If someone chatters away and nobody hears it, does it make a communication?
I learned long ago to talk to myself.
Part of that is the “Jonathan Winters” energy I was born with, being able to speak in tongues by invoking characters. Heck, when I saw Mr. Winters on TV when I was four or five, I knew that whatever people responded to by calling him “crayzee!” was in my heart too. I don’t just hear the voices, I slide into the other people, and they speak through me.
But another part of it is growing up in a house, in a world, where it was never about me. Adults never really helped me to find a way to speak myself, to feel heard & understood, supported & assisted, to sense encouragement & empowerment to be the best I could be. Rather I knew that I was only safe with myself and my books, with my writing and my internal dialogue. I ;earned to shape the defenses, but the heart, well, the heart was without language and without external intimacy.
And so, now, I try hard to put what I can in words. Years of reverence for language means I can use them well, but it also means I know their limits. Words can’t show you my heart. At best they can be shadow puppets, which if well manipulated can give you some glimpse of the meaning concealed, IF I do it right, IF we have shared metaphors, IF you are ready to see.
The lack of bandwidth in what can be done with words on a page, and beyond that, how others engage or don’t engage those words means that whatever else, my heart still feels incommunicado.
My delights, my joys, my hopes, my fears, my hurts and my limits are all here alone with me, inside my heart, and that feels powerfully lonely. My skin goes untouched, my eyes go unseen, the tenor of my voice goes unheard, and the movements of my body goes unsensed. I am, in so many ways, incommuncado no matter how much I struggle and sweat to try to get myself out in words.
I have often asked the question if the point of transgender is concealing the facts of our birth sex or if it is revealing the contents of our heart. Of course, in any perfect world, revelation is the key, but we trannys learn early that showing truths that go against the beliefs of others just makes them hear noise, so we have to learn to silence parts of us, to conceal them. If people can’t hear over their expectations of what someone born male must be, then something has to be hidden. Heck, I know one tranny whose entire rationale for crossdressing is that concealing manhood makes it easier to connect with women.
Something has to be silenced, or at least be muffled so that the point can be made, so that the noise can be reduced and others might just hear. Part of us must be held incommunicado, alone, lost and lonely.
I don’t talk much to others, and they certainly don’t talk much to my heart. They see whatever surface of me they see, and beyond that, I am invisible, as silent as that tree falling in that lonely forest.
And often that feels like my heart just doesn’t have any life at all.