It's my hope to post entries here about my life and experiences as a trans-woman who also happens to have bipolar disorder. This is my way of making my voice be heard, and bringing attention to the issues that myself and others like me, face every day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mourning My Losses

A lot has been going on since the last time I posted, so I guess I’ll start from the beginning. First of all I found out the whole going back to spirit and being an assistant manager thing is probably not going to happen. There was some kind of mix up about what store I’d be working at and the one they wanted me at is just too far away to make it to every day. My chances of getting picked back up by the one nearby are probably slim to none, because I jumped ship on the manager last year to work at a different store that gave me more hours. So I’m back where I started again, and it really had me pretty down and depressed the last week or so.  I felt pretty damn hopeless to be honest, and it triggered quite a few bad feelings in me. 

I came to a pretty sad realization; that my options are severely limited right now as far as careers go. I started thinking about what I gave up in order to transition. I don’t admit it very often, but I have lots of things that I regret giving up on for personal happiness. I spent the better part of my life with the intention of joining the military, and that’s probably the biggest sacrifice I made. It was my failsafe if all else failed, and then I realized I needed to transition and I sort of gave up on it after that point. It didn’t really mean that much to me until lately, because I guess I never really mourned the loss. The realization that it will never be an option again for me based solely on the fact that I’m trans hurts a lot, and I had never looked at it that way before now.

It’s probably going to stir up some controversy for me to say that, seeing as I am pretty staunchly anti-war, but it is possible to hate the politics of the war without hating those who must fight it. My incentives have no self-righteous “America is the best” reasons behind it. A lot of my older family members served in WWII, and I grew up looking up to them, thinking of them as my heroes. They were who I aspired to be like, and I did and still do like to think, that should such an occasion as it was back then ever arise again, I could follow their example and do the same. Things are not so cut dry anymore, our enemies are all over the place; it’s not one country against another anymore. I don’t support the majority of US foreign policy, but I’d fight to protect my homeland and those who couldn’t defend themselves. 

That’s what I always wanted out of military service; to serve my country and feel as though I was protecting people. I’ve been around enough military people in my time to know that they are just as diverse as any other group of people, some are bad and some are good, but I’m sure most would agree with, and feel the same as me about why they serve. I don’t expect anyone to ever fully understand why I would do it if I could; maybe I just have an outdated sense of things. But I guess the point is it will never happen, and the option has been dead and buried for years now. I threw away the potential of a very rewarding career as a soldier, and I could have been a damn good one at that, but I made the decision, and now I have to live with it. I have to move on and find some other career to be an outlet for my want to help and protect people. 

I have cried, been angry with myself, angry with my country, and angry at the military over all this the last few days, most of it all at once. Unless the military suddenly makes provisions for trans people to serve and not boot us at the mere mention of GID, I have to move on. I’ve done the mourning I never did all those years ago. The desire will forever be with me, and I guess it’s comforting on some level to think that I could still do it. I just have finally found closure and accepted things for what they are. I have finally let myself feel regretful for this after many years of telling myself that I shouldn't. I didn't transition to trade the repression of who I am for the repression of a life long goal. I take a degree of solace in the fact that I could have joined, would have, and still would if I could. I don’t know where this life will take me, I’ve got a lot of it left to live, and I’m sure plenty of it will be interesting. My only real option is to tough it out and hope someone decides to take a chance and hire me at some crappy minimum wage job. Then I suppose use that as a stepping stone to move up. It’s not what I wanted out of life, but I have to do what I have to do.

I will always support those in the military, especially those trans people who have served and who are currently serving. I look up to you, and I wish I could have joined you. You are an inspiration to me, and I hope to many others. It’s a pretty thankless job in this day and age, but I want to say thank you for your service, because it does mean something to me. 

That’s right, I am an American citizen who is transgender, a democratic socialist, pro-military, antiwar, pro-gun rights, pro-choice, all for legalizing weed, and I think Obama has done a pretty good job. I believe in the principles this country was founded on, and I completely disagree with the way many in our government have been driving it into the ground the past 30 or so years. The people who serve in the military that protect us and help to guarantee  the rights and civil liberties that our constitution grants us, are what give me the freedom to openly say that and everything that I do on here. That is why I appreciate them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The System Has Failed

All this time being unemployed gives me more time to think than I’d really like. And you know what; the same applies to a lot of other people. There’s a reason places like Libya, and Egypt have had uprisings and revolutions to overthrow the government recently, and for reasons not unlike the problems that plague those of us in the US currently. The way I see it, if things like employment, education, and LGBT equal rights don’t improve, it’s only a matter of time before we see similar events occurring here as well. 

The American dream is officially dead, the generations before us prospered only to inadvertently suck the coffers dry for our generation. No longer can one person earn a living wage without an incredibly well paying job.  Even a college education, despite becoming increasingly necessary, can no longer guarantee a job. Employers continuously require more and more experience for open positions, which only helps those older people who have already gotten a start in the past. It excludes those of us who graduated high school and don’t have tons of experience to put on a resume. Basically, the younger you are, the more people there are that will be hired before you. 

I used to believe what I was told by my parents and family, that if I worked hard and did my best I could do anything I wanted to. That dream has long ago been crushed. The so called job creators have driven this country into the ground, and anyone that blames Obama for it all is completely out of touch with reality. I may not be highly educated about economics, but there’s plenty of easy ways to improve things. Pass an all-inclusive employment nondiscrimination bill, legalize pot, and unionize more workers. Those things alone won’t fix the economy, but they’re a good start. The gap between rich and poor is becoming larger every day, the rich get richer, and the middle class goes a little farther toward the poverty line. 

The people of this country never seem to learn, our problems now are not that different from those we faced 100 years ago, and yet most people act as if they’re new. We fixed many of those problems back then the good old fashion way, through legislation, which is the way it needs to be done now. Regulate the fuck out of this country, because deregulating it is the cause of all this bullshit. Politicians only give a damn about themselves by and large, and only support the will of the people to the point where they feel like they’ll get re-elected. I miss the days when self-taught, uneducated by today’s standards, people were president, and could be president. Today the only way you get elected to almost any office is based on how much money you can throw into the campaign. I am completely and utterly disgusted by the way this country is run, and as I’ve said before, president Obama and his supporters, are about the only glimmer of hope I see. 

I will make no secret of it; I am a socialist, not to be confused with a communist or a nazi. I am a democratic socialist, which means I still believe in capitalism, but I believe in a mixing of the two philosophies in order to create something better than both. At its core, socialism fights for the common people, the workers, the oppressed 99%, and the poor. It seeks to ensure everyone a fair chance at employment, education, and health care. Without the taint of anti-Semitism and totalitarian dictators, it’s something that I believe many people would support, especially those who are out of work. Socialism alone is not the answer, and that’s something that most people who speak out against it don’t realize. 

The farther we allow this country to be driven into the ground, the worse the climate becomes for revolution.  I pray that it is not a violent one, but I seriously hope for something. We the 99% cannot sit idle while out rights are stripped away. We must get out and vote, speak out in the community against the wrong doings of the government, and above all else, we should be mad as hell and not take it anymore. “Workers of the world, unite!” was the state motto of the Soviet Union, and though I am not a communist, it is one that I could follow. With that being said, I’ll close with this; Workers, Students, Unemployed, Poor, Homeless, LGBT, and Common People, of these United States of America, unite!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hard Times

I've been holding off posting this one for a while, but things are pretty rough at the moment. I still haven't managed to find work, and Stef lost her job a couple of weeks ago. That was a result of dumbass incompetent managers who wouldn't know a job well done if it fell into their lap. There was also some pretty thinly disguised discrimination involved in her being fired, but unfortunately the civil rights laws for Virginia are a joke, so without direct undeniable proof taking legal action is going to be damn near impossible. So now we're both out of work and the situation becomes more desperate.

I'm not sure what we're going to do if one of us can't find work within the next couple of months. The pressure is on more than ever now, and the jobs haven't gotten any easier to come by. We'll be ok for a while, but the bills don't exactly stop coming. I'm scared to be honest, but I guess I need to stay positive. We've both been getting interviews, her even more than me, so I guess its just a matter of time. I suppose its a good thing I had that rekindling of my faith just before all this happened, and probably why it did, to get me through these dark times.

Its just been a time where one thing after another goes wrong, some of which I won't be writing about. On the plus side I feel like it has brought Stef and I closer than ever, and I guess I can look at that as the silver lining. Its scary when you're future is so uncertain like this, but I know that eventually things have to get better. We just need to be strong and work hard to get to a stable position in life. I don't know what's going to happen in the coming months, but I hope its good for us both. She needed a better less stressful job, and this just makes it easier to move on to something that may be better.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pride Month

I thought this video was the perfect way to start my post. To me this shows that president Obama is well worth re-electing this fall. To hear the president of this country so many of us call home encourage us to be hopeful and strong, and recognize and honor those who have fallen in the struggle of equal rights, is enough to bring me to tears. It gives me hope for the future of our cause, and that we may once again set this nation on the right track to peace and prosperity. To be in his position and take the stance he has, I feel takes a lot of courage as well. It is something no president before him has gotten 100% behind, and he continues to make history in doing so. Hope is something this country is terribly in need of, and unlike the policies of his political rivals, his do that. He is a progressive minded politician, and that is something we desperately need.

Just as we needed progressives 100 years ago, we need them today as bad as ever. Conservative minded individuals have systematically taken apart so many of the laws and regulations that were put in place all those years ago, and we are now paying the price for their actions. It's time not just for the LGBT community to speak up and demand change, but for anyone who is fed up with backwards, corrupt, and discriminating government policies. Let this be a symbol of hope to rally behind and throw our full support into re-electing Mr. Obama so that he might continue his work. This is our time to make a difference, to feel like we matter and have a voice. Together we can bring about the change so many of us want to see, and we've got a pretty powerful ally on capitol hill now.

This is the culmination of over half a century of suffrage, and it seems like we are finally breaking ground and moving forward. Our support grows stronger every day, and together we can take a stand against the hate so often directed at us. Let us honor the memory of those who have paved the way, and those who have paid the ultimate price for being themselves. Let us take the lessons of the past to heart and be proud of who we are, and not be afraid to live our lives openly and without fear. Our struggle is far from over, but we must continue the fight. We must press on and continue the work of those who came before us, and ensure they did not fight and die in vain.

To sort of rip off Martin Luther King, my dream is a USA where people are judged by the content of their character, and not by their orientation or gender identity. We ask only for equal protections and opportunities that are afforded to anyone else. I pray that I live to see the day where this becomes a reality, and for once I'm starting to think that I just might. We have come so far, and we will go even farther in the coming years. One step at a time we will move forward, and we will over come the tide of oppression that has held us back for so long. Speak out, and make your voice count. Live your life to the fullest and be true to yourself. Do these things not because they are easy, but because they are often times hard, and the harder the fight, the sweeter the victory will be.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Time for a Change

It’s time to change things up once again from the usual on here. A comment I received here a few weeks back has resonated loudly with me, and a few days ago a video I watched sort of set things in motion that were set up by what was said here. I must thank indigojester for her very thought provoking and insightful words, it was exactly what I needed to hear. What has been set in motion is nothing short of a full spiritual cleansing, which I am hoping will help set me back on the life path I am supposed to be following. I have strayed from my spiritual purpose for quite a while, the physical world needed to take priority, but now it is time to rekindle my practice and the studies of my craft.

I wish I could say that I have received revelations in this cleansing that I am undertaking, but so far it has served more to reawaken what has always been within. I have learned nothing new, but old lessons are being further reinforced and proven right. I know now, what I have always known, that in order to find work in the physical world, I must first make things right in the spiritual world. A real world job, while a necessity in this time, is only secondary to my true life’s work. I hesitate to use the term shaman, but all too often I seem to return to it, but it is my path in life. I am here to heal and to protect, to aid all who seek out my help with the knowledge I have acquired, and to pass it on to those deserving. It is a path I did not choose, it chose me for some reason. There are things in life that must from time to time come before this practice, but it is what truly makes me happy and fulfilled. I hold great power within me, and though it is a power that everyone has, I am one of the few who learn to use it, and as such I must nurture and respect this power. 

What it all boils down to is, I was too focused on what I did not have, that I forgot to appreciate what I already have. I have everything that I need, and much of what I want is just that, something that I want but may not necessarily need. Until I can once again appreciate those things I do have, my wants will go unfulfilled. I neglected an important part of my life, and it is no different than neglect of a physical wound that has become infected. That infection will spread throughout the body if not dealt with, and the same holds true with my life. I cannot neglect something so important without serious repercussions in other aspects of my life. Now is a time of healing and reflection for me, to cleanse myself of the excess negativity. I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing, and I can ask for nothing more incredible than that.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Still Not Over

It's funny how a song made during the great depression is so relevant still today. Anyone who thinks this recession is over obviously hasn't had to look for work recently.

I'll be standing on a street corner with a sign myself if I don't get a job soon. I don't want any hand outs, I just want a job to support myself so I don't have to ask for a hand out.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What Am I Doing Wrong?

So, I’ve had a question running through my head for a good part of the day now. I have a job interview later today, and once again the subject comes up of whether or not to mention that I’m trans during the interview. So far I haven’t for any that I’ve had, and I’ve also had no luck with getting a job. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, or not well enough. I prepare myself as much as possible, but no amount of that is ever enough for to keep a question or two from throwing me off. I know that’s normal, and that they try to do that, but I just wish I had more answers. I can go in and walk out thinking I’m sure that I’ve got it, and never hear back only to call later and find out they hired someone else.

I know my experience level is probably my biggest obstacle. I worked retail for 5 months, a lot of places want you to have at least a years worth of retail experience to be hired. My other 2 jobs can technically be called retail, and some aspects of them were the same, but I know that not everyone sees it like that. The reality is that I’ve got experience, but just not enough. I’ve got enough to get an interview, and my guess is unless I absolutely blow them away during it they have no intentions of hiring me unless no one better comes along.

I hate the way things are in this country. I’ve been out of work for 3 months now, and I’ve been applying to jobs for 4 months. I’ve put in damn near 100 applications and only gotten 6 interviews so far. I’m not throwing in the towel though; I know interviews mean I have a chance, so as long as there’s another one coming there’s hope. I just need something soon. I only have enough money to pay for 1 more months rent, and then I’m flat broke. I don’t know what’s going to happen if I get to that point.

The reality that’s smacking me in the face right now is, I’m trans, don’t pass perfectly all the time, have no job and little money, and only the bare minimum of work history. I’m scared out of my mind that I’m not going to get a lucky break in time. I can’t make Stef pay the entire rent by herself; we’ll be living on like 100 bucks a month if that happens. I’m over qualified for fast food, under qualified for most jobs I see ads for out there, and apparently not impressive enough in an interview for a job that I can do. What the hell am I supposed to do? If things don’t improve soon enough I’ll be living at the nearest homeless shelter.

Going back to my grandparents is not an option. If I do, it’s as good as putting a bullet through my head. I love them, and miss being able to see them and the rest of my family, but there is no future for me there. There aren’t enough jobs down there period, let alone one for someone like me. Dropping anchor there means I failed, and it means there is no chance of leaving again. My resources have been exhausted, and the next time I go there to live, I fear may be the last time I have somewhere to come back from. So yes, a homeless shelter in this area would be preferable to going back there. So long as I’m in the area, I stand a chance at finding a job.

Staying positive is hard right now, and I’m doing my best at it, but all the positive thoughts in the world can’t make someone give me a job. I’ll just keep on doing my best and hoping things work out. That’s all I really can do. I'm probably not going to mention anything about being trans during the interview, because I feel that it's something best discussed if I'm hired since it has no effect on my job performance. I just wish that counted for something. Do I leave someone wondering or do I flat out tell them and hope they're sympathetic? That's my dilemma, it's sad but true.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trying My Best

There hasn’t really been a great deal of stuff happening lately to talk about, but there’s enough that I think I can get a post out of it. I managed to get an interview with Best Buy last week, and I thought I was going to ace the interview since I talked to a friend that works at one and got a few tips. They had an opening in the portable electronics department, which includes cameras, and from what the person who called about the interview told me, I stood a good chance since I have experience with them. I read up as much as I could and went over all kinds of potential questions. I did my research and thought I was as ready as I could possibly be.

I got there for the interview 15 minutes early; I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. I had a copy of my resume with me, and I made sure to look my best. When I finally went back with the guy for the interview we sat down at a table and I had to sign and initial a few things before we got started. He told me he was going to ask 8 questions and then after I’d have the chance to ask any of my own and point out any qualifications and such. That threw me off right from the start, especially since all the questions were generic interview questions that he read from a list.

I was doing just fine until he got to ones about what if I had a coworker that I didn’t get along with. I stumbled around a bit with my answers on those ones, mostly because I’d never really had more than maybe one question of that type in an interview before. The other reason was because I’ve gotten along with all but one or 2 people I’ve ever worked with, so it was kind of awkward to come up with something good on the spot in a few seconds. I had focused on convincing them that I could make sales and was knowledgeable of the products, and they hit me with coworker nonsense.

I did pretty well in the last stage where I asked stuff. I asked the usual schedule expectations and hours per week questions. I also made sure to drop the hint that I knew my stuff with cameras, and straight up told him that I felt like I could go sell someone a camera right then. I tried to focus on what I know is the most important thing to a retail store like Best Buy; sales and customer service. He told me that he was going to start calling people on Friday, which was just 2 days away, so I figured I’d know soon enough.

It’s Monday night and I haven’t gotten any phone calls from them. Stef took me by there this afternoon when were out, and I left a not for the guy since he wasn’t there. I don’t know if I’m going to get it or not, I feel like I’ve done all that I can do. I did a decent job on the interview, trip ups considered, so all I can do is keep applying to other places and hope for the best. I’m not holding my breath since I know there were probably other people more qualified than me, but I need it bad. If I run out of money I have no place to go.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Year Later

It’s been exactly one year since all hell broke loose in my life, almost to the minute at that. A year ago tonight, on the stormiest, wettest night of March, my aunts threw me out on a moments notice, and forced me to get my sick girlfriend to come get me and everything I owned. I won’t recap anything, I feel like what posted after everything that happened last year was enough. I was more or less thrown out on the street, and I’m sure I’d have been out on the street if not for Stef. I was talked to as if I were less than human, misgendered and misnamed, I saw my whole life packed into one vehicle, I was threatened in many ways, and I was tossed aside by my family like a piece of trash.

There isn’t an ounce of forgiveness in my heart, as much as I have tried over the last year to find it. I never hold a grudge, but I can’t just get past what was done to me by my own family. By the people who said they would take me in, give me a safer and more open minded place to live; by the people who I looked at more as best friends than family. It hurts still, just as bad as it did that night. I won’t say that I hate them; I won’t even try to hate them, because hate only brings about more hate. I like to think that karma will do more than I ever could. I have erased them from my life instead, and I hope they can live with what they did.

I’ve come a long way since then, in spite of everything they did to try to screw me over. You can beat the shit out of me, but I’ll keep getting back up. I’m a fighter, and I won’t stop fighting until I’m dead. In the past year I’ve had 4 homes, all in different cities. It’s been a pretty wild and crazy ride living on my own with Stef for the last 10 months, but it’s been rewarding in its own way. The pain and humiliation of that night makes me angry to reflect on, and I’ve taken that anger and used it to motivate me to persevere.

I’ve learned who my real family is, and in spite of all the times I’ve fought with, and been ashamed of my dad’s family, they’ve always been there for me. They haven’t always been accepting of my lifestyle, but they’ve always loved me and taken me in when I had no place else to go. My friends are also like family, and this past year has brought me closer to many of you than I ever expected. I can’t thank those of you who have been there for us in our times of need enough. To me, that’s real family.

That night will forever haunt me, but it put quite a bit into perspective for me too. I know who I can count on in life now, and who I can’t. I know what I am capable of when left to my own devices, and I did well. With any luck, I’m hoping I can make the next year an even better one, and try to put the wrongs done to me by my family behind me. It’s a long road ahead of me, and things are only going to get worse before they get better, but I will endure against all odds. I am a survivalist, and that is what I will do; survive and thrive.