Lost Emotion

Writing about e-mail in the workplace in the New York Times, Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, says ominously, “New findings have uncovered a design flaw at the interface where the brain encounters a computer screen: there are no online channels for the multiple signals the brain uses to calibrate emotions.”

On the other hand, he says, face-to-face encounters are “information rich.” “This neural dance creates an instant rapport that arises from an enormous number of parallel information processors, all working instantaneously and out of our awareness.”

He goes on to say that the opportunity for misunderstanding increases exponentially when e-mail replaces face-to-face, or even phone, conversation. In e-mail, he says, jokes are perceived as less funny, neutral statements are perceived as more negative and positive statements as more neutral. When we send e-mail, Goleman says, “there’s little to nothing by way of emotional valence to pick up. E-mail lacks those channels for the implicit meta- messages that, in a conversation, provide its positive or negative spin.”

What a bummer for us social hermits.

Jo Page, “Reckonings” Metroland, 11 October 2007

I’m trying to put away the clothes that have been pulled out this week, and trying them on in the process.

When I put together some fun outfit, I squeal with delight.  It’s fun to create new looks, new expressions.

But there is no way to share them, no way to get feedback.  I can write about them, but that is flat.  And even a snapshot limits the communication.

Rachel is right.  It’s unfair and queasy-making to demand response to meta-messages from others.

But without those messages, and the response metas that reflect, how do we become more?

Tattoo

I know, I know, that gender expression is different than sexuality, but, well, not always.

I’m standing in my cute new sling-back peep-toe pumps and the calf length Jones Wear chiffon skirt, and I have the desire to have a tatoo on my ankle. Just a little one, just a sexy one.

Remember the line in Wedding Crashers about the girls with the tats at the base of their spine, and how they were guaranteed fun?

Yeah, kinda like that. I just want to be the girl, even if I know that’s impossible.

I know, however, that the vast majority of people who see me don’t know that I was never the girl.

My passing distance is very close, and unless they are looking for trannys, to them I look like a forty-something business woman who probably has college age kids, not someone who never was a girl.

This means that I may be in fear, but the gent still smiled and held the door for me at the mini-mart.

I just need to remember to smile back.

I also need to remember to express entitlement, and not shrink from confrontation.   You may not know this, but women can be aggressive when they are shopping, and women with power just push back, rather than moving to another aisle.  I don’t do that, yet.

I have been going to women’s rooms more this week. After using them I feel two things.

First I feel confident and assured in my own womanhood, centered in myself and not in the imposed fear I am “supposed” to feel.

But much more importantly, I feel like I don’t need to use the rest room anymore, and I can continue in the world without being crippled by a full bladder.

Yeah, being centered is better.

The Path To Queer

You don’t have to be trans to be queer.

You don’t have to be gay to be queer.

All you have to be is yourself in a world of people who are trying to fit in.

To be queer, you just have to honor the unique, the different, the powerful, the wild in yourself and in others.  You have to respect yourself as an individual, standing out & standing proud, rather than trying to fit nicely into the expectations of those around you.

One thing Helen Boyd & I have gone around on is if her position primarily the partner of a tranny, or if her position is primarily about her own individuality, her own uniqueness, her own queerness.  She finally seems to be coming to that position, and it’s good to see, even if the transition to ENDA support seems somewhat forced, although very topical.

As a transperson, I know that the cost of having a relationship with someone who hasn’t engaged and accepted their own queerness is just too high.   The price to me is the price of meeting their expectations about who I should be, about how I should fit in, about how I look to their friends.

For example, Jeanette would date straight identified guys, and when she was read as being born male, when her passing slipped a tiny bit, their internalized homophobia would kick in, and she would get blamed for it.   They knew they were dating someone male bodied, but they needed their rationalizations, their myths, and when those were torn, even a bit, their own training in staying normative, training in fear and loathing their own Eros, kicked in.

To desire me is to out yourself, and too often that means you think I have some obligation to keep your own facade in place, if even to yourself.  I don’t.  That expectation makes me responsible for your fears, fears only you have the power to control.   I have seen too many trannies twist themselves into pretzels trying to meet normative expectations, and then still be punished for the failure to quell the fears of others.

I may have a tiny PPP — potential partner pool — but the one thing that is required is that someone be post-therapy, with at least the commitment and the skills to engage their own assumptions, prejudices & fears, instead of pushing that work off onto others.  That’s required, otherwise you find me draining & intense.

I even know that people who identify as gender queer have big issues with this, because they have assumptions, prejudices & fears about people who appear too well assimilated, or even as Tommy had at SCC, about anyone raised as a man.  Oy.

You don’t have to be trans or gay to be queer, affirming individual expression in yourself and others.  In fact, many people who identify as trans or gay are determinedly not queer, ready to explain at the drop of a hat why others are sick, perverted or queer, and they are normative.

But that path to affirming the uniqueness and specialness in everyone, in supporting them in doing things that scare us, as long as they don’t hurt others without consent, well, that path to queer seems very, very important to me.

Heartened

It’s been six days of going out in the world, and to tell you the truth, I am disheartened.

On the promos for season four of Project Runway on Bravo, theres a gal who announces “I’m a woman. Of course I’m emotional.”

I too need that heartspace like I need air.

I have a theory that the reason there are so few femmes with blogs is that the act of blogging has to come from some intellectual space. Just the requirement to make sense in writing means you have to think. I got a call for submissions from a femme anthology, and the editor had to say in big letters NO FICTION! THIS IS NON-FICTION ONLY! I guess lots of us wanted to tell stories, felt we communicated best in stories, not in prose.

But after my week in the world, well not enough soft and safe for me. Life turns into just a drag, if you will pardon the pun.

My defenses are in my head, and so when I need to feel defended, it’s my head that comes into play. And when I do that, it’s just too easy to stiffen my spine and snap back into that space where I am not vulnerable, not open, not pretty.

It is the moments, like church on Sunday, where the emotional comes to the surface & I drop my defenses that I feel most alive & present. I know that’s hard for people to understand when they see my big brain surface; if I am so smart why should feeling be so important to me?

When that shared emotional component isn’t present then being invisible seems like a good option. I don’t need to keep up the same defenses, and I can live my private emotional life. Just me in jeans and polo shirt, out and easy.

The flip? Being invisible pretty well assures that shared emotional component will never be present. Catch-22 was my favourite book for years.

How do I be vulnerable enough to be open, and how do I be open enough to vulnerable? This challenge has been the biggest point of resistance to open trans expression in the past, that swell of defense that leaves me disconnected and disheartened.

Some would tell me that the trick, as it almost always is, is time. Let people and yourself wear in, develop relationships by having people get to know you, feel more confident and comfortable. It’s a great idea, but for me, a seemingly impossible one.

The challenge, it seems is how to stay heartened, to not get disheartened.

I was seeing a pastor who did counseling, and he asked me what situations I was happiest in.

I told him that they were the same as everyone else.

This surprised him.  He was sure that people all had different things that made them happy.

“Well, I am happy when I feel seen, understood and valued for my contributions,” I said.

He thought for a second, and then agreed; yes, those are the things that make everyone happy.

I feel heartened when I feel seen, understood and valued.

When I get discombobulated, like I did at the gas station yesterday, and I hear a voice telling me to slow down and relax, recognizing that voice as from the man who fixed my shoe at Perimeter Mall, calming me as I looked for the little pad lost in the Macon Wal-Mart, I am heartened.

When the older fellow in the van offers to help pump up my tyre, I am heartened.  When I fear that he will hurt me if he finds out I am trans, I am disheartned.

When Q Diamond loves my perfume, I am heartened.  When I have to go to earnest places with no-scent policies, I am disheartened.

When I go to United Presbyterian I am heartened.  When they don’t answer my e-mail I am disheartened.

When the democratic leadership in the house wants to take people like me out of ENDA, I am disheartened.  When Tammy Baldwin, NGLTF, Lambda Legal and a host of other organizations stand to fight for the inclusion of people like me I am heartened.

When I feel comfortable and confident in the world, I feel heartened.  When I feel the pressure of putting everything away and maintain the status quo to comfort my parents, I feel disheartened.

Being disheartened is the way I stay small in the world.

But being heartened is the way I walk in my own power.

Gotta trust that heart space to take you to the edge of possibility, the intensity of Eros, the potential of life, eh?

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.

Oy.

Contradictory

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.

But I Don’t Like It

“Everyone at work knows about me,”  TBB told me this morning.  “There are some lesbians I taught who work there, and they have explained it well.

“I guess that’s good, but I don’t like it.”

Yeah, well, who would the fuck grew up wanting to be a tranny?

Being a tranny means that your life can turn into an episode of The Jerry Springer Show in a heartbeat, a place where mocking and attacking trannies is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

You know, like that laughing bag boy tonight.

You can’t hide and make a good life.  Doesn’t give you the space to inflate the damn rear tyre before you go.  Wears you down just having to sneak out quick.

But being out, well, that has costs too.

Are You Ready?

Today I let go of an identity prop I have had for almost 40 years.

I was 15, on retreat at a monestary, and one morning I entered the chapel and chose not to put a host in the chalice for vespers. That meant I had decided not to take communion, and I haven’t done so since.

Until today, that is. Global Communion Day 2007.

I have been churches for years, feeling like Goldilocks. One is too cerebral, one is not cerebral enough, so finding the “just right” mix of thought and emotion is hard.

The other problem, though, is that while I may feel like Goldilocks, churches and their members often see me as the Big Bad Bear. A transwoman is a great tool for a church to explore the bounds of Christian compassion beyond fear. Heck, I’ve even had a Unitarian pastor refuse to shake my hand as I left her church, and later tell me in an e-mail that she found me scary.

I’ve been to GLBT inclusion events and been too challenging for pastors there. One saw someone he just had to speak to across the room just before the passing of the peace, when he would have had to shake my hand. Another was in a seminar saying that she wanted some nice queers in her church to hasten the work, but then pointed at me in my tasteful JC Penny suit, and said that I was just too queer.

I’m used to walking into churches and just sitting in the back of the room with the trannys. That’s a joke, of course; there are never any other trannys to sit with.

It was impossible to escape the welcome this morning at United Presbyterian in Troy, “Where People with Differences Unite in Christ.”

One older woman, who hadn’t quite cottoned onto my history, asked why I came.

“It was the big rainbow flag you have outside,” I half-joked, meaning the ads and website and other parts of their “More Light” campaign.

The woman looked bewildered.

Margaret, who knew, smiled. “We have had three of those ripped down,” she told me. “We just put up another one.” I didn’t bother to add that I knew many self-professed Christians who would tear me down, too.

It seemed clear to me that women have a big part in running the church, from the woman pastor, Alexandra S. Lusak, to the moms who made sure there are stuffed animals in the pews and coloring clipboards in front for the kids. The congregation looked diverse; I suspected a few of those kids had two mommies.

I knew that the first Sunday was when this congregation celebrated the Eucharist, I did. But I wasn’t expecting to participate. I just went because this was the first chance since March to easily go.

The pastor preached about the importance of communion, not just the sacrament between you and God, but also the sacrament between you and all the other people who are at the same symbolic table, sharing the same meal with you. She spoke of the love that binds those in communion, and finished by saying that the table was ready for the sharing of bread, wine and love.

“Are you ready?” was her final question.

OK, well, that resonated with me. I thought it was interesting that I had felt no need to deconstruct her sermon, even if the Christic imagery was a bit much, but understood she was using her mind to speak emotion, to call not to intellect but to heart.

I thought of the passage in Wally Lamb’s “She’s Come Undone” where a person with AIDS tells Delores about the janitor who always was icy to homosexuals, but then, started showing up every Sunday on their way to church, family in the car, with a coffee milkshake.

People can only give you what they can give you, he tells her. So don’t worry about the past, or the strings, or how their response isn’t perfect. Drink the milkshakes they offer. That’s the lesson.

It seemed time to drink their milkshake.

I waited until the end, watching how communion was done in this church at this time.

When I came up, the pastor greeted me by name with a big smile, and welcomed me again, as she had during the passing of the peace. I took the cube of bread, then dipped it into the earthenware chalice of wine.

I walked back, trying to get back to hiding, and popped the wine-soaked bread into my mouth.

There it was. 40 years of resistance gone, a willingness to be welcomed by this congregation, a willingness to trust in their love. I knew from my experience at SCC that I needed to let myself be vulnerable, and so when I told this story to the pastor, I could feel the tears well up again, as they had during the service. I did save my makeup, though, and didn’t bawl.

I received about 15 invitations to come back for coffee and cookies, and I did. Everyone was nice, and Margaret kept an eye on me.

It was a good experience, even if, as I was going back to my car, a woman told me it was the wrong time to play dress-up.

I had thought of going to the Empty Bowl fundraiser, but driving by the Italian Community Center, I saw a hundred people or so in line. Instead, I decided to drive to the Seven Straight Nights event in Glens Falls. It was a lovely October day in the foothills of Adirondacks, sitting on newly fallen red leaves.

Diane Root, an lesbian ECUSA pastor in the Vermont diocese — this diocese clamps down against supporting queers — gave her piece about how there are no asterisks in Jesus’ words, that he assures us that God knows you, God loves you and you are a beautiful child of God with no disclaimers. It was good to hear those words from someone who preaches in the church I was raised in.

So here I was, trusting this group enough to share their meal; the wine, bread and love that connects them and all other Christians around the world.

It was scary, it was good.

I let go of a classic identity prop that separated me, letting it go when I was comfortable I had also dropped lots of other defenses, and comfortable that I was being seen more as I know myself to be, revealing the song God put in my heart, the one she always knew was there.

One step, ready.

Now, next.

Eyeliner

TBB thinks I shouldn’t wear so much eyeliner.

“Eyeliner just closes up your eyes,” she tells me, quoting the Maybelline handbook for makeup beginners.

Me, I like MAC. Heck, if it would work, I’d wear porn-star makeup everyday, lips painted like wet labia and profound eyeliner.

But I don’t do that. Smudged Sketch, nice, mellow.

Not tonight, though. The Goth/Industrial party in town was doing Halloween, since they won’t meet again until November.

Neon Red hair, military jacket, plaid mini-kilt, black tights, stretch platform boots.

And eyeliner. Plenty of eyeliner, though, on the lower, applied only to the inside of the lid. I read a narrative of one of the people made up by Jamie Austin, and they described how the inside lids were lined, noting that was something done by professionals for special occasions, not everyday. “Duh,” I thought, “no way!” I’ve been doing inside lining since I had my first L’Oreal Ribbon Royale pencil in 1986.

I was trepidatious, but when the black fella said he loved the hair, I knew I was clear. I went in and sat and watched. There was the tall & thin gal in the short black fairy dress with wings — could be tranny I thought, and the large woman at the table. A few people I would want to talk to, but who can talk with that Industrial Mix banging away?

The worst part, I think, was forgetting what I looked like. No mirrors, and I forget what I should be working. I mean, I know I am big like a transwoman, but I carry it well.

I spent an hour and left. I think I enjoyed that part best, the young gal in the bar with the big smile, and crossing Lark, while the fella said “great outfit,” the woman purring “hot” as she looked at me with gleeful eyes. The Goths may have been too cool, but some found me hot, even if she wanted my boobs and/or my cock, one of which I don’t have and the other which I don’t use.

I love my eyeliner. Holly looked at YCR and commented on her false lashes, but I said that I couldn’t complain; I’d been wearing lashes all day. Her eyes opened in amazement and she looked close, finally seeing them. Poke straight eyelashes need the same help Oprah uses.

Even if TBB wants to blend in, being a well scrubbed transsexual holds little interest for me.

And tonight, even if I didn’t really connect, I went out painted and got some good feedback on my eyeliner.

Hot.

Being Girl

Dr J really believes anyone can be the girl in this world, as long as the audience is ready for it.

For her, this is a sensible view.  In her mid-30s, still looking fantastic, she knows that to be the girl she has to find people who are the right age, the right temprament.  Twenty-somethings don’t see her as a girl anymore, but fifty-somethings almost always do.   She’s far from the only woman who has to adjust to the changing view of how people see her, a change that reflects the changing of who she is; now older, more mature, less fertile, less subceptable.  She adjusts in the ways we all have to, polishing the performance and finding new audiences.

But for people who never were smiled at because they were pretty, or cute, or adorable, or darling, or precious, or sexy hot smoldering, or any of the other things people value in girls, it’s not a matter of shifting tactics a bit to reclaim that girlhood, it is a matter of starting from scratch.

Flipping channels, I saw a snippet on Disney Channel where a young teen girl flirts with a young teen boy safety monitor to get out of an offense, and as she turns on the charm, he blushes and stammers.  Trust me, I never once had that effect on anyone.  I never learned how to work it in the first place.

I know that women’s ways of taking power feel more “natural” to me, more in harmony with my own persona.  I know that I care about language in a way that feels feminine to me, the symbols of clothes & story, the nuance of tone & timbre, the flashing of eyes and the tensing of muscle as ways to communicate feelings that are not clinically explicit, but are messy, ambiguous and potent.

I know how to be the beast of burden, but I also know how to do the girl part, processing feelings and offering language.  Heck, one friend even suggests I have strained relationships with my sister because I challenge her view as dutiful daughter.

To feel empowered making the choices of girl, the choices you believe will make people smile at you because they see you as pretty, or cute, or adorable, or darling, or precious, or sexy hot smoldering, or any of the other things people value in girls, well, that’s a challenge, still.

But I know all those things are in here.

EZ Passing

If you want to pass invisibly in the world, it’s not hard.

Just look powerless.

Look like you live in a trailer park, like you are one of those bland masses of people.  You will go unnoticed in the world.

But if you look like you might have the power to move others — the power of bargaining, the power of convincing, the power of wealth, the power of force, the power of seduction, etc. — then people will notice you.

And when they notice you, they will examine you.  It’s that examination that makes it hard to simply pass, because the odds are your power comes from not where you are normative but from where you cross and connect worlds.  It’s that transfer that makes people sizzle & pop with power.

So yes, you can pass invisibly in the world.

But don’t you want to own your power, not deny it?

TransNatural Requiem

I guess it is no surprise, being immersed in a heterosexist culture like we are, that lots of people think that genital configuration is the key to everything, even people who should know better.

For “Women Born Transsexual” and their ilk, they just read this a bit different than most heterosexists; they believe that it’s current genital configuration that counts, not birth configuration, at least for those who have the health  & cash to get genital reconstruction.

SSS members, including The Prince, often have a different view, once penised always penised in their eyes, and saving the penis is a high calling.

This debate is often one of the most venomous in trans circles, with transsexuals calling those who haven’t had surgery “not real” and transvestites & drags calling those who have “deluded and phony.”

Me, well, I’m what I call “transnatural.”  No physical intervention, electrolysis, hormones, even silicone forms.

It’s not that I have ever been against body changes.  I think it’s great when people create their expression, including their bodies, to match who they know themselves to be, when they co-create with God to make art.

I’m not so thrilled about people who think changing their body will change everything, that somehow, it’s all about the genitals.  Too many transsexuals think that womanhood should come free with surgery, and it doesn’t. Owning your womanhood in this world is a hard fight that might be assisted by physical intervention, but doesn’t come instantly with it.

Let me tell you what I have learned from being transnatural.  The changes in view, attitude, desire, choices and more can come without hormones or surgery.  I know, because they have come for me.   People can see you as a woman without femaling your body, and femaling your body is no guarantee that you will be seen as a woman.

This, to me, and I think to a wider audience, is a vital and important lesson.  How did transpeople live in the days up until this century when castration was the only possible change that could be made?   How did they claim their own gender role in the tribe, the village, the community?  They did it by claiming their own truth.  Transvestism is about changing your clothes, transsexualism is about changing your body, and transgender is about changing your mind, as I said a decade ago.

It’s an important and valuable lesson, and I am very glad I own it.

But that said, let me say something else: If altering your body, femaling or maleing it makes you more comfortable in getting naked with another person, in opening up and creating intimacy, well, I think you should do it.

If the transsexual path helps you feel confident and empowered to pull the stick out of your own butt and dance, well, then go for it.

I am who I am and where I am.  I know that.  But I also know that I don’t feel safe flirting or getting naked with others, and I miss that.  I watch Candis Cayne on “Dirty Sexy Money,”  and wish I could get that naked while being that pretty.

Now, I also you don’t have to get all changed to get intimate.  LolaCola has been with her lesbian partner for many years, and whatever is or was between her legs doesn’t count.   Lots of us find connection without surgery, but maybe with other changes — hormones, electrolysis, whatever.

I do believe that the big change is between your ears, the role you create for yourself.  I do believe that the voodoo of placing the power on medical intervention, hormones & surgery, is a big problem, creating too big expectations for the externalized changes.  I’d like to see genital reconstruction have less emphasis by having fewer expectations placed on it by the Benjamin standards.

But I also believe that changing your body is your choice, your power, your pride.  And if you want to mold that expression in a way that allows more intimacy & exposure, well, more power to you.

Transnatural was a great proof, and valuable for me to do.  But my message to you is that you should learn the lessons it offers, lessons about claiming, and then move on to also claim your own crafted expression.

No use being a damn fool stick in the mud about it, in other words.

Politics

Gawd, I hate politics.

I used to be quite a hack, running towns in congressional campaigns, being out there, really trying to make change, lobbying and such.

But after sitting over a bad vegan dinner with the young activists from HRC (left early, no surprise), NGLTF, Lamba Legal (Go Cole!) and NCTE (ah, Mara) I came away with one sure and unshakable truth: I’m never going to be that young and idealistic again.

I liked Joe Solmonese’s professional speech to SCC.  I knew he had the issue.  I also knew that the people in that room weren’t paying for those pricey suits, and as a pragmatist, he was only going to do the best he could to balance his constituencies.  It’s the golden rule in politics; he who has the gold makes the rules.

I’ve seen ESPA sell out trannys on employment, and then pay lip service, telling us that we need to build our own constituencies, our own power base, which we should sign over to them.

Yeah.

To be a good gay or lesbian person you really have to hook up with other gays and lesbians.  You want to become part of a circle.

Transpeople, though, we want to claim ourselves.  We are the wiggly bits, the flex joints, and while we are important in any construction, you can’t build stability out of just connectors.

Some people want to know when trannys became part of the gay community.   I want to know when gays decided that they weren’t gender variant anymore.

Governing big groups, well, it requires firm and fixed rules.  Handling the exceptional, and trannys will pretty much always be the exceptional, well, that seems to be done best by exception.  That’s why I don’t think our future is in laws, it’s in making sure that every exceptional person, every queer, is respected and treated well.

But I have to admit being upset with the Democrats this week, who know that they can give those nice gays what they want (even without being able to keep it from being vetoed) if they just cut out the too queer, the trannys.  That’s not addressing a challenge from the radical right, since they think we are all too queer, rather it’s addressing an inside baseball challenge from the soft liberals who just get squicked.

I’m not surprised by this betrayal by those who claim to be friends and allies, who say they do this for our own good, so we take one step at a time towards the day when even those trannies can be assured employment rights.

But I am saddened by Donna Rose’s choice to step down from the HRC board.  I’m not part of her thin, blond, successful clique, but I do support their right to be assimilatingly cute, no matter how much Ousterhout that takes.   I want her and the pack to be successful, to do what they need to do.  I was pleased she formed an intersection between the interlocking trans-communities and the HRC gang.

But now, she says, she can’t stay, can’t be their bendy bit anymore.  It’s just too much of a stretch, too close to breaking point.

And I feel compassion for her, and pain for all of us, that one of the best of us for that role couldn’t even make it work.

Politics is the art of the possible, the essence of compromise, the playground of power.  And I hate it.

But it still is sad when good people get chewed up by it.