Part 3 and Final Interview

Starbucks was cold and loud, so Dan, Lanie, and Natascha went over to the Shanty to continue their interview.

Natascha: We changed locations to the Shanty for warmer and quieter conditions. Hi Dan. Thank you for coming today!

Dan: Hi.

Natascha: How’s your day going?

Dan: It’s going great. It’s really cold.

Natascha: It is pretty cold day. At least it’s not raining yet.

Dan and Natascha: Yet… [laughs]

Natascha: Can you tell me your pronouns?

Dan: I use she and he. A lot of people get confused about that, so I’m here to talk about it today.

Natascha: Awesome. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Dan: I am a percussionist, and I like to paint. And I work with children on the spectrum. [Inaudible]

Natascha: You want to come a little bit closer?

Dan: I should and talk louder too.

Natascha: There we go. How has transitioning been like for you?

“Yes, the more we learn about this, the more people will have the ability to have language to advocate for themselves in a medical way.”

-Dan

Dan: So, I am intersex. For those that don’t know what that term means. It’s an umbrella term that categorizes a difference in genitalia or chromosomes. It is something someone is born as. It is not an identity. It is a way someone is born, and it is not necessarily what someone identifies. An umbrella term to talk about someone who is born without traditional male or female characteristics.

Natascha: Thank you. Why is it important to use the proper pronouns?

Dan: It brings validation. It shows a sign of care and respect. It’s like learning somebodies name. You wouldn’t- It’s understandable if you don’t want to learn someone’s name, you don’t want to get to know them. But, if you are going to ask their name, you’re not going to call them a different name [second of inaudible.] It’s a sign of respect and acceptance.

Why do you think it might be hard for some cis-gendered folks, or why they would be bothered by the use of they/ them pronouns?

Dan: Learning is hard, and it can be embarrassing if- and seeing somebody upset and sometimes in order to make yourself feel better, they’d say, ‘You have no reason to be upset.’ versus maybe I need to reflect on what I can do differently to accommodate and respect you as a human being.

[Pause.]

Natascha: Thank you. Why is it important to introduce children into the LGBTQ community?

Dan: There are LGBTQ children, and without that community, it can make someone feel isolated and alone.

Natascha: Do you feel that transition has changed you in any way?

Dan: So, particularly with my case, I’ve always felt the need to appear as Afact or a cis-female. If that means altering certain characteristics, which I’m not going to go into detail about, or hormone supplements, at this point of my life, finding a community where we are genderqueer, and I have the ability to accept myself, who I am, and all the lovely characteristics that make who I am and not needing to edit this. So, the act of transitioning for me is essentially me being myself, whatever that looks like- letting myself exist for once, as I am- as I wake up in the morning, as I. Yes.

Natascha: Thank you so much for coming onto Little Lost Forest and talking to me. Also, sharing with our community here in Eureka and everyone else who comes to the blog why it is important to use proper pronouns and why (cis) people shouldn’t take offense when asked what their pronouns are because we’re in this community together and to show respect to one another and the people in the community need to change the way we think and respect and appreciate members of the LGBTQ community within our society these include people with religious degrees and people that assist disabled children. When disrespecting someones announced pronouns, you don’t know who you’re talking to, their background, and what they had to endure. By not respecting someone’s pronouns, they are not respecting our community as a whole. Thank you, folxs, for coming on today. Is there anything that you want to add?

Dan: Yes, the more we learn about this, the more people will have the ability to have language to advocate for themselves in a medical way. I can’t tell you how much that has changed in my ability to talk about the things that my body needs, and that’s not something that necessarily a woman who is cis might need. And even though the doctor might see that’s what I am assigned from my birth, it isn’t necessarily what my body needs. So just those terms, the education behind those terms, just having doctors that are educated on what that is because I have come across a lot of medical professionals that don’t know. It’s healthy. At the very least, I can go to the doctor and get care.

Natascha: That is so important. Alright, thank you.   

Interviews on Using Proper Pronouns

(Ranma)

I conducted three interviews this week on folx in the LGBTQIA community. Here is one of them!

Natascha: Hi, this is Natascha with Little Lost Forest, and I will be interviewing Ranma today. A very good friend of mine for the past ten years. Ranma, how are you doing?

Ranma: I’m doing good, thank you for asking.

Natascha: Awesome, I’m so happy to hear. Will you please tell us your pronouns?

Ranma: Well, my pronouns are she and her.

Natascha: Sweet, and as I understand, you have transitioned?

Ranma: Yes, that is correct. I have been in transition for about a year, and I think four months now.

Natascha: Wow, the time has gone by. It flies. Can you tell me a little about yourself, what you do, and what your hobbies are?

Ranma: I’m an artist. I’m very athletic. I used to break dance. I love listening to music. I love making illustrations. I try to do illustrations for the trans community, and I also do designs for everyone else. As you know, I’m very open with my artwork. As for a real job- that is basically my real job because I have epilepsy and can not work.

Natascha: Well, a full-time artist is definitely a real job, and you keep yourself quite busy.

Ranma: It helps when you’re mad.

Natascha: Yeah, it does help when you’re mad. I can agree with that. How has transition healed you?

Ranma: Um, well, it allowed me to be myself completely. And now I actually have a bigger palette of fashion than I had before. More clothes to choose from, which can be awesome and really bad at the same time. If you saw my room, you could see the toll it’s taken.

Natascha: That’s great. The clean-up might be more now.

Ranma: Yeah! I need one of those machines now that they clean the ice with-

Natascha: Like in Meet the Jetsons.

Ranma: That’s right, a Zambonie. A Zamboni or a mechanical maid or something.

Natascha: I’m sure you can manifest anything. It will come to you. Why is it important to use proper pronouns while someone is transitioning?

Ranma: Well, because, for one, that person was never actually their birth gender. Inside they were always woman or male, and actually saying so would help their body’s energetical cells (helping every trans person realize that they are beautiful, Angelic even) to actually blossom. -Because it feels good to be called what you’re striving for. It was always there, but you know, you’re just trapped in this skin suit.

Natascha: That’s beautiful. Why do you think some cis-gendered folks are bothered by others’ use, announcement, or display of their correct pronouns?

Ranma: Well, to be honest, I think a lot of cispeople are very uneducated about their own sexuality. And also I think that they’re fearful. For instance, if they see a cute woman and that woman turns out to be a transwoman, it’s like, ‘Oh Shit, am I gay now?’ You know, and vice versa. To be honest, I think it’s just insecurity.

Natascha: Do you feel transitioning has changed you in any way?

Ranma: I can’t answer that one too precisely because I have always been me, but the biggest change that I can say is that I am actually 24/7 happy.

Natascha: I’ve heard that a lot in these interviews. That it [transition] has helped with depression and has made people very happy. That is wonderful.

Ranma: One of my friends I went to bars with was like, ‘Oh my god, you’ve changed so much.’ For instance, you smile more, and I thought to myself, I thought I always smiled. No, no, no, you smile a little bit, and then you put on a depressing song for karaoke, and then you sing a depressing song for karaoke, but here you are dancing and smiling and more upbeat songs for karaoke. So I’m like, alright, well, thank you, I didn’t notice that.

Natascha: Cool, this is a question I threw in there, which is kind of important to me because I have children, and I’m introducing my daughter into the LGBTQ(IA) community.

Ranma: Awesome-

Natascha: Why do you think it is important to introduce children to the LBGTQ community?

Ranma: That has so many answers. For one, it’s really good for child evolution right there to be accepting of everyone and everything and to realize that there is more than one way to live life. And everyone is the same. You know, it is also the journey of who you are. There are grown adults who have no idea who they are.

Natascha: Yeah, absolutely, and there are people that transition later in life so, and don’t find happiness until then.

Ranma: I am one of them. I didn’t even know I could do this until four years ago when I had my trans fiance, and we broke up, and I found out that, as much as I don’t want to admit it, I was completely jealous of her.

Natascha: Does it all make sense now? Are things coming together for you?

Ranma: Yeah, the only thing I have to really be cautious of is haters.

Natascha: Can you tell me a little more about that? What kind of negative reactions or discrimination do you have to face?

Ranma: Basically everything that comes with being a woman, those discriminations (referencing that women have to go through, all women have to go through, being judged on their beauty and being seen as just sexual entities, etc.)- that type of stuff. And then there’s little stuff like my aunt still likes to mislabel me, misgender me, as you know he. And like someone did this to you! And it’s like, no, I did this to myself, and I’m happy. I made a choice. And it’s quite interesting. The landlord still calls me he ’cause he caught me at the entrance of my transition, and he’s old, he’s sweet, you know he just can’t open up that third eye and get down with me being a woman and him being able to still talk to me and chill and have a beer with me.

Natascha: Yeah, I’m sorry you have to deal with that. At the same time, I think you’re really blossoming into your true self, and you’re absolutely beautiful and stunning. I don’t think anyone is going to get you down, and if they do, you call me. Is there anything else you want to add?

Ranma: There are some of our old friends that just recently saw me and haven’t seen me in a bit, and I just went to the bar. I have this overall skirt. A beautiful overall skirt, and I think you know Kevin. You know, dreadlock, Kevin. He couldn’t say to my face that he found me attractive. He told Eddie, my housemate instead, and said, ‘Oh my god, who’s that? She’s got beautiful legs,’ and found out it was me. ‘That’s Ranma,’ ‘Oh, Ranma? Can I meet her?’ ‘Kevin, you already know Ranma. Ranma used to be Rasheed. That’s Ranma.’ ‘Oh, okay. She has beautiful legs.’

Natascha: Now you get to show them off.

Ranma: I love showing them off. Especially when an old friend hits on you. ‘You don’t recognize me?’, ‘Okay.’

Natascha: Well, you’re a new person now.

Ranma: Not even how I speak? I think I still speak the same.

Natascha: I think you do, but you know it’s a new you, and I am so proud of you. Is there anything else you wanted to add to help educate the community on transgenders or using pronouns?

Ranma: Well, all I want to offer is a little bit for everyone on this one. Loving yourself will allow you to love others. And that’s the basic thing if you’re cis, trans, or miscellaneous, you know it doesn’t matter. It all starts from loving yourself; once you love yourself, you can be yourself and learn to love everyone else.

Natascha: Thank you so much, Ranma, for coming on today. These are short ten-minute interviews. I appreciate you.

Ranma: No worries.

Thank you, everyone for reading, educating your community, and spreading the word that using the correct pronouns when someone is in transition is showing respect! I look forward to sharing more interviews early next week.