June 4th, 2009

Me 1

The VanDyke is my friend: adventures in facial hair

I'm so glad facial hair is one of my grooming options. Once upon a time, it wasn't. And with my being one of the quieter, less obvious heterosexual men in the world, I caused confusion.

Confusion = me being called "ma'am" to my face twice back when I was a junior high school student.

That was the late '80s, late 1986 to mid-1988, when I was in junior high. I had short hair and a body build that made me not so obviously either gender, especially when I was wearing a padded coat 'cause it was winter in Virginia. Now I wish I had recordings of what my voice sounded like back then, because after several years on-and-off of speech therapy I'd developed a surprisngly precise speaking style that made some people think I was from New England...or from England. (Before speech therapy, I had trouble pronouncing my Rs. After it, I was watching loads of Monty Python and picking up on those accents.) I think my voice was unexpected, too, in some way. Did I sound like a man? Did I sound like a woman? I don't really remember, because only I hear my voice from inside my own head, so of course it doesn't sound like what everyone else hears.

Anyway. Facial hair. I never grew it until college, when my electric shaver broke. Broke = the shaver started eating bits of itself, and I thought If that's chewing through metal I do not want that touching my face! No time or money for haircuts, either, so my hair was, well, no longer so short. It never got very long, I'm not meant to have long hair (not even mullet-length hair), but it came out more wavy than it had for all those years I'd kept it short. (Oh, and another thing. Until about Grade 5 or so, my hair'd been straight. Straight straight straight. Then one area above my right eye started curling, and only that area, and this drove me to distraction enough that I cut off that nub of hair a couple of times. Then I got it professionally cut again because I have no haristyling skills and my impromptu cut made my hair look unbalanced and should Chris be given scissors? awkward. But my hair was wavy hair screaming to get out, and get out it finally did.) At its longest and most epic, my facial hair was longish and wispy and almost like the lead singer of the Spin Doctors's facial hair; later it settled into not being too long, even if I don't touch it. I'm better at trimming now, too. I've learned hair care stuff!

And I guess I'm more obviously male in my look now, as it's been two decades since being called "ma'am" in public. (I've also never been been called "ma'am" in private. That's not my kink.) Though if I did look like a woman, even with facial hair, my town of Portland would have my back. Portland's home to several bearded women. Rick Emerson on his radio show once said that people had harassed some of our town's bearded women and that those harassers should stop it. Rick said "Let's not be stalking the bearded lady. Though let's all admit that 'stalking the bearded lady' sounds like something really exotic."

This has been nicely random, this entry.
NCC-1701 Nebula 2

Cool friends doing cool things!

popfiend is asking for comments on his journal, because he hopes to hit 100,000 comments later this summer. He's giving us lots of things to talk about. (Here's some audience participation! And here's some more!) Plus he's a worthy person just in general.

And the worthy person shadesong is holding a friending frenzy (people introduce themselves hoping to draw in more people to read them and discover more people worth reading). I've blurbed myself. I like to think I'm a worthy person just in general. :-)

Good morning! Have a good day, and a good night, and a good weekend, and and and...
  • Current Mood
    good worthy person!
Me 1

Sweep the leg. Look eye, always look eye. YEEEAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!

And, now, something completely silly and wonderful:

Tomorrow night's KUFO/Cort and Fatboy Midnight Movie is The Karate Kid.

I last saw the film with my college dormmates at an Oregon Coast beach house we rented for a weekend back in the mid-90s, and it was still kick-ass then. Now I'll get to see if it's still kick-ass now.

(By the way, I know from someone I trust that Pat Morita was an incredibly nice guy. That someone I trust, he worked with him once.)

The film's tomorrow (Friday) night at 11 at the Bagdad Theater and Pub in SE Portland. Doors open at 10. You have to be 21 or older. Tickets are $3.

Holy crap, I am there the same way that Ralph Macchio's facial hair isn't. (True story! I heard this on the radio once from Jon Cryer. Back in the Eighties Cryer and Macchio were going to be in the cast of Young Men With Unlimited Capital, a movie about the guys who put on Woodstock. Macchio wanted/needed facial hair for his role. And he couldn't grow it.)

The Karate Kid on the big screen again. It is now officially a cruel, cruel, cruel summer...

"From a concerned father of a non-conforming 10-year-old boy"

Among the many difficult, saddening, enraging news stories lately is the news of radio asshats in Sacramento advocating for abuse of transgendered or potentially transgendered children. As many on my Friends List have reason to think of gay issues, those who I know and read and been pondering it out loud, like rm here. So have others. Please read this letter from a concerned father of a non-conforming 10-year-old boy:
I’m writing to tell you how angry, how sad, your broadcast concerning transgender and gender non-conforming children made me. To be honest, part of the reason it made me so angry is that I shared a lot of your worldview once. I ridiculed gay people and trans people and had my made-up theories about how they could be normal and avoid hatred and ostracism if they really wanted to...

Then my first son was born. And he was, is, one of these kids. My kid was never abused. My kid has suffered no trauma. My kid has two normative parents. My kid has a normative brother. My kid has normative DNA.

At first I didn’t know what to do, so I took a half-step back; I shared my experiences with those parents who had tried to therapize this behavior out of their kids. They tried behavior modification. They saw specialists. Pretty much nobody gets to this place, of researching, understanding, tolerating and then accepting, this behavior, until they’re forced to.

Behavior modifcation, for the parents I spoke with, didn’t work. Their kids got worse. Hysterical, screaming, self-mulitating, seven-year-old-talking-about-suicide worse.

More and more therapists are giving up on trying to extinguish this behavior, not because they are intimidated by the GLTBQ agenda, but because the treatment simply doesn’t work. And procedures you perform over and over again that don’t work are called malpractice. Suppression seem to harm many of these children. They report higher incidences of stress, self destructive impulses. Suicides. Yes, there are studies. Even with the stress of living in a world which rejects them, as you do, they are happier fighting that battle than suppressing this part of what they are.

...I know you reserve the right to hate anyone you want, but I’m making an effort now, not to hate you, and I want you to return that favor when you talk about my child. Who I love. I know my child may be killed for being who he is, who he can’t help but be. I am so afraid of that I wake up in cold sweats about it. And then I read about your radioshow.

Slapping a hair cut on my boy and jamming him into a football jersy, or a cop uniform, or a soldier’s fatigues, won’t change him. You can talk to the adult transgenders who did that, the over compensators. They’re out there.

And you should also consider, being a man, how brave my son is to exist in a world with you and not to hide who he is. An adult transgender on an email list I’m on was asked by a young person about the dangers of hormone therapy.

“I hit an IED in Iraq, it took them a year to put me back together. I’m not worried about hormones.”
More at the link, which I saw via lovelyangel.