Flags

Hi,

The other day, T-Central featured a post about Being Bi-gender from Michelle Deere. IMO, it’s a great read and well worth visiting to see what Michelle has to say.

A few months ago, I was talking with a work mate and H was talking about company values. We have all the white knuckle, rock and roll, lunchtime chats. 🙂

Stay with me, this is relevant. 😉

H covered how some companies define their goals or culture with a few key words. Usually some hot air such as Brave, Passionate, Gregarious, etc. The thing is, without the context of a story, what some folk will do is swap the words out for what’s in their head. What is brave? Is it what’s in the dictionary, what I think brave is, or how you think of it?

  • Brave: I should be myself and be authentic.
  • Brave: I should say what I want to in meetings and to customers.
  • Brave: we should take risks as it’ll take us further.

Hmmm. How might that go? No conflict or confusion there! 🙂

I think what’s great about those who talk about their experiences, is that that gives context and detail on what they mean. We’re more than one word, IMHO. I don’t want to get into an argument over “well, this term means this, not that.” It’s more to say that that is the issue. Not having a word means there’s no shortcut, but equally just having one word can mean many things. I think it comes down to thinking of terms more as a guide and looking into the story behind them.

Previously the old terminology of transvestite or transsexual didn’t fit. I think I covered that in an earlier post about are they they only choices? But, jokes aside, there’s a truth in that: life is more complex than that. I guess that’s why I’ve said I’m Trans* because I’m somewhere under that spectrum. I’ve struggled to find a place or a flag that I’d be happy to stand under. Not because that word was ill-defined, but more like it was trying to find the right shoe. Nah, not me. Way too big. Not gonna get my toes near that. How much?! A bit ouchy. Got this in a 8Wide? Okay… Ah… just right. Hmm. The Transgender Goldilocks trapped in a shoe store? 🙂

There’s me. That funny splodge of colour near the left.

But, ideas around gender have shifted massively in recent years and I think that if I did need to stand by a flagpole, it would probably be that of Bi-gender. Sure, the feelings of my gender ebb and flow, but not to the same speed as I hear from genderfluid folk. So, maybe that’s the flag I can stand under. It doesn’t make me any better – or worse – than anyone. Just different perhaps.

Maybe my gender presentation is A or B – or more accurately X or Y 🙂 – but the one constant is I’m always me. The feelings of who I am so not change depending how I’m dressed. Maybe I let my guard down a little more in Lynn mode. Maybe I try to maintain the façade as Richard of being just another bloke… but inside, where in counts, what goes on in my heart and head, that’s me. An outward appearance of both at different times and within a mix of the two.

Still, the nice thing about standing under a flag, is you can always wander off and rest under another to see how that feels. 🙂

L x

12 Comments

  1. The trouble with the British language is that one word can mean different things depending on how it is used. As you say taken on it’s own and out of context it can be easily mistaken to mean something different from what the person intended. In the dictionary definition I am a transvestite, fair enough, but because the way the word has been used in the past, particularly in the media, it would often mean something else to many people, so I tend not to use that word. If I have to stand under a flag, I would share yours – Trans – but wether hat really describes me, I don’t know, it’s all a matter of perception…….

    1. Yes, and tone too. I was talking to a chap at work and he was saying he had to learn English when he moved here in the 90s. He said he got the jist of most things, but he said the gentle eye rolls or deadpan delivery of a word took him a while to understand.

      Yeah the word transvestite does have certain connotations in the media. Luckily not as bad as ‘grooming’. That’s gone a bit dark. 🙂

  2. A tricky issue I’m also still struggling with. Don’t like labels either, though bi-gender might be close. I prefer to say I’m somewhere in the trans spectrum. Probably, what I want to say is that I disagree with some/many of society’s norms on gender.

    1. Yes, the labels thing can be both a blessing and a curse, IMHO. I think that saying “I’m part of the Trans community” feels both accurate, vague (ironically), and inclusive.

      Ah, societal norms. [ Gets shredder ] 😁

  3. At first I thought this was going to be about the silly company that tried to copyright the bisexual flag this week (spoiler. they got a lot of backlash and then fled the internet)

    1. WTAF? No one said anything during the design or legal process? 🤔 Well, maybe they did and were told to get on with it. 😉

      Not surprising to hear it didn’t go well. 😁

      Update: just read up on it. What a mess. I wonder how they’ll come back from that? Maybe starting with an apology? I dunno.

  4. Difficult issues here. I refuse to stand under a flag or label myself. I even hate that there is a transgender flag. These things only serve to create further division and conflict in the human mind and society, and there’s more than enough of that shit in the world as it is. Nature doesn’t have neat boundaries, compartments or divisions, no matter what taxonomists or administrators try to classify, and being trans is an inevitable consequence of biology. Am I TS, TV, CD, bi-whatnot, transwotchamacallit, sexodd or just plain genderweird? I don’t know and I myself have to care about it only because I am required to be ‘brave’ about this all the goddam time because of the malice, bigotry and flag-waving brutality of others.

    We take on different roles in life and behave as different people towards our parents, our children, our peers, our superiors, our different types of friends, etc. but who the real ‘us’ actually is is perhaps impossible to fathom. Maybe we’re just a series of exchangeable masks and one of them happens to have a skirt rather than the usual trousers. That’s my favourite self or mask, though, the one I’d present all the time if I could. Do I know anyone who is their true, authetic self? Probably not. The truly authentic often end up in the loony bin for failing to conform. Frankly, the more you can get away from being labelled and compartmentalised, hold beliefs or follow ideals, the less stressful life ought to be.

    I like the Lynn that you are and I like that you are Lynn. You are classy but unclassifiable, stylish but unstyled, identifiable but not identified. Does that make sense?

    Take care, stay safe and don’t get any nasty bugs. There’s one going around apparently.

    Sue x

    1. I fully respect your right not to stand by a flag, pick a label, or pick a category. That you have gone another way gives another view of the world and beautifully put.

      I would hope that a proverbial flag would give someone shelter, a feeling of community, and that they’d not feel alone. And yet, for us stand here, does that mean that someone has to stand apart? Is that how it starts? That someone says “we’re not like them” and so it goes…

      A Pride flag makes me smile, the waving of banners in the good nature of Eurovision, etc. But there is, sadly, also the darkness. Hatred and bigotry that goes with zealots waving cloth tied to a stick.

      Such is the rub with tribes. Perhaps, we need but one: humanity.

      Stay safe, Mrs.

      PS: big up the transwotchamacallit massive! ♥️

      1. Hi Lynn. My original post seems a bit aggressive, and if so sorry about that. Certainly, flagging up where someone may find a sense of community is of inestimable worth, both to them and to the community, and you are right to find value in this signal. Sometimes I feel the trans community can be its own worst enemy by insisting on definitions of styles or degrees of transness and finding differences between trans and cis (ugh, horrid word). In 2012 a very aggressive bunch of self-appointed trans snobs attacked me online and that changed my entire relationship with the trans community (I blogged about it at the time). I am therefore very wary of all these signs, definitions and labels as they oppress and restrict when what we really want is to find freedom to live and express ourselves as our individual natures desire. Sue x

        1. It’s fine. Maybe there are some strong words in there, but – and as you say – if you’ve had a run in with some pillocks, how could that not influence you and your feelings about it? No harm, no foul. 🙂

          Like my reply and yours just now: you can use an identity to make a Them and use your flag – metaphorical or physical -to divide. Nah, fam 😉

          IMHO, enjoy and celebrate who you are and if there are others like you, that’s cool too. What’s not cool is to disrespect those who are different. ♥️

  5. I like flags 🙂

    And three words is about as much sense as I can string together at the moment.

    As that longer sentence just demonstrated.

    Qué?

    1. Are you troubled? Brain baked by the weather? 😁

      I also don’t mind a flag. At least, if they’re used to welcome people and help signpost them to what they need. I’m less about the cult of a flag or using it to divide.

      Ah. It seems the ability to not make sense is catching 😉

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