Change or die.
That is the imperative of all life on this planet. The world changes around us, and we either lead, follow or get out of the way.
To engage change, though, you have to have hope, have the vision of the new possibilities and then have support in manifesting them in the world.
I told someone who wanted to support me that, while I don’t have regrets over my transnatural choices, knowing that they helped me learn a great deal, it would be easier today if my body was more femaled.
He was taken aback. Could I really consider having myself re plumbed? As a male, he found that idea uncomfortable.
As a person who went to sleep many, many nights praying that they would end up with a female body, I couldn’t understand his attitude. Hadn’t I been clear to him about how I identify?
While I may understand the limits of what we can do today with a human body — bones are bones — and have not chosen plastic surgery on myself, that doesn’t mean I didn’t always dream of being female.
Even many people who present in the world as trans have trouble understanding this. They don’t see themselves as femme, as being receptive in the world. I do.
How do people grounded in their own expectations and assumptions, especially their own expectations and assumptions about me, engage change?
My sister tried to be nice and tell me a story she heard on the radio about a professor at Yeshiva University who transitioned in place (Part 2). Only problem is that she couldn’t keep the pronouns straight, which told me that my sister saw this transwoman as a dude in a dress. It was not the affirming moment my sister might have hoped for.
After that, she took me to Chipotle, where the smug, self-righteous hipness just felt like a slap in the face.
This is the same holier-than-though attitude that permeates the young, feminist trans-activism structures, where doing the cool thing to belong to the in-group is more important than offering a big tent. Rather than revealing connections, they tend to venerate oppression and cast some as oppressors, expanding divides rather than erasing them. I know that I don’t belong there.
For me, a leap is needed. Yet, I don’t feel like I have much available to me to support such a leap. People are focused on their own issues and challenges, dealing with what is vital to them, leaving me alone.
This is nothing new, of course. But the change or die imperative feels very close to me. Something’s gotta give, as Frank might sing.
And I have trouble seeing the possible change.