I noticed a post from a Twitter account which said Thanksgiving to us was genocide and a hostile takeover of the Native Tribes in the United States. It just got me thinking more and more that maybe Thanksgiving in the context of what it means to the average American, is not a good thing.
Maybe being thankful for the many blessings we have is, but with a piece of humble pie, instead of apple. After all, we stole it. We occupy it with large diverse groups of people. Although we can't change the past, we sure as heck can try to make it better. Maybe we never will, but once again, we can try.
Maybe we should be mindful that the Native Americans once owned this land. They had to survive the elements, respect the land and give back to it, (the earth) what they took from it. They celebrated life from the cradle to the grave. Indigenous people in this country knew they had a responsibility to pass on the legacy of taking care of the earth to future generations, or perish.
Then we, the Europeans came along. We shamefully wrested the land from Native Americans. We set up our own government and broke every treaty we signed with them and imposed our values on them. They recognized at least 5 genders and we said heck no. There's only two. They worshiped the land, the sun, moon and stars. We said awe heck no. You gotta believe in Jesus Christ and you must be a Christian. If not we're going to kill every dang one of you. That's called genocide last time I checked.
You're also going to dress like we do and do what we tell you. We're going to impose martial law on your people until you succumb to our way of living, breathing, thinking, living and dying. You got that? Now to my military friends who love to argue with me about this, how would we like it if a country took over and there wasn't an effing thing we could do about it?
So when we move on from this Thanksgiving, let's be mindful of our own vulnerabilities in the coming year. Let's focus on trying to undo the wrong we have done to other marginalized communities. Let's honor the treaties our forefathers ignored with the Native American community. Let's be more compassionate with the least or most vulnerable among us. Let's be a nation of lifting others up not tearing them down.
That doesn't mean we allow travesties of justice to go unpunished or reckoned with. It means we hold people accountable. We can’t leave it to someone else to do the work, thinking that the job will get done. We all have to do our part to make this ship sail smoothly to distant lands and shores of progress.
For so long I said to myself (as a congruent female)
"Oh, someone else can stand up for trans youth in schools." "Someone else can fight for their (our) rights.”Besides, I have too much to lose if I'm transparent and come out."
I realized that there was too much to lose if I didn't. I could have lost my self-respect, my honor and my dignity as a human being.
I don't want God (my creator) to meet me at the pearly gates and show me images of trans children dying, crying and suffering and God saying,
"Síle, I gave you life so that others may live." "Behold the suffering I sent you to heal which wasn't healed because you were selfish, boastful and overly proud." "Your life was hard for a reason.' It was to forge your mind, body, spirit and will power to serve others not yourself."
I'm most grateful for forgiveness. To be given and received. Forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean forgetting. It hopefully means starting over on a good note. A good foot. Taking steps together to improve justice, integrity and mutual respect. That's something we can all be thankful for.
This weekend is a celebration of a new lease on life which began for me three years ago, November 9, 2016. It took decades to become congruent, when it should have been sooner. My hope is that future generations of in-congruent people won't have to wait as long for medical surgery and treatment as I did. In addition, that insurance companies and government officials (including presidential candidates) will recognize this and make it common practice to serve said population, by providing medically necessary care, making it consistent and effective for all trans patients. In other words, that they will provide insurance that will cover Gender Affirming Surgery, Hormone treatment, and surgery aftercare in line with guidelines set out by WPATH, formerly known as Harry Benjamin Standards of Care.
I will be celebrating with the online release of my web-series Notts' Journey, which has been in the works since 2015. At the time it was called I'm Your Mum. Changes were made based on feedback, some kind and some not so kind. It's a labor of love and I honor my fur-babies who were in the production as well. Some have passed on and some are still here. I would like to also mention Kindsey. Rest in piece my furry friends.
Joe Biden is wrapping the Democratic nomination up in a nice diversity driven package. He can unite all Americans and doesn't need on the job training. He's also progressive enough not to scare off independents and never Trumpers. I predict we're looking at a Biden/Harris ticket.
The only reason you would stand up and speak out for your community is to make life better for the younger generation coming after you. I was a trailblazer and my hope is that my experiences benefit people like me to have a better go of it than I did.
I've written about it before and whatever you do, develop a thick skin. I also ask my creator to "fight my battles." Blessing flow over me for doing so, and the Universe opens new doors for me when I let go and let God. That doesn't mean I don't stand up for myself, I just do it with tact.
In 1969 I was four years old. I knew then that I was different. I identified as a female. This is 1969. Let that sink in. It was out of the question for my parents that I should ever explore my feminine side. Back then the solution was to "slap the shite" out of trans children, and it was acceptable in society.
There was no hate crime bill and what we call the Harry Benjamin Standards of care was not well known in my families' circles. Harry Benjamin (born in 1885), was a German-born American endocrinologist and sexologist, who devised a set of Standards of Care (SOC) for the treatment of gender identity dysphoria, largely based on Benjamin's cases, and studies. It later changed its name to The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), but still reveres its links to Harry Benjamin.
"Transpanic" a defense for cis males for killing trans woman was widely accepted and used in courts, and it was a successful defense at the time. Trans bashing was more prevalent as well. Hollywood also got into the act creating trans characters who were murders and serial killers. The criminalization was three times as bad as it today. Scarier times y'all.
Today things are much better than they were in 1969 and in the early 1970's; however, I don't want things to return to the days of having to hide my gender identity, nor do I want others to experience that either. Things got even better November 9, 2016, when I had gender reassignment surgery November 9, 2016. I live happily as a congruent female.
We need to elect a leader who will fight for our community. One that will not need on the job training. One who knows other leaders from other countries, who can help end discrimination for LGBTQI community members throughout the world. A leader who believes in science and the research that goes into the study of trans issues. One who recognizes that Gender Dysphoria is a medical condition not a mental illness. One who will build on the Affordable Car Act and make treatment options and surgery available for trans patients who want it. One's who have medical clearance based on WPATH regulations and who are diagnosed by licensed professionals.
It's child abuse to disallow a transgender child to transition (with or without medical treatment) and a child seeking medical treatment (Hormone Replacement Therapy) should be doing so under a doctors' care. The doctor should be following the Harry Benjamin Standards of care along with the support and guidance of parent(s). All members of the trans community should be diagnosed first. Just because a trans child or adult opt out of treatment or surgery, it does not make them any less trans.
In my mind there's only one candidate. He's an older experienced gentleman, who I had a wonderful conversation with on the campaign trail in Durham NC. He's genuine and compassionate and he's the only candidate that will fight for all Americans. He doesn't care what you look like, who you love, or where you come from. He's also the only candidate who will not ignore the T or the Q in LGBTQ.
I'm seriously considering becoming a vegetarian. I saw a short video of a mother pig saying goodbye to her babies and the babies were squealing like, "mom what's going on." "Why can't you nestle with you." "Where are you going?" "What's happening?" "Mom don't leave me!" The mother was squealing as well. It really hurt my heart.
As a mother of the human species, it was devastating to watch. You may say it's only a pig. Pigs are more "human like" than we give them credit for. The way we treat animals is inhumane. We know better than this. Maybe someday we'll look back on this and be ashamed at ourselves that we ever ate animals. That we tortured and abused them before we ate them. That we kept them in cramped cages and tore them away from their young just to eat them.
If we eat them we must at least be sensitive enough to ease their suffering. Or maybe as an evolved species ourselves, we can come up with alternatives? Just stop it! I'm not joking. Look at heart disease caused by red meat consumption. We might not feel or see the consequences of our eating animals today or tomorrow, but maybe when we're in our later years our abuse of animals will come back to bite us in the bottom. That's why I'm going to challenge myself and I ask you to join me.
We don't have time to try on a new pair of shoes that we don't know how or if they'll fit. We need to go with the trusty ole' pair of sneakers we have in Joe Biden. The government is tap dancing all over us and the the world. It's making us a laughing stock and has returned us to the days when we were hated by the countries we walked out on and betrayed. The blood of the souls of the departed, murdered and our betrayed, are on those who put career and ambition over our country and our allies.
As much as I adore Elizabeth Warren, we don't have time to fall in love, we need to fall in line. One suggestion I might make is for Biden to commit to being a one term President, then Elizabeth Warren (as Vice President) could take over the reigns in 2024. I also think that Kamala would make a great VP for Biden. Even better, I think that Stacey Abrams would be a great VP as well. Just something for Biden to consider.
Joe Biden had been there done that president. That's what we need. Not an on the job trainee. Either way, we need a president who will turn this country around and put it back on a course of acceptance, kindness, productivity, compromise and progress.
Joe Biden should watch (the film) and be like Paul Newman in "Cool Hand Luke," in Tuesday nights debate. Don't be like "angry grandpa," being too aggressive. In that case the voters will bail on him.
But due to recent events Biden might want to put a little cranky firmness in it. Biden should be cool but firm. Cool Hand Joe with a bit of outrage. He needs to keep the focus on attacking Trump / Pence. All other Dems need to tread lightly on Biden and attack if you will but it will backfire.
So far I've been able to confine checking my social media feeds to just my computer. I no longer check my Facebook or Twitter feed on my phone and I feel great; therefore, I spend less time focused on them and more time focused on my work and film making. You see, I've been watching videos from Jaron Lanier, who's from Silicon Valley and who points out the negative effects social media can have on one's life. His videos are eye opening. Although he talks about getting rid of Facebook and other social media accounts, I find my current method acceptable for me for now.
In one video Jaron said that we need to compare ourselves to ourselves not others. Social media can be designed for good, but it's engineered for bad. Nobody has a perfect life, and we all want to be accepted and loved. When we scroll down and see how successful or great our friends and followers are doing, we may feel a sense of jealousy or envy if our life basically sucks compared to theirs. We need to stop doing that.
If we follow famous people on Instagram like the Kardashians, we shouldn't try to compare our lives with theirs. It's not real. Most of those photos we see have filters in them to make themselves look glamorous and flawless. It's not real.
I've learned to be transparent in my social media accounts, not to expect people to always like my posts or pics. When I post a video or pics of my film work or give updates, some of my friends might think that it's because I'm showing off, or seeking attention. Some of my friends or followers may be jealous of my success. If they are, then they don't want to let me know it, or they just don't give a rat’s ass. Either way, we need to be confident in our talents, abilities and gifts, because they will make room for us.
Nobody has a perfect life. You are who you are for a reason. Be that. Be you. Don’t be someone else. Don’t live their dreams, live yours. We all have parts of our lives which are good and others that are not so good. We should stay positive as we make our way down the path of (our own) success.
I'm amazed at how certain members of the religious community can be "against" or "hate" people with a medical condition like Gender Dysphoria? History will judge those people harshly and they will be categorized along with the witch burners and Spanish Inquisition armies who tried to vanquish misunderstood communities in their day. GD is not a philosophical science. It's based on hard cold facts you can measure in a Petri dish and see under a microscope. You can see it on a CT scan or an MRI. What is wrong with you people? GD is a medical condition. It's real and the Religious community and the Pope need to get over it.
It seems as though we could do with an education on this subject and thankfully people are listening and hearing. But in 2016 our country got "stuck on stupid." Our collective conciseness was stymied a bit and all we wanted to do was rage against people who were different than us. Normally law abiding public official succumbed to the idea that power and control was more important than compromise and compassion.
They built a wall around the mother ship in the peoples' house to protect the Sithe. When the voices of progress tried to speak they were stonewalled; however, the wall that they built is coming down and will crash and burn around them. That's when the voices of sanity, acceptance and love will wash the land again and we will go back to compromise, compassion and unity not division.
Sometimes you have to refocus your life, and then readjust the road you're traveling and renew your desire to live life to its fullest, while contemplating the choices that lie ahead of you, as you make your way towards your new path.
Then comes the leap of faith aspect of what might or might not happen on your new journey. Sometimes you can plan all you want, but where does faith enter into the equation? I think Faith is there from the start. Along with hope, faith can move mountains out of your way and blaze a trail for you in the darkness. Prayer is like a beacon of light, guiding you in the right direction.
Clarity of purpose also comes into focus. Having lived half my life on this earth in-congruent, (perceived gender didn't match my assigned gender) the greatest gift of congruity (perceived gender matches my assigned gender) was given to me at age 51. My hope is that the second half of my life can have greater purpose and meaning than the first; however, sometimes I'm not sure what to do next.
After receiving this gift, I've asked myself, what shall I do with it? As I walk this new path, the evidence of my past incongruity shows and it hurts. I should have been given this gift earlier in my life. But people in those days didn't know or understand that having this gift meant peace, harmony, self love and acceptance for people like me. Many still don't understand and most don't give a rat’s behind.
My mother always said, "You can't cry over spilled milk." Ministers said, "Be thankful for what you got." But my heart says that's not enough. When the signs of my in-congruent past are noticed and comments are made, I'm told to get over it. That's when the frustration hits home and I regret that my gender reassignment didn't happen sooner.
Some people say it's my own fault and it was my choices that kept it (the gift) from coming sooner. I say codswallop. The choices I made early on were to stay alive. Keep a roof over my head; make my parents and society happy by not complaining or pushing the status quo. When I started to push back I was subtly warned not to step out of line by society, my family and friends. "Why can't you be gay?" Mom said to me. "I can't live my life knowing that you are this way." "I'd rather be dead."
I am convinced however, that if my mom knew then what we know now about Gender Identity Dysphoria (GID), she would have been supportive. She would have been as supportive as she was about my Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and other (learning disabilities) growing up.
My mother was into facts and data. If you could prove your case, then you had her blessing. Maybe she didn't know the gift I wanted existed nor had a name? If she didn't, then I forgive her for not knowing. If she knew, but was told that it was evil and a sin, then shame on her for being so gullible.
As I'm writing this blog I realize how resilient I am to have gone through life with so many labels and to still be standing. I won't deny that there is a force greater than myself or any human being for that matter guiding me, loving me, and leading the way. The so called experts told me that I wouldn't overcome the challenges I had nor be successful in life. I did overcome, I am successful and I will always be kind and humble to others.
So with this new life and attitude, let me introduce myself. My name is Síle Michaela Kelleher. I'm a congruent female. I lived as an in-congruent female for 51 years. I'm an actress, filmmaker, parent, mom, writer, editor, with learning disabilities who's overcome a lot of BS.
I've been knocked down beat down many times in my life, but I keep getting up. As Elton John said, "I'm still standing." I'm grateful to be alive and I don't want to spend another moment living in pity or regret. Life is too short to worry or fret about the past. I choose not to waste another moment thinking about what could have or should have been, I'm focused on what can be!
Sometimes you have to dance to your own drum even if you're in the same band with others who disagree with you. Don't follow people off cliffs. Stand up for yourself but not at the risk of looking foolish. Whatever you do, keep your cool. Don't loose your self respect.
Also stay in the game. Sometimes things seem worse than they are. If you have set backs you make comebacks until you reach the shores of the divine.
Love and forgiveness don't mean that you loose yourself it means you break through to the other side and spend eternity in peaceful contemplation, knowing you're on the right track.
I thought it was a good debate. Jose Castro didn't do himself any favors by attacking Joe Biden. It's only going to help Biden win more support. But I will not "pile on" as I mentioned in my last post. Let's hope that whoever wins they can beat Donald Trump.
I thought that Kamala made somewhat of a comeback and would make a good VP. Amy Klobuchar did great, as did Mayor Pete. Corey also shined. Warren was calm, cool, collected and informative. Joe fought hard. The protestors helped his cause. He ended the night on a high note in his closing remarks. Beto is raw talent and has true passion and would make a good VP or Texas Senator.
The majority of the night allowed them the be themselves and a bit vulnerable. Unity one the night. It's about time!
I'm hoping that you all have a great week. With all the crap going on in this world, we can still find the good in it. Namely, the good we can find in people we meet everyday. We have a chance to make this world a better place when we practice being kind to others. Even the one's who are stinkers.
We should make forgiveness the first place we go to when someone does us wrong. However, they're some things that are unforgivable. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the easy "no brainer" kind. By forgiving others we have the power, they don't. Let go of hate, because it will only eat you up inside.
Sometimes on social media we tend to want to "pile on" when someone is in trouble. Some things are good humored and innocent and others aren't so innocent. Let's stop wishing people ill. Let's hope they learn their lessons when agencies and law enforcement catch them. If they're guilty of a crime, let's hope they suffer the consequences. But in the long run, let's do unto others as we would have done to us.
I'm the first to say that I'm one of those "pile on people." I hope to change that. Let's be civilized and gracious and kind. These are principals God has set forth for us to live by. To love one another. I'm not saying it's easy to do, because I struggle with it everyday. It can be done.
We're all trying to get along in this world and the ultimate end we will all experience is death. So let's live each day as if it's our last and hope that our legacy shows us to have been on the right (or correct) side of history. That doesn't mean not to fight like heck for what we believe in, but to do it in such a way as to make a lasting impression on society.
I wanted to share a bit about myself in order to help future generations of Trans Youth fighting for equality. I'm proof that it does get better. Maybe not on our timetables but they do. I also want people to know that I'm a real person with real social media accounts and I'm not a bot.
I don't want an award for the difficult life I've had, because I'm sure they're others who have had it a heck of a lot worse. My desire with being open and transparent with my audience and my fans is to help them through the journey they're experiencing now. We ALL mean something to someone or something like a family pet or fur baby.
Stay in the game. As comedian Steve Smith says from the Red Green Show (Canada) "keep your stick on the ice." For those who don't know he was referencing a Hockey stick used in playing Hockey. A national sport played in Canada and the US.
There's been debate and many reports on the authenticity of scientific research regarding the claim that Gender Dysphoria is based on medical (not mental) evidence. Here's proof that its medical. Doctors are NOT scientists and they have no clue what researchers have discovered. I'll take the word of a reputable Scientific Journal than a Jim Crow Doctor from Louisiana trying to propagate and spread dis information that is detrimental to members of my community and running for public office.
In order to get published in a reputable Scientific Journal, one has to be able to back up their research from peers and skeptics through questions aimed at poking holes in their findings. Once this occurs and the scientist can back up their hypothesis and research, it gets published. This is not a "philosophical" or "whimsical" hypothesis. This is based on hard core facts, research and evidence. This is why we need Democratic Presidential candidates to take this issue seriously in the next election. This aint no Tyler Perry "Media" issue or the Ru Paul's "Drag Race." Lady Ga Ga said it correctly. We were born this way at conception.
I wanted to thank the alt right trolls who lambasted my web-series I'm Your Mum because I stood up against hatred and bigotry in my words and films. They mainly came from Ashe County and Pitt County North Carolina. A few where fellow filmmakers who until now I regarded as my friends. No more.
The majority came from my Facebook Page called Sins of Ashe County. I made some anti Trump posts and their right wing wackos and redneck Nazi's came after me for it. I want to thank them for making me more determined than ever to make a comeback. I don't back down full stop. I have a thick skin. You have to have that if you want to survive in acting/film-making. My determination will not be stifled. It's my jet fuel to rocket forward.
Let me be clear. I support the rights of all marginalized groups and people. They should be given equal protection under the law. I do not support the President and his policies against such people and groups. As an artist filmmaker I have a right to speak out and write about such things in my films.
At my age you learn a lot about people's behavior and you wonder what their motivation is. But who cares. Most critics are wimps who live in their mother's basement and have no friends. If I could leave indie filmmakers with one thought it would this. Take the hate you get from them and find some truth in what was said...if any. Are there things that you could change? For me it was my British accent.
In my case one critics was a washed up actor who made slasher porn movies from the 1980's and he's a has been. So that made me feel better about my work. I didn't feel so bad.
Have a thick skin and if after doing some soul searching you can think of any way you can make your project better, then do it. It's kind of like drinking a soda. After the vitriol from your critics subsides (like soda fizz) then regroup, refocus and renew your commitment to putting out good content for people to enjoy. Another way to handle it is to tell them where to go and leave it be.
I'm so grateful for the blessing I've been given and it's up to me to share this message. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said:
"There come a time when silence is betrayal." "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." "Only in the darkness can you see the stars."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
What matters is that (as Joe Biden says) "We are in a battle for the soul of America." I can't allow members of my community to go unnoticed, disrespected and shut out of the American Dream from a bunch of old white guys using white privilege to keep us out. We all matter, we all count, we all belong and we all mean something to someone or something precious to us like a family pet or fur baby.
We will win. We will win. Not as Democrats or Republicans or even Independents. We will ALL win as Americans in 2020.