So, you may have met the glib, charming TBB, who loves to talk to the other people at the bar, strike up conversations with passerby, and always chat with service staff.
But do you know the secret TBB, whose secret identity is still set as a model railroader (HO and Super-O gauge) and wants to create a hermit hideaway on a tract of land her uncle used to own in the Catskills?
That TBB, who even as she preens in the mirror in a new halter top cocktail dress and new jeweled heels, thinks she is just not pretty, well, that TBB is kept well hidden. So well hidden, in fact, that TBB chooses not to write, in case someone else catches a glimpse of her.
TBB identifies with what she sees in so many transsexual women she knows: she just wants to be able to be seen as normal.
She doesn’t want to always have to walk around in armor, defended, always being the one who has to be big and gracious even as other people see her and fear her. After all, they know that she is powerful enough to do what would scare the hell out of them, walking away from their group identity to claim individual expression.
It was in a workshop fifteen years ago now that I explained how it felt to see the fear in someone’s eyes when they saw me, as they thought “If this person is disconnected from social control enough to walk into here in a dress, what else are they capable of?”
A therapist who works with transpeople opened her eyes wide. “That’s it!” she said. “That’s why people are scared of transwomen. I never thought of that before.”
In 1994, TBB and I did a skit about two transpeople driving to a meeting. We both played out our fantasies and our defenses in a concentrated way. She was glib with everyone, and I had to explain everything.
Things may have changed in 15 years, but not much. Defenses are defenses.
As ACIM tells us, though, your power is in your defenslessness.
I told that to TBB. She got it on a spiritual level, but on a practical level, when I suggested new strategies, she needed to tell me how she had tried them in the past and they had caused problems.
Yeah. We don’t have defenses because we didn’t need them, because we didn’t found out that they worked. Our defenses are there for a purpose, tried and true.
Problem is that every time we build a wall to protect ourselves, we also build a wall that blocks potential connection.
Your power is in your defenselessness.
Eeew, that sounds horrible.
TBB doesn’t want to always have to walk around in armor, defended, always being the one who has to be big and gracious even as other people see her and fear her.
That just sucks, for her and all the transwomen she knows.
But how do we trust that we can be naked and vulnerable and people won’t get all freaked out, all weird and nasty, acting out?
After all, all it takes is one person who feels blessed by their church to attack the immorality of queerness to do a hell of a lot of damage in our lives, causing us a lot of pain.
Transpeople, well, as I have said many times before, maybe we can most easily be categorized and grouped by the defenses we choose, and not the identities that we claim.
And our power is in in getting out from behind our defenses, in that final trans surgery, pulling the stick from our own ass.
But God, that is so hard.