Magic Marketing

I was called magic yesterday.

She had just felt standard shaman magic of helping her see herself in a new way, changing her perception of her relationship with the world, feeling empowered and transformed.

Today, though, we often call that magic “marketing.”

Marketing is the thinking side of business, as Peter Drucker has said.   It requires looking at the four key relationship areas of business — with consumers, with owners, with staff and with the community/government — and finding ways to make them more effective, balancing needs and keeping them sweet.

While marketing always has to look at cold facts — there is always a spreadsheet somewhere, always another metric to be tracked and analyzed — much of the job of marketing is about shaping perception, about opening paths to new visions, new ways to see.

The magic of shamans is always about shifting perception, because we know that perception is reality.   If people perceive walls and boundaries, those separations become real because people treat them as if they are real.   Their choices, their lives, their relationships are all shaped not by some objective reality but instead by their perception of that reality.

Shamans have always dealt with the power of the mind, using all sorts of tricks to reshape perception and transform reality.  From psychic surgery to vision quest & sweat lodge rituals, the goal is always to break through the old, limiting perceptions and expectations of the mind to create the possibility of the new.

My marketing view and my shaman vision have always been intertwined, coming from the same place.  Seeing things in a different way which illuminates and re-positions them is just something that comes to me.

In the past few months, when I have been able to get out, I find that it is my marketing insight, being able to transform the unexpected into the seen, that people respond to.  I cut through the noise around the art community, offered my sister a new way to see her business, and delighted many women at an entrepreneur meetup with insights on increasing their effectiveness in the world.

They are used to seeing themselves and their product only through their eyes and not through the eyes of others.  My need to understand the perceptions of others to stay safe — starting with my parents when I was a small child — has taught me to collect both that understanding and find tools to reshape it.

One reason I have trouble marketing myself is that just like every one else, I too live in my own blind spot, limited by my history and my current perceptions.  I don’t have a shaman who sees and encourages the marketing possibilities, making it clear to me what to say “no” to and what to say “yes” to.

Many see me as the writer who makes their life clear, but I do that by living in the question, in the liminal space between, rather than in the the conventional doctrinaire box.

To me, marketing ideas are just a socially comprehensible facet of my shaman energy, listening to and invoking many voices to reveal what lies unseen.

Is that magic?   I have been pleased this week when people like my sister’s business associate and those women at the meet-up saw it as that.

It is, though, as always, magic that doesn’t seem to come back to me,


In thinking about my “money mindset,” I understand that I am a miser.

I spend my intellect and caring as freely as I can, but I am tight about money, watching every penny.

You can be controlled by money if you want too much, spend too freely, try to substitute what you can purchase for what you need inside.

You can also be controlled by money if you want too little, not investing in what can bring comfort, healing and future rewards.

Unconsidered risk is bad, but so is no risk.   You can’t take money with you when you go, so using it to good purpose here makes a great deal of sense.

I have chosen a path that tends towards personal poverty for the same reason many spiritual people do, to help me keep my own ego in check.  I also know, though, that I have pushed his somewhat too far in the miserly direction, not engaging money for how it can keep people fit and moving forward.

It’s not a good idea to be money mad, trying to stuff money in to address deeper issues.   It’s also not a good idea to be mad at money, not using it to make your life and the world better.

It takes risk and resource to create the new.

Life engenders life.
Energy creates energy.
It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.
— Sarah Bernhardt

We must live for the few who know and appreciate us,
who judge and absolve us,
and for whom we have the same affection and indulgence.
The rest I look upon as a mere crowd. . .
from whom there is nothing to be expected but fleeting emotions.
— Sarah Bernhardt

Somehow, I have to stop being such a miser.


You can’t herd cats.   Cats just aren’t pack animals.  Cats are rugged individualists.

Lots of humans aren’t herd animals either.   The artists, the queers, the stubborn and the diffident just prefer the road less travelled, just hear their own different drummer,  just go their own ornery way.

You can, however, wrangle cats.  You can see from their perspective, address their needs and shape their choices a bit.   Wrangling always means choosing your battles, deciding how much to keep them loose & free and when to intervene a little bit.

I don’t think, though, that cats would ever make good cat wranglers.  Rugged individualists have problems using indirect control to manage other rugged individualists to a common solution.    Instead, there ends up being a clash of egos with cats blaming one another for not doing things the obviously right way, the way that we told them to do it.

Most solitary cats just don’t have the habit of valuing cat wranglers.   They tend to see the world as needing changing, not them.   I suspect that those who complain about the difficulty in wrangling cats are mostly cats themselves.

Never really being one of the gang, I understand the drive of cats.   Out transpeople know that our own stubborn is required; if we could be swayed into being one of the pack we would have been.   Claiming our own rugged individualism was the only choice we had to try and be authentic in the world.

I understand too, though, the power of organization and cooperation.   I am a wrangler, a manager, a mother.  I have been trying to get the creative, the stubborn, the rugged and the brilliant to work together for quite a long time.

One of the first steps in wrangling cats is triage.   You have to be very smart about the fights you take on, first choosing battles that are both winnable and worth winning.  Starting small and gaining credibility, trust and power is one effective strategy, but only one.  Some choose bold and brash leaps designed to draw attention and follower, for example, but in the end, our success is always measured by succeeding.

Effective triage means that sometimes, no matter how desirable or attractive intervention may seem, you have to let them go.  You need to prioritize your efforts, husband your resources and let some things pass.   Loss is sad but inevitable; you can not, can never win them all.

The intersection of creativity and community is always the point of compromise, something that comes very hard to both cats and rugged individualists.  Using context and a clear view of priorities & values, battles must be chosen well, leaving something for partners.   Moving beyond single minded & stubborn to collaborative & considerate gets us to best practices, never perfect, but the best we can manage under the circumstances.

Sharing the work & the responsibility requires being willing to share the control & the credit.    Owners get the work done, so giving others a real share in ownership give them buy-in, a real reason to contribute to shared success.

No one can win them all.  If you really want to win you have to be smart and choose your battles.

If, on the other hand, you just want to complain about the state of the world and all the idiots in it, want to stay a cool cat, then try to do everything and enjoy ranting about the failure.   I’m not going to be able to change your mind about the correctness of your approach, because I know that I can’t herd cats.

Slut Shaming

Do transwomen who choose to engage, use, or even profit from their own erotic appeal, their own desirability  “invite fetishistic exploitation of trans women?”

Should they be judged as part of the problem we face as transpeople, playing the oppressor’s game and making life more difficult for transpeople?

If they stand up and make comments about their own transgender experience and perspective, should they be shunned as bad role models making an attempt to lead transpeople in a bad way?

The women’s movement had to deal with this challenge, of course.   Who is a real woman, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor or Porn Star Jenna Jamison?

It was easy for many activists to decide that porn stars were part of the problem, not part of the solution, inviting sexualization and diminishment of women.

It was also easy for many activists to decide that Justice O’Connor was part of the problem, a republican appointee who didn’t back every action that they felt would benefit women as a group.

Once these women were identified as traitors, identity politics let activists try and strip them of their standing as women, try and use social pressure to bang them into what a group decided to be normative.

Both Ms. O’Connor and Ms. Jamison were strong individuals, though, and stood up to the oppression, still claiming their own choices in life.   Would they have made the choice the other one made?   Probably not, but I like to think they would have supported each others right to make those choices.

In fact, it’s my guess that Ms. Jamison was smarter than her public image suggested and that Ms. O’Connor was sexier than her public image suggested.   Women are much more than what you see on their surface.

Today, the world of sexuality and politics is still tough for women.   Desirability is a hot button issue for most women, the challenge of finding that line between being hot and being taken seriously without sacrificing either.   We want to be valued for our smarts, but we also want to be someone’s girl now and then, to have a partner who looks at us that way.

How do women affirm sexuality while also confronting exploitation and abuse?   To me, as a queer, that line is around mature consent, but I know that can be fuzzy.   It is possible to both be coerced and to like it, having people exploit our own neediness, but that is another topic.

There is some movement to resist the easy solution of “slut shaming,” blaming women’s personal expression for the actions of others.   Wearing a mini-skirt is not the same as giving consent to be raped.

Being shamed because we choose to be sexual is oppressive, even if it is done in the hallowed name of political correctness.

To me, the trans journey is an individual one, past social convention to personal, unique expression.   Announcing that another transperson is doing it wrong diminishes all of us, though you always have the power to make your own choices, to express your views through your own actions.

Trans is also always based in desire, in our own desires, in the power of Eros in our lives and in the world.

If you don’t approve of porn because you find it “fetishizes people like you” don’t make porn.   Find ways to talk about how transpeople can create a sexual life that doesn’t simply objectify them but opens them up as full people.   (Personally, I believe that those who do porn are full people.)

If you don’t like what someone says, don’t shoot at their standing to say it.  Find ways to speak up and offer your positive views, offering an alternative point of view that people find more balanced, useful and compelling.

Transpeople have a big challenge in front of us, trying to find ways to mainstream and normalize our own sexuality.    We have been sold as only sex toys for too long, not as full people who have a wide range of capabilities and desires, of which sex is only one small piece.

We do have to get out of the dark spaces and become the kind of people you can take home to meet mom, have to be seen as real people who want real relationships, not just as cartoon characters.   We have to exist in three dimensions in the world.

I just don’t think we do that by shaming desire, by making us less sexual.   Instead we have to become more “real” in the world, just like women who can both be hot and smart, competent and sexy.

In the end, what changed the view of women in the world was not less erotic context but rather much more visibility of women as capable humans, able to do anything.

That’s what transpeople need too, I think.


These comments were stimulated by a Facebook post that included an image Bailey Jay posted on her Twitter — .  People felt the need to diminish her for speaking in her underwear, not something “most women would do.”   Having listened to her podcast — —  I know that Bailey Jay is a smart young woman with a rich range of interests, as many of those who engage  sexuality are.

I respect her choice to use her beauty and desirability in the world, even if the choices she makes are not choices I would make for myself.   I admit, though, that I don’t know what choices I would make if I were as beautiful and fresh as she is.

Feminine Ego

I spent some time poking around for the phrase “Feminine Ego.”   It’s not an easy search.

Part of the problem is that ego is so out of fashion nowadays.  The spiritual life is the life beyond ego, outside the demands of the self.  I have had people tell me that my goal in life has to be detachment, disconnection from the ego self.   The standard call from counsellors is to make smarter choices, to renounce drama and indulgence in favour of moderation and context.

This is a fine quest for those who do have too much attachment, but my experience is not that.  Between my parents and my trans experience, I never owned that shark self, that entity who was selfish, not selfless.   Ego was something that I never really found the energy to claim.

The other part of the problem is that ego is seen as masculine in this culture.  Ego is a cocky thing, macho as hell.   Ego teachers — they don’t call themselves that, of course, instead preaching about “the maximizing of human potential” or some such — usually come from the glands, a thumping kind of go-getter, balls to the wall approach.

Women who have this kind of drive have to choose between deciding to be ballsy or finding ways to identify their ambition & desires as service.    We don’t want to be unfeminine, disconnected, or cold, even if we do want to “maximize our personal human potential.”

I’m good at service.  I have spent the last few weeks taking care of my sister, even to the point of breaking the car driving through a storm to get her.   I have been out for myself once in the past three weeks.

I don’t hate taking care of her.  I like the service, the consideration.  It is satisfying on some level, even as it is also frustrating and erasing to not get back what I really, really need in the relationship, instead walking on eggshells and cleaning up the messes that come from her messy, stressy, bollixed life.

What I’m not good at, though, is taking care of me.  I’m not good at fighting for myself, not good at claiming my own identity, not good at feminine ego.  Me, Me, Me, Me?  No, no, no, no.

Ego and desire are intimately linked.   You do have to get past ego to get desire clear, but just denying all your desire is also denying the ego drive that motivates claiming in the world; claiming the spotlight, claiming joy, claiming rights, claiming vitality.

When your identity is based on renouncing desire in an effort to renounce ego, based on the virtue of service and denial of indulgence, it is certainly possible to dry up and lose the drive that comes with desire.   I trade vitality for virtuosity in order to claim the holy of the feminine, away from the indulgence of ego.

I live my inner life while denying my outer life, tolerating loss and squalor to be the good girl, even if that also makes me the sad girl, the lost girl, the very lonely girl.

A CD was taking pictures of me at the old Corvette museum and they told me “Smile!  You’re the fat girl!  You have to be jolly!”   Yeah.  And I am the smart girl too, having to be the caretaker, not the one cared for.

Life is usually a process where we start callow and end up wise.   We are indulged, the centre of the world, then we learn context and service.   I missed that early time, my exuberance & vitality locked inside from a very young age, facing the limits on transgender language & expression, facing the demands of family & role.

Martin Short’s memoir is full of crazy young people with a gift for funny being exuberant in the world.   I was close to that era, with the same energy, but I never tested my wings, never followed my ego to be playful and full of life.   That stick up my ass, the one I tried to use to act appropriately, kept me from so much beautiful and empowering indulgence.  I understand the trade-off, finding the view of a hermetic theologian, but I also understand the struggle.

Claiming the indulgence of ego feels impossible to me.  I know how to serve, but I also know that only serving ends up with me reacting rather than acting, with me meeting the needs of others but no one meeting my needs.   My desires have been denied for so long, out of a combination of dedication to others and disbelief that I can ever achieve them, that they may as well be dust.

I become self-defeating, my denial leading to destruction and that damage leading me to more inner smarts and even less outer pizzazz.

Affirming and inflating my ego, owing my own hamminess — my Inner Merman — exuberantly claiming the spotlight in a chorus of “Yes, Yes, Yes!” seems too distant to imagine.   Instead I negotiate the fears and unhealed spaces of others, being the guru who comes with patience, moderation and dedicated service, expecting to be too complicated, too challenging, too hip for the room.

I know why most people in this culture struggle to manage, constrain and move past the ego.   I know why the ego, especially the concept of a feminine ego, is not venerated or celebrated.

I just sense that I could use a bit of that stuff.

Owning, Obsessing

To look both good and at ease in your outfit, you have to both own your own appearance, understanding and controlling a whole range of details which lead to a polished and integrated look, and you have to not be obsessed by your appearance, not making it too fussy, contrived or costume.

This apparent contradiction is at the heart of almost all aspects of human expression.    We start by obsessive construction, fiddling with details, applying them to the surface, but then, as we achieve mastery, those details just become part of the mix and we own our own expression.

If you have ever seen a group of college seniors waiting to meet the recruiter, you know how clunky and fidgety they look in their newly pressed professional outfits.   Pass them by five years later as they change planes in the airport and those same clothes have become a second skin, both appropriate and seamless.

For women, there is a clear switch, obsessing about details in front of the mirror, then dropping that focus in a heartbeat to switch to ownership.   It may be fine to let the outfit wear you in front of the mirror, but away from it, you need to wear the outfit, showing calm, centred confidence.

Moving from obsession to ownership is not something easy to explain to people who are not yet willing to let their expression become just a container for other content.   We maintain tells, giveaways that we do not yet own the outfit, places where our lack of polish is obvious.   We resist the image for so many reasons, but mostly because we fear what owning it will mean for us, what sacrifices and changes it will entail.

TBB says that she resisted the idea that trans expression reveals trans meaning for many, many years, preferring to describe her choices as just playful crossdressing, a hobby that honoured women by emulating them.   For her, obsessing over an outfit was fun, but owning the meaning was terrifying, leaving her to play against her clothes rather than into them.   Her internal policeman needed them to stay at the level of costume.

For mature transpeople, though, the challenge becomes different.   We do own our expression, but we don’t just own one expression, we own a range of them.  The real us may be well integrated, threading through all our facets, but it is the surface that people see, not the complicated content.  Sharing just one sliver of self expression can feel constraining and painful.

A clinician who supports transpeople resisted telling me what she saw.   “You were much more feminine in your gender neutral clothes than when you were in a dress,” she told me.   I was very glad she saw that because from my first outing my goal has always been integration, never the clear compartmentalization of the FPE/SSS crossdressing model.  I was more open dressed down because I felt I didn’t need to be as defended.  I wasn’t in a Lucite closet, a defensive bubble.   It has always been feminine choices of awareness and action that are more potent to me that choices of dress, feminine connection and service. That’s why I spent a decade as a dedicated caretaker in jeans & a polo shirt.

While queer people have ownership of humanity past simple gender divisions, we know that most people have not done that work.  They look at the package rather than the content to determine where to categorize or pigeonhole someone.   Our expression may have moved past costume, revealing ownership, but that ownership isn’t simple and binary, rather it is rich and complex in a way some see as contradictory.

Making that femme heart visible to those who are used to looking at surfaces,  used to evaluating on the package is a challenge.   I show mastery, but that always means choosing what to hide, being obsessed with keeping down the noise so that my content is exposed.

We can not take ownership until we have gotten through the process of obsessing, owning the creation of image that works, both revealing and concealing who we are.   As we change, our externals have to change, taking up new and scary roles that allow us authority but also hide our history and our nature.

Both owning and letting go at the same time is a challenge, but it is required if we want to be in the moment and to make considered responses rather than stiff reactions.

This notion of being both loose and controlled at the same time is at the heart of being present, and for me, is the goal of discipline and practice.

Let’s Blame Them!

I’ve got an idea.   Why don’t we all get together and agree that we are screwed?   Let’s talk about how our life is shit, will always be shit, and be clear that it is all their fault for oppressing and abusing us!

After all, what bonds all transpeople is being shamed & stigmatized, being scared into the closet by a world which forces choices that erase us.   Isn’t that what we should bond over?

Once we figure out who the enemy is, we should attack, attack, attack, forcing them to change!   As individuals we are challenged, but as a group we are formidable, a mob to be reckoned with!

I believe in empowerment.  That means I believe that individuals can muster the power to create change in their own lives, in their families, in their communities and in the world.

Empowerment asks us to bond over our possibilities rather than over our fears.  It asks us to come from potential rather than from brokenness.

The experience of growing up in this culture is the experience of learning to self-police.   Other people teach us how to fit in, how to assimilate, how to be the person that others expect us to be if we want to get what we need from them.

For transpeople, this process isn’t just shaping, it is crushing.  We are left inside our own head trying to figure out what part of us we have to deny and demolish in order to get what we need.  We learn to recognize our limits, to understand the bits other people see as queer and challenging,  learn to hide our difference from everyone, even from ourselves as we put part of us in a deep, dark closet.

Sharing that experience of dispempowerment is easy.   We all know the attacks we faced, the pain we suffered. the fear that lives in us.   We understand the challenges of having our hearts plunged into the cold and dark places, how that made us feel less than, broken and very deeply ashamed.

Finding someone, some group, some culture to blame for those attacks is a very human reaction.   If it wasn’t someone else’s fault, then we are complicitious in our own destruction.

I don’t see, however, how bonding over what they did to us, over how they have to change, over their responsibility ever empowers us to change our own relationship with the world.   Instead, it just emphasizes our own victim-hood.

Any support group that asks people to stay silent in order to honour the most broken person in the room is a group that supports disempowerment.  Any group that looks for enemies, places blame and centres around the politics of enforcing group identities over individual possibility is a group that supports disempowerment.

We do need to go into our own dark spaces, need to excavate the pain and shame, need to identify where change is needed.  Doing that, however, without also affirming light, openness, and personal responsibility does not serve empowerment.

Transgender is about changing your mind, about claiming the possibilities of transformation past convention, past expectation, and past internalized fears.  To support that transformation, we need to affirm that the pain of the past can be turned into tools for growth and healing, not just left as crippling scars that will always lead us to our doom.

It’s easy to bond over blame.   It’s easy to join the mob.

It’s hard to claim your own blossoming as an individual, unique and powerful child of the creator.  It’s hard to support that blossoming in others when you haven’t gotten past your own fears and blaming.

But isn’t that the only thing that can save us?

Empowerment, Destruction

Kali, the Hindu god of empowerment & change, is also the god of destruction.

How can there be change without destruction?  The Hindus figured out, a long time ago, that death is required to open then way for new life.

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die, as I have often said.  I love rebirth so much that I often try to kill my audience just so they can join in the fun.

Is there any wonder why I ended up as Cali’s namesake, blended with the Celtic “rock, powerful in battle” and the Scandinavian “flowing water?”

This came up a few days ago, and then again this morning when someone found notes for a speech I wrote in 2007.  It was about how we as change eaters — transgender is about pure transformation or it is about nothing at all, as I said in two decades ago in 1995 — hold the sacred Trans Chainsaw of Love.

Ms. Rachelle is clear: most people who call themselves shamans today have no clue.  Shamans walk through walls, destroying pretense, not just doing drumming rituals.  It is a role of immense power because it destroys in order to create.

If you really are committed to becoming new, to growth and healing, you can find me very useful.

If you just want to pay lip service to change, rationalizing and resisting, complaining the world should change rather than you, you will find me a real pain, someone to be ignored, dismissed and marginalized.  I am a teachy preacher, offering the power of transformation through connection, not a preachy preacher, offering reasons to separate from those who challenge you.

Do not seek enlightenment unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond.
– Sri Ramakrishna

If your hair is on fire, I can help with a bucket, connecting sharp seeing with sharpened wisdom.   Cutting between truth and resistance is what I do, as this practice is what saved me from real pain and struggles in the world.

What I don’t do, however, is make people feel better, offering a solution to a clear problem that can be identified.  I don’t hold hands and don’t pretend to offer a quick fix.

There is a reason why ads for gyms don’t talk about getting sweaty & exhausted, and then aching the next day.    The process isn’t pretty, so they sell the sizzle, the benefits, the endorphins, the fitness, the attractiveness of a lean body.  This is why so many fitness plans fail, because unless you want it like someone with their hair on fire wants a pond, you will not have the discipline to pursue it.

Offering the sizzle, some pretty promise of results, isn’t something that I feel comfortable doing.  Owning your own choices doesn’t guarantee anything pretty, only the clarity and satisfaction of enlightenment.

I used to ask a partner if she wanted to be powerful or powerless.   She would look at me and ask “Isn’t there another choice?”   She wanted to be wild enough to have control while also being tame enough to fit in, wanted to stay comfortable by giving up control.

Empowerment and destruction are two sides of the same coin, the currency we spend to create real change in our lives and in the world.

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking were at when we created them.
— Albert Einstein.

If we want new solutions, we have to throw out the old, comfortable way of thinking.   One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results, as the old chestnut goes.   Destruction is required.  We have to live in the question and not the answer, venerating doubt & ambiguity over belief & certainty.

Yeah, I don’t really see a way to make that process sound quick, easy and fun, either.   Supporting transformation in the world will never be for the faint of heart.

I love empowerment.

I just don’t know how to achieve it without becoming new, which means you are willing to let go of what you cling to now.

And so says Kali.

Becoming Legend

“This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Humans love legend much more than history, because history is messy and complicated while legends are always simple and clear.  History is a puzzle, but legend is a story.

I watched the first hour of “The Italian-Americans” on PBS and was struck by the legends.  Southern Italians learned to be secretive and manipulative because the Northern Italians oppressed them, fights against the mafia were all about prejudiced vigilantes, and Italians were abused in the capitalist system, destroying families.

All great legends, of course, but history is a little more complicated.  For example, southern mob justice was horrible — look at the history of lynching —  but that doesn’t mean no Italians tried to get away with things, keep them hidden, act with violence.   And before the Italians were the labourers, the Irish held that position.

There is always truth in a legend.  There just is never whole truth.  On “Who Do You Think You Are?”  Irish comedian Brendan O’Carroll found out that his grandfather had been murdered by a British operative after he refused to turn in his sons.

This was great legend, oppressive invaders killing a civilian, but the historical context was missing.   Did they do this a great deal, or was this a rare instance?  Why did they target him?   While we can suspect it was because his sons had also committed violence, the program never touches this topic.  That would defeat the legend, and when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

I am a very meta gal.  To me, the process is always more interesting than the summary.   That means I love history but I have little truck with legends.

As transpeople, though, our history is always messy and contradictory.  When we tell our stories, we rarely examine the facts.   Instead, we build a legend, starting with truth and tailoring it for emotional effect.   You know, much like Brian Williams did with his Iraq helicopter. story.

Legends are powerful ways to convey belief, morality tales that guide emotional response.   We shape them to make people feel the way we want them to feel; incensed, proud, compassionate, whatever.

They are not history, though, no matter how many nuggets of truth that they contain.  History is in the wide world seen through many viewpoints, and good history writing tries very hard to get a bigger picture with more context, even though, in the end, every historian comes with some bias.

My resistance to create and burnish my own legend is at the heart of my resistance to become product, processed and simplified to be easy to grasp and emotionally resonant.  My gifts come from looking in the spaces between, from discovering connections, so those are the gifts I want to share, not the gift of clean and satisfying resolution.

I know why we create legends.  I get a bit crazy, though, when we substitute those legends for the facts.

With The World

To be happy, all we have to do is change our relationship with the world.

Sadly, the comfortable way of doing this, changing the world so it caters more to us, isn’t really practical.

Instead, damnit, we have to change ourselves to be more effective in relationship with the world.

For transpeople, this usually requires twisting ourselves into pretzels to fit in.

Of course, this is the way relationships always work.  We shape our expression to become the person others expect so we can get what we want and we need from them. We merge our own history & nature with the conventions of culture, trying to create an attractive package that is authentic enough that we can maintain it without too much stress.

The gender system is a system of norms, of imitation for which there is no original, as Butler said.   To be outside that system is to queer our relationship with the world.

There are lots of noisy transpeople nowadays, most of them in the process of emerging, of exploring and claiming their identity.

There are many more quiet transpeople, those who try and keep the noise down so they can get along with their work and their relationships in the world.

For me, changing myself to change my relationship with the world is a real challenge,   The guideposts and markers are missing, the basic training is non-existent, My growing up with two Aspergers parents was just, well, weird and very, very difficult.

All I need to do to be happy is to change my relationship with the world.  That means changing myself or finding a new world where people like me fit in more easily.

The best marketing plan I have for myself is to start using my voice more, becoming the nucleus of new community.   By attracting people who resonate with what I have to say, then having them spread the word, I stand the chance of finding people who get the joke, who see and understand me, who can be there for me in a potent way.

An obligation to stand up alone and try to draw people is tough.

I speak for healing, but any place of healing is also a place of sickness.   Hospitals and AA meetings wouldn’t be much use if they didn’t attract sick people who want to get well.   People who know that they need what I have to offer are people who know they need change in their lives, people who seek growth and healing as if their hair is on fire.   Acting out, resisting, fighting are all part of the dynamic, and not a part that feeds me.

I may understand the need to walk into the fire, to thrash through the conflict, to release the pain and burn away the armour, but that doesn’t mean I want to be the one that keeps people sweet while they do that work.   There is a very high cost for me to be the one who pulls people off the ledge and helps them fight their demons, fighting me and resisting change in the process.

It was in the 1980s when a counsellor jokingly offered me a lobotomy, asking me if I would choose to give up my gifts to fit in more nicely, to be cuter and more tolerant to loss & mess.  I knew the answer then, I know the answer now.

Changing my relationship with the world by dumbing down isn’t really an option for me.

Changing my relationship with the world by taking ownership, getting out front, and inviting in those who seek what I have to offer feels like a choice I do not have the wherewithal to pay for.  People want what they want, healing and growing in their own time and their own way, and getting them to the point where the return is higher than the cost is a long shot bet.

Building a life is a marathon, not a sprint.   It takes time, will, persistence, endurance, resilience. Those feel beyond my ken.

Still, I offer seeds to the world, sharing what I can share and giving to those who come to me, whatever the cost or return.   These are trees whose shade will never protect me, but they are gifts to the future of a world that has given me so much growth and knowledge, even at the cost of plenty of torment.   Thank you, God.

To be happier, all I have to do is change my relationship with the world.   That means changing my own choices to reach out and build relationships over time, enduring loss to develop intimacy and sharing.`   It means giving love and caring, finding gratitude and blessing for healing, even your own.

That’s what I thought I have been trying to do already, of course, though without support, mirroring and feedback.  The journey of the lost is lonely, says Kali, the goddess of empowerment, change and destruction, says Callan, a rock who is powerful in battle.  I may have a great relationship with my inner world, but my relationship with the outer world is stretched to the breaking point.

For you, though, there is still time to get over your own damnself and change your relationship with the world to find more happiness.   The love you take is equal to the love you make, or so they tell me.

Where Are The Wins?

Where are the wins?

Where do you find the glints that keep hope and optimism alive?

The front door has been broken since the morning of my birthday.   That means I use the garage door.   In this weather, that means cold comes in and everything in there has frozen, down to the cans of beans, now mush, and the potatoes that rot when they melt.

I spent the last week taking care of my sister who had a broken car.   That meant driving to get her on bad tires in the snow, terrifying, then having to take her to work at 5 AM.   The car went all check engine and flashed the oil light.   I calmed it with a quart, but it is clear from the driveway that tough ride hit a bump and is draining oil, the oil pan damaged.

My phone balance disappeared without warning.  I wasn’t checking. Ouch.

I blew out the boots I have been wearing the last year and a half, $25 tall fleece boots that help with the damage to my feet, which cannot take being bare or fitting into even the gunboats I was able to buy in he past.

It’s been over two years living on a small stipend after my sister chose not to change the estate in the way my mother asked, leaving me diminished, after she struggled with the estate and chose to cut me out of the process because I just seemed too hard to engage.

I am used to taking care of other people while having no one there when I need them.   I know how hard and repetitive my life is with no easy way out of the patterns and damage of a lifetime, damage I may have turned into smart guruness but which still has left me battered and broken.

Wounded healers may know how to keep their head above water, but the loneliness of a long lost tranny — this blog marks ten years at Thanksgiving — will wear you down, wear you out.   People close to me are worn out too, wanting to help but also feeling the grinding challenges.

My gifts are many but their costs are huge.  Getting out from behind the loss, finding healing and love that helps repair me more than all my smart words, well, that escapes.

Every loss is small, manageable, yes, but the effects are cumulative and horrible.

In the 1980s I used to ask “Where are the wins?”

Where are the small successes and rewards that replenish you, that give you something to focus on expanding, the wins that nourish hope for a better tomorrow if you just push through, work harder, keep going?

For me on this bleak, lonely and frigid February morning, I am left searching for dreams and possibilities that somehow, my relationship with the world can fundamentally change, away from being too hip and challenging for the room.

The essence of the hope required is simple: I need to believe that I have the wherewithal to pay the cost of that change, the vigour and endurance to tolerate the cost of rebuilding.   How much do I have to put my own self on hold, how much do I have to get smaller, how much do I have to take just to get the connection and manifestation that I need?

I understand the options, as this blog clearly lays out, even if it is too massive and too intense for people to engage.   Small, pragmatic hopes, tiny isolated wins, scraping for what you need is the only way to keep going and keep growing.   Dreaming of huge and perfect is not useful; gleaning what nourishment is available is.   The longest journey starts with a single step.

The dream of a far off city can be motivating, but every day is another struggle for survival against loss, the small cumulative losses that deplete, scar and weaken you.   I scrape by, looking for the next morsel, always finding wisdom and strong reflections, almost never finding connection, nourishment and solace.

Living on the fringes, in the space beyond convention, has massive rewards, yes, but it also has a massive price.  You can offer gifts of clarity and understanding, but those gifts are outside the normative, both valued and terrifying, connecting to the whole but isolating from the village.

Returning the gift is the hardest part of The Hero’s Journey, Campbell tells us, for if society wanted those jewels, they would already have them.  I have gone too far to simply come back into the fold, modulating my vision into missionary messages that can be marketed as product to gain material wealth,

Others may find a nugget or two from me, especially after the pain in my still beating heart is released, and use them them to bring light back.   More power to them.  May they have the blessings of the universe.

Or my work may dry up, crumbling like old scrolls in a universe of too much information.   I may vanish, just like so, so, so many other humans have before me.

This cold, dark morning, the wins feel immensely distant and immeasurably small.   Maybe I can address the latest spate of losses, putting what I have left into the breach, but where, in the end are the wins?   Where is the nourishment and embodied love that will reflect, nurture and maintain me?

I know; the answers are simple, I just need to get out of my head and go with the flow, taking what is available and being delighted with the small pleasures of life.   I am missing the point, and the solutions that have worked for others would certainly work for me, because, after all, we are all fundamentally the same.

And, she said, we are all essentially different.

I am very clear on where the losses are.

Where, though, are the wins?

Bless Mess

Every now and then, I will hear a story about a transperson being less than gracious and I feel embarrassed.

The last story was about a transwoman who asked for my sister’s help at the store to try on shapewear.  They showed a great deal to her, asking for opinions and making her feel uncomfortable.

My sister understood the context, though, helping someone who didn’t grow up in a world of women to get the social training, someone who is a bit lost and without much support to get assistance and advice.  It’s the kind of moment that she values in retail, when she gets to help someone get what they need in the world, from a brother buying a gift for a sister in assisted living to a woman who needs a dress for a wedding that will hide her prosthesis.

When I hear stories that make me squirm a little bit, of a transperson being rough and ragged in the world, I need to choose my response.

It’s easy to get angry and berate them for not keeping up appearances, for letting down the side, for making life harder for the rest of us.   Deciding we know when someone is doing it wrong, choosing to castigate them to show our own quality is a simple choice.

It is, however, a choice that supports stigmatization of transpeople in the world.   If “bad” transpeople should be shunned and ostracized then all people have to do to hurt us is to decide that some of our choices are bad.  The choice to judge is the choice to encourage and validate the self-policing that keeps transpeople small, broken and invisible.

For me, compassion is the only choice.   Just like my sister, I can understand why the person in the dressing room was a bit ragged, needy and unaware of social skills.   I have seen way too many people who were a bit crushed, a bit shattered, and a bit disconnected after living a life in the closet, a life facing stigma and isolation, a lonely life without learning and support.

There, I think, but for the grace of God, go I.  They aren’t doing it perfectly — nothing in human life is ever perfect — but they are doing it, are trying to find a way to integrate their trans nature into their life.   Everyone grows and heals in their own time and their own way, so bless them for doing the work to get out and try.

You won’t ever hear me rag on transpeople, bad mouthing other people for doing it wrong.   I may look at someone’s choices and talk about how I would have done it differently, offering my own positive understanding, but I won’t just be negative about a transperson struggling to find their place in the world.

How can we ask for blessing of our meagre choices if we are not prepared to bless the choices of others?   How can we invoke the golden rule, never doing onto others what we would find to be cruel or unkind?

I have to apply this same principle of blessing to transpeople who are succeeding too.  Rather than picking apart their choices to identify flaws, I need to bless their audacity and strength to get out there and do the work.   My envy, pain and judgment doesn’t hurt them, rather it hurts me, keeping me blaming external forces for my own limits.

God, grant me the strength to change what I can, the serenity to accept what I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Everyone has their own gifts and each one of those gifts comes with its own cost, and the only ones I have control over are mine.

Telling other people what they should do only attempts to turn my own energy outward and negative rather than keeping it inward and positive.

This is often hard to do.  I often feel the judgment when I meet transpeople, especially transpeople who value group identity more than individual expression.   They have bought into the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” of their identity and try to enforce those values, priorities and choices onto others.  They know what choices they would never make for themselves and when they see others making those choices, they devalue and berate them.

Staying centred and affirmative, blessing others even when they don’t understand your choices, or worse, when they attack them, is not easy.   That tit-for-tat, though, is what turns us against each other, leaving us as crabs in a barrel where no one gets out unscarred.

If I want to get blessings in the world, I have to be prepared to give blessings, even to those who are rough, struggling and not so pretty.   I need to approach others with the compassion and understanding that I want them to offer to me.   What goes around comes around.

For me, this is at the heart of both my queer view and my spiritual view, at the core of my calling which intertwines value for the individual with individual values.

Bless the mess in the world, for I am part of it, and I know I need that blessing a great deal.

Don’t Go There

Being centred, clear and balanced is simple if you remember one thing.

Getting high is the same as getting low.  If you are on the roller coaster, you are going to get high, sure, but you are also going to get low.  When we seek the highs, we end up getting crushed by the lows.

The secret to being centred is just to not go there.   Don’t go to the peaks, don’t go to the troughs.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t feel the pull of that wave.   Emotions are emotions, to not have them means not being human.  It means that you don’t let the wave knock you off your feet, toss you around like a bit of driftwood and leave you stuck in a spiral rather than moving forward.

A woman in the front row scowled as I talked about the need for moderation.  I was talking about recovery and as an alcoholic, she had firm ideas that abstinence was the only solution.

“You can live a good life without every having alcohol,” I said, making her nod in grudging agreement.

“But what if the mood altering, habitual prop you use isn’t booze?   What if it is something like food, shopping, seduction or speed?  You can’t live a good life without eating, spending, being in relationship, life it staying put.”

Abstinence is a simple solution, but we don’t live simple lives.   Moderation is harder, learning how to still feel but stay centred.

It’s easy to love the sensation of being high, whatever your high comes from.  For addicts, it’s never the high that kills them, it’s the low that comes after, just like it’s not the fall that kills you, it’s that sudden stop at the end.

Figuring out that you have to moderate the highs to moderate the lows is not an easy thing.   For many, that sensation of being high is what gets them through, lets them avoid and stuff the real pain and challenges in their lives.

Living consciously is living in context, not for the moment, not for whatever feels good, but for some greater context, some connected understanding.

Following your bliss is about getting to a state where you feel connected and growing, not about getting high for a while and then suffering the consequences.  That’s synthetic bliss, not centred bliss, something society can sell us to keep us on the consumption cycle.

Everyone understands the joy of going there.   We dream of a bit of indulgence and oblivion, of immersion in the sensuous sauce.   That moment is dreamy, out of mind and body, sensation to the max.

Finding a way to go there in balance, to not become addicted to the high, is always a challenge.   You have to be able to say no, to stay balanced, to just not go there.

Moderation is hard, sure.  But abstinence doesn’t keep us growing and indulgence just gets us lost.

The discipline to just not go there comes out of our practice, out of reshaping our habits away from sensational highs (and lows) to balanced bliss.

Just be able to not go there, except for the times when everything is good and you can recover the next morning.   Then you can go there, knowing you can come back to centre, come back to a balanced life.

Always Courage

Whatever you do, you need courage.
Whatever course you decide upon,
there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.
There are always difficulties arising
that tempt you to believe your critics are right.
To map out a course of action
and follow it to an end
requires some of the same courage
that a soldier needs.
Peace has its victories,
but it takes brave men and women to win them.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enough To Save Me

Mid-February, hearts & flowers, dining out & lingerie; it’s that time again.

For many, it’s another ritual, a day to share with partners, kids and friends.

For others, it is a time to moan in the dark & frigid time.

“Where,” they cry, “oh where is that special person, that love of my life, the one who will be perfect for me, the person, the only person who can love me enough to save me?”

The romantic myth of redemption, of healing that brings bliss not because we change and grow but because, across a crowded room, we see someone who will save us.

Relationships, though, no matter how committed or intimate, are just relationships. There is no perfect, special relationship that will save you.

My mother always believed she was unhappy because no one ever loved her enough to make her happy.   She wailed and cried, pointing out where every member of her family had failed her, had not given her enough of what she wanted and needed.

She had emotional anorexia, spitting out the positive to stay broken and famished.  If she had started to be nourished by those around her, she would have had to give up her most precious thing; her self imposed identity as a broken and abandoned loser, unloved by everyone, starting with her mother.

It was never her obligation to change, it was the people around her who had to love her enough to heal her.   She externalized her pain; she was unloved and miserable because of “them,” not because of her.

When “them” is you, that anger can begin to burn, especially after five decades.

Someone did need to love my mother more in order to transform her life.  That someone, of course, was her.  Until she could believe she was lovable, she couldn’t accept love.   Until she changed her mindset, she couldn’t get past her own life-myth of being a tormented little girl.

“Save me, save me!” she cried, but the person who needed to listen, who needed to do the work and change, was just too stubborn, waiting for other people to make her happy and healed.

It is hard to give up the dream of having someone to save you.   I know that I kept trying to find it until I got the gift of a smart person who saw through my manipulations every time.   They helped me go through the struggle.

It has been a long, long, long time since I had someone to play the romantic rituals with, to share in performing plays of intimacy that you can feel on your skin and feel in your heart.   I do so miss that.

I am not willing, though, to let someone see me as either saviour or toy to get that kind of engagement.    The kind of salvation people usually want from me is not playful but rather the hope that because I have done my own work I can help them shortcut their work of finding enlightenment and grace.

I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam.
I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
— Woody Allen

My relationship with myself is OK, not because I indulge in immediate gratification of whims, but because I have built a strong knowledge of self that lets me know, see and value what is under the surface, stumbling & finding the jewels that my creator gave me.   For me, bliss is a long term thing, not a quick sugar high.

The work I did has been almost enough to save me, enough to unlock the love I have and let me give it to others.

Would I like playful, romantic intimacy?    Sure.

But I can’t imagine it ever being enough to save me.  Or anyone else, for that matter.

Smoke, No Mirrors

If a human walks in the world and nobody sees them, do they truly exist?

All these words I throw up are just like smoke around a laser beam; floating particles to diffract the energy so it becomes visible for a second or two.

They are s smoke screen intended to reveal, to make energy visible, but instead they form another shield that obscures.

My experience in the world is one of invisibility.   My parents looked right through me, seeing only mt actions because the emotions that drove them were invisible to their self centred, Aspergers minds.  My peers looked at the shell of me, my heart occluded by my own defences and their own assumptions of normativity.

I could only see myself reflected in my own expression, creating a collage from torn up bits.   Who could look at me?   Was I really just ugly crap pretending to be real?

Searching my memory for moments when I felt seen for more than just what I could do for someone else turns up quite empty.

I know from the narratives of others that being seen is the prelude to being touched.

Wavelengths that are invisible still exist, if only in loneliness.

One Or The Other

People, on the whole, don’t like to change their minds.

Always, transsexuals were told, let someone see you full face before you speak.   If they see you as a woman, your voice will be a woman’s voice.  If they don’t see you — like talking on the phone — that choice may well go the other way.

We called this “persistence of gender, ” the idea that once someone gendered you, created an image of you in their mind, they find it very hard to change that vision.

The real problem, of course, isn’t usually with people you just met.  Instead, it is with people who have known you for some time, people who have already pigeonholed you in their mind.  They will tend to see you as just changing clothes rather than really changing your choices.

The old advice for transsexuals was to leave their current space, go someplace new to live as a woman, and then, at least a year and a half later, maybe to go back to their old home.   This removal of encumbrances and assumptions allow transformation and separation from the past.

Today, most transpeople emerge in place, often keeping the same job, the same dwelling and the same connection to family.   This is reasonable — why should we have to give up everything to move on? — but it does create problems with becoming new.

For me, the image of who I am to my family, especially my sister and her friends, is pretty fixed.     This means that when I am around them, I am not a woman, just her brother in a dress.   I find that hard and upsetting.

For well over a decade, I have worked to create separation, always referring to myself as “her elder sibling,” and using initials rather than my given name.   I have been out in the family since the mid-1990s.  I even helped her find the foundation I use recently, knowing the same shade would suit her too.

I am not ashamed of my past as a gender neutral, androgynous male.   (I never really did “man” well, certainly not well enough to ever satisfy a straight gal.) My gender emergence isn’t about trying to break free from a false life; I started that process in the 1980s when I came out committed to gender play.

Persistence of gender, though, ends up requiring that you not send people into confusion, into a point where they have to change their mind about you.

People hate changing their mind so much that they often get angry when forced to do it, blaming the other person as a liar who fooled them, as a traitor who kept a huge secret, as a deceiver who made them look stupid in front of their friends and family.

As transpeople, we may just want to feel safe revealing all of us, showing our history, revealing the challenges that we have faced, marking how far we have come, but we know that to break persistence of gender we risk being hit hard by someone who feels we are hurting them by showing how myopic they have been.

Asking someone to change their mind is asking someone not just to question their beliefs about you, but often also shaking all their beliefs about who they are.   Are they really heterosexual, or might they be more?   Do they really know what they think they know about people they meet?   Who can they trust?

These are good questions to ask, questions that allow us to examine and strengthen our beliefs by getting them more clear, but the person who forces those questions is often seen as a dirty dog.

I know why people hang onto their first impressions, why they like to imagine that they understand the world, that their memories and understandings are fixed and sacrosanct.

Getting stuck behind those mindsets, though, feels dangerous, diminishing and sad.

If we don’t allow space for transformation, don’t commit to seeing and respecting change, then we can’t really complain about other people who feel stuck.

TBB recently met a buttoned up military type, crisp and masculine, who talked about their impending emergence as a transwoman.   “Once I looked into her eyes,” TBB said, “I knew that there was a girl inside there.”

One of the hardest things I do is hold open the space for other people to change, to support growth and healing in the world by everyone.   It would be easier to write people off, to decide I know who they are and dismiss their possibilities, but doing that means I don’t bless my own ability to change.

I had become a new person;
and those who knew the old person laughed at me.
The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor:
he took my measure anew every time he saw me,
whilst all the rest went in with their old measurements
and expected them to fit me.
–George Bernard Shaw, “Man and Superman”

If you can’t change your mind, you can’t change your choices.
If you can’t change your choices, you can’t change your life.
If you can’t change your life, you can’t change the world.

It all starts by being in the moment, by seeing people as they are rather than as you expect them to be, by opening space for change.

Simple Advice

Sometimes it amazes me how simple trans is to people who have never identified as trans.

Almost everybody, it seems, has a take on what transpeople should do to more effectively handle their trans nature in the world.

Of course, most of those ideas involve the transperson exerting more self-discipline, finding ways to create fewer waves, ways to make others feel more comfortable, ways to fit in better.

To transpeople life may be very complicated, but to those around us the answer is so often simple: we just have to get our act more together so we can make more appropriate choices.

After all, they are our feelings and we are the ones who should deal with them, people will tell us.

The oddest part about this advice is that people usually feel that they are being kind, smart and doing us a favour when offering it.  They really do want to help, and they think offering us advice that is so obvious that we have overlooked it is the best way.

There is some sense to that.   Decades of shame, stigma and social denial can make us a bit crazy, a bit scarred, a bit burned.   We can, sometimes, be so aware of the possible downsides that we stay defended rather than reaching out to make connections.

Reaching out to make connections with people who don’t understand the grinding truth of growing up trans in this culture doesn’t really feel safe or welcoming, though.

I know that when I am with a group of women and I bring up issues around trans, I will either have to do a five hour informational training, which no one has time or attention for, or be ready to be told that I am wrong, that the answers are much simpler than I think they are.

People will pull out challenges from their own life and believe that the same solutions will work for me, not seeing the huge gap between our life experiences.

If they don’t see me as normative, the choice is worse.  They will see a gap open up between me and them, either putting me up on a pedestal or putting me down as an oddity.  Curiosity, Normative, Pedestal, as I have written.

There are simple solutions that most of us have never followed.   We don’t resist them, though, because we don’t know what they are. It’s easy to know the best choices.   It is often hard, though, to choose against the fears and feelings we have deep inside, against the habits and experiences that guide our less than good choices.

People heal when they stop resisting change and healing.   People heal when they respond in the moment from their best self and not from the pain and practices that we hold as burdens.   Getting over our blocks is never simple.

My own difference, my own queerness, has helped me engage the stories of other people.   I don’t assume that I understand their challenges, only that I can listen to them, encourage them and reflect what I hear them sharing.   My story is my story and their story is their story, so if I wish them to respect me, I need to respect them.  What I don’t know has filled many, many books.

The fundamentals of human life may be universal & simple, but any given human life is essentially a complex thing, full of unique stories of pain, joy, desire and heartbreak.  Engaging my own complexity allows me to respect the complexity of any other human I meet.

The beauty and power of human lives is not in their simple, generic sameness, rather it is in their nuanced and complex revelation, as individual as snowflakes and flowers.  We are each the product of so many inputs, so many bits and pieces, both empowering and blocking, that simple solutions don’t apply.

And that is true even if simple, routine advice is all we think that we have to share.

Crushing Trans

I recently saw an long interview with Lance Armstrong, talking about the effects of his doping revelations.   To me, he missed the biggest takeaway from the story: He is a bully.

Using focus, intimidation and every trick you can find to win, crushing all who challenge you in the process, from friends to reporters to officials to team mates to partners isn’t yet something he sees as a problem.  That’s just what a winner does, down to asking your girlfriend to lie to the police about who was driving when you hit the parked cars.

This “stop at nothing” mindset is part of the American mythology.   We make a plan and then we execute on it, crushing everything that gets in our way.   We have a single and bloody minded kind of focus which lets us believe that the end justifies the means, that getting ‘er done is the highest value, that winners don’t ask for permission or even forgiveness.

I have seen people with this tradition approach transgender emergence handle it like they do everything else in the world, trying to crush trans.

They tend to put their head down and bull through the steps, rushing to get permissions, believing that when they finish transforming their bodies they will have finished transforming their lives.    They often approach trans as as series of hurdles to be overcome in the most efficient and expedient way possible, another challenge to win.

The ultimate trans surgery, in my experience, is when you pull the stick out of your own ass.   That process starts with dropping your armour, sorting through your past, seeking to find that trans heart you so long ago felt the need to bury so you could try and be a winner in the eyes of the world.

Trans emergence is a restart, a do over, this time making choices based on opening your heart rather than denying it.   It demands processing all the crap that you have been running from for so long, not just burying it deeper.   It means you have to go through the stages of ecstasy and freedom, of struggle and recalibration, of letting go and learning to fit in, of finding a new balance of wild freedom and tame assimilation.

Transvestism is about changing your clothes.
Transsexualism is about changing your body.
Transgender is about changing your mind.

Crushing transgender, bullying it and the world into the way you want it to be, has not proven to be a very successful approach.   It is hard to surrender to your nature when you struggle to control.   Strength, serenity and wisdom are required.

The way you do anything is the way you do everything.   Crushing projects is a way to try and win, but it isn’t really a way to try and blossom.  Showing weakness and vulnerability is the way we ask people to connect with our heart, not being demanding and tough.

Transgender emergence isn’t something you can win.   It is a chance to reweave a more authentic, fulfilling, connected and happier life for yourself and for the people you love.   It requires compassion, for yourself and others, and compromise.

Trying to bully it all to get it the way you think it should be is often the root of the problem, and is never the solution.