I understand that one reason my work is so hard to read is that it deals withe the plutonium of a trans — of a human — life.
I just go places that most people choose not to go, into experiences and emotions that are easier to avoid, to pass over, to ignore.
This doesn’t just affect the content of my writing, it also affects the form of it. Like women who have had to learn to work with feelings, I need to use techniques that keeps it non-explosive while still being explicit.
A rant, a screed or a tantrum may convey emotional content, but it doesn’t allow us to explore, understand and own that content. It’s just a blow up that usually is designed to share the pain we feel by spraying it all over other people, acting out our drama without parsing it.
My process uses a blend of thought and poetry to convey emotion, lacing it with humour. i know that makes my work seem dry and intellectual on the surface, even as you get a whiff of brimstone from the seething emotional lava underneath.
I work with the plutonium of the heart and that takes some care and precision. I remember a 2008 post I wrote about a very difficult incident in the family, and I shared the audio recordings I made while I was going through the pain, the screams and wails of pain and process, with Gwyneth.
“I never understood your process before,” she told me, “because I all see is the product, the result of your process and not the raw emotion that goes into it.”
I know why my work is inaccessible to most people. They either see it as cerebral and dismiss it as mental masturbation or they see it as rousing too much pain and emotion to take in a blog post, too much to engage day after day. They have their own challenges, you know.
Some people do get it when they can — like Ms. Rachelle — but most people find my stuff weird and twisted, stuck between too much thought and too much emotion.
But hey, that’s where I live. And that experience always helps me to be a safe and useful person to help throw light on other people’s choices, which is great if you want healing and horrible if you just want to get on with it.
Emotions are the plutonium of human life, the stuff that fuels the good and the bad behind our rationality and our rationalizations.
And I have spent lots of time in their toxic glow.