Hurting

I was called judgemental, lecturing and offensive today.

It was someone on a list who didn’t like how I called one of her choices inappropriate.

Well, truth be told, I don’t think she understands why I called her choices inappropriate.  It’s my sense that if people don’t understand why you feel something they did was inappropriate they assume that there is something else going on, some kind of axe to grind.

I’m not pleasant or happy, I know that.  But when I’m on a tranny list and talking about tranny experience, well, then it shouldn’t be surprising that what I’m talking about are things that cause pain, that echo the experience of growing up tranny.

This person, well, she’s the partner of a tranny, a pagan, and she loves to give big supportive {{{{{huggs!}}}}.  But what she wants is for trannies to be nicer and more pleasant, so people don’t feel as uncomfortable around them. 

What she doesn’t want is to have to get past her own discomfort to actually listen.  She wants me to negotiate her own fears.  I told her than one thing allies could do is listen and find better ways to say what we have to say.  Rather than finding new ways, she just told me that she found me unpleasant.

I know how much self-denial I am in.  I can’t remember the last time I felt loose and fun, free and safe.  I know that leaves me tight and hurting.

But I speak and people who want to be my ally get squicked.  It’s easy to hate those who want to hate you, but the good-intentioned who end up shutting you down, well, they are always the problem.  They are trying, but they end up not being able to hear, understand and reflect.  You can’t be angry at their good hearts, but you can be hurt by their assumptions and displeasure, and to respond with pain seems to them to be an insult.

I know that I am an old elephant, a crone with a pattern of scars over her body.

I don’t want to be a old hulk.  I’d much rather be cute and pretty and nice. 

But in the end, what I most want to be is truthful.

So  if my truth contains my hurt, no matter how graciously or elegantly I try to convey it, well, so be it.

Even if expressing that truth leads people to be more hurtful when they want my comments to be about them.

It’s about me, not you, as Greer Lankton reminded me.

And I hurt.

Wished Whispers

This is what I don’t remember:

I am acutely aware of my history in every moment, but most people only know of me what they see in the moment.  They may well be aware that I have an interesting history, but they don’t hold that like I do.  Now, I have no idea what they hold about me, but I do know that they don’t hold what I hold about myself.

TBB was director of special operations last night, and that meant being the gal in the cute top pouring the beer.  People may well have known that she indeed had a special operation, but after a half hour, she was just the tall chick with the nice knockers.  She even saw herself though the eyes of tall and good looking Michael for a bit, and that, she reports, was very nice & affirming.

I always feel stress of the minefield, the looming presence of third gotcha. But people are right, that when you commit you move from that past into the moment.  TBB may have gone from the CD dress days to the earnest TS pants days but now she is in the woman in a dress days, wher a co-workers says she looks good in dresses.

“Woman With An Interesting History.” 

Something one needs to believe in in every moment.

Fate & Luck

Oprah belives in fate — “there are no coincidences” — but she doesn’t believe in luck — “I worked for what I got.”

Anyone else see the contradiction here?  Isn’t good luck just good fate, events that offer good things?

Tranny 101

The clerical obligation can be understood in a matrix.   

One axis is the line between pastoral and ecclesiastical, the range between serving God’s people and serving the structures we assign to her, the ritual & the scripture.

The second axis is the line between missionary and visionary, the range between telling the stories far & wide and questioning the stories to reveal meaning.

Because this is a matrix, none of this is about being one or the other, but rather about the special blend we bring to our work, our unique approach rooted in the gifts our creator gave us.

As for me, well, it’s clear that I am more on the pastoral than the ecclesiastical side, caring more about people than about the structure of the church, and that I am more on the visionary side than the missionary side, living more in the questions of theology than in the answers.

And that, my friends, is why I hate Tranny 101.

Tranny 101 is the missionary side of tranny, telling the same stories over and over again so that the belief can be propagated.

Now, I do know people who think doing Tranny 101 is “a blast,” people who love offering up the same answers again and again, but for me, facing the same ignorance time after time, well, it just wears me to a nub.  I need to get past it and get my work done.

I used to work in software test, and the people who are good at that tend to become experts in the company.  That happened to me, so I had to figure out my strategy for handling people with questions. 

On one hand, I wanted to share the knowledge, but on the other hand, I didn’t want to have to keep answering the same question again and again, which happens when people think they can get an easy answer quickly.   I knew some people who loved answering the same question, but I didn’t see that as useful for me or for others.

My solution was to always respond to someone’s first request with a clear and full explanation, helping them understand the best I could.  To their second request, I would be a little more exasperated, clearing up issues and sharpening understanding.  To the third request though, I would be downright testy, thinking that they had two chances to get it.

What this meant was that people asked simple questions of people other than me, and when they finally decided they needed to brave my gauntlet they knew they had to pay attention, value my time and their own learning.  I wasn’t some easy crutch to get them off learning, I was there to help, not to pander.  This gave me time to do my work, and required that they do theirs.

The problem with the wider world, though, is that too many people believe that they get to ask the same question over and over, trying to get the answer they want.

I remember one gathering of church supporters of gays and lesbians where a young man told how it took him a year to come out in his synagogue, step by step allowing people to understand. The crowd smiled,  thinking this was good, allowing them to go slow. 

Afterwards I asked him if he did that every time he came to a new congregation.  “No!” he responded.  “I’m out now!”

Yeah.  I am so far beyond Tranny 101 that it seems painful to me to do it again, to answer the same damn questions one more time to people who just need time to ask the same questions again and again, trying to get the answers they like, the ones that comfort them because they fit into their current mindset rather than challenging them to become bigger and more open.

And the people who love Tranny 101, the missionary types, well, they disquiet me.  Their search for pat answers often leads them down tracks I know can only bear bitter fruit, like trying to divide trannys into crossdressers, transsexuals, drag queens and so on.  My years of listening to tranny narratives to search for truths leads me to understand that those boundaries are far from fixed, are just snapshots to comfort people who think they need fixed boundaries for understanding.

I was moved by an old chum who finally, after years of trying to separate real trannies from false trannies, exasperatedly explained to someone who keeps trying to find those hard divisions that while there are bad trannies, trying to separate them out and deny them status does not work, because people don’t see those separations.  We have to contextualize them in some other way, understanding their bad choices in some other context, like the damage from the obligation of denial rather than growth from the possibility of acceptance.

People who do Tranny 101, though, usually seem to be to be trying to purge the ambiguity out of being tranny so they can give nice, comforting answers to assuage society.  Those answers, though, most often have theological crocks in them that you can drive a truck though, and then use that truck to run over the hearts of the marginalized, the abject, the damaged and the hurting.

This is why I stay hidden so much, because I don’t want to have to do Tranny 101.  It’s not my job to comfort people or to amuse them, to take the pain they feel from the tension of their own fight to do gender conventions.

I fear Tranny 101 people are just trying to make people like them by being glib, amusing and comforting, dumping simple answers to get people by the numbers rather than by the hearts and minds.

There is a role, for missionaries, no doubt. 

But without doubt, without being open to new vision, all they do is make more problems for those of us who are ambiguous, who are queer.

Tranny 101 just hurts.

Damaged Goods

I was making meatloaf while my mother watched Dr. Phil.

The whole episode seemed to be beating up this boy who was caught in the middle of a soap-opera relationship, with him trying to get the girlfriend who had his baby, and messing things up.  His tapping her car (no damage) became rear ending the car of a seven months pregnant woman, and so on.  The drama quotient was ratched up with every segment, and the women in the audience ate it up.

The boy was just trying to find a way to express himself, but that wasn’t his role in the show.  He was bad-guy, the one who always tried to control women.  Painful to watch.

In the last segment, McGraw finally made sense.  “You,” he said to the girl, “love drama and like this escalating soap opera around you.”  The girl agreed. 

To the boy he said “You are not evil. You have rage issues from the abuse you suffered.  You believe you are damaged goods, and don’t deserve good things, so you over control to try and get what you need and want. You can get better.”

That simple.  But it took 50 minutes of being beat up on national TV to get to that point.

The boy looked like he could finally breathe again.

I felt better too, because that was my experience too. Damaged goods, raging from the pain and controlling from the fear.

But feeling damaged?  Does that ever change?

Inspiration

Jenny Mars felt the need to tell me that being born trans is a joke played on us by God, and people who haven’t done the work to sufficently assimilate are just whiners.

Yarrow took one line from something I wrote, Education is what you get when you don’t get what you want, a twist on Don Stanford’s Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want, and ended up with a brilliant and moving post about lessons learned, writing that asks to be reread and integrated.  Any writing worth reading multiple times reveals a multiplicity of thinking. 

Yarrow also left me a comment that I have been avoiding.  It’s not easy for me to engage the idea that something of me can get though to people and move them while I have to keep my mouth shut and play small in the world.

Jenny Mars reminds me of the experience of the trans community, how we need to prop up our own externals.

Yarrow, though, honors me by allowing one shred from me to open their own experience, gifting me and the world with a bracing and moving view though their eyes.

Of those two, I know which inspires me.

Moving Stones

I was in a trendy little boutique with my sister today.  I watched her try on a tissue silk tunic tie-dyed with bright colors, chuncky necklaces, and funky bracelets.

I looked around the shop and thought about how much she has collected over the past years.  She has spent decades collecting pieces that let her express herself, create herself as art.

Me?  I’ve spent decades moving stones. 

I pick up stones, move them one place, then move them again. Every step forward has to be combined with two steps back, carrying my load of rocks that do nothing but weigh me down. 

It’s like chewing garbage, knowing it will never provide nourishment, but it will make my jaw ache, my mouth numb and my teeth rot.

I look around the store and I don’t see how I have grown, but I see how I have halted, a cairn of stones moved back and forth.  So much energy and resource spent staying on the surface, managing the disposable rather than building depth,

So much time moving stones, so little time building with them.

Sigh.

My Fair Lady

TCM played My Fair Lady as part of their Audrey Hepburn day yesterday. 

Gosh, that’s really a movie about how ladies are constructed on top of a framework of constructed womanhood, isn’t it?   Even the women kissing Alfred P. goodbye before his wedding are constructed, but in a more roughshod manner.

I was struck by Eliza’s construction that how you are in the world is a structure of how people treat you.  “You always saw me as a guttersnipe, and so I will always be a guttersnipe to you.  But Colonel Pickering always saw me as a lady, so to him I will always be a lady.”

Higgins’ retort reminds her that he treats everyone the same, so it doesn’t matter.

Of course, women viewing the movie understand that it does matter.  Only Eliza’s departure can help him understand how much he takes her for granted, understand how much she means.  In his pean to men, what he praises is how stable they are, but what he realizes he needs is a bit of instability, a bit of grace and a bit of magic in his life.

One of my first breathtaking moments in trans came watching a late night film in SF and realizing that I was identifying with the wife.  That wasn’t something I could see myself doing before, was something I denied myself.  But once I was loose and out, it happened, and felt to me as natural as can be.

Now, of course, it’s almost impossible for me to identify with the men.

But the way people treat me? 

Well, most of them don’t follow a bit of other advice from Shaw:

“The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.”

Can we be beyond what others can see in us, what others project onto us?

Shaw again:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.”

Easier And Better

What if after you do something you considered hard or even impossible, you find that it was easier than you anticipated and you do feel better afterward?

What if?

Or what if you find that is as hard or harder, and doesn’t offer enough rewards to offset the cost so it only depletes you and sinks you deeper?

What if?

Surrender To

I watched a video from Rennisance Unity in Detroit on Will & Surrender.  It was a tag team sermon, with a number of presenters on the same topic, but as I watched, I got frustrated.  I’ve felt that same frustration enough times to know ther source.  It’s not about what the presenters were doing, rather it’s about what I am not doing, the work I am called to.

These people talk about surrender in various ways, coming to understand that the old externally focused “like me” persona may not be the best while you are having a heart attack, understanding how to stand back when your parents die by your thirteenth birthday and you are thrown into difficult places, or just not getting what you thought you wanted in Sydney and having something wonderful anyway.

I get all of these things.  If you think about the best things that have happened in your life, could you have predicted them with any precision before they happened?  Probably not.  The wonderful bits are unimaginable to us before they happen, and if we were bound by the limits of our own tiny imaginations we would never know wonder at all, and worse, never know how wonder reveals parts of ourselves that, even though they were always inside of us, we could never have imagined.

But surrender is quite near impossible for me.  The “trajectory” that I know my creator put in my heart is so against social norms that it’s near impossible to communicate that passion to anyone.  It’s a calling that many, if not most, call sick, indulgent or perverted, something that violates the limits of what they believe is acceptable in their creator’s eyes.

But as I listened to these people talk about their experience with surrender, and how they struggled with the hard question of when to surrender and when to fight, what to push against and what to let push you, what is of God to be embraced and what is of the ego to be resisted.  They talked of that moment when they realized that they couldn’t just live inside the answer and change the world to meet them, they had to live inside the question and change their lives to meet creation.

For me, the question comes down to the basic question I have always learned to ask: “OK, God, what I am supposed to learn in this situation?”

In other words, God, what is your will for me in this moment?

This is what I have learned to surrender to: learning.  Surrendering to learning is surrendering to growth, and surrendering to growth is surrendering to transformation.

Education is what you get when you don’t get what you want.

Lots of metaphysical teachers have come to the end that what this life of separation is about is learning, working out what we can’t work out when totally connected.  It’s a belief I cotton to, not least because as long as people keep open to learning they keep getting better.  The path as metaphor may well be the path as recieved wisdom, but the metaphor of journey is a useful structure for an evolving and evolved human life.

Things happen, and we are asked to engage them.  The lessons may always have been there, but being open to learning in every moment lets the lessons enter and transform us.  This is what I think people mean when they say they are in the moment, that they aren’t fixated on the way things should be, their past expectations, or fixated on the way they want them to be, their fantasies, but rather are engaged in how things are right now, open to learning and change.

That’s the big challenge of surrender, the challenge of being open to learning, being open to everything. 

And as for me, well, I know how closed I am to many things in the world of flesh.  Those lessons seem to just cut at me, because they are so often lessons of how people come from ego.

It would be nice to say that means I am open to many things in the world of spirit, and I am, but the limit is simple: I feel the need to build a wall between that spirit and manifesting it in the flesh.  This is far from a new behavior — I remember being pounded about it when I was five — but it is a caustic and claustrobic one, encapsulating me in my own world, where bases tend to burn what little flesh I have left.

I look to those who are commited to their own path to support me, but all too often I find that they want to surrender to some kind of previous knowledge rather than opening and surrendering to the learning and change they may face if they opened to me.  They don’t ask what they can learn from me, even if its transformative, rather they just wonder how I fit into their current expectations and plans.

I know about surrender.  There was a reason that many of the last times I went to a church I heard about Jonah; heck, that was the kids book next to me as I waited, waved off of going into the cardiologists exam room by my mother who didn’t want any hard questions.

But I also know that most people see surrender in much smaller bits.  They have a life full of desires and expectations to maintain, and that means surrender is smaller, nicer and much more normative.  Not so queer, if you know what I mean.

But for me?  The knowledge is wide, the learning is vast, and there is so much to do.

Edgy Or Else

I get a bit crazed when I listen to these new age types wanting to do peace and avoid confilict and such.  Struggle is part of life, kids learn to fight with their siblings from the very youngest ages, and a great marriage partner is someone who you enjoy fighting with because they fight fair, fight smart and fight with love to find common ground and solutions, not their own indulgence.

If you aren’t edgy somewhere in your life, you are missing your life.  I’m not saying that means you have to be avant garde, just that there has to be some place where you choose to be in front, pushing the edges, making things better.

This may be as seemingly benign as being passionate about being a great parent, or as intensely obvious as painting impressionistic murals.  Edgy is where your Eros hits the road, your passion for being better, being new, being involved, being immersed, being creative, being connected.  Edgy is where we cut between convention and compassion, slicing away the false and decayed to release the strong and growing.

Only people who own their own edge can support the edgy in others.  And only those who support the edgy in the world can support transformation beyond expectation, beyond history and beyond old limits.  

You are edgy or else, at least the way I see it.

Woman’s Work

The cross-gender performers I admire the most are the ones willing to do women’s work, to really embody a woman and not a guy-in-a-dress.   If you wand to talk to Barry Humphries and Dame Edna Everage, you have to do that in two separate phone calls, and when Kiki is on stage with Herb, it’s Kiki.   Edna Turnblad in Hairspray: The Musical isn’t a drag role, even if she is played by someone born male.

I’m not saying that people don’t know those characters are played by male bodied people, and that adds a level to the performance, but I am saying that the performances are fundamentally different than a drag queen with a mini-skirt so short you can almost see his dick.  Lots of trannys need tells to make sure they stay grounded in the role of man, codes to make sure you know this is a kind of put-on, but trannys who need that can never really do women’s work.

TBB talked about this a bit when she spoke of the crossdressers at Southern Comfort Conference. She understands why they have to keep their head in a hole, to resist womanhood and stay in party mode.  I understand it too, I just find it very wearing to be surrounded by people whose first need is to deny the reality and depth possible in the calling to cross gender.

Women’s work, I guess, is an anthropological term, based on studying societies and identify the gender breakdown in social roles — who made the pots in this culture, for example.

Today, though, in our society, it would be almost impossible to define women’s work in terms of jobs.  There are virtually no jobs that are exclusively assigned to women, no jobs that are exclusively assigned to men.  There may be jobs with a predominance of one gender or the other, but that’s like the phrase “historically black colleges” that the Negro College Fund has to use today, a mark of history & culture, not a limit or block.

Still, that doesn’t mean there isn’t such a thing as women’s work, even if that work is done by an effeminate man (who will probably be read as a gay man.)   

Mommies are women.  That’s always been the root difference in a species that is reproductively dimorphic, where 49.8% are one way and 49.8% are the other way.  And since we can’t tell who is going to be actively breeding until after they come to maturity, it’s just easiest to assume that all penised people need daddy training and all non-penised people need mommy traning, even knowing that a few will be infertile or homosexual or different.  

I get the basics of traditional woman’s work — the housekeeping and caretaking that tends to the inside needs of a family, from gardening to teaching. 

Today, of course, there are no gender barriers on doing these chores, but gender still plays a part in the way we do them.  The work is the work, prosaic and definable, but gender is the style, the approach that gives the work poetry.

What does this mean?  It means, at least to me, that the only vestage of women’s work still potent isn’t sweeping or cooking or making pots, rather it is bringing the poetry & style of woman into the world.

Women have always softened and civlized places, which is why frontier settlements wanted women to knit social networks and uplift spirits and standards.  George MacDonald Frasier talks about how women brought something to colonial India in Flashman And The Great Game.

And this work, this work of creating connections and uplifiting visions, well, I think this is the work that Dame Edna and Kiki bring on in their big, wild diva ways.  Norm and Herb need these women, and that need is reciprocated, but Edna and Kiki need more, need to stand up and care for people, challenge them to be better and more open.  Edna does this as a housewife superstar, and Kiki does this as a survivor who teaches what it takes to survive the torment of our own mind and the world around us, but they teach in a way that entertains, backhanding the view into our amused heart & head.

This notion that edifying and uplifting is at the heart of women’s work is a challenge to me, a challenge to all women.  How do we step up and lead the drive towards a more civilized world though our own personal style and flair, backed up by our own knowledge and intution?

I guess we have to trust that goddess voice that speaks from within us, that acts though us.

And that’s the hard part, indeed.

Kiki & Herb

http://theater2.nytimes.com/2006/08/16/theater/reviews/16kiki.html

(don’t miss the audio slide show)

Kiki is powerful, and I get her.

Tom Peters books make me cry, but Kiki makes me feel invigorated. 

Much thanks to Justin & Kenny for channeling the old bats.

But it still makes me wonder who I am supposed to channel, what voice inside of me I am supposed to trust to inhabit this body and speak truth in a potent way.

Performance requires performance. 

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.
Daniel Hudson Burnham

Are Justin Bond & Kenny Melman dreaming bliss or a nightmare when they dream Kiki & Herb?

They are dreaming, and they move my heart. 

Just not enough to dream for the world.

 ==========================

K&H Video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVpIZ-Chta

Listen To K&H on MySpace: http://myspace.com/kikiherb

Bottles Of Pain

My mother wants me to get my finances in order.  It is what is worrying her now as she and my father prepare to see the lawyer about their wills.

I am able to do what is required to maintain them.  That is rote and surface, but it requires me to deny myself.   Denial is my secret superpower, the source of my strength, just like it has been for nuns and monks across the ages.

To ask me to engage my own challenges while still denying myself enough to be comfortable to them is asking me to slice myself into chunks.  I’d just as soon die as have to be that split.

Somehow, I think that expecting me to do something now that has been hard for me for years just because it would make you feel better if I got it done is just a bullshit request.  It may well be better for me to get it done, I agree, but if the criteria is doing what would be better for me, well, there’s a whole list of things there that are still beyond the pale and which I am asked to deny.

Two thirds of empowerment is giving courage, as the Irish say.  That’s the key goal of any stable pony, and I should know because I have done more than my fair share of being a stable pony.  Help others be calm enough that they can feel their own possibilities, then guide them there by reassuring them that success is possible.

That’s not what I get, or at least it’s not what I feel that I get.  Rather, I get a bit of harshness, come on, just do it. 

All in all, it’s just another brick in the wall.  And that wall of self -denial is interdependent, the blocks self-supporting.  I have had years of being told why I am too big, too weird, too frightening, too dangerous to just let go and let God.  The rubble of those years is piled up behind the wall, ready to thunder on down when the cracks appear.  And when that happens, well, the car accident that still dogs me came the morning after I was caught sobbing in the basement and had to swallow it to make my father comfortable.

You take the pain, put it in bottles, then pile them up with the mortar of denial to hold them together and you make a pretty good wall.  But when someone wants you to pull out one bottle and make it better, and doesn’t understand how that feels like the path to a huge crash, then fuck’em.

Dedee Nnial.  It may be what keeps me from my own life, but it’s also what I have to believe that keeps me from being completely dead. 

Speech Patterns

I remember a number of times in my teens when I showed up at the office and declared that I was going to change my speech pattern. 

I always had a thousand voices, even doing radio plays on the PA system at school, and I always spoke in tongues.  “Your language sounds real,” Chip Piatti said to me, “I can hear the verbs and grammar even if I don’t understand the words.”

But changing my speech pattern permanently?  Never really held.

But I know that if I want to become new, changing my speech pattern is fundamental.  A new voice is a new life, as most actors will tell you.

But without a new me, no change.

Fundamentally Mean

If you have no belief that you might be wrong, no belief that you might have a flawed and limited human view of the world, then you have no call to be compassionate or humble in your approach to problems and other people.

It’s my sense that the world is getting more mean.  Stingy mean, scraping for every last cent that can be gotten, and nasty mean, being without compassion and gloating in self-centeredness.

And it’s my sense that meanness comes directly from having a fundamentalist view of the world where the fight for right in the name of God overcomes any qualms about not being charitable or gracious, overcomes the requirement to not treat people in a way you would find hateful to you.  You do what you do because it’s right, and if others squawk, well, they stand before the mighty power of God.

I was talking about this meanness with the old gal at the bakery outlet store.  “They’ll do anything to expand their market, even killing people,” she noted.  “May they rot in hell.”

“Well,” I replied, “their pastors are telling them that it’s between them and the godless world, and god is on their side.” 

“Pastors will tell you whatever you want to hear if you pay them enough,” she said.

I think this sense that the world is getting meaner is what frustrates so many people, and sets them against big business.  If Wal-Mart is big, it must be mean, so the thinking goes.

I don’t see that meanness as being that simple.  Wal-Mart, as a retail business has to deal in faces.  It’s the people who deal with faceless people who can really be mean, because to them humans aren’t humans, they are a money holding commodity. 

The current administration makes sure people don’t see photos of dead bodies or even flag draped coffins, because they know that when we see faces, we can’t be as abstract & rational as one needs to be while purusing the bottom line.  Just kill them off in abstract, like Jack Welch taught you, pushing the faces away to the bottom level of management.

The world feels more mean to me, today.  And I think that kids who grew up with this meanness take it as a matter of course, and don’t have a problem taking it one step farther if their boss demands it. 

I understand that being mean, being stingy and callous, helps you to do what a compassionate and concerned person couldn’t do.

I’m just not at all sure that’s a good thing.

Just Wanna Be Normal

There was a young man on Oprah who grew up  with Tourette’s Syndrome.  He told his story, including a fifth grade teacher who tried to shame him by forcing him to come to the front of the class, apologize and promise never to have another outburst.  Of course, he had another outburst as soon as he sat down.  (Oh, those fifth grade teachers… Miss Hansen tried the same abuse on me, using peer pressure to try to shame me into denying my nature & being silent.)

Finally he found a teacher who suggested he explain Tourette’s to the school, and the applause he got after telling his story moved him enough to be a teacher.  He had 25 interviews for a job, and some left him crying on the side of the road, but finally he found a smart boss, and ended up first year teacher of the year for his state.

His plaint, as he remembered it, was that he just wanted to be normal. 

Of course, he was always normal. It’s normal in a human population for some people to have Tourette’s Syndrome. 

What he wasn’t was normative.   He wasn’t what people expected, was too far off that elusive model for which there is no original.  What he wanted was for the vision of normative to expand to include people like him.

This is one reason cities and tiny places are so much better to be tranny than suuburbia. 

In New York City, for example, the definition of normative, of what we expect others to be like, is enormous.  There is so much heterogenity, so much diversity, that we just have to know that everyone is human, everyone deserves respect.

And in a small town, people know who you are from a very young age, know your heart, so being different doesn’t erase that knowledge.

But suburbia is defined by a consumerist normative, one where what you wear and drive appears to define you. That normative is more exclusive.

The problem with mixing these two up, at least in my view, is that longing to be normative is the longing to open up community so that a wide range of normal is respected, while longing to be normal is longing to cut of parts of yourself so you can fit into the elusive vision of what is normative. 

Yes, I know that appears backwards, but it is the way it works.  Once you understand the process of setting the normative as normal, you can focus on the idea of diversity being normal, but until you do that, as long as you think that the expected, the normative is what defines normal, you think you have to change to be normal.

Jake Hale asked his philosophy students if they thought they were more normatively sexed — bigger boobs, taller, shorter, deeper or higher voice, whatever — if their bodies were better sexed, would their lives be better?  They mostly answered, yes, of course.  They thought if they better fit the expectations of normative around sex & gender, their lives would be better.

I understand the desire to be normal, to fit into the expectations that define the normative.  I just think it’s a dead end, because we are the way our creator made us.   That teacher has Tourettes, I am bright and visionary and trans and you are however you are, however you learned to hide and deny and wish that you could change to be more normal.

It makes me sad when I hear people say that they just wanna be normal, because until they can embrace the fact they are normal, that they are just a human made in the way the creator makes some humans, I know they are gonna have heartbreak.

And yeah, maybe they will have heartbreak after that, too.

Fill My Heart

Dear Mother in the sky
who illuminates even the darkest night
please fill my heart again with
the possibilities you placed into my soul
the magic you gave to me
that I learned to distrust and deny
so many years ago

Decades of doubt and decay
turning against my own nature
decades of destruction and devastation
killing myself by inches
as my body dies
I find my soul is near dead too
a casualty of the war between me and myself
as I distrusted my own call to beauty
as a sickness or perversion.

But it is you, dear mother
who made me this way
and while I must reject the fear of the ego
that calls for separation and hurting others
rejecting the call to bliss
is rejecting myself
and my connection to you.

Dear Mother in the Sky
my frustration rises when my creative flow is blocked
and blocking is what I learned to do
to serve a world that fears your power
and fears the power of clarity
that you placed in me.

Fill my heart with the childlike belief
that with you the magical is possible
and people can see me not as a crusty old bag
but as your beautiful child.

Fill my heart, dear mother
because my channels are blocked and I am empty
lost in denial
of who we are.