Everything I Know About Gender Identity Disorder, I Learned On A Climbing Blog

No, you won’t.  But you could maybe start here.  Also, I apologize that this isn’t the funniest post in the history of HC…I’m a little hesitant to put to much cock and irreverence in this post ’cause, let’s be honest, there are some things that are serious.  And you can get cock anywhere, you whore.

Fair warning:  I am not, nor do I claim to represent, the transsexual climbing community. I climb with a couple of gender variant people and I’ve been lucky enough to learn a lot about these issues from them.  I think it’s incredibly important for the HC community to be educated about this stuff because of who we are, and the diverse community we’re trying to create.  (side-note…despite what you may see in pictures, we’re not all plain-Jane gay boys…we just have a couple of queens who always jump in front of whatever under-represented minority we’re trying to get pictures of in order to prove that they really do come on our trips.)

Some additional (unimportant) history:  When I came out of the closet, my mother told me “I get the gay thing, but don’t you show up at my house in a dress.”  I realized at that point that, as hard as it is to be gay, it’s got to be infinitely harder to be transgender.  I’ve known for years that I wasn’t built with the courage it takes to live the life of some of my transgender friends, but I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have them…friends who’ve exercised what can only be described as a massive ass-load of patience in helping to educate me (and continue to do so) not only on how they want to be treated, but how I can best serve as an ally.

OK, that’s done…let’s talk.

Did you know that people who do not identify as the gender with which they were born are considered mentally ill by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association?  Google it…it’s called “Gender Identity Disorder.”  Isn’t that cute?  Gender identity is a disorder…so I guess we’re going with the whole “God don’t make no mistakes” thing here?  The APA, you may remember, is the same group who voted to delete homosexuality from the DSM in the late 70’s, thus clearing the way for…well, for a lot.  Our opponents had a wonderful time denying all manner of civil liberties to a group of gay people who were considered mentally ill, and now the same groups are having a field day doing the exact same thing to our transgender friends.

So the answer is obvious…we have to petition to have Gender Identify Disorder removed from the DSM RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!  Shit…hang on a second…

Removing the diagnosis from the DSM means insurance companies can stop covering gender reassignment procedures.  Do you have ANY fucking idea what it costs to transition from male to female?  Average is about $20,000.  Up-front.  That’s right, those surgeons aren’t fucking around, they want their money in advance.

So let’s petition to keep Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!! Shit…wait…

People with the diagnosis still need civil liberties, which are pretty fucking hard to come by when you’ve been labeled a mentally ill man or woman (never mind your true gender, dear, we’re going to further denigrate a key part of your life experience by continuing to refer to you by the gender with which you were born.)

So what’s the answer?  Fuck if I know.  The odds are against the APA to removing GID from the DSM all-together, but there seems to be some momentum building to reform the diagnosis to lessen the stigma while simultaneously increasing the access to treatment options.  One of the leading proponents of this change has been Kelley Winters.  You can read more here, if you’re so inclined.

Wow…you’re still here?  Well, I guess you’ve earned this:

Yeah, that's Rowland. Spank away, my friends. Spank away.

Things We Believe In

So this morning I’m sifting through my work email & I see that one of my many many many many bosses has finally completed my mid-year performance evaluation.  I know this dude really doesn’t like me, mostly ’cause I’m much prettier/smarter/gayer than him, so I’m totally in avoidance mode.  I’m literally working my fingers to the bone (hehehe…bone…) in an effort NOT to read that performance review ’cause I’m pretty sure it’ll make me so mad that I’ll get lupus or herpes or a flesh-eating bacteriums from reading it.  This is the guy who made fun of me for being a climber and, really, sort of shamed me for not playing golf or some other lame-ass douche-tard sport.  Yeah, kids…that’s how we do it in Corporate America.  Fortunately for me, I got an email from Nat.  If you don’t know Nat, then…well, she is one of the coolest people you don’t know.  She’s also super hot…like, super super hot.

Nat...climbing. I told you she was super hot, you should believe me when I say stuff.

Anychrist, she sent me an email this morning with instructions on how I could channel all of this pent up rage into something productive…so here’s the email from Nat:

I’m a member of the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, which is a group that helps protect and preserve beautiful cliff lines and lands for future generations, saving many tracts from being turned into subdivisions.  I am also working closely with them in my role as a Park Ranger with the National Park Service at Little River Canyon, which is a breathtaking expanse right here in the South.  It’s been exciting and rewarding, and I am working towards coming up with more ideas and solutions to help forge a solid relationship, as well as provide support for the SCC’s goals, programs, and educational outreach.

As this is an issue I am personally and professionally involved in and passionate about, I am asking for your help.  The SCC has entered the Pepsi Refresh Project for the month of November.  If you are unfamiliar with the program, it is a plethora of grants for community project ideas that groups compete to receive.  The public votes on which ideas and plans they support, and thus a winner is chosen.

The grant that was applied for was in the amount of $250,000.  With this money, the SCC will work towards securing two areas–one in Alabama, another in Tennessee–that are slated for development.  If we can obtain these areas, they will be preserved and utilized by the public.  Some of the areas the SCC has already saved are enjoyed not only by climbers, but also hikers, cyclists, birders, and nature lovers.  They are a special treasure for everyone, and the SCC hopes to purchase these new spots.  Check out this video to get a better idea of who and what the SCC is, and what their goals are for the future.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPDqp9FbbeE&feature=player_embedded#at=20

This is a super cool picture that I lifted from the SCC website...I put it here because I was afraid all this text would bore you, the reader, so I thought I'd add something to liven it all up & keep your interest until you get to the end of the post. I'm sure that my transparency here is an excellent example of the type of behavior that leads my boss to give me shitty reviews.

Please vote for this project.  It’s as simple as sending a text, or pressing a button on the website.  You can vote every day in the month of November (of course, only one per day).  They have even set up a reminder email that can be sent to your address daily.

I know this may seem an annoyance or hassle.  You may think, I’m not going to go to all that trouble every day.  However, I would implore you to please support the SCC and this project.  As my family and friends, I am also asking on a personal level to support my connection with this group, as it helps foster new opportunities and angles to my job.  With these new avenues, I hope to personally improve as a public servant and continue to focus on putting my all into Little River to advance and elevate it to its designation as one of the Nation’s wild wonders.

Here are the ways you can vote:
1.  Send a text with the numbers “104071” (without the quotes) to 73774.
2.  Go to http://www.refresheverything.com/seclimbers and click on “Vote for this idea” in the upper right corner.

Thanks for the email, Nat!  Y’all be sure to take a minute to vote for them!