Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trans Youth Homes

It's no secret that I don't want to have children...yes, that might change in 5+ years but I'll still shank anyone who patronizes "oh once you get older blah blah blah." Many personal reasons that I won't describe here, but it honestly just doesn't make sense for me. Any care-taking calling that I might have would not involve bringing more people into the world.

There are homes, mostly in metropolitan areas, for transgender youth who have been kicked out by their families. Homelessness among trans youth, particularly of color, is horrifically common. Prostitution and/or drug dealing are generally the only means of survival...if you can call it that. Group homes provide shelter, rehab, connection to medical care, education, job training, etc. Generally, these homes are pretty strict regarding curfew, drugs, chores, etc. - you know, like a PARENT would be. Also importantly, the communities provide personal validation and assistance in passing (or not, depending on the individual).

The need for trans youth homes won't go away anytime soon and they're always short-staffed and short-changed. As someone with knowledge, experience, and understanding, I'd enthusiastically give my help to such a home.
I interned at Milwaukee's Alliance School - an alternative high school for LGBTQ kids. The work itself was ok, teaching is not my forte, but talking with the students was fantastic. Many of them came to the school mainly for the warm meal (don't get me wrong, they loved the school too - these were kids who had been bullied out of standard schools and appreciated having such a welcoming place) and when they went home at the end of classes, you never really knew whether you'd see them again or not.
To provide a place for kids like them to call home is what I want to do. Maybe that will involve a group home, maybe that will involve adoption, I don't know yet. This idea has been developing for years and it will probably continue to do so until I'm ready to take on a care-taking role.

Related reading: "Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers" by Cris Beam

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Alverno College

What you get when you date someone from Alverno College:

1) qualitative assessment skills

2) self-awareness

3) strengths in the Eight Abilities:

problem solving
social interaction
global perspective
aesthetic engagement
effective citizenship

4) public speaking, editing and presentation skills

5) mediation

6) whenever you're acting like an asshole, we'll call you out on it: "that's blocking behavior!"

Friday, December 9, 2011

Women Dumbing Down

I've been out of school for two and a half years now and my post-Alverno College, post-women's college, outlook keeps shifting. I see women behaving in the same ways, but with drastically different outcomes between the feminine cloister and the outside world.

At Alverno, there were plenty of students who dumbed themselves down. Normally, they feared insulting someone who might not be as intelligent, which is a twisted kind of empathy that I have yet to see in men. Yes, there have been plenty of women who have complained "so-and-so thinks she's so smart, blah blah blah she's so stuck up." That's even been said of me, when I thought that I was just doing a favor by providing information.
More understandably, these students just didn't want an extra workload!!

In the normal world, there are women who dumb themselves down because they think that they won't be liked otherwise. In private, they might be extraordinarily intelligent; publicly, they feign stupidity. A friend of mine does this and I found out, through one-on-one conversation, that she's very interested in feminist theory (ironic, huh?). Whenever we meet up in a group, I jump in before she has a chance to say something stupid, "hey tell me about the book you're reading!" With others, attempts to get to know them are blockaded by "teehee, look at this cute pic in my phone!"

I'll admit that I sometimes dilute my intelligence, though not to such a degree. Rather than blathering "theory theory theory blah blah blah," I'll see how the conversation goes while asking questions; then I'll point out "what you're saying is similar to blah blah blah theory." I do this because pouring out all I know isn't a conversation, it's a monologue and nobody will learn anything from that. It's more effective and more enjoyable to back off for a little while.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Is it Misogyny?

Sometimes, I encounter an arrogant asshole and I can't tell whether he's treating me like shit because he just doesn't like me* or because he perceives me as a woman. And when he tells me "you don't even have to say anything for me to know that you're wrong," it doesn't really matter why he's being a jerk anymore.

I was recently told that I must be a good person because his friend is dating me.
excuse me?
Gee, thanks for acknowledging me...oh no wait, you didn't. This could be any person hand-in-hand with the prick's friend. The space I fill is not who I am.

* arrogant assholes tend to dislike me since I ask them penetrating questions about their blatant insecurity, but so innocently that they can't legitimately get mad