Field Notes In/On Transition
Not so much a field note as a rant-y diary entry for all to see, (aka a blog entry)
(Warning, this is quite a long entry)
Sometimes I feel like Rob Breszny is stalking me:
"We all need a little more courage now and then," said poet Marvin Bell. "That's what I need. If you have some to share, I want to know you." I advise you to adopt his approach in the coming days, Virgo. Proceed on the assumption that what you need most right now is to be braver and bolder. And consider the possibility that a good way to accomplish this goal is by hanging around people who are so intrepid and adventurous that their spirit will rub off on you.
(if you read this entry after this week, the link will have a new horoscope, but the quote above is from the week of May 10th.)
I know many people feel astrology is silly, and it can be, which to my mind is part of what makes it interesting.
This particular astrologer taps into metaphors and ideas that almost always are things I’m ponderous about at the same time. There is some synch there for some reason that I really don’t feel the need to question. Pre-destination is lame in my opinion.
I’m interested in metaphor, and using language to get to the root of things that bother, and/or stimulate me. (This is as apt a description of who I am as anything I will ever write, btw)
This also happens for me when reading books, or poems, watching movies, etc…. The writer taps into something I’m interested in, and I need to discuss whatever it is at least with myself, if not others.
What I’m getting from the above horoscope is that: while the slow move into ladyhood seems to be working and very comfortable for me, it’s often not quite enough, living as always for those moments of recognition of people who “get it” or “read” me by the simple fact I’m almost always wearing ladies’ jeans, shoes, sweaters.
I haven’t worn more than one item of “male” clothing in over two months. Yet apart from my friends who are calling me Josie, and the few I blather on to about my progress, everyone still ID’s me as male and part of some club I’ve only ever really had a daypass to. I have to constantly remind myself that I’m still in the very early days, and that just because my mind has already made the “switch” it’s not going to be obvious to everyone, or maybe anyone, at least not for awhile yet.
Back to the above Free Will Astrology….
The idea of getting inspired by other brave bold people is something I grok. It’s what I do. I don’t have a lot of heroes, per se, but I am someone who respects a great storyteller, who has lived said great storytellers. To be a great raconteur, in my view is to be evolved. It’s long been my plan to start getting out more to gigs, readings, galleries a bit more as the inspiration I glean is always more than I can muster on my own, alone in my room. Even talking with people at work, about movies (or other things we are interested in, but mostly it’s movies as it is a video store after all) brings me a level of inspiration that’s harder to get to on my own sometimes.
I need to find free or cheap events though as this transition is hella expensive, and my discretionary funds have dwindled significantly in recent months. I’m starting with going to https://www.facebook.com/events/308571565878618/ The Stone Soup festival, in my hood this weekend.
Lots of inspiring food, crafts etc there. Artists(ans) doing their thing. I will spend a bit of money. But more importantly I plan on some good conversations with people who inspire me, while dressed as girly as I dare. My transition will be as artful and thoughtful as I can make it, thus I need to find some inspiration in some art.
Another thing I wanted to talk about is something that’s been bugging me the last week or two, but I don’t have concrete example, or field notes about. It’s more complex than just single descriptive encounters and my interpretation of said.... so I will just dive in:
A lot of the people I talk to, friends, acquaintances, customers, are of the male persuasion of course, and boy howdy, (just now after two months of lowering my testosterone levels that ) I’ve really begun to notice and be annoyed by the misogyny that seems to abound all around me… It’s weird how you can know something, and yet not really “know” it until something in your mind changes and you actually “get” what it is.
Simply by making the shift in perspective, finally actually seeing myself as a woman and not someone trying to be a man, or trying to be a woman, for that matter.
I can really understand even at this early early stage of transition, why so many trans women want to “go stealth” once they can “pass” all day, every day. (Some of us may never get that dream, but it’s likely what almost all of us want, not to be questioned as to our core identity) But really I’m really beginning to grok just how engrained misogyny is in our culture, even here on “The Drive” - Hippy Central? maybe, but also just as dominated by ridiculous gender stereotyping/scapegoating as the rest of the world.
Lots and lots of women have told me about this, and I’ve read about it, and, I’ve seen it, and sadly, perpetrated it myself, but I don’t think I ever really “got” until just recently how much male bonding happens over “complaining about chicks”. Of course yes, I’m sure the reverse can be said, as well.
It’s one of those things that spans pretty much all cultures, the fact that there are differences in how men and women think, and act in various situations. Sometimes we follow the well worn path of cliche, or stereotype. But you know, often we do not conform to these stereotypes, and that is what gives me hope.
And hey, not that in these complaints there isn’t the odd “valid complaint”, but it’s only valid in the person to person sense, not in an “everyone of said gender” sense. Everyone falls prey to living up to cliches now and then. Everyone. That’s something that in my view, you need to be able to admit, as well as deal with in a mature fashion when it’s (politely) pointed out to you. At least that’s my take on the most common of human foibles, ‘other gender bashing’.
I guess I’ve begun to really notice this constant misogyny lately because I don’t really see myself as male, at all anymore.
It might end up that I’m endlessly stuck in between genders, but you know: I’d be fine with that, as I’ve spent most of my life feeling as though I was outside of both the male and female cultures that we call Men & Women.
Outside the culture and the science of male and female, man and woman, is how I’ve mostly understood the world. I was however, comfortable at least playing with the toys of the male experience, while yearning to be included in the seemingly more intimate female experience, and knowing deep in my heart from a very young age that I would never ever really experience either world, fully. I still feel this way, but I’m trying to make the most of the fact that I live somewhere that I can try to change “who I am” and have support from my community, family, friends.
This is also why I’ve always had such a hard time actually accepting gender or anything else in the world as a binary system. the idea of anything other than a computer program, or a poll, or something like that, as a “two option only system”. There is only good/bad, on/off. Highly unlikely in almost any case. There are always grey areas, if you take a minute to think about things. I don’t mean either the whole “third” option idea. the tri-nary system is just as ludicrous as a dualistic one, in my humble opinion.
High minded, and half baked ideas aside, I feel like I’m going to have to start saying something to my dude friends and acquaintances, about how little I enjoy the “misogyny sharing” when it occurs. If you can’t talk about someone without dumping on them for being a woman, you don’t really have anything to say, so why bother. Why do otherwise relatively enlightened people need to regress to Us V. Them so much, so often? I really have no urgent need to have “an Other”, or an enemy. This is one of the things that “uggghs” me about organized religions: this need for binary moral systems. I find no comfort in that whatsoever
I really don’t get it. Maybe because I have always been on the outside looking in at the boys and the girls around me.
I’m not even sure I’ve actually made any kind of point with this missive, but it needed to be blurted out for some reason,and that’s what blogs are for. so here it is.
My conclusion I guess is a variation on the old adage that the Journey is far more important than the destination. Life is far more important than the afterlife, as either it guides you to the “right afterlife” or nothing happens to you at all, since you are dead, or maybe something entirely different than our cultures even understand.
My bet is on the latter. And it’s how I survive in the face of weird shit that happens in the world, things that have no “moral sense”.
Having no idea if there is anything beyond this life gives me far more comfort than some heavily constructed cosmology, as does a denial of anything beyond a human physical life. Both of those options bore me, and strike me in my heart as false.
I don’t think we should know if there’s anything could understandably describe beyond our physical senses and ability to reason and describe.
I’m also sure most will have some other ideas on this, and your comfort is just as valid as mine. I use different language, but am of the whatever works for you school of thought on all matters of cosmology, spirituality, or whatever it is we’re talking about here.
Okay, sidetracked once again by my own fuzzy metaphors.
I guess I’m thinking about death recently as May 10th would have been my sister Carrie’s 39th birthday, but she died 19 years ago. My view is that she is still there in many many hearts and memories, and that for me is more comforting than thinking of her in an “afterlife”.
Her afterlife for me is in the love that has never gone (and in fact grown) despite her not “being here” anymore. So she’s not ever gone in that sense. who doesn’t talk to their dead? I do feel a great loss for my transition, as it would be so awesome to have a sister to lean on and learn from. Carrie did know about my gender issues before she died, and was accepting and loving, this alone gives me great strength.
Lucky for me I have memories of her, and her love in my heart, but I also have family and friends who I very much see as “sisters” in terms of their acceptance of me and support they keep giving me on my journey.
and yet this almost makes me want to emigrate. :p