Re: sad daughter of mtf

Subject: Re: sad daughter of mtf
Date: Wed 27 Jan 1999 - 15:41:27 GMT

I want to make two comments on the "sad daughter of mtf" post.

First, I believe her mourning is real and very painful.

Yet, what she has lost is not her father, bur rather her image of who her
father was. She, like any child, any projecting person in a relationship,
built up an image of who her father was, attributed that image with magical
properties, powerful and strong.

As her father revealed himself, though, she found that her image of him, the
picture in her head was wrong. Her father, whatever she saw of him on the
outside, had many other parts on the inside. When he shed the "father" suit,
like a performer at an amusement park shedding the suit of a cartoon
character, she was sad, because she had grown to love the image of the suit,
not the person inside of it.

This is one of the hardest lessons we learn in life, that what hurts most is
the shattering of our illusions, the death of our dreams of how things ought
to be. Pain is certain, suffering is optional, as Buddha said, and that
suffering comes because of our broken expectations, our sense of what should
have happened.

To embrace life, we have to embrace how things are, not how we wanted them to
be. We have to allow the death of our illusions or suffer with anger & pain
about how we were betrayed by the pictures in our own head. Our illusions are
always breaking, our fantasies always being frustrated by reality, but in the
end, reality is enough. A painful lesson to learn, but an important one.

The second point is the amazing selfishness of the transsexual process. I
have seen many people on the newsgroup where this was posted reply in a
challenging way: why aren't you supporting this person? They projected
themselves, defended their own selfish choices.

This selfishness makes sense to me, first because it is the selfishness of an
adolescent. Adolescence is inherently a very self-centered time, and for a
transsexual woman learning how to be a woman, it's very similar to a teenage
girl learning to be a woman. The problem lies, however, when a this means an
adolescent trans woman is the parent of an adolescent teenage woman -- they
both need to focus on themselves, and neither can do the parent role.

So many transpeople rationalize an intense amount of selfishness by using the
justification that they were so selfless for so many years. "I sacrificed to
play the role people wanted of me, did what they asked, so now I don't have to
do what anyone expects of me!" They go deaf to social pressures, maybe
because they have to -- if they didn't, they would never transition, be
trapped in a life that kept them small.

Too many transpeople, however, use that self-justification of having been good
before to escape their own obligations and commitments. When we parent a
child, we have obligations to that child, financial and social, for the rest
of our lives. I have seen transparents both whine about how their children
were taken away while also working hard to escape their obligations as

For these people, their own pain and victimization -- the rationalization that
comes from their own sense of someone else causing the pain that was actually
caused by their own dreams & expectations -- becomes justification for a
spiral of selfishness, a demand that the world change. I have even seen
transsexuals justify their actions because no one gave them unconditional
love, when they have refused that unconditional love to the children they
created. They see themselves as martyrs, as madonnas, while they turn their
back on children, often under the age of 12.

        Reference: "Who Killed Dan Diamond"
        My response: "Letter To The Editor"

It's part of the closet, the creation of walls that justify and rationalize
our own isolation from those we have made commitments to because they don't
treat us the way we want to be treated -- because they don't make us happy by
making our own dreams come true, don't fulfill our fantasies, don't love us in
just the perfect way.

This is a kind of emotional anorexia: if it's not exactly what we dreamed of,
we can't take nourishment from it. Our illusions of how things ought to be
block our capacity to enjoy, accept and embrace how things are. We wait in
frustration, pain and rage for someone to give us exactly what we expect, and
that means those expectations stop us from getting what we need. You can't
always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find. . . .

Learning how to move beyond the suffering that comes from the death of our
dreams, the mourning for our illusions, lets us come to the point where we can
open to what we do have, what we have not lost. It's easy to become buried in
selfishness to the point where we become spiritually malnourished.

My hope for this young woman and her parent is that they can both find some
place where they can give to each other and receive from each other what the
other has to give, rather than just being hurt that what the other one has to
give isn't just what they think they need and deserve.

But that's dang hard magic, as I well know.



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