Saturday, 21 May 2016

Just The Facts (May 21, 2016)

As I read
The daily news
People are being confused
By the various usage
Of labels.

The trans-community

Never realizing
The term
Is an umbrella heading
For us.

That covers
Many diverse groups:

(Male to female/Female to Male)
Cross dressers/transvestites
Drag kings/queens
Gender queers
And two spirited.

Just to name
A few of the groups
Standing beneath
This growing umbrella
Of ours.

For which
I must apologize
On behalf
Of my community
To the cis-world.

For people
Like Lili Elbe
And I.

We are

Wanting to live
Our lives
Full time.

As our chosen gender
By having surgeries
To remove
Our offending genitals.

If medically
Or financially possible
That is.

Therisa © 2016

Author's note: The following links, provide more information, about the trans-community:


  1. Thanks, Therisa, this is helpful. I like seeing the words "two-spirited" here. Years ago, I read somewhere that in long ago times, people who embodied both make and female spirits were called "two-spirited" and were considered the tribe's magic person. Had not seen it since.....tell me what the term means in your community, wont you? I was happy to come across it again. I love the sound of someone being the tribe's magic person! Not an outcast, but honoured for their gifts. The Old Ways were wise.

    1. Although, I live in Toronto, and we have a large First Nation population, I have only met 1 "Two-spirited" person, in the past decade. For myself, the term "Two-spirit" means, a First Nation/Metis,/Inuit person, who has both male and female souls, at the same time. Regardless. of any spiritual connotation. Sherry, I have found a link, you might like to look at:

  2. Crucial. This piece is rather beautiful even while stoic, almost clinical in delivery. Well done and thank you.

    1. Thank you, Maria, for your kind words, and your welcome.

  3. Thank you. All these labels do seem to have exploded into proliferation suddenly – but I think that is because our awareness is becoming more specific. The one that really puzzled me at first was 'cis', because it wasn't in common use anyway and therefore easily understood (whereas we do have a pretty clear idea of what 'trans' means). However, I have looked up the origins and sort of get it, and the meaning has become very clear simply because it was adopted and is now in widespread use. It's probably unconscious sexism on my part, too – as if what we now call 'cis' didn't need a label cos it's the real thing whereas all you others.... Sorry about that, but it's good to recognise these hidden prejudices and conditionings in oneself, I think, so as to grow wiser and saner. I have also found the term 'genderqueer' confusing. It seemed vague. Now your definition tells me that's because vague is exactly what it is – in the sense of fluid: a concept I really like, now that I appreciate it as just as valid as any other variation. Clearly, many of us DO need educating. You're doing a good job of it! (And I do like poems that do practical work in the world. Words are our tools; it's good to use them this way.)

  4. Thank you, Rosemary, for your high praise. It was the edit on the interview, with Sherry Blue Sky, which sparked this poem, as she used "transgender", reference to a specific part, when I use it, as an umbrella term. Just felt the need to educate the cis-world (comfortable in skin-world). And yes, I am behind, in the latest termology that's being used today, by the younger kids.

    1. Oh, thank you so much for explaining 'cis'. Now it makes sense.

  5. It is confusing to say the least. Thanks for trying to make it clearer.

    1. Your welcome, Debi. Sad news is, it's constantly changing, and what is correct today, is out of date, tomorrow.

  6. Personally, I am not in favour of labels. I believe in the principle of live and let live. Self-expression is every person's birthright and you have done so admirably in this poem.

    1. Thank you, Kerry. Personally, I rather have kept this part of my life, private, as I hate having to share personal information, like this.

  7. I would say that labels are often more important for the peoples being labeled.. for me I try to see people as humans... (including any gender aspects)... and yes I had understood Lily Elbe...

    1. Bjorn, you're a rarity, in this world, for which, I could hug you. But realistically, the bureaucratic system would shrivel up and die, without them. Especially, the medical and educational communities (personal experience talking here).

  8. I agree with Bjorn about labels I look at people for whom they are not what they are. Living in California I am very aware of the transgender community and all it encompasses.

    I wonder what you make of rich and famous Caitlyn Jenner being looked at as a spokeswoman for transgenders? I know every bit of attention helps but for me I think that she is only willing to go so far and seems more of a cross-dresser wannabe than true transgender. She's almost turned off about some of the issues. I have watched her show and see a real reluctance in her. I don't know how to explain it and am not transgender but I feel something is just "off" about her position on things.

    1. Thank you, Bekkie. As for Ms. Jenner, I have no time for her. To me, she has made a mockery of something that's very personal and spiritual journey of self-discovery, for the almighty dollar and the 15 minute of fame, for her show. Honestly, she's everything that is wrong, with North American society. Do wish her luck, but that's, as far as, I will go, to support her.


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