Category Archives: trans
The wonderfully complex Hit and Miss provides a look into a transwoman’s life. The lead character also also happens to be a new parent and a contract killer. While it may seem like an improbable premise… it works. No really it does. Go with me here… I’ll explain. Mia played by Chloë Sevigny, a woman in transition, finds out she has a son and goes to locate him when his mother has recently died. Once there she realizes that all the children in the household need a parental figure. She takes on the role as reluctantly as the children.
Mia is not your average woman, mother, or neighbor. However, her work background lends itself nicely to those that would try to injure her or the family. She makes great strides to care for the kids, have a love life, and keep her job killing people separate from everything else.
There is a deeper point to this series though. I was ever so curious to see o how the show would handle her transition personally for the Mia character, with the kids, the locals, and her career. The series is painful to watch at times. I say this while still highly recommending the show. The poignant moments are woven within and worth the time to watch. It isn’t an easy process coming to accept with your body even when you are “passing” (a term I dislike but is often used). The show hints at the deeper themes that Mia had, and still has to, get through to be at the point where she is now.
Her son asks her direct questions about her body, gender, and the complexity of their relationship because of transition. You get to see the love and care she has for this child, all the while dealing with her own fears and pains of what it is like to transition. Mia’s past isn’t a simple one but the short series takes the viewer through some of the huge hurtles of transitioning.
Of course, Mia’s love life is complicated, how could it be otherwise? It becomes obvious that many people are interested in Mia romantically but how she deals with her own body and sharing the information is heart wrenching. The series doesn’t shy away from hard truths, complex layers, or real issues for someone in transition (sans contract killing). The dialogue is well written and at various times I welled up with tears. One such line was (in the trailer above) “If things didn’t change, there wouldn’t be any butterflies.”
And that is the truth about life. We are all in transition…. we are all changing. We might be scared of what change is and how it works, but through it … we are stronger better people. So if you know and love people in transition, never heard about it till now, or are just curious… I do suggest you watch the tv series Hit and Miss. It does a decent job of looking at (even if it is only scratching the surface) some of the emotional turns that a woman in transition deals with on a regular basis.
Within a therapy sessions, I work with many clients that are transgender and in various stages of transition. There is often an assumption that one has to know exactly who they are and how they want to express as they come to term with their authentic self. I respectfully disagree with this premise.
I’m not sure if I know anyone that feels they are 100% certain of who they are, what they like, and how they want to express themselves. It is possible that those people exist and I would enjoy talking with them. However, I have found that pretty much all of us are in transition.
One doesn’t have be trans, genderqueer, open, poly, into kink, interesex, lesbian, asexual, gay, or lesbian to be confused by the landscape of who you are or are becoming. Those individuals that are in transition have a leg up on everyone else, I will admit. They have the wonderful curiosity of looking at themselves and the world around them outside of tidy little boxes.
Don’t get me wrong, our current societal norms make it a tough road for trans individuals to feel comfortable. However, they have this amazing part of them, that pushes beyond to discover who they are and want to be. How glorious is it to conquer your own preconceived notions, challenge the status quo, and have the courage to live your life openly and fully!
Being transgender requires so much strength, directness, ability to navigate fear,s and live your life in a totally honest way. It isn’t easy to brave the hardship of being rejected or ridiculed…we all are scared of this. Most of us do whatever we can to not openly draw attention to ourselves because we are so afraid of this. And yet, someone in transition has to take on these fears head on daily. Impressive!
This is the point, we are all in transition. We are all a work in progress. We all are learning to tackle our fears as gracefully as possible.
I have love the Sweds for as long as I can remember. I was raised on Abba goodness from an early age. The Swedish flag and the Sexual Equality sticker always remind me of one another. Perhaps all this and more has lead me not to be surprised at all that Sweden has gone and figured out how not pathologize those with a differing consensual sexual choices.
Basically the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden officially decided to declassify seven sexual behaviors because they felt they were not an illness. The Swedish people will soon be able to engage in sadomasochism, fetishism, and transvestitism with more freedom than ever before. I’d love to throw a little Swedish theme party in honor of such greatness. I have a visions of turning an Ikea into a club for a night. All that pretty furniture could be used for play-party fun.
While I celebrate for my sexual exploration friends in Sweden, I have to wonder if this has any impact at all on Americans. Marty Kline, one of my all time favorite people, has a great little article on this topic. I fear that we as a country are still struggling with the idea of homosexuality that it will be a while before real change occurs in our national outlook on other forms of sexuality.
However, I feel that each one of us can provide a pathway towards understanding and acceptance. You don’t have to be partake in any alternative sexuality to believe that what consenting adults do in their own bedroom is their own business. You can personally talk with another person, assuming the subject comes up, about how it may not be your kind of thing but that it doesn’t make it sick or dangerous.
Differing sexual acts can be scary to those that are not familiar with it. However, like most things in life when something is new it feels a bit anxious provoking. So remember if you have ever spanked someone lightly on the butt during sexual intimacy or perhaps had your hands held down … then you two are engaging in parts of alternative sexual behaviors. Should you be considered immoral, unhealthy, or a danger to others? No… I didn’t think so.
We are all just people looking to explor our own sexuality. Whatever you choose is most likely positive and healthy for you. Let’s try to remember that and embrace our Swedish brothers and sisters as they forge a path towards more openness for the rest of the world.
Turn up the Dancing Queen song by Abba and enjoy yourself!
I finished reading the widely acclaimed book, She’s Not The Man I Married, by Helen Boyd. And like most books I read on the topic it takes us on a journey of self discovery. There is more than sexuality, gender, marriage, romance, children, family, or wok involved. When any one of us look more deeply at what we accept of ourselves and others and attempt to widen the lens a lot of emotions will come to the surface.
I have more than a few clients to are curious about transitioning, some just cross dresser, and others who are in the process of transitioning. There are so many intricate levels combined with the discussion of personal sexuality and gender understanding that most times we find ourselves with more questions than answers. Furthermore, when a client of mine has a spouse, as many of them do, the complexities become almost mind boggling.
There was one specific part of Helen Boyd’s book that really made me smile. It reads ” We are a heterosexual couple who are simultanesouly a butch/femme couple… Coming from a straight world, where the culture assumed that Betty had to be butch because she was a man and I was femme because I am a woman. A relationship based on roles for the relationship and not the system around them … gave me permission to figure out what my own gender is all about.”
The author points out an amazing twist that not only did her husband become her wife she (the author) also was always the more masculine one in the relationship. In stereotypical lesbian terms, the author was butch and her husband/wife was femme. One can see just how sexuality and gender are fluid and finding a balance for whatever works for those involved is what is key. There is no set rules, it comes down to what makes those involved happy.
As a therapist, I am not here to tell anyone how to believe, feel, or think. I am here to help each client meet their goals. For a good number of clients the dreams they have can appear at odds. Yet, as with most things in life there is more than the black or white and we tend to live in the gray. I don’t convince clients to transition, cross dress, or be gay nor do I convince their partners/family to accept a client’s desire to do any of the above. I am here to help each person work through the confusing process of parting ways or staying together with as little pain as possible.
Beyond all else I have found with working with alternative sexuality clients, is that they are brave. They are willing to risk it all to find out what makes them real. They have an honest desire to create a life for themselves (and with others) that provides full ownership of self. More often then not, I am awe-struck by the courage that an alternative sexuality client has even by walking in the door to come in and talk with me.