Transgender Day of Visibility

Some trans people get uptight about transgender visibility.

On one hand, I can see where they’re coming from. They might be closeted or stealth, and worried that increased visibility might out them. Or they might be struggling to put a traumatic past or painful transition behind them, and not appreciate the reminders of what they went through.

I try to be sympathetic towards that, though I feel like it’s a short-sighted position to adopt.

On the other hand, I think it’s more important to fight bigotry and familiarize allies with how to help us, than engage in a fruitless and frankly pretty hurtful campaign to force out trans people back into the closet. What might seem like the best idea in the short run, is actually playing right into bigots’ hands. The info is out there on how to spot us. It’s done. Now it’s time to protect ourselves and each other by normalizing what we are, not by re-hiding it.

I also can’t help but think, somewhat selfishly, of what I would have done without the examples of out trans guys. Perhaps not survived.

If you’re out there, whether you want to be seen or not — I care for you. Do your best, beautiful. We’ll get there together.

Coliseum Park

…you just want to see the mess, you said.

was it as bad as you hoped?

I recognize it, recognize the porn. I recognize the player I’m supposed to be in the scene you’re mindless reenacting.

The pity I feel for us both scatters my heart in a million sharp tear-shards, even as you grab my hair again and I like it even better this time.

this is less sex than excavation. other nights I went alone to Coliseum Park, water dripping off darkened leaves, that’s when it fucked me real. running my hand over the crape myrtle bark and closing my fingers around a memory of roughness. i know what i am. staring up at black powerlines crisscrossing luscious violet night, feeling it stare back down, current and waiting.

orange streetlights sought and hid, and I walked through air like water. outlined in enormity, the oaks, black and active, twisted in their wet stew of mast.

and there, off-center and shy, circled-around, forgotten–shrine.
she said through his lips: there is only one purpose in life, to be a fountain of light.

we know, or think we do, what it means to feel alive. I think I knew, or thought I did. one brief zap of the body, bringing the mind down to dance with it helplessly in my chest, before it raised like a dazed balloon back into the viewing-dome of my skull.

girl, you pounded later. girl. girl. girl girl girl. girlgirlgirlgirl, stacking like witch-crushing stones, methodical,

age-old mantra against creatures of dark dirt mind. song of not this, never this, please, I’ve got this. look at me gotcha. vain hope for a new skin, empty and ready for wearing.

you this, you said, you that. yeah.

I’ve got bad news, bi boy. you fucked me like a man.

you reached a different vein than you sought, not that you thought. how do I know? my bones rang, that old song. rusty, unearthed so quickly, humming to life like the flat gray sleep-deprived dawn. that old song, the one you fear, the one you thought silencing me would silence.

lay a girl suit down, down to where she doesn’t want up, and no guy will ever dance you? sure that’s the right spell? i’m not.

silent, neither.

you spit that poison thrice, and it coated my inside, just enough to show me the shape I’m now.

but settling in as of old again, to digest and die–that I can no longer lie. girl? my darling. I’m grinning with the excess, and it’s slipping from my tongue to pool on the ground outside. in these rainbow gutter puddles, your jealous strides away to nothing.

When They Come

I’m meant to be dashing around odd corners in my rain boots, camera and notebook and pen in hand, ready to catch life by the tail and ride it.

It takes you to a dying man who glows blue, and you help him pass, and he says “Damn!” when your power explodes forth, and the sky shatters and falls with your scream.

I went deep and heard the howl of the everlost, and underneath, the chiming cries of the planet it’s raping. What do you do? Call the authorities? There are none–gone over or in hiding. You become the authority in those situations. The authority to look the world in the eye and say yes, this is better than that.

Say yes and no from the bones of your soul, and build the bridges you need from the sawn-up timber of the life you thought you wanted. Do it. Do it now. The hour’s late and there’s damage to repair.

Rise and walk with the gods, in kindness, creativity, gratitude and generosity. And above all, Truth, on which this authority is founded and rests.

I Love Black

I love black. I’m wearing a black fleece and black socks, jeans and a royal purple sweater. I’m drinking black coffee from a white mug. I write with a black pen on the ivory pages of a black Moleskine diary. My phone is black and gray, with a black houndstooth cover. I’m listening to Metallica.

It’s hard to call myself goth, though I loved to look at the 1985-95 vampire-loving, Gaiman-reading, clove-smoking beautiful folk as much as anyone. But I’m too lazy with makeup, and I’ve spent too long in climates where full goth regalia is a recipe for heatstroke.

I grew up in Florida in the 80s and 90s, a petite blonde daughter in the era of neon, raised by a New Age mother. I learned I should be “warm”, like a loving little light-filled angel. Warm and giving and harmless, helpful and weak. But it was never me. I always had a secret self, buried deep–some huge, powerful, black and ivory and jewel-toned presence inside.

I was made to feel so ashamed for any “darkness” I held onto, and I’ve always been so secretly guilty about my desire to keep holding onto it and loving it. Not darkness as negativity, but void-dark: the iridescent, holographic, baroque antique darkness that speaks of crucibles, wombs, and the lights-out in the arena before the concert begins.

It’s angering that I was fed a spiritual and moral belief that only validated the light half of me, the lightness, and that denied that you can still be good and be aligned with a wholesome darkness, too. From liking rock music, to being sexual, to dressing in black, to seeing through people, to getting piercings, to having an unshakeable grasp on who I am and where I want to wander…all the things at the core of me, that make me myself. I shouldn’t have had to choose.