沈默傷人的親情暴力

中央大學性/別研究室召集人 何春蕤 20070720


何春蕤(中央大學性/別研究室)
高旭寬(台灣TG蝶園發言人)

十年前有位同志運動的核心份子曾經沈痛的說:「在台灣,只有孤兒才能做同性戀」。聽眾的腦筋轉了幾個彎才懂,原來她說的正是同性戀個體在最親密的家庭關係中的處境。傳統「家醜」不外揚的氛圍,使得太多父母向同性戀的孩子表達極大的憤怒怨恨或者選擇全面冷戰孤立,用強大的情感勒索逼迫孩子就範。這種來自親情的拒斥和放逐,也使得許多同志長年深陷家庭和自我的兩難選擇之中,終至憂鬱纏身,精神狀態不穩。

不過,今日我們必須說:「在台灣,跨性別也只能是孤兒」。

身邊無數跨性別朋友很早就被家庭排斥,在校園裡飽受欺凌,在男女截然二分的生活環境中左支右絀,他們在心靈和生活上很早就成了沒人愛的孤兒,拼著一己的努力摸索著成長,勉強贏得存活的機會。還有一些跨性別朋友不幸誕生在家庭背景複雜的環境中,成為父母婚姻情感衝突中凝聚仇恨怨忿的焦點,也在成人的愛恨和名利考量中被視為無法收拾的難題,就連僅僅存在都惹人嫌隙。漂泊和遺棄是他們的宿命,抗憂鬱劑和安眠藥是他們的陪伴,長年的痛苦使得一位朋友即使原本懼高也眼蒙毛巾從高樓跳向生命的終結。

在這樣渺無前景的絕望中選擇離去的朋友不在少數。我們看得很清楚,不是他們的抗壓能力不夠,而是世界拒絕面對並減輕那日復一日的千斤重擔;不是他們情緒衝動未能自制,而是世界拒絕給他們任何理解和希望,遑論支持或愛。人們都說:「血濃於水」,「天下無不是的父母」,然而,在跨性別人生的最後一程,在跨性別主體已經表達最後意志和尊嚴要求之時,仍然得不到一絲親人的憐惜和疼愛。也只有在親人堅持以跨性別朋友的原生性別決定下葬的衣飾性別,全面否決死者的遺願時,我們徹底的看到了親情的冷酷和殘忍。

究竟還要死多少個跨性別青少年才能讓父母師長覺悟?成人的固執常常造成一個個受傷的年輕靈魂,一輩子無法痊癒,甚至無法長大。究竟成人的面子和權威有多重要,必須讓年輕的生命拿一生的痛苦做代價?

血緣的親人或許無力真正愛一個個跨性別的生命,但是跨性別群體不會放棄自己的成員。台灣第一個跨性別諮詢專線即將於8月6日上線(02-23949008,每週三晚上七點至十點)。在痛苦淚水中凝聚出來的大愛,將試圖托起一個個被親情沈重壓垮的靈魂。

(20080731蘋果論壇)


Family kills if you don't toe the hard gender line

By Josephine Ho Quinton Kao 何春蕤 、高旭寬
Wednesday, Aug 06, 2008, Page 8

A decade ago, a key figure in Taiwan’s lesbian and gay movement said out of distress: “In Taiwan, only orphans can be gay.”

Taiwan, the whole Chinese world in fact, has a tradition of keeping “potentially embarrassing” family matters a secret. This tradition has seen the parents of many gay people express extreme anger and hatred toward them, with some parents choosing to totally isolate and ignore their own children. On some occasions, parents even use emotional blackmail to force their children to “return to normality.”

This rejection and exile from the natural affection of one’s immediate family has left many gay people trapped in between what they want and what their families want, and long-term dejection has made many of them susceptible to depression and mental anguish.

Now the same sad statement can be said about another population: “In Taiwan, only orphans can be transgendered.”

Many transgendered people suffer condemnation by their families and ridicule and ostracism at school. In a world where the distinction between men and women is kept crisp and clear, transgendered people do not fit in on either side. This situation has turned many of them into orphans, loved by no one and despised at all times. They have to learn to rely on themselves to grow and survive in this world.

They become the focus of their parents’ hatred and the crux of the messy situation. Parents detest their mere existence, and their fate is to drift through life in exile, living on antidepressants and sleeping pills. The pain and humiliation can accumulate to the intensity that led a friend of ours to leap from his high-rise apartment to end the misery. He had always been afraid of heights, and the towel that he put over his eyes before the jump poignantly spoke of his unbearable situation on the fringes of his family.

Living with desperation that has no end in sight, it is little wonder that quite a number of transgendered people choose the same path. The cause of suicide is not, as is commonly believed, an inability to handle pressure, but this world’s obstinate refusal to accept these transgendered individuals and help ease their burdens. Nor is it because they are impulsive and emotional, but because this world refuses to give them any understanding or hope, not to mention support or love.

In Taiwan, “blood is thicker than water” and “parents are always right” are common proverbs. However, the coldness and cruelty of familial “love” becomes evident as family members stubbornly overwrite the last wish of their transgendered child to be buried in his chosen gender identity. At the final stage of our friend’s life, not an ounce of love or respect came from his parents: He was buried in his birth gender as a girl.

How many of our transgendered youth have to die before parents and elders wake up to the fact that the stubbornness of adults often results in damaged souls amongst the young that never fully heal, and young lives that never reach maturity? Are the reputation and authority of adults really so important that the young have to suffer throughout their lives?

Transgendered individuals may not be able to find solace or support from their blood relatives, but members of Taiwan’s transgendered community will not fail them. Taiwan’s first counseling line for transgendered individuals will start operating today. The phone number is 02-2394-9008 and the service will run from 7pm to 10pm every Wednesday night. With unconditional love, we will try to uplift the souls of transgendered people who suffer at the hands of their families.

Josephine Ho is a professor and coordinator at the Center for the Study of Sexualities at National Central University. Quinton Kao is spokesperson for the Taiwan Transgender Butterfly Garden.

TRANSLATED BY DREW CAMERON