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The events of the last couple of days.

Posted by racheal_storm on June 26, 2015 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Mary McGonigal – 94years old and a beautiful Mum.

 

So I thought I needed to write down what has happened over the last few days, so others can see what happened and see the beautiful send off my Mum received.

 

For the last 3 weeks and more, every morning I have rung Atawhai Retirement Home, to check in on my Mum. She hasn’t been well for some time and her passing was not a surprise. We were waiting for it. On Tuesday 23rd June, I rang and was told she was still same. A good night, no morphine given as no pain. On the morning of Wednesday 24th June I called but this time was different. A silence then ‘Hasn’t your brother contacted you? You need to speak with your brother.’ I pushed and she would say no more. I understood and had already guessed this was how it would happen. I am sure staff had been told not to tell me anything and to leave it to my brother as sole trustee of Mum.

 

So I called my brother, not expecting him to answer but he did. He asked me what did I care and I told him she was my mother too. He told me she had died at 11am, the day before and then set about giving me a lecture. I shut up knowing if I spoke he would hang up. He told me I wasn’t welcome but if I came I was to walk in, sit down, shut up and not say anything. At the end I was to leave and was not welcome at the after function. I was told my Mum had ‘dismissed’ me the last time I was down, he had a witness to that and he would get an injunction. He had that right. He then told me I was to never return to Hawkes Bay and if I did, he would do me over. He maybe fat but he is 6’ 3”. That nobody there wanted anything to do with me. I told him I would be there and speak if I choose to.

 

I found the use of the word ‘dismissed’ interesting. Is it a legal word I wondered but it didn’t worry me as I know my Mum loved me dearly. She likely had said it and here is the reason why. To please my brother. You see Mum got angry whenever I went down. Not at me but at the actions of my brother. If I walked in and said ‘hello’ to him, he would immediately get up, ignore me but kiss her good bye and leave. ‘Why can’t he for once be civil? I just want to see the two of you together. He is silly.’ Etc. His actions really hurt her and especially at the end. But he couldn’t do that one thing for her.

 

While he may blame me for not going to see her as much as he felt I should or I didn’t do as much as he felt I should, the reality is I would have gone more/done more, were it not for his actions. I knew and saw how it hurt Mum so it was better for me not to go. I knew what it meant to Mum when I turned up. The way she held my hand so tight or hugged me. My Mum loved me so much and I know this but I also know she may well have said ‘dismissed’ to make him feel good but it would never have been meant.

 

Mum mostly called me ‘Andrew’ and with her passing there is no ‘Andrew’ any more. But I know she accepted and loved me as Racheal, her daughter. She oft tried to call me Racheal and at times did. We had some amazing conversations that only a mother and a daughter would. She shocked me once discussing Dad and her ‘sexual relations’. I don’t see a Mum would ever have had those conversations with her son. I don’t think she ever fully understood but we discussed ‘Racheal’ a lot and I know she accepted me.

 

When I left NZ for Australia around April 2007, Mum had still never met Racheal. She knew I was though. I told her that I would come back for her birthday in September. Around July, I had to book tickets. I was living only as Racheal and ‘Andrew’ was gone. I rang her to tell her I was coming back but that I would be coming back as Racheal. Instantly she told me ‘You have to come back as Racheal for if you come back as Andrew, you come back as a lie.’ So Racheal met her Mum and she was beautiful. We cried for a few minutes but then she was just so amazing.

At other times I would be sitting there with her and someone would enter the room. ‘Oh, this is my daughter Andrew. Sorry, my son Racheal, oh bother’ and I’d tell her they knew. She was a lovely Mum. She accepted and loved me for who I am. At one time when I phoned her from Australia, I called weekly, she told me she had had a fall in her unit and been trapped behind the door until help came. She was spending a few days in the hospital unit before she would go back to her unit. Mum told me she was scared to go back and felt she couldn’t cope.

She said she wanted to move into the main unit but my brother didn’t want her to move out of her unit. So I called Atawhai and they said they would keep her in the hospital room and move her into the care rooms when one came available. Mum said she wanted to stay in the room she was in on the hospital side and so she did until 23rd June, 2015.

I don’t fully know what my brothers problem is but it’s not really Racheal. It’s been there from before Racheal. I suspect it is the 4 year age difference and money stuff as he sees it. Alas there is a lot on the financial side he doesn’t know or chooses not to. It is his problem, not mine. I feel sorry for him with all the pent up hatred and it is a shame as he hurts many with it.

 

So to move on, of course I was going to Napier even though a little worried. I called and told my best friend, Rachel. 5 minutes later her son, Harley (H) called me and pretty well insisted that he didn’t want me driving all that way on my own and he was coming with me. It was really lovely. He is a fantastic young man of 22. It is easy to judge him by appearance but you would be wrong as you will learn. So H and I drove down to Napier.

I dropped H off to see his grandparents and he was going to catch up with friends. Then I went to the motel and checked in. Now if you are going to stay in Napier or Taradale, the Colonial Motel on Taradale road, beside the RSA is the place to stay. I always stayed there when I went to see Mum and Mark and Sarah are wonderful folk. Even though they were fully booked and needed to clean the room on Thursday they allowed us to stay late.

On the Thursday morning, H and I went into town. First call was the Funeral Directors, Beth Shan. I worked years ago, we worked it out as 19 years ago, with the lovely receptionist Ingrid who handled both my Fathers and Aunts funerals. I meet and spoke with the lovely funeral director and expressed my concerns re my brother. She was great and told me not to worry, she would handle it. She told me that I had every right to be there, to speak if I wished to and was welcome at the after function.

I said I had noticed there had been no obituary in the paper. They told me it was going in that day. The day of the funeral. I had sort of figured that might be the case and see if you can work out the same and only reason why, that I can see. I am very sorry for those who were unable to attend and say good bye to Mum but I had no part of it. I was pleased I had posted on facebook and sure that at least helped a few attend. Then they showed me the notice the paper was printing.

It contained Andrew not Racheal. I told them it was wrong and offended but of course I was told it was what my brother wanted. They offered to place one today from Racheal and it appears they have so I am appreciative of that. Beth Shan were great. So then H and I were off to my usual Café DMP for my Iron Devine (liver and bacon). Absolutely the best! After a cruise around Napier with the young gentleman, H, it was back to the motel to wait.

The funeral was to start at 2.30 so we got to Atawhai at 1.30. H sat and waited patiently as I went into Mum’s wing. Well the hugs and cuddles and tears were aplenty. Mary meant so much to all staff in Atawhai and it was their loss as much as mine. The kapa haka group interrupted their practise for a cuddle as well. We all talked a lot about Mary and I told them to me they were such special people. They treated my Mum with so much love and respect.

I relayed the story which to me was so symbolic. When I was last there, about 3 weeks before, Mum was cast in her bed. Her speech was so hard to understand as she was in a bad way. I was holding her hand and stroking her when 3 caregivers had walked in to change her position. One said in a jovial way ‘Come on Mary, give us some stick.’ As clear as a bell but consider her situation, Mum replied ‘Oh shut up!!’ with a grin and a little chuckle. The banter was wonderful.

 

The staff gave me a plastic bag with old photos, an old purse, a watch I had given Mum. All basically junk. About 6 months ago, Mum had told me that my brother’s partner had taken her rings and jewellery to be ‘cleaned’. It was never returned. 3 weeks ago I noted a lot more had gone. I am not surprised but not really worried by material things. The opal ring I gave Mum when I returned from Australia in 1973 would have been a nice memory though.

After I spent some time alone in her empty room, bar for the forest painting behind the door we oft discussed, I took the pic’s etc to the car where H was patiently waiting. My brother and partner had just arrived and had to change their direction, oh bother. The Funeral Director had told me she would have Mum in the St Andrews hall by 1:45 so a little after that I went to have a quiet word with Mum. I presume it was decided to hold it there so staff could attend and say their goodbyes.

I had a word with the Funeral Director, who told me she had a word with my brother. She had told him that I had every right to be there, to speak if I wished and that I was welcome to stay afterwards. She assured me there would be no problems. She asked me which side I would like to sit on so I said right and she told me she would sit my brothers side on the other side.

As I had gone in another lady had come in with me. She was one of Mum’s caregivers from before Mum had gone into Atawhai. She was lovely to chat with but as I could see others coming, I decided to nip and have a quick smoke with H before we came in. On the way, I meet 3 coming in. Barbara McKay, a year or so younger than I and we had grown up together. With her were two of the lovely ladies from the good old Patoka community, Mrs Wood and Mrs Crosse, as lovely as ever and it was fantastic to see them. I receieved a lovely greeting from them and they had no issue with me. Mrs Wood had travelled with me on a coach journey and was so compimentary.

While I had a smoke with H, many others arrived, saying hello to Racheal and having a hug, before going in. I noticed a couple, one on crutches coming towards me and asking ‘Racheal’? They were facebook friends who I had never met, but we had conversed for years. Karly and partner had attended to support me and played a lovely part later.

H accompanied me in and we sat up the front, on the right. There were a lot of old Patokians there, people who had obviously heard of me and it was great to see still there. To the left was my brother, his partner and my brothers two daughters, Mums Grand daughters. I was disappointed my children were not there and would feel it worse later on.

Mary loved music. She had taught piano and also played the organ. She loved music shows, hymns, gospel singing and more. So the kapa haka group were there to start it all off and they were wonderful. We had a couple of hymns during the service and the Celebrant did a great job. His eulogy was good and complete.

 

My brother was invited to speak first and he also did well under a difficult task but it was what followed that made a mess of me. His two daughters, Jo and Chrissy got up together to speak. The words they spoke were beautiful. They read a poem their brother, Robbie, had written before he had sadly taken his life. It was a real tear jerker to me. Mary had loved her grandchildren, mine equally. The poem was about one of the times Granny Mary had taken Robbie to Anderson Park to feed the ducks and had returned home with a live duck in the car. It was beautiful.

Alas it reduced me two a mess of tears and I was thankful for the two hankies I had lifted from my Mum on the last trip down. There was no way I could follow that, thank you so much Jo and Chrissy. But good ole Barbara was good to go and in typical Barbara style she related her and her brother Simon’s experience of Mum. How Mary would call in on their Mum, have a drink or two and several smokes. How Barb and Simon had kept their glasses filled and secretly stolen a few smokes. It was lovely hunn.

 

Several others spoke relating lovely words of a lovely lady. Then Aleck stood up and spoke. Aleck and I had been child hood friends when he came to stay at our neighbours. He spoke well of Mum and related his sister’s memory of Mum and pushing her into the pool. It was a lovely moment but don’t think Aleck at first recognised who I was. He later came up and we had a good chat that I hope we shall continue on one day.

 

Then everyone was invited to place petals upon the casket and say their farewells to a wonderful lady. This was hard. To stand there, knowing H was there behind me as everyone walked up and past. But it was hard as so many acknowledged me and heaps more hugs. But Karly must have spotted the moment, stepped up beside and took my hand till I recovered it. What a champion friend.

 

I had been told I was to take the front, on one side of the casket, my brother would take the other side. So when invited I took my position but my brother took the rear. Oh well, too bad, never mind.

I walked proudly beside my Mum with my nieces opposite and behind me I think. We placed her into the hearse and stood back in case anyone wanted to say more. The kapa haka group singing. The Funeral Director asked my brother and I to step up and close the boot. I thought he was going to baulk but he did hesitantly step up and we said farewell to Mary. Mum.

So now I was supposed to leave while everyone had a cuppa. Yea right. I couldn’t have even if I had wanted to as people stepped up to introduce themselves to Racheal and give me a hug. It was a wonderful feeling for so many reasons. But the best of all had to be the stars of the service, Jo and Chrissy. They, along with their Mum came up and I had a huge cuddle from all. I was a good Uncle to them in the early days but then I had my own family and various things happened and I always felt bad we drifted apart. They are kids to be proud of Merv and alas I was disappointed in my own. While I know their Mum is in poor health, I had let her know the day before.

 

H and I had planned to leave after about 10 minutes as we had to return to Auckland. We were the last to leave but I never had a cuppa. H was fantastic. Never pushing, always in the back ground but around. He was as patient as anything and I was so grateful for his presence and support. A couple took him for my son and asked me but I told them he was the son of a good friend. A shame my children were not there.

So 10 past 4, H and I set off for Auckland. Mum, Mary had a good send off. I appreciate everything my brother had done for many years. I feel he largely only has himself to blame for my not doing more but then am sure he won’t see that. He doesn’t wish to. If he had allowed himself to see I was well received and loved. I know only a few would not welcome me back to HB. By far the majority had no problem with me.

The Atawhai staff, from caregivers to admins are fantastic and I told several that when my time is right, they will be looking after me. Thank you so much xx.

On the way home, H related a couple of things to me. One of the ladies who had asked me if he was my son, asked him if he was my boyfriend. He explained diplomatically the facts but hey I can’t help but feel proud they thought a 59yo tranny could pull a 22yo gentleman. Sorry H but thank you so much for your caring and kindness of this old girl. You were a wonderful support and company to me on our adventure. Your Mum is proud of you and has good reason to be.

 

Then he also told me of the two elderly folk and the conversation he over heard.

A/ “It’s a shame Andrew couldn’t have been here”

B/ “He is but she is Racheal now.”

A/ “I know that’s Racheal but it’s still a shame Andrew couldn’t make it.”

 

I know it’s a bit hard for oldies but he still had no problem talking with me.

 

And then there was the oldie who had a wink for me. I suspect he remembered that time when I was driving for Montreal’s and dropped the young lady to his door, but that’s another story.

So Mary is now playing scrabble with Jock and Winnie as they often used to. It’s a good thing Jock didn’t take the huge dictionary with him. They will never be forgotten.

Racheal xx

 

If you are a TransSEXUAL, you need to read this.

Posted by racheal_storm on May 25, 2015 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (1)

I have had Gender Reassignment Surgery.
I have been there, done that.
I am well down the track, totally happy in myself.
I stand up and speak out for Transsexuals. For those who follow in my and others footsteps.
Those born with a body that doesnt match their soul.
Those who believe in the binary of male and female. Those who know who they are and aren't floaters on a spectrum.
Those who believe in the spectrum are welcome to as long as they dont force their beliefs upon myself or those who think as we do. We have rights too you know.

I dont get anything out of this for me but do it because those who went before me, who stood up, made my journey easier.

Over the years, I have taken alot of crap from non Transsexual, Trans, Trans* or Transgender folk. Yep, at times it has hurt but really I dont care that much. I support the Transsexuals who are real and know who/what they are.

Over the last week, we have seen some media stories due to politicians comments concerning Gender Reassignment Surgery. Alas for those of us in the know, those politicians showed their ignorance about us. About Transsexuals and their need for GRS. What GRS means to us and how it can improve our way of life. I have seen some stories from Stuff and the Herald reposted, some comments on GLBT websites.

I have made comments where possible and some of my friends have.

What I have noticed is that a couple of leaders from certain Trans groups have been asked to make comment in the media. I have seen a few comments made in places from people clearly Trans. Usually with weird names, no picture, no profile, so basically anonymous and hidding. How can we have credibility if we cant be seen? Kudos to those who identify themselves but accept not all can.

In his apology, the leader of the Labour Party, Andrew Little was apparently asked....
"GayNZ.com also asked if Little would consider meeting some transgender people to talk about the struggles they face accessing gender reassignment surgery, and he says he would be happy to." GayNZ

Well there is a huge openning for us!!! I believe Grant Robertson, Deputy Leader, Louisa Wall, Labour, Jan Logie Greens and others are also open to talking to us. The Rainbow Politicians have set up a cross Party working group, looking at Rainbow issues.

BUT, and here is the kicker for you Transsexuals out there, who do you want to have these conversations on your behalf?

Seriously, you need to consider this. Who do you want to represent you?

Alas most of the groups out there are all closed secret groups. No one actually sees what is going on in them. They dont seem interested in educating others. Most of those groups are heavy in Trans, Trans* or Transgender folk who arent transsexuals. They dont identify with the binary, they dont want GRS and dont understand the importance to us. How can they represent you?

I am not anti non Transsexual, Transgender folk but I can not see how they can best put the arguments for GRS, when it isnt what they themselves see as important. They see other issues as more important. Such as being included in the Human Rights Act. I am not saying there isnt a need for that but what is more important to you?
Gender Reassignment Surgery or having Transgender specifically stuck in an Act that some say we are already covered/others say we arent. Some say there needs to be a test case to prove it and others say the fact there has never been a test case, shows we are already included.

So please take a moment to consider. What do you see as important? What do you want the focus to be on? Do you want someone to step up and speak out for you? If you do, then you need to stand up and support them. Make comments of support in the media, in groups.

Groups do do a lot of good but do they represent your best interests. We have a growing awareness issue here and an opportunity to be heard. Write to Little, Robertson, Logie and others. Comment on news items and in group threats.

If you are sitting on the waiting list for GRS, currently I believe 73, speak up. Some Trans folk are commenting and actually have the same amount of knowledge re costs and numbers as the politicians do. None.

Wont affect me but if it affects you, speak up.

And then there is what is happening to ASHS, ADHB and WDHB..... How does that affect you? Who is representing you there? Believe me there is a lot happening there that hasnt come out yet but who knows???

Transsexuals, YOU need to start standing up for yourselves. Sorry but you need to stand up and support others who are standing up for you. I am not talking about me but others who are commenting on threads in social media. Who are themselves commenting in media articles, consulting with politicians. We must get the ear of politicians and media, doesnt matter which one but...................

TransSEXUALS need to be heard.

Just kick the Transsexuals around MP's.

Posted by racheal_storm on May 21, 2015 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

So in the last few days, we have seen the Young Labour pass two remits at their conferences backing Gender Reassignment Surgery - Good on them for recognising a need and doing something.

But the good ended there.

A so called journalist decided to make a name for themselves and create a story, attempting to show the Labour Party up.
Labour Politicians were interviewed and, not suprisingly, were totally ignorant about it. Why should they have known, as the remits were only before the Young Labour conferences. Not the main Labour conferences, not policy.
Mind you Labour MP Nash from Napier showed his ignorace when he called it 'Gender Reaffirming Surgery'.

Not to be out done, Nationals Minister of Health, Mr Coleman, then showed even more ignorance calling it a 'nutty' idea and he wouldn't have a bar of it. Clearly he isnt aware that his Ministry of Health (MoH) have been spending money on Gender Reassignment Surgery all the time he has been Minister. The Special High Cost Funding Pool (SHCFP) has had the ability to fund 4 GRS every 2 years for sometime. Thats 1 FtM and 3 MtF GRS. The FtM ones have been done off shore as there has been no one here to do them and the MtF GRS that were done here under Mr Walker stopped early last year when he resigned and MoH are seeking a new surgeon to replace him.

Now today, Mr Little, Labour Party leader, in speaking after the National Budget, in Parliament made a lame joke at the expense of all the Transsexuals in New Zealand, desperate for GRS.

"I don't know what he's trying to hide, some sort of fiscal gender reassignment or something,..."

Sorry but that is just trying to make a mokery of Transsexuals and shows the level of seriousness the Leader of the Labour Party places on Transsexuals. Extremmely poor taste Mr Little. How does one make a Mr Little even smaller? He is shrinking everyday, shrivelling up and will soon be Mr Littler. Or will he reassign his name to Mr Micro, Leader of the Littler Party.

Now as most know, I am a sex change female. I have already had Gender Reassignment Surgery. I know many others like me. I know the huge benefits this has to the individual and can see the benefits to the country. Having more access, better access to the surgery doesnt effect myself but I have championed this since my own. It will give these people a life back, improve their self esteem. Give them confidence and get them back into the workforce easier. Help reduce suicides, reduce medical expenses the country is paying for.

When Mr Walker was doing GRS here in NZ, MtF GRS was costing around NZ$35,000 each one. Currently in Thailand MtF GRS costs approx NZ$15,000. We have approximately 73 Transsexuals sitting waiting on the SHCFP. Why are they waiting? This is the question some intelligent journalist should be asking. Why are they not being allowed to travel overseas for their surgery, as the SHCFP rules state when they cant be done in NZ?

I am sure even I could negotiate with a reputable Thai surgeon to do say 50 MtF GRS for less than NZ$15000 so why dont MoH? Using the figures above though, The National Government were allocating NZ$105,000 ever 2 years using Mr Walker here in NZ. With the same money but allowing patients to go to Thailand, travel and accomodation at the patients expense, the MoH could achieve 7 MtF GRS ever 2 years. NZ$750,000 would see 50 MtF GRS completed.

Yet the National Government would rather spend NZ$26m on referendums about a flag?
Is it any wonder Bill English, Nationals Minister of Finance cant balance the books in 7 years?

Come on you Government Ministers, MoH deciders, give me the ability to source these life saving surgeries off shore and stop this protectionism of old cronies in health. Telling Ministers that going off shore opens up the risks to failures. I know numerous Transsexuals, who have had GRS in Thailand, Apart from myself, I dont know one who has had any issues. My issues were my own fault and the support I received from my Thai surgeon was fantastic and cost NZ$500 to redo the whole GRS operation.

On the other hand, Mr Walker did few GRS operations by comparison here in NZ. I know several Transsexuals of his who had issues and some needed corrective surgery that cost the country. One had a huge problem that saw her having to privately go to Thailand to try to correct it. Where the Thai surgeon was shocked at what Mr Walker had done. But the MoH kept making girls go to him.

This whole matter is a farce. Transsexuals are treated as low of the low, the numbers dont warrant considering by MoH or Government officials. In fact they are happy to make a joke of it all.

Really poor taste Mr Little and Mr Coleman and all of you.

"Be careful What You Wish For"

Posted by racheal_storm on July 31, 2013 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

The title of my first ever fiction work.

I never realised the amount of effort that needs to go into writting a half pie decent book! Constantly I found I had to research information and was taken away from writing to seek it. Ok, I want a mansion in Miami but you cant just say that You need to build the dream and so I hunted real estate sites discovering their value, how many bedrooms, games rooms, pools, rifle ranges, boat berths and more. It takes time.

You want a super yacht with say 10 estate rooms? So how long is it? 30m? 60m? 100m? Does it have a helipad? What sort of small motorboat runabout? A games room? bar? pools? And if I want one to accomodate 40 people, how big will that be?

I want a brothel in Berlin but I cant just chuck it in the elite area or the industrial area.  They go claybird shooting and so what sort of shotguns do extremmely wealthy use?

Then when you write something that is full of sensual arousing erotica, you need a good supply of batteries believe me and then of course thats more distractions and spelling mistakes or missed words that need to be carefully checked for in proof reading. But then that is why it takes 4 days to proof read, more batteries and more stopping and starting.

Then you think you have finally got it finished and can stick it up on Amazon for sale. There is the wait as you worry it will be rejected as too saucy, too much sex. (is that possible?)

PHEW it was approved.

But now you have to market it and get people to buy it and return hopefully to leave a review.
How to market it when you are broke and have no money for advertising? You can only spam sites so much as they are sites that also interest you and you dont want to be blocked.

Its a bit like all those who say 'self publish is the way to go'. Well it is easy these days to get a book published by self publishing, $1500 = 100 copies. But then you are still left with how to sell them. They cost you $15/copy so you cant afford to give away many. What are you going to sell them for?

Writting a book is really easy, its once it is written, that the work really starts.

Just what is a Transwoman?

Posted by racheal_storm on April 30, 2013 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)


Be careful what you ask for.

Recently we have seen around the world discussions on Transwoman competing in sports such as UFC (Fallon Fox), LPGA. Here, we have seen calls for Transwoman to be housed in woman’s prisons.

What is a Transwoman?
I googled 'Definition of Transwoman' and in the first 2 pages got 13 answers of 'Transsexual or Transgender woman'; 2 answers of just 'Transsexual woman.'

So basically it seems a Transwoman is either a TS or TG woman. At least 'Transsexual' was recognised in all.

I do not support calls for Transwoman to compete in sports against natal woman or to be held in woman’s prisons. I can’t see anyone in their right mind agreeing so. I will happily support calls for Transsexual woman competing in natal ladies sports and being housed in woman’s prisons. (under certain conditions).

These examples clearly highlight the importance of getting away from the use of the non specific 'Trans', 'Trans*' and 'Transgender' words. These highlight the importance of understanding the differences between all under these umbrella terms which are too general. Highlight the importance of society to understand us all where they currently don’t.

If you call for all Transwoman to be allowed to compete against natal woman and to be housed in woman’s prisons you are calling for Cross dressers, Transvestites, Gender Queer, Androgynous, Fa'fafine, Fakaleiti etc, who predominantly aren’t on hormones, haven’t been affected by hormones, have not had GRS/SRS and are still able to function sexually as men, to be able to compete against natal female and be housed in woman’s prisons. Stupid.

Or are you negating a large sector of people, who have the right to identify as Transwoman and saying they don’t have that right?

To me the authorities can not take you and this call seriously. We will all just be laughed and scoffed at.

There is no denying that where Transwoman prisoners are housed and kept is an important issue and needs to be looked at. Corrections are doing so but it isn’t just Corrections we need to be directing this at. Corrections do not determine the sentence, the Judges do. Judges need to be able to make sentences with consideration of where the prisoner will be held. A man sentenced to 1 year in a man’s prison, serves a way easier sentence then a Transwoman who is sentenced to 1 year in prison and has to serve it in solitary confinement. We need to be addressing this issue with the Judiciary also.

And then there is also the Parole board that need to be able to take into considerations as to a Transgender person.

Alas the competing against natal woman in sports and housing in prisons, can not be accomplished by a blanket rule for all in a hugely diverse barrel but need to be addressed on a case by case basis. As individuals.

And then there is Gay effeminate men, where should they be housed? We need to get others in the so called GLBTI community on board as well.

I totally support calls for these issues to be looked into and improvements made but I won’t support blanket calls that all Transwoman......

This is clearly why we need to get rid of these generalising, non descriptive words such as Trans, Trans* and Transgender umbrella. It’s not elitism but common sense, we are too diverse under them and are totally different.

 

Legal Marriage and Religious Marriage

Posted by racheal_storm on April 29, 2013 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)


The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill has passed so now what? With its passing, it has shown clearly there is two clear sides to marriage.  The legal and/or Crown side and the religious and/or Church side. The Crown saying Same sex marriages are legal but alas most churches still refusing to acknowledge and give religious legitimacy to Same sex marriages. 

Two definite and clearly different types of Marriage.

In the Crown side, one may apply for a marriage license, marry and divorce. All legally recognised by the Crown. Through the Family Court and Birth, Deaths and Marriages.  On the other side the Church recognises the Marriage in a religious service (but you have to have a legal piece of paper). But wait, where and how do Churches recognise divorce? When two people Divorce legally, the Crown recognises it but where does the Church?  The Church as a whole may say it recognises divorce but where does it recognise an individual’s divorce? No one applies to the Church for divorce. There is no Divorce application form, no Divorce service, no (un)bands read and no Church announcement in a service. The Church in fact doesn’t recognise a person’s divorce.

The Crown recognises one person may marry one person. That no person shall have more than one wife or partner now. A person can marry, divorce, remarry, divorce, remarry, divorce as many times as one likes but can only be married to one person at a time. Sounds right to me.

In the other camp though, a person may marry another (man and woman) but then that person can then marry another person. And then another person. The Church does not openly recognise an individual’s divorce and so under Church laws and actions a man may have many wives and a wife may have many husbands. This has been the case in religion for years. 

The Church has by refusing to marry same sex couples, made their stamp on there being two clear types of marriage. Legal marriage and religious marriage. They can not then turn and say ‘but we accept legal divorce as religious divorce.’ That is picking and choosing.  We accept legal divorce, a legal marriage license but we won’t accept legal marriages. How can you accept a legal divorce, a legal license, if you won’t accept legal marriages?

By the Church not recognising a divorce but then remarrying people as many times as they like, sorry but the Church is actually sanctioning bigamy and polygamy. The very thing many anti same sex marriages stated they were in fear of. Yet their Churches have been doing it for years.

So come on Churches, get your act together.  If you condone and support polygamy what’s wrong with Same Sex marriage?

 

NZ Constitution??

Posted by racheal_storm on April 28, 2013 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I haven't written anything in here for 10 months and have been thinking I need to start again.
So as this is something that interests and away from the normal Transgender/Transsexual issues and due to a comment made to me the other day, lets start here.

The comment was....
"I have to ask though has America having it as one document made them a better place ."

My answer didnt take to much thought...."No". Realise a few American friends wont like that but its about how I see New Zealand in the future and being like America isnt in the picture. Look at what has happened in Australia with their trying to emulate America. They are being drawn into so many military conflicts, with troops being send off overseas, involving themselves in other nations politics and helping instill the American way. The worst influence is seen in Aussies themselves and their breakfasts. They are eating like Americans. Desserts for breakfast and full of syrups and sugar! Obesity is growing and the great Ozzie beer pot is giving way to American style FAT.

So NZ, we are told, is one of only 3 countries in the world that doesnt have one written constitution covering all. Is that a fair reason to support we need one? The whole issue is to big to put here as one blog so lets go back to the original question. Has the American constitution made it a better place and my answer No.

I know there are many wonderful people in America but from my experience and what I see, it is a land of violence. They love to go to other peoples wars and tell others how to run their country. Their secret services often appear to be operating deviously behind the scenes. American people themselves are often in conflict between themselves. They are heavy handed with their military might both internally and externally. They are bigheads in their self might.

Now I will acknowledge America does a great peace keeping role and it is appreciated, but sometimes it is over the top IMHO. Spending billions on missles, bombs and Hummers in a so called war against terrorism when perhaps if they have spend just millions in giving the Islamic people a reason to live, improving their living conditions might have achieved a better result.

The American people have been given a power by there constitution to stand united. Thats good and bad. It has also given them the to power to feel they are better than others and they arent slow to tell us they are. However, I can relate several stories over years where kiwis have beaten the Yanks. Our cops still dont wear guns as a norm yet theirs have been wearing them forever. NZ is amongest the world leaders in Human Rights, way ahead of America.

And that brings me to this whole 'right to bear arms BS'. It relates to our Treaty of Waitangi actually. It all resolves around the interpretation and intent at the time it was enacted.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." There is no way that should be being interpretated as everyone has a right to a gun. That was written around the 1840's? so look at the use of punctuation and grammar. It was written in times when transport was by horse and stagecoach, no telephones or internet. There were no heavy assult rifles and few if any automatic weapons. No planes of helicopters. If trouble broke out in town, it took days/weeks/months for troops to arrive and quell the situation and so towns and states had 'Malitia' they could call on quicker. It was important for members of that Malitia to own weapons. It refers to states and the people of the state, not individuals.

These days, America has troop helicopters and planes, motorised transport, armed police and armed state police, State troopers, reservists, military forts in every state. There is no need for its citizens to be armed to form a Militia. But Americans defend their rights to be allowed to 'bear arms'. It doesnt matter if a few nutters go nuts and shoot innocent children. The recent Senate vote wasnt to deny the right, mmerely to help control the nutters from having guns but the American people want nutters to have them because its their right in the constitution.

Murder rates in NZ, 0.9%; Australia, 1%, America, 4.8% [wikipedia, ( yes I hate wikipedia)]
So what does that say about the Constitution?

When the 2nd Ammendment was written and enacted, it was likely right for the times but the problem is that it isnt easy changing a Constitution and therefore it hasnt kept up with the changing world. The Judiciary are slow to act and wait until a case is bought before them. They are reactionary, ruling on what has happened and arent looking forward as our Parliament is supposed to be when it makes laws for what is happening or about to happen.

We already have a Constitution Act, a Treaty of Waitangi Act, a Treaty Settlement Act, a Human Rights Act and many others. We dont have a need for it all to be in one Act that is hard and slow to change. With IT we have seen the pace of world change rapidly happening and it will continue to change faster. We dont need a Constitution set in stone, that will be misinterupretated in years to come and to slow to recognise changes. Where important changes that are needed to be decided on in a year are delayed for 20 years. Where people suffer because it was slow to change.

We already have issues with interurpretation of Acts like Treaty of Waitangi so who decides today what interupretation of TOW we put in a Constitution in coming years and then how will that be interupreted in 100years time? We need the TOW settled and set in the passed before we impliment any Constitution. A Constitution is equally for all people and so you can not favour one people in it by adding in Treaty of Waitangi.

But then that is a whole other blog re the Treaty of Waitangi and a Constitution isnt it?

I hate being right.

Posted by racheal_storm on June 27, 2012 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (1)

So last nite I was attacked on a facebook site yet again. I can handle it even tho it does hurt.
Why was I attacked? Because I posted my opinion that differed from some others. (yet again)

The thread was about altering ones voice and for those who wish to, its a good thread. I actually have no problem with those who do wish to alter their voice and totally understand why one would want to. However to me I see it as being deceptive and false. A lie. I hate and loathe lies because when I came out, I was accussed of lying by those close to me. It cost me. I have never liked lying and when this happened it made my hatred of lying even more definite.

See the truth is I never lied but I did hide my feelings because I didnt understand them and needed to come to understand them. Its a small differance some would say but it was important to me. I didnt want to rock the boat when I didnt know what was rocking it. I needed to find out first.



The HRC report was called 'To be who I am'. While there is alot in the report I disagree with those words came to mean alot to me. I have stood up loud and proud for who and what I am. Im honest and dont lie. I wont seek to decieve anyone. So I wont and dont believe in MY trying to alter my voice in anyway to sound more feminine. My post was not an attack on anyone but merely my expressing my opinion.


I got attacked and told it was mean, that I should say sorry, that I should learn to listen.


Those who attacked need to learn to read and not read into what I write, to not be defensive, not try to restrict dicussion or supress people expressing their opinion.


One person commented 'just cause you dont have issues with your voice' where did I say that? I do have issues with my voice. I hate when people call me 'Sir' on the phone when I have introduced myself as Racheal; I hate being called 'Sir' when standing before someone in a short summer dress with long blond hair and stillettos. But I live with it and dont get all emotive and worked up over it. I politely point out their error. I have issues but I wont set about to decieve others. This same person started one post thus....

"I really shouldn't but it needs to be said." No you shouldn't have but you needed to try to bait me and did.


Another said I should say sorry and STFU. Why? I hadnt attacked anyone at all but merely stated my view. Then replied to the attacks. If no one had attacked me, I would not have responded again in the thread but some people like to stir or was it something else I have come to realise with all the anger that gets vented at me. This person accused my of 'bullying' but really needs to take a look at who was the 'bully' in reality.


Someone else commented....
"of course you're allowed your opinion. but learn to listen! we're here sharing resources, not telling you how to be." I was listening but were they? I never told anyone how to be. Was my opinion listened to? No, just twisted and emotively attacked.


Some people need to learn to say sorry and in this case that is to the thread Author and moderator. Me to but that will never happen.


So why do these people feel the need to attack? Because they cant handle the truth. Alas Im right and they hate it being pointed out. Im no diplomat sorry (and I mean sorry as I can apologise) If they want to alter thier voices, that fine, go do it. not my issue but the truth and reality is they are not being who they are but conforming to societies expectations. They are decieving and lying. Becoming a sterotypical woman.



It's the same for the Trans who have the extra and are in a relationship with a woman. If they are using the extra as a male, then they arent being as female as they possibly can be and are still men. (Supported medically) The partner isnt a lesbian either as she is in a relationship with a man. Its a fact of life, the truth and reality.


When I point out that TG groups arent supportive of TS its truth and reality. Where was the support for the TS over the SHCFP? One made a comment to help them get an interview with the MoH but weeks later, nothing has been done. She wanted the three who went public to contact her yet she was fully able to contact them. They have had a wee chat apparently but its gone under the carpet and forgotten. TG groups arent interested in TS issues. Truth and reality - fact.


When I made posts elsewhere about premarin vs progynova and how I found Progynova disasterous. Asked questions as why does our Pharmac have the right to limit us to basically only one hormone, Im put down for my ethics and the way the horses are treated. By someone who may not eat battery eggs or caged pork but is happy to raise pigs and kill them and wears leather.

Ive made posts about the TG community being too diverse and am labelled a separatist. Even tho while advocating the need for TS to separate away from the TG community, I have still advocated we need to support each other. Is that ever seen? No, just the TG would rather issolate TS separatists and ignore them. isolate and send to coventry. Alas we are too diverse - reality and truth supported by others.

"...supposedly supports all those on the magical gender spectrum however when those of us at the right of center have the temerity to question or even worse have a differing opinion all hell breaks loose and out comes the un safe / hurt card."


People dont like the truth and reality but prefer to live in Lala land. They scream 'unsafe space' accuse of threats of violence, transphobia, "i think we need to be a bit gentle and caring with each other".  Here is a blankie. I think alot need a bit of reality. How are these people ever going to cope in the real world when they cant cope in a chat room sitting at the other end of the country, often with no names or anything to identify them? Making false accussations.


So to protect them, the mature TS needs to STFU, be stifled and suppressed for expressing opinions that can open their eyes. Some of these mature TS need help and support at times also but no way can they go to these groups seeking it because they have been forced into submission and left.


TBH I tolerate TG who are non TS but more and more I am seeing the need to move away from TG. I help and support alot of TS and will continue to. I stand up for TS with Gvt Depts. I will speak up and question. I really am not interested if the non TS TG like it or not. I will support them when needed even if they wont support TS. They can fight their battles but I cant see them getting far as I dont believe those who matter can take them seriously when they act like children.


The TG groups here in NZ are splintering apart. Its a shame as they need to unifying but alas we are back to where they are all bitching amongest themselves and only consider a sector of the TG community, not all.

Equality for all? or some?

Posted by racheal_storm on June 3, 2012 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (9)

This relates to recent incidence on the net, mainly Facebook but also elsewhere. You see person Z, a well respected Transsexual, a holder of a NZ medal, who has sat in High places and spoken up for Transsexuals was booted from a FB page and accused on anti sementics wrongly by H, the vice chair of that organisation.


This is nothing against Z as I respect her greatly.


Seems it is all sorted now as Z has posted in several places that it is resolved, thanks to the intervention of TH, who is also a committee member of this group. The group is alas Genderbridge Inc again. Now in amongest the goings on, I was misgendered intentionally also by H on Facebook in rants relating to the Lord. H also posted about what appears to be a private organisation, 'Sable Sun', that seems to fund select TG seeking GRS. By 'select' H made it clear that those who were separatists were not eligiable, even if they were TS seeking GRS. Surely that is discrimination?



So good on TH for stepping in and resolving the situation for Z but hey, what about F and myself sorry? Or the TS sparatists who apparently are being discriminated against by this 'Sable Sun'  secret elite organisation? Is it only because Z is who she is and the position she holds that TH sort to resolve the issues?


There is a whole new committee on Genderbridge Inc and because of that, I thought to give them a chance to see if there might be a change in Genderbridge Inc. I sat on my complaint against Genderbridge Inc, which I still believe I have grounds to take to the NZ Human Rights Tribunial. My door is always open to discussion. To seek a resolve.


There was also F, who was booted as well. What about her and settling what happened to her. Or is it only people held in high esteem, holding medals and high places that Genderbridge Inc is prepared to jump in quick and the rest can go to hell???



So come on the new Genderbridge Inc committee, lets talk and resolve some other differances as well. Show you are a new well intentioned Group, seeking to support ALL. That you aren't selective, elitest or discriminatory.



I'm sure you know how to reach me if you wish and I have always made it clear I am approachable to seeking resolution.

WTF - Practise what you seek to preach.

Posted by racheal_storm on May 26, 2012 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

WTF –Practise what you seek to preach.

 

First up, I am going to open myself up publicly here again but it isn’t seeking sympathy or attention but to try to promote awareness. This is highly personal to me for a range of reasons but it is also similar to alot of Transsexuals. I’m pigheaded, obstinate, arrogant, proud, broad shoulders, stable, opinionated, confident, have a heart, care and more. Right? But I’m also vulnerable, weak, emotional, hormonal, unsure at times, insecure, nervous and more. Just I choose not to show it and even  perhaps don’t know how to show it.  

 

The WTF campaign recently launched by OutlineNZ and Rainbow Youth is a good campaign aimed at ending discrimination and the harm caused by it. It is backed by many within the TG groups also. It has my total support. However, it has one problem I see. If you are going to preach this and get behind it, then you need to be squeaky non discriminatory yourself. Many who I have seen come out in support aren’t.


 

Within the TG so called community and the Gay community, there isdiscrimination against their own.  ‘Here we go,’  you say. ‘Another whawha post.’ Well you just judged me and put me down didn’t you? I don’t want your sympathy thanks. I don’t need it but maybe you need to take a look at yourself and ask, 'do you discriminate against others?'


 

Yes, I believe I and another were discriminated against by members of Genderbridge Inc for expressing our views openly when they weren’t in alignment with others. We were booted from the Facebook page and membership declined or revoked. I was malgined. When I offered the chance to seek mediation, I was branded, isolated and send to Coventry. No one showed any sign of wanting to help sort the differences out. I showed I was prepared to talk about them but the doors were slammed in my face.


 

Even OutlineNZ were offered a chance to help but they withdrew quickly. I was judged and I’m sure alot of derogatory labels put against me, behind my back where I couldn’t answer. I also feel the HRC, Charities Commission, and other Government Agencies where swung with baise because of discriminatory comments lauded against me.


 

Is that not discrimination?

 

 

Then there is the recent Stuff.co.nz article where 3 TS, waiting GRS, felt they needed to go public in the media about the waiting list. Despite calls to NZ TG Groups for support, they received none. Why? I believe because I was the main instigator. They were discriminated against by their communities because of how people judged me. Also because theGroups were shown up as sitting doing nothing and they received no qudos for it. The story wasn’t about me but about 53 Transsexuals sitting on a 26 year waiting list. I asked groups to put aside their differences with me and support them but we were blacked. Discriminated against by our supposed own community and so where the 53 and other Transsexuals by association.

 

I’m not angry but am disappointed. I’m not perfect but can be wrong. I make mistakes, change my views and can apologise. However I find few out there these days who know how to apologise. Alas and yes, alas, I am often right and it pisses people off. I’m not trying to rub it in but there is discrimination in our own communities. People don’t have to accept others but do need to learn to tolerate others. If others have views that differ from our own, we don’t have to accept but we need to learn how totolerate that there are differences and allow others the same rights as we expect. To be able to express one’s own views and opinions.


 

We shouldn’t be blacking them and sending them to Coventry, isolating them.That is discrimination.

 

This is the part I don’t want sympathy for but to ask people to think of the effects all this can have on others. That they may not be as strong as they appear. That at times they might need help even though it doesn’t appear so. ‘She can handle it.’ Isn’t always so. I know many older TS who put alot of time and effort into the TG/TS community and Gay community but who have walked away. They tried to help others but were beaten into submission and often discriminated against by their own.


 

Ostracised and isolated, some have tried suicide, some live a lonely life but where are the communities? They discriminated and judged them. Cast them aside.They are proud and so won’t try to fight the groups/organisations to get help but the groups/organisations don’t even know who they are. The groups live in their own little isolated collectives, protected in their ‘safe’ world but don’t see the damage that has been done outside. They are safe and happy in their lala land and that is all that counts.


 

So go back to my character and the sympathy I don’t want as an example of others who aren’t or can’t be as public as I am. (I’m doing this for them in hopes you will think)

 

That strong, arrogant, pigheaded, confident, astute, Racheal/Storm McGonigal who is so out there and opinionated. What do you know of my financial situation? My life? My family situation? Of the off line real me? On what have you judged me?

 

2011 was the worst year ever for me in my life. I won’t go into a lot of detail but it revolved around my family, my financial situation, lack of a job, but also a frustration at the way I wasbeing judged and discriminated against by others who didn’t know me one littlebit!!

 

In August, 2011 it reached the lowest point. At around 9pm one evening I opened a bottle of Taittinger’s Champagne, which I’d carried since 2004 with me as it had special meaning. I always had planned to drink it with my children but I choose to drink the lot, alone, that night in 30 minutes. I took more than 200 codeine, paracetamol, aspirin and a few other pills and went to bed. At 9.30am the following morning, I was found stone cold, naked on my living room floor by a concerned friend and an ambulance was called. I was in a coma. I was told later, I was so close to death, they didn’t think I’d recover.  I was in acoma in intensive care for 24 hrs before I came to and was released a couple of days later. I have wonderful friends and those close to me supported me and helped. They are the best of the best.

 

My point being where was I made to feel able to go to a so called TG Support group like Genderbridge Inc or the likes of OutlineNZ? Others feel the same. These groups currently isolate anddiscriminate. They don’t look to help any but their own. People, especially older, feel proud and are not able to admit they need help and to seek it. But when they are condemned by young members of groups/organisations who believe and see only their own way as the right way, can you blame these people in need from feeling it is a waste of time seeking help there.


 

To those who want to support the WTF campaign, fantastic but if you are going to promote to end discrimination I ask, have you stopped discriminating? To those who object to the swear word in it, I just say well I object to the discrimination.Which is worse? As for me, well I am sure there are times I likely do discriminate a bit but generally I believe while others opinions may differ from mine, I sure hope I tolerate and can listen to the arguments in a discussion.

 

My door is always open to people, I don’t shut people out. I’m always willing to listen and try to make a settlement. Wish more people where able to.

 

So WTF, lets end discrimination.

 


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