You don’t know what you don’t know

And in some cases you don’t know why you DO know.

Last night I was passing through the living room and my attention was caught by a tv show (is that redundant?) my husband was watching. The people were using ASL, it was not being interpreted, and as I watched I started laughing, what they were saying was funny and I understood every word!

I’ve never studied ASL. I’ve never spent any appreciable amount of time amongst people speaking ASL. Yes, I’ve seen (heard?) people using ASL in movies and tv shows but did I absorb so much much that  I could easily follow a conversation? I guess I did. It is a beautiful language.

OTOH – Are there things I don’t have to know? And here is where I am displaying my ignorance and possibly offending someone.

An article in this morning’s Washington Post Health and Science section was about transgender kids. Not exactly a general interest story, a lot of facts and figures, a possible antidote to the laws currently being passed across the country to bar gender related medical care to minors. I find these laws abhorrent. I find any government involvement in how people deal with their own bodies abhorrent.

My question is – why do I have to know that someone is a transgender man or woman? If someone has transitioned to another status (is that a good word?) then they are who they transitioned to – end of. They are Susie or Mike. They are a person. I meet them as they are and all I have to know is that they are Susie or Mike. Should my interactions with them become more personal then I need to know only if they are a good person and a friendship will be built on a compatibility of personality and interests.

Were I in the dating game then knowing someone’s gender status or their sexual preferences might be of some interest but since I’m not, I don’t care.

My other question is – do people who have transitioned from one gender to another wish to be identified that way, transgender man/woman, who they are now in relation to who they were? They are now who they are, and I expect wish to be seen as who they now are. Maybe I’m wrong in thinking that.

I have to admit I have always been confused by how people identify themselves or relate to themselves. Years ago I was watching a tv show about hysterectomies – women who had them bemoaning that they no longer felt like women. I wondered then why anyone would think a body part would define them. I think the only body part that defines me is my brain. My uterus was removed when I was 40. It was the happiest day of my life – frankly I wish I could have had it done when I was 13. I don’t need, or want, my boobs either. They’ve always been on the larger size are just an inconvenience. And a pain. I grant you, were I someone who wanted to procreate then keeping a uterus and boobs would be necessary, the uterus most particularly (Well, duh!) but since I never wanted to procreate, I’ve never seen a need for those things. Nor have I ever doubted that I was female or a woman – my secondary sexual characteristics don’t define who I am.

My brain defines who I am. I am who I think I am. Whether that is visible to the naked eye doesn’t make any difference to ME but obviously does to others.

Or maybe I just never thought of myself as being any gender at all, just, you know, a human being.

Miscellaneous Mishegoss

~ No one in their right mind would call me a pollyanna yet I often take an upside/downside view of things. Such as: 6 days in the hospital. Upside: I got some much needed rest. Downside: I was very ill. Today’s upside/downside: Warmer weather, windows open all the time. that’s the upside. The downside? Even with the windows closed the birds wake me around 5am, with the windows open? OMG – the noise level reaches epic proportions.

~ We get home delivery of The Washington Post (my local newspaper). The paper has several sections which I sort out and then read in a particular order. The Sports section goes directly into the recycle bag. The front section (A) I glance at and put aside. The Metro section (B) is next, goes on top of A. The third section, Style (C) which includes the comics is the the first one I read. But here’s the thing – I read the first page, then I read the last page, then I go back to the first page, refresh my memory of the stories and continue reading like a normal person. Same reading method for the Metro section, scan the first page, then read the last page then on to page 2. The Metro section of the Washington Post is just a litany of all the previous day’s disasters in the DMV (which stands for District, Maryland, Virginia). I rarely, if ever, read the front section because I don’t need a whole lot of bad news first thing in the morning. It stays on the bottom of the pile.

The Sunday extended Style and Entertainment section I read back to front. Always. Which means I read the “continued” part of an article first. Yeah, I know weird. It’s a habit I think I picked up from my father.

~ Obviously I am not a journey person but rather a destination person – as in “It’s not the destination but the journey” I can’t enjoy the journey if I don’t know the destination. Aimless is not one of my traits. Which is why I could never understand things like jogging, or going for a walk. Where are you running to? Where are you walking to? I used to walk miles when I lived in NYC because it was the fastest way to get anywhere and I enjoyed it – but I always had a purpose and a destination. Without a purpose or destination I don’t do it – I don’t do anything without a purpose. I am never aimless.

That doesn’t mean I am not spontaneous. I used to be. I’d get up some mornings, call off work, and head out to the airport and hop a plane to somewhere – short hop just for the day, or long weekend at a friend’s – hey, what the hell. Of course it was easier to do that that way back when.

~ Cream cheese frosting does not taste like cream cheese.