When I was in my teens, K’s Choice was one of the bands I listened to religiously.
My love for this band was recently revived after a friend had posted singer Sarah Betten’s singing one of their best known songs earlier this year with one of my other teenage heroes: Skin.
The album Cocoon Crash includes so many songs that I felt very much intertwined with at the time and that still speak to me. I think “cocoon crash” is probably a very appropriate way to describe puberty in general, and mine was no different.
One of my absolute favorite songs, despite its slightly confusing lyrics is Now is mine.
Other personal faves are Butterflies Instead and Believe. Oh yeah, and If you’re not scared. (Choosing, not my strength…)
A song that still gives me crazy goosebumps every single time, is the live version of Shadowman, one of the few K’s Choice songs attributed fully to Gert Bettens, instead of his sister and lead singer Sarah Bettens. It’s a long version, but I recommend you watch it. It’ll hit you right in the feels.
After having gone their own separate ways for a couple of years, K’s Choice, has reunited and is making music again and I think they’re even doing some tours. So glad to hear that (and not only because it makes me feel young).
This morning I came across a touching Indian commercial:
It brought several things to my attention;
Apparently, Hindi does not have it’s own equivalent of “proud” or “sorry”, which I find interesting…
Feminism is still relevant, but it only counts if men get on board too (and no Caitlyn, you don’t count).
Sharing the load when it comes to laundry would be way welcome in my book as it is one of my least favorite chores (and one that I always tend to postpone a bit too long)
Oh look, it’s Ariel… where have I heard that name before… water…. bubbles… mermaids… princesses… Oh wait, didn’t I get all worked up about an Arielin my previous blog on transgender kids? Time to go back and get that follow up blog done!
So let’s go back to that previous blog of mine and summarize it, real quick. The issue I discussed there was transgenderism in kids, illustrated by the examples given in an interesting documentary I saw. The fact that these kids declare that their body’s gender does not coincide with the gender they feel they truly are, is not a choice. Everything from that point on, however, is. And they’re big choices, too.
Some of the dilemmas I faced in the face of theirs:
Is it cruel to let a child go through puberty and feel their body change into the thing they dread or is it a necessary thing they must experience in order to be sure this is not what they want?
Should we block puberty for a while so the kid and its family have more time to make up their minds?
How do we know we aren’t blocking other forms of development in the process?
Should these kids be allowed to make this decision at all?
When has there been enough psychological help and can there actually be determined that crossing over is the only way forward?
From what age should cross hormones be made available?
In a conversation I had in regards to all of this with my great friend and champion in thought provoking remarks, Zeefje, she asked me straight up if I had something against transgenderism in general or just the fact that children were being allowed to make decisions about their gender at such an early age. It is a question I have not really found the answer to yet either, or perhaps I haven’t really dared ask it. I’ll see if I can come up with something resembling an answer in the course of this blog and if we’re lucky maybe even put it into words in an understandable way…
So, imagine a kid; 5 years old, without being burdened by notions of what society expects or how gender roles are divided in the world, but very clear about the fact that they may have been born one way, but are most certainly the opposite.
And then as they edge closer to those pre-teen years they become self conscious. They realize what they are feeling is actually very odd. They are, as I have now learned, in the phase of “gender-non-conforming”. They may already have run into a bully or two. They change. They were bound to change anyhow, because puberty is on the doorstep.
Puberty is turbulent enough as it is. It is a phase in life when we all doubt ourselves as we start to form our own identity and claim our spot in the world. Our bodies change. Our emotions change. Our relationships change.
Kids struggling with their gender can now take hormones blockers to stop the process of transitioning into their biological gender. This is obviously a temporary solution. I guess it buys time. It gives the gender-non-conforming child the chance to witness the changes in the bodies and behavior of gender-conforming peers and decide how they feel about this.
Boxes and gray areas
And now I’m getting to one of the things that bugs me in all of this. I guess I feel that the real curse is the fact that we have certain expectations of a girl and other ones for a boy. These are often opposite and not supposed to be mixed up. I feel that if the box labelled “boy” and the box labeled “girl” weren’t so sharply defined some of these kids would have a lot more wiggle room to figure out who they are and may not feel the need to cross over at all.
I have this feeling that these boy-girl labels are weighed down more by stereotypes in American society than on this side of the pond. No, I have no hard evidence to back this up. It’s just a feeling.
My point is that if you grow up in a household and society that is laden with taboos, where “that’s just the way it is” is a legitimate answer, I can imagine a subtle feeling of discomfort with your own body can get out of hand real quick. You may feel that if you don’t fit in box A, that your only choice is to transition into whatever box B is.
Don’t sell your soul
I can go on about this for a lot longer and I do feel there is still more to say about all of this but Zeefje already talked me through a lot of my frustrations and confusion and I think I’m not doing anyone any favors by elaborating more.
To conclude this topic I want to go back to Ariel. The girl in the Frontline documentary gave herself that name and I though it was ridiculous at first. I saw it as an another sign she was just a confused child, trying to live a delusional dream. She chose the name of a Disney princess… Silly silly, right?
Wrong. It is actually the strongest and most symbolic name a child in her situation could ever choose and it gave me chills when I finally figured it out… You go girl. Find your feet. Spread your wings. Just make sure you don’t lose your soul in the process.
I checked it for every person I could think of and must admit it wasn’t so right for everyone I looked up, but I am over the moon about the description of my own primal zodiac sign, which happens to be a skunk. According to this particular website:
Skunks are witty and tend to have a somewhat dark sense of humor. They find reality far more intriguing than absurdity and can find humor where others can only see tragedy. They are not morose, but observant. They have good instincts and trust their senses, though they don’t pay much attention to anything beyond their momentary point of view. Skunks only look forward, never back. They are not sentimental and don’t dwell on the past. They are far more concerned with what’s around the corner than what they’ve left behind. Some people consider them selfish because of this, but in truth Skunks just want to be left alone to do what they think is best and usually extend others this same courtesy.
Fill in my name wherever it says “Skunk” and you’re right in all senses. And what maybe blew me away the most was the description about the Skunk’s career path:
It is not unusual for members of this sign to aspire to careers in politics in their youths, as they are highly aware of how badly the world needs a straightforward idealist such as themselves. It is unusual, though, for them to stick with this aspiration after becoming disenfranchised by the bickering and inefficiency inherent in any political system. Skunks would rather forge a path through the darkest jungle alone than be forced to play someone else’s game. This is true for corporate life as well, though Skunks are not nearly as likely to be emotionally involved in the success of a company as they are in the direction of their state, country, or the world at large.
Hahahaha, that is literally how my career aspirations shifted as I grew older. Pretty bloody awesome…
I did try to read the description of other signs as well and tried to see if it was all written in such a general fashion that it always applied to anyone. I don’t think this is the case, but I must admit the first one I read was my own and I was pretty much sold from there on.
Skeptic as I may be, astrology always fascinated me. The probability of the alignment of the stars on the day you were born influencing your very being goes against all rationality… and yet I am always compelled to read into these matters. A big part of me says it’s absolute rubbish and yet, it does hit the mark quite often, doesn’t it?
And don’t we all like to believe the universe revolves around us, or is that just the self centered sagittarius in me talking?