Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Friday, August 1, 2008

Gifts

There have been difficulties and wrinkles, of course. I haven't been able to complete all the tasks I would like to have completed, in particular a project for a friend and more blog posts. Several happily anticipated social events have been canceled or rescheduled. Today I suffered a migraine for a few hours, and Kristin has a cold. Yet this week has been a wonder, of sorts.

Part of it is a sense that I am passing. Strangers treat me more and more frequently to "ma'am" or "she" or, speaking to their children, "Say ___ to the lady." (A mixed blessing, that. I'd rather the child's response be genuine, and I'd like to see her enjoying autonomy, yet I also enjoy the treatment of me and understand the parents' concern to guide their child in the social graces.)

Part of it is a sense of my own developing social grace, and the warmth of friendship coming at me from many angles. A delicious email from my niece. I am loved, and my own love is richly received.

And it was fun to win the table topics at my Toastmasters club – for the first time!

But I think perhaps most of all, it is the epiphany, or intuition, or realization I had in an empathy session with a dear friend: I am fully woman as I am, no matter what my body reflects. I don't have to change anything, and that will always still be true. For a moment, I could love and accept my body. I got beyond the sense of being defined by my body, and that sense lingers on.

I sat with it, with gratitude filling my heart.

The gratitude, the joy, lingers on as well.

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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.
~Helen Keller

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
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our
Beloved's.
~Hafiz