Tag: privilege

Why transitioning gender has helped me deal with the current reality

Being transgender is kinda nice in that I’ve already digested the fact that nearly everybody lies about how they care about the poor and the downtrodden. News flash: MOST people don’t care. I heard a Buddhist teacher say once that he liked to assume that things were already broken, like the teacup he was using, so that you can just enjoy what time you have with the formed thing. I’ve kinda already digested that the US is broken and won’t help me. If it does, cool!, but I’m happy just not relying on it and doing what I need to do to survive under my own steam at this point. I’m sure I’m not the only one to experience this.

It’s gonna be ok. Trauma is hard, but trauma is inescapable in life, and you can recover and grow from it. A rose bush thinks being trimmed back in the winter is traumatic, but without that trauma, it would not grow as well as is possible. Peace to you all. Shit breaks, and we put new stuff together. And really, most of the US is already dead branches that need to be pruned.

I still get overwhelmed too, but it seems easier to bounce back when your expectations are appropriate and realistic.

The weight I pull and how it has changed me

I realized something this morning. I have this weight tied to my leg. That weight is composed of rejection, fibromyalgia, child support, hostile divorce, missing my kids, anxiety, transgender, chronic fatigue, and more. Lots of people have weights tied to them, so it’s not like I’m the only one with struggle. But I’ve had this weight since I was a child. I had recurring dreams when I was a child of trying to run but being unable because I was chained to something.

After my divorce in 2011, and my subsequent persecution by the state of California in regards to my inability to see my children, I became convinced that I would not be able to pull this weight anymore to get to the food and shelter that I needed to survive. I spiraled into a period of self-destruction, suicidality, and hospitalization.

But then in 2016, after my last suicide attempt, I had a revelation. it’s very complicated to explain the details of this revelation but suffice to say I decided that I was going to do whatever it took to make myself strong enough to pull this weight where I needed to go.

I had to develop this strength inside of myself which I call faith or trust in myself. It’s been a very complicated procedure and journey to build this strength in myself, but I believe I’ve been successful. Now I can somehow pull the weight that is chained to my leg to get to the food and shelter that I need to sustain myself.

But having to go to Herculean levels of commitment and engagement with life has alienated me from many of my peers. At times I’m very resentful of people who don’t have to drag their weight around because food is always next to their weight. They have privilege to not pull their weight around, food and shelter are brought to them. This is an extreme metaphor but you get the idea.

I feel like if I even slow down my commitment to that strength inside of me I will become swallowed by the darkness. So often I have to balance my commitment to my own strength with my desire to be a social animal and communicate with people I like. But sometimes nobody understands what it’s like to be a person like me. So it feels like a complicated game of chess always having to consider multiple angles at once just to break even.

We all have weights tied to us. That is what the cross represents in Christianity for example; it is the weight of reality that we have to carry in this life. This concept is ever present throughout history and societies. But some people have privilege and this allows them to not have to pull that weight or carry that cross. And honestly if I didn’t have to carry my cross or pull my weight, I might just sit and enjoy myself and not whip myself to keep going.

But for now I have this massive weight that I have to pull in order to get paid and eat and have shelter. It makes me kind of weird and different from my peers. It makes it so I have to just be by myself if I can’t find someone who isn’t dragging me down. I have to be selective about the people I socialize with or I can lose my strength. It’s frustrating but it’s just my reality, and I’ve come to really feel proud of how strong I am now, so it’s okay.

May you have the strength to pull your weight when you need to go where you need to go. May you find guidance within on how to find that strength. Love and peace and strength to you all.

White America is a Giant, Abusive Labor Union Benefitting Beautiful and Rich White Americans over BIPOC.

Someday, we all realize that the racism is a feature, not a bug. The system is working as designed. This thing called White American Life is a total fabrication cobbled together on the backs of a living underclass. We think as “White” people that we can bring everyone poor onto our boat, and the world will be saved! But that is a falsehood. Our privilege is derived from the destabilization of Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color and their attempts at building thriving and supportive communities.

The reason I know this so clearly is because I used to be a “white male” and then I became a “transwoman.” I lost a shit ton of privilege. My once tolerated behaviors became “toxic” and “mentally ill.” I was shamed. Cat called. My brother disowned me, saying I would damage his children. My ex-wife went to war to keep me from my children. I am a gentle person. I am not a violent person at all. I’ve never been in a fistfight in my life. But she has gotten two restraining orders authorized using her dirty, crooked transphobic judge, Judge Smiley of Ventura County, California…barf.

I know how white bourgeoisie life as a cultural thing is paid for by genocide, generational theft, land grabbing, treaty nullifying, and just plain murder. Yeah, there are a lot of “good” white people, but they are just people. This White American thing is a giant labor union used to squeeze as much profit out of brown folks and poor caucasian peoples. I don’t want any part of it, but I can’t just leave it. It’s so pervasive and ubiquitous. How do you escape it? Just imagine for a second growing up a black male in Trump America. Just let me tell you, it FUCKING SUCKS.

IT’S AWFUL ON THE BOTTOM. YOU ALL HAVE IT SO NICE! But I really can’t even say that over the whining and pity party going on all around me. Just grow the fuck up and deal with life. Stop being children. If you want to develop spiritually, you have to give up racism and genderism. This is the new challenge. Jesus and Buddha came to show us peaceful resolutions. Now is the time to move beyond our divisions to one united people and one united world.

That’s all I have to say about that.

How Privilege Makes White People Immature and Helpless

We often talk about “white privilege” and it tends to be discussed in terms of having stuff. “That person has white privilege,” we say. “That other person has male privilege.” But what does that mean?

To me, privilege is not a positive but a negative, or a lack of something. When one has white privilege they have freedom from something. They have freedom from trauma, pain, hardship, toil, etc. When one is protected from the mandatory hardships of life for which one has evolved to deal with, they become puerile and childlike. Their skin becomes thin. They cannot handle the smallest slight. They are weak and become dependent on protection from the necessary traumas of life. This is why those white men carry those rifles around, because they are weak and terrified of having to deal with life naked and undefended.

But what is the converse of privilege? I would assert that it is a surplus of hardship and challenge. It is a excess of the onslaught of reality with its slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. This tends to make one’s skin thicker and makes one tougher.

And so, if you want to be honest, whiteness has become synonymous with weakness, and thus the entire apparatus of the state becomes necessary to maintain protection from the normal, average trials which befall any person living on this planet.

White culture and the western nation-state steals the defenses and padding of the brown people of this world and wraps it around the light-skinned people it protects. If you start to think of white people as immature and childlike, you can quickly see and hear it when you look at and listen to them.

As I’ve transitioned from being a white male to a white transwoman, I’ve had to experience a rude awakening of what it’s really like to live without that stolen armor. This rude awakening, that I sought to put off for as long as possible by posing as a straight white male, hit my weak, thin-skinned ass with a vengeance, and I was paralyzed at first.

But my skin grew. My toughness increased. Now, I can’t say that I know what it’s like to be black, but I know what it’s like to be targeted for who I am from as soon as I entered elementary school. I know what it’s like for others to hate things in you that you are not even aware of yet. And I know what it’s like to lose a significant amount of privilege.

And yet, don’t be afraid of losing privilege. Living in the false world of stolen armor is not real, and it stunts development in many ways. The transition to a normal amount of privilege can be shocking at first, but then you realize your inner strength, and you begin to realize that life is not about hiding behind wealth and privilege. Life is about meeting life on life’s bare terms.

To quote a brown-skinned Judean named Jesus, “if you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor.” I interpret this as if you want to really grow, you need to cast your privilege aside.

And also, Krishna of the Hindu pantheon said to privileged Arjuna in the Baghavad Gita: “yield not to weakness; it does not suit you. Throw away this faint-heartedness.” Meaning that one must meet life without fear and without protection and cowardice.

Only through letting go of privilege can one really be alive. Words will not make one alive. One cannot say “I understand that I am privileged,” and expect the situation to resolve itself. One should give up one’s privilege. This is the only path of truth. Change the system from within by giving up your pilfered wealth that was likely funneled through the generations from slave-created surplus. You will survive, and you will be a real human, not a child in a shell.

The problem we face today is not a black problem. The problem is a white problem. Until we recognize our theft, our appropriation of defenses, our heinous usage of black bodies as human shields against the hurricane of nature, we will not grow, and we will not be mature. We will be on average, pathetic sprouts, unable to grow into the trees we were born to be.

Personally, my life is so much richer after I gave up most of my male privilege. It is immeasurably harder, but it is more vital and real. And I ask that you do the same. I can’t change my skin color. I am stuck being white. So the only way for me to reduce my so-called white privilege is to dismantle the institutions that value whiteness over blackness. This takes work. This takes sacrifice. But I assure you that it will be worth it both for black people and for white people.

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