1664 Twice Nice.
I think Jo would like it if being Jo was less complex, and Thomas would like to be able to step into the experiences of other people. These two are quite a pair. I’m glad they get to be with one another a little more in the coming parts.
Well the Teen moved out. I am no longer a steward of her care. It’s been a hard time trying to guide her from day one and it wore on me. her family was so different from ours and she resisted till the very last. Our way may not be better but it worked for us and not so much for her. Still, I worry that she didn’t get enough of our teachings to be safe out in the world. But her course is her own to chart now, and I wish her a calm sea and fair winds. She is far more bold than I was at her age.
The house is very empty in the areas she frequented. The sudden appearance of space took me by surprise. Mountains of hair care products suddenly disappeared like they were raptured away. And the bathroom just stayed clean since I tended to stay out of it over these last few years. She made it her own space much more than anyone else. The room where I started this very comic has returned to the state between the times of there and now. A chapter of all our lives has closed. Now we turn a page.
*ruffles Jo’s hair*
She really is too precious for this world. And bless Thomas.
An El Goonish Shive crossover where Jo and Tedd have a passionate discussion about gender fluidity is my favorite idea now.
Yeah. Once you’ve got ’em, chromosomes are really hard to change….
Chromosomes aren’t the be-all-end-all of gender. Speaking as a trans person (with GRS finally on the horizon, woot!) I can say that I’ve never known my chromosome makeup (nor does 99% of the population) and that doesn’t affect my gender at all.
In a way, we do get to “choose” in such that our gender identities don’t always match our assigned gender at birth, and that, for some people, their gender doesn’t fit the male/female binary (or even assigned gender at birth, for those who are intersex), or even shift within the gender spectrum over time (gender fluidity).
Reality check – chromosomes change! Sometimes parts get moved around leading to what are called chromosome translocations. Imagine what that does if the Y-chromosome is involved or try a search for “sex chromosome translocation”. This is one of several mechanisms that can lead to people whose genitals don’t match their brains …
So the Teen is out in the real world, I gather? Well it sounds like your house is in order. I also have recently parted ways from my own version of “the Teen”, but I opted on just relinquishing my house and finding a new home. Was way simpler O_o
Are you feeling any separation anxiety? The first few weeks were tough. Getting a cat really helped.
If you love your kids, set them free at 18. Then change the locks. :)
if only it was that easy…
Oh, I don’t know. When I moved back home after college, my folks sold the house and left the country.
Worked for them…
In regards to not getting enough of your teachings… in my experience, kids tend to listen a lot more than we would give them credit for. Often they don’t realize the value or import of what they heard right away, but when a turning point or an “a-ha” moment is reached, those bits of guidance tend to come into play. It’s all you can really hope for. They have to live on their own eventually and that is going to involve a lot of mistakes. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that, with a comic named like this.
“It’s time like this when I’m trapped in a vogon airlock, about to die of asphixiation in deep space with a man from Betelgeuse that I wish I’d listened to what my mother always told me.”
“Why? what did she say?”
“I don’t know! I didn’t listen!”
I will say that I’ve been lucky enough to experience life as both a man (or, rather, being perceived as a man) and as a woman. Some of us don’t feel the need to stick with “what we are given” (or, perhaps more honestly, we are compelled to surpass such limitations through dysphoria, etc.)
It would certainly be nice if we could all be what we wanted.
When I was in the 9th grade, if it would have given me access to the girl’s locker room I’d have “identified” as a girl in a heartbeat. And, of course, since I’m attracted to women, I must be a lesbian. So pay no attention to the erection: it’s simply an autonomic response over which I have no control. It doesn’t mean anything. Here, let me scrub your back. By the way, my preferred pronoun is “Lord and Master”.
Well hey, since my gender identity has no correlation to actual physical reality, why not my racial identity as well? I think I’ll identify as a black person; they seem to get the most perks in this PC game. And since “white privilege” is what we call other peoples’ reaction to my pasty-faced complexion, I’ll get the best of both worlds: White Privilege AND sent to the top of every waiting list. And you know, since I’m black, now it’s O.K. for me to say the word “n!gg@r” (I just can’t write it).
As long as my fantasies are being taken as reality, it doesn’t matter that I’ve been flipping burgers for the last 18 years. I feel as if I’m much more than that. I identify as an expert in whatever it is you’re talking about. With at least 12 years’ experience.
While we’re at it, even though I’ve never been in the service I’ve been a military history and military science hobbyist since I was eleven. So I think I’ll also identify as a veteran. I’ve lived during every war since Korea, so I should be able to claim about 50 years’ status. That should do it.
My spouse is disabled, too. Not only do they get the best parking spots, but they’re also sent to the top of the hiring list. So I think I’ll identify as disabled.
So here I am: contrary to what you may see before you, a female, black, lesbian, disabled American Vet who’s an expert at everything. You think I’m a liar? Think I’m irrational? Well, that’s pretty bigoted, racist, sexist, homophobic, judgmental and close-minded of you. And if you don’t hire me to do the job I feel like doing for more money that I’ll ever be worth, I’ll get the PC police on your a$$ so fast it’ll make your head swim. I raised two boys in what was obviously a dysfunctional household; I don’t make threats, I make promises.
I feel like you and the point aren’t well acquainted.
Evidently. I thought the point was that if I think that something is true, in contradiction to objective reality, then my beliefs trump reality.
I’m not talking about things like religion, politics, origins or other belief systems. The possession of XX and/or XY chromosomes is verifiable and objective. How I feel about my possessing of them is a matter of psychology, not civil rights. And as far as I know, there’s very little medical science can do about it at this time (surgical procedures and hormone therapy don’t change your chromosomal makeup).
Of course, my original post is primarily facetious. The whole conversation strikes me as irrational. Along the lines of being able to create your own reality (and what happens when your reality bumps up against someone else’s). As long as you look both ways before crossing the street you know that reality isn’t under your control.
The world in general is very cruel when the brain you have doesn’t match the body you have. Jo just thinks it would be nice if people could make it so people could match what they feel they are. Being gay must be extremely tedious because you’re attracted to the wrong biological thing. I know it’s hard to empathize with that for some people, or they think you just choose to be whatever you like, but I have no idea how people come to that assumption. I just liked women. From when I was little. From when I was too small to understand why I liked them I always did. I mean as young as seven or possibly younger I loved looking at boobs. I have no idea why. That’s just how it is and I never chose it. Which is great because that’s exactly what the world expects. I have a dick and I like women. But to be someone who has a dick and then one day you suddenly realize that you like boys and girls don’t turn you on at all… How terrifying that must be when people tell you you’re going to burn FOR ALL FUCKING ETERNITY IN A LAKE OF FIRE. So cruel. To tell another human being that the way they are is an abomination to everything that’s good in the world… Such casual callousness, and so easily done by people who are happy inside themselves.
How much simpler would it be if people’s bodies could be made to match their minds. It’s an innocent thought from someone who wants to be accepted and loved just like everyone else.
Luckily, despite the “you can’t change chromosomes” kinda viewpoint, most of the things that make up a person’s gendered body are mutable.
I’ve been on hormones for about 4 years now. In that time, I’ve lost most of my body hair (without further intervention), regrown a decent amount of my hairline, grown breasts of matching size of the women in my family and had my fat redistributed to different parts of my body, changing my body shape.
That’s not to mention the huge decrease in depression after starting on estrogen, the other psychological or neurological changes (like an increased sense of smell, though that is hardly universal), and the changes in my -ahem- personal areas.
Other things, such as lowered voice, are permanent after puberty with testosterone, though training can help make up for that. (and for those who had a puberty with estrogen, starting on testosterone lengthens the vocal chords and lowers the voice). I still need to shave my facial hair (and, to a lesser extent, leg hair) on occasion, but otherwise, my body resembles those of cis women in almost every respect. I have not had a person approach me in public with the assumption that I am a man in ages.
And this isn’t to go into surgery, which has come a long way in the last few decades.
This is not at all to say that “passing” is always the point of transition, and hormones are not always the path a trans person takes, but I will say that my experiences are hardly an exception to the norm in the trans community.
The truth is, our bodies are as mutable as we want them to be. It just comes down to willingness, cost, and the way our individual bodies respond.
Also, I don’t want to leave intersex people out of the picture, as their bodies alone are proof that chromosomes don’t determine everything about a person’s body (See Androgen insensitivity syndrome for a prime example) and how our bodies are very much mutable with the introduction (or loss of) hormones or receptivity to hormones, whether that is part of our bodies’ natural processes, or introduced by other means.
Sorry for the double posts and the longer, ranty posts, but I don’t want misconceptions about trans people and their bodies to spread. If nothing else, perhaps my words will help out another trans person who happens to stop by this page.
I’m trans and I appreciate your post.
“Jo just thinks it would be nice if people could make it so people could match what they feel they are.” … “How much simpler would it be if people’s bodies could be made to match their minds.”
On this we agree. Our difference is that you (plural, non-specific) believe the answer is to change their bodies, and I believe the answer is to change their minds. Both solutions are time-consuming and represent difficult paths to take — physically, emotionally and financially. Debating which solution is the “correct” one — especially in this venue — does not seem to be very productive.
Friends? *extends hand*
See my comment below (misplaced it). Conversion therapy causes real harm to trans people and is completely discredited. So yeah, no, there’s no real “debate” as to what the correct approach is. Medical professionals have already proven what works best. And the states are replying- many states have bills in the works to ban conversion therapy, on top of the cities and states which already have. Meanwhile, insurance companies are already integrating transitionary care in their coverage plans (sadly, the repeal of the ACA may see many such measures perish, however).
Well, luckily, the APA and most health organizations focused on mental and physical health disagree with you, meaning that trans healthcare, in the form of mental health care and transitionary care, is becoming more and more common across the world. And we are seeing fewer trans people being forced through conversion therapy or other damaging conditioning.
Sadly, the world’s response in recent years has been to kill us in greater numbers. But nevertheless, we persist.
I’m sorry, but given that all the evidence points to conversion therapy (aka “changing the mind”) causes lasting and intense harm to trans individuals, on top of being very ineffective. The conversion approach also has a long history of encouraging discrimination against trans and queer people.
Whereas transitionary care has a demonstrable improvement in quality of life and mental health of trans people (despite the fact that all trans people, regardless of transitionary state, face discrimination to a large extent).
Yeah, I can’t treat the two perspectives as equals. People who continue to push conversion therapy are causing real harm to real people.
just wanted to point out that the harmful forms haven’t been used since the 1990’s at the latest, and even those were done in unlicensed groups. the newer forms (using group therapy and masturbation conditioning) are completely humane and have shown marked success when used for both conversion therapy AND treatment of sexual disorders and paraphilia’s .
Conversation between Jo and Thomas are always fun to read. :) I can relate to the attitudes of both to different degrees, but both are characters that would be good people to know in real life. On the topic at hand though, I agree with Thomas’ evaluation.
Unfortunately for many folks, reality and feelings are not the same thing, which understandably leads to confusion. I don’t have a problem with other people believing or doing things differently than me (unless there’s a specific reason), but I do have a problem when they erroneously infringe upon our First Amendment rights in the name of civil rights or ‘social justice’.
The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that “…all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”, and furthermore, the U.S. Constitution guarantees under Amendment I that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This means that “hate speech”, while obviously objectionable, is an attempt too legally classify what is and is not ‘free speech’, and therefore abridge the First Amendment Rights of all citizens, whether or not they agree with such classification. Additionally, imposition of social reclassification and fluid personal identification by a minority group or groups upon the majority of the citizenry, without proper legislation through Congress and ratified amendment to the U.S. Constitution, is a violation of the First Amendment Rights of all citizens, including those trying to impose said changes, whether or not they understand it.
Legislative issues aside, consider the unquantifiable complications of legally proving a citizen’s identity for purposes of routine things such as voting, traveling overseas (or even domestically), inheritance, notary services, or a myriad of other common situations that depend upon someone who is not personally familiar with another to have confidence that they are who and what they claim to be.
Human societal change is a very slow process, and while it is admirable that some want to move things along for the benefit for all persons, there needs to be a basic courtesy, patience and understanding that it will take time for major shifts in social norms. It is not judgmental to ask for patience and thorough discussion, but it is to label, abuse, inflict violence upon and harass those who disagree. That is true for all parties involved, and lack of respect is what generally incites the most stubborn or intolerant resistance.
All that being said, the human condition is one of constant adaptation, and all we can do is our best to communicate with our fellow humans and ask for a little kindness and patience while we sort through everything.
This post goes on my list of idiotic things I’ve read by people who perceive themselves to be intelligent but bother to do no research on what they talk about and miss the point entirely. You sir seem to not understand biology, anatomy and physiology, medical science, psychology, sociology, statics, and very likely even economy and religion, and yet to deem yourself as an expert and spew hateful opinions that actually harm real tangible people. People like you are the reason why in 2017, even in the “developed” world, we don’t have basic human rights extended to everybody. I have read some great replies by at least one or two trans people here, and quite frankly I take my hat off to them because I could not keep my cool like they have in the face of such blatant discrimination and bigotry directed against me, hell that look at how upset I get about such a bullshit statement and I’m NOT trans (though shape-shifting would be awesome and I would love to spend some time as a female to better understand how they perceive the world and interact with society on a first hand basis). If anyone should be locked up and forced into a rehabilitory therapy it is you, not people who just want to leave their life the way they want to without hurting and forcing anyone to do anything. With that said, I have no interest into forcing you or anyone to believe anything, brain washing is not something I consider to be acceptable (nor has it ever been proven to be effective when used in the manner you suggest) but rather what we need is to properly educate the incoming generations and hopefully when the vast majority of people who were educated into being bigots but refuse to change with new data (also due to social conditioning) die off from natural causes this world will be a better place.
You’d parse out if you saw those girl pants notions
Excellent – I can see the coroner’s report:
“Clause of death, assfixiation.”
Amen. Medical science can help us, if we have the money, change the body and the way most people see us (so long as they don’t look deeper into our history, or our pants) to better resemble the social gender role we feel like we fit best. Ideally we would not have such strict gender roles, and if that would be the case this wouldn’t be as big of an issue, but people have modified their bodies since the dawn of humanity, and so this is no different. Let everyone change themselves as they feel, and treat people like they want to be treated.
See, the “weird” thing is that, for many of us trans folks, we don’t feel the need to fit in gender roles. I’m pretty masculine- software engineering job, two motorcycles in the garage, board gamer, rpg-ER, t-shirts and jeans are my daily… Not to say women can’t fit this mold, but we generally say these things are “manly” or “boys’ club” kinda deals.
My desire to transition has much more to do with my body because yeah, it brings me extreme anguish mentally. I also suffer social dysphoria- I hate when people gender me as male in public.
Being a woman, cis or trans, has little to do with gender roles and more to do with this sense of identity- which is hard to define beyond “how I feel” but is all too real and ever-present foe trans folk, because it gets pushed against and disregarded daily by others.
yeah, I understand that the two aren’t mutually inclusive, though I can’t say I understood exactly the idea of being male in the gender role, just feeling female. In my mind, the thought was: “if you did what society was expecting from your gender anyways, what is the motivation to switch?” So it seemed to me obvious that while the two aren’t mutually inclusive, one would naturally follow the other (ie. if you felt like you are a girl you will align with female gender roles, or if you felt like you aligned with female gender roles, you would transition into being a girl) and for the most part that has been what I’ve seen from the trans people I know, but I understand what you say now. Obviously my small slice of life isn’t representative of everyone and I know that, which is why its great to hear other view points and opinions from other people and just get new input and data. I appreciate you taking the time to reply to me, because I learned (or possibly more accurately, realized) something today :)
Not a problem.
And weirdly, my experience with other trans people os different- most of the trans girls I know (like, 6 at this point) are tomboyish. We are all on the same general circles regarding tech, video games, etc. It all depends on the person and their environment. Heck,at the GSA I volunteered at, the trans students broke all of the”gender rules”. As the saying goes “why have gender roles if you can instead have pizza rolls?”
When talking about gender, I feel it’s helpful to separate the components, as so (in the model I follow): Gender identity (I am a man/woman/both/neither), Gender Roles (what society expects of me based on my gender), gender expression (expressing as masculine/feminine/androgynous/other), gender perception (what gender do others perceive me as?), and gender body differences.
For me, I fall into being a woman by identity, mad one by gender roles, feminine or masculine presentation based on the day, perceived as female by most of my community,and my body is no ones business bit my own.
Ah, gender. Politics and arguments abound on that subject. I will take my idea on it and sit in my corner sipping Scotch.
Technical “buh?”: There’s no next button on this page.
I could write reams on my gender and sexuality, frustratingly ambiguous reams! Nah, not gonna think about it now; now time is relax time. I will say though that “Be the change you wish to see” is not the healthiest idea to take into online porn roleplaying games. :> Fun times for a few years though.