Falling For Me

I made a decision thirty years ago, when I first started coming out as trans.

I wasn’t going to be an attractive woman, even if I tried.

So I wouldn’t try.

It’s September.  In many ways, it is the start of a new year; back to school, back to work.

It is definitely a new year for me.   I asked Ms. Rachelle if we could get together, a kind of benediction for a new year, a new chapter, a new me.   She suggested that we get together on Rosh Hashanha, the Jewish new year.  I was at her bat mitzvah a few years ago, and her blend of symbolic work — she is a legend in her own time to those who study Tarot — fiction and other leadership make her potent.

When the two of us get together, our shamanic theology chat is probably impenetrable to others, but it is a delight to us.    “That exchange of intelligence,  as well as the shared language, is something very special,” she reminds me.  We didn’t earn our shaman stripes by reading a book or taking a class, we walked through the boundaries between worlds, died and were reborn many times, building our knowledge and techniques

As a gift to me, she pulled out a deck of cards as we sat on in the sunlight on the green in Hudson.   These were Lenormand cards, the ones she is immersed in now.

In any reading, there are bits that say what you expect and bits that irk you, that stick out as challenges.  That’s the way symbols always work.  It’s not the cards that hold the meaning, it is how you assign meaning to them that opens the pathways between what is and what could be.

In my reading, it was the Ivy card, followed by the Man, followed by Clouds that were the turns that took me beyond the expected Key and other signs of possibility.  In the Lenormand deck, the Man is usually about romance, though the new deck Ms. Rachelle is working with offers alternative cards that allow for two women or two men to be used for lesbian or gay readings.

It wasn’t where I was affirmed that touched me, it was where the cards showed me I stumble that made the change.  Of course, that is the tradition of all those who travel between worlds; where you stumble, there lies your gift.  That’s where the cracks between worlds are, and where you can leave the expected to find the empowering.

I made a decision thirty years ago, when I first started coming out as trans.

I wasn’t going to be an attractive woman, even if I tried.

So I wouldn’t try.

Now, though, that defence wouldn’t work anymore.

The cards weren’t telling me that I needed to have romance with men.   They were just telling me that to walk in the world as a woman, I had to be OK with people finding me attractive, whoever those people are.

To walk in the world as a woman, I can’t avoid the gaze of others.  Even the gaze of males.

That doesn’t mean I need to want to be with men.  All women, even women who love other women, need to learn to live with men, men who respond to them as women.

When I was at Startup Weekend, my partner in crime told me that he was a bit distracted by my boobs.  He had seen me the day before in boy clothes, but still, his gaze found my curves and he noticed.  After all, I’m a big gal, and even in proportion, big gals have big baps.

“Is it because you are not a Barbie Doll?” Ms. Ava asked me when I told her how I had just signed off being attractive.

I remember being at a bar and talking to a gay man who was sure that all men were either gay or curious.  “I couldn’t be with a man unless he saw me as a woman,” I told him.

“That’s not gonna happen,” he replied.

“I know,” I said.  “That’s why it’s not going to happen.”

But, if I am going to walk in the world, making the choices of a woman, so I can more clearly show my heart to the world, so I can get the affirmation, connection and resources that I need, then I need a new relationship with my own power of attraction.

Learning to have a new relationship with attraction isn’t something I can do alone in this basement.

Being attractive isn’t just a sexual thing.    Being attractive works on many levels, because attractive people are just, well, more attractive to other people.

For so many reasons, I never believed I was an attractive person.

That’s a big reason why I made a decision thirty years ago, when I first started coming out as trans that I wasn’t going to be an attractive woman, even if I tried.

So I wouldn’t try.

But that has to change.  Somehow.