Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fighting Time

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should rave and burn at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
~Dylan Thomas

It's unknown who said that age is a state of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. There are pictures on social media comparing two elderly women of the same age. One is usually dancing or doing some sort of crazy exercise and the other is, well, old.

The trick is aging like grandma number one if we are even lucky enough to get that far.

I remember in my 20's thinking people in their 40's were old. Now I'm in my 40's and I'm not sure what that "old" age is anymore. My parents are the most active people I know, always running, biking, swimming, doing pilates, golfing or any number of new things they are probably currently trying that I don't know about. My mother-in-law joined Planet Fitness when one opened near her house and goes every day. She loves the way the big, burly guy at the desk tells her to have a great workout.

I ride horses with some ladies who are ten to twenty years older than me. They hop on giant animals and have them hurl over jumps because they love it and why not? They call themselves (and yes-I am included) Fossils over Fences. Anyone younger than 40 is a Fossil in Training. Horse people are awesome.

I remember watching my grandmother get old. Inactivity and weight gain combined with arthritic knees made it easy to become still. The more you become still the harder it is to move. That's a fact.

So if you look in the mirror and wonder where time went reflect on a few things:

1) You are still here.
2) If you have a functioning body you can try something new or continue your passion.
3) You are so much smarter than a Fossil in Training. Life does that.
4) You know that bucket list we all have? Make a plan. You're not getting any younger.


"Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been."
~Mark Twain

Monday, May 16, 2016

What if it was Your Child?

"I didn't realize who I was until I stopped being who I wasn't."

The great bathroom debate of 2016. Crazy right?

Everyone has their knickers in a bunch over 0.3% of the population using a facility that correlates to their identity over what is between their legs. The majority of the outrage seems to come from a place of fear and confusion, often stating that it puts others in danger. (There has never been a case of a transgender person attacking another person in a bathroom. The statistic of transgenders being attacked by "regular" people is staggering.)

Personally, I'd be much more concerned about my boys at a Catholic school than going into a bathroom with a transgender gentleman (my apologies to my Catholic friends but you understand the statistical comparison). And my daughter would be safer with a young transgender lady versus a not insubstantial amount of sketchy testosterone-filled teenage boys with entitlement issues.

You know who is most likely to attack another person in a bathroom? Adult males. And I guarantee they will find a way to do it without trying to cross-dress as a disguise.

When I hear people discuss this issue with such blind passion against this already unfairly treated demographic I wish I could make them stop and ask themselves, "What if it were my child? What if my child had gender identity issues? How would I want them treated?"

It's easy to demonize a group you have no contact with or connection to (if you're the demonizing type). But what if, from a very young age, your precious Claire identified herself more as Jack? Or Charlie at age three preferred dresses and eventually ask that you please call her Katie by age six? Would you demonize them? Would you make them feel wrong, weird and dirty? Or would you love them and get them the support they need both inside and outside of the family?

What if it was your child?

In middle school my son befriended a transgender child. He was still going by his given name (born a girl) but he dressed as a boy and acted as such. And he was epically sad. So much so that he tried to take his life. I would find my child crying at night just from the pain he carried for his friend.

Over 40% of transgender people try to take their lives. It's not a frivolous, easy choice. They aren't just getting dolled up for a drag show. They are struggling to be who they are despite how society treats them. So society is going to make a simple human necessity one more way to make their lives harder?

Don't we have more important things to fight?

"But you can only lie about who you are for so long before going crazy."
~Ellen Wittlinger, Parrotfish