Giving birth, being adopted, becoming a “transphobe,” hating reality TV, and generally entertaining revelations against my will

For months now my posts here and at catholictrans have been building up to a new direction. I realize in retrospect that everything I’ve posted recently, original material or otherwise, have been the contractions leading up to massive labor pains. For many insomniac nights I’ve been squinting at my dark ceiling and seeing patterns of motion, webs of ideas, and clashing good n’ evil in such a large vista that my small human mind can’t actually piece it all together and I feel literally insane. But slowly, the different pieces that I feel to be interconnected are presenting themselves to me in an orderly queue. Continue reading

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Meet Eliana Rubashkyn

elianaWhat would you do if the simple fact of who you are brought about discrimination, abuse, slander, and ostracization?

One of the most courageous women on the internet right now with a very moving story is my dearly beloved Eliana Rubashkyn, a Columbian transgender woman who blogs about her experiences at soyeliana.org. Eliana moved from her incredibly transphobic home country to Taiwan to begin a new life, which included medical studies at Taipei University and hormone replacement therapy.

Because of the intense changes brought about to her physical appearance by hormones, Eliana was requested by the Taiwan government to renew her Visa. She dutifully set off to Hong Kong to visit the nearest Colombian consulate, not knowing how transphobia would turn her overnight into a victim and refugee.

You can hear about the rest of her story here:

To learn more about Eliana’s story, read her posts about her airport and refugee experience (1, 2, 3), or this LGBT Hong Kong pamphlet.

How can I help Eliana?

As a sister in need, Eliana is asking for our aid in improving her situation and fighting for trans* rights.

The first way you can help is to donate through her blog. You can donate to Eliana through her mom’s Paypal Account:

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Eliana’s Mom email: rubashkyn@live.ru
https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/send-money-online

You can also help her by spreading her blog to raise awareness regarding the discrimination she faces daily. I recently nominated her for a Liebster Award. Post her link on your blog, twitter, or facebook to bring her story to others.

Finally, you can use this form to send a petition to the UN’s Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to get Eliana out of Hong Kong and to a country where she will be safe.

Love Is All That Matters

mother-teresa-and-baby

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

― Mother Teresa

Allow me to tell you something about my extended family. Believe me, it’s worth telling. Just hold your horses.

On my mom’s side of the family I have six aunts and one uncle. Each of these aunts and uncles has had at least three, if not nine, children. I have over 50 cousins, and we’re all close to each other.

Some people would assume that such an experience is totally overwhelming. I know there are people out there who think my mom’s family is “overpopulating” the planet. All I can say is that the existence of my extended family makes me the luckiest person on the face of the Earth. I’ve spent most of my Thanksgiving vacation hugging, kissing, or playing with children and babies. It has been Heaven itself. I swear: being with my family is joy beyond joy. I’m in ecstasy with every kiss I receive from a precocious toddler and every hug I give to an adorable child. My family has more love than the rest of the world combined. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

There is one problem: my family is very transphobic. As if by some strange twist of fate, most of my (many) aunts have randomly expressed their views on gender within my earshot. It is so crystal clear from this Thanksgiving weekend that most of my extended family will reject me if I transition.

My family is very very conservative. For all you ‘liberal’ readers out there, I want to clarify that despite their uninformed attitude toward LGBT issues, my family is SO INCREDIBLY LOVING. Love covers a multitude of sins. For someone who isn’t LGBT, my extended family would be an absolute paradise. I’ve grown up in an unbelievably tender environment. My aunts, uncles and cousins have so much heart. I just want that to be clear.

The thing is: being transgender is pretty much the worst thing I could be within this family. Our gender binary is so strong it’s ridiculous. I don’t even feel comfortable wearing a scarf around some of them (even though I’m still in ‘boy’ mode). It’s rough. It’s a tragedy. I have the most loving family in the world, and I’m the one kind of person they might not be able to accept.

So the stage is set: I have a loving family that will probably never be able to even conceptualize the fact that I’m transgendered. This paves the way for what I want to really talk about: unconditional love.

 “I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?”

― Mother Teresa

In cuddling with all my baby cousins, it’s really struck home to me how it’s really all about love. It’s so easy to get self-absorbed because of gender dysphoria, but at the end of the day what fulfills us is face-to-face interactions with real people. It’s in holding and loving others that we (or at least I – and I would believe everyone else too) find true freedom.

In this revelation, I rediscovered why I want to transition. It’s not about making myself beautiful or ‘finding’ myself. It’s about finding others. I want to be able to love others with freedom. I want to be able to love other people as myself. I want to give genuine love to others, not a fake and stilted performance of love. Being transgender isn’t about selfish desire; it’s about the basic desire to love and be loved. Transitioning isn’t about obsessive need; it’s about the basic requirement to be authentic.

I love my family so much and I know they love me too. I hope they can learn to love the real me. Sometimes I feel like my life is divided between two very extreme options: to transition and lose my family’s love while gaining the ability to love the rest of the world, or to not transition and keep my family’s love while living a loveless lie. It seems futile. It seems hopeless. All I know is that love is the answer, and I will do whatever is necessary to be able to give of myself with absolute freedom.

If love is all-important, then the most important thing in life is to free yourself so you can love.

“A life not lived for others is not a life.”

― Mother Teresa