One big fallacy inside the transgender community — heck, one big fallacy inside of American culture — is the notion that all we communicate is what we intend to communicate.

Isn’t the whole point of therapy learning to listen to ourselves to find that we are disconnected from inside of us?   Therapy presumes that wee need to know more than our conscious thoughts to understand our choices, our actions.  We need to know what we do not yet have voice or words for, need to know what drives us on other than conscious levels.  A therapist is someone who sees something in you that you cannot yet see in yourself, someone who helps with the revelation of you to you.

There is so much we don’t easily communicate to ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we don’t communicate that stuff to others.  We are always communicating, on so many levels.

Trans, of course, is an exercise in expression.  We need, need, need, need to communicate our self, our inner truth in the world.  If we didn’t need to explore expression, we wouldn’t be trans.  And if we didn’t need the feedback of others to affirm and reflect that expression, we would be able to stay in the closet forever.

Yet, it’s hard to be comfortable knowing that we are leaking our unconscious in every moment of our expression.  It’s hard to be comfortable knowing that others are catching a glimpse of what we are not yet comfortable seeing in ourselves.

For many transsexuals and crossdressers, their preferred solution is to silence those who see or reflect what they don’t want to be exposed in themselves.  For example, some transsexuals want to be cured, want to be nothing but women so much that they shoot at everyone who might offer a glimpse of them as someone with a crossing history, as someone with a queer story.   They demand that anyone who says anything that might reflect on them must have approval, demand that the only acceptable view of themselves is the view they themselves claim.

Any dissonance between the view they claim and the view others have may be called abuse; they want the way people experience them to be constrained to their own claims, even as they demand the right to characterize others who challenge them in any way they want.

To be actualized, at least to me, is to move past the fallacy that all we communicate is what we intend to communicate, to stop trying so hard to claim our own rationalized view of ourselves, and start trying to pay attention to what we are actually communicating, to accept the reflections of others, sorting out between the projections and the revelations, and use those reflections to discover more about who we are and what we are putting out.

This is important to me because I have identified a great area of loss over the past decades has been based on desperately trying to filter my communications rather than just trusting who I am.

My mother and father taught me early how to walk on eggshells, holding back and controlling.

Today I know that people who control and constrain are never seen as being as accessible and engaging as people who come from a deep and clear truth, people who are comfortable in their own skin.

In the end, projecting who you want to be is different than just being yourself.   If you are aware and conscious of your expressions, you can learn much, much more from revelation than from projection.

I understand why I walk on eggshells, why I still do.

But I also understand why it is just that control that holds me back, constraining and hurting me.

My mother took the injunction “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” way too literally.

If being happy will piss her off, make her act out to sabotage, does that mean I have no right to be happy?

I know, know, know that if I want to connect with other people, I have to be present for myself, have to move beyond the fallacy that in the long run, more control can get you anything other than more strain.

If I stop my truth from being present, how can I live my truth in the world?

4 thoughts on “Fallacy”

  1. The problem comes when you cannot trust yourself at all; when your trust circuits are busted and you’ve betrayed yourself so deeply that it might never be repaired.

    Then the question becomes — can you create a lie for the world that you can live with?

    No, it’s not an ideal solution. Ideally, one simply, somehow, trusts themselves, and it all sorts itself out, and they know they’re doing something internally right even when they get negative feedback. But it’s a better solution than the last one I had.

    I suppose I have a tendency to examine everything in a personal context, though…

  2. My early days in trans-expression were focused on trying to find a way to be truthful about who I am. So much of my work was on the contradictions between feeling the need to lie to be called truthful and the need to tell the truth and be called a liar, all based around the assertion “You are really a…”

    In the end I had to come to the understanding that all statements are both lies and truth in some mixture, that in a finite world, contradiction & ambiguity are inevitable.

    The fallacy I talk of here isn’t the creation of a story that weaves together bits of factual truth, bits of spiritual truth, and bits of cultural artifacts to make us effective in the world; that is inevitable.

    The fallacy is believing that if we create that story we create absolute and solitary truth that erases all contradiction & ambiguity, believing that others have an obligation to accept our assertions. The fallacy is that we have the obligation and right to silence anyone and anything that contradicts our assertions, including our history, our biology, and people who reflect us in an undesirable way.

    Well, actually, it is simpler than that, as you note. It is to learn to be rather than to assert, to trust that no matter how much we have been smashed into the closet as a lying pervert, reclaiming our own truths really does claim our own beauty and power.

    “I suppose I have a tendency to examine everything in a personal context, though…”

    Gosh, d’ya think?

    You are on the journey of discovery and not of assertion. I need to believe that over time that will end up with you discovering, refining and showing your gifts, taking the hero’s path.

    Out and beautiful. I can see how far you have come.

  3. I firmly believe that while I may not have the obligation or right to remove my past, it’s what I have to try to do at this point. It’s always going to be there; I’ll reconcile how I feel about it when I’m convinced I can be myself, or maybe when I’m in a better place otherwise.

    And if I never do? If I somehow become what I want to be, never called by a name I hated for years, never considered a man again by people unable or unwilling to see me as female?

    I won’t shed a tear. He wasn’t real. I didn’t exist then. I am aware it’s revisionist; but I can’t seem to handle this any other way.

    My family misses him, and some of my friends. That, as selfish as it sounds, is their problem, not mine. At least for now, anyways. I have to try to give myself time as a girl, even at the expense of support structures; even at the expense of my very flesh.

    Maybe I’ve come far, or not; I can’t tell, I don’t know. But do you think I’m pretty yet?

  4. Reinvention is fine; claim who you are today.

    But know that underneath those claims are a network of truths that are complex, convoluted and contradictory.

    Know that whatever you claim, whatever you invoke, whatever you target, whatever you aspire to, it is becoming new that really marks transformation, not the silencing of those who might see other aspects of you, even the silencing of those who might project other aspects of you. Revisionism is fraud.

    You don’t become new and truth by silencing your past, you do it by creating your future.

    Don’t worry what others hold on to, yes.

    But do know that even as you break free, the scars of that break will always be a part of you.

    You can claim a new life.

    But any new life will not invalidate the old ones written in your biology and your history.

    It will just transcend them.

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