Authenticity, self-acceptance, integration
I started this thinking of parallels with left-handedness. In the 90s I met a number of left handed people, and those at school in 1920 often told me they had been forced to write right-handed. The verbally clever and emotionally barren play on words “The left hand is not the right hand” illustrates this. Those in school in 1930 were unlucky to be forced to use the left hand, by a backward teacher. There is a similar visible reduction in prejudice: the word “left” comes from Old English lyft meaning weak or useless.
So while the common understanding was that left handers died ten years younger, it is not necessarily the case. Merely establishing that there are fewer left-handers in older age groups is not enough: older lefties may have been converted. In England gay lovemaking was criminal until 1967, (in Scotland until 1980!) and older gay people might even now pretend to be straight, or be misreported as straight by prejudiced family members.
Here is an interesting study: gay people have a greater incidence of mental disorder in US states which do not protect us against employment discrimination, or include us as a protected group in hate crime legislation. Such states will be following the wishes of the majority of their population, though perhaps a majority in the recent past rather than now, so such lack of protection indicates historic prejudice in the population. Where that is the experience of gay people we suffer more mental disorder.
The Family Acceptance Project has done research showing that where families reject their child’s homosexuality, suicide and sickness is increased, and life success decreased. Falsely claiming that the Bible says gay sex is always sinful kills children.
Marli Renee at first appears winsome, opposing prejudice against gay people, but accepts those false views about the Bible, and cites the “Family Research Council”. See what they say about homosexuality: Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects. This is the bias from which they start, with a paranoid dose of victimhood: Hollywood and the media relentlessly propagate the image of the fit, healthy, and well-adjusted homosexual. Tell that to Fox News, or TV Tropes, which gives hundreds of examples. The research is as selectively cited as the claim about the media.
People continue to be gay, and find partners, under the most repellent persecution: see this gay magazine from the 1950s- so I propose something which Marli may be willing to endorse- as her condemnation of unthinking nastiness to gay people is valuable and Christian. If the conservative agenda is limited to non-sensational claims that gay sex is unnatural and harmful, and discrimination or hate crime against gay people is made unlawful as that against black people, we will see how the morbidity changes.
I have done my best.
It is not "all my fault".
I am still here.
I am still here. That is success, of a sort, and has to be enough. I have not- done certain things, but if I judge myself by what I have not done, I will be entirely miserable. I have achieved certain things: I wrote a painstaking analysis of every single word in an activity and descriptor in the Incapacity Benefit test, to show that if the DWP’s less generous interpretation were correct there was a superfluous word, and since legislators must be presumed to draft elegantly without superfluous words, my more generous interpretation which gave that word meaning must be correct.
I love Law at its most creative, and at any level I could be employed, it is bureaucratic and repetitive.
Oh! Pain and regret! It is not my fault.
It is not my fault- two years not being paid, and not now looking for work, and not, much, engaging with other people. I was looking for work, at the start, and I did my best. I always have done my best, and while the inner critic might say it was not good enough, she had no useful way of making it better.
Pain and regret mingle with shame. I cracked a tooth, and my tongue repeatedly explored the gap, and the new so-sharp edge. And, after a time I noticed- my tongue is not exploring that, much, now, and the edge is not as sharp as it was. So-
I am not working.
“I am not ashamed of that.”
Test it. Is it true, or is it just that I would like it to be true so pretend it is? So much easier, to note that particular spiritual growth is possible, and pretend one has done it. I think there are moments when it is true, and they are moments of what I have called Presence, being “in the moment”. Shame is part of the miasma which binds me to past and future.
That miasma blunts my feeling! I do not feel the sharpness of fear or anger or delight when in it!
Shame is different from regret. Oh! That happened! I am hurt by it, I wish it had not, in that way, but of all that feeling Shame is the only one which takes a bite out of me. Shame blames me- I was not good enough, as if that information could be any use at all. There were other options I did not see, and I might see options better after that experience, and it had its positives.
Shame. What on Earth is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
Emotional Being: Shame is not you. It is like handcuffs, preventing you from dancing. Move your arms freely, and be beautiful.
If I strike someone, why on Earth would I pull my other hand back so that the fist, palm upwards, was by the side of my lowest rib, and my elbow pointing backwards? Is that merely silly? A sensei tells me to practise hikite. Oh, OK then.
An aim I have is to strike in a state of no-mind (if I use the word correctly)- the autonomous nervous system does what it need do, and my fist comes out with the right force to the right place. I might also say, striking with my Qi. If my conscious mind judges what I do, I become tense and robotic, so that my strike is less powerful. So I practise striking the air to learn what the ideal muscle movements are, so that I can later make them, without thought. Striking the air must satisfy any tuptophilist desires. But why would pulling back the other fist be part of that?
I am bothered about the strength of my strikes. Perhaps I need more press-ups. Oestrogen takes away muscle strength, which is why the IOC allows trans women to compete as women. (That link- I can’t actually find the recommendations themselves.) Oh well, try it.
As I perform the different set blocks, slowly, I concentrate on that hikite of the other limb. The full force of the striking limb should exert just before contact, rather than throughout the strike, and the pulling back of the other limb occurs in that moment. It seems that the movement of both limbs enhances the force of the striking or blocking limb, even though the torso stays in the same place and the withdrawing limb goes in completely the wrong direction. The sense is clearest in the blocks- I contract the back muscles on both sides at the same time, and that feels powerful. In a strike, it is the chest muscle on the striking side that contracts: the value of hikite feels less. In the mirror, however, I see my hips moving as I strike: this could be the way of putting the hips into the strike.
In sparring, I want to use my other limb for a quick follow-up strike, or at least to block possible blows. Having it by my side seems useless. One rule of interpreting kata is that “a hand returning to chamber usually has something in it”- grab a wrist or arm or hair.
Speculating wildly, perhaps mammals fighting, being more open, prevents males doing too much damage to each other; or it could have something to do with the efficient way a quadruped walks or runs, moving opposite limbs alternately.
Taigyoku shodan, first kata. At my level, I am allowed to have two stages, preparing then moving. First count- prepare: place left foot, look to left, left fist at right shoulder preparing for gedan berai; then move- turn at hips to face left while sweeping the left hand down; at the last moment pull the right fist into chamber. With force. Having so much to think of before it may flow without thought, I need to practise each count separately and repeatedly. And- it appears that the hikite may increase the force of the block. Unless I am just fooling myself.
If you could have any power, what would it be?
I would like the power to put anyone at her ease, completely, in my presence, and always be at my ease.
Do you find it is better to have loved and lost or to have never loved at all?
Oh, loved and lost, definitely. Here am I in may prame, a very attractive woman, and more will come along.
Do the ends justify the means?
That is only a question which can be answered in particular situations. If I want a pint of milk, that is a good enough end, which does not justify me stealing it. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, but you do not make an omelette by driving a truckload of eggs over a cliff. Everything has risks, sometimes the risks were worth taking though it did not work out, sometimes the risks were reckless and stupid.
Added: “The end never justifies the means”. Um. There are good ends and good means, and bad ends and bad means. I suppose: however good the end sought, it cannot by itself justify any means to achieve it. Assessing likelihood of success and unwanted outcomes is necessary. But you know this.
How would you describe your life using no more than five words?
Gosh! I don”t know. Sorry.
Other people, endlessly varied and fascinating as they are.
Do you have a fear of death, a respect for it, or do you prefer to ignore it?
I have been suicidal. I am glad I am not, now. I tend to ignore it: when it happens, most likely I will not notice, and just possibly it will be Wonderful.
How important is music in your life?
Not very, actually. Apart from buskers, etc, I have heard live music once this year. I do not play recordings at home, and I have hardly played the piano, though I was complimented on my playing twice which warms me.
Would you classify yourself as more of a lover or a fighter? Why?
That again depends on circumstances. A lot of the time, in fact, I have been a fighter, not choosing my battles well.
What do you think the role of religion is in the grand scheme of things?
It is the source of knowledge about life, the Universe and everything, and it is the curse of humanity. And many things between- liberating and enslaving, beautiful and monstrous, wise and cruel.
Which road is better to take, the straight path, or the scenic route?
I don’t know there is such a thing as a straight path.
God is here! As we his people
meet to offer praise and prayer
May we find in fuller measure
What it is in Christ we share
Here, as in the world around us
all our varied skills and arts
Wait the coming of his Spirit
into open minds and hearts.
We did not sing
Father hear the prayer we offer
Not for ease that prayer shall be
But for grace, that we may ever
live our lives courageously.
I hate that hymn. Just possibly, it is not arrogant and unthinking, in deep bourgeois security, but it feels that way to me. It has got to me in the past, and the suggestion that we sing it got to me this morning. I declaimed- something I wrote earlier-
Father hear the prayer I offer
Not for stress that prayer may be
But for ease, that we may ever
Live our lives contentedly
Not that always by still waters
would we idly rest, perhaps
I like theatres, pubs, and dances
Good clean water comes from taps.
Oh, we’re not singing that one, then, said Kingsley, and we sang something else.
I sat in the quiet of the meeting room, after, and that was not enough for me. I had to go out in the beautiful sunshine, thinking of this: that great outburst, that huge Will, my unstoppable No-
and I have a great Yes, within, too
it seems to me that I suppress it, because it frightens me, because it can only meet an immovable object. So much fear of a particular encounter which I put off for a week, and then- I asked, and she said, OK then. No problem.
As meeting is about to end, someone’s mobile phone goes off. Quel Horreur! So Embarrassing! He sits, oblivious and lordly as his wife scrabbles round to turn it off-
and we have the Silence, which has the space to accept this, as well as my revulsion against a possibly innocuous hymn.
As one of us comes into meeting each week she passes the huge photo of Peter Bone MP in his office, looking like the host at a party delighted to see you. It gives her a violent pain, as his views are repellent- How can the town of the True Levellers have a Tory MP? She turned into our garden, and saw me hugging that tree with a four yard circumference, and it made her feel suddenly peaceful.
We have the space for it. And- I have the space for it, too- I learned to suppress that in me, I think, in early childhood, and I may find more creative ways of welcoming it and using it for my Will is a terribly heavy burden if I have to block it all the time.
I played a little of the Maple Leaf Rag, and Peter encouraged me to play all of it. They liked it.
Liebster award from Purple Gloves, a witty and lovely man from Ghana who writes about Life in a universal way. What I like about these chain-letter thingies is the questions.
Cats or dogs or other? If other, please specify:
Actually, that snake was lovely, and feeding her is not much of a problem, but given that I can hardly keep a pot plant alive I am not sure I want the responsibility. A cat might just walk out and find someone more congenial.
Talk about one thing you have done or didn’t do that you regret:
Je ne regrette rien might either be really wise and mature and generally wonderful, or borderline psychotic. It either means, I know that I have done absolutely the best that I could under the circs, and it has been alright, really, so far; or it means Everything that went wrong was someone else’s fault. They’re all Bastards!! You are not certain which of these I fit.
Name one travel accessory you cannot do without:
This year, actually, a tent. My holidays are under canvas, though I expect a day or two visiting friends in the UK, who will have all the conveniences I could wish for.
If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would you pick and why?
What is your favorite type of music?
To say “Classical” is inspecific. It has a range from full orchestra to unaccompanied violin, at least five hundred years of music, every single human emotion, pieces lasting from less than a minute to five hours- all human life is reflected here. Yet I cannot choose among it generally, only depending on my mood.
Name one hobby
Is personal growth weekends a hobby? Facilitators market these things as teaching us the secret of Life the Universe and Everything, and we just go away for the weekend, relax and have fun. Even the agonising and “learning” is fun.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be and why
I would like a uterus.
So far, what has been the high point of your WordPress blogging experience?
It is all good, actually. I love comments, and am not alone in this.
If you could go back to any period in time to experience it or change it, what time would you choose and why?
I would not change anything because I would be frightened of making it worse. To experience, I would like to become an intimate friend of Marcel Proust.
Why do you blog?
To practise writing, to amuse myself, to reach out to others, to find out what I think, to give me a reason to find things out, to record my life and prove to myself that I exist, to educate people about transsexuality from my own perspective, to start a religion: everyone, in 500 years time, will be a Flourishian.
Thank you, DC. That was fun. I hope you enjoyed it.
William Whatcott, a poor deluded man who imagined his own sexual orientation was “sinful”, circulated flyers claiming that sex education about gay people in schools would result in children “paying the price in disease, death and abuse”. In Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v Whatcott, these were found unlawful.
In England, it is a criminal offence to use threatening words or behaviour with the intention of inciting hatred against gay (or straight, or bi) people. In Saskatchewan, no person shall publish… any representation…that exposes or tends to expose to hatred, [ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of] any person or class of persons on the basis of…sexual orientation.
The same statute specifies that this shall not restrict the right to freedom of expression under the law upon any subject. The statute is interpreted in conformity with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the freedom of conscience and religion and the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.
Mr Justice Rothstein gives reasons why the publication is hatred, at Para 180-190:
 Passages of Flyers D and E combine many of the “hallmarks” of hatred identified in the case law. The expression portrays the targeted group as a menace that could threaten the safety and well-being of others, makes reference to respected sources (in this case the Bible) to lend credibility to the negative generalizations, and uses vilifying and derogatory representations to create a tone of hatred… It delegitimizes homosexuals by referring to them as filthy or dirty sex addicts and by comparing them to pedophiles, a traditionally reviled group in society.
 The flyers also seek to vilify those of same-sex orientation by portraying them as child abusers or predators. Examples of this in Flyers D and E would include: “Our children will pay the price in disease, death, abuse . . .”; “Sodomites are 430 times more likely to acquire Aids & 3 times more likely to sexually abuse children!”; and “Our acceptance of homosexuality and our toleration [sic] of its promotion in our school system will lead to the early death and morbidity of many children”.
Rothstein, J. finds that the section infringes the right to freedom of expression, and then decides whether the infringement is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. Paras 63-164 balance hate speech against free speech.
If you read any of the judgment, I recommend paras 69-77 on the harm done by hate speech. The emotional reaction of gay people to the hate is not the issue: instead, it is that hate speech tends to reduce the social standing of the vilified group, promotes discrimination against them, and prevents them from taking part in the national discourse (para 82).
Note the extreme nature of the speech prohibited. The court removes from the statute reference to speech which “ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of” gay people or other protected groups, as unconstitutional (para 92). Reasoned debate is always permissible. Whatcott can still advocate that homosexuality and homosexual behaviour should not be discussed in schools, but not by calling us a threat to children.
Whatcott sought to argue that his pamphlets only attacked sexual behaviour, not people of a sexual orientation. The court found that homosexual conduct is a crucial aspect of the identity of the homosexual group, so that attacks on the conduct stand as proxy for an attack on the vulnerable group (paras 121-124).
The Bible calls for us to be stoned to death. Is it hate speech? No. While use of the Bible as a credible authority for a hateful proposition has been considered a hallmark of hatred, it would only be unusual circumstances and context that could transform a simple reading or publication of a religion’s holy text into what could objectively be viewed as hate speech (para 199).
Whatcott was ordered to pay $7,500 Canadian to two complainants, and cease to distribute his two most objectionable pamphlets. Others saying “Saskatchewan’s largest gay magazine allows ads for men seeking boys” and “[t]he ads with men advertising as bottoms are men who want to get sodomized. This shouldn’t be legal in Saskatchewan!” were permitted (paras 194-202).
So this article claiming that the Bible, or anyone calling homosexual sex “immoral”, could be prohibited as hate speech, is in error, and as it quotes from the judgment, that error is likely a deliberate lie. And that poor silly cakemaker, who writes that even claiming that homosexual behaviour is immoral is now classified as ‘Hate Speech’, is mistaken. I hope she will delete her false claims from her blog.
My name is Clare.