I was recently hit by an old friend who told me that while I spoke to the marginalized, she spoke to ALL trans people (the caps are hers.)
You know if you look at the stats on this blog, or the impact of anything else I write, you will quickly understand that I am speaking to nobody. There are a few who come back, but mostly, people don’t visit, and when they do, they don’t come back.
If I am doing anything here, it is speaking for myself. I am doing my best to make my thoughts and feelings visible.
First and foremost, I am making them visible to me. How can I know what is behind my eyes until I cast it in front of me?
I was speaking with Sparkle yesterday and she noted that people didn’t believe her when she told them that gender transition was mostly about self-discovery. It’s one thing to believe that somehow, transition is about bringing your idealized self into vision, but quite another to believe that transition is about bringing the hidden into a world that burns away the false and the fickle to reveal a deeper and more human (more messy?) self.
You gotta show it to know it, need to reveal yourself to see yourself, need to expose what is hidden to light so both the truth and the twists can be visible. Once we do that, we have to choose how much we defend our own faith and inner knowledge and how much we let the flames burn the false away.
I write for myself. That’s one reason I haven’t published, because to publish isn’t for you, it’s for others. Publishing gives your work to publishers and critics and readers so that they can get what they need out of it. Yes, there are things the writer gets from publishing, but those things are different than what you get out of the act of writing as self-exposure.
Maybe, if I had a good relationship with the world I would have a good relationship with giving my art to them.
My friend said, though, that I don’t write for ALL transgendered people (like she does) rather I write for the marginalized.
I keep going back and reading through the stuff I wrote years ago, and it’s so very nice. It talks about how to be strong and effective in the world, how to move past your own pain and challenges to be a better communicator, a better advocate.
In other words, it speaks strongly for how to use rational and effective techniques that put your heart aside to speak to the mainstream.
That writing, though, was my response to the mainstream, the kind of stuff written from the perspective of being there. The stuff I have been writing since, on the other hand, is about following my heart and my feelings rather than following the expectations of normies.
I don’t think I write to the marginalized. I think that I write to the part of people that feels marginalized, that feels pushed out of the mainstream, lost and alone. I call those parts the “too” parts of people, the places where we are too smart, too sensitive, too sharp, too insightful, too intense, too potent, too big or just too beautiful to be one of the crowd.
For most people, it becomes vital to deny these parts of themselves. Living on the grid is how they take life, and to cling to the rewards of the mainstream they have to fit in. And fitting in requires denying the places where we are too much and stick out. We play small because it gets us what we need, allows us to take care of ourselves and the people we love, like our children.
I understand this. It’s why I have never tried to put myself out to a big audience, because seeing through my eyes can really be unpleasant in a life where you are doing what you have to do to stay on the grid. People need lots of latent inhibition to survive this blindingly fast consumer culture, lots of insulation and defense, and stripping that away exposes pain that they have no room for, that has been hidden because they cannot handle it.
I know why people who love me have to keep me at arms length. Who can afford to get too close to a fire that burns away the insulation we need to survive? If I could just figure out a way to be less — less intense, less cutting, less overwhelming, less questioning, less visionary, less whatever — it would be better for everyone. I might even be happy and have some success.
I get that. And I also know why so many suggest that pills which add insulation might be the solution.
My father often tells me that if I could just be a different person, slower, less intense, more like a farmer than a hunter, that my life would be different.
I asked him once if he remembered my favourite poem from when I was three years old. He didn’t. It was from A.A. Milne, and I’ll enter it here from memory
Christopher Robin goes hoppity, hoppity
hoppity hoppity hop.
Whenever I ask him politely to stop
He says he can’t possibly stop.
For if poor little Christopher ever stopped hopping}
he couldn’t go anywhere
wouldn’t go anywhere.
So Christopher Robin goes hoppity, hoppity
hoppity hoppity hop.
I have always known who I was. And I have always faced people who tell me that if I could just be someone different — and usually they mean if I could be more like them — that my life would be better.
It never worked. And the key to transition, as Sparkle tells people who can’t listen, is not that you become the idealized person you want to be, but rather that you become even more the person your creator made you, whoever that is.
I speak for myself because that is the only thing I can do. I speak my view on this world that we all share. I speak for being too in a world where being the same seems the only way to get rewards, where if you are held back during the window of possibility things can build up and leave your crippled forever.
That’s not the sweet pap of transcendence, where normies want cripples to be symbols of getting beyond damage to be more normal, want us to be symbols that if we crips can do it, anyone can. I tried that, I really did, but maybe I’m too damaged or maybe I’m too stubborn, or maybe (as my parents tried to tell me as a kid) just too stupid to get it.
But it is speaking what I know, what I have found to be true.
Even if I know that it is going to cause most to just dissmiss me and move on.