One Thing To Say

Reply to a list post:

What’s my one message about trans that I would like to get out?


Every time you see someone express transgender, they are expressing something they know to be true about themselves in the best way they know how to do it.

No matter how dramatic or cartoony or contradictory or ambiguous or factually false someone’s trans expression may seem to you, no matter how that expression is laced with shame, self-loathing, and defensive rationalizations, it is an expression that comes from deep inside of them. And only by being affirmed in that expression can they find deeper meanings, become more mature in their self knowledge & expression. If they feel repressed, they will remain clouded and confused in their understanding and their choices.

Every time you see someone express transgender, they are expressing something they know to be true about themselves in the best way they know how to do it.

That’s the one thing I want people to know.

Idealistic Separation

It occurs to me that one of the differences between those who are idealistic — and I mean that in anyway, from young and liberal to old and conservative — and those who are pragmatic is that those who are idealistic think that there is a difference between us and them.

I got this when I talked about the statistics that say transpeople are not being murdered at at any obscenely high rate.  The response was “Well, someone must know better, or they wouldn’t have said it.”  The interlocking communities around trans, though, are so small that I know who said it, and I know when they backed off of it, and I know the best experts and have talked about this with them.

They, to the idealists, are the ones who stand between us and the goal, the ones who have to change or be removed before we can get there.  The Obama folks think it’s the old guard in Washington, the Neocons think it’s the depraved liberals, the Christian right think it’s humanist sinners, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Walt Kelly, creator of Pogo, offered the motto of the pragmatists:  “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”  The motto of the pragmatists is that the only solution is for people to take personal responsibility for solving problems, not just demanding that others change.

I saw this idealistic attitude at Southern Comfort Conference.  I was rooming with the founder, and knew that the creation of this valuable institution came from individuals taking personal responsibility for creating a forum.  When I heard young, angry trannys use that forum to explain why they hadn’t done enough in their racist, sexist and classist degradation to really help, I got angry.   Yes, there should be more people of color, more transmen, more diversity, but that was happening — these people got a forum, right? — and can only happen more when people stand up to make it happen.

It may feel great to stand up in a mass and say that “they are the problem and they need to change!” but in the end, chants don’t make change, solutions do.  And solutions are always hard and compromised.  Solutions are always from people taking personal responsibility for change, not from crowds demanding change.

I believe that there is no them, that there is only us.  Just humans trying to do the best we can in situations.

I guess that makes me a pragmatist, even if I do have ideals.

And I know it makes me less than fulfilling to those who just want to demand others change their “ist” ways until things get better.

Mysterious Depth

I could have packed the car myself, all neat and nice, but what good would that have done?

In the end, my father has to unpack the car and pack it again, so he is the one who has to understand it. Just like my sister’s basement, packed for the b-dry folks to come in and put some drainage under the slab, has to be the way she understands it.

The limits of their understanding are the limits of what I can do that will be of any value to them.

This truth is frustrating to me. I am boxed in by their expectations. I go to put a wire in a suitcase zipper, take a tag off a shoe, stow a Christmas tree and I have instant reviews of my attempt, the expectation of how my attempt will fail. They don’t understand my process and yet want to control it.

I spent the night they departed in the front lounge of a elegant old club, sitting with four enlightened straight guys and a tantric yoga instructor. They guys were cool with me, except the young Indian guy who was freaked. So it goes.

The guys were talking about passion and the challenges they had to find partners who could share their passion. The instructor said she gets 80% men and only about 20% of women in her sessions, attributing this to the pressure women are under in this society to not engage their passion, but rather to be one of the gang. Passion in men gets women hot, why they love musicians & cooks, but when focused on them, it can freak them out.

(Incidentally, Bull Durham is on while I write this, one of my favourite movies, an essay on passion that I quoted from last week. I am Annie Savoy in many ways. Costner never understood how much more attractive he is when his character is seen through the eyes of a sexy woman, which killed Tin Cup, no matter how wonderful Rene Russo was.)

It was a bit odd to be the second woman in this space, but it worked fine.

TantraGal and I are lunching together on Monday. And I am using some techniques that I learned around those men.

My history is one of disclosure. God, look at this blog; huge quantities of words attempting to expose myself; my mind, my thoughts, my beliefs, my vision, my heart. It’s masterful and moving, but not every engaging — how can you find space for yourself in this ocean of words?

My future, though, has to be one of vulnerability. I need to be open to others, and that means leaving spaces for them in my life.  I need to allow myself to be acted upon, not just to act.

So, to this point I haven’t disclosed anything to TantraGal. I suspect that’s why she wants lunch; she wants to discover what she couldn’t ask in mixed company or on the phone.

I have avoided offering the boy stuff, which I understood to be a block in that group of men. They were there to be the men. I just had to be a woman, leaving space for me to be present that way, leaving space for them to be men, leaving space for TantraGal & I to connect as gals.

On the phone this morning, TantraGal was talking about the challenges of marketing in this area. On one hand, she wants to reach a broader range of clients, but on the other she is resisting being surfaced with pictures or videos.
I understood. The challenge of becoming product, of oversimplifying yourself to attract a wider audience, is something I struggle with, needing to do it and hating the very idea.

“You have to trust that your content will trump the form,” I told her. “Otherwise we are all screwed.”

“Yeah, I guess,” TantraGal said. “But as a Virgo I want control and perfection, and it is hard to let that go.”

We have much to teach each other, I think, but we will see.

I just need to trust in my own mysterious depths, in opening spaces for people to be connected with me.   That’s not easy if you don’t trust your own content, if, say, you don’t yet know yourself as a woman, but want to be treated as one.

Opening spaces for connection is the way others can enter my level of understanding, rather than me being frustrated by the limits of their understanding.

I need to trust that my content will trump the form, which is the only way I can be open enough to be vulnerable.

Which is the only way I can be open enough to feel the connection I need as a human.

On My Parents Departure South

A tablegrace:

Every day is a gift.

We are here, together today, sharing the edges of our lives.   We share our experiences, discoveries, joys and sadness, never knowing exactly what will come tomorrow.

Let us give thanks for the gift of that sharing as we give thanks for the gift of today; another day to breathe, to feel, to think, to experience, to live.   We take that connection into tomorrow as we take our history, informing and warming our future, but not blocking or limiting our experience of the new.

As we are here today with each other, we share blessings for our individual tommorrows, wherever they might take us.  Holding the love we share, we wake up and take another step, moving apart, but always connected, knowing that we will always come together again.

The blessings of a rich past and a deep caring offer a foundation to wake up to a new day of work & exploration, of excitement & exuberance, of joy & trepidation, of challenge & reward.  We travel forward, sure in our past and confident in our future, where the new and the essential mix to help us to learn and to grow.

We are here in loving communion, with the call of the future waiting for us.  May we leave here knowing that future holds special days to come,  gifts that we will share when we are together again.


It sounds scary

This is a challenging & provocative poetry piece on YouTube.

The desires all sound so reasonable & understandable when she says them, but when Will says them, they can disturb us.

I know they are disturbing because of the heinous comments, where anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism fuse in a particularly insidious way.  The level of discourse is that of teens trying to pack out at a mall food court.

It’s a heterosexist society, where we feel dividing people by birth sex isn’t just normal, it’s natural.  Why should we value the contents of their heart over the shape of their body?  Isn’t biology destiny?

Will asks if a non-normative body is destiny for him in any case.

To many it sounds scary, this crossing expectations.  Amazing how this plays out in gender land, with people breaking gender norms often lashing out at others who break the norms in ways that push buttons.

I suspect that what scares them is the contents of their own heart, the one that separates them from their homies at the mall.

Those hearts, after all, which drive our body and mind, are where our power is, the beating reminder of the magic of our creator.


“I put that dryer in by myself,”
my father tells me
somehow I am not worthy as a man
if I can’t rebuild his cobbled maze
now hidden behind cabinets.

“Good,” I want to say.
“Now shop for and make dinner every night for a week,”
knowing he would fail the task
he takes for granted from me.

The expectation that
if we can do what is hard for someone else to do
we should be able to do what is easy them to do
(or here, was easy for them to do)

that we should be able to
think like them
act like them
be like them
what they consider normative

is a weight that crushes
unique hearts
of boys
or those presumed to be boys.

It So Counts

“Hello you big beautiful hunk of woman!  Hello you gorgeous, wonderful, brilliant femme!  Hello!”

It was TBB on the phone as I walked through the supermarket

“Thanks,” I said.  “You are probably the only one who will call and wish me happy Valentines.  And you did it so bold and big!”

“Well, you deserve it. A crazy tranny called me this morning, exuberant about me.  I wasn’t expecting a Valentine, but I thought about it, and it counts.  It so counts,” she told me.

Yes, it does, even if I can’t melt too much in my uniform in the grocery.

My mother also got me a valentine and wrote two names on it, saying she loves me “whatever.”  It would have been nicer if she hadn’t needed to interrupt my work to give it to me, rushing to get her urine towels in, to move cars, scrape the sidewalk, after having to fix my sister’s new phone, falling on the ice, hard, shopping and all the rest.  But she is like an eight year old; she wants attention when she wants it, and waiting for someone to be open is work too hard.

TBB surprised me and made me smile, even if my body is bruised and I can’t really be pretty until next week.

But it counts.  It so counts.

Guy Thing

In a comment, I responded to one blog writer that they were making a very “guy argument.”

They want to know what I mean by that.

In my long history, the one thing I have always been unable to do is explain things to people whose minds aren’t open to those thing. My experience tells me that people born male clinging to guy-in-a-dress status often have trouble opening their minds to other points of view, especially a point of view that challenges the identity they are working so hard to maintain.

I do have kind of a rule of thumb I use when I read text on the internet to determine the gender status of someone when they wrote.

If they start with something along the lines of “You are wrong, and let me tell you why. . .” then I see a kind of masculine energy.

If they start with “You make good points, and I agree with you. It’s just that. . .” then I see a kind of feminine energy.  It’s that moment of saying “Yes, you are right on that,” that moment of opening and changing that I find so rare in purely masculine defenses.

I know this isn’t hard and fast, and that many women assigned female at birth come with the masculine energy. In my experience, though, women tend to reach for connection first, and then work to identify and resolve differences, while men try to express their own beliefs and demand others sign on to them.  Some men also listen and acknowledge, usually men who have worked to improve their skills in conflict resolution and consensus building.

In the case of this poster, I noted that they were slamming other trannys about grabbing off women’s space and writing bad poetry without any acknowledgment or compassion that they were just doing the best they can within the constraints of their individual tranny life.

I mean, bad poetry is standard, but it’s mostly just bad teenage poetry written by people who don’t yet understand their own experience, who haven’t yet found their own voice, but still want to speak of their desires.

I’ve been in these brawls, though, where someone offers this sense of how they experience masculine and feminine energy differently, and the masculine readers decide that the person is wrong and needs to be brought into line. I have seen lists where the voices I heard as feminine have disappeared, not wanting to fight the bullies I hear as masculine.

I know that women have their own ways of taking power, and they aren’t always nice or pretty. But they are women’s ways.

TBB believes that trannys who feel the need to bang on other trannies haven’t yet come to grips with their own weakness and vulnerabilities. It isn’t until you can accept yourself that you can be compassionate with others, accept and acknowledge our connections.

But I don’t know how to explain that to someone who doesn’t yet see it.


Maybe one of the differences between normies and queers is that the normie life is seen as an arc, a journey from birth to school to marriage to death, while a queer life is seen as a sequence of episodes; childhood, school; coming out, loss, retrenchment.  Queers twist and thwart conventional expectations as a matter of linguistics, as a matter of life.

In a normie life there aren’t any sharp turns that seem to be disjointed, breaks that seem to mark different lives joined together. When we hold a queer life up to normie expectations, there are just too many things that seem unexpected, with no ability to predict the future from the past.

One of the experts on trans sexuality came to us with a background in looking at those who had traumatic changes in their life; accident, injury, illness that left people profoundly changed. These were people who had to find a new normal out of the expected arc of their life, and that experience of transformation was jarring.

Your nice normie life turns queer when something unanticipated happens and you have to become new. If that’s true, it means that Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is always a tale of queerness, but then any journey where you have to slay the dragon with “thou shalt” on every scale to gain the gift of a lifetime, being who you are, well, how could that be anything but queer?

The difference between normative and queer is that queers leave the well trod path because they are called to, because of events or because of their heart. That makes sense.

Yet, when we do that, we often stop seeing our lives in context.

This is a big issue with transpeople, who, because their life has made a sudden veer off course, assume that there is no path beyond where they are now, that this is the alpha and omega, the point of whatever.

That’s not true, of course. Queer lives do have a path of growth and development, just one that can only be seen in hindsight, not in anticipation. They don’t follow convention, but they do follow truth, and the truth is that the human journey from birth to death has areas we all pass through.

The best part about these arx of queer lives is that when we see them we have grounds to affirm and to engage transformation.

When the only arc we have is the canned transsexual biography, for example, we expect that there is no way to move beyond the sorrow, the surgery, the cure. We cling to our syndrome.

But for me, the most powerful trans lives move far beyond that, creating new ways to express humanity, new catalysts to reveal and support deep connection, new incentives to take the hero’s journey in life.

I need other queers to affirm the arx of a queer life, so myself and others have the license to move beyond the normative we cling to and see our dramatic change in the context of the blessings of a long & empowered queer life.

Change is normal, even if it is not normative, and being committed to rounding the next curve, even if we cannot see beyond it, is the only way to become continuously new and better.

I need to celebrate the arx of queer lives, beyond the conventional, predictable and expected arcs of normative ones.

It’s the way I can celebrate my own possibilities.

Amber’s Koan

I always thought I had to choose between love and respect.

I chose respect.

With Wilson, I can have both.

Amber on House. 5 February, 2008

I have been saying since I was young that I would rather be loved than respected. It’s one reason that I have never easily accepted group identity, staying strong as an individual rather than working to be loved by the gang.

But the love, well, the love hasn’t been bountiful.

On Live With Regis And Kelly, this year’s bride endured painful burns on her face and body while saving her kids from an explosion in her mother’s house. She was quite covered up as she took her vows, even though the show got the best people to do her wig and makeup.

She reminded me of a local gal who had a nightgown light on fire as a child, and who now works in her family’s diner. Some radio jocks saw her and talked about the monster on their show, how that restaurant hires people like her. A few months ago she got a big settlement from those assholes after she took her day in court to show her face and tell her story.

The pastor on Regis wanted to talk about what a lesson the bride was to all of us.

I fumed.

This beautiful woman, now scarred for life, isn’t a lesson. She’s a human. This is not about you, this is about her, damnit, and she is not here for your learning.

I thought about what I would say about her.

I would say this is a human who deserves our love and our respect.

We need to have compassion for her, as we have compassion for any human who has gone through pain & trauma, who is living with the long-term effects of the challenges of a human life.

Of course, every human has some of that. We don’t wear it on our skin, as she does, but it is there none the less.

Compassion is love, a heart felt reaching out to another in pain.

We also need to have respect for her and for her moving beyond that pain & trauma to care for herself, to care for others, like her children and family.

Respect, though, isn’t just a gift to someone else. It is also a gift to ourselves, because once we choose to reallhy respect someone else, we have to open to them and accept what they have to offer.

If we just feel pity for someone we keep them at arms length. If we feel respect for them, though, we listen to their story, and we allow ourselves to be changed by it. Respect for others is a gift to ourselves, because what we value in others we value in ourselves, and what we value shapes our choices, making us more respectful and more respectable.

I recently posted about a letter to a local paper from a guy who wants to keep the right to castigate and despise queers, who feels that if society says they deserve respect that removes his right to free speech, speech that marginalizes and dehumanizes them. There’s no way he wants to have to be silenced in his moral judgments just because others respect queers.

When Amber talks about feeling the need to choose between love and respect, I get it. And as I say in “What You Need To Know About My Transgender” the most painful thing is not to be able to share my gifts and have them accepted.

In other words, the most painful thing for me is to not be respected.

After all, Amber and I know the truth; love without respect, without opening to the one you love in a way that can change you, ain’t really worth it.

I am a transformative person, ready to open and change when change is called for. I live on the bleeding edge where comfort in convention is rare but joy in revelation is common.

And that’s why I crave the respect that I give others, as I open to them so I can grow from their gifts.

And why making that choice often feels like it is a choice against love.

Banal Is The New Profound

Sometimes, watching TV, I am struck by how often people seem to think that the most powerful words in the world are clichés.

This seems to be the heart of the “beginner’s mind” school of enlightenment, where oversimplification is seen as wisdom.

What else would a culture raised on marketing in 10 second bites value than sound bites?

If you read Bart Eherman or any other Bible scholar, you know how important it is to identify “scrivener’s errors” by looking for differences in copies of ancient text.  Sometimes these are just transcription errors, like misspellings or skipped text, but sometimes they seem to be deliberate changes in the text.

When the scholars look at these differences, the rule of thumb is simple: the more complex text is more likely to be right.  Over time it’s simplification that creeps in to erase nuance, to mitigate challenging texts.

In other words, simplification is usually the problem, not the essence.

Oprah, well, she’s teaching the most important course ever.  It’s not CPR, no.  It’s Eckert Tolle explaining the power of now, the essence of oversimplification, the banality of beginner’s mind.

Of course, deconstruction is a key part of growth.  If you can’t get past reactionary knee-jerk assumptions, you can’t engage the new.

But new ain’t marketing oversimplified banalities.

New is complex, amazing and challenging.



We are our beliefs.

If you want to change the world, you have to believe that you can do it, have the pure hope that always underlies change.

If you want to stifle the world, you have to believe that you are right and others are wrong, having the entitlement to try to silence them.

The brilliant Gorgon Queen did a very, very smart thing and went back to the words of Harry Benjamin about the impossibility of a definitive differential diagnosis between TV and TS, of the variability and brokenness of trannys who have been beat by stigma.

The true transsexual crowd, well, even though their current pitch is to sell Harry Benjamin Syndrome as the proper and treatable way to change males into women, have to find a way to dismiss this challenge to their dogma, to their belief. It’s fun to watch them twist themselves into knots the same way any fundamentalist has to rationalize when contradictions in their own beliefs are revealed.

Personally, I don’t play that game anymore. I just got sick of that crowd trying to explain that unless I accepted their self-narrative I was being oppressive, but that they had no obligation to accept the narrative of anyone who challenged their belief structure. Especially those who pointed out dissonance and flaws in their belief structure. This just strikes me as a golden rule violation, and so I just treat them as they treat others, dismissing them.

As for me, I’m much more interested in the kinds of beliefs that can change my world than the kind of beliefs that try to enforce some kind of dogma.

Bad Balloon, Target!

On a list, we were talking about this

I said

I always prefer exposed and extreme enemies to those who claim to want to help but end up sabotaging from their own fears.

In this case, Buell parrots the standard claim: the goal of the “gay agenda” is to take away good people’s free speech right to damn others to hell. If society accepts these sick people, he posits, then society won’t tolerate zealotry against them, and spewing zealous moral indignation which leads to abuse and ostracism is a paramount right to those who see religious belief as entitlement to build walls between who they see as good and those they see as evil.

Of course, this is the same argument that works the same if you identify as Christian and see gays as evil, or if you identify as Muslim and see Americans as evil.

The big advantage is that these people are as visible as the balloons in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and they are great excuses to be able to speak our piece again, reminding the world of continuous common humanity.

Personally, I wouldn’t call this fellow a bigot. I would call him a hypocrite, seeing to deny free speech to others because he fears that their success at opening the hearts of people will make his speech seem radical and mean-spirited, and far from the compassion that Jesus preached.

It’s good, though, that he offered a great reason to speak up, to offer love. Better that than whispered fear that cannot be directly addressed.

May you and your supporters be bold and graceful in standing up to speak for integrity and diversity.


TBB was just The Bubbling Babe this morning. She was at dinner with two other transwomen last night, and the energy was flowing, which TBB could tell because the waitress was laughing at everything she said.

This morning the fun continued at the McDonald’s drive-thru (no, TBB isn’t actually pregnant, though she does seem quite fecund) and she wanted to talk about how good it feels to have the lines bubbling up through her, that effervescent joy around her in the world. The play brings enlightenment, the kind that cuts through everyday crap, revealing the bright light of spirit.

It’s a bunch of bits that come together for this. She has a daughter in her home, she is flying on metal wings (and very good at it, too), she has an audience of people who get the joke and are working to help her, and she has gotten her views into the world, or at least IFGE Tapestry.

She has something to say to the world, TBB does, and when she feels it flowing through her, it feels good. Key West reminded her that an earnest “I’m a real woman now” leads to being fearful, but a big “I’m here and I’m queer” opens up the fun and the joy of life.

One thing we share is the calling, the knowledge that we are here to serve, not in small ways, but in bringing the brilliance our mother in the sky gave us into the world, in helping others find and trust their own brilliance. We feel the voice coming from deep inside, and it’s only when we feel the need to stifle it for the comfort of others that it causes us pain.

“When I’m down in the mud, you are always there to remind me that my spirit is strong and will lift me again,” TBB said, “so I wanted to share with you how great it feels to be lifted a bit, shining a bit, bubbling a bit.”

It’s a lovely reminder, sharing not just our sorrows but also our joys.

Almost makes me believe that there is still joy out there for me, too.

New and Nifty

You can only meet people where they are.

When you are someplace else, that’s a challenge.

I suspect this note got thrown in the “too” pile, where I have been placed many times before.

May my correspondent continue the journey she is called to, step by step finding the power of her heart and sharing it with a world that needs our intense love.

Is there anything so powerful as when we are in that liminal space where relationships are new and every moment is another reason to tingle with the sweet tingle of discovery?

In today’s culture, it is that natural high that we have learned to co-opt as a a tool for marketing or an end in itself. We become trained to search for novelty, and then when the novelty wears off, we search again, going through products and relationships to try to make things new again.

Problem is, I think, that creation didn’t lead us to that feeling just for the sake of that feeling. I think it’s a kind of euphoria that was designed to help cushion the work of change. We meet someone, for example, and it feels so thrilling that we have the capacity to handle the learning and the compromises we need to be in that relationship, to find ways of building a new stability, a new possibility, a new way of life, IF we don’t think that feeling is an end in itself, if we aren’t just seeking the feeling of heartpoundingly new, change for change sake, but are looking for ways to deepen our experience and enrich our lives.

I am joyous that you have that exuberance and enervation to feel that energy which allows you to engage the possibility that you can live your life in relationship with your creator and not just as society says is conventional. You stand with creation and more is possible as you use that soul stirring energy to not just stir your soul but create a new and more honest relationship with the world around you.

That’s a great place to be. The Eros of Following Our Bliss, as Joseph Campbell said, is something that I wish I had used more powerfully, that rush of energy empowering me to break through the bounds of convention and claim my own expression.

May you use that enthusiasm and exuberance to continue to soften the blows of change as you become more powerfully you, co-creating your life with God.

I did find your video through your blog, as I found your contact address. I will continue to keep an eye on it, looking forward to you sharing your experiences how the stories and ideas of others moved through you.

Blessings to you.

Mardi Petit

Deep in the pit of my gut, there is a small but intense churning, a ragged sore, just there as a bit of desire to be denied, a dream to be dumped.

It’s a simple dream, but beyond me.

I want to put on my lashes and purple micro-glitter and go to the Arts Mardi Gras party tonight, go out and kick up my heels and laugh.

Wow, saying that out loud makes a real flare up, spreading discomfort below my navel.

But the truth is that the party prolly won’t be that good, not much creativity, few people looking for the thrill of moving out of their comfort zone to be smart and enervated.   I’ve done this for 30 years now, I know what to expect.

But that doesn’t stop me wanting a thrilling play date, feeling the churning and struggling to keep it contained and compartmentalized.



Patti, that matchmaker from Buffalo, was on Oprah, and said that you have to let men open the pickle jar, even if you can open the pickle jar. Men need to feel like men, was her point, even if you know better.

Oprah got all uppity about that, saying that the hard part for modern women is being competent and where you stop that, trying to make the argument for strong women.

I knew Patti missed the point when she made it. The issue isn’t that men need to feel like men for their own sake, but rather, if you want men to treat you like a woman, you have to treat them like a man. You ain’t treating them like men because they need it, you are doing it because you like the balance of relationship, and if you want him to lead when the two of you dance, you gotta be willing to follow.

Oprah had to announce that you teach people how to treat you, an old saw of hers.

True, but the issue is that people respond in relationship with you. Yeah, if you treat them like you are a potential employer, they will respond like a job seeker, even getting fed up. You treat them like a kid, they will see you as mom, if that’s good or bad.

I would say that the way you treat someone tells them how to treat you. If you flirt with them, treating them as if they are attractive, they will see you as attractive. If you grill them like you are cop, they will see you as a cop.

This isn’t about how men need to be treated, nor you teaching them something. It’s about them responding to the you that shows up, if that you is an incipient victim or a partner in fun, or whatever the hell you show up as.

There are limits to this, of course, because if a you they don’t like or understand shows up they will just fade off.

But damn, if you want a man in your life, not a co-worker or a servant, then you have to show up as a woman. You don’t want a man, well, show up as a businessperson or a powerfully independent person or whatever you want to be, but don’t whine if they relate to you as whatever you show up as.

Henpeck, fine, but then don’t complain he doesn’t feel empowered around you, or whatever else. If you want/need him to be strong, don’t treat him like he is weak. You get more of what you respond to, whatever that is.

Yeah, you know you can open the pickle jar, even if you ask him. But he can pick out his own tie, too, but you still want him to ask you your opinion, right?

If you want someone to play a special role in your life, then you have to give them what they need to play that role. It’s across the board; if you want them to be a mentor, then you better show up as a student, for example. Relationships are relationships, as ACIM reminds us.

But it’s not about giving men what they need. It’s about giving others what they need to be the person you need or want them to be.

It’s relational.