Absolution

There are many people in the world who know that they don’t understand much about transpeople and their challenges in the world.

These people feel their own stuff come up when faced with trans.  How can they deal with someone who wears their Eros on their sleeve?

Do they ask us to hide our trans for their comfort, wanting us to stay invisible in the world so they won’t have to feel disquieted at all?

Do they see us as a porno come to life, a real she-male right in front of them and then ask us to meet them behind the mini-mart and suck their dick?

Do they tell others that we are an abomination and shouldn’t be allowed to use the same sanitary facilities that they use?

Well, all that was one recent day for a transperson of my acquaintance.

Negotiating the fears and drama of other people is the hardest thing transpeople do, as I wrote in 2002.

Often, though, just being the target of their unhealed shit isn’t enough for them, though.

They don’t just want us to absorb their own ignorance, crudity and discomfort, they want us to absolve it.

People actually want to confess their panic to us and then have us bless them.

“There, there.   It’s perfectly alright to slight a tranny, to act out your own internalized issues upon us.  You can’t help it, of course.  You are just doing the best you can, I know that.

“You are now totally forgiven for violating the golden rule towards me, and if you do it again, that will be fine.  I am here to absorb whatever shit you want to spray, because, after all, it is I who walked through the abuse and shaming of culture, so it is I who should continue to take whatever blows are left for me.

“I have had to transcend so much that what is one more blow, or a sequence of blows, or even everyday abuse?   I am here for your discomfort.

“Please, don’t feel bad just for acting out against a tranny.   What else could you possibly have done?

“You are absolved my child.  Go in peace.”

There is an old Bert & I joke:

An old guide tells the city fella to go fetch a pail of water from the spring.  He comes back in just a moment, an empty bucket and looking white as a sheet.

“There’s a bear in the spring!” he blurts out.

“Don’t worry about it.” the guide replies.   “That bear is as scared of you as you are of him.”

“Well,” the city fella sputters, “in that case, you don’t want any water from that spring anyway.”

Bears know that humans are much more dangerous to bears than bears will ever be to humans.  Trying to explain that to a human, though, is very difficult.  Shit, it’s a goddamn bear!

Walking into a place and not knowing what gotchas lie in wait is very, very difficult.  All it takes is a couple of drunk redneck women or a fundamentalist crew at a UPS store to make our life difficult and painful.

Having to walk in and be ready to be the bigger person, reaching out to connect and soothe fears of others, ready to absolve their acts and make them comfortable again, well, often that’s just a lift too far.   The very thought can make you want to stay in a basement rather than having to absorb, educate, absolve and then do it all again.

I know why people want absolution, claiming that they are just doing the best that they can, so they deserve to be let off the hook.

I also know, though, how this usually plays out.   The transperson has to do all the work for the whole network, absorbing all the issues as others resist healing.  We have to be the shock absorber, working to make others feel safe in our presence while we feel completely unsafe in theirs.

Gender binaries make people crazy.   We swim in a sea of gender and everyone who is gendered has some strain, some twists, some challenges around how they had to comply with the rules.   The enforced binary keep us suspect of the people around us, keep us having to play gender games to stay effective in the system of desire.  It’s a challenge.

Those of us who felt the deep calling to walk into that no-man’s/no-woman’s land to find a role that fits our own heart seem to be exceptional, able to go where no normal person ever could.   If we can face those stresses in ourselves, then facing those stresses in others can’t be all that big a deal, right?

We are to be held separate, heroes or villains, on a pedestal or in a hole,  not really normal humans but something profound, scary and different.

Transpeople are not here to let you act out your issues around gender and desire.  We don’t stand up as targets for you.   You have to do your own healing.

Taking the blows to be ourselves, well, that’s hard, but we do it because we really, really, really need to.

Absolving your actions, though, based in your own internalized issues around gender, well, that’s just too damn much to ask.

Lost Me Gone

Who the fuck am I?

Oh, I know all the things I think and all the ways I service others.

But right now, who I am just seems to be massively lost.  Somehow, I seem to be invisible to others, just a problem wrapped in an enigma.

I learned to be concierge for over a decade.  Then, in two and a half years of purgatory after my parents died, I learned to be smaller.

Now I am being called upon to manifest again.

And, after all that all that time, all that neglect, all that abuse, I have become without form.    I offer my words and my services, but who I am just seems to pass through others like a grey cloud.

I am without form.  Whatever reflections return from the world around me seem so much not to be me but rather just a glimpse of nebulous gas, the sight of a bag whose content is gone or at least insubstantial.  I am solely the facets of me that they want to see, never whole, never real.

Looking in the mirrors around me I am without weight and form, even as my corpus gets bigger and more slovenly.  My desires are stripped and I exist only as a figment of others needs, tainted with a wad of sad, sad distance.

Only as legend do I exist, separated from any kind of real human connection.   I weave in an out of the struggles of others, attending even as I become less human, less dimensional.

Existing only in the possibility and vision of others feels like not existing at all.  I feel void, squeezed into some cracks in their lives, just old lubricant for their new and continuing problems.

Rather than gain substance in the world, creating change by accumulating weight, I have left that incarnation to become ephemeral, living only as the flashes of a spirit in the world.    I am a bright light that flashes for a moment, oscillating light, and then instantly subsides again into some limit of perception.

My journey to illumination was crucial for me as I went away to attend to others, a going to ideas and not presence, beyond fleshly presence.  Stripping personal vanity as so much of me became invisible to those who squeeze into their own fears, habits and expectations, nothing changed to make space or reality for me to inhabit.

Beyond trying to force myself into mental structures where I only fit as light between, blinks of illumination that cannot stay in the needs of day after day, I have learned the apparent boundaries of perception existence, the crush between elegance and meat.

The next question to ask comes in a flash, but offered, the answers come with sluggish resistance, mostly rolling backwards into a preconceived demand.  In that retrograde roll, I become erased, as useless as the dreams of a prophet in a world struggling for another bite.

Push back towards normal, fit into the present, become one of us, far from the place where you have flown to.   We are the real, the clobbered, the practical, and your shimmering insight pretty and useful only as much as it serves us.   Taking what we want shows you who you must be, and the rest, beyond our ken or or care, well, nothing there.

Decorative, pretty, engageable, I am not.   More of my light just brings greater darkness as eyes shut down, averted to focus on what is primal and assumed.  Art beyond need or understanding, acknowledged wise but eminently disposable in the face of instant needs.

No mantle for me, no space in the requiem of survival, not propping up the needs.   Demanding beyond is downer negation, erased to maintain the strain, the slender threads that retain carnal stability in a rattling, pelting, pounding world.

All this time pounded back into insubstantial knowledge, existing as a fragment of soul defended by mind in a world where whoever the fuck I am does not, can not exist.    I shape my understanding for sharing, but only tiny specks make it out, instants of insight that illuminate but then need to be slapped out as coals of a fire that cannot be allowed to exist.

Value purged, reduced to known and acceptable needs, the me beyond runs to the vanishing point.   Too far away or too tiny, it makes no difference as the flashes of mental/spiritual reality are just become invisible points of light, sweet stars that make no difference to need and desire around them.

Nuance, context, ritual, joie de vivre held in spirit become foreshortened, only to serve the carnal inertia of expected desire.   Beyond what is wanted the divine surprise cannot exist, just garbage noise of cranks and fools.

World shaped into an audience only for the commercial and canned, sensational and sentimental, harking back to the impulses marketing triggers for control setting, beyond and handmade is trivial, something for the garbage bag.

So long squeezing my flights into rationalized textures, struggling for common ground that makes me manifest in the shared inhabit space, I fail in creating connection, instead always being never enough as too much.   Going there is not here, so I shed like liquid on slick plastic, resistant to the water of life beyond convention.

As much as I thank creation, every step towards insight is a step away from society.   They want a bit of intensity, but no so much that it burns or explodes comfortable belief, arrogant needs where consuming always trumps invocation.  A tiny bit yes, a lovely scent of revelation, only not a real glade dumped into a carefully contrived bathroom environment.

Vision beyond is vision wasted, as only so much may trickle through the pores of everyday existence.   Too much incision becomes terrifying, removing that which we cling to for insulation keeping the shallow past moving.

The search for community with values and vision that can be home is beyond.   Where is one a star for other than supporting existing visions, continuing some sense of identity as it is, rather than as it can be?

Is the goal always becoming tradition, a piece of the known, expected and loved?   That seems impossible for me, so much time and life lived in shadows without manifestation and presence in a wider world.  To be myself, I slid off the normative, up and away to some spirit.

I know that however much I put myself and my truth into this text, there will be no reflection, no return, not even any ripples that make awareness of my presence.   I will be erased, void, invisible, gone, reduced to some kind of Rorschach test.

Someone may get a flash from my words.   Maybe that flash will get caught under another thought and come back to illuminate sometime in the future.  Maybe, but I will never know.  It will never feed back to me.

Who the fuck am I, then?   I understand my service. I understand my connection with a creator who gives me gifts that open visions in my heart.  I understand my quest beyond.

Becoming small enough to pop into the expectations and assumptions of others feels beyond me.   They have no idea what they want beyond the tapes they wrap their lives in.

But who I am or even who I could be in the world I see?

Any sight of that is void, lost.

That means I am insubstantial, that me and my essence doesn’t really exist beyond what others squeeze into their vision.

Without form, only shards that erase me rather than reveal me.  No reflection of heart.

No.  Me.