It has been quite a long while since I have blogged about my trans life. I want to change the topic just a bit instead of putting full focus on my personal life, I want to bring up some ongoing and yet never ending issues that transgender people, like myself, still face today in 2023 among our society. Consider this my way of educating and raising awareness on a personal perspective.
First off, I want to say that I am very fortunate to be living in the State of California. The main reason being is that California is the number one state that widely supports transgender individuals and made sure that the transgender community stay as a protected class against discrimination, harassment, violence, unfair treatment, and inequality among today's current society. The State of California ensures that transgender citizens are receiving proper transgender-related healthcare, medical care, employment opportunities, and that they have their basic human rights, otherwise known as transgender rights, to be honored, preserved, supported, and protected equally as any other non-transgender law-abiding human being and citizen. It is a huge win through the results of the collective act of human kindness and effort to make sure that transgender people have a chance in life to live their authentic lives as themselves and thrive since the statistics for transgender people committing suicide here is the highest than any other country in the nation and worldwide.
The United States of America in general is one of the most diverse country worldwide yet we don't acknowledge the diversity in each other which is very ironic and quite an oxy-moron in my book. In my perspective, debates against diversity occurs due to the desire to control, invoke a sense of insecurity or fear among the masses, by enforcing a socially structured system to maintain the level of classes between each category that labels its society. Those who looses control and knows that if they allow the abolition of a socially structured society knows that they can no longer hold power over those who can be truly free from a bias-system and therefore the United States of America is born on a democracy. In other words, politicians spend most of their time debating about, excuse my language, the same dumb shit over and over again, to create the class of who is superior and who is inferior which contributes to the inequality and injustices in our system.
I have been discretely in tuned with the world news and what goes on around the world, specifically what goes on across the 50 states, what anti-transgender legislative bills (laws) are coming up and being heavily involved in the petition and campaign efforts to fight against or push back and even encourage senators and assembly officials to fight for transgender rights by requesting an enactment to propose a counter legislative bill to reverse those anti-transgender bills (laws). When it comes to transgender individuals facing adversity against the anti-transgender rhetoric from influential and powerful homo/transphobic politicians that consistently target transgender people, in this case, the new target has been transgender youths (and their families) since the transgender bathroom bill came about with brave young Gavin, who stood up alone against his school and his state creating the perfect avenue for others to have a voice and come out from the shadows, letting the whole world know that yes, we do exist!
Following suit, the transgender community backed Gavin in that fight and we all rose up from our safe zones to face this civil threat. Together, we all stood up against the anti-transgender bathroom bill, enlisting aid from our allies, and making sure that all our lobbying efforts to push back the anti-transgender bathroom bill from passing in some states. In Clark County, we have pushed SB-280 to pass and it was a huge win for us considering like California, a blue state, Nevada is a silver state, but had the potential to follow suit with the State of California in preserving transgender rights and treating transgender people as a protected class. SB-280 passed in March of 2021 with an Assembly Vote of 20-22. In Clark County, the all-gender placard is now affixed in most restrooms, following the lead of it's big sister state, California, making it safer for transgender people to do the most basic human needs which was to just release our bodies excrements, human waste, you know, simply to go pee or poo. This is a huge win compared to my experience when transitioning in Clark County where me and my fellow transgender kin were challenged harassed, bullied, and discriminated against or seen as evil, demons, or freaks of nature for using either sex/gender-assigned restrooms in public spaces because we were constantly being removed or banned by the cisgender community ruling what is cultured according to their belief systems.
For us transgender adults, in this day and age, we now have been standing up to fight for and protect our transgender youths because these anti-transgender politicians know that although they may not attack transgender adults and can't stand us transgender adults winning the battles, they know they can attack transgender youth and control them as an act of erasure and the mere eradication for the future growth of children identifying as transgender or being born transgender. Some of these states still practice a form of savage old school conversion therapy in secrecy and discretion. I have heard of horror and traumatic stories of this from my fellow transgender youths who desperately sought refuge from such barbaric treatments supported and enforced by their own family members who have rejected them and backed by anti-LGBTQIA+ commentators, politicians, and religious groups. Although, these conversion doctors and therapists love to flip the switch by imposing their religious beliefs to uphold their conditioned social customs by reversing the idea of our own community giving transgender youth the trans healthcare that they need to be deemed as "barbaric" and "unconventional" as spoken by the governor like the State of Texas, but what would a non-trans identified person know of the DNA around what makes up a transgender brain and how a transgender born person functions or is hard wired or structured? These statements and opinions, not facts, are being said by a non-transgender individual who lacks the profession, knowledge, and experience, who are less than qualified to treat transgender youths or determine the needs as a transgender identified human being.
Other than the anti-transgender bathroom bill, there were many other bills we fought against. Another bill was under way back in 2017 as an act to deny transgender people from partaking in the military even as a United States born citizen. I have supported our transgender troops on the frontlines facing the anti-transgender military ban where the law would prevent transgender individuals from joining and continue serving in the military whilst under the Trump administration. On both battles and accounts, with bathrooms and military matters relating to transgender individuals, what became a solemn threat became a BIG WIN to some of us transgender folx pushing against those anti-transgender bills (laws) and enforcing transgender rights on a both a county, state, and federal level. However, for some states, this threat and those fights are not yet over! When I speak of the Unacceptable States, I speak of the number one worse state for transgender people to live in, that state is the state of New York. New York has a long standing history of homo/transphobic violence. It was also where the Stonewall Riots began and the birth of LGBTQIA+ rights gave rise. The murder of transgender people is still very high in New York and those who govern New York have no laws to acknowledge or protect transgender people from such inequality and discrimination. I also can't stop there and say that is is just transgender people facing such adversity in New York but I am also very aware that LGBTQIA+ individuals face such heinous violence and threat just as equally as a transgender person would.
How many times have we all heard in the news that a transwoman has been murdered in broad daylight in New York? Or a gay couple taking the subway in New York getting attacked? TOO MANY! To me, this means, that in some of our 50 states, the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights is NOT YET OVER! However, the main target in our time are transgender people because it is among transgender people who present the challenge to break social gender norms, gender and the expression of our gender identity through physical form of gender representation that easily triggers more of the bashing, the hate, violence, and discrimination towards transgender and LGBTQIA+ people alike.
President Biden once said that, "Transgender discrimination is the civil rights issue of our time.", and I could not disagree more because I have experienced discrimination as a transman in 2022 and I still face it into present day 2023. Even though transgender people are considered a protected class in the gender-friendly states, even in those gender-friendly states, we still face major homo/transphobia and our rights are constantly being mocked and challenged.
So in what ways are our trans rights in gender-friendly states being challenged? Even though trans rights are enforced in these gender-friendly states, why is it still problematic? Well, in my experience, even though I have been transitioning for years and I am considered stealth in certain environments in my personal life, I still face the challenges of being visible with my gender expression and utilizing public restrooms in public spaces and the workplace because even though California does very well with offering all-gender restrooms to be more inclusive, there are only a few places that conform to the restriction of categorizing a Men's only restroom and a Women's only restroom. If you were to ask me what is my most deepest gender dysphoria and what triggers it? It would be the whole public restroom dilemma. Unless it is a family or all-gender restroom, I feel nervousness and fear using both restrooms, yes, both the men's and/or the women's, because as a trans guy who only have begun their surgical transition, I have only had my top-surgery but have not had my bottom-surgery because I'm still learning my options and not rushing into it, which means I still have my biological anatomy intact, so the reality is that I still pee like a woman and I can still bleed like a woman when I am not on my hormone medication which requires an injection dosage either weekly or biweekly depending on my blood pressure levels to lessen any health risks.
The structure of the men's restroom mostly have urinals, typical from 1-6 urinals, depending on how small or large the institutional structure, and only 1-2 stalls. There is obviously no disposable bins for used tampons or pads in the stalls or any tampon machine in the mens restroom which makes this a huge challenge and trigger for dysphoria for transmen. I've only seen a condom machine in the men's restroom a few times which I was against because condoms should be free of charge. The women's restroom may have 2-4 stalls, disposable bins in each stall, and of course, a tampon machine. The challenge is that regardless, transmen who need to utilize the restroom get the risk of being outed, bullied, raped, harassed, condemned, or banned, and the outcome can get quite violent so most trans people, both for trans men and especially for trans women, fear this so they hold their pee which can cause health problems.
There were a few occasions at my current workplace where out of respect for not scaring women during business hours and knowing the men's bathroom stall was being occuppied, I held my pee for hours till my bladder begun to hurt to avoid making others uncomfortable. When I finally was able to pee using the men's stall, peeing became excruciating because I end up relapsing my bladder and developing bladder atrophy which hurts and I have trouble relaxing and releasing because I've held it for too long. I couldn't do that to myself anymore so I had no other choice but to enter the women's restroom which I don't ever do this often in public because most public restrooms are all-gender inclusive. I normally wait for the men's stall to free up but regardless, my point is, this is why gender-assigned restrooms become both a social challenge and health problem for transgender people.
Never hold your pee!
So imagine this, if transgender-friendly states are dealing with a homo/transphobic or anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric with other low-minded Samaritans, realize that the level of animosity and ill-will be ten times magnified in the non-transgender-friendly states like Texas, New York, Mississippi, etc. where a sex and/or gender diverse individual is not protected in any way shape or form by its own councilman or governing state. Can I sit comfortably as I see the oppression occurring in 2023? No, I can not sit at home and be so comfortable. What I advocate is for allies and the LGBTQIA+ community continue to stand up for what is clearly so wrong in our programmed and conditioned society today. Transgender beings have always existed. One can't argue or debate away the folklore that exists on transgender beings who walked among gods and men for eons and I am sure the more godly countries that revere transgender individuals look at our society today and frown upon capital hill and the destruction of what was once revered once upon a time and to witness the censorship of transgender people.
In Hawaii, a legislation was passed to honor the māhū kāne (transgender man) and the māhū wahine (transgender women) because in ancient traditions, the māhū have always existed and the people have always recognized a third gender.
"Since the term māhū can have multiple spaces and experiences, Kumu Hina originally coined the terms: māhū kāne (transgender man) and māhū wahine (transgender woman). However, Kumu Hina believes that those terms should be revised due to scientific advancement and so she coined four new terms. Māhū who feel internally wahine (female) — emotionally, spiritually, psychologically and culturally — could use the term haʻawahine. If they feel more internally that they are kāne (men), they are haʻakāne. When they have taken on externally what they feel internally i.e. dressing as a female, have began to or had undergone hormone therapy and other forms of medical transitioning (including cosmetic surgery), then the term hoʻowahine would be used. Likewise, for māhū who feel that they are internally male and taking that form externally, then hoʻokāne. ..."
You will hear so many of this from other countries who honor a third gender including Argentina, Austria, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, India and Nepal. One can argue and debate the science and facts away, like anti-LGBTQIA+ conservative commentor and film maker, Dinesh D'Souza, and many other cancel-culture idols, these constant attacks will not cease but it sure does give the father of fear confidence, the mother of insecurity a huge flattery, a sister of self-scrutiny piety, a brother of self-hate adrenaline towards acts of violence, with a false pretense of superior social justice righteousness but in a very wrong way as a gateway to inflict oppression and harm on those who are different to the eyes of the grinning grim reaper. It is a space where even god and angels wish to take no part of in such scripture that is written by the men and women who think they know above all.
What do we do now? We keep doing what we have always done. Don't stop! This year, one of my end goals is to come out and be more visible than I have ever been. Although I can't shut down a complete nuisance like Dinesh D'Souza, I can at least laugh at his blissful ignorance at his aka debate attack tactics on those who are further marginalized by him but then again, individuals like him are oxy-morons and are doing exactly what those other haters are doing which is damaging the heart of society by adding the fuel to the fire with their endless thirst for debates to create theses wars among children of men. We won't be at full equality nor peace while people like him runs a muck in our world. What we can do is continue to stand our ground, know that today's truth is not tomorrow's truth as truth is always changing, stay transparent, never loose sight of our truer purpose in life, and create the equality and diversity that fulfils our souls as it is our God-given right on Earth to do so and no man can take away that power from us! I consider myself a heralding of changes that need to come to pass.
You can stone me, burn me, stab me, shoot me, poke me, punch me, kick me, rape me, hurt me, deny me, condemn me, spit at me, defile me, or try to erase me, but you will never have power over me because I am ME and I will always be me in soul, in heart, in mind, and in spirit. You can destroy and kill this body of mine but you can never truly KILL me. I am a bisexual transgender human being who exist, I have always existed, and will continue to exist. My name is Kaneda Yoshida, remember me!
Kaneda Yoshida (male pronouns: he/him/his) is a transgender (FTM) who blogs about his life's journey and experience as a transgender (FTM).