The term “trans” is in these days, giving new meaning to old cultural norms.
I have been struck by the recent emergence of “trans” into the fabric of everyday life. So I decided to look into this a little further in order to help others who may be searching for answers. For future reference, “trans” is a prefix from Latin, generally meaning “across,” “beyond,” “through,” “changing thoroughly,” “transverse” and used to mean “on the other side of,” when referring to one’s gender identity.
For quite some time, transgender folks kept it hidden for the most part, both literally and figuratively. Now it seems like such an “in” thing to be that the rest of us are taking notice. As hard as this may be to believe, this increased transgender awareness may have one important lasting benefit for the US population as a whole: We might finally get public restroom labeling reform across the land.
I have long wondered at the sometimes mysterious markings that denote restroom gender in public places. Almost everyone has been in a restaurant confidently striding to the restrooms when “boom”—you can’t tell which is which. Is that a goose or a gander, a hat or a bonnet, a skirt or maybe a kilt?
I don’t think I am the only guy who sometimes can’t figure it out, still has to piss, makes a reluctant choice and then breathes a sigh of relief when he sees the urinal. Well, those days could be over thanks to our new-found transgender friends.
Whatever else the new Caitlyn Jenner brings to society’s table, I think we are about to see in public places across America a government-imposed regulation that even the troglodytes among us will applaud—standardized public restroom labeling. M and W seem obvious choices. But then it could get a bit complicated. T might work, but that doesn’t leave much room for folks with other issues. So I am going to suggest A for “All”—giving the adventurous an opportunity to mingle in the new world order and the shy, non-gender challenged, the option to stick with what they know.
Once we get the restrooms sorted out, we can work on trying to come to grips with “transracial,” an adjective defined as “involving or between two or more racial groups.” Used in a sentence, one might correctly say: “Wow, that transracial redneck really needs a new flag.”
Now, I am all in with anybody who wants to identify themselves as something they feel like being as long as nobody gets hurt, except the identity-confused person. When I was a kid, I used to tell myself that I was an Apache Native American whenever I felt aggrieved by parental oversight or about to be in pain from dental work. It gave me an identity with the oppressed that also allowed me to find an historical antecedent for sticking it to white folks when they were the source of my momentary pain and suffering.
But I knew all along that I was not really a Native American and that I lived in Kensington, Maryland instead of some depressed Indian reservation in the swamps of Florida or in the tornado target land of Oklahoma. So what should we make of a white woman who spends her whole life pretending to be a black woman? First, there is a little good news—at least she is not pretending to be a black man.
But in a world in which real black skin can’t be washed off, can anyone who can wash it off really ever walk in a black person’s shoes? What if the black teenager at the pool party in Texas had said to the cop throwing her to the ground: “No, stop, I am really a white teenager”? Does anyone think that he would have stopped dead in his tracks, helped her up and said: “Oh, let me go find a real black teenager to throw around”? No, he knew she couldn’t wash it off.
The recent apparently white woman selling herself as a black woman, Rachel Dolezal, and her incredulous, if nasty ass, parents sure gained a few moments of mindless infamy for themselves—and a cacophony of wasted airtime for CNN and NBC—but they gained absolutely nothing for real black folks seeking to be trans-poverty and to live trans-ghetto. (The same can be said for newfound and symbolic disgust regarding the Confederate flag.)
When Dolezal gets back to being a white person who cares about racial issues, she may have something important to say to us, but only if she first has a really frank talk with herself. I never was an Apache—I knew it then and know it now. I got quickly back to being a white guy who didn’t have to live on a reservation. Think about it.
This “trans” was brought to you by the fast food industry and the rest of corporate America that worked hard to get you tasty food at a low price that was truly unhealthy. However, trans-fat is apparently so bad for you that the corporate trans-fat purveyors of yesteryear decided on their own that most of their customers would still eat the crap they serve, even if one of the toxins was removed. They were right: Taco Bell figured out how to make an XXL Grilled Stuffed Burrito with over 800 calories and almost no trans-fat that has mortality written all over it.
So unlike “transgender” and “transracial,” which are trending up, “trans-fat” is trending down. It seems that years after the corporate purveyors began to abandon trans-fat to spend their time and money developing new toxins to entice us, the US Food and Drug Administration has now officially banned artificial trans-fats from the US food supply, albeit not until 2018.
While this might seem like a victory of sorts for good health, it is just another example of the government telling us what to do and overwhelming small businesses with regulatory requirements. To counter this, I have started a new informative website that provides a convenient list of where you can still get trans-fats, information on storage of trans-fats in your home for future use, along with easy-to-prepare delicacies laced with trans fats.
As an added feature, the website will contain cross-references to the sources of other stuff that can kill you—as an example, with one quick click of your computer, you will be able to find all the gun shops in your area that also sell trans-fats. Check it out: www.stayawayfrommycloggedarteries.com.
*[A version of this article was also featured on Larry Beck’s blog, Hard Left Turn.]
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