I’m not sure it’s possible to be a tranny without bawling your eyes our or brawling to put out the eyes of another.
I’m not even sure that they are different things. They seem to be reflections of the same pain, just expressed two different ways.
I am sure, though, that when we think there is virtue, purity and goodness embodied in suffering or in slamming, when we start to self-define as a bawler or a brawler, that we lose the true gift of connection to our shared humanity.
Being a tranny, an out tranny, is fuckass damn stinking hard. It’s hard because there are no roles for healthy grown-up trannys in this culture, hard because the way men & women are kept in line is by the cruel stigmatization, which leads to abuse and exile, of those who cross that constructed line. It hasn’t been this way in every human culture; in many non-industrial cultures those who walked between and established connections were valued.
To be out as a tranny is to have to learn to fight that stigma, fear and casual, socially-acceptable abuse. And all too often, the our self-identity becomes wrapped up in that fight.
It’s when we see ourselves as a victim or as a vindicator that we start to lose perspective. The hard part, though, is that we need to be in touch with both of those pieces of ourselves to live a transgender life. We have to understand how the system is designed to pound down the nail that sticks up, designed to eliminate the visions of truth that allow a glimpse of how illusory the walls of separation are, because if we don’t understand that we lose touch with our own valor. And we have to be able to stand up and fight for ourselves when required, because if we can’t do that, we lose touch with our own vulnerability.
This is a very hard part, caring about what people think enough to keep tame connection, and not caring what people think enough to keep wild freedom. When we have to do those two things, people can get freaked, because one of the things that freaks people the most is when they see two or more different behaviour styles from one person. On Surreal Life 6, Steve Harrell thinks Alexis is smart and engaged, but freaky when she fights. I see that as two sides of the same coin, but to Steve, it doesn’t connect.
It’s so seductive to decide you are a bawler or a brawler. Heck, I found out the name I chose was from the celtic for “powerful in battle.”
But in the end, the choice to be your tears or your fists means you can’t be your head or your heart too. And that’s just too big a price.