sexual orientation was out of the picture. It reminds me of when I go to a restaurant with my life partner, who appears somewhat masculine. Sometimes we are treated extraordinarily well -- until they realize we are both women! Without intending it, we passed as a hetero couple. I can see how it might be tempting to do it on purpose and film the results.

PJ, your Ash Wednesday reflections are a blessing. I love the story of the flaming sins! One of my favorite Ash Wednesday hymns is “My Song is Love Unknown.”

You wrote: “i have reached a point in my personal life (old) where i just don't commit that much in the way of overt sin.” I haven’t reached that point yet!

One sin that sneaks up on me is “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. For six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work.” This is one of the 10 commandments, in other words, it ranks a lot higher in importance than the so-called rules about homosexuality. Our whole society seems to commit this sin, yet there is no outcry against it even from the fundamentalists.

pennyjane said...

hmmmm....well, kitt....you get right to the point as usual. keeping the sabbath is something, i think, i don't do, but it's not overt....it's just that things need done and, as you said...we all do it. but, bringing that up is, again, something that started bothering me back when it seemed we live in the old testament at bible study class. it comes up over and over again...God is always saying in His "if you will"s. always in there is "keep My sabbath" so, yes...it's got to be a biggie....but i confess, i don't understand it that well. you know that Jesus made a few references that suggested that keeping the sabbath might not be the biggie we hear so much about pre-Massaih.

but! after lent i have already persueded one of the smartest people i know to lead us in an exploration of what it meant and what it should still mean. like you, i honestly wonder if it isn't something we have let slip out of consciousness....not out of defiance but out of losing focus...again.

(giggle) the people of israel, the people of Christ...sometimes i think we must be twins.

much love and hope. pj

Turtle Woman said...

This whole project was very intereting. As others have noted, one of the schizophrenic aspects of life for me, is that a lot of the time, straight people think I'm heterosexual, so I'm treated better. Then suddenly it might dawn on a hetero or two that I'm a lesbian, and then meanness decends.
The next weird thing is when lesbian couples become invisible, and the general public thinks one is a man and the other a woman, and then both are treated well, until the truth dawns. Since I view gender non-conformity as just my ordinary self, it is a challenging world. I don't react to things the way a lot of hetero women do. My temper is much more volatile, I duke it out with men who go over the line, I don't just sit and take a sexist comment, but would willingly go to war over words.
So in many respects, I'm always passing as something others see, based on their blindness. I just remain my same aggressive non-gender conforming self, a Amazon warrior out in a world where women are otherwise trampled on by abusive men. The Amazons actually won battles against Roman legions.
So when straight people are unaccustomed to "butch" lesbian culture, they are often shocked. Why not make a movie to actually document how out of it fundamentalists really are, how they know nothing of lesbians, and in this way lesbians reveal the ultimate hypocracy of straight controlled and dominated churches. I can't wait to see this film.

pennyjane said...

ok...so sometimes i'm left wondering...sometimes it's perplexing to me.

i am certainly not a remarkable person in any way. i am, maybe slightly above the mean in intelligence...not much for sure. i am not particularly innovative...i'm terribly below the mean in education, i'm a highschool dropout, i certainly will never be called "good looking" and my all around skills are less than average. i have a reasonably pleasant personality, kind of opinionated in many ways, but pollyanna only in my own mind.

ok...that's the bio. i belong to a mainstream, rather elderly and conservative...somewhat wealthy congregation of just over four hundred. there are no other "out" homosexuals or transsexuals in the congregation....oh, and we fit geographically right smack dab in the middle of the "bible belt."

so...here's whats so perplexing to me....i don't seem to get the negativity i hear so much about. i'm not that positive myself. i'm often insecure, unsure of how badly i am astray. i'm even given to melancholy at times. i am totally out, i don't hide a thing...everybody, i mean everybody knows i am not only transsexual but homosexual as well.

what is so remarkable about here and now and us...that the negavtivity doesn't exist? i'm not just accepted, i'm loved...trusted...i'm in the inner circle. i teach a class, i am a student in another...i serve on three committees and chair one. i'm the part time secretary receptionist...i'm not tolerated, or accepted...i'm one of the crowd.

nobody seems to notice i'm transsexual or that we are two women in love and married. we just renewed our vows...in the church with one of our ministers presiding....not a word of objection...congratulations, flowers, cards, hugs and kisses.

why? what is it in the normal, everyday relationship between traditional midwestern conservatives and this one homosexual transsexual that doesn't stir up the hate and bigotry we all hear so much about.

i wish i could bottle it up and ship it out everywhere, but i don't know what it is. i'd love to take the credit....say i'm just a very special person who can make it work...but, as i said...nothing remarkable here....the people? sure, i love them to death...but, for all that...they are just the products of the same society that hates us so badly in other places.

i'm perplexed by the bitterness i find all around me...i hear the stories of people being mistreated when people find out they are gay or trans...i know those stories are true...it really happens. but it doesn't happen here or to me.

i hope someday God will reveal the formula to us, so we can share it all around.

four years ago when the presbyterian church voted on language that would permit us to ordain homosexuals to the cloth, our church voted "no"...and quite easily. this past year we voted again...this time our church was just as easily in the yes column. the vote lost nationally, so, yes...the discrimination is still there and it's as real as ever.

it weird...a homosexual can be ordained...but only in abstinance because as of now, only married or abstinate can be ordained...and we only accept "marriage" as between a man and a woman....thus effectively barring homosexuals from applying by the same ground rules as our heterosexual brothers and sisters. it almost sounds as if the us congress is making our rules for us....our own version of "don't ask, don't tell."

who knows? life's full of mysteries, goofiness and arbitrariness. maybe some day we'll all figure it out and we'll all feel comfortable asking and just as comfortable telling.

sorry to ramble...but i'm up and perplexed.

much love and hope. pj

Turtle Woman said...

I hate to break it to you pennyjane, but you are the token, and tokens do get accepted precisely because they accept the status quo. If 25-40 lesbians joined your church, I can guarantee that things would be different. There is a reason you are the token, the church is fine with institutionalized homophobia.
Also you were born a man with male privilege, and I don't think any transexual person who used to be male really knows what women who have lived as women a lifetime experience. It is always irritating to me to hear people who had male privilege paint this picture of the world. Remember, you are the only one, the token, you are no threat to the status quo. You are probably a kind and loving person who accepts a conservative straight milieu. As a lesbian feminist, I have no desire to be in a spiritual community where I'm the only one. I want to belong to a lesbian context. Out in the work world I deal with sexism all the time. It is a daily reality, as is the toxic hatred of women who are made into sex objects who are put into pornography, and who are grossly underpaid. You were once a man, so how would you truly know what women experience as sexism or lesbians experience as gender non-conformists? You probably immitate a "traditional" view of women, but I don't support this in my life. I want my freedom, not a token tolerance, and there is a huge difference. There are token blacks in the world too, but they are tokens. Being treated well individually doesn't in any way change oppression or its structures, and we are talking about structural womanhatred that is at the core of traditional church teachings. I don't accept this, I don't go along with it, I won't tolerate it. I challenge the status quo and don't stay in my place, I also don't let sexist comments go unremarked upon. I'm convinced that most people don't even know this stuff exists, but again, you are in the state of tokenism, and that's why you don't really experience this.

pennyjane said...

turtle woman. i appreciate your comments. "tokenism" is something that concerns me and i'm maybe a little sensitive to the concept.

the thing is...i don't think it's real, at least in my church. i honestly believe that any homosexual or transsexual would find the same opportunities open to them that i have...and it's something i have explored in conversations with others in the congregation.

if you had seen the excitement in our chruch office today when we got the news that a presbytery to our north has decided to ordain to the ministry a homosexual man who is in an open relationship with his partner. he said, openly, that if the state of wisconsin would issue them a license they'd be selecting wedding china tomorrow.

as secretary i got the notification and as i shared it with others throughout the day there was a genuine excitement...we're all waiting to see where it goes. i won't go into the details here, it's very complex and the approach he is taking is different than any before...there is real hope that this might finally lead the greater church to finally accepting that a call is a call, wherever it falls.

i think i understand your unwillingness to accept the concept of transsexualism and for that you have my sympathy. ignorance and bitterness often accompany those who feel themselves oppressed. but, and even if it falls on plugged up ears, if you can find a way to overcome some of that negativity i'm sure you will find the light on the other side very fulfilling.

just for your information...i was not born a man, i was born a baby girl...just like any other baby girl. i was born with a physical anomaly, but as restrictive as it was, it didn't affect my gender...it was a physical problem.

that is what transsexualism is, and it is real. you can choose to accept that or not, your choice...but as i said, life in the light is far more fulfilling than living in unforced ignorance. you shouldn't judge others, or think you know their hearts and minds, it will lead you only deeper into the darkness.

good luck to you and may God bless you with love and hope. pj

Turtle Woman said...

Thanks pennyjane for your comments, but I will stand by my analysis of tokenism. I can understand why you might be sensitive about this, because it's hard to admit what being a token is all about. I'm glad you found a good church community, and I'm glad you as the only transgender/same sex partnered person there are accepted.

That is what tokenism is. It is the very definition of the word, and it is not a progressive or radical stance, it is an acceptance of the status quo.

We can argue about how you felt to be born a girl, but if you were born a boy, you had absolutely no control from the day you were born how you would be treated compared to girls born at the same time. You will not know this, because boys are favored from birth, and in fact, worldwide are favored in childhood. That's what I'm getting at. You can't erase this, it just is. It may be why you are comfortable with the status quo to begin with, and it is the reason I'm not content to be the only one in a spiritual context. In fact, I prefer all women's groups generally. But another story for another time.
If we are to have true liberation, we must not kid ourselves. I cannot deny the fact that I'm treated better because I'm white and worse because I'm a lesbian, and a very outspoken one at that. I don't defer to or put up with sexism or male supremacy. It makes me sick.

Anyway, you are a very loving person, and I'm happy that you are doing your very best, just don't fool yourself.

pennyjane said...

i think maybe you don't understand my status in the church...or it's just that i don't think your concept of "tokenism" matches mine.

this church didn't come looking for me...i came to them. i asked for a church home and they asked me the same questions asked of any other seeker..."do you want to worship God, and do you blieve that Jesus Christ is His risn Son?"

honestly, i think my interpretation of "tokenism" goes a little deeper than your explanation. you seem to think that being unique in circumstance automatically indicates it...i disagree with that standard. a token would be one who is used as a sign, that's not the way my church uses me...i am just one of them, quite simple...pj, useful for getting things done. i'm not advertised or put on display, just used in the same way we presebyterians use everyone...as a tool of God's will.

i think it's a little persumptuous of you to assign me that status without knowing quite a bit more about how things work here. unique doesn't necessarily indicate "tokenism"...there's much more to it than that, in my opinion.

male priviledge. yes, i can understand how you think i have been the beneficiary of it. and you logic makes sense on one level. i'm absolutely sure that society made every attempt to provide me with the privileges associated with my legal male status. in fact, for most of my life i virtually had it crammed down my throat. but what you fail to realize, and it's quite understandable, is that you can't make a male of a female no matter what you do, how hard you try, what bribes, honors, "priviledes" you offer up...she can't accept them. i am living proof that you can't even beat those priviledges into a girl...she doesn't even know what to do with them when she sees them. your logic sounds good, but it's from the darkness, not the light of understanding.

i have succeeded in life 1,000 fold more in just the six years since my transition then in the 54 previous ones....far, far more. male privelige was offered, even assumed...but for me it was just another bag of dyphoria...something i had no clue what to do with or even what it was.

so...when you say i am the unwitting recipient of male privelidge it doesn't make sense to me....it would be much better said, in my eyes, that i am the victim of male privilege, even more so than most women...it's never been more to me than an embarrassing label...dead weight around my neck.

but...i'm not angry about it. it's the way life goes. it's not fair to any of us. i choose not to be angry or bitter about anything, i just don't see how that helps me deal with it, or change it.

that's just me...i know about me, i don't really know too much about you so, i choose not to define you, or describe your life for you....but i'm certainly willing to listen and learn.

oh...and as a transsexual woman...i find it quite insulting, personally, that you continue to describe me as "born a boy". in fact, that tells me that you either don't know the first thing about transsexualism, or you are just being intentionally mean spirited and rude.

"gender identity is determined between the ears, not between the legs." most people today, of any enlightenment at all, accept that view...the evidence is overwhelming. so, i have to tell you, that each time you say something like that to me, your credibility as an enlightened person goes down...in my book. i want you to know that language like that is insulting, demeaning and terribly hurtful to transsexuals. i would consider it a personal favor if you would refrain from such remarks.

much love and hope. pj

Kittredge Cherry said...

Hallelujah! This discussion has grown in some fascinating directions while I was away from my computer on a “sabbath” that stretched over the whole weekend.

Actually I share PJ’s questions about what it means to “keep the sabbath,” and I know that Jesus rightly broke many sabbath laws that defy common sense. However, as a person with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I know that my body needs A LOT of rest… time spent lying down with calm thoughts. Whenever I push myself, I get almost instant retribution from my body in the form of pain, fatigue and illness that demands much, much more rest. So for me a Sabbath means rest, and there are Sabbaths within Sabbaths…not just 6 days of work followed by 1 day of rest, but 60 minutes of work followed by 10 minutes lying down to rest. I also try not to buy things on Sundays, hoping to give a rest to retail salespeople. PJ, I’ll be interested to know what you discover about the meaning of Sabbath.

Turtle Woman and PJ, I am pleased to see you having a fairly respectful dialogue on tough issues about what it means to be a transsexual, and the discrimination faces by transsexuals, women, lesbians, etc.

It was a wake-up for me when PJ wrote, “i was not born a man, i was born a baby girl.” I’ve known quite a few transgenders, but somehow I still focused more on how the female-to-males were raised as a boy, not thinking of them as born female.

Have you seen or heard of a new movie “Prodigal Sons”? It’s a documentary about Kimberly Reed, who was captain of “his” high school football team, transitioned to female, and returned to film “her” high school reunion. I saw her interviewed on “Oprah” and she seemed to me to be an excellent spokesperson on transgender issues. One point she emphasized was that she was grateful for being raised as a boy because she thought she got more encouragement to be independent and follow her dreams than most girls do.

I bring this up because perhaps, PJ, your success comes partly from the confidence you gained because others perceived you as a boy when you were growing up.

Here’s something I wonder: Maybe couples like PJ and her wife (who become homosexual through transgender surgery) are treated better than other lesbian couples because -- despite the surgery, name change, legal gender reassignment, etc -- maybe people STILL think of them as a MAN and wife. This is an impression I get sometimes: That the ignorant people who would be anti-lesbian are also ignorant enough to think “born a man, always a man,” and not recognize PJ and others like her as real women. So maybe you STILL get male privilege.

I think personality is also a factor. PJ, you seem easy-going and focused on the positive, while Turtle Woman says she is “volatile” and “challenges the status quo and doesn’t stay in her place.” Both types are valuable and necessary, but Turtle is likely to meet more resistance!

As long as we’re talking honestly about transsexualism, here’s something else that I wonder. Why is it that so many male-to-female transgenders aspire to become super-feminine in a mainstream way? The women I know who were born female come in all types and styles, but almost all the male-to-females want high heels, lots of make-up, and fancy dresses like Miss America. I’m a woman, and I’ve NEVER worn that stuff, so to me it seems very strange to hear transgenders say that that’s what it means to be female. That’s not what female means to me.

P.S. While I was writing this, I got PJ’s new comment saying she felt insulted. Let’s all try to respect each other’s different viewpoints and refrain from hurting each other. I hope you don’t resent my terms “male-to-female” -- I’ve heard it used by other transsexuals.

I think that “male privilege” looks very different from the viewpoint of a “butch” type like Turtle Woman…. Like something unattainable and longed for, perhaps like the “privilege” of being able to wear high heels and dresses looks to some who feel female inside male bodies.

pennyjane said...

hi kitt. perhaps the person you saw on oprah could be a good spokesman for the transgender community, but for transsexuals, i have never, ever, met one who considered her male upbringing as anything but horrible and disgusting. that is certainly the case with me.

for most of us...me included, growing up was like being a fish out of water. nothing fit, nothing made any sense...it was no more than eternal dyphoria. i don't know about "male privilege", the only privilege i ever felt was "sissy privilege"...and that's not something i'd wish on anyone!

being considered male and sissy was no privilege, it was a horrible burden. i didn't learn confidence, i learned to hide, to bury myself as deep out of sight as i could get. i learned to avoid any attention, no space was safe...male or female. confidence? what's the anthesis? that's what i learned. i was as insecure as a person can get. i had the respect of absolutely no one...especially not myself. not until the day i transitioned.

pure logic with no experience can lead you to the obvious, which is often the furtherest from the truth. my family was humiliated by the sight of me, i was bullied and ostracized all through school. i accomplished nothing...nothing. all i learned to do was lie...not for some advantage, but for survival....that's when i was thrilled with the status quo...God, please don't let anyone know the truth...that was death, living death.

male privilege? pie in the sky!

much love and hope. pj