I’ve always been drawn to the word “monster.” Me and some other genderqueers* used it in
A very dear friend asked me recently, and I believe this came from a Christian perspective because she’s Christian, if I thought God had made a mistake. I knew this to be a loaded question; the assumption that yes, God made a mistake and I was supposed to have been born a man, began to coagulate in the air between us. But the heaviness dispersed as I sucked an inbreath and connected with that consciousness that makes absolutely no mistakes. And then I got excited.
“I don’t think God made a mistake, AT ALL!” I can feel my eyes widening; I’m loving my friend's open inquiry, that we can have this discussion. “I think God absolutely meant for me to be born a woman, and to come to this transition at this time. Think about what people like me can bring to the experience of being the “opposite” sex. I feel like God is using trans people to undo all this horrific damage brought about by millennia of single-gendered spirituality. Even that stupid Dan Brown book – like it’s totally awakening in even mainstream consciousness that we’ve been missing the Divine Feminine!”
You can see I am a bit of freak when excited. Envision foam flecks if you like. I’m on a roll: “Who is the ultimate male role model? Who? Jesus! Compassionate, elastic, a true radical who wanted people to dump their wealth and go walk in the desert with him! He was too much for the hegemony! Think of this work he did! We totally lost THAT gorgeous male energy through the institutionalization of this religion. We subsumed the true Christ message in the desire to keep political power intact.” I really believe this. I believe we’ve created a metastasizing religious monster, if you will, that has nothing to do with divine spirit.
Now, as you’ve read, I’m learning hand over fist again that trannys are just like everyone else. We’re bigots, and republicans, and sailors, and book readers and we watch the same crap, listen to the same music, eat the same food and fuck** the same way (really!) as everyone else.
Nonetheless, there seem to be enough transgendered men and women who are hip to this, who intuit consciously that they have been blessed by having been born and socialized as “the other.” We appreciate that it is our job on the planet to upend these constricting social constructs. We have the opportunity to model an integration of gender, to raise gender to a higher experience. Even on the most mundane plane – and I recognize a man could figure this out but bear with me – I recall my heterosexual girlfriend expressing a deep fear, borne of her experience with men. “I’m afraid you expect sex from me” she said, sensing a demand that I hasten to add came from within and not without.
“Oh, I want sex all the time” I assented “but I never expect it.”
That, I believe, is a critical distinction. I understand, as a woman with not a little het experience***, what it’s like to feel that insistence from one’s partner. I know some guys feel pressured this way too, I get that I’m painting with broad (ha! “broad!”) strokes (double ha!) but her experience was that there was an expectation of sexual service from men. That’s too bad. That’s just a subtle, practical way a transgendered person can change the dynamic.
Unfortunately in this world of fear (cue Disney “Small World” – “it’s a world of torture, a world of fear!”) I’ve observed that phenomenon of aligning oneself with the Other Side. Give a monster some power, a disguise, and the monster thinks it’s One of Them. In my overarching quest to “be comfortable in my own skin” I hope I never forget what skin I’m in. My hyper-vigilance, this need to deconstruct everything, to sift for prejudice, can remind me to stay humbled by this transition, to not drift into the warm, wet dream of white male privilege. It’s intoxicating and alluring and I want it badly, baldly sometimes, at the expense of who I really am. It’s bolstered by everything around us.
Today I got to give myself my shot. I’m a lucky, lucky man, and a lucky, lucky woman.
*The hilarious geniuses Mocha-Jean Herrup and Rachael Shannon.
**albeit BETTER.***I like to think of myself now as “heteroflexible.”