Grey – A boy named Sue

Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Now forget the song, and turn that line into the title or inspiration for your post.

And he said: “Son, this world is rough 
And if a man’s gonna make it, he’s gotta be tough 
And I knew I wouldn’t be there to help ya along. 
So I give ya that name and I said goodbye 
I knew you’d have to get tough or die 
And it’s the name that helped to make you strong.” 

He said: “Now you just fought one hell of a fight 
And I know you hate me, and you got the right 
To kill me now, and I wouldn’t blame you if you do. 
But ya ought to thank me, before I die, 
For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye 
Cause I’m the son-of-a-bitch that named you “Sue.'” 

A boy named Sue, Johnny Cash

I have maintained for a long time that this is the relationship most trans* peeps have with who ever they believe made them trans*, god, goddess or nature. Because most trans* people who live (almost half of all trans* people have attempted suicide) are pretty tough. On one hand it seems like trans* people are the little fish dropped into a big pond of bigger “normal” fish, and thats a hard and often cruel life to lead, with many of us getting swallowed up by mental illness and violence from loved ones and strangers. I would even tentatively argue that many trans* suicides are not irrational, because with the darkness in their lives being constantly cheerful would concern me more. (happily not all trans* people are in superbad/dark conditions these days) That said, if you have suicidal thoughts, try writing a post here, calling here (au) or the relevant number here. I can’t promise on behalf of the universe that it gets better, but you are cared about (even if its just your hairdresser or the guy at your lunch spot who sees you most days and doesn’t know if saying hi is a bit too personal) and you are not alone.

On the other hand if you make it through, like Sue, your gonna be tough. Trans* people are tough, and I have learnt to take happiness in the little things, like a person who did airbrushed flowers on my face, posted a pic on facebook and wrote “he’s gonna kill me” even though they know my gender assigned at birth. And maybe we each get our chance with our creator and I hope that if that day happens for me, I will be composed enough for it to not be how Sue treated his dad… but no promises.

Grey – Beyond the Gender Binary: Yee Won Chong at TEDxRainier

This week our posts are going to be quite minimalistic, we are going to post a video (maybe more) each, that talks about being trans*, being enby, being an ally. And to use this time to catch up on some posts.

The video I chose to link is by Yee Won Chong a Malaysian American whose Identity I summarize as trans*masculine non-binary, in this 10 minute video they summarize life as an american trans* person and tips for allies.