Different

It now and then occurs to me that I tend to think differently than many other people.

In the past few days, I have been dealing with people who want to silence other trannys they don’t like, demanding that they disappear into jeans & a nice top normativity, who want to attack rather than heal when facing Fred Phelps, who want to dismiss  people as being mostly gay. It has been a frustrating time when I feel I can’t get my voice heard.

The beautiful Ms. Rachelle has suggested a reason:

Most of us project when we communicate.

We pretend to talk theoretically, or to talk just about another person, but really, it’s about our own choices and situation — primarily, I would say, our own choices, because we do not need to justify our own situation.

Part of your self-awareness — which may seem at times to you a curse, but which I strongly believe is a divine gift — is that you know, pretty much always, what you are saying.

My struggle, which I have called being “too hip for the room,” has always been the challenge of making a space to be understood in the worlds others live in.   My points of reference and context are so different that it’s hard for others to get them.

The brilliant Ms. Rachelle understands this problem of context:

One of the most amazing things happened once after the New Women’s Conference in Northern California.

We’d been up at a retreat center for a few days, much of it spent naked or in semi-nudity, in the hot tub or the pool, seeing only each other.  I’m sure the original idea of renting a place where there was no one else was to protect our privacy.

But the effect was to change the mirrors.

So after a long weekend we came off the mountain to a gay resort town where they were ending a lesbian weekend.  We went into a market, or a gift shop or something, with women of various ages shopping or whatever, and for some of us our first reaction was “They look wrong.  Too short, too small.”

What an amazing experience that was.

(I tried to explain that once to a non-tg person and the silly woman thought I was showing “reverse prejudice.”  I would say the prejudice was hers, insisting that her body type had to be the standard model, the “real” version, and she could not give up that privilege even for a moment.)

I keep trying to explain my vision, but without being able to expand the context, it is erased by the normative designs of other people’s projection of what is “real.”

The wise Ms. Rachelle even offers a solution:

Hello, Beautiful.

Beautiful in words, beautiful in being, beautiful in generosity, beautiful in wisdom.

And beautiful in face and body.

What people have trouble understanding is that TG has its own beauty, its own power.

This is so strong in your speech and yet as you say, it’s hard for you to hear it for yourself when you are telling it to someone else.

So please, hear it from me.

I have seen you in your elegance and style, and you are beautiful.

So yes, give yourself the gift of affirmation that you give others, but accept also this gift from me:

I give you the power to see your own beauty.

I give you a great magic power, the power to change the mirrors.

Such a gift, the gift to trust that my own beauty can make a difference.   As a friend reminds me:

I can’t trust the body I was given; is it really any wonder that it’s taken years for me to try to trust the heart?

Yet, I have found myself catching myself smiling in mirrors occasionally of late, and even I find it pretty sometimes.

It is, as the hot Ms Rachelle reminds me, the challenge of each of us to change the mirrors.

And that means, I suspect, trusting my voice, my presence and my mind are not only different, they are also beautiful.