Thursday, August 25, 2011

No Rainbow Connection

Okay, at the risk of upsetting some people (What? Marni? Afraid of upsetting people? NOOOO!), I wanted to talk about the use of the rainbow when referring to a group or organization that supports the LGBT community... or even the LGBTQA community. I'm sure there's a longer acronym out there, too. The more we identify the subtleties between points on the sexual orientation continuum, the longer the acronyms are sure to get.

I LOVE the fact that Natasha is starting a Gay-Straight Alliance at her school. She has joined (because I subscribed to their eNewsletter) GLSEN. But then, she "Liked" this other group on Facebook called the LGBT Geeks of Arizona. That's fine for her, but I can't very well go to any of their events, now can I? I'm straight, after all. There are TONS of these groups. LGBT America. GALA - Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses. LGBT Democrats. Just do a search in FB alone and you could spend hours going though all of the sites.

So, like, I can't be a part of those groups.

Come on, now. I'm being a bit snarky here. You know that.

My point is that the "rainbow" that is utilized in so many sexual orientation group logos is misleading. Heterosexuals are a part of that rainbow. Sorry, but it's true. So, when Natasha decides to play the lesbian card and join these groups, I won't feel comfortable going with her. I'm not the "supportive spouse of a lesbian." That's just insulting to all lesbians. Lesbians don't need support. I'm the "supportive spouse of a transsexual," so maybe if I go under that umbrella, I'd feel welcomed. But then again, as so many people in the TS and TG communities love to point out, Tasha is NOT transgendered, right? That implies a choice to remain gendered masculine in her case, but to have a secondary female persona. That's just not how it is, though.

But here I go, getting caught in the nitpickiness that is the S.O. Rainbow (Sexual Orientation).

Natasha keeps trying to convince me that although I am not a lesbian, I AM in a lesbian relationship. That might be true, but I still cannot even remotely identify with another female's attraction to women. It ain't in me. I've got no problem with it, obviously, but it's like asking a lesbian how they would feel being with a guy. Um... no. So, perhaps I go with Tasha to a group thing that does not include the Straight color of the rainbow. Immediately, I am cast as someone whom I am not: the lesbian partner. Do I really care what others think of me? No. but having not been included in their pretty rainbow to begin with, I feel marginalized.

See where I'm at here? I'm not complaining about minority groups having groups. I'm complaining about my "majority" position among those groups.

In short, I propose that the rainbow only be used for groups that account for ALL S.O. categories. I, for example, consider myself to be a Heterobservant. That means I'm heterosexual who observes and appreciates the attractiveness of the same sex, too. So, I'm not quite on the far, far end of heterosexuality. Just to the left of me would be Heterobstaining, who are heterosexuals who can sometimes feel turned on by the same sex but has no desire to do anything about it. What about them? What is their color on the rainbow? Eh?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Boy Said Something...

Okay, on to other news.

This morning, after Natasha had gone to work, E came into my room while I was getting dressed. He and R like to play with all of my hair clips, and he was doing just that, when he asked a question about which of the hair ties, bands, clips and pins were Tasha's. After I answered, I asked him, "Are you sure that you're okay with Daddy being Sunny?" He said, quite intelligently (he's 6), "Definitely. She's not as angry as she used to be."

I asked, knowing the right answer, "Did she yell more when she was a boy?"

E said, "Oh yeah. She yelled a lot and now she doesn't yell much at all. That means she's happier."

I said, "That means we're all happier since she doesn't yell as much, right?"

He said, "Definitely."

He promptly stuck a clip in his short hair and spun around a few times.

The lesson here is that if you have people in your life who doubt whether or not what you are "doing" by transitioning (or accepting it if you are the spouse) is good for the kids, ask the kids. They'll tell you the truth if you let them.

A New Old Me

Since Natasha is now "out" to everyone, it's time for me to do the same.

My name is not Casey, although you are welcome to continue to call me this name. It's actually the name of the main character in my book series about faeries. :-)

It's also our collie's name. :-D

My name is Marni. I am the proud spouse of a crazy woman named Natasha. I live in the Phoenix area with her, our two genius children, our two dogs, four cats and two fish.

Just so you know.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Which Way Do You Want to Go: Up or Down?

Tasha bit the bullet and spoke with her principal two weeks ago. He was totally cool and open, as was the rest of the faculty and staff at her school, and last Monday, on the first day of school, she showed up as herself. Despite a few gawker and rude students, she had the happiest week of teaching in her life!

I am very happy for her. She's in a great mood, considering that she's back at school. She says she loves what she does and I believe her, but she also had tons of really crappy days, which I'm sure she'll still have, but they won't be as bad because she'll be herself and if she wants to cry and yell at her students, she can do that. :-)

So, now Tasha is living full time and a few friends have asked me how I'm feeling about that. I'm actually pretty fine about it. In fact, on the day her principal gave her the okay, I went into her part of the closet and took out most of her male clothing (except for a few shirts that I insist she keep and wear as over-shirts. They're tasteful and somewhat gender-neutral). In fact, I'm relieved that the waffling between genders, and the consequential depression and moodiness, has ended. Besides the SRS, which affects her way more than it affects me, as far as I'm concerned, she's all her now.

Next Friday, we're going down to Tucson to get her name officially changed. Later, when we have more money put aside, we're going to change the kids' names, too. Tasha is going to pick up my maiden name as a second middle name like I have, and so the kids will have it, too. It is symbolic for us to have both of our last names this way because we are not simply a part of her family. I chose to keep my maiden name since I was the wife and believed that I should pick up her family name. So, we're making it all "even," you know? She said she should have done that when we first got married. I'm just glad we're doing it now.

I have this sense of calm about everything. As I said, she's always female now, so in my mind, her maleness is gone. My spouse is not gone. The person who was my husband is not gone. Only her maleness. Actually, as I write that, I have to add that there are "male" aspects that have not gone away. She's a big woman in that she is tall and stocky. She'll loose a ton of weight and she'll still have that, and that's great! This is why Natasha is a perfect name for her! :-) Anyway, one of the things she has been doing for a long time is toss the kids onto our bed at night. They experience flight for just a moment. She still does it. Even though she thought she lost too much muscle mass in her arms, she realized (after I cajoled her into doing it again) that she can still do it. She's still the "fixer" around here, too. She picks up dead birds and throws them away (don't ask). She still occupies the Daddy role in our family, which makes both of us happy, so I haven't really lost any part of my spouse that I worried about losing.

The other day, my mom took me aside and asked me how I was taking all of this. I knew that she was speaking for herself as well as for my dad. A lot of their concern is for our kids, and I understand that. They are really great kids and they understand what has happened to their daddy. I've written in the past that it has been shown that how children take this kind of change largely depends upon how the spouse who does not change takes the news. So, you can extrapolate how my kids are taking this from how I am, right? So, in my response to her... actually to both of them and in front of Tasha, I told them that every decision I am making, from doing my best at a job I hate to pushing our cookie business, to continuing to write my books... to staying with Natasha, every single decision I make every moment of the day begins with the thought of how it will affect my children. What is best for them? Every direction I try to steer my life is based directly on which direction is best for them. Am I setting a good example? Am I teaching them the right lesson?

Staying with Natasha, as I have told my wonderful, loving, giving parents, is right for the kids. For me to leave simply because something happened to her... something beyond her control... would teach my children that it is better to run away than to stay and work hard. I would teach them that all it takes is ONE SINGLE CHANGE to make everything good end up meaningless and valueless. It would teach them that love is, in fact, conditional. If she had become a quadriplegic and were unable to have sex anymore, should I have left? What would that say to my kids?

I am not trying to accuse anyone of anything, my amazing and honest readers. I am not trying to come off as better than anyone. I am just writing my blog. Those of you who know me know that I don't think about my readers as I write. Otherwise, I wouldn't be genuine in what I was trying to say. I know that things don't work out between couples for any number of reasons. Clearly, at this point I looked over what I had read and thought that it might start some accusations my way of being snooty. So, let me put that to rest. I'm telling you what's been going through my mind. I'm telling you that every single decision I've made throughout this journey with Tasha is about the kids. Every decision I've made since the moment I got pregnant with our boy was about him. That's just how it is. My happiness is their happiness, and since I would be miserable without my Esposa, so would they.

To everyone out there reading this, I can only wish you the happiest of lives with what you have. I hope that your spouses find their happiness, too, no matter what that means. No journey is easy. Mine sure hasn't, and it's not even over yet. But I hope that you see the happiness you already have and hold onto it, nurture it and help it grow. Keep it near you during the difficult times and let it help you. Let it guide your decisions.

That's it for now.