Fighting In Heels

Women fight.

Women fight for their families, women fight for right, women fight for their own status, women fight for change, women even fight for fun.

This is a world of struggle, and that means we all fight, no matter how pretty we look.

In fact, being pretty is often a weapon women use in fighting.

I went to my first trans conference in 1993 and at my first panel, “Are you TV, TG or TS?” I asked the question: “Men and women take power in different ways; for example men often puff up and women often connect with others.  That means gender shift is also power shift.  How have you shifted the way that you take power in the world?

The three panelists, a TS who was there when I first came out, a TG who I was close to for a decade, and a TV who turned out to be TBB, all answered the question.

Power shifing, in the end, hasn’t turned out to be at all simple.   Fighting requires trusting your footing, and trusting that the ground you walk on while you pass as transsexual is always a challenge; the third gotcha.

Like any shift, power shifting requires the three parts, construction, deconstruction and conscious reconstruction.  We have to remove our old shell, the one we built without thinking, and get naked, so we can again feel ourself without carapace, and then rebuild a new set of fighting tools that meet the new requirements.   This is so easy an area for transsexuals to fail, keeping the old defenses, which are usually offenses, tools that are more appropriate for a man than for a woman.   I saw too many transsexuals who became even more growly when they dressed as women for me to be sanguine about the efforts of such a surface change.

And, like everything about change, we never have to deal with just one thing.  For me, a family resistance to confrontation is something I always have to be aware of, especially as I am still so bloody connected with my mother, father and sister.  For different reasons, fighting is to be avoided in this family, and that is a challenge, not the least of which is because as a manager I long ago learned that people who will not fight with you also will not fight for you.

My fights are cerebral.   I fight for meaning, always searching for what lies beneath.

But fighting in the bigger world, with my head up?   Challenging.  I try to be gracious and not in-your-face, and that means too often I don’t stand up for myself.

That doesn’t mean, though, that I am not good at fighting.

We transpeople always go through a process choosing a name, trying to find something perfect.  And then we get surprised.   I chose Callan as gender neutral and pretty, and then I found out it that in celtic, it is the feminine for powerful in battle.  The diminutive semed to be Callie, but that is often taken as Cali, a name for the Hindu goddess of time and change.  Oy.

And my history has fighting in it, though with a sharp mind and sharp tongue.

Yesterday was hard.  A woman in a bug cut me off twice in a parking lot, and seemed to be happy she had won the race, even by being rude and dangerous.  A fellow in a convienece store wanted to rip me off.   And worse, the new front brakes on the Volvo were destroyed because the fellow who repaired them left a bad hose; $500 right there.  And there are other confrontations to make, fron a DOA hard drive to a huge mess.

I need to confront these challenges, need to get in and fight for what I need, for what I want, for what is right.   It is all well and good to detach, but to make change and make life, attachment is required.   And that attachment may even be to vulnerability and connection in the cause of change.

And, it would be most best if I can do that fight in heels.