A Prayer At Night

Dear Mother God
Open my eyes that I may see you when you appear to me.
Open my ears that I may hear you when you speak to me.
Open my mind that I may come to you when you call to me.
Open my heart that I may become your hands when you move me.
Open my spirit that I may follow your blessings for my life.

The Mediocre Win, In Movies Anyway.

I hate the ending of “The Devil Wears Prada.” 

In the end, a best friend who creams over the gift of a $1900 Marc Jacobs pocketbook and then turns around and mocks the job that delivered it, well, that bitch wins.

The lesson is clear: you sell your soul to be big in the world, so just go on being normal.  Heck, even Miranda Priestly affirms that lesson by secretly smiling over Andi’s claiming the freedom to be normal over the possibility to be huge.

The huge, you see, pay dearly for their power, and that means they are really unhappy, when normal people are happy with simple, decent, honest hard work.

I know that this ending sells with the target market.  I know that since it’s the ending for Hollywood films since the 1930s, where people realize that they are better off just staying at home, in their class and in their caste.

Nope, power and bigness are to be avoided, because only the devil would actually want to have major influence on the world we live in.

I get why the chose the ending. But it just sucks.

Making Xmas

I made Christmas for my parents, from gifts to decor to food to events.  None of us ever know if we will see another rebirth of the sun/son, but if you are 82 with refractive prostate cancer or congestive heart failure, the odds are different. 

And I have recieved a few gifts.  My sister gave me a tube of good Lancome handcream, good stuff she gave to her assistant managers and the only Lancome she could easily give me. My mother liked the memory foam pillow I found her, so she had my sister grab some kind of pillow at Linens-N-Things, which was a nice thought.

Miss Rachelle has been generous with her comments here, supportive and elegant.  Hollyfairy was also nice, though she hasn’t figured out I’m the same person she pushed away years ago and wants to open to but keep at arms length. 

TBB (who now has dreams of becoming The Biker Babe) called last night, on her way to claim her children at the airport and then take them off to ski.  “I don’t wear spandex,” she told me, “but I do have that whole ski-bunny hair thing down, long and blonde with the fleece ear covering headband, sun in my face and all.”

She told me that in the last year, she might not have gotten though without me.  “You put everything into context, reflect it in a valuable way, and that has kept me grounded.  Thank you.  I don’t know anyone else like you out there, and your presence to me has been a gift.

“Why don’t you get out there and help more people?” she asked me.

“Do you know what you do when I open your eyes to a truth, even to something less than pleasant?” I asked

She laughed.  “I laugh,” she said.  “You cut so clear and so true that I laugh.”

“Yup,” I agreed.  “And I can only really help people who are willing to open their eyes and laugh.  I’m not good for newbies who haven’t learned to face themselves, face others, face the mirror.  I can’t slowly teach them how to do that.  I am good for post therapy people who just want to see.”

“Can’t you find people like that?”

“I’ve seen the audience growth for my blog over the last year,” I replied.  “And no, I don’t really draw much of an audience.”

TBB is a power unto herself, and that power puts her in the same place I understand.  People see her as a target, someone to project their own fears upon, but in the end, she’s just another human, even if she is a hitter, rare unique and powerful in her own self-mastery, her own exposure.

“You’ve been to SCC,” I told her.  “Out of 800 people there, maybe 80 are getting it.  And only 8 are hitters.”

She laughed, and agreed.  To paraphrase Bette Midler, the hardest thing about being big is having someone with whom to share it.

There are others who have given me gifts in the last year.  For example, Gywneth has offered the gift of engagement, and some powerful feedback that warmed me.  And Miz Ruby has stood up and offered gifts for which I am grateful.

To all of you, I thank you.  Thank you for coming into my world and graciously recieving my gifts, and thank you for sharing gifts from your world with me.  Thank you.

And may the return of the light to the world bring warmth, illumination and growth to each of you.

Holiday 11

It’s like Christmas in North Carloina here, temps in the 40s and sunny on Christmas Eve.  I’m actually in a pretty good mood here cracking up Feliz Navidad — the live Tropical version — and dancing.

But I know when my parents get back from their afternoon jaunt, things go back to bland, no stereo cranked up to 11, which is, as I am sure you are aware, one more than 10.

This is my holiday wish for you, that some time, with some people you get to crank it up to 11 and feel the boundless joy we can feel, joy we can feel for being together and surviving the darkness, joy we can feel for holding out past expectations, joy we can feel for the birth of a child, joy we can feel when the light inside is visible in the darkness.

As for me, it would be nice to share this, but I have cleaning and cooking to do, and then people come back.

But alone for a moment, well, eleven.

And that’s not bad.

Knife Bubble

Cut, cut, cut, cut. 

So many trannys trying to cut themselves a place in the world, creating a bubble that both leaves them enough space to breathe, but doesn’t separate them from what they need in the world.

And being trained as men, it becomes easy to believe that the challenge is to knock down the points of challenge that threaten to come in.  If you can’t really engage the idea or the meaning, at least you can resort to some verbal swordsmanship to try to blunt the attack.

If you mentioned the word “narccistic” to The White Prince Of Crossdressers, he would just say “Narcissus saw his own reflection and we see a woman, so it’s not the same.”  That was the end of discussion.  Try to move into questions of self-love, of isolation and Eros, and they were all dismissed because of the Narcissus Rationalization.

This comes out of the idea that if one doesn’t lose, one wins.   That’s the same thinking that keeps crabs from getting out of the barrel, the notion that my winning isn’t required, only your losing is, so if I can crack you, put you down enough, then your success and power can never challenge me.  It trains you that the most important thing you can do is learn to sabotage those around you, and not to learn to actually engage your own excellence, actually examine your own ideas.

I see this so much in trannies who cling to hopes and dreams which lie in tatters.  Rather than looking anew, finding ways to work with others and share success, they cling on, trying to push away the last bits of challenge which might require them to hit bottom, see failures and start fresh.  It is the process of weaving walls of fear, walls that can never really separate us from the world, but that can be defended at the the cost of blood and pain to all, a last stand that stands to destroy the possibility of surrender and renewal.

Life becomes a game to these people, a sesson of Wack-A-Mole where another gopher pressed into silence is counted as success, even as others pop up all around you.  They want to believe that one good hit removes all the power from the narratives and ideas of others, believe that if they have silenced someone for a moment that they have won their desparate battle.

This battle mentality, this silly and destructive game of swatting down points while the ideas behind them continue their ceaseless crush of growth and maturity, is the hallmark of all fundamentalists, all those who want to stop the march of progress.  Those against gay marriage, against modern democratic culture, and against the outmoded defenses of sickness all play the same silly game, motivating supporters by focusing on dots while the picture continues to be painted with more and more pels arriving all the time.

As long as you have to spend your time pointing out where others are wrong, trying to stifle them, rather than showing where you are right, as long as your response to others is “no, that’s incorrect,” rather than “yes, I can see our shared ground,” you will always be fighting to maintain a lost and isolated position.

I do understand the isolationist mentality, the one that holds eliminating one or two more challenges will topple the structure, turn back the tide.  I have tried it in my life.

I just know that it doesn’t work, but rather just wastes time & resources, hurting all around.  Too many trannies have been burned by these scorched earth assholes who claim that their actions are justified in the cause of reactionism, that their ends are worth the means of attempting to silence those who challenge them by burning others as much as possible.

You have not converted a person just because you have silenced them, said John Morley, and you have not stopped the march of society just because you offered one semantic rationalizaton or tangled rationale.  Eventually the truth will out.

A bubble cut with knives is no place to really live.  And the cuts you inflict on others are cuts for which you will have to pay the price.

And I know you can try to dismiss this argument, pick some point to counter, attack me for speaking against you, and sleep well in your own babbling about victory,

But it won’t stop the the truth. 

LNTGTS Warning

An Important Warning from
The League Of Non-Transgender Transsexuals (LNTGTS)

This is a notice to inform you that not all people claiming to be women are really women!  Some of them are really males who are just pretending to be women!

The only way to be sure that anyone is truly a woman is though a panty check, examining them to make sure they are not penised.  There is no other way that will work, not general inspection, not DNA/Chromosomal testing, not even a document check to show a medical or social history.

To make sure someone is really a woman, you must examine their external genetalia.  No true woman will ever complain at a request for this test, because she will want to assure you of her true womanhood without question.

Remember, there is only one way to assure that you are dealing with a true woman, and not a poseur, and that is to check their external genetalia.  Make sure that you check everyone, and that you immediately dismiss any statements from people who fail the test or who refuse to agree to this simple and painless assurance to true identity.

Do the panty check with everyone you meet and you will never be fooled by foolish liars!

This is a public safety notice brought to you by
The League Of Non-Transgender Transsexuals,
protecting the identity of every true woman
since sometime in the late 1960s.

Neither Sick or Invulnerable

I have written a great deal about the challenge I felt growing up trans, which was either to learn to lie, and appear to be normative, or to tell the truth and be called a liar, with others telling me what I “really” am.

It feels to me that there is another of those painful binaries I hit.  I either have to be crushed, and be seen as abject, sick & broken, or be strong, and be seen as powerful, potent and invulnerable.

As a wounded healer, I know that is a false binary.  I am crushed & broken, and I am also powerful & potent.  I’m just neither sick or invulnerable.

“I just want to get what I need without having to claim to be sick,” said one of the participants at the GENDA organizing meeting, “and that’s why I need this law.

I know that it’s easy to see trannys who succeed as tough, tougher than you need to be or even tougher than you could be.  And it’s also easy to see them as sick, abject folks with a painful mental disorder.

But both of those visions feel like anchors around my neck. I am tender and strong, vulnerable and committed, a warrior and a lady.

And so often it feels like the space for being that just gets crushed by the assumptions of others,

Oh, Santa. . .

On a list, I asked:

So, if you could ask Santa for one gift this year, one magical gift, what would you ask for?

You only get one wish, so think about it, prioritize and focus.

What gift do you really want most this holiday?


I think many of us want to go home for the holidays, somewhere we feel at home. It’s just that for many of us, we don’t really know where that might be.

I am put in mind of a Lea DeLaria line: “I’m going to give myself the best gift any queer can give themselves in this season: I’m NOT going home for the holidays!”  Home can easily feel like a tough place to be.

But yes, I think we dream of being home.  It’s at least good that you know where your home is. . .


 A bit of money for a bit of freedom.  A “new” car sounds like a lovely gift, because it brings a kind of independence.

I suspect most people would be amazed how we trade freedoms they take for granted for the freedom to be out as ourselves.   They can’t imagine not working and having a car, but we imagine that taking this life time to claim our freedom of expression is worth the stigma and separation that lets us not be who others expect us to be.

We make our choices, yes, but the choice to be ourselves has a cost that is so high, so normative expectations can be enforced,

It’s a lovely wish for a new sleigh for you, one you can drive to the sunny beach for a big Yule barbi, a bit of freedom that so many take for granted, but always at a cost.


Somehow I just imagine Santa giving me the gift of peace in the world, and then reminding me

“Peace in the Mid East is my gift to you.   Now that it’s yours, it’s your responsibility to make sure it doesn’t break.  Don’t shoot your eye out kid — or let anyone else shoot their eye out!”

While Peace On Earth might be a lovely wish, I’m pretty sure it’s not a gift for which I want personal responsibility.

There is an old Jewish idea that peace will come when everyone observes shabbat.  Of course, it’s not clear if that observance will trigger the coming of the messiah, or people will find heaven when they all find their own observance.

It’s my sense that the essential lesson of this world is separation, the requirement to make hard choices in a finite world, choices that offer to help us make better, more godly choices.  There is no way out of having to choose, and a choice for something is always a choice against something.

That makes conflict the school at the heart of an embodied world, the gift we get that allows revelation and growth.

We have our free will as humans, our struggle to make better choices, choices for which we have to take responsibility.

And me, I try to choose peace.  With Santa’s help, of course.

Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me 

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me

Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be
With God as our Father
Brothers all are we
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow
To take each moment and live each moment
In peace eternally
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me

Words and music by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller
Copyright 1955 by Jan-Lee Music.
 Copyright renewed 1983.
 All rights reserved.


I guess I should answer, too.

What do I want from Santa?

I want to be at a holiday party, in a great dress, heels & lashes, and have someone smile at me.  I want them to think that I am interesting and attractive, to focus on me, to listen and laugh at my jokes.  I want them to share ideas and anecdotes from their own life, in a conversation so engaging that time seems to stand still, so I don’t even notice that my wine glass is empty.

Sure, I’d like them to call me afterwards too, and maybe have it go somewhere.  Everyone wants a kiss at midnight on New Years Eve, something I haven’t had for well over a decade & a half.

But really, all I want for Christmas is to have someone flirt with me, intensely, with wit and a touch of passion.  It’s been so long since someone really focused on me, affirming my humanity.

But as Mary Chapin Carpenter sang, as I cried to on my way home from my first SCC, that is too much to expect, but not too much to ask.


I just sat alone at table for 15 minutes watching the hot food I put out cool off.

My mother was in her recliner, about 15 feet from me.  I had finally gotten her to come downstairs seven minutes after dinner was ready, but she didn’t sit at table.  And my father was downstairs, typing away his crackpot engineering material.

She had gone upstairs twenty five minutes before dinner was ready, against my reccomendation, assuring me she just wanted to do a little work.

My father came down and pulled me out of my headphones to tell me dinner wasn’t a problem a few minutes later, and then to ask me to come up and help find something that was lost in the mess.  That’s why I was cleaning up the piles of gifts he made on the floor at my mothers direction, putting them into bags so they didn’t all run together and get mixed up.  There was only a moderate amount of shouting.  It’s now 23 minutes later, and dinner is still on the table getting cold.

I wasn’t supposed to have to make dinner.  I was told the plans were to go out, do a bit of shopping — me pushing the wheelchair to evaluate the finds I made this morning — and then to collect my father’s free birthday burger.  Since I wasn’t making dinner, I made some food, planning to chill it for later before we went out.  If I’d been making it for dinner, I would have timed it to be hot.  But then again, after 25 minutes on the table it wouldn’t be hot now anyway. 

I bought a lampbase today, almost 90% off, showed it to my mother and then left it on the table for my father to see as I put away the rest of the groceries.  He snarled “Don’t leave that thing on the table!” his kitchen table, the one spread with his newspapers, unusable by others.  I dropped the grocery bags on a chair, grabbed the lamp and took it upstairs. 

When I came back, he noted that he didn’t like my brusqueness, saying I didn’t have to jump when he asked me to take it off the table.

I noted that he didn’t ask me to take it off the table, he told me not to leave it there, sure that without instructions I would do that.  He didn’t really see the difference.

It’s 28 minutes now, and he has gone up stairs, presumably to get my mother up.

He did a similar thing this afternoon.  I took an inner box out of an bigger box, and rested it on a pile of gifts.  “Dont leave it there!” he instructed.   “It will fall over!”  Since it was silcone cookware from QVC, I doubted it would break, but I obeyed, and as I did, the unbalanced bigger box I was holding, with only one box left in it, toppled to the ground.  I knew I couldn’t do both at once, but he needed me to follow his imperatives, not trusting that I actually knew something, actually had a plan.

You know, like the plan I have to have to manage the garage around the untouched snowblower that had to be pulled out on adult Halloween, a month and a half ago.

They are eating now, 32 minutes later, after my mother has gone to the toilet.

And me?  Beck and call is stress and all.

= = = = = = = = = = =

I went upstairs to dinner.  My plate was barracaded in by the bowls of roast butternut & carrots and rattouille, and the serving plate was dropped onto my plate, swimming in the cheap sauce I have to use; to my mother, roast chicken alone is “insipid.”  I looked for a solution, someplace to move the server, but thanks to the large wooden Christmas tree next to my plate — my mother likes to put ornaments where she likes, not thinking about how that space is used by anyone else– I had no place to move anything.

I proceeded to eat off the serving plate, chomping fast while trying to avoid bad teeth, and being forced to drop my now cold vegetables into the greasy sauce.  My father allowed how he had the serving plate dropped onto his plate, so he just dropped it onto mine.  I noted that I didn’t think I was the one who had covered his plate, and he agreed, thought it might have been rude.  Just another example of inconsideration running downhill.

I cleared the table, poured their coffee, stowed the leftovers, washed up and came down here, kicking aside the bag of summer heels that I had to sneak out to buy now they were $7, the ones I have to hide, the ones I won’t get a chance to wear or share.

I know that any one of these events, indvidually, just isn’t a big deal.  But I also know that they do add up, over a day, over a week, over a month, over a season, over a year, over three years.

It’s enough to drive me garaga.


My mother and father’s pastor is coming for a communal visit at 1PM.

I’m cleaning and cooking for a man who believes that people like me are sinners who should have no leadership role in his church, who believes he has the one way to heaven as told to him by Christ, and that people like me are unworthy unless we deny our nature.

I’m honoring a man who believes he gets to pick which injunctions in his Bible have to be followed and which can be ignored, and people like me are staying on his sanctions list.

And I’m doing this for a woman who hates it most when I make her take responsibility for her own choices or lack of them, and a man who wants to avoid me actually having my emotions surface.

And those “inclusive women” have disinvited me without ever meeting me.

Ah, holidays.

Can’t Afford

I am always aware of what I can’t afford. 

I can’t afford a dentist or a doctor, can’t afford a lawyer.   I can’t afford a new computer, can’t afford new boots, the old ones will do.

But that stuff, well, that’s just the obvious external bits.   The reason I can’t afford those is because of the other things I learned I can’t afford.

I can’t afford to care what others think.  If I want any breath at all, it’s the relationship between me and my creator.

I can’t afford to make easy us versus them assumptions.  I live in the battleground between the gangs, both them and us, and have to not do onto others what would be hateful to do to me, assume they are less than a unique indvidual.

I can’t afford to throw pain and hurt back into the faces of people who hurt me.  It doesn’t build connection, only affirms their expectations.  Their choices may be about them and their fears, and not about me, but it’s me who has to take the pounding.

I can’t afford to stop just because I feel pain.  Nobody can afford to engage my pain. 

I can’t afford to express my nature.  The costs are higher than the return.  

I can’t afford to expect anyone else to understand.   I’m in a place that’s not on the map for most people, and the others in places like this are paddling so hard against the pounding waves of stigma that they don’t have time and space for me.

I can’t afford to take the everday abuse of normative assumptions.  My skin is just too bruised and abraded by now.

I can’t afford to desire anything.  Desire is the process that society uses to control and manipulate.

Money, well, it’s what money always is: just the scorecard for what we get or lose.

It is what I can’t afford that is the barrier between me and hope.


I was once talking about the power of being virtual, of being able to explore new modes of thought and behaviour without having to bring them to life in toto, and Ms. Rachelle informed me that she didn’t believe in virtuality.

“How many novels have you written?” I asked her.  “How many awards have you gotten for fiction?  didn’t you create virtual worlds in your writing?”

“Oh,” she said, a bit startled.  “Yes. I guess I am in favor of virtuality!”

A great book draws you into it’s world, and the more things make sense there, the more there seems to be deep connections between things that you can feel, the more real it feels.   It’s amazing how far away I can be when I just have someone reading in my ears, a lesson I learned very early because I got to reading by about age three.

It’s not just a great book that invites you in, of course.  It’s a great performance, a great painting, great music and so on. 

Today, the worlds we are invited into are mostly commercially built.  Step into Oprahworld or Martha Stewart’s domain for an hour and you are in a place where nice, fun things happen.  Magazine publishers work hard to create a world and invite you in, to offer a separate place where life is naught but good.

This world creation seems to me to be the most important part of the holiday season.  With ideas like “What If It Could Be Christmas Everyday,” we wonder about how this ritually special time of year, with special decorations, rich foods, and most of all, with open hearts, could continue all year round.

Christmas is an invitation away from the world to step into a better place for a day.  It is an invitation to consider your better self, a self that is giving, considerate, open, connected and a bit more new and fresh, a bit less harried and shopworn.

Lots of people around the world work very hard to make worlds that you can step into around the holidays, from snow globes & shop windows to ballet & performance to parties & feasts.  These are an  invitation to step outside your regular and routine self and explore your imaginative, open and eternal self, a self touched in yearly rituals that act as milestones against which you can measure your own growth and changes.

The truest gift of Christmas is the gift of the heart, the heart that creates these worlds out of time, and the heart that enters them.   It is invitation that is at the center of the season, the invitation to enter the world of another for a moment, from the world of a delighted child to the world of ritualized belief, and the acceptance of that invitation, the willingness to stretch and go outside yourself to enter a different place and see the world though new — or old — eyes.

May you make the invitation this year, but more that that may you accept the invitation, entering the festivities not just with your body but also with your heart & mind.  Enter not just the old traditional worlds, but also the other worlds, and give your gifts, not just gifts from your sack, but also the gift of gracious recieving, of being present for others.

A time of invitations to different worlds, invitations to bring others into your creation, invitations to enter new worlds and see though new eyes.

Oh, I guess I know what I need to write about for this Holiday, eh?


I scare people.  I know that.  I’ve always known that.

And the idea that being more obvious about my transnature will make me even more scary, well, that’s maybe the most terrifying idea I know.  I don’t want to be both more vulnerable and more terrifying.

I know it’s a tradeoff.  You can make the case that right now, I’m just fending off bullies, and that also pushes away possible friends.  If my expression was more authentic, more bullies might be afraid, but more people might be able to connect.  It’s a case, just not one that really feels true.  I think I believe in the bullies more, believe in thirdhand fear.

One of the reasons I’m so scary is that I appear smart, appear to see & know things that others don’t see or know.  Heck, that’s probably the main reason, eh?  I cast light into darkness, and that’s scary, because what we don’t want revealed must be hidden for a reason.

It’s odd how this plays out in “real life.”  I made a comment about some little technical thing — using a SIM card copier to move a phone book between phones — and people who I had challenged for trying to rip off the system immediately assumed I was ripping off the system. 

They may have had no idea if cloning could or could not be done, would or would not be valuable — it’s not easy anymore, and not really valuable — but they knew I had secret knowledge they didn’t have, and so they assumed that if I could do magic, I would use it the way they would use magic, to rip off the system.  They believed that would manipulate if they had magical powers, so I must be doing the same thing.

Problem is that I knew it wasn’t magic, knew the limits, and besides, knowledge always comes with responsibility.  Only ignorance, blissful or constructed, comes with no limits.

This isn’t the first time.  A tranny group wanted to sue my ass because I had some things they didn’t like on a website that got thrown back in my lap after one of them abandoned it.  I placed a copy of the mail on the list, and they assumed I had somehow purloined it remotely, even after I told them that they simply misaddressed it to an ally of mine.  But it couldn’t be their mistake that was the cause, because that is their responsibility, rather it must have been my secret magic, my responsibility.

I know this game all too well.  I spent years telling people things they didn’t think I could know, and they would beg me to tell them how I knew.  It was always just a case of adding 3 and 2 together to get 5, but that answer rarely satisfied them — they wanted magic.

Sometimes, I would give them magic.  I used to sniff PC cards and tell people what they were.  It was all misdirection, of course — I needed to bring the card close to read it, but a few deep breaths and some pauses, and it seemed like magic to them, because to them, even being able to read the card and know what it was was almost magical.

I get the fact that I am one scary fucking mirror, and the more polished I am, the more scary I seem.  Why the hell do you think I have honed looking ramshackle and decrepit?  Show some weakness, and the strengths seem less terrifying.  Play small, as Marianne Williamson understands.

My intensity, my energy, my passion, my pain, my insight, my vision, my being, well, I’m used to any or all of these things being scary, and I am sure that the list doesn’t stop there.

The gift of gracious receiving
is one of the greatest gifts
we can give anyone.
 Mister Fred Rogers

I’ve been thinking about what the hell my Christmas note should be.  I’ve already written so much, and I’m not like most pastors, who have a congregation that feels comfort hearing the same thing over and over again.

But Christmas, well, and fear, and well, darkness, and well. . .

Christmas is when people seek comfort, and few believe the power to see and know what lies in darkness will bring them comfort.  They imagine that a fire and tradtions will keep out the scary on these long nights.

Christmas magic, Christmas magic, Christmas magic.

Who wants to be told you already have the gifts you need, you just have to get past the fact that they scare others, over the fact that the terror of others scares you?

Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die, because the idea of being reborn past fear brings up our fear of separation.

And on a cold, long, dark night, we won’t last long alone.


To Be A Freak

“I know what you told her. 

You and I are freaks, and we both know you have to be strong to be a freak. 

But just how strong do you want your daughter to have to be?”

House, to a dwarf mother who has just discovered her daughter can benefit from growth hormone.

Practicing Alcoholic

When my parents go away in January, I think I’m going to try to learn to be an alcoholic.

It’s not something that I am very good at.  I drink, I get pedantic, then I get sleepy.  I never really get that classic stupid that lets you do the same thing over and over again, abandoning caution to the release of others.

I am good at recovery, though, which seems pointless.

Yeah, I want to learn how to be drunk and stupid, to satisfy Terry Murphy who noted that I might talk like a drunk but didn’t act like one, but that’s not the point.

I want to be an alcoholic because then I have a comprehensible path to health, a community of people like me who want to help me get better.   People understand a drunk, they know what to do with an addict.   I would instantly be in the mainstream rather than be beyond help, as we people touched with the guru gift always seem to be.

So many people say that the the moment when they discover their sickness is a moment of release, because in that moment is both the affirmation of brokenness and the promise of being normal again, healing in the context of social expectations.

If I can just figure out how to be sick in a way that people understand, maybe then I can figure out how to be healthy in a way they understand.

That’s why I want to learn how to be an alcoholic, how to do it right.  I know that I am approaching alcoholism very late in life, in my fifth decade as I am, and that many would say that if I haven’t learned to be a drunk by now, well, I’ve missed the boat.

But, oh, to find community, first in a bar and then in AA, to find healing.  A joke from my youth: “Oh, you only have a cold.   That’s too bad.  I mean, if you had pneumonia, well, there’s a cure for that!” 

Yes, I need to get onto Google and find what I need to learn to be an alcoholic.  Practice, practice, practice, that’s the way to Carnegie Hall.

If I can just be the right kind of sick, maybe I can find the right kind of normalcy.

Or maybe not.

Woman == Oxytocin Addiction?

Louann Brizendine suggests in an interview with the New York Times that much of what drives women’s lives is just a search for hits of oxytocin and dopamine gained from interactions of friendship and affection.

Is my introversion really just the lack of an addiction to brain chemicals, which drive most women into relationships where the high costs are recompensed by bio-brain highs?

Is what we choose to do just the best way we have found to dose ourselves, or are some not driven as much by the need for substances?

As for the rest of Brizendine’s drivel, look here.

Anything Is Possible?

A police officer is shot, the bullet dances in her body and ends with a complete severing of the spinal cord, leaving her parapalegic.   She just wants to be normal again.

The team from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition come in and offer her the best of everything, from a recovery room with the workout machines, to a track system that will move her around her new house in a standing position, to a specialized sufboard and jet watercraft.

She loves it all, because it helps her feel normal, able to tend to her young daughter.

The show hosts remind us that anything is possible, and we must never, ever give up hope.

So, what are they saying is possible here, really?

They are saying that we can make a new normal.  That if our normal is shattered, we can get back to normal, back to normative of some shape or form.

Acceptable dreams are dreams of becoming normative once more, and if we work, we can obtain the normative.  That’s the message, loud and clear.

But other dreams, dreams that are not normative, dreams that are queer?

Well, they don’t get affirmed. 

So many transsexuals cast their dreams in the context of being broken, sick, defective, and just trying to achieve normativity.  They can’t imagine the day when their dreams feel like a trap.

One of my biggest evolutions came when I realized that life, the universe and all that were not only bigger than I imagined, but bigger than I could imagine.

It’s that breakthough that opened me up to possibility rather than being limited by my expectations, what I imagined could happen.

For me, that’s the key message of transcending, that to be limited by anything we hold inside is to hold walls against what we don’t hold, hold barriers against possibilities beyond our own imagination.   It is only by opening my heart, my brain, and my spirit that I can be open to possibilities that touch the divine.

Now, I don’t live in the answers, I live in the questions, in that liminal space where God blows though.   It’s much less certain, and much harder to explain to others who cling to their own limitiations, their own imaginations, but it is the only place I have found where I can feel the winds of the universe.

The question “Why am I this way?” has stopped being a search for facts and has become a search for meaning.   I look to the three powerful questions of creation: Where did I come from?  Where do I go after this?  Why am I here?

In eight grade, a teacher told me that the sound of one hand clapping was the clicking of the fingers.  She was delighted, she found an an answer that satisfied her westerness.  I may not have been a Buddhist monk, but even then I knew she was wrong, that the point wasn’t the search for an answer, but rather the openings the questions tore in my assumptions, in my imagination, in my possibilities.

Welcome to the space where the old answers don’t seem to work, don’t feel right anymore.

Welcome to the space where the power is in the questions that lead us beyond what we could have imagined

It’s that space to dream beyond the normative that isn’t affirmed because it is full of the danger that takes us into our own “music.”

This is so important, and so hard to find language for in this culture.

For me, I was watching a video from Brian McNaught ( http://www.brian-mcnaught.com/ ), and he said that we have to “sing the song that God put in our heart.”

That seemed a potent way to talk about calling, singing the song our creator placed in our heart, especially about a calling that so many have worked to silence, even others who want respect for singing their song.

You use “music in my heart.”   Joseph Campbell says “follow your bliss.”

To me, these are both calls to trust Eros, the love in your heart.  

The problem, of course, is that Eros is uncontrollable by society.   That’s why the tradition is to frustrate natural desire and replace it with the desire for the manufactured, a desire that can be manipulated and used by manufacturers.

Clarissa Pinkola-Estes speaks powerfuly about this idea in “The Red Shoes: On Torment And The Recovery Of Soul Life.”



I found this to be one of the most vital teachings about how submurged Eros — and certainly society teaches us to submurge our transgender desire — can turn sick, to be replaced by manufactured desire which is unhealthy and takes us over, often requiring us to cut off part of ourself to regain health.

Too often we dismiss Eros because the desire of so many trannys looks shallow, twisted and sick, and people like Amy Bloom in “Normal” suggest that the Eros in the eyes of heterosexual crossdressers is just not safe in society.


Learning to find and trust our own music, our own bliss, our own Eros is hard enough, but getting others to trust our desires is such a hard challenge, because the stunted and broken Eros seen in society provides a self-fulfilling story, that Eros is sick.

Thanks for sharing the way you talk about your Eros, your bliss, your music.

It’s so important for us to talk about and affirm the power of that music in the world.

Is anything possible?  Or is the only thing that people want to be possible is returning to the nice, to the norm?

Is there a reason people like me don’t feel affirmed by the promise of the normative, a promise that doesn’t include us?

Oh, yes.


Whatever you are proud, you get more of that.

If you are proud of correcting your children, telling them how they got it wrong, you get more opportunities to do that.

If you are proud of encouraging your children, telling them how they are getting it right, you get more opporunities to do that.

If you are proud of fighting well, you get more opportunities to do that.  If you are proud of concilating, finding common ground, you get more opportunities to do that.

That’s just the way it works.  Maybe it’s like the old saw “If all you have in your toolbox is a hammer, everything will look like a nail.”

And if you are proud of holding things in, proud of denial of pain, feelings and decay, you will get more and more opportunities to deny yourself.   Ask any monk in a hair shirt.  I’m sure he will agree.

Be careful where you hold your own pride, and where you hold pride for others. 

Your areas of pride change your worldview, and so, change the world around you.

Are you proud of where you hold your pride?


Let me clue you in on a little secret: I’m always stressed.

These days, where my mother wants to shop, but isn’t ready, making me wait and wait, and then roll her around — a strenous activity — and keep track of my father and gifts and all, then come home and slam dinner together, well, they are very high stress.  You may have noted that I’m not writing very much, for example.

But here’s the other part: it’s vital that I never, ever, ever let my tension show.  My father just gets upset, and trying to process is impossible. 

My mother will take some tension, as long as I process; for example, when she pushed the cart I was trying to pull past her chair, forward away from her chair, I was clear that it not only frustrated what I was trying to do, it put the cart out of my reach and my control, so I could not then clear the blockage from where I was.  She listened and understood and it was over fast.

But I tried to clear the refigerator fast so my father could leave the loo, and he stopped me to enquire what the mess was, the mess that was beyond where I was and beyond where he was, a mess in the dark twelve feet in front of me, on a path that he was blocking.  How the fuck could I know?  Turns out I hadn’t properly sealed the soy sauce bottle and it had tipped in the door of the refigerator and spilled a bit on the floor, and I was supposed to have known and understood what it was but (and here cometh the lesson) since I move so fast and never think, I created the problem.

He was upset, wished he went out to eat, because he gets jangled and uncomfortable. 

I understand the rules.  Jangled and uncomfortable is bad, so it must be avoided.  Problem is that for me, there is no way it can be avoided, rather it can only be swallowed and submurged.   I am stressed, and much of that stress is about consuming my own stress so it never shows, because my mother doesn’t have the energy to process it, and my father doesn’t have the cababilities to process it.

When my father makes the wrong turn, it’s important that I say “I thought we would turn down Route 50, but that didn’t happen,” rather than saying “You made a wrong turn.”  There is no value in blame, so I just recalculate based on on what did happen.  Not something he can think to do.   I eat the stress, he spreads it.

Nothing here is planned, so getting ahead of the game is almost impossible.  And my job is to make it work and clean up after.  So I get all the stress, but the key is never letting any of it escape, always barreling it tightly so no one is jangled.

Only one more way I need to die, and like the poor fella who fell in the Mohawk and died today, I hope it comes soon.


Hold your finger in the air.  

It’s in one place, right?

Now, rotate your wrist to the right.

Your finger moved.  It’s in another place,

Rotate your wrist back and forth, as fast as you can.

Your finger now appears to be in three places at once. 

You know that’s not true, that it can only be in one place at a time, but when it moves so fast your eyes see multiple copies.

We live in a finite world, a world of matter, a world of flesh.  And that means things can only be in one place at one time.   Where they will be next may be uncertain, and the very act of observing them may change them, but in any given moment, they have limits.

And those limits, well, they apply to who we can be.  We may well be able to shift though roles & personae quickly, but we can’t be in multiple places at the same moment.

This isn’t really a problem for me, but it is a problem for those who want me to be who they want me to be.   They lay their expectations on me, but they want me to be in multiple places at once, to their pattern.

We shape our choices, yes.

But our choices shape us, too. 

All our choices, even the ones we have made for defense, our reactionary responses to the pressures of the world, especially the pressures others make to try and shape and control us, all those choices shape us.

If we are pressed to move one way or the other, we end up in that position.  That position then determines the range of choices we can make next. 

We get pressed into corners, and those corners shape our choices.  We get trained in roles, and that training shapes our choices.  We respond to the expectations & assumptions of others, and those expectations shape our expectaions & assumptions about ourself.

Each choice we make, based on our own knowledge of ourself, based on social expectations, or based on protecting & defending ourself, it shapes us. 

A woman is someone who makes the choices of a woman.  If others refuse to accept those choices you make, then making those choices becomes a negative act, one that leads to both honesty and stigma.

We aren’t just shaped by our positive choices, what we choose to do, we are also shaped by our negative choices, what we choose not to do.  Not only does that leave space for others to connect with us — if we don’t cook, we need to find someone who does — but it also defines us.  Men don’t do that!  Women don’t do that!  Catholics don’t do that!  Italians don’t do that!

I mean, isn’t this the central tenet of conventional heterosexist gender, complimentary roles that come together to support each other?   Needs making partners feel more manly, more womanly, more valued in their part?   Women and men, different but symbiotic?

Of course, all this has come acropper with the move to single parent households, to a kind of gynandrony that doesn’t include requirements & obligations with getting your needs serviced.  

Still, the joy of being able to both argue the truth in pairs — “We need to dedicate resources to the children” /  “We need to conserve resources”  — where both sides are true sounds blissful to me, a person who has to have those arguments internally, who doesn’t have someone else to lean on, to push against.

Our choices reflect us, but they also reflect our response to the pressures on us.   This is true not just of the positive choices, what we choose to do and who we choose to be, but also the negative choices, what we choose not to do and who we choose not to be.  Often, it is those negative choices that open the space for connection.

But when we are in relationship and those choices, positive and negative, aren’t valued for what they tell about who we know ourselves to be, about who we are trying to be, life gets frustrating and hard. 

When I used to interview candidates for jobs, the first question I wanted to answer is where their strengths were.  Where was their excellence, their success, their shining?

The second question was where their weaknesses were.  I knew that if those weaknesses were just a mirror of their strengths, that was fine.  You can’t fault an excellent bean-counter if sometimes they are too detail oriented, or a fault a fabulous dreamer if sometimes they don’t do all the paperwork.  The only thing you can do is make them work together, so they can balance each other out.  On the other hand, if they were both mediocre and a whiner, well, not much you can do with that.

Too often, though, when people focus only on my faults and not on my strengths, there is nothing but frustration and pain.   I do have negative spaces where I am not strong, and asking me to fill those spaces too is asking me to lose myself.   I may be able to be in two different places, but I can’t be in two places at one time, and being in that demand means losing my heart, burning energy in context switching that I need for life.

Humans were meant to shimmer, and that means sometimes we are on and sometimes we are off.    It’s only when you get a constellation of shimmering stars, a community of shimmering humans that you get a constant light that illuminates all.

I’m sick of being asked to be mediocre at more things.  I want to be excellent at being me, and have others to help fill my negative spaces, to support me.

But that seems to be a star beyond wishing on.