For those of you who responded to my post yesterday and who had the compassion not to use my post as a platform to express another way of viewing the situation and simply showed their understanding of how I could see this trauma as tantamount to having been raped with women looking on, I thank you deeply.
To Becky, all I can say that I am surprised that as a woman who is going through much of the same things that I am having to deal with couldn’t show the same compassion to look beyond your own experience and step into my shoes for a moment. I also couldn’t believe that in private conversation such as we had that you would consider my decision to remove your response with first saying I had a right to do as I chose and then continue to badger me with your presumptions and judgments why I did so, even to say that you knew why those women chose as their course to follow. You did not consider once than I was not ready for more data to consider but that I needed to get my feelings out in what I considered a much more appropriate place in which to vent than screaming at my community out loud.
What I saw in your comments, Becky, was the same lack of consideration that these “spiritual” women who I once trusted as having more class had when they took their feelings of discomfort and brought it to a man to deliver without considering that their problem was that they were getting into my bathroom stall. I can no longer fault these women for having decided to take their “problem” to a team member to hear. However, my heart broke and it will take time to mend and telling me to get off my defensiveness didn’t help because it was like twisting the knife after it was already in my back.
As a point of clarification, we are non profit entity, but not a church, and there is no minister or official position on anything and we have no policies in place from which anyone can decide unilaterally to speak for others. By law, we elect a Board of Directors once each year but then all decision making is turned over to a community council where anyone who has attended at least one Sunday Service has equal voice in a consensus process based on the Quaker meetings, so finding a more appropriate way to handle this is not beyond anyone except maybe a newcomer, who wouldn’t have even known about my “condition” unless someone “outed” me. I used the term “spokesperson” because it seemed less cumbersome than I am being now and while he has been on the team longer than anyone in our twenty-some years, he is not in a position to counsel or advise anyone except from his own heart. Also, there are plenty of women who are or have been on the team and it would have been just as easy or more so to have taken it to one of them.
For myself, while I can’t claim to know how every woman might feel about any situation, from having crossed over after all these years, I do have the experience now that men are becoming more and more a mystery to me every day and women so much less so. It tells me that I have probably been wired this way for a long time, maybe for life. It would never occur to me not to have taken this to a woman first. Maybe they did and maybe they didn’t but I am pretty sure that knowing the women in my community for as long as I have, I know more thought would have been given to making it a win for me as well as them. As I see it, this man took it upon himself to deliver the message without being able to measure the full impact it would have on me, because he probably still saw me more as the man I was instead the very vulnerable person I am now. He also couldn’t have picked a more vulnerable moment to deliver it, right after a community council meeting where we were talking about the future of our community in severe financial and spiritual crisis in troubled economic times. He tried to be so non-judgmental but sometimes one’s intention to be so, is simply not enough.
There is both an upside and a downside to all of this. The upside is that I am considering doing a workshop for my community in hopes to educate them in some way to the difficulties that we as trangender people face each and every single day, to the tendency we have to lump people together by labeling and to find compassionate ways to communicate so that everyone can come out a winner. I have wanted to do a workshop before for this community on some other issues, but with this crisis of my heart, I hope I will make it a reality instead of just another good idea.
Unfortunately there is a downside to this as well and it is really no one’s fault. The downside is that for now, I believe that as a fellow team member, I deserved more respect than simply his passing the message. I am not yet healed and I am probably going to have to step off the team and maybe consider going to another place on Sundays for a while. The wounds are still fresh and may take some time to heal and yet I know I am a stronger woman than I ever was a man.
And what of the ladies who had a problem, I hope they get over it but still I plan to let everyone know in the kindest way possible that I have a problem with these ladies pissing in my bathroom stall.