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

Friday, April 24, 2009

Being Special

One of my girlfriends recently commented on how I tend to gush about how cool it is to be a woman. It seems like that's given her more appreciation for it, which his great, but her comment made me more aware of my attitude and led me to question it.

It's true that I'm thoroughly enjoying the freedom to explore my own femininity and sexuality. I do enjoy every aspect of womanhood I am able to participate in (except the tendency of some people to objectify, sexualize, or ignore me). But as I consider it, I think the real thing I'm finding joy in is being myself, in being connected with myself and others. It isn't femininity and womanhood per se, but the integrity, beauty, connection, autonomy, clarity, and sovereignty of my own life as a woman that are so rewarding. In my inner life, it's having hormones that correspond with my subconscious sex, so that my mind feels integrated instead of semi-schitzophrenic, and beginning to enjoy my body and my breasts and the way I look in the mirror.

All of these are miracles of wonder to me, but they are hardly unique, and they really don't indicate that being a woman is any more special than being a man. My trans men friends all report feeling the same way, just going in a different direction. For them, the joy is all in masculinity and manhood. (I know, I don't get it.)

The real meaning beneath the joy I find in my womanhood is found in the Bard's immortal statement: "To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man." As Dr. Irene says (in a different context that makes this one no less true), "Allowing someone else to define who we are, we lose our ability to discover and grow inwardly. We no longer are able to discern a truth from a lie. For many of us, we have accepted lies for so long, that finding out what is true takes time. Having done this very thing, I know how difficult the journey to self-discovery can be."

It's as if Dr. Irene were talking about trans people, instead of survivors of abuse. I relate completely. For the first time in my life, I am being true to my own self. And that feels damn good.


anne said...

Hey girl,

YAY!!!! You can gush all you want!


Ellen de Bunchastu said...

As long as you don't attach your sense of self to things that are false, then of course joy will follow!



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