Susan Stanton

I get that Susan Stanton is a newly out transwoman, desperately seeking the assimilation into being a “normal woman” that she has dreamed of since she was a small child.

I get that Susan Stanton is working so hard to be normative that queerness still scares her, the queerness in the “gender community” and the queerness in her.

I get that Susan Stanton still believes she can be accepted as normative if she rejects queers and queerness.

I just know, from hearing way too many tranny narratives, that it’s not quite going to happen that way.  She’s never going to have a girlhood, never going to have a female body.  Never.

I’m really OK with her taking her path, with her finding out all this for herself.

What I’m not OK with is her thinking that she doesn’t have lessons to learn, including the lesson of compassion and understanding for other queers, others who feel the need to transgress the gender norms assigned to their birth sex to express who they really know themselves to be.

There are lots of broken and ugly trannys out there.  But most of them are broken from a lifetime of being crushed by stigma and twisted demands, unable to find a mature expression that fits them and is well accepted and embraced by society.

To say that we have to prove we can be normative for the mainstream, well, that’s a bar that’s impossible to achieve, even if that’s the bar she is working so hard to meet.

Ms. Stanton has her own path and her own progress.  But she should know that she is an adolescent again, and has a while to come to maturity as a gracious woman, a gracious trans woman who speaks for connection and not separation, a gracious and mature queer woman.

And until she finds that center, she shouldn’t assume there is any “us” for whom she can speak.

Armor Piercing

They were just three tranny gals sitting in a straight bar in Key West, enjoying drinks & company.

And across from them was a table of women, led by a queen bee who lead her pack by reading out the people around them.   “Her bag is fake, her boobs are fake” and so on.   Her witchy power was to raise herself up by putting down others.

And when she turned her laser judgment on the gals at that table, well, you know she had to read them out, too.  “Look at the hair on that one.   And this one definitely used to be a man.”

TBB was at that table, the only one of the three open and connected enough to hear her.

And TBB was worn down.  Four months of manual labor, working in a world of guys, well, it doesn’t leave a lot of place to have femininity affirmed. She was deflated and another leak was just too much to handle right then.

She said she would go back to the room, but her companions didn’t want to lose her.  After all, she’s TBB, the life of the party.

They wanted to know what brought her down.  She didn’t want to tell them.

They persisted, so she told them.

They were shocked.  Not shocked by the woman’s bitchy read, but shocked that TBB would internalize that, shocked that she would bring it inside the lucite egg that they thought they shared.

One of these gals, well, in her egg, she thinks she’s ready to be a straight gal, and wonders why straight men don’t accept & engage her as a straight woman.

The other, well, she had her straight relationship.  Now, she is getting ready to accept that no one will ever love her, never, never, never.

They known how things should be after transition and surgery, have clear images in their mind.  The first waits for that magic to happen, while the second has given up on magic.

And TBB?  Her magic has been blocked by an attempt to fit in, be normie, not make a fuss.   She didn’t feel she could muster the magic to heal from that armor piercing blow from the queen bitch.

There were struggles, but these gals were sisters and tomorrow was New Year’s Eve.  And TBB lead them to the queer side of town, where people were bright & respectful, letting themselves shine rather than throwing mud on others, as normies are often wont to do.

They were close to the stage in a drag bar, then came out to catch some camera when CNN covered the big drag queen dropping in the giant red shoe.

And in a straight bar, they met some queers from Austria, one of whom quite enjoyed kissing the New Year in TBB, quite enjoyed it indeed.

To TBB, the lesson of this story was in how that woman pierced her armor.

To me, the lesson of this story is in how TBB was brought so low by trying to be invisible to normies that she lost the power of her magic for a moment.  And her galpals, well, they haven’t yet figured out, as TBB has, that the only magic comes from within.  You gotta own it before you can own it,  gotta love yourself before anyone can love you.

I asked TBB what she thought I would have done if I was at the table.  She guessed that I might have read out the woman, gotten us out of there, or some other defense.

“Actually, no,” I said.  “I think I would have leaned over and French kissed you.  It would have gotten your mind off the slams, and would have reminded you that you are beautiful & powerful.”

“Well, it certainly would have gotten my mind off that bitch!”  TBB replied.

When people around you don’t support you in your magic, because they can’t really enter their own magic, well, that can wear you thin quite easily.  I have little doubt that her galpals wanted to be with her because they needed her spark and sparkle, wanted TBB to use her big, bright warmth to affirm their magic.

But while TBB was playing their game —  lucite egg and wishing to be normie, playing small so as be accepted by others — she was as vulnerable as they are, but without the shell they still carry.  TBB don’t do so well in a shell.

There is a reason I know TBB to be my sister.  We share much in common, both a bit big and both a bit powerful.   She keeps growing and will eventually understand why “used to be a man” means something different than “is a man.”

But when she feels those moments when her fabulousness gets thin, leaking out under the demands and expectations of others, those gender enforcers of the correct way to do “the imitation for which there is no original,”  well, those are moments I understand the pain of all too well.

May, in this new year, may we all be affirmed not in how we fail to meet norms, but in how we shine in our own special magic.

And let’s kiss a lot, too.