Today I celebrate myself. Like Walt Whitman, I embrace myself:
“Clear and sweet is my Soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my Soul.
Not an inch [of my body], nor a particle of an inch, is vile….
I see, dance, laugh, sing:” *
The last week I have come into a newness of being. My body, more than it ever has, is joining in unity with my soul. There is a new ease about presenting as a woman, born in that unity and reinforced by recently being “Ma’am”-ed by a total stranger on the phone. (Only another transwoman can appreciate how special that is!)
Not to say life is perfect. I may never again share the intimacy I once shared with K, given my blend of genders. And even as I embrace myself and my unique gender, there is irony; last night I quizzed a post-op transwoman friend of mine about SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery, or ‘sex-change operation’). Not a particle of me is vile, yet I will most certainly change a part of me through surgery, should I ever gather enough money to do so.
Which takes nothing away from my celebration, born in a recent morning when I bogged down in despair over the hopelessness of being seen as the woman I am. I looked in the mirror before going to work and facing the public, and asked myself, “Do you have enough courage to face this day?” The answer was instant, unequivocal, and from the heart: “You bet I do!” That courage found, I faced the day with confidence. I followed that by adopting my 2008 New Year’s resolution, “Cultivate abundance,” and by taking a part in an all-woman cast performing The Vagina Monologues, by Eve Ensler.
There is something beautiful about this shape-shifting possibility, this opportunity to enter into the ancient wisdom and sacred space between the sexes, and the potential for shifting our culture to respond anew to the natural diversity of biology – the culture of the rainbow, God’s creation, seen everywhere in the wild profusion of life, which our culture has so long attempted to suppress. It comes down to this: For the first time in my life, I like myself.
*(Walt Whitman, from Song of Myself - http://www.bartleby.com/142/14.html)
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
Reading List for Information about Transpeople
- Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
- Conundrum, by Jan Morris
- Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
- My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
- Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
- She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
- The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
- Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
- Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
- Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
- Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
- True Selves, by Mildred Brown
- What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
- Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano