There are many times I wish I was more bloody minded.
That’s a British phrase meaning obstinate or determined. “That bloody minded fool just won’t let it go!”
I’m at the conference, and I have had some thought about who I want to be there, what performance I need to explore. I know what I should be doing.
But that’s not quite what I am doing. Instead am having a discussion with an very old acquaintance who tells me that if I am just more like her, with a more modulated voice and more facial work that I can pass in the world as being born female.
You know, that brings up all my old stuff. I have the dream, oh yes, I have the dream. My paths to orgasm have always fallen on that dream; if I was just more young, more ripe, more female. Oh, to be a girl, a hot girl, a sweet girl, a loved girl.
Not going to happen, though. Not in this lifetime, anyway. But the dream? It still pulls me. My missing girlhood, you know? Adultified early.
This woman is all about the genderqueer folks, the few who walk bravely through the world with an neutral or mixed expression. Yet when I talk about the fact that we all construct our presentation, she resists. Does clothing really say that much about us? She doesn’t want to think so.
My history is genderqueer. I came out a as a guy in a dress, found myself a gender neutral name, and never want to lose the voice I have which reflects my complicated history and lattice work of scars, even as I transcend them.
I talk to her about how passing restricts her voice, and she says that she can pass in the world and still have a transvoice when needed.
She loves the work she has done at voice classes, the way she has altered her body (even if genital modification wasn’t required for her) and she holds that dear. She also venerates those who can walk in the world visibly genderqueer. But my balance of these components, transnatural and shamanistic, well, shouldn’t I be more like her? Even if I explain that being 5′ 7″ and 150 lbs is very different from me, she persists in old tranny tropes; aren’t there large women, too?
I know the dream, I really do. And a lost girlhood is at the essence of what haunts me, even as I know that if I had a perfect girlhood, something else would haunt me. Humans, well, we are made to be haunted.
I don’t want to be swept into her fears. It was much more fun to be swept into the dreams of another woman, who has been through recovery, who is a parent with three kids and sole custody of the two youngest, and who has yet to make the leap into the world of women. She is so bright and textured, yet her shiny, candy coloured appearance, with a helmet of wig belies the nuance she holds. The person on the inside isn’t showing yet in the presentation, which is pretty but not beautiful, not as beautiful as she is inside.
When I meet someone, I make sure to value what they have, who they are, before I talk about where they might change. I know that they present as they present for good reasons, because this is where they are. And who I am to say where they are going, where they need to go? Unless they ask for feedback, unless they feel a need to change, they aren’t ready for change.
I really, really want to be more bloody minded, more projecting of persona and personality, demanding a spotlight and acceptance of my ideas. I want to avoid being swept into other people’s dramas and make my own damn dramas around me.
I am here goddamnit! Listen to me and don’t just act out your own stuff on me! See me for who I am, for my strength and beauty and grace and don’t make me have to open your mind to the twists in your own damn thinking! Just listen and behold, dammnit!
I really, really want that.
But I know that’s just another thing I am not going to get, at least not in this world. People need light, and I am swept into their emotions where I can help clear out a bit of clutter, opening the way for sunshine and growth. It seems to be what I can do, rather than come with demands and drama.
There are people to be taken care of, people who can use a word, an ear or a fight.
And I’m just bloody minded enough to be there for them.