Shards of Callan 2019

Callan, when I see your deep emotions spark out from behind the elegant rational cloak you have fashioned, I am usually touched and moved. Sometimes it is hard to remember that even when you play the breeches role, acting as a man to serve the process, the energy behind that comes from a profound feminine desire to care for others, to deliver what they need and expect using your massive, loving, femme heart.

You know, though, that the only way for people to see that astounding inner beauty is to make it manifest, to regularly show it in the wider world. After decades of feeling erased, dismissed and hit trying to reveal yourself, though, you have both a legacy of scars and no support network to mirror and affirm you, meaning that when you feel exposed by performance, you tend to shrink back into contemplation in an attempt to heal.

I believe, though, that when you give others a chance to see that feminine heart, enough will respond positively, finding you compelling and beautiful, for you to start to get more of the engagement and affection you so desperately need, the caring that can penetrate your well of loneliness.

How you have the resilience and endurance to put your beauty out there on regular display, I don't know. But I do know that you, and much more importantly, we in the world would profoundly benefit from the amazing amount of love and smarts you have to give.

“My drag persona is a coping mechanism for the anxiety, so she doesn’t have any awareness of it.”   Compartmentalization as the basis for public acceptance, being what people expect — even if that is a clown — because abundance challenges the demands most follow to be gender accepted.

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.
Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
— Oscar Wilde

I don’t announce “my pronouns.”   Sure, I know what gender my heart is, know it from my longings and my choices, and I have learned how to present that, both in polished form and in soft expressions, but I don’t think I have the indulgence of telling you what you must see.   After all, I don’t want to be told what I must see.   When you tell me what you see, well, then I have a real glimpse into what you see.   In the documentary “I Am Divine,” most of the guys referred to Divine as “him,” but a few of the gals said “her.”   I know that they were seeing a spirit, a heart, and not a body.  I read crossdressers who want to know where “a woman like them” fits in the world and I think that they don’t understand how much they are, how much they are seen as a “guy-in-a-dress.” (1999)   What are the rights of a guy-in-a-dress?  Are we entitled to blithely enter women’s spaces, or is that an intrusion based in arrogant colonization?

Walk in the world with confidence & authority but without entitlement & privilege.   The power of visions exerted with absolute humility.  Yeah.

Both healer and wounded.

the quest for adorable.  
What will we cut off to try and be adorable?
Does it really work in the end?

phobogenic : too much

peed my dress. “Really?”
“How do you go to the restroom?”
It’s usually okay, I look like one of “them,” whoever they are.
Mostly, though, I avoid the problem.

not, not, not, not, not, not, not like that kind of “trans.”

I’m uncomfortable with attention because I assume people are projecting onto me rather than glimpsing into my world.  I exist in the shadows my words cast, not simply what you assume the symbols mean.

“Could I speak continuously for an hour and a half? ”
“Did I?”
“Okay, then I was gracious.”

Not a salon culture where deep conversations and insightful wit is valued.  We no longer intertwine stories, rather we just float on the pressures of society.

In this culture, the people who get to speak are the people with something to sell.   What the hell do I have to sell?

Performance requires performance.   Performance is an edited version of presence; what do you highlight and what do you keep in the shadows?

Hello, I’m Callan and I’m here to help.

Transpeople aren’t different on the surface unless we choose to be.   Transpeople are different at the core, seeded with an energy that is not normative for the bodies we have.   That’s why it’s so tough to communicate the experience to those who haven’t engaged their own queerness, to those who cling to convention in the hope of having simple, “normal” lives.    How do we know that our essence is being seen, engaged and valued, not just reduced & surfaced?   How do we share our narratives with those who are using their full bandwidth just to try and invoke what they want, need and expect in the world?  If being explicit is too much information, reduced to noise, how can I trust inference and assumption?

In a life where I have regularly been told to edit myself, told that I am too much and less is better, that only attenuating my voice, my intensity, my emotions, my insight, my cerebral view can make me appropriate in polite society.   How, on my own, can I find a balance between vibrant presence and not scaring the horses?    Even when I get feedback, does it represent the fears and limits that others have internalized or does it trust empowerment and art, trusting that being brilliant & gorgeous demands being brilliant & gorgeous?   It’s easy to ask for less, for safety, for comfort, much harder to ask for cutting edge thought, bold statements of sharp truth and the kind of wit that allows shining?  Whose fears do we take as real?

How much routine effort do I have to put in to explain, justify or validate my choices to people who feel their beliefs would be abused and threatened if what I express has any truth in it at all?   How much daily work do I have to expend to try and separate myself from limiting ideas and hard-held assumptions?  How much do I need to hold myself protected against the third gotcha?   I know how closeted, disconnected, twisted, indulgent and broken transpeople can become growing up in a world that demands they kill off their queer desire, but I also know that to ask us to be either paragons or abject is to deny our own human healing.

a life full of letting go
of everything
but what you hold inside
releasing desire and ego
always ready to have externals
ripped from you
is a life without grounding
lived in ideas and words
rather than flesh and blood

when even your clothes
can’t belong to you
loving becomes disembodied
living becomes floating
lusting becomes separated
aesthetic hermit
losing warmth

New Year, New Me.
Well, New Performance

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