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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Poetry Sans Onions : My Transsexual Mormon Experience: Easter Week - Part 1 of 4

Happy Easter! I hope your Holiday is wonderful, and has been all you wish it to be in spirituality, family, and companionship.

I am including the link to my best friends blog, where she so kindly has chosen to feature me in the next few days as a guest author. I hope you like it, and show her some love and support with comments and joining and friending her blog. She is a most remarkable individual, and I hope you get to know her like I have. She is my family and my Sister.

Today I know is Easter, but it is also the Transgender Day of Visibility, so I honor and celebrate this day in harmony, with my new identity. Please click the link below:  



Poetry Sans Onions : My Transsexual Mormon Experience: Easter Week - Part 1 of 4

I hope you have a Happy Day, and remember to smile and be your best true self. With all my love and tenderness.

Leah

Saturday, March 16, 2013

OF RAPE CULTURE AND CONDITIONAL BIGOTRY: KILLING US SOFTLY



TRIGGER WARNING!!  THIS POST CONTAINS MY PERSONAL OPINIONS ABOUT RAPE AND BIGOTRY. Nothing is explicit. I have strong opinions and I do not wish to send anyone into a rish of anxiety or distress. I have not posted this to offend or disturb anyone, least of all, victims of rape, abuse, and bigotry. I have been raped. I don't go into details, but strong triggers may go off. I apologize profusely for not having this warning up right from the start. I want to make it clear that I in no way intend to diminish, belittle or discount anyone's experiences or life history. I do not in any way believe that death is better or would have been better than rape. We are all valid and worthy human beings of living a long productive and healthy life. My point is only to say, it that we are forever changes, and set on a different path than otherwise would be the case. I am so sorry to my friends, and one in particular, I am crushed to have offended. I am so so Sorry.

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There are a couple of things in the news right now, particularly in my current State of residence, Ohio, that are really rubbing me wrong. The first is the Stuebenville gang rape of a teenage girl. I've been hearing all day long about today's testimony, centering on the girl having been flirting. What does flirting have anything to do with a crime of violence. When will our society get it through it's thick skull, that rape is a crime of barbarism and violence, and not of sex or sexuality. The perpetrators get to go ahead and "kill" their victim. And yes, I boldly use the word "kill" because that is exactly what they are doing. They are killing the innocence of their target. They are killing the hopes, wishes and dreams, killing a lifetime of thoughts and feelings, killing their heart and soul, and inflicting into their targets minds a lifetime of worry, fear, rage, hate, inhibition, impediment, regret and myriad sentiments and feelings that diminish the life of every human being targeted for rape. Simply put, to rape someone is to kill them. That person can never ever be the same person. They are dead and gone, and no longer alive as they once were

I speak from experience. In so many ways I was robbed, and killed, away, from the person and life I might have lived. Having been born with labia, that was later mutilated, and fused together, subjected to over seven years of poisonous testosterone to force a male puberty onto me, are just the tip of the ice burg. I too was raped. I was raped and abused over a more than two year period, by a neighbor that confronted me and my transgender identity. He comforted me, befriended me, showered me with girl clothes and pretty things, then used it all against me.

It all took a most horrible twist when he took me to see a matinee of Fantasia, while I was dressed en-femme. We strangely sat way over to the side of a very large, ornate theater. I don't remember if there was anyone else there, because my world was forever changed, and I can never watch Fantasia to this day. It was unspeakable horror, that I have only recently come to grips with. This man continued to have his way with me for two more years, until I had the ability to beat him off of me once and for all.

That wasn't the end of being "killed" though. I was violently raped by a man who by knife point, backed me back into the women's restroom at a park I was crossing at 4 am while doing my morning papers, dressed en-femme. I was 14, and I had just ended the other 2 year ordeal. I was 2 years into taking testosterone, but still had much of the natural female characteristics. I'm only now coming to grips with all of this, 35 years later. This happened because I am Transgender, and because I am female. These things never would have happened had those two things not been true. But I was so afraid of telling anyone because I would be discovered as a deviate, a freak. Most likely they'd lock *me* up and I'd be raped by numerous men there. Or beat up, or they'd tell me I was wrong to think of myself as a girl.

You see, I understand being raped. I lived it. No matter how generous and kindly it is, and how many gifts are given, and facilitating of ones true identity the perpetrator is, it is always a crime of violence. Each time it kills you, and continues to follow you and kill you all your life. To hear today, that the young girl here in Ohio, was "asking for it", that she flirted with them, and thus deserved what she had coming, is a sign that we are a very very sick society, that we would even entertain such ludicrous notions. Just because your "wild oats" are happening to you, does not give you license to kill. You never ever have licence to perpetrate, either sober or drunk or stoned. These jokers are admitting what they did, but they say, "she was flirting with us, so she wanted us to gang rape her and manipulate her lifeless body". On what planet are they from? No hominid can ever get away with such things.

We need to see these fowl representations of the human race go to prison for 40 years without the possibility of parole. There needs to be a message loud and clear, that this can never be tolerated. Men do these things, *kids* do these things because they know full well, that even if they are convicted, which is usually 90% unlikely because it is never even reported, that they may face 5 years, 1 or 2 with good behavior. The Commandment in scriptures is, "Thou Shalt not Kill". It is *not* "Thou Shalt not Murder". It is Killing people that is so much more meaningful. There are myriad ways to kill people that have nothing to do with turning a warm body, cold. It is foolish to think of a rape and our (America's) Rape Culture, as anything but a "Killing Culture of Violence against Women".

The other thing I wanted to get off my chest today was the change of heart of Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, and longtime anti LGBT Bigot. I'm hearing so much praise heaped on him, but I'm sorry, I'm just not feeling it. Being that I'm living the results of conditional love being inflicted upon me, I'm keenly aware of the notion of "Conditional Bigotry". Sen. Portman doesn't get to be a conditional bigot and not be called out on it. He has ruined the lives of thousands of LGBT people. His son coming out as Gay, doesn't get to wash away all the heartache and bullicide that has ocrured in a holocaustic genocide against LGBT people engenderd, fostered, coddled, aided and abetted, enfranchised, and empowered by codification efforts to put evango-nazi and Christo-fascist religioistic doctrine into American law.

First of all such efforts by the Radiacal Religios Right go against many Church's own doctrine, as it does mine. I am ashamed and embarrassed by the LDS Church's past efforts to dis-edify LGBT people. A most Un-Godly and decidedly anti-Christ act. No Jesus or God I know, or would ever care to know would sponsor or ever acquiesce to such efforts. We don't get to force everyone into "our" Church by virtue of forcing them to abide our Church Doctrine against their free will and agency. It is direct violation of the 11th article of faith and D&C 134. It also a direct violation of the Constitution, "equality under law", and "freedom of and from religion". What about the ever increasing number of religions that are LGBT welcoming and inclusive. We are in violation of their religious freedom.

So, I posit the theory of "Conditional Bigotry"...be it Religioistic, Ignorant, or malevolent...is all the same, and should always be called out and utterly opposed with all vigor as to wrestle the Earth From Fools and Make Heaven a Place on Earth for all mankind. Lets take Religious bigotry. If your religion espouses bigotry, that's fine, just keep it in your own Church. You have no right to perpetrate it, and no promise to flout it in the public square. Ignorant Bigotry, the kind some Homophobes, Transphobes and other LGBT people seem to wallow in and claim "I'm not a bigot, *but*"/ "Love the sinner, *but* hate the sin/ "just because I'm for traditional family values *doesn't make me a bigot"--DIATRIBES.  I want to make something very clear to these folks, the *effects* of the causes you are making *are* killing people...and killing them cold and six feet under....as in a holocaust, a genocide.

The targets of the 3 Bigotries (Religioistic/Ignorance/Malevolence) are not given the benefit of distinguishing between the styles. They, all LGBT people, only know we are hated, despised, denigrated, dis-edified, kept separate, inferior, alienated, otherized, dis-enfenchised, dis-empowered, and prevented from loving committed relationships. Being prevented from partaking in Love, Empathy and Compassion is incomprehensible. It doesn't matter what your lifestyle of bigotry that one engages in, it's effects are all the same. People to one degree, or another, are a diminished as a direct result of your actions or acquiescence's.  All three of these are lifestyle choices, unlike what being LGBT is. Claiming your religion asked you to be a bigot, or claiming ignorance of the end results of the effects your causes were and are making, does not and will never absolve anyone of the sins of being a bigot.

We all need to work on it. I am not perfect. I have to work on *Un-learning Bigotry* every single day of my life. Our society, our culture, does so much to foster tribalism, supremacism, and bigotry. It is the worst part of an otherwise wonderful world we live in. I actually thing things are pretty good, and getting better every day.

Senator Portman doesn't get to be a hero though. We need to thank him for joining the 20th Century, but we need to inculcate into him that it is well worth it to join us in the 21st century. You don't get to claim you were only engaging in conditional bigotry. Bigotry is bigotry--hate is hate--Love is Love....there are no conditions to any of it! I have never conditionally loved anyone. I loved my wife when we married, and despite what I'm going through I love my wife every bit as much. I lover the family members, in-laws, that ostracized me 18 years ago. I also am a *bigot*, and proudly so......I absolutely have unconditional bigotry for bigots. I will call it's wretched stink out every single time whenever, whatever, or however it rises up by Un-Christlike choices, or any kind of choices. I am duty bound to do so, *because* of my faith, my hope, may charity, and indeed my Love, Empathy, and Compassion....thus my name, Leanora(h). Those are my core principles and I'm sticking to them.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

HOME RULES: THE WRITING ON THE WALL

March 14, 2013,   Akron, Ohio (six feet under)

Sorry I haven't been blogging of late. I have been busy trying to organize my facebook  group, "Transgender Mormons and Allies". The group has been a wonderful godsend for me, as I have made so many great new friends, and all my best friends are there supporting and helping me. I have them to thank for the early success we have been able to achieve. I am beginning to have dreams about what kind of life is possible for me, and I am utterly amazed. If you are not already a member, I would urge you to go there and do so:https://www.facebook.com/groups/450454028337645/  Also, If you are not my friend on facebook yet, please friend me:    Here is the link for my page:https://www.facebook.com/Leah.Loreli

I have also had my families rejection of me weighing heavily on me. It just doesn't make any sense. It goes against everything I have ever been taught or learned my entire life. Nothing in my Religion or Church suggests that this is the way to treat people. Nothing about our ideology suggests this either. We are all devout Latter Day Saints (Mormons), and we are all Bleeding-Heart Pollyanna Liberals. My wife's folks divorced when they were young, but they always got along. Mine stayed together, but were highly disfunctional. Sure there were some not so great examples of how not to raise families, and not be a good spouse, but I truly thought we were avoiding those pitfalls. The more I think about this, the more i realize we never really had a marriage much past the first 4 years or so.

Foolish I was, to come out to my wife and daughters on New Years Eve thinking there would be any different result. It still doesn't explain the why. In our living room is hanging a large framed picture of our "HOME RULES". My wife has had it there for the past 15 years or so. Here is what it says:
1.  Always be honest. Proverbs 12:22
2.  Count your blessings. Psalms 34:1-5
3.  Bear each others burdens. Galations 6:2
4.  Forgive and forget. Micah 7:18
5.  Be kind and tender hearted. Ephesians 4:32
6.  Comfort one another.1 Thessalonians 4:18
7.  Keep your promises. Romans 4:21
8.  Be supportive of one another.  Acts 20:35
9.  Be True to each other.  Revelations 15:3
10. Look after each other.  Dueteronomy 15:11
11. Treat each other like you treat your friends. Matthew 7:12
12. But most important of all is, Love one another, deeply from the heart.  1 Peter 1:22

I love all of these Commandments. And lets face it, they are commandments that we as followers of Christ, must obey, if we expect to be called Saints to any degree whatsoever. The ice cold response I was given to my coming out was a direct violation of just about every one of these refrains.  I was duty bound to come out to them, and I'm duty bound to transition to my true self, anything less is dishonesty. Bearing each others burdens we both fall short on. an 18 year basement sequester will do this to you. Forgive and forget. I held my wife up as a perfect princess for at least 17 of those 18  years....ask my siblings about that one. They've been trying to get me to leave my wife for at least 16 years, to no avail. I actually have admitted that they were right.

Where was the kindness and tender heartedness? Never saw it. Where was the comfort? Never saw it. Where was the supportiveness? Never saw it. Being true to each other, I was in full violation, while pretending to be a man. 24 years of *my bad*. I was in full guile, my salvation was in jeopardy. No more! Did we look after each other? Not much. Did we treat each other like we treat our friends? Hardly. Did we love one another deeply from the heart? I thought so, at least for the first few years. Being rejected so instantaneously, and so matter-of-factly, I question if it was ever the case.

About a week ago I went upstairs for a late night snack, and while it was heating, I went into the living room.  I noticed a letter from my youngest daughter from BYU-Idaho. It was a month old, but I figured I would be finding some pleasant news about my thriving daughter. Instead my heart sank into deep dispair as I read the words (addressed to my wife), "I hope you have found the job in Ashland you wanted. You need to get out of Akron as soon as possible, like you want." Ashland is an hour south of here. My wife's sister lives there, and my oldest daughter wants to go to school there. So when was she going to tell me? Was she just going to move out while I'm away one weekend? Apparently, this is the end. This house is no longer my home. I have to pack up and I hate packing. I have way to many issues going on to deal with finding a place to store my stuff. I'm glad we have no assets to divy up, and we are renting, so no problem there.

I have decided that I cannot stay here in Akron and transition. I must move out of here and start new someplace else. I promise to fill you in on the details of some of my plans in my next post, in a day or two.

It is really hard for me. I never thought I would ever get divorced. I never wanted to think of myself as a quitter. I must rise above this and wish my wife well. I do love her, and wish all the best for her. She deserves a second chance to honor those "HOME RULES", with someone she can truly love. I make myself the promise that if I am ever so blessed to ever find love again, that I will, indeed honor the Home Rules that were so dishonored against me. And it will all be unconditional, for that is the only way I know how. Love is Love.

May you all love one another, and do so as your true selves. My name is Leah, and this is my wish for all of you. Thank you so much for supporting me, loving me and being my friend in this most difficult time in my life.