Tag Archives: LGBTQ

WIN your gender? The New Normal at HOT 89.9

Innovative radio station HOT 89.9 in Ottawa, ON is hosting a “contest” with a prize of $40,000 in cash.  That’s 40 thousand frickin’ dollars, to spend as you see fit.

the new normal

Entries are open to Canadian transgender residents who are wanting to, or in the process of, transitioning. I checked the fine print and there is no age limit, so you young folk don’t be discouraged!

This is such a great opportunity and I wish more people in these types of positions would consider adding something like this to their philanthropy work. (A  few years ago I had a similar idea for a ‘Win Your Gender’ gameshow, but yeah, that didn’t fly. Everyone I pitched it to looked at me like I had three heads, and they didn’t want to know a single one of them.) 

Get more info on The New Normal contest by listening to the HOT 89.9 radio announcement. (Click the Soundcloud button below.)

soundcloud-icon.jpg

To enter the contest, go to their site here, and download the question document and fill it out. Once done, email it to newnormal@hot899.com and then sit back with your fingers crossed.

Submission deadline is September 30, 2015.

Yay! for the opportunity to live the life you want. 🙂

 

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Filed under Awesome, transgender

You’re an abomination of God… or not

Exciting news! My short story ‘Alba’s Tree’ was published on Commuterlit this morning. 🙂

alba's tree comment

For this short story I took the advice, “put your hero in a tree, throw rocks at them, and then get them down,” quite literally.

Why would someone throw rocks at Alba? Find out here, and be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you thought of the story.

albastree

Original image Photo credit: mripp / Foter / CC BY

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Attend the LGBTQ Parent Conference this Saturday… it’s FREE!

There is still space available for the LGBTQ parent conference this Saturday, April 26th! Wondering who the guest speakers are and what kind of information you can expect?

BREAKOUT SESSION ONE:  Dr. Carys Massarella – Health Care for Gender Independent Children and Youth

BREAKOUT SESSION ONE:  Positive Space Advisors – Understanding School Support for LGBTQ Youth

BREAKOUT SESSION TWO:  Marcus Logan – Top 10 Fears and Strategies for advocating for LGB Children and Youth

BREAKOUT SESSION TWO:  Catherine Thorpe – Top 10 Fears and Strategies for Advocating for Gender Independent Children and Youth

Register for one session—or come spend the day! Click the image below to register for this FREE event.

eventbrite_conference

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Filed under Awesome, parenting, transgender

Self-sabotage in the words of… Phillip?

You know when you’re sitting around in the car waiting for someone, and you’re so bored that you start going through your Facebook newsfeed on your phone—clicking on all the posts that you didn’t give a frac about earlier in the day? Yeah, well that was me yesterday. Sitting alone in the dark, playing Russian roulette with strangers posts.

phone checking2

First, let me clarify, I don’t normally click posts (even in extreme boredom) that look sketchy or are likely to piss me off. So, here was the link to an Upworthy video, titled: Homosexuality Is An Annoying Thing Someone Invented, So This Group Of Americans Is Un-Inventing It and I’m thinking—I don’t even want to know what that’s about.  So instead, I skim the comments, ’cause there’s plenty of those and I can be a bit of a comment whore. I mean, who isn’t, right? I’m pretty sure that’s what makes Tumblr an up-and-coming social juggernaut.

I should also clarify, I did not actually watch the video that bunched up all the knickers of the commenters, I guess I wasn’t that bored. Or maybe I just didn’t care enough. (Maybe you do, so go find it here.) Sometimes it’s just fun to start with nothing and then build the story backwards from the comments.  You have to have a fairly good understanding of comment player ratios though. I mean, how many of the educated versus uneducated, the douchebags versus the do-gooders and that sort of thing. (I affectionately refer to this as the science of Trollology.) It puts comments in perspective.

trollology-chart

While I may be a comment voyeur—somewhere in the forever alone statistics, “Phillip” is a comment activist. A rare contributor. (Since I have no comprehension of Bulgarian—written or otherwise—Phillip is what I’m calling him. )

Any comment that starts with Woah there!” on its own line… has my attention. I mean, Woah where? What’s happening? Who pissed you off? Tell me everything. I must know. (Because I’m sitting here in my truck with nothing better to do at the moment.)

And while I silently expected to be entertained with emotional trite—Phillip had me. He understood the basic underlying issue in all LGBTQ discussion. (In fact, most people issues, full stop.) He’s identified the chipped corner on the building blocks of all we know of each other today. The fact that we did this to ourselves. No, really. If we want to make things better, we need to stop pointing out differences—primarily our own. Just stop. Don’t be different. Just… BE.

Here’s his excerpt, and just for the sake of his own protection and anonymity (on the internet? Pishaw! Well, at least on this blog.) I obstructed part of his name.

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What do you think? Does that make sense to you? Does it make you angry? Serious? Are you emotionless? I’d really like to know. (I’d also like to update my pie chart with current stats.)

 

 

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FREE one-day conference for parents

Calling all parents in southern Ontario! Loading up on information is a great way to be the best parent you can be. And FREE information… well that’s just awesome! Come and learn how to arm yourself and your children with positive identities.

ChangePosterFINAL

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Filed under parenting, transgender, world news

My MTF Daughter: An open letter to her friends

My beautiful girl

My beautiful girl

I understand that there are a great deal of you out there struggling for the courage to tell your parents, family and friends who you really are.  I can’t even fathom how scary that must be.  Here I am born into a body that suits me just fine.  But I did have cancer once, so I know what it feels like to have that separation of mind and body and to also feel betrayed by that body. It’s not the same I know, but it’s a close as I can come to walking your walk.

When my extraordinary daughter confided in me that she was born in the wrong body, she did so in a letter. Well, an email really. As close as we are, she could not tell me this to my face. And I don’t blame her. In her email (sent from her bedroom to mine) she got right to the point in a single paragraph, and included explicit instruction not to speak to her about it in person. So, what did I do? I marched right in there and started a conversation.  She was so scared and nervous that it broke my heart. It no longer mattered what the conversation was, I just wanted her to feel comfortable to talk to me and be herself with me.  My girl was amazing.  She was quiet and patient and no matter what I said or asked, her response was a tentative and gentle “I love you.” Genius, right? That’s my girl.

It took a long time for life to return to “normal” but we found our groove and I learned to go at her pace. (Sometimes she had to remind me to slow down.) I took on the responsibility of telling the rest of the family, and I did so without her present. I assume acceptance, I don’t ask for it. But, people need time to digest. To ask questions, to understand what it is that we’re telling them. There is a lot of misinformation and misrepresentation out there that has left a negative stigma attached to transgender. It takes time to cut through that crap and undo the falsehoods. I found it easier to avoid the word transgender in the beginning. I came at it sideways and let my family know that my son was actually my daughter… with a hormone problem. A treatable hormone problem. And then I asked them for their help. People generally want to help. They want to feel useful. Giving my family members a task helped ease them into the transition of letting go of an assigned sex, and seeing her for the person she’s always been.

When it came time to tell her friends, my girl wrote them a letter too. This one was a little longer, a little more thought-out, and she planned to post in on Facebook the night that all of her friends would be at their grade 8 graduation. My girl didn’t want to attend, and I don’t blame her for that either. If you can’t party in sequins and lace, it ain’t a party.  Once she posted it, we sat together in a cuddle on the sofa on pins and needles waiting for the dance to end and the comments to begin. We were beside ourselves with fear, and the wait was excruciating. But finally, they came. They came in droves. And the support was overwhelming. It brought tears to my eyes and my girl was floating around on cloud nine. We hugged and danced and laughed at our own silliness. To all the people who left a comment of support on my girl’s Facebook page that night… thank you, thank you, thank you. From the very bottom of my mommy heart.

My girl has given me permission to repost that letter to her friends here. I hope that it may inspire some of you to find the words and courage to let go of all that you’re not, and live each day with who you really are.

Mackenzie-letter

**Update – You can read more of our story, or find tools for acceptance in my new ebooklet, an unwanted penis. Now available on Amazon, and coming soon to an e-retailer near you. Spread the word and help more of our youth gain acceptance from their parents. #anunwantedpenis

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To be a better parent, see yourself as a child.

The most common question I’m asked after appearing as a guest speaker for parents dealing with gender non-conforming youth, is “what one piece of advice could I give to parents that would help them begin to accept their child.”

child

Each time I’m asked this question, it’s like I’m being asked which end of the bull I would like to do battle with. I stare blankly back at the ask-er, and all coherent thought eludes me.

The truth is, I find this question quite troublesome. What kind of parent doesn’t accept their child as-is? And unfortunately, that immediate thought blocks out all others. (I excel in self-distractibility.) The trouble with being forthright with honesty is that I tend to offend. I’m the kind of gal that others refer to as… prickly. Not everyone can handle the truth.  And while I am learning how to make-nice and think of people’s feelings before I speak my truth (I still don’t think that should be my problem, however, I don’t make up these rules of engagement) in the end, I babble some feel-good jibber-jabber to confuse and distract, and then quickly move on to the next question.  

But everywhere I go—there it is. Like a dead albatross that I must wear for my crime of automatic acceptance. I have spent many a car-ride home contemplating a better response to this question.  One that is true, but also considerate. A philosophical conundrum for the passionately honest folk like myself. <ahem.>

After serious soul-searching, the only answer I’ve decided I can (or should) give is that which is true for me. Given my bedside manner (there’s a reason I’m not a therapist or social worker) I need to choose my advice wisely. 

My one piece of advice is actually two-fold. Appreciate life, and remember to see yourself as a child.  Most people don’t appreciate life the way that they should. It usually takes monumental adversity to scare-up the kind of appreciation for each moment of the day that you have available to love—and be loved.  Epiphanies can’t be taught.  Each person must find it for themselves.  And it must be practiced daily.  This kind of appreciation helps settle you. It directs your battles. It reduces fear, anger and frustration. If you are struggling with acceptance of who your child is, I encourage you to have an epiphany.  There are worse evils in the world that can be delivered to your doorstep.

Also remember that you are but a child yourself. As adults, we have wrapped ourselves in the glory of our own families and have forgotten the once upon a time of our youth.  The way in which you love your own children is the way that you are loved.  Denying it or not feeling your parents love does not constitute or guarantee its absence.  I may have grown up and become an adult and a parent, but I did not leave my youth behind as I might have thought.  It has been here, in me and around me, the entire time. The absolute truth of what I know is that your life is not a linear succession of milestones, but a vast circumference of love and memories.  I did not leave home and embark on my own life—home came with me.  Always and undeniably, I am but a child of my parents. 

baby hand

I have been lucky enough to have had several life-changing epiphanies.  Perhaps I didn’t get it the first few times—but you can read the one that stuck here.  With this understanding, I see parenting through the eyes of the mother AND the child.  Children look to their parents for comfort, nurture, safety, and acceptance. And if you love your children… you will swim the ocean, you will climb the mountain and you will go toe-to-toe with the boogeyman.

My advice is, go put your big boots on.

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