Oprah says you need to know who you are and accept that.
OK. I am a phobogenic object. I create fear in others. I may do that because I appear smart or visionary or queer or challenging or cutting or intense or whatever other reason, but that is my experience in the world.
It’s not my identity, really. My self understanding is that I am a liminal tranny shaman who sees through and walks though walls others see as solid and real.
I have been standing up for my own vision since I was like four and told my mother that the busdriver took the route he wasn’t supposed to take, or when I was like three and identified voices on the radio. I thwart, and that’s both magical & terrifying.
There is more in the mix. My introversion, my apparent lack of subceptability to social pressure (“You just can’t be emotionally castrated, can you?” one accquaintance noted,) and probably lots of other things make me supect, scary and kind of unknowable. Hell, I have had people get uncomfortable when they actually understood what I was saying.
I know that the fear of others isn’t really about me. It’s about them needing to maintain their stability & comfort, their desire to keep their patterns & expectations intact rather than having them challenged. I don’t think I really am an asshole, I just think that I can’t play along, and being unwilling to play along makes me an asshole.
I certainly haven’t chosen to be a phobogenic object, but I have chosen to trust my own clear vision, to trust my own questioning process and my own conclusions more than I trust the prattle of others. I trust my own process for many reasons, starting with a rigorous process of doubting & questioning and ending with the fact that my conclusions seem to match with the conclusions of many schools of thought that I value. I chew deeply and work hard to not fall into the trap of dismissing others to believe I am right, but opening my understanding so it includes the truth of others.
The fact is, though, that my experience is of being feared and my feelings are those of someone who is feared.
My brother and sister-in-law are letting one of their foster children move off after this school year because he scares her. He observes too much, considers too much, and isn’t all self-involved like her kids. Yeah, I know that makes her uncomfortable: it’s why our relationship has been strained over the years.
I know social graces, really I do. It’s just that I also know challenge. I have been remembering the story of a woman who was stuck being with me at a tradeshow. She was one of the marketing gang and didn’t trust me much, thinking I was weird. But after three or four days of me pulling into the drugstore when her luggage was delayed, stopping at a party & dancing after dinner, after she watched me growl only in reasonable and clear ways, she decided I wasn’t so bad. She joined my team at the amusement park party, leaving the dozen chatters to run with me and another techie and ride as many rides as possible. And she considered offering me to her single friends after, inviting me to a party. She figured out I wasn’t really an asshole, even if my job was to ask the tough questions. Tough, fair, considerate, funny, all those things.
I don’t know how to be one of the crowd. Never have. Can’t imagine I can learn.
But how many out trannies are in it to be like everyone else? None, I say. The path is about being ourselves, and if we want too much to fit in and get approval, we stay in.
I am a phobogenic object. That fear that I stir up isn’t my fear, it’s the fear of others, and it’s pretty much completely unwarranted when you look at my actual actions. It’s their fear, but they see it on me, and feel better calling the problem my being fearsome rather than their being afraid.
And that’s who I am in this society.
Who’s afraid of the big bad smart visionary tranny? I suspect almost everyone, because with my history, suspicion is safer than getting hit again.