Tuesday, July 24

Arguing With Myself: To Chick-fil-A or Not to Chick-fil-A

Facebook has been up in arms lately about the Chick-fil-A news release in which the company’s president admitted to using company profits to support anti- LGBTQ political groups.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like Chick-fil-A. The food is good, the staff is friendly and helpful, the restaurants are clean and the play places don’t smell like pee.

I believe that the company president and everyone else involved have the right to support whatever issues they like . . . .
With their own money.
My issue is that they are using money paid by customers to do this . . . without informing them first.

Why should I care?
I care because the moment my spouse came out to me as transgender, my family became part of the group ‘the customers’ money’ is being used to try to destroy.
I am one person, not a large franchise with a legal team. I don’t want to be a landmark case to keep my family together and safe.
And to those who think I’m over-reacting . . .

My medical coverage (and that of our kids) is through my spouse. If anti-LGBTQ legislation (like these groups want) goes through, my insurance could disappear as soon as my spouse’s legal name and gender change go through.
Our 8 year marriage could be declared legally invalid. My wife could loose her parental rights . . . to our biological children.

When someone tries to remove the safeguards you have built to protect your family on the basis of not agreeing with your choices . . . and has billions of dollars and a huge political machine to do it . . .
It becomes difficult not to feel harassed and threatened.
While this may not be personal for the president of Chick-fil-A, it is for me.

My heart goes out to any LGBTQ employees at Chick-fil-A who are forced to choose between paying the bills and having equal rights.
To be put in that position by the actions of your employer . . . is horrible.

But I think I have a solution:
Companies using sales based profits for political purposes (i.e. Chick-fil-A, Target, Walmart, etc.) need to step up. Post (both on websites and in store) that a percentage of the profits goes to fund x, y, and z political groups, like they do with charities.
This way supporters know their money is going to a cause they believe in, conscientious objectors are informed before buying, and those in the middle can decide if they care enough to go elsewhere. This also gives prospective employees an idea of where they stand within the company.

In short, I want informed consent. If you are going to use the money I spend for political purposes . . . tell me so I have the option to choose where my monetary support goes.

Anyone have a better plan?
- Vixi

(P.S. – as for the “defense of the ‘biblical’ family” nonsense . . . Jon Stewart of The Daily Show said it so much better than I could. Sorry, this was the best video I could find. If anyone finds a better one please link it to me in the comments.)

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-july-23-2012/gaywatch---holdouts-edition
Thanks Arcee for the video link.

Friday, July 6

Where We are Now

Loving my Wife

Since my husband came out to me as transgender
things have changed in our home.

We spend more time getting ready (she’s very feminine and loves her makeup and accessories) and shopping (much to Elroy and Bam-Bam’s dismay).

We talk more (she often states how much closer she feels we have become, how much stronger our relationship is now than before).

We spend at least a part of every night cuddled in each others’ arms. This has been one of my favorite new rituals. I hadn’t realized how much
I missed that contact and connection until we had it back.

She helps more around the house. It sounds strange but before she began her transition she might make dinner a couple times a month, or do a load of dishes or laundry about as often. Now, she cooks at least a couple times a week and does laundry or dishes when she sees it needs doing. She spends more time actually parenting our children, and more time playing with them. I didn’t realize how deeply the gender bias had become ingrained in our daily lives
until she gave hers up.

I feel more appreciated and more wanted now than ever before. I had gotten used to talking to myself and to not being heard. Now she tells me at least once a day how much having me in her life has made it better.
She listens when I talk and values my thoughts and opinions.

I occasionally still worry that she is using me as a template for her womanhood.
(When she read this she said ‘not template, stepstool.’ Thanks my love.)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m flattered. But her likes and preferences line up so closely to my own that I was afraid her voice would get lost in trying to become who she is meant to be. Then she says or picks out something I just can’t agree with
and I laugh at my narcissism.

She has found a family in others who are transitioning as well.
People whose stories are varied but the moral is the same.
Being who you are is worth the cost.

I’ve also found a community. Through blogs and support groups I’ve found that I’m not alone in being willing and able to love the person I married through this change. People who share my belief that the equipment is not as important as the mind and soul within it. That it’s possible to come out the other side
 together, in love and happy.

It is still early yet in this process. She’s still on initial doses of hormones (hopefully that will increase this month) but the changes emotional and physical have been both subtle and life changing. Her body is changing. She has saddle bags that make her smile every time she sees them. She even has boobs now. Her face is fuller and softer. She has been undergoing electrolysis and is seeing some real results.
She’s even had men check her out in public . . . .

As for the future . . . my tarot cards can’t answer that question. We‘re working on getting her name changed, and the other legal stuff we need to cover our bases. I hope that we’ll be celebrating her surgery next summer (and that our insurance will cover it so we don’t have to shoulder that much extra debt). I’m looking forward to renewing our vows in a couple of years (this time she’ll get to be the bride too), although it looks like it will cost at least as much
for our dresses as our first wedding did all together.


But the most important part, the part that makes her transition feel right, is simple.

I love my Wife.

Tuesday, July 3

Feminine Ideals

Art in the Girls’ Room

We got the second crib moved into the office / girls’ room. This is big. Now the girls are in their room full time, and my Hunny and I are alone in our room again.

As we moved furniture we discussed what to do with the art already in the room. Half the room has the usual little girl unicorns, butterflies and princesses. The other half has fantasy swords (high on the wall) and art prints. The question of what to do with the art made me rethink what each piece means to me.

3 of the 4 pictures depict some version of womanhood but not the old Disney version.

Above the printer is a poster Hunny was given called ‘Illusion Chess’
It doesn’t have much meaning for me but it’s a fun image and I really like it.

Next to the computer is ‘Ex Libris” by Michael Parkes.
I love books, so the young woman so engrossed that her nudity doesn’t matter resonates deeply.

Above one of the cribs is ‘Gargoyles” also by Michael Parkes.
 
The idea that a little girl’s whimsy is powerful enough to bring stone to life to play with her . . .

Above the changing table (used to be above a bookshelf before things were rearranged) is ‘Serra Angel’ a large version of the art from the Magic: The Gathering card by the same name. 
 Serra is fiercely beautiful. She is both protector and avenger and is beautiful in full armor. She is strength personified and I want my girls to see that women can be strong and glorious. That beauty does not have to wait to be rescued, or avenged. That it is their responsibility to defend and protect, just as it is their brothers. I want my daughters to grow up knowing they are powerful. That they can change their world.

Hunny suggested putting Serra up in the boys room, or in our room where it would fit the d├ęcor better. I think I want it to stay where it is.    

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time reading really fantastic feminist blogs. Many of these are from women who spent part of their lives in very strict religious orders and had to break free in order to live as a complete person.
Love Joy Feminism by Libby Anne, and Permission to Live by Melissa are a couple of my favorites. 


Whether my girls take away as much or any of what I see in the art in their room doesn’t matter as much as having those images of the intelligence, magic and power of the feminine for my girls (and boys) to see. And hopefully, in seeing Believe.