Monthly Archives: June 2012

Butterfly In Yellow

I am a yellow thing
Not pink, nor blue
But…yellow
I’m pinned to these wings of mine
Just as claw is to crab
And pennies are to pinchers

I am a flutterer
Not hawk, nor dove
I can’t soar or fly
I just…flutter…on by

I do no wrong in this
One can’t be faulted
For a silk-spun birth
That is it’s own reward

I bridge the gap
The day and night
Beating yellow wings against the
Shifting rings of sky
Rising higher than the worm
Yet never flocking with the birds

I, enchanted disillusion,
Make a home amidst the flowers
A cascade of kaleidoscopic calm
Devours
And swirls about like pollen 

These are the highest heights
A butterfly can reach
Within the floral rows
Of amber, peach and green
Here, where color, reigns supreme 

Post-Pride Ramblings

Pride – A Poem

A sea of primaries
Swells the city-streets
Narrow canals – blazing blue, roaring red, yelping yellow

Streamers and floats
Too proud not to gloat
And today at least, that’s okay

Flaunting and flouncing
Bouncing higher than sky-bound balloons

I march and I step
Pound the black pavement
On three-inch heels
Fanning myself in fawning frenzy
Dainty as a Chinese maid
As the road we traverse
Simmers and the sunbeams burst
Overhead
My fanning picks up steam
I’m a monsoon now,
Riding a wave under the pyramidal slopes
Of my scarlet paper parasol

United under this umbrella
Vivid with verve,
Livid with nerve
Shielded from the reverb
Of those who don’t quite ‘get’
Us fancy-folk,
Folk who bleed rainbows
Folk who weep wonder

Bear becomes brethren,
Trans becomes trooper,
Nudist becomes neighbor,
Pride becomes all…

Together we walk, over and under,
The brightest umbrella
On a day without rain

Pre-PRIDE Ramblings

As per my promise in the last entry…

Current plans/reflections

Gosh…it’s 3:36 in the friggin’ morning right now and I just finished cleaning up all the crap I’ve been trying on for the past two hours in preparation for my very first gay pride march. My final answer? A peacock-print tunic which I’m opting to wear as a dress by excluding any pants. I’m usually pretty prude about dress-length, but for the Gay Pride Parade where too high isn’t high enough, what with all the naked lesbians and whatnot, I think it’s okay to bend the rules, no? It’s only a few inches above my knee, but my grandmother still thinks it’s too short. Am I crazy for asking my bible-thumping grandma for advice on how to dress for the gay pride parade in NYC? I mean really, I feel like I’m the only transgendered twenty-something woman in this exact situation…but in a way I’m also pretty damn lucky to be in this exact situation. Anyway, word of advice for next year…don’t ask your grandmother for advice on what to wear. She says ‘no’ to everything and makes you feel fat about yourself.

Moving on randomly…I’m working on a short story/epic novel…yeah somehow it’s a happy medium between the two. It’s I guess, what you’d call a fantasy-type story centered around a powerful Eunuch who lives in a realm where magic is commonplace and who essentially has to fight to regain her homeland, etc. etc. I’m pretty optimistic about it. A few months ago I started working on the concept of a trans-heroine that trans-teens might become trans-fixed by (ok enough with the trans, I promise). Someone who has action-packed adventures like…I dunno, Xena Warrior Princess (am I dating myself? I feel like I am). In any case, I’m thinking of putting it out as a free e-book when I’m finally finished with it, but I’d like to gauge interest levels, so…anyone? Anyone at all? … Bueller?

In other early morning randomness, I’ve been watching Dream Of The Red Chamber on the YouTube lately. I’ve also started reading the David Hawkes translation (entitled Story Of The Stone) which is pretty awesome, I must say. Don’t ask me why I found myself so suddenly immersed in this story…I’m not Chinese and I honestly can’t remember what specifically piqued my interest in this tale other than my life-long fascination with Asian cultures…but for whatever reason, fate wanted me to know of its existence. I must say, the thing that I find the loveliest about this story, specifically its television adaptation where you can really see it, is the sheer liveliness of the characters. The simple joys of touring the gardens with friends, gazing upon exotic flowers and birds in flight, sipping wine and composing poetry on the kang. All in 18th Century China…before the internet, before television, before people relinquished their zest for just living and decided instead to live vicariously through technology. Not that I’m knocking the world of technology, after all it’s the reason I’m able to write this entry, I just admire the simplicity of the times and that ability to be stimulated by such things. I feel like so many of us are just plain jaded in this day and age, myself included. It would be nice to step into Bao-yu’s world for a while. But only a short while…after all…I’m a spoiled American who melts in 80 degree weather without any air conditioning.

Siiiigh…well, that’s all for now, dear readers. I might post a video tomorrow or right before the Pride Parade. Then again, I might not. It all depends on how lazy I’m feeling. But either way, I’ll let you know how it goes…so wish me luck! ^_^

Woman

Woman

It’s what I am, for it’s what I’ve proven myself…to be

Groomed myself…to ‘she’

Longing for that proclamation of justification

The feather kisses of a man who’ll never stray too far away

So I prune my legs like twin bonsais

Color and contour, pad and tuck, pull and strut

Swallow down these tiny purple pills

That grant new life, even as…they threaten death.

Women

It is what we are

Neither hunters nor gatherers…but carriers

Of life, of secrets, of tiny miseries and shallow disasters

Of benedictions and curses, of light and of shadow

Of your story and mine

Woman, twice born

Once divine.

Role Models

Without a doubt, one of the most frequently-brought up points in regards to the transgendered community and one which I personally wrestled with in my younger years was the blatant lack of trans-role models. I have a few which I’ve listed elsewhere on the blog in earlier entries, but these were observed later in my transition and appreciated mostly for their foreign film work. I didn’t really know anything about how they tackled life on a day to day basis or what their true characters were. Indeed, many of my trans-role models were born in countries where being transgendered isn’t as steeped in stigma as it is here in the United States. That’s wonderful for them, but difficult for American fans who’d like to know more but simply can’t due to language barriers.

When I spoke at the Swish panel, someone brought up this issue and asked me what my thoughts were on the matter…did I feel like there was a decent amount of trans role models out there for the youth? My reply was a firm “no,” to which some random audience member, whom I suspected just loved the sound of her own voice, rose for the third or fourth time and entered into a long-winded monologue about how she disagreed, saying that there were great role models out there and then proceeded to list the typical handful of American tg reality show contestants and actresses. She then implored us to like them on FaceBook and follow them on Twitter, implying that basically it was our fault that they weren’t huge successes and more accessible to the younger generation of impressionable trans-minds. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for trans-solidarity, especially considering how little of it there is…but to mindlessly revere a public figure as a role model merely because they are trans seems to me a very flawed way of thinking. Many of the people she named, I was aware of because of mutual acquaintances, firstly and quite frankly they were not the type of woman I strive to pattern myself after. In many cases, I either found the skill in their craft lacking in some way or considered them to be vulgar, oversexed caricatures of womanhood. Perhaps I am harder on them for being trans, maybe it’s because I’m sick of seeing the same tired people flittering from one cage to another and perpetuating the stereotype that we’re all surgery-obsessed, body-modification freakazoids who are okay with not being taken seriously…with being bypassed. Let me rephrase that…who aren’t okay with it, but are somehow strangely enough, shocked when such things happen. Can you blame society for not taking you seriously when you’re acting like a ten-cent streetwalker and singing songs about blowjobs? Hell, I’d sneer at a cisgendered woman who did that…but for a trans-sister to act like that…is extremely disappointing.

Is this what the kids have to emulate? To look up to? Are these the women who’ll defend their younger sisters and brothers? It’s less of a sore point and more of a deep-rooted ache within me. There was so much solitude for me growing up. My home was not the haven it should have been. My “friends” were always telling me how to be…well, not me. I had no one to steer the way or cut a path. My inspiration was desperation. I don’t want another trans-kid to reach that point, or worse fly from the cage of others’ expectations and demands on what to do to fit in into another cage; relegating their femininity, their very womanhood to the position of freakshow that many in our society expect it to be and in fact demand it to be…because if it ceases to be…for just one moment, then we’d be taken seriously, then things might start to change–I mean, really change. Then we’d have power. We’d be strong.

And it would petrify them.

Until we have trans-folk being presented multi-dimensionally through the media, not as parlor joke or freakshow or hypersexed dumbass…but as captains of industry, celebrated authors, laser gun-toting sci-fi heroines, eccentric millionaires, strident protesters, prize fighters, and every other trope under the sun…I’ll remain my very own role model, thank you. I refuse to settle for what’s out there merely because it is. I deserve more than that, and so do the kids goddammit! I hope one day…posts like this won’t need to be written, but until then please accept my humble rant dear readers, I give it to you whole-heartedly, with every good intention.

Until next time.

Busy week…

For me anyway. I just did my second public speaking event at a training for DYFS and it was phenomenal. I could tell all the caseworkers there were interested in learning about trans-issues and that just made my day! ^_^ I’m really digging this whole “public speaker” thing and I’m totally hoping for more engagements down the road. So, we’ll see.

Other than that, I’ve been tossing around some ideas for what my next trans-related entry will be about. My friend suggested “trans-safety,” a guide for mtf’s, which I think is an awesome idea! Basically the point was made that a lot of trans-women don’t get the kind of “basic female survival” tips that their cisgendered peers do. So what we have are droves of young trans-women who have been indoctrinated against seeing the potential threats that any cisgendered woman would have been conditioned to from a very early age, or worse, they’ve been taught to face that danger instead of to evade it. Many young trans-women don’t realize that dark parking lots are dangerous places or that you should check the backseat of your car before getting in and locking all the doors. I had a very overprotective Spanish grandmother so I know these things, but many people in my position lack that kind of know-how. It’s something that definitely warrants an entry, which I’ll hopefully write soon, after conducting some research. Any other entry ideas are more than welcome (just post them in the comments section below)…I’ve been experiencing some creative road-blocks lately, no doubt exacerbated by Summer laziness. Still, I wanted to let you ALL know how much I value you…be it a subscriber or casual reader. I’m so glad to be sharing my voice with you all, thanks for letting me and there’ll be more to come soon. ^_^