Integrity, Integration

The ultimate trans surgery is always pulling the stick out of your own ass.  At some point, you have to drop the tension, the armour and the defenses to let yourself flow as a human, becoming vulnerable and present, opening your heart and your mind to the gift that is the present.

In trans narratives today, there is a veneration of a moment of transition, which is usually portrayed as a total rebirth, the first moment when somehow, you have become authentic.

Some love to imagine the moment when everything changes.   For example, they believe that people will treat them differently on the plane ride home from genital reconstruction surgery that they did on the plane ride to surgery.

This notion of drawing a curtain on the past is supported by the notion of passing.  It has always been seen as rude to out someone as trans, to indicate that you can tell that they didn’t go through puberty as the sex assigned for their presentation gender.

Today, many want their own assertion of gender to be the end all and be all of how others should see them in the world.

“I am a ______ and my preferred pronoun is _______ and that’s the only way that you should ever think of me! Any intimation that I am more or different than what I claim is not only the height of abuse, it is a micro-aggression against me, a form of trans-violence!”

While being polite and respectful to others, honoring their presentation is always the right thing, does anyone really have the right or the ability to put limits on what others think, understand or believe about us?  Do you want them to have the power to put limits on how you think of them?   If not, the Golden Rule kicks in.

The truth is simple: changing your clothes, your name, your asserted gender, your body or even your genitals does not change who you essentially are.

It may allow you to change your choices, to change your relationships, to change your life, but that change — changing your mind — doesn’t come automatically.  And it doesn’t change your essence, only empowers you to reveal it more rather than concealing it

Immersion is a key part of transformation.  You have to leap, to become new, to cease being bound by the past so that you can become new.  Rebirth is vital.

The key to a whole life, though, is integration.  Taking all the pieces of you, the intense and different facets of who you have been and who you are, and putting them together is what ends up creating the jewel that is your life.

God gives you the gift of your being and you give God the gift of your becoming.

The heroes journey is about becoming both totally new and who you always were.   It is about revelation and connection, not about concealment and separation.

The stick that we carry, clenched so very deep in our bum, is there to keep us tight, never allowing what we consider ugly or dissonant to be revealed to other people. That also means that our deep, essential and messy humanity isn’t revealed to them either.

Transpeople, in my experience, don’t simply transition, being Biff one moment and Suzy the next when something magical happens.

Instead, we emerge into the wider world, poking our heart out and seeing how people respond.   We put one foot in front of the other, taking one step at a time, a long sequence of small leaps which moves us away from fear and expectations to love and liberation.

If you are done changing, you are done growing.  “It is surely a lifetime’s work, this learning to be a woman [or a man]” as May Sarton said.

In my experience, transition is a continuing process in every humans life.  Even if those moments feel more like revolution than evolution, they never create a real discontinuity in who we are, as they only change who we think we are, who we claim ourselves to be.

The moment when we start pulling the stick out of our butt is the moment when we stop trying to create boundaries between who we are and how we want to be seen.   It is the moment when we move past shame, fear and manipulation to reveal all of us, not only to the world but to ourselves.

We lie first to ourselves, trying to wall away the bits of us that we are too afraid to engage.   We want those bits to be erased rather than having to find a way to own them, own the queer and ugly bits that make us human beyond the assertion of the way we want to see ourselves, the way we want to be seen.

The incredible veneration of the transition narrative for transpeople, of  the notion that by coming out and asserting our chosen identity we finally become new and authentic is thrilling, easy and totally bullshit.

The ultimate trans surgery is always pulling the stick out of your own ass, embracing your own twisty history, dropping the pretense and demands to show up as an integrated, actualized, and beautiful human.

Everybody heals in their own time and their own way, though, so that coming to healing can take a long time, may take a lifetime.  But the gift of a lifetime is becoming who you are.

God gives you the gift of your being and you give God the gift of your becoming.

And that becoming never just happens in one big moment when you step across the gender line.

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