Raw Life

I just woke from a dream of a different gender conference, held in a combination of a mansion and a mall, where a group of smart people got together to talk and indulge, in a way that was anarchic and hedonistic.

People were flowing, tables were full of offered food, and the conversation went on forever.

I have been spending the last few weeks writing about my experience at SCC, but staying in my head, avoiding the sappy.

For me, the division in the trans communities is always between those who are out for a breather and those who are committed to pure transformation, as I said in 1995. It’s the people who use SCC as a relief valve who make me uncomfortable, reminding me of Amy Bloom’s criticism of crossdressers in Normal.

This dawn, though, I see these crossdressers whose face doesn’t match their costume as victims of the myth Clarisssa Pinkola Estes explores in The Red Shoes: On Torment And The Recovery Of Soul Life, people whose handmade love for life has been denied and damaged, and they have tried to replace it with the commerical.

If transgender isn’t about claiming our Eros, our lust for life & beauty & vitality, then what the hell is it about? Maybe that’s what Ms. Rachelle’s parents understood, that the quest for happiness is as important as Joseph Campbell said it is, although he called it following your bliss.

TBB said something to me as we drove across the causeway back from her interstitial island to the main land. “Often, people hate you because you are right. You speak the truth.”

How can people who spend their lives denying their bliss engage those who immerse in it? Don’t we have to be destroyed?

And so, I have been trying to write about something powerful, anarchic and hedonistic in a tasteful, appropriate way. Gwyneth tried to tell me what she has learned that whatever the cost, following your bliss is always better than denying it.

But my experience wasn’t about this or that, it was about how my life got easier when I was centered in my bliss, safe in my center, and not working to be off center to comfort people.

Holly took the time to answer the question I asked TBB, her and Renee Chevalier (who was there at my first tranny outing in the 80s), at my first SCC, the question about how we power shift as transpeople. She says that our power comes from our exposure and our openness, because that is how we connect with and move other people, and that requires not just focus but also vulnerability.

I talked about this in 1994, the challenge to create a safe space, and I came down to carrying one inside, a space where your soul life, your eros, your bliss is recovered from its fight with the commercial & approved, a space where the handmade is valued.

Of course, the problem is still that other group, the ones denying their bliss, who don’t want the gift brought back from the hero’s journey, the gift of transformation & staying the same in naked contact with the godhead inside.

But this was my dream, just now, the dream that somehow, I could be loud, proud and blissful without having to filter it all through my head to not rile the natives.

I want to be indulgent, indulging that sappy girl who believes in happiness and likes affirmations, indulging that powerful woman who becomes whole when she speaks proudly of how her experience with spirit lead her to value our “continuous common humanity.”

Want it? Hell, I need it, I crave it in the pit of my belly, I am it, as the big full moon who is my mother in the sky reminds me as she bloomed brightly last night just outside the glass doors.

Sloppy, potent, open and powerfully engaged in humanity, drawing those who are attracted to your light and giving them the tacit permission to find their light and shine too. Isn’t that what being big is all about?

Follow your bliss girl, and once you have gone back and found your center under the commercial, trust that potent Eros, the love that your mother placed in your heart before you were born into this world.

This world is meant for you
my daughter
even if people have tried
to convince you that you were just
too intense
too smart
too bright
too strong
too queer
to be a vital part of it.

This world is meant for you
my daughter
even if you have lost
your connection to
the song I put in your heart
and taught you to sing.

This world is meant for you
my daughter
even if fear once blocked
your expression
of the essence you have known
since you were very small.

This world is meant for you
my daughter.

Revel in it!