what is trans.

Somewhere beyond/between being invisible  and visible – beyond/between being too close and too far

this is a long one. bear with. and please contribute to the resources! comment!

There is a somatic experience of feeling shadowy like a plume of dust. And then sometimes, the dust plume dissolves/explodes to nothingness. I look down and I cannot see/feel a me t/here at all.

I began the new year of 2012 in this blog-o-sphere trying not to write so much – to use images more. The verbal voice is screaming for a chance here. A try. A go.

I found/find it interesting that after an earlier but recent post’s mention of non-emotive-ness – I was all waterworks for about 10 days surrounding the amendment here in NC, the POTUS’s statement the next day, my day job school principal’s and board’s reenforcement of their utter support for queer families – literally/actually/practically… See, I don’t care for marriage at all personally – well politically either. I most often self-identify as dis-identified or as an asexual alien.

And I have never cried about politics before. I have been active and involved – for the impact on this relative realm that makes the fighting worthy. Nevermind that the ‘issues’ are so often ‘picked’ by the opposition’s drawing up boundaries/definitions/othering/alienating legislation. Separation of church and state is bewitching, bothering, and bewildering. I expected the amendment to pass, and I expect fracking to pass too – legislatively. We are living in an end-of-times science fiction novel these days.

Then there are those moments of silt plumes in water puffing away dry where it should be OtherWise. Working to educate and learn neighborly compassion, and keep gender outlaws living versus suiciding is gravelly gritty loving reason to try to keep breathing under all this toxic dry water.

Conversations post Trans screening have been all over the ‘spectrum.’ I am grateful for these conversations stirring and the questions that keep coming. I wonder how to break through the m/f binary earlier in the processes of understanding that folks experience – who are not directly/intrapersonally gender-journeying. I pathetically want to trust that it is obvious that not all transgender/genderqueer/gender nonconforming people identify with the binary, much less want to leap from ‘one’ end to the ‘other.’ Passing, hormones and surgery are life-and-death for many under the “T” umbrella, and completely irrelevant to many under that dry-wet thing.

I also wonder about the struggles of class and race within the ‘trans community’ being discussed as just that – some unifier within the trans community. I do not know what that community is, and yet somehow imagine I am a part of it. Confusion. Goodness in there that. Not all transgender people struggle with their class or race – in any place-space along the spectrums of class and race amongst those who identify with any class system or race projections. And still, many people struggle!

In searching for ways to comprehend others’ lives – particular storied patterns are grasped and become to seem solid. Truth is then painfully shrinking. Parents look around. Children see. Memory mambo is woven over and under and over again. All this to say, not all gender nonconforming folks know something between 2 and 7-years-old. There are incredible stories of 60-something-year-olds freshly figuring self and gender out.

We must not rest on what we think are patterns of discovery about hearts beating inside bodied people‘s lives and/or identities. There may be some patterns that emerge. Allow them. And allow them to be undone!

“believe in the beginning of the end of all belief.”

~Captain Snowdon, from Moving Into The Body

One documentary cannot even seem to document even any sense of even any concept of what it is/what it means to be ‘trans.’ We must keep talking and sharing and learning. Put more and ever more out there – in the arts, at the dinner table, in the carpool, on yer social media 😉

Here are some links for fodder – not trusting my words:

Old favs:

What is the Body Capable of? What is the Body for? – j/j hastain

strange bird sanctuary – ks

I Forgot I Had Gills When I Got Here – Sam Peterson

Beyond Gay Marriage and Queer Separatists–The Call for a Working-Class Queer Movement – Lou (read all the comments ;))

Still No Freedom Rainbow for Transgender People of Color – by Mandy Carter

The Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) – A world free of shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries for people born with an anatomy that someone decided is not standard for male or female.

Trans Enough vs. Trans Too Much – Nick


Beyond LGBTQQIA etc, Who’s a Member of Our Club? – Kate Bornstein

A Gender Not Listed Here: Genderqueers, Gender Rebels, and Otherwise in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey

Towards a Queer Dharmalogy of Sex – book excerpt – Roger Corless (scroll on down a wee bit)

20:41 minutes on Melissa Harris-Perry – “Being Transgender in America”

14 Steps That Will Evolve Your Views On Gay Marriage

Some films to watch:

Venus Boyz

Southern Comfort

Paris Is Burning

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Some lengthy lists of film titles here!

Alas, books are my preferred medium. I have shelves of titles old and new. …Another post someday perhaps…

Have you caught my woeful efforts to research speedy like – and the gaping gaps of identities and experiences under represented in my notes! Yar! Please contribute to this querying. Make suggestions, recommendations – and ask questions!

all love, elliott 


One Response to “what is trans.”

  1. Grover Says:

    ❤ elliot

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