Well you always have a friend in me Kairan, I'm happy for you. I am going through a (somewhat) similar form of rejection. It's strange that when a person becomes "themselves" is precisely the same time that they are able to see who TRULY cares, and who is just lip service like an escort company. You know?
I've been deeply saddened to learn that those people who I always thought would have my back have been the first to jump ship....my family.....You know the even sadder part? My family is NOT religious!!!!! In fact my sister in law is the strongest Atheist that I know, and she is the person who has rejected me the strongest. Granted I am NOT facing anywhere NEAR the same type of situation you are Kairan, so please....I do not mean to down play your experiences. I only hope to complement them and find parallel lines in a web of confusion. Isn't it beautiful that you and me...two people who have never met, and "feel" something similar? We can relate, even if not because of identical circumstances, but we CAN see how our lives are forever changed once WE have changed....and that is something to celebrate.
I have become a firm believer in living within your own "Truth," and not shying away from rejection, hurt, and shame. I lived for 30 years in the shadows of my fear, and now, I just turned 33....I am free!!! You're about the same age aren't you? I think there's something special about the "early 30's." We're becoming WHO we really are.
I feel grateful for Think Atheist. I stay active on this site because it was the beginning of a deep healing process for me. If there's even a small kind of thank you I can repay, it is in the form of participation. When we fail to participate in the things we believe in, those same things are at risk of disappearing. I do not take it for granted. Yes, I am a busy woman. I go to school full-time, I am raising a son, and I am in intense trauma therapy, (which is in and of itself a full-time job!!!!!) But I take time out of my day to participate in Think Atheist because I know what we have here is special. But it only remains special because WE ALL ARE HERE!!!!
I'm going to just say it. I'm sad that many people have stopped commenting. I look at old threads and smile at the fun we had. Not that we still don't have fun, but it's admittedly different than it was even 2 years ago.
I started this discussion to hopefully see a female response. I was hoping for some women to say, "I'm here!!!!!! just taking care of the kids!!!!"....yes me too.....but I care about the cause. And I care about this site. I'm sad that I'm currently one of the only active females on Think Atheist. I'm going to post as many female friendly posts as possible.
Ladies, get with the program already!!!!!!!!
Ok, I've said my peace.
I am so sorry to hear your family has done that. I'm not into playing the 'oppression olympics,' what I mean is, there's no point in comparing who's troubles are harder for them to bear. I don't know everything you've gone through but from what I remember hearing a while back, I can't even begin to describe your strength. Is it because you're breaking the mold with your career? Or maybe they're unable to cope with the growth you've undoubtedly made going though trauma recovery? Whatever it is, it's bullshit, I'm sure. It's a damn shame your family isn't standing by you. Not to get too sycophantic, but your choices and progress have been a major inspiration for me...it's made it seem real, the idea of getting out and getting away from the toxic people in my life. I wish more people in abusive situations could see how other survivors get out and build good lives for themselves.
When you lose people (who are suppossed to love you unconditionally) after asserting yourself (in whatever way), it makes you re-think what the meaning of family is. You have to go out and make yourself a new family in situations like these, I guess. I've met a lot of great people IRL and on-line through atheist and queer networks...and also some good people in support groups. We're lucky to have access to communities like these.
Yes, I agree that participation is vital to keep a community alive...it's very sad when something great like TA fades away. I've seen that happen before on the web and I don't want it do happen here.
Perhaps it's a sign that people don't feel as isolated as atheists and don't need to seek as much support from groups like these? Yeah, atheists are still pariahs in many ways, but it's no longer taboo to discuss our waning religiousity in America. And with trust-worthy, level headed people, I feel like you can have a conversation about atheism and religion that just wasn't possible five or ten years ago.
I might understand, Kairan. During my 12 years at San Francisco Sex Information (which ended almost 20 years ago), I met many "trannies" -- pre-op, post-op and partway. Some of them spoke of the distress they felt at being in the wrong body and the happiness they felt after changing bodies. I wish you well.
Hey, thanks. It's a great mental and physical relief the closer my body approaches what my mind expects. Honestly, this reaction isn't something I fully understand. It's kind of wild how dramatic the mental shift is when you alleviate a physical or social source of distress (dysphoria). For example, just hearing my name, or being 'sir'd' feels so 'right.' I was blown away when I realized the simple act of flattening my chest creates an instant mental change, like lifting a great weight you've carried so long you forgot it was there. I can't wait until they're gone permanently and I can glance down without feeling ill. I've never been interested in body modification, never felt like it was for me, but now I find myself aware of my gender and wanting to fully inhabit my body, rather than dissociating from it to cope. I can't imagine not having certain gender confirming surgeries. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster I wasn't born before the invention of modern medicine!
Your work at SFSI is so cool. I'm betting providing information about sex made a lot of people's lives more healthy, fun, and enjoyable. I can't imagine coming of age without being able to google all the things you wonder about. :)
Gender dysphoria confuses me. Reading about people's experiences helps me be more understanding. Being an atheist means I am willing to change and learn from others, instead of thinking I have "all the answers" and don't need to learn.
Thank you so much for sharing your journey, Kairan. Big hugs for you and support as you are finally getting to fully inhabit your body. :)
Here's one of several reasons: women are more pragmatic than men.
Most of them have more to do than engage in often endless debate over often trifling matters.
To some, that might sound a little patronizing, like a couple CEO's sitting around in the men-only club and one of them says, "Well, my secretary Daphne is the one who really holds the reins of power. Guffaw, guffaw!")
Haw haw haw. Now don't give her the corporate credit card at Christmas time or you'll be cleaning up the red-ink until the next blue moon. No...not that kind of red-ink Sam. God are you ever sexist! Haw haw haw.
Pragmatism...driven by responsibility. Women do a shit ton of work relative to men. I'm sure this is amplified by the economic situation post financial meltdown.