We join a group by assimilating, by showing that we share the goals, characteristics, values and history that bring the members together.
I listen like a girl, listen like a woman, listen like a mother. Listening is the essential receptivity of femininity, even more than the sexual receptivity that is so often seen as basic. Whoever we are, we spend much more time communicating than we do copulating.
The problem is that I don’t speak like a girl, like a woman, like a mother. My content is feminine, laced with reflection and consideration, but my style is quite determined, authoritative and sly.
That style comes out of figuring out what works for me with this body, this history and this energy. Being cute, for example, never worked for me, nor did looking for kindness. The heavy expectations of manhood were dumped on my broad shoulders and I was never, ever allowed to forget that.
When I was a kid, I craved the feminine, being sent to therapists in 3d, 5th and 8th grade. I tried to compartmentalize, but as in my 30s, I started exploring androgyny, the beginning of a journey that lead me to my current understanding and expression, which is unique, individual, assimilated and queer. I found ways to own my own power which meant not surrendering my voice to any group, not staying small, at least in my vision and knowledge.
This lead me to “The Loneliness Of A Long-Lost Tranny,” which has been the tagline of this blog since I started it fourteen years and over a million words ago.
It’s not that I want to be lonely & lost, it is the problem of finding community.
I am told is what part of me I need to suppress to fit in to any group. My reduction is not based on clinical depression, rather it has always been based on demands & expectations of suppression, having to hide, to deny, to kill off the parts of me that do not easily fit in society.
Moving beyond suppression demands finding a group that allows me to assimilate as me, as all the parts of me, yin and yang.
And I just have to say, I’m grateful to be working. I’m grateful at 50 to be getting the best parts of my life. And that’s great, but in my heart, I’m so sad. I lost my sister Alexis. And trans people are still being persecuted. And I’m in mourning every day of my life, Alexis, and I will be the rest of my life for you, until we change the world so that trans people are not persecuted. And give them jobs. They’re human beings. Let’s give them jobs. Let’s get rid of this bias that we have everywhere. Thank you
The price of a lifetime of suppression is very, very high.
Today, there is much focus on trans-kids, young people who claim their gender in new ways. Yet every transperson was a trans-kid at some time, and the vast majority of us were not embraced, not acknowledged, not facilitated in finding our unique heart and individual power, but instead were required to fit into moulds that eased community expectations rather than let us find ways to be seen, understood and valued for our unique contributions to the group.
Learning what we need to hide to fit in rather than what we must reveal to own an authentic queer voice is life destroying. And having people around us who need us to stay small and simple, just as we need connection, is so lonely that it is soul destroying. They may need the beasts of burdens they have come to expect in their assumptions about us, but we need liberation beyond, affirmation of essence, transformation emergence and trust.
Having to be both far enough ahead to be healed and far enough behind to not be challenging, the one who negotiates and quells the fears of others even as they cling to the small talk, small thoughts and small terrors of normativity is too much to ask of any individual.
We join a group by assimilating, by showing that we share the goals, characteristics, values and history that bring the members together. The smaller those expectations are, though, the smaller we have to appear to be to pass through the screening.
People who found that being constrained by the demands put on them based on their genitals just were too confining, people who have the experience of moving beyond and are able to share the experience of that journey, well, we have trouble playing small enough to just fit in at the local senior centre.
The price of suppression, playing small to fit in, is crushing, And the price of claiming, facing down the dragon with “Thou Shalt” on every scale to claim the gift of a lifetime, who we truly are, is desperately isolating.
Trying to do both at the same time, to stay connected as a woman and stay free as an individual is just totally exhausting, without any place to feel safe, to land, to be fed and cared for.
I listen. I speak. I am deemed “too much.”
And all I have left is my lone voice.