Philosophy Meetup

I punted the $33 workshop on Beyond “The Secret” last night, but went to the Philosophy Meetup tonight, where we all dismissed “The Secret” as selfish pap, opium for the masses.

There were 4 women, 2 men and me.

Somehow, we got talking about assumptions people make about us.

The smart gal, who is taking time before grad school and is teaching Existentialism at the local learning annex shared.

“Well, people often assume that because I am blonde, I don’t actually think,” she said.  “I was co-presenting and the woman who I had shared e-mails with said ‘Gosh, after your writing, I didn’t expect you to be blonde.”

I smiled.

“You might not believe this, but many times when people firstsee me, they expect me to be challenging,” I said.

She looked at me and laughed, along with other women at the table.



You can’t both be hiding and confident at the same time.

Hiding requires you to aways be circumspect,  on your toes, aware of ways you might slip up and reveal yourself.

Confidence requires you to be assured, relaxed, comfortable.

I know how to be confident.  I know how to hide.  I don’t know how to do them together.

The essential question about transgender expression is: Are we trying to lie about our body & history, or are we trying to tell the truth about who we know ourselves to be?

In a heterosexist culture, where compulsory gender is assigned by the shape of our genitals and not by the contents of our heart, standing for continuous common humanity often seems offensive.  After all, of everyone else has to follow the rules about what a man should be, what a woman should be, who are we to defy that enforced convention?

But, as others would say, who are we not to follow the call of our heart, especially a call that has been valued in many cultures, in many times, as a connective force across the barriers between people, between people and nature, between people and god?

It’s always that shift between hiding to keep others comfortable & unchallenged and being confident to be comfortable & potent in my own skin that gets me thumped.  I call it “negotiating fears,”  and embodies the primary duality of being both tame enough to be part of the community and wild enough to be true to my creation.

I hate having to hide to leave the house, hide to placate my parents, and then having to be confident enough to walk in the world with the authority of my own hard-won self knowledge, with the assurance of being in my own center.

Trust me, it’s very hard, very wearing, very draining, and very soul-destroying to always have to be off center, circumspect and defended in the way that enables hiding.

I believe that I am a better, more potent person when I come from my own truth.

I know that my power is in my powerlessness, letting go of manipulation & defenses and being vulnerable as a human.

And I also know that everytime I feel the need to creep, to dart, to hide, my heart feels pulled & weaker.