Fucking World.

Well, I finally got out there today.

Lucky I didn’t start too early. My sister called and wanted to meet up, tell me stories she has heard about the goddam bosses where she works.

A salon for a hip new theatre company, 6:30 to 9:00. Then the hot mature bar is having disco night at 9:00, with an hour of open bar for those in costume.

I took my time and got things ready. Enormous hair — when I bought it in Atlanta, the gal told me how natural it looked; Ha! — and a tangerine and rasberry satin jacket with huge self scarf, right out of Designing Women. Platform boots, new lashes, and 1980s Borgese makeup that glows in the dark. Yallow Disco! (but lots of pressing and such)

I presumed people in the theatre company would assume I was going somewhere after, but heck, even if they didn’t, they needed to affirm Theatre, right? And what if I wore something small and blendable; would I be anything other than the big, old tranny in the back of the room, even then?

I got ready. One glass of Merlot, listen to my new theme music, the amazing Sutton Foster singing “No More” from The Drowsy Chaperone.

I walked out just as the neighbors were leaving, the lovely next door neigbors with two kids. Shit.

When I got to the main road, someone was parked in the shoulder, headlights shining into my eyes, blocking the view of traffic coming down the road. Shit.

I went a mile and there was a huge police presence at the Aquarium store, all lights and sirens in the road. Shit.

I drove through the snow and past another cop, then parked. That’s when I got a spasm in my side, all cramping pain and short breath. Pain. Shit.

I made it across the road and in. Nobody spoke to me, at all. I thought of speaking to people, but no one was open. Finally, after they read, there was something I could say to the young women, but they were so young, so desperately young, that I knew when it was time to learn those lessons, I would.

They want to build community, even the “the crazy old lady with dogs,” but me, well treated me like Albany. Shit.

I leave, and it’s 7:30. 7:30. An hour and a half to kill. Shit.

Oh, well, punt and go back to parent’s house. Maybe I can come out again, even though the empty gas light is on.

I see they don’t have internet in the room — aren’t on Skype, haven’t picked up mail — so I call the place. The phone rings, they are out.

I’m finishing my drink and thinking about leaving. It’s 8:30, and there’s a call from my mother’s cell phone.

I get the extension, and call back, twice. Both times it rings right to voicemail. Shit.

I call again and get the operator. She gets though, but my mother hasn’t hung up the phone, so she can’t connect me.

I call on the cell phone and tell them to hang up the phone.

I call once, on one phone, and the automated system “can’t hear my entry” when I punch the extension.

I try again on another phone, same result.

I try again on another phone, same result. Shit, shit, shit.

Finally I call and go though the operator. I have a chat with my mother, who tells me there were problems with her falling in the toilet, brusing herself, because she couldn’t wait for my father to help, and then they had to go out late, so it got dark, which is a problem for my father’s driving. Ooo, that hurts, out of my control.

I listen to her and put together the note for my brother and sister.

I tell my father an abbreviated version of the story I got from my sister, the same story I have just told my mother. Whith his touch of autism, he doesn’t understand the relationships in the story, and I have to go over it a few times, trying to make them clear, a frustrating task.

My father wants to tell me he didn’t get to the Whole Foods in Winter Park because it’s too close to the International Airport. My recollection of the maps is that it is nowhere near the airport, so I try to pulll up the maps on a 400Mhz Celeron.

This takes time, all the while, my father telling me about the Airport. I implore him to wait until I have the maps up, please, wait.

No. He thinks I’m yelling so he hangs up on me. Blip.

I know they are tired. But, well, I’m not doing all that well either, and I mean that as a life statement and a report of status.

Now it’s 9:30, no way to get to a party in any mood other than too tense.

And this is my goddamn day.

Now do you see why I just want to die?

Out There

I get the premise of vesting for ceremonies, for events, for services.  That makes sense to me.  It’s work, and they are work clothes

But the idea that we should walk in the world vested, that it counts when we vest up and do errands, well, that just feels a bit, well, terrifying.  There is work to be done every moment, they say.

The premise behind this seems to be immersion, the idea that when we dive in & committ, crossing the threshold, being in touch with our calling in every moment, or at least in most waking moments, we gain power, authority, and imprematur, creating synergy and integrity, leading to integration and actualization,  beecoming more than the sum of our parts.

It’s like that quote attributed to  Göethe quote passed ’round the net:

Until one is committed
there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,
always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
there is on elementary truth,
the ignorance of which kills countless ideas
and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one’s favour all manner
of unforeseen incidents and meetings
and material assistance,
which no man could have dreamt
would come his way.

I have learned a deep respect
for one of Goethe’s couplets:
‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it

Begin it now.

      WH Murray, of the Scottish Himalayan Expedition
      Gothe quote is from a “very free translation” of Faust by John Anster in 1835.

Thats the argument anyway.

But boy, what a pain in the ass, eh?

One key question is if transpeople want to lie about their birth, or if we want to tell the truth about who we know ourselves to be.  My answer is truth, but the truth is that to walk in the world I have to create myself in an asthetic that fits into that world.   That asthetic doesn’t include transwomen who don’t make an attempt to pass as being born female, or assigns them as odd men.

This means that when I walk into the world, if I want my woman-centered truth to show, I need to be concerned about concealing my birth sex, and the minute I do that, I end up worrying more about how I am working the look past the world than about how I am open, free and truthful.  It’s not easy to be big and be visible.

I look here, look for places to go and people to see, and they are scarce.  There is a workshop on how to make big bucks as a life coach, one at the Unitarian church on the power of doubt, and a salon tomorrow night at a theatre group, followed by a disco costume party, with free drinks if you show up early and in costume.   Yet the performance coaach, a local actress, hasn’t returned my call in 24 hours now, and I just don’t want to assume she heard trans and passed, but I do know that it happens.

But just dressing right and going to the mall? What’s the point of that?

I know how to blend in.  It’s to appear powerless, lower class and abject, normative, run-of-the-mill.

But that’s not what I need to do, not the calling that echoes in my deep dark heart of desire. 

My desire is to speak, to be heard, to be potent in the world.  We each have our role to play in the world, our song to sing, our questions to ask, and I have known about mine since I was very young, just before I learned that playing that role, singing that song and asking those questions would end up with other people pouring shit on my head. 

To appear both powerful and vulnerable is very tough in a world of people taught to reject their own power.   It often reads as a call to social pressure, a call for people to show how they can maintain the norm with their own rejection.

It can also, however, appear as a beacon of hope, a walking encouragement to the best in us.  I remember a workshop at the Unitarian where two participants, including the leader, couldn’t make head nor tail of me, but one young gal wanted to talk, and hoped I would come back, because I clearly had something to share that she felt was valuable.  My blown ankle stopped that, but it is true, there are people out there who know they need to hear what I have to say.

That’s the reason, of course, to walk in immersion.  It may feel socially uncomfortable, but it feels much more spiritually comfortable, walking in harmony with my own heart, my own passion, my own Eros, my own bliss.  And it does make me more potent in the world, ready to be there when required, rather than trying to squeeze connection into some shattered schedule.

But being out there?  The lessons of my life, and worse, the continuing lessons of stigma, marginalization & projected fear, teach me how hard it is.  But the lessons of my heart, the continuing lessons in truth, beauty & power also work to teach me how important it is.