I know two things.

I know that separation is an illusion, that all are connected, and that fear of separation is a trick the ego uses to gain control of our actions, to keep us small.

I know that I hate being cast out of gender as an “other,” neither fish nor foul.

Winnie Brandt had an old saw about trans: “Women see us as infiltrators, as spies, and men see us as traitors.  It really doesn’t matter though, because in either case they want to shoot us.”

I love gender.  I love the rich system of communication that humans have developed to code who they are and what roles they can play.  Sure, I know where those gender structures have been abused by heterosexist patterns, from marketing to policing gender crossings, and those are bad, but gender itself?   Sexy and elegant, a way to speak our hearts.  Most people willingly gender themselves because the gender codes they have to choose from just fit, are fun and funky.  Sure, they may gender up more for an audience than for their own self knowledge — what will help me attract a partner I desire? — but the fit isn’t all that uncomfortable.

My love of gender is what puts me on the outs with many factions inside of trans, be it the ones who want to be genderqueer and see conventional gender as only oppressive, or those who want to cross gender lines without feeling any need to respect those who own that gender.   This includes many crossdressers and drag queens who don’t respect womanhood and even transfeminist trans-men who reject manhood as inherently sexist and oppressive.

I didn’t do all the work I did to understand gender, to value womanhood and to polish my appearance so I can be cast out as other.    Other people can make the choices they feel called to make, but those aren’t the choices I have made, not the choices that feel right to me.

But I also know that separations are false, tricks of the ego, and that if I am enough in my love, I can find the true connection that threads through all.

In the end, the magic is the revelation of continuous common humanity beyond the conventions of gender separation.  And doing that in the wider world is the calling.