Monday, August 29, 2011

Private tragedies

Private tragedies unfolding into public stories. Isn't that what literature is? I just decided that I will embark on writing of my story. I will lack ending at this point. Let me start anyway. It will be called "Breakfast poetry for anorexics". What is human decency? Humanity? Love? Truth? Private tragedies unfolding into gruesome displays of meaningless fucked-up stories. We call that literature these days, don't we. I have a story to tell.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Whistleblower




- Madeleine, I have to protect this organisation and so should you. The UN is too fragile, too important. That's what immunity is for.
- Immunity, not impunity. The United Nations was formed from the ashes of Auschwitz. It's important that the UN is not remembered for raping the very people we must protect.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Musically challenged

So there is this disco somewhere in the vicinity whose sounds reach my finely attuned musical ears, or so I tell myself, every night starting from 9pm. And they're fucking playing Dieter Bohlen the whole night. Plus some crappy Russian disco pop. En route to Terelj today the driver was playing CC Catch. She was a very pretty chick from what I remember interviewing her in 2003 when she came to Mongolia to do a concert at the UB Palace. A little guarded, a little "I-am-my-own-woman", a little... dykey. (Someone I know will probably laugh "Yeah, everyone's gay in your eyes". No, not really, only the gay ones.) Pretty. I had a gig then for the UBS TV as their high-profile star-interviewing person. She had a huge entourage although she never really truly made it big beyond Europe... But her entourage was something to behold. Entourage that overshadowed other so-called (mostly has-been) international stars I had interviewed from August 2002: Liz Mitchell of Boney M, Alsou, Bad Boys Blue, etc. But this is effing 2011. I mean COME ON! I like partying to good music, however, a) I ain't partying, I am trying to sleep; b) that just ain't good music. And this total crap offends my ears every night. Tonight it's just plain pissing me off. Don't know why. It's 2011 is probably why. There's literally tons and tons of decent party music available by this point in musical history. And that disco, plus most other discos in Ulaanbaatar, mind you, insists on playing the 80s pop crap. It's either me who's musically totally challenged, or it's THAT place. Really pissed off. Need to rock out to proper, decent shit after this audio assault today.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Clean break

Clean break is what's needed in my life at this point. So I'm choosing that as the only available option. In many things. Like with people whom I had shared my life space for two years in the university. One of them just called me and asked me if I was informed about the recent class get-together, which I wasn't. Not that I'm anyway interested in having anything to do with people who would stand by idly and let homophobic/transphobic and classist bullshit be spewed from certain someone. That September evening 2009, last time I saw some of them, was quite enough. Had no more desire to see them. Much like with people who continue to insist on calling me female pronouns, etc, who are, by that very token, continuing to deny my reality of a transman. Why would I spend any energy or time on such people? That's why the clean break. Making sure why I can no longer associate with them is quite important. So I am doing a lot of that these days, clarifying and breaking clean. For better.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beard +

A very quick update: I really need to go out and buy an electric razor. My moustache's quite grown, quite visible for a month, but tonight I noticed for the first time that there's a light beard sprouting on my lower chin - woot! Might even grab an extra one as a gift to my bro. Who's having his third period following the commencement of the HRT. Unfortunate, but afterall he's young which might mean that his body's going slower through the process compared to mine. 

Plus: A big National Coming Out Day party is in the making! I enlisted two very enthusiastic co-conspirators so far. We're about to re-invent the way we, queer folk, party here, for better! Brothers and sisters have been giving a few worthwhile suggestions, definitely to be incorporated.

Another news: bade farewell to Miriam Ehrenberg from the Institute of Human Identity, NYC who very kindly did a workshop for psychologists and some social workers on psychology-101 of working with LGBT people, organised by the LGBT Centre. The Centre got her a very small souvenir, a felt decoration with a khatan suih, a traditional Mongolian symbol for women, femininity, feminine beginnings. The funny thing is, both of us observed, the symbol is all angular, while the khaan tereg, the symbol for men, masculinity, masculine beginnings, is all curvers and round. The reversal to that of the symbolic representation for feminine and masculine in the West. What might it signify, in the bigger scheme of things, I do not know, interesting fact to mull over and, perhaps, come up with another half-baked theory of mine.

One more: my childhood friend freaked out last night when I showed her the dude I caught on my mobile phone camera who was following me. Fine, let people follow me. But this dude had THE symbol on his right sleeve, on a white round background against the overall red background. I don't see the point of going to the police as they did not handle very well the fact that I was so obviously followed on a few occasions, they never took those Lunar New Year events seriously. I had to recount endlessly to three investigators about what happened, but what was the end result?! Nada. Even with what followed in various media with death threats against me and my colleague. And even if they do apprehend this dude, let's say they can identify him from the picture I took of him, most probably the measures will be against him alone, not structurally. If not structurally, why, the others would simply retaliate, faster than a lightening from what we know about how they operate now. Such is life here for me. Would one life assassinated prove to be a blessing to my community? Sure it would. Am I ready for that kind of sacrifice? Maybe. Signing off.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Judy Grahn "A Woman Is Talking to Death"


Энэ миний хамгийн дуртай шүлгүүдийн нэг. Анхныхаа монгол найз охинд уншуулах гээд орчуулж байсан орчуулгаа олохоороо дээр нь монголоор нэмнэ. Тэр уйлж байсан шиг санагдаж байна.

A Mock Interrogation

Have you ever held hands with a woman?

Yes, many times--women about to deliver, women about to have
breasts removed, wombs removed, miscarriages, women having
epileptic fits, having asthma, cancer, women having breast
bone marrow sucked out of them by nervous or indifferent
interns, women with heart condition, who were vomiting, over-
dosed, depressed, drunk, lonely to the point of extinction:
women who have been run over, beaten up. deserted. starved.
women who had been bitten by rats; and women who were
happy, who were celebrating, who were dancing with me in
large circles or alone, women who were climbing mountains
or up and down walls, or trucks or roofs and needed a boost
up, or I did; women who simply wanted to hold my hand because
they liked me, some women wanted to hold my hand because
they liked me better than anyone.

These were many women?

Yes. many.

What about kissing? Have you kissed any women?

I have kissed many women.

When was the first woman you kissed with serious feeling?

The first woman I kissed was Josie, who I had loved
at such a distance for months. Josie was not only beautiful,
she was tough and handsome too. Josie had black hair and
white teeth and strong brown muscles. Then she dropped out
of school unexplained. When she came back she came back for
one day only, to finish the term, and there was a child in her.
She was all shame, pain, and defiance. Her eyes were dark
as the water under a bridge and no one would talk to her,
they laughed and threw things at her. In the afternoon I
walked across the front of the class and looked deep into
Josie’s eyes and I picked up her chin with my hand, because
I loved her, because nothing like her trouble would ever
happen to me, because I hated it that she was pregnant
and unhappy, and an outcast. We were thirteen.

You didn’t kiss her?

How does it feel to be thirteen and having a baby?

You didn’t actually kiss her?

Not in fact.

You have kissed other women?

Yes, many, some of the finest women I know, I have kissed.
women who were lonely, women I didn’t know and didn’t want
to, but kissed because that was a way to say yes we are
still alive and loveable, though separate, women who recog-
nized a loneliness in me, women who were hurt, I confess
to kissing the top of a 55 year old woman’s head in the snow
in boston, who was hurt more deeply than I have ever been
hurt, and I wanted her as a very few people have wanted me--
I wanted her and me to own and control and run the city we
lived in, to staff the hospital I knew would mistreat her,
to drive the transportation system that had betrayed her, to
patrol the streets controlling the men who would murder or
disfigure or disrupt us, not accidentally with machines, but
on purpose, because we are not allowed out on the street
alone--

Have you ever committed any indecent acts with women?

Yes, many. I am guilty of allowing suicidal women to die
before my eyes or in my ears or under my hands because I
thought I could do nothing, I am guilty of leaving a pros-
titute who held a knife to my friend’s throat to keep us from
leaving, because we would not sleep with her, we thought
she was old and fat and ugly; I am guilty of not loving
her who needed me; I regret all the women I have not slept
with or comforted, who pulled themselves away from me for
lack of something I had not the courage to fight for, for us,
our life, our planet, our city, our meat and potatoes, our
love. These are indecent acts, lacking courage, lacking
a certain fire behind the eyes, which is the symbol, the
raised fist, the sharing of resources, the resistance that
tells death he will starve for lack of the fat of us, our
extra. Yes I have committed acts of indecency with women
and most of them were acts of omission. I regret them
bitterly.

(c) Judy Grahn

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Childhood memories of gender dysphoria

While waiting for webmail server to come back up, I uploaded some of my childhood photos to my facebook. One of my friends thought my cousin's kid was me when I was a baby. So while waiting for the agency email server to come back up - I forgot how often it does go down - I got some of my old photos that I had to borrow from my mother years ago and scanned and uploaded them. 

They were mostly my pictures dating from one and a half to five years old. The age when kids learn of sex differences between people, when they obtain self-identification as a boy or as a girl. Which got me thinking, looking and thinking. The first ever time I really thought about my own sex was the day I got my period. Before that I must've somehow assumed that I was a boy. Looking at these pictures I know I looked like a boy, listening to my parents' tales of my childhood, I know I behaved like a boy, a rowdy, wilful boy who always played rough with boys, was accepted as a playmate by boys, but never by girls, not that I tried to play with girls. 

Then suddenly at the age of 10, I went into a deep depression. There were no child psychologists then, I was never diagnosed, but looks like it was a deep depression from the height of what I know now. I remember that it was an early November night when I got the first blood. It wasn't even me who noticed the blood. It was my mother. She took me to the bathroom and said that I had my period. That it was normal, that every month I would now have bloods. I remember standing numbly while she helped me change. That winter I had a number of serious colds, even one food poisoning, which, combied, had me hospitalised twice that winter. Everything was accompanied by this dazed feeling "What is going on?!", "What does it mean?! I AM A GIRL?!?!". 

From that winter on, I stopped playing with my playmates, boys on the block because I was uncomfortable in my own skin, as things were growing all over my chest, plus the bloods. At the age of 12 and a half, I went further into emotional isolation following my suicide attempt. Now among my former playmates and schoolmates I was known as "the one who tried to kill oneself", the stigma that went with it "Ooooh, that one's crazy!" No one really asked why I did what I did. Not even parents. They pretended I didn't do anything. That everything was fine. So it continued: my bewilderment at my own body, increasingly more alien, my increasingly acute awareness of the fact that physically I was a girl, although I never thought myself as one, and I never wanted to be one. When you're aware of the differences between how you look and how you feel, you are not only confused, but you're scared because all you see around you are certain gender-normative behaviours that you never had possessed, never exhibited, which was fine, but when you realise that there is a big gap between what's usual and what's not and that somehow you are not, you start to feel scared. So when I became aware of these matters of who I was, who I discovered myself to be, and the shock that went with it, and other things that I wasn't yet fully articulating to myself, I began trying to be LIKE A GIRL. I grew my hair out from the age of 13 and kept it at below the shoulder level till I was 16. 

But everything was so wrong. The traits you see around you in people you are supposed to identify with, you try them on like clothes. They never fit. I went further into my wordless depression and somehow knew that I was different, especially when the sexual puberty hit. I was actually falling for girls. As if my mind kept telling me that I was a boy. But then I knew that I was a girl now, why couldn't I be like other girls and like boys?! Why, even if I did like a boy, it was always the one and only effeminate one that you can ever dig up?! Why, only when I thought of girls, I felt things physically?! Why did I keep drawing myself as the boy?! I not only hated my body, but also the fact that I was attracted to girls, and some girly boys. And it went on till I found myself in the LGBT group of kids in college outside Mongolia. They were kind to me. They befriended me. But they moulded me into a lesbian. While I was never a lesbian. I don't think I ever even tried to artculate all these feelings to them. But I was a lesbian from that point on. A butch lesbian. And I was supposedly fine with it. Not really. Had I found myself in a different context, I would've already finished my transition. A long, long time ago. 

So yeah, these pictures of my childhood taken during the formative years of sex differentiation and sexual identity formation, I looked and behaved exactly like a boy. And these were happy years because I hadn't yet discovered that which would send me into a deep, background-noise type depression for years.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Letting go

I just came back from seeing a friend who saw me last a month into my transition. She said I'd changed appearance-wise. She could not pinpoint to what exactly had changed in me, but she said I had changed. There are a few obvious changes like my voice. A faint mustache that's not so faint anymore. She could not tell more, but I'll take her word for it, she has no reason to lie to me. She said a few words that I clang onto: it's time you lived for yourself. It's time you cared for yourself because with your transition, noone has your back but you. And a few faithful friends who will stay by your side. No matter what. She should know, she's been one of my best friends since I was 20. I told her I had decided to let go of the LGBT Centre, and all that it stood for because it was time to see it blossom independently. Your offspring is your offspring, but you don't cling to it, trying to vicariously avoid all its mistakes and missteps on its behalf. You try to guide your offspring, but if you fail in your trying to do so, you simply let them go. Letting go is what I am practising these days. Detachment. It's working. Letting go and being grateful for everything. Mid-May 2011 affirmed my fundamental trust in the universe. That everything is as it should be. That I am exactly where I was meant to be, no matter what. That everything is ALL RIGHT.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ханиаданд дарлуулангаа...

гэртээ хэвтэнгээ юу хийхэв, ганц хоёр хүний блогоор орж юм уншив. Түүнээс нэгийг хуваалцмаар санагдаад. Энэ бол нэгэн энгийн гей залуугийн блог, нэг жилийн өмнөөс хааяа орж уншдаг. Ээжтэйгээ хийсэн ярилцлага нь үнэхээр таалагдаад холбоосыг нь орууллаа. Гоё ээж, сайхан хүн байна. Монголд ирэхээр нь нэг уулзаж, бусад ээж аавуудтай бас уулзуулах юм шүү.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Theory 18: suffering and acceptance

Don't know what's happening but I guess the emotional upheavals, uncertainty, impossibility of seeing beyond today are taking their toll on me: I'm having the third cold this summer whereas usually it afflicts me once or twice a year. At most. In 2007 and 2009 I had innumerable colds, too. As great as it is to live in the present and in the now, one needs stability, and stability comes from having a little certainty in one's life. Minus that, life can be somewhat stressful. Although with my transition and the HRT, I'm so much more calmer, not strung out all the time - to repeat, peace being a common experience among many transitioning guys, including my bro who had brought some food for me this afternoon with his girl and hung out awhile - it has been a little stressful. Been quite sick since Friday night. Constant rehashing of the same old doesn't help either. The whole of last week I'd been a little under the weather, and now it's a full blown cold. I am hoping to get better by the weekend as a friend's visiting from Japan, would love to spend some time with her, but I must not give her my cold, just not an option. 

People are essentially incredibly selfish beings. Even in the face of various events, the primary concern is one's welfare. When my friend told me twelve and a half years ago that she had been diagnosed with a very serious kidney condition that inevitably leads to kidney failure in the long run, the run maintained by steroids, and that too, even with the treament there were no guarantees of the run being maintained, I felt empty. In the eventuality of that turn, I was thinking, I was going to lose a part of my life with her. 

My very first thought was not of how much she was suffering, but of myself and losing a part of my life through her. A fear of loss. Then the second thought came about her suffering. I learnt about myself that day. That I was essentially a very selfish being. Once you realise something, and once you realise that you don't like what you've realised, you take action to change it. That day was my first step into selflessness. I can't claim that I had mastered it, but I am definitely a lot more selfless than some people I've encountered in my life. Other events took place in my life, many, all of them teaching me something or the other. When I look at everything together, I know that I am on the right track, that this is exactly where I was meant to be, how I was meant to be, in order to realise the lessons in life. And I would not change a single thing. Not a thing. 

So here's my theory 18: suffering leads to either rejection of that suffering and therefore of everything that led to suffering in the first place, or it leads to acceptance of that suffering, and therefore of everything that led to suffering in the first place. I'm very happy to say that I am in a place of acceptance. Of everything. Good, bad, ugly. It's a great place to be at. Of course, it's still a little stressful from time to time, but even that's accepted.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Салалт

Салаад хагас жил илүү болсон чамтай долоон жилийн өмнө онлайн танилцаж байж. Тэр 2004 оны зунаас хойш юу юу ч өрнөж өнгөрөв. Нэг л сөхөө ороход ийм их хугацаа өнгөрчиж. Дэндүү их хайрласандаа би чамд амьсгалах амьсгал бүрээ, өглөө сэрэх анхны харц, шөнө унтахаар хэвтэхэд зүрхний цохилт бүрээ зориулсан энэ он жилүүд арай л хурдан өнгөрч. Харин одоо чи бид хоёр салсан. Их зүйлийг сөрж бүтээсэн хамтын амьдралаа нэг л мөчийн шийдвэрээр чи дуусгасан. Чамд өөр арга байгаагүйг би мэднэ. Надад ч бас. Салж л шилжилтээ хийх байсан учир салалт миний хувьд ч хамгийн зөв зүйл байсан ч... би чамд хайртай байсан. Хайртай л учир гэрлэлт, хайраа сонгон энэ олон жил өөрийнхөө амин чухал хэрэгцээгээ үгүйсгэсээр ирсэн. "Чи шилжилтээ эхэлвэл чи бид хоёрын гэрлэлт дуусна" гэдэг үгийг сонсох бүрт зүрх минь зүсэгдэнэ. Салж бүрэн амжаагүй, нэг сар болов уу үгүй юу чи өөр хүнтэй хайр дурлалын харьцаа үүсгэсэн. Түүндээ хайртай, түүнтэйгээ хамт байхыг хүсч байгаагаа салаад гурван сар болоогүй байхад надад хэлсэн. Миний зөвхөн нулимс урссан. Тэр дуугүй нулимсыг чи хэзээ ч анзаараагүй. Түүндээ явуулах зүйлээ надруу андууран явуулах бүрт миний зүрх улам шархалсан. Энэ олон жил зөвхөн чи байсан миний зүрх сэтгэл салсны дараа ч чамд сийчигдсээр одоо сийчих газар үлдээгүй. Сэтгэл зүрх минь байдаг тэр орон зай тас хар нүх, түүн дотор зөвхөн улаан нялга нөж. Цаг хугацаа харвасан сум мэт өнгөрч энэ үе хурдан дуусаасай. Өнгөрсөн долоон жилийн зөвхөн гэгээтэй дурсамжууд нь үлдэж, хар бараан нь мартагдаасай. Дахин хайрлахаас ч айх энэ мэдрэмж зөвхөн түр зуурынх байгаасай...

I will remember you by Sarah McLachlan


I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

I’m so tired but I can’t sleep
Standin’ on the edge of something much too deep
It’s funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we can’t be heard

(C) Sarah McLachlan

Friday, August 5, 2011

Connected

I had some volunteer stuff to do this afternoon, translating some psychological guidelines of working with LGB people, but instead I sat down chatting online with some of the girls in the community. I've been feeling incredibly dislocated from my own community of lesbians and gays, my one and only community of sisters and brothers, since I began my transition. I knew that I may be rejected, just as I was rejected by the closest most person because of my deep intrinsic need to transition. But today I finally felt connected. It felt good to know that the women in the community still accept me. Still know me. Still care to know me. Totally awesome.

PS: Hot water's back, finally after 83 days. Even more totally awesome!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 58

Nearly two months on the HRT already, about to go into the third month in a few days. No period in the second month - woot! Hopefully it'll stay this way. Certain people who were close continue to refer to me by female pronouns, etc. My policy from two weeks ago has been to maintain a considerable distance from those who do that, because that's a deliberate disrespect after they'd been asked time and again to please respect my claiming and affirming of my true identity, that of a man. The fact that they don't do that is indicative of their total disrespect and disregard, something I want to live without the rest of my life. Facial acne's reduced quite a lot since I started using the antibiotic anti-acne solution, Albiotin. My back's beginning to get some acne, I noticed, though. Although would that be due to the HRT, or the fact that I still do not have hot water (lying municipality, three of their deadlines came and went, today was their last one, and nada), so am not able to properly clean my skin. Headaches are nearly gone, except from time to time there are some headaches, not something too serious as to make me take pills for it. No more mood swings, in any shape or form, which goes on to confirm a hypothesis an online buddy and I had formulated about the biochemical reactions of our trans brains which go into a I-am-fucking-dying-here mode because of heightened female hormones from ovulation on, and which, as a result, often appears to - anecdotally, nothing in the way of clinical studies - cause severe cases of pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder in many transmen. I don't know too many cis women who have had PMS as severely as I had: for more than half of the month I was prone to incredible emotional swings, and incredible tension, which would be simply gone from the onset of the bleeding. And I truly noticed that only in the past 4-5, maybe 6-7 years. And yes, apparently a lot of transmen are diagnosed with the PMDD, a very severe form of PMS. Something to look for in your adolescent kids, parents: if your female-born child became extremely depressed about the onset of the first monthly bloods, and is from then on pretty much emotionally all over the place for half of the month, very boyish, talks about hating one's body and especially the bloods, very depressed about being in the wrong body, that is, a body that feels so totally alien to them, then bingo, you might have yourself a boy born in a girl's body. Still very tired and want to sleep through days, but haven't been able to do that. Some people don't recognise me on the phone anymore, in terms of voice changes. The voice drop will continue, theoretically, in the next one year still, so I hope I'll get a booming deep voice. Although that's really rare with transmen, from what I've been noticing from brothers around the world. And that's pretty much about it. Signing off.

put on a face

put on a face                      a brave face, a dead face put on a face and go. put on a face                       a kind face, a br...