The Stranger

File:Seattle Pride.jpgKelley gave me a gift of a three month old free newspaper. “I think you’ll like this, there is some pretty radical stuff on gender identity in it,” he said. Oh God, not more “My transition struggle” articles. Nothing I don’t know, haven’t seen before so many times. Gosh. Thanks. It is from Seattle, that not-quite Canadian city in the rain where the ripoff of Forbrydelsen was set.

I have not seen anything in Britain like the Stranger. We have magazines with articles as serious, but not a free paper. The trans stuff is nothing I have not read before: the heartwarming story of a couple who fell in love, got married, and when the husband transitioned to female it brought them closer together, and the story of a couple, one M-F TS, whose partner transitioned F-M while they were together.

This is the Marriage Issue. There are articles on legal marriages: one is an interracial marriage- unremarkable except that it was illegal until 1967 in eighteen US states. Here, my friend whose wife was black notices the racism, but has rarely had serious problems with it. This shows that we reinvent marriage, often. One woman held one of many, many kinds of party which I don’t go to- in this case, a sex party- and a married woman did various things then told her husband all about it on the phone. For some people, marriage makes perfect sense. A gay man writes of a married couple who both came on to him: he thinks the husband was gay and had married as a cure. He was disgusted, but as a writer stayed around to see how sad it would get.

When his father told an eight year old that he wanted to arrange his marriage with a baby, the son thought of dropping the baby he was cradling, to end it. When, later, he came out as gay, his father threatened to kill him. He says the most traditional marriages are arranged marriages- common in white society in the 19th century- and that is not what “traditional marriage” defenders are defending.

File:Lesbian married couple.jpgThere is a marriage which has got better, with less conflict and greater happiness, since on the husband’s suggestion the wife has dominated him. It works for them, and it is simply between them- why should others regulate their relationship? Outside the bedroom it comes across as the husband seeming “gentlemanly and attentive”. Another marriage is sexless, effectively, the couple are house-sharers.

Mitt Romney’s great grandfather had four wives, and he joked once that “marriage should be between a man and a woman and a woman and a woman”. Good to see a man sticking with the faith of his ancestors. And finally there is a traditional religious marriage: a couple married by their church, with four sons and a suburban lifestyle, who happen to be gay.

Through this publication I have learned the term “zoobiquity”, bringing together doctors and vets to treat diseases shared by different species. There is a review of the top ten: I have never understood the musical snobberies of cool people around pop music- I like Classical music, and all not-classical music is either fun or not-fun- and the reviewer hates Carly Rae Jepsen. I heard “Call me maybe” with my friend’s thirteen year-old granddaughter in March, and I liked her playing on the leading note creating anticipation. Not just C would be smiling to herself and thinking, “Call me, maybe”.

6 thoughts on “The Stranger

    • You are welcome. Always good to hear from you.

      It is much sunnier than Seattle. And, it is a lovely photo. Two women standing tall in public, unashamed, in enough threat to make it a brave act.

      I looked at Wikipedia, and found the wonderfully named case of Loving v Virginia was heard in 1967, in which anti-miscegenation laws were declared contrary to the 14th amendment of the US constitution, but Alabama did not alter the words in its constitution against interracial marriage until 2000.

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      • Those things that people forget.
        Until the recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s ruling, I was allowed to be legally discriminated in more than 30 states, like some common felon or sex offender. It was really mind boggling as I am an honorably served veteran of the military.
        I hear Europe is much better.

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        • Here, the Sex Discrimination Act was enacted in the 1970s, and applied to trans people from about the 1990s, initially by interpretation of sections created to protect cis women. The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations were brought into force in 2003.

          It encroaches on freedom, some argue, to prevent a person from expressing his righteous disgust at a man mutilating himself and dressing as a woman by sacking that person. Whereas in reality, allowing the discrimination prevents trans people from utilising our gifts, to the detriment of all society, and imprisons everyone in a cage of fear in case they be seen as “not normal”.

          When was that ruling, and what was it, precisely?

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          • Basically that non-conforming gender appearance was in fact sex based discrimination. This applied to cases of say “a woman with short hair and preference to wearing trousers and no make-up”. It was NOT something pushed or pressed through into policy by the Obama administration. True there has been much LGBT progress because of him but this was forged out of lawsuits and someone finally realized that it is sex discrimination and not a “lifestyle.”
            It will be slow to change but its better than nothing.

            http://www.transgenderlawcenter.org/archives/635

            Official transcript:
            http://www.eeoc.gov/decisions/0120120821%20Macy%20v%20DOJ%20ATF.txt

            ~L

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            • Thank you for that. It means you are about fifteen years behind us. Though on clothing and behaviour, the picture is more mixed; the demand of an employer that a female employee wears skirts when dealing with the public has been allowed, quite recently. It gets more difficult to justify as society moves on, and so the law in this case follows changing mores.

              And- Hooray! The Macy ruling is Wonderful!

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