No Grief Relief

In keeping with last week's theme of disclosure, some..disclosure. Which will turn out to be more important than most of us--the non-trans most of us, that is--don't often think about.

Right. So I went out on this date with this girl. And I've been upfront about being trans--it's in my personal, for sheesh's sake--mostly because I've decided at this stage of my life to just not put up with anyone who can't deal with the rather disorderly sack of idiosyncrasies, quirks, habits, and occasionally questionable grooming habits (I don't always do eyebrow maintenance--wait, what were you thinking about?) that is C.L. Minou. But that's me, and my life, and believe you me if I didn't think that being upfront was less stressful--for me--than dealing with it later (or never), I would.

But I'm not out at work, and have no plans to be. And I think, for me and for many (not most, by any stretch of the imagination) trans folks: out to our intimates, and mind your own beeswax everyone else. Most people would probably (assuming they didn't want to kill trans folks with sticks) that this is perfectly reasonable.

But not the family of recently-deceased firefighter Thomas Araguz III!

You see, the firefighter--who tragically died in a July 4 fire--was married to a woman, a rather attractive woman named Nikki. Who, if you read Gina's fabulous article at Skip the Makeup, was initially praised for being the beautiful and stoic widow. Until, that is, firefighter Araguz's ex-wife (locked in a custody battle with him over custody of their children) leaked information that Nikki was trans.

Immediately, people got the vapors, poor dears. And then Araguz's family sued to have Nikki's marriage annulled because she was a man.

Excuse me. I have to go kick my couch for a half an hour in frustration.

You know what? I'm not even going to focus on the Texas aspect of this, because there are a lot of cool folks in Texas. And hell, I'm not even going to cover the disclosure/deception BS (Araguz's family are claiming that he didn't know Nikki was trans and separated from her when he did find out; Nikki says she told him early in their dating), because Lisa at Questioning Transphobia has done it so well already. Hell, I'm not even going to get into the money issue--in addition to the approximately $600,000 she can expect to collect in death benefits, as the surviving next of kin Nikki would be entitled to sue for wrongful death, something that could result in millions of dollars; the family is trying to get Thomas's children declared next of kin.

Nah. Eff that. Like I said, other folks have done it better.

Let's talk about...homophobia.


Cause that's what this is, right?

Now, I don't get that, but then again I'm one of those weird bisexuals who go straight (ahem) down the middle; I like what I like, and gender is only one piece of that. In fact, on a deep and personal level I seem to have lost the ability to understand how it could be a big deal to anyone. I get that it is, for some folks, and I'm cool with that--but I just don't understand why it is a big deal.

Sadly, a lot of people don't feel that way.

And that explains this whole thing. All the narratives are built around homophobia. Nikki and Thomas couldn't be married because Nikki "is a man" and teh gay marriage is eeeevil and God hates it. Also, she was a lying deceiver not just because--obviously--she didn't tell him, but because a "man" can't become a "woman." And no real human being--er, straight person--would ever want to sleep with another man. (Relax, my lesbian sisters, I didn't include "woman" in there because I said person and we all know that means man in this formulation.) And since Nikki was a man, sleeping with her would mean you were gay. Just like sleeping with me, C.L. Minou.

Because my pussy will make you gay.

That's a pretty powerful pussy, come to think of it. And not a sentence you normally hear. At least not when one of the people involved is male.

People sometimes tell me that homophobia is a poor word, because the bashers don't fear gay people, they hate them. And that's true. But I think you can't get away from the fact that they hate gay people, queer people, trans people, because we threaten them. We prove that we exist, and that we can look like anyone. Even them. Why, your best friend might! Fetch me my stick, son!

If people weren't so afraid of gayness, of transness, of queerness, then they might not do the kind of things that fear motivates you to do.

Like attempt to destroy the reputation of a grieving widow. Whom, Lisa Harney reports, has had her assets frozen, so she doesn't have any money to buy food with. And who to all appearances was loved by her husband.

Yes. This is definitely the kind of person we need to stop, right?

Yanno, maybe there is some deception here.

Folks are deceiving themselves into thinking they're decent human beings.

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