“Rejection from family members seems to have a significant influence on the health of transgender people, a new study finds. Trans people whose spouses, parents, or children chose not to speak with them after transitioning experienced much higher rates of suicide attempts and substance abuse.”
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting an arrest has been made in the slaying of a 30-year-old transgender woman who was shot to death in woods off Nimrod Lane in Orange County in April.
Kentz Louis was arrested on first-degree murder charges in the death of Ashley Sinclair after an investigation which lasted nearly eights months. A possible motive for the shooting has not be released.
In This Place
By Kira A. Moore
Dance with me,
At the edge
Of the Abyss.
Where the Darkness
Is a living Thing,
In this place
Where the winds
Call my name.
You know, this has been a rather crappy week all the way round and it just isn’t getting any better. After having gotten one dental problem resolved I now have another to deal with. I swear, when it rains, it pours…
So just add that to everything else and I’ll be glad to see this whole stinking year in my rearview mirror.
I know I could simply reblog this, but I wanted to make a personal appeal for everyone to take a few moments to go read this post titled “A Letter to M”. It is more than worth your time.
I will admit to being confused by the news update which has come out regarding Don (Dawn) Ennis who, you may remember, came out publicly as a Transwoman back in May of this year. Since then he has apparently had a change of heart or maybe mind and has announced he is not actually Transgender and is returning to life as male.
I remember reading something not too long ago about “him” suddenly switching from female to male, though I can’t find it at the moment, and thought it was sad to see someone going through such struggles.At the time there wasn’t much in the way of an explanation and I thought there wouldn’t be much more to say…
Seems I was mistaken, though what is being said now is maybe more confusing then a simple case of someone who chose not to transition and I am left wondering just what’s happing here, as are many other people.
According to numerous stories, Don now he says he suffered from a two-day bout of amnesia that has made him realize he wants to live his life again as Don.
“I accused my wife of playing some kind of cruel joke, dressing me up in a wig and bra and making fake ID’s with the name ‘Dawn’ on it. Seriously,” Ennis wrote in a memo he posted to the newsroom bulletin board Friday, explaining his shock after he woke up from what he called a “transient global amnesia” last month.
“It became obvious this was not the case once I took off the bra — and discovered two reasons I was wearing one,” he said, referring to his hormone-induced breasts.
“I thought it was 1999 . . . and I was sure as hell that I was a man,” Ennis said in the e-mail titled “Not Reportable, Very Confirmed.”
“Fortunately, my memories of the last 14 years have since returned. But what did not return was my identity as Dawn,” said Ennis, who had been wearing lipstick, skirts and heels.
“I am writing to let you know I’m changing my name . . . to Don Ennis. That will be my name again, now and forever. And it appears I’m not transgender after all.
“I have retained the much different mind-set I had in 1999: I am now totally, completely, unabashedly male in my mind, despite my physical attributes,” he said.
“I’m asking all of you who accepted me as a transgender to now understand: I was misdiagnosed.
“I am already using the men’s room and dressing accordingly,” he noted.
“It’s so odd to be experiencing this from the other side; as recently as last Friday, I felt I was indeed a woman, in my mind, body and soul.
“Even though I will not wear the wig or the makeup or the skirts again, I promise to remain a strong straight ally, a supporter of diversity and an advocate for equal rights and other LGBT issues including same-sex marriage.”
Ennis had previously told friends that he suspected his sex mix-up happened because his mother gave him female hormones as a child that made him look and sound young to prolong a bit-part acting career, but he ended up developing breasts and started thinking he was a woman.
He explained he had gone to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., for testing last month to understand why his mind and body changed from male to female. He said he learned it was a hormone imbalance that could be fixed.
A week after he was discharged, his wife rushed him back to the hospital because he thought he was having a seizure and was experiencing a “drastic loss of memory.”
Don added that he now feels “fantastic” as a man again.
And he said he hopes that with the hormone treatment and surgery, things will only get better.
Despite his short stint as a woman he told colleagues in the letter that he promises to remain “a strong straight ally and a supporter of diversity and an advocate for equal rights and other LGBT issues including same sex marriage.”
He plans to change the gender and name on his driver’s license, work ID and e-mail.
He called his three-month odyssey into the world of women “a tremendous gift.”
“I know my wonderful colleagues will no doubt make it easier for the next person to transition at ABC,” he wrote.
The startling he-to-she-back-to-he move came after Ennis had publicly announced on Facebook in May that he was leaving his wife of 17 years, Wendy, to become a full-time woman.
The Connecticut resident has now assured friends and colleagues that his switch back to being a man isn’t a joke.
“The new change I’m revealing to you today did not arise because I couldn’t hack it, or people wouldn’t accept the new/real/female ‘me,’ or I had trouble finding shoes that fit (Oh, I found plenty, more than I could afford),” he wrote.
“Even my beloved, who had encouraged me to be true to myself at the expense of our marriage, had finally accepted my new identity.”
The editor had said female was “the gender that ruled my body and now my mind.”
But Ennis said in last week’s e-mail to colleagues that he was reversing course again, declaring: “No, I’m not f–king with you. No this is not a joke. No, this is not an episode of ‘Would You Fall For That?’ ”
I won’t claim to understand all of this. It is something I have never experienced personally, so I will have to take Don at his word… (of course I did the same of Dawn and I see how that turned out…)
If I sound skeptical, it’s only because this sounds a little too far fetched. Amnesia, going back to 1999? I don’t know what to believe at this point, but there are more than a few commenters who think this was all a publicity stunt and to watch out for the book and movie deals… Unfortunately I cannot dispute feelings I find myself sharing.
The worst part of this is knowing such a story is sure to give ammunition to a lot people who really don’t need it. RadFems, Religious fundamentalists, and haters of every strip are going to try and use this as “proof” trans people are mentally ill and need to be kept away from polite society.
Found this story on Advocate.
Visible Bodies: Transgender Narratives Retold
San Diego is helping rewrite the way stories about transgender people are told, through an exhibit of more than 30 portraits of people in the local transgender community.
For more information on Visible Bodies, visit the project’s Facebook page.
Some transgender news links.
“Depression” by George Hodan
I read a post by another woman speaking of an incident she had while out which reminded her she doesn’t “pass“… a particular phrase I have come to despise… and mentioned how much it bothers her.
I can relate to this all too well. Even though I’m not out in public presenting as female on a regular basis, I am all too aware of not appearing very feminine (or for that matter very masculine). I mentioned this in passing yesterday, but I am all too conscience of the people around me and thinking of what they may be seeing, how they must be judging me, is a constant buzz in the back of my mind.
I want to convince myself I don’t care what people think, to believe their opinions don’t matter because I don’t know them and they do not know me, but I know I am fooling myself. I do care, I cannot help but care and thinking I am seen as something odd, some freak show, hurts me deeply.
One thing which bothers me is being told I am too sensitive, that I over think things. This idea no one bothers to think about all those issues which keep me awake and turn my stomach to ice.
It invalidates me.
It means my thoughts and feelings, my hopes and fears are inconsequential. It means who I am, what I am, my entire existence isn’t worth bothering anyone else mentioning.
This may not be what is in someones mind when they tell me these things, but it is how it comes across and I find it deeply hurtful. I find it gets me to doubting myself, to thinking maybe everyone is right and I’m being a bother when I should just keep my mouth shut.
In fact, this is much the same the way I feel when I want to talk with A about things. I don’t want to lean too heavily on her, especially when I know how much my issues bother her. I wish I was strong enough to deal with things on my own, but I’m not. Just acknowledging this much is painful. For so long I was able to stand on my own… to keep everything self contained and now I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t talk about things or at least come here and put them into words.
A very real question has come to my mind, expressed in several different ways by different people and it is this…
Is it really worth the time and effort to write about and seek to debunk the lies, half truths, and misinformation presented by individuals who have already made up their minds regarding LGBT people; who insist on making inflammatory remarks in the hopes of not only riling their own constituents, but to try and do harm to others? People with whom there is little chance of meaningful dialogue?
For me the simple answer is “yes.”
It is vital we stand up against such people and institutions where ever we find them because to do otherwise is to grant them a power over us they have not earned and do not deserve. There is a famous quote from Edmund Burke:
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
I have said it before and I will say it again, I am but one small voice in the vastness of the universe, but if just one other hears me and from my words gains hope, then it was worth every moment.
If I believe I have nothing to offer, that there are others who can speak better for me than I can for myself; if I turn aside because I think this one small blog, this tiny place, has no use or meaning, then I have indeed done nothing. It might be I am simply “preaching to the choir” or being an ant pounding on a fortress wall and in the end accomplish nothing of measure… but maybe, just maybe there is one person out there who is like I was in the beginning, searching for answers, hoping to find a glimmer of hope to give me a promise of a future I could not yet see. Just one person who might, by chance, happen upon this place and read what I have written and know they are not alone, that those things they have read by people who hate them not for who they are but what they are do not stand unopposed.
Yes, most of you who read this blog are aware of the issues I speak of, some of you are Transgender or Transsexual, some of you are allies. Some of you have love ones who are Trans. You know many of the things I speak of, you have seen them, heard them, lived them. You are my choir. It is true many of you share the same thoughts and feelings as I, but I ask you, what of the person who is struggling, who is trying to keep their head above the waters of confusion and doubt? What of the teen, who sitting alone in front of the computer, read the hateful words I seek to speak against? For him, for her, I write in the face of others hatred and fear because that child needs to know they are not alone. They are not freaks or abominations or anything other than human beings who deserve our love and respect and who deserve the chance to live a full, happy life as who they are and not cowering in some dark hole of depression and despair.
I have been there, you have been there. We have watched others who have won and lost their battles there. I long for a day when such things are resigned to the history books and B rated horror movies, when no one will be able to imagine ever having to live such a life.
This is why I write. This is why, when I find an article or post or opinion piece which speaks nothing but hatred… I will speak against it. I will seek to tear down the walls of lies they have built, not for those who know the truth but for those who do not.
One day at a time. One mind at a time. One heart at a time and we can change the world.