I dug out from a foot and a half of snow this St. Patrick’s Day morning.   It reminded me of how sick I was when I faced the almost two feet of snow from the St. Valentine’s day nor’easter.

I was alone then, but now I have my parents to care for, my mother snoozing under rugs in her recliner, my father nattering about technical concepts in his shorts and singlet.  The corned beef is simmering on the stove, and they drowse.

It may well be a race to see which of us dies first, but they are also mine to take care of, and while that is hard and lonely, it gives me something to get up for, something to work for.

Don’t you need someone to love, even someone who doesn’t really know how to love you back?

Somebody to love, which gives you as much health as you can scrape up, eh?


I often said that if I had a choice, I’d rather be respected than liked.

That sure sounds like the motto of an iconoclast.

What does it feel like to be liked, to be one of the crowd?  I’m pretty sure I don’t know.   But I do know what it feels like to be not respected, to be thought of as stupid.

As a girl, though, being liked seems to be a key factor.   Popularity, rah-rah. 

And as a tranny, well, not being respected seems to be very, very easy.  

That’s one reason why I care that people understand, because that’s always been my tranny defense, offering context, even as other trannys chose other defenses.  TBB, for example, chooses to be entertaining.

I was an indvidualist, and I know how to not want everyone to like me.   But as woman, I have a different view on that without the chops to change, and as a tranny, I fear being disrepected as a clown or a pervert.

And that’s hard.

Human Scripture

Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus is an introduction to textual analysis for the lay person, an an introduction to the idea that the Bible doesn’t just contain divinely inspired words of God, but also a large number of errors and changes that have been introduced over centuries.  Critics of his book either believe the Bible is literally true and he is misled, or more often that he is correct about the errors, but that the meaning they take from today’s Bible is still divine, that “internal parity correction” exists, to quote one Amazon review.

Many of his points, though, such as the changes made over time around the roles of women do reveal serious changes of meaning, removing the status given to them by the original authors.

Ehrman comes out with a final affirmation of the power of story, reminding us that the meaning of stories changes with every new reader.  He encourages us to work to understand what the author meant by what they wrote, rather than just assuming he meant what we expected him to mean.  There is not just one view of Christ contained in the Bible, there are different views, each colored by the needs and concerns of different authors who lived in different times and places..

To me, of course, this human mark of stories is dead on.  Literalists don’t know the root meaning, they know the meaning they assign, and out of context, well, lost.  I remember one Unitarian book club where people discussed the meaning of a Sumerian text not in the context of being Sumerian, but rather in the context of being a suburban 21st century commuter.  “Yeah, that’s what it means,” summarized one person.  I may have discussed what the text meant to me, or what it triggered in my thoughts, but then deciding that my meaning is what the text means, well, that seems too creepy.

The Bible may well have lots of texts that raise questions, that can lead us to insights & faith, but how many simple answers it has, well, that is another question.  People who are looking for answers, though, they look through the contradictions and find what they expect, and that can easily leave people to fight to the death over the different conclusions they find in their Bible.

The nature of story means that there is no “our story,” there is only “my story” which may hold shared parts with others.   Even those who experience the same story will experience it differently, as Mark read the story Luke told, understood the meaning differently and took to rewrite the story based on his understanding.  Erhman notes that if you think the gospels hold the same meaning, then you have missed the meaning altogether, bringing only your meaning to your reading.

Every story is the story of some human, even when it tells of events, emotions, feelings, ideas and understandings we share, and as Ehrman notes, if you don’t try to understand what the author means by what they wrote, you don’t try to understand the story.

Being human is the gift we share, and to value humans, we have to value them not as groups but as individuals, made from the same fundament but with a unique essence.  This is the message of transgender in my mind, beyond divisions to valuing humans, by valuing their stories. 

It’s a pretty common message, one of valuing the indvidual & the shard of creation they hold inside; maybe, at root, the message of all scripture.

Compensatory Behaviour

For the last two years, a friend of my sister has been arguing to get a neck brace for his son.   There has been resistance to add that to the kid’s back brace, but finally he got one.

It’s been wonderful for the child.  He now doesn’t have to work hard to keep his head up, and has regained balance in motion that gives him freedom.

How much do we put out in compensatory behaviour that takes away from what we could have used to move forward?  How much does that compensation cost the indvidual?

It’s a question transpeople have to face everyday, even if people without those challenges don’t understand the cost. 

It can wear you out, even as people tell you to just pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

And, for the record, the father notes that the people at Shriner’s hospitals have been great at taking care of his kid without ever asking for money.  If you have a few bucks to give, they will use it well taking care of children. 


It turns out that punishing yourself for your own failings really doesn’t satisfy anyone.

Others, including the legal system, are clear that it is only the punishments they mete out that count.   You can punish yourself from now until doomsday, and those who feel entiltled to punish you won’t really care.

That won’t stop them from telling you that you have to be self-policing, that you need to punish yourself for your own infractions so you keep yourself in line.   I have spoken before about the mechanics of self policing, but self-abuse is a key component of that process.

For me, my self-abuse has become connected to the denial of ego & desire that many venerate in Eastern religions.   I take the losses and adapt to them, no matter how much that adaptation takes resources that would be better used in acheving some kind of goal.  

Now, I learn from that surrender, it is true.   Joseph Campbell said that the most powerful ritual he ever went through was where people brought five tokens of the five things that they most valued, and going through a path, faced gatekeepers who demanded the surrender of a token for passage.  He saw people faced with hard choices, using trickery and other means to avoid surrender.

When you let go of what you have been told to value, well, it forces you to become more exposed, more focused on what is important.  It is potent.  

I know that I have worked to prepare myself for losses before they occur, even knowing that they will occur because I am not doing the work required to avoid them, usually, for me, the work to stay on the grid in an economic & legal way.   It is easy to see my losses, even the avoidable ones, in context, thinking both of people around the world today, and having some sense of previous life and times where life was simpler.  I mean, in most civilized cultures, people just didn’t often live past fifty.

While this process of self-abuse/self-denial may be enlightening, though, it’s not really empowering in this physical world.  In this culture that denial isn’t even understood very much; our shared identity is our shared desire, and if you don’t want the same stuff that we all want, want the American Dream, then are you really one of us?  Aren’t you some kind of troublemaker?

Lezlie wants me to remember that I am at a change point, and I suspect many others would also like me to see my life that way, including the The Beautiful Blonde (TBB).  And that change requires empowerment, and that requires getting back on the grid, and that requires letting others punish me in their standard styles, which requires me to stop punishing myself.

But, but, but, she said, that self-punishment, that doubt and denial, well, it feels like where all my power has come from over the decades.   It is my history & my virtuosity, or at least it feels that way. 

Of course, it is also my burden, my bane and my pain.  It is what Lezlie, TBB, Miz Ruby and others want to see me change.

Confidence is attractive, or so they say.  That’s why the guru-types that achieve success offer answers and not questions, answers that offer the possibility of abundance without denial, of rebirth without death.

And that means that self-punishment really isn’t valued, no matter how good you are at it.

I suppose that’s a lesson I already knew.

Holder Of Secrets

Max on L-Word went home to his mother’s funeral.  His sister, who had been holding his secret in the family, didn’t want him to come, because it would be too hard on the family. 

Max went, and it was good and it was bad — his father connected, but Max understood his presence at the funeral would make it about him, not his mother.

But I have to admit that I felt bad for the sister.   It’s not easy to hold the secrets that aren’t your own, to be the one who has to absorb the shocks between comfort & change.  There is no way you can be bold enough when you are stuck being the holder of secrets.

I know this firsthand, of course, because I have been the holder of my own secrets in this family, and know how hard it has been for me.  But I tell truths, am explicit, push the boundaries, which are all things most holders of secrets don’t have the incentive, the energy, the push and the skills to do.   

It seems that secrets have little ability to creep into conciousness; they are secrets because conciousness is loaded against them.   They have to pop in, to break through, and then the next time they pop in, they aren’t as schocking, as scandalous, as abnormal.

And for all those cast as holders of secrets, or who cast themselves that way, not passing on what we think others can’t handle, I know that the work is hard.

May you find the power to let go, at least a little.


My father believes that the more punishment I take, the better off I will be.  Punishment is training, and training will work if enough is applied.   It took me an hour of walking to get his paper this morning, and shopping later will be a challenge.

There’s “a growing trend among metal-health professionals to get the social environment to adapt to the person rather than force the person to conform to gender stereotypes,” says psychiatrist Jack Drescher.
Newsweek, 12 March 2007, “A Case Of Gender Blues” on the Steve Stanton case

Yeah, but he’s the head of the GLB committee of the APA.  The rest of the world may not have this view.

One thing Ilene Chaiken, who runs The L-Word wants to say is that “it is never too late.”   She put that in the mouth of at least two of her characters this season.  I presume that what she means is that it is never too late to change beyond history & expectations. 

I have said before that one of the heaviest burdens I carry is the possibility that other people may change, that they can transform.  As Dr. Drescher said, the challenge is the environment adapting, and the amount of work that I have to put in to help the environment adapt, well, that feels like punishment for me and little training for them.

Anyway, walking to do.

Drama Is

Catching up on The L-Word, and you know, it’s stupid & contrived.  Good actresses are consigned to quirky and dumb physical comedy, stereotypes are pursued, and there are things that just don’t ring true — no way the actress who plays Max has been on T for over a year, even if they do bring in real trannies for the support group scenes like on All My Children.

But it is compelling, though.  And to me it’s compelling because of a lack of nice, fun, revelatory and energizing drama in my life, that of play that gets the blood boiling & the spirit moving.   I don’t have that kind of heat, that kind of drama, and so I engage it, as silly as it may be.

I suspect it is that drama that lets us test our wings, that burns off the dross, that makes us aware of our power.  My drama, well, it’s mild and on paper and with very, very little feedback.  Someone suggested I write for a femme anthology, and while the constructs are easy, real life femme anecdotes to breathe life into the writing, well, they just aren’t in my history, and not being in my history, it also means that the femme skills are not in my repetoire.  It’s great to be able to mine lots of lessons from small beer, but it doesn’t quite make accessible drama.

Is it squeezing our own drama by the throat so it has no breath that makes us stable, or is it immersing in the drama until we become mature and centered in it?  Years ago, after TBB & I were billed as The Drama Queens I wrote a little prospectus for a group Drama Queens In Recovery, where the first criteria for entrance is if you could let someone else have the punch line.   The notion that you don’t have to fill all the space with your drama, but rather know when to step into the spot and when to leave, well, that’s maturing, don’t you think?

I know that I am drama deficient in my life.  Having never been the ingenue, or even the hot and wacky best friend means that even the role of the mother/crone is a bit lost for me, because those base notes aren’t easy for me to hit, so the chords have challenges.

I suppose that’s one reason I found Lezlie, to help me trust my drama rather than eat it, to let it lift me rather than to have to eat it.  I know my power isn’t in running from drama, it is in embracing it.

But I tell you, that drama isn’t something that’s easy to work through in my real life, at this advanced stage.

I need drama, just smart & funny drama, with a smart & funny audience.  But until then, I just watch videos of L-Word alone, with headphones.

Half Brain

So, on House this week he figured out that a piano savant had a right hemisphere that was seizing all the time, and while that hemisphere allowed him to play, it also meant that the left half of the brain was spending an enormous amount of processing dealing with the broken right half.  House removed the bad right half, and life moved on.

Of course, this is how stigma works, too.   As long as you are consumed with processing the stigma, you don’t have the capacity to move on.  You are always waiting for the third gotcha, always remembering to keep your head down.

Do I often feel like I have only half a brain, only the inner part, with the social part sezing all the time?   Oh, yeah.  Inhibition doesn’t just affect the parts of the brain that are inhibited, they affect the whole brain that becomes consumed with managing the seizures.

I once told a staffer that I often was confused.  She didn’t believe me, because I was so smart.  That was, until she worked for me for a while, and saw where it all just seized up.

The price of being smothered in stigma is big, across the entire being. 

Trust me on this one.

Our Story

Miz Ruby wants me to understand that I am not alone, that I need to trust my connection to others, and their connection to me.  I have trouble finding people who engage my story, rather than seeing it as some reflection of their own story.

You seem to want people — everybody, or just one person if everybody doesn’t work — to understand you and give you what you need. That’s a romantic notion most of the rest of us gave up long ago.   

You have trouble seeing [your story] as our story.
People only relate to things they can relate to. At least give them credit for looking for common threads. What you see as egocentric behavior in others I see as an attempt to understand, to find a touchstone, a Shibboleth. 

Yeah.  Exactly the challenge, exactly the difference between what I see as queer, the approach to others meaning as a mirror, and normative, the approach to others meaning as a projection.   People who look at the stories of others to see something they already understand, something they already know, something that matches their own current beliefs, a shibboleth of group identity that overides indvidual uniqueness.

I guess if your primary experience of yourself in the world is to be the same as the group, with certain unique touches, this makes sense.  If your experience of the world is being an indvidual, with a core of common humanity that connects you with others, well, that’s a different kind of approach.

Would it surprise you if I told you that my graduating class as class indvidualist, or at least the male class individualist?    My experience of being separate doesn’t start with trans, it starts much, much earlier, back through facing down a class voting against me in fifth grade, in reporting a bus driver’s breaking the rules when I was three, back to a very early time.

Maybe if an off-the-rack identity fits with just a bit of tailoring, your experience of the world is different than if you have to create an identity out of whole cloth, which is the queer experience.  Maybe that’s true; not having that off-the-rack experience, I wouldn’t know.

I do understand that I have no choice but to give my story to the world, and let them do whatever they want with it.   No matter how hard I work to be more clear and more explicit, the limits of the analogies & experience of others are the limits of their understanding.   Giving my story to others means I feel erased and reduced, which is a touchstone experience of my life, me knowing I wasn’t a boy, and them telling me I was, me telling my child truths and having them erased.  

There are many who feel confident and empowered in their own story & the art that comes from that story, and who gladly share it, willing people to do what they wish with it.  They have some kind of confident center where their story is shared, understood and valued, and that center lets them share.  They believe that they are just sharing pieces of themselves, and the deeper bits aren’t being erased, rather they are just being held in the center.

That isn’t my experience of the world, though it would be lovely if it was.  That safe & warm center escapes me, and that means everything is on my skin, raw and immensely tender.  Without a thick hide exuded from confidence I end up hiding, and that hiding requires rejection of what I feel I am too tender to handle.   Is heaven other people, or is hell other people?  I know that I can only get what I need from other people, but I also know that other people are the cause of my pain, and that paradox leaves me unable to just process enough chaff to find the grain that will nourish me.

TBB is still always surprised when I remember stories from when we were together a decade or more ago that she has completely forgotten.  Those are gone now for her, sloughed off through life, and that gives her the ability to meet people fresh. 

“The nice thing about having to be the host and assuage fears of others,” she tells me, “is that you only have to do it once.  They remember your warm and open manner, and that counts.”  Lovely for her, and I know it is true, but for me, the one who seems to have the x-ray vision, well, my experience is that people aren’t always so comfortable.

The obligation to be product, something that people can pick up and understand, with a touchstone or shibboleth that allows me to be easily positioned in their existing worldview, well, yes, that is the challenge for me, on two levels.    The first clallenge is one of simplifying, because marketing is essentially the act of oversimplification — Lezlie doubts that I will ever seem simple & easy to others, even if I am appealing — and the second is challenge is that of getting over my own damn self, so I can just get out there and do it.

A few have noted that until I can get somewhere where I don’t have to spend so much energy hiding & concealing I won’t find peace.   It’s like having a nice manicure; if you just get to work on that over time, it becomes easy and integrated, but if you have to have a nice manicure tonight, no manicure tomorrow, and a nice manicure the next night, well, the manicure just isn’t going to happen.   A slapdash coat of nail varnish just stops being enough, so you let it go.

In the long run, it is our story, and I know that.  Whatever I don’t do in real life, I keep writing, and for the last year or so, write in a place where people can read it for their own reasons, searching for insight or looking for touchstones.

But it is also my story, and it may well be the last thing I have my personal pride in, the last thing I invest with value.  From the moment we are born, our flesh starts to die and our story starts to grow, and when we are gone from this world, our story is the only thing we will leave.

My story, our story, story.  Such a romantic notion that someday, if you see & hear & understand yourself enough, someone else will see & hear & understand you. 

But is there any other romantic notion worth fighting so hard for?


I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

(How many times do you have to do these affirmations until they work?)

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

Power Failure

Miz Ruby suggests that I got her view of me a bit wrong yesterday.  Sure, she thinks I’m shell shocked, but that isn’t her big question.

Why don’t I take my own power in the world?

That’s what she doesn’t understand.  She survived a very tough childhood, but emerged to take her power, eventually getting settled with a good relationship with a partner, a good relationship with herself.

Why don’t I take my own power in the world?

It’s a good question, a key question.  In fact, I believe that this blog, in fact all my writing, is about that key question, the dis-empowerment.

I suspect that I am too close to the question to see the answer, that to me it is still a forest/trees issue.  I suspect that there are many answers, all with a bit of truth, and when coming from me, many with a bit of rationalization.

If I had to give an answer today, though, it would be this: being half empowered and half circumspect leaves me less than empowered.

I learned early that I could not trust my heart, because my heart lead me to feminine things, to the choices of a woman, and those choices were heavily policed.  I had to learn to hide that part of me, to police my own heart, to disempower myself around those choices.

And rather than that changing when I left my family, that it was only my family who abused me out of trusting my own heart, my own power, society was more than happy to pitch in.  My landlords decided to evict me just after he saw me in my womanclothes, my sister can’t affirm me in just walking around the block, the stories of transpeople tend to be of internal fights and back biting, the whole thing is just about enough fear to keep my heart, my power, pierced and down for the count.

A key difference in trans is that the disempowerment is still there.  Even Dr. Phil doesn’t choose to empower trans behavior; the self-help and treatment industries haven’t really been out there saying that trans is something to be proud of, and that the problem is people who stigmatize it.  No, it is still seen as a problem to be medicalized, a claim to be challenged, fought and questioned at every step of the way, a truth to be denied, resisted and marginalized at every possibility.

I need to be empowered, but I need to use fear to control at the same time, and that dichotomy leaves me with an empowerment in my writing and disempowerment in the world.  This is a problem; a few nights ago, TBB noted that I was smart and potent — something that I have trouble really buying into, because how smart is it for a male to desire to appear as a woman? — and that if I couldn’t succeed in the world, it was a real setback for transgender people everywhere.

I have worked for empowerment in this break, avoiding therapists who want to ask questions I have already processed to a fare-thee-well, and newage helpers who are sure that their solution will work for anyone.  I found a performance coach — Lezlie — and asked her to help me feel more empowered, to help me “keep my center”  There was some of that, and I really did feel it more, but it was very little and the challenges of how hard it was to communicate to her were frustrating.

Why don’t I take my own power in the world? 

It’s an excellent question, a key question, maybe the only question.   Why can’t I follow the lessons I have written so clearly about for the last decade or more?  Why do I seem stuck in this place of transition, of adolescence, of liminality, rather than claiming mature power?  Why do I seem to be so wounded and so little healer for myself?

Right now, I’m just too stupid and too afraid to have an answer that works to erase the disempowerment and the fear.  

But answers?  Well, plenty of those.

Dismantling Callan

It is time, time to pull off the clothes, to pick up the bits and pieces that lie on the surfaces, to fill the plastic crates and stack them up, time to dismantle Callan once again.

As inwardly comfortable as I feel in my own clothes, it is hard to feel outwardly safe.  It isn’t easy, for example, to walk around the block in this subdivision wearing my boots and Old Navy denim skirt.

Miz Ruby has noted that I seem to take things that others would just slough off and let them stay on my skin.  Phil McGraw calls this “emotional sunburn,” and Lucinda Bassett has made a career of desensitizing people from what causes them anxiety.  The problem with being trans in the world is that it isn’t about getting over an event, it is about dealing with continuing assaults, and dealing with choices that treatment centers don’t want to engage.

I feel the jitters, and the jitters take me, and then I just hide.  That simple.  And if family can’t make you feel jittery, who can?  When I feel the pressure to be who they expect, having to negotiate their frailties, and then the pressure to claim myself as efficently and as quickly as possible, well, those pressure waves collide in my head, leaving me feeling like a well used futbol, beaten inside and out.

One of the hardest things to avoid is externalizing my pain, making it visible in the world in some way.  But as big as the pain is, the futility of trying to get people to engage it is clear to me, and what I don’t need is someone who just wants to silence & sedate me, stop me from “hurting myself” by being proactive and hurting me first.

And that ends in dismantling Callan, taking the mantles and putting them away, hiding them from view until someplace and sometime down the road.  I’m throwing stuff away, and the rule is simple: could I preach in this?  If not, well, not even any point in trying to save it.  If there is any seed of hope it is in practice, in my being in a place where I my gifts can be valued, and that is in my guru gift, the teacher/preacher parts my creator left in my heart.

If only it were easier to die, to take the parts of yourself and dismantle them so you can go back to being small and injured and appropriate.   It is one thing to put yourself on ice for a while, sacrificing with the knowledge that you will bloom again, but another to not feel affirmed and alive and have to go back to a box that has no image of ending, a cell where life is just sacrifice and denial.

I don’t know what comes next, other than court dates and challenges.   There doesn’t seem to be any clear path.

But the one thing I can do is trust the path, hard or easy, struggle or joy.

And that’s not easy.

Light In The Mud

The cops got me today, for seatbelt and then suspended liscence.  I’m willing to believe that settling this thing that has been hanging over me is for the best, but that’s still a hard swallow.

I talked with TBB, and she talked about the hole we try to bury ourselves in before we realize we either have to die there or to fly.

It’s possible to cover your light with mud, but that causes pain.  Pain is always a message that something is wrong, that healing is required.

I have learned to cover myself with mud to keep others comfortable.  But it doesn’t really help the world, and for me, it is a life of pain. 

Living in that hole has been interesting, because I get to document it, get to understand it well.  But it hurts. 

TBB, well, she trusts that my light is beautiful.  She saw it the first time we met, when we were on stage together six hours later, and she still calls on it when she needs help in contextualizing or believing.  She wants me to know that before I go away, I need to see her, and she will help make that happen if required.

It’s court and lawyers and all, all to happen.  It’s light and mud, but how much shining and where, well that’s hard.  It’s parents who don’t want to lose, but who do want me to be happy.  It’s possibilities and pain.

Mud and muck, life and light. 

Some times I am afraid my light is just too much, that it’s just stupid to show it. 

Some times I believe that my mother in the sky has me on a path of unfolding, and I just need to trust it.

Some times, I’m just tired.

Ain’t I A Woman?

So, where has all this chatter been going?

To me, it comes down to one thing: this is a heterosexist world, and there isn’t much room for people outside the binary.  You can bend and expand inside the categories, but you gotta make a choice.

And that means you are either a man(in-a-dress), or a woman(of-trans-experience).

Choices must be made.  And the truth is that I have made that choice.   I can’t pass as a man except for simple observation of my body.  It has always been work for me to try and fit as a man, a difficult performance.  This is a key reason why I have stayed invisible as a man, keeping my head down & keeping away from relationships and group dynamics.   In this week’s collumn, Dan Savage notes that most people have no idea what to do, so they cruise in packs, groups of girls, bundles of boys, trying to find something.  When you aren’t one of those, it’s easy to fall out of the system.

The only question is if I can keep the faith on that question in the world.  How much do I let people’s fundamentalist assumptions put me in hiding, in shame, in the shadows?    How much do I stay gracious, appropriate and dead, and how much do I stay bold, present and alive?

To keep my center is to keep my power, standing proud in my truth rather than cowering in the fears & expectations of others.  And for a femme, a femme shaman, whose maternal instinct sweeps her into the feelings & thoughts of others, who searches for a kind of peace, well, that’s hard magic.

I’ll tell you a secret.  When I take off my high-heeled boots, even after twelve hours, I feel the urge to jump in the air a bit, because I feel too short, too diminished.  Those heels are a part of me, as many women understand.

It is wearing to stay an adolescent for so long.   I watch the young femmes, and I know the terrain of their struggle intimately, because I don’t have the relationships that can move me into the next step of maturity, of partnering & building a life, of mothering & building a future.

There is no doubt in my mind that appearing as a man is the bigger lie, even if that appearance makes others comfortable because it plays into their assumptions that males and females are somehow different, and not just all part of a continuous common humanity.   My truth is much, much more on the side of woman, and always has been, even with the expectations dumped onto me.

I remember a correspondent thinking that with my size, I could never pass.  I can’t say that I pass as a woman born female; every tranny has a “passing distance,” from within which their biology or history comes visible. 

What I can say is that when most people see me, man-in-a-dress is not the first thing that they think.   The kids offering the marketing surveys in the mall say “Ma’am, may I ask you some questions?” and cashiers reffer to me as she.  There are a hundred things that code who we are, from outfit to makeup to the way we move, to the look in our eyes, and thay all come from attitude & training, not from some simple biological test.

I have been a tranny every day of my life.  There is no doubt about that whatsoever.  The only question is what is more honorable, more ethical, being explicit about my chromosomes or being explicit about my heart.

I know what TBB says, that the world needs me, that it needs me claiming my heart & my happiness so I have much to give.   “Your success is a gift to the world,” my phone reminds me when it powers up.   I understand that I can walk in the world as a transwoman with success. 

I know who I am.  

And I know what people are trying to silence and erase, to stay comfortable.

Ain’t I A Woman?

Ain’t I?

Smallbany Putz

Capital Region’s Premier Tranny Escort

Specializing in Senusual and Erotic Pampering.  All Natuural 38B-28-36 Curves.  Outcalls Only from $150.  Completely unrushed.  1st Timer’s Welcome. 

Metroland, March 1, 2007

Yup, that’s right.  The Capital District is so closeted that the “Premier Tranny Escort” has a unlisted number, one not included in their classified ad. 

A bunch of crossdressers went to a local lounge Friday, and there was an altrication.  The DJ was uncomfortable, and was mouthing off to other patrons about the trannys.

The report I heard was that he was “macho” and couldn’t handle the crossdressers “feminine pulchritude.”  Now, I’m willing to accept that phrase as an attempt at wit, an ironic euphamism, but even then, it still makes my flesh crawl.  Guys in dresses claiming “feminine pulchritude,” well, creepy.

The owner, standing up for treating everyone well,  got into it with the DJ, and she ended up canceling his gigs there.  He packed up and left that night.

Sounds like a happy ending, right?  But today there was an urgent message.  It seems people have been calling the authorities on the bar all week, ramping up the complaints.

So, for the foreseeable future, trannies are not welcome at the bar.   Too much trouble there, caused by men-in-dresses exhibiting “feminine pulchritude” and, apparently, a pissed-off DJ. 

It’s Smallbany, where even the tranny escorts have unlisted numbers.



The hardest thing for me is to be the football.  (And, by football, I mean in the Eurpoean sense as a round soccer ball which keeps getting kicked or headed, not in the American sense as an ovoid gridiron ball which flies and gets caught.)

It’s when I get kicked from obligation role to cramming in personal role that I just get crazy.  I get frustrated and raging, and then I tend to screw things up which makes it worse.  Bouncing back and forth makes me bounce more, and that push/pull bing/bang just gets me lost, lost I tell you.

Once that spiral starts, well, getting out of it is almost impossible.  Success is lost, as servant or as claimaint.   I can’t just settle down and get something done, rather I tighten up and become inflammed, and calming down is almost beyond me.

This is why I don’t try to navigate between servant and claimant when my parents are around.  Both roles are tolerable, dead or attempting to claim life, but living between them is intolerable, at least for me.  I feel the kicks to my head, feel it throbbing and guttering, feel myself as lost as if I had eaten a chain saw.

I don’t know how to negotiate the peace, the smooth transition between, the easy sameness.  I feel pulled apart and squeezed together, kicked away and dribbled between, and it’s just explosive and nasty in my experience.

That nasty churning rips me apart, leaving me battered and bloodied in a way that feels unfixable, even if no one has the intent to do that, only to get what they need.  My mother once offered to call me Callan, but when I thought about having that secret name used when I had to be her expectation, it just felt like a grenade in my head.

Of course, this is explicitly difficult today, for this is the week when I have to find a way to create a nice little easy switch between, so I can pop somewhere, do something, and come seamlessly back to serve.   Instead, I’m thinking “Shouldn’t I paint my nails?” something that is impossible to keep nice if you are always bouncing between.

It is my guy facade that is disempowered properly, surrogate spoused from an early age.  That part of me knows how to crumple and hide, how to not have needs and how to serve expectations. 

Empowered femme, well, when she is in play the game is different.  That’s why we only let me write and dream, not dance though the world with resounding bells following me.   Being “powerful in battle” is a strong space.

I know what I fear.  I fear looking stupid.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.   And I know who reminds me how stupid I am, how stupid I look, how stupid my choices are.

And I know that I have to keep that stupid tape in my head to protect myself around my parents, expecially my mother who got the gift of stupid from her mother, and passed it on to me and my sister.  My father, well, he knows that he can’t get his ideas across to others with his limited empathy, and the only defense he knows is to assume that people who don’t understand him are stupid.

When one tries to place complexity into a comforting binary, it’s the middle that gets ripped and torn, and I am the middle.  That rent leaves me feeling stupid, and feeling stupid leaves me feeling worthless.

I get kicked from pillar to post having to travel no-man’s/no-woman’s land, and my head explodes, as if it was being used as a football.

Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.