Trans: Beyond the Journey, Beyond Transition

I know it’s heresy but then I went through the “Journey” part of my life long before most who are an active part of the “Trans-Community”.

I was an outlier even then. Being part of the Hippie Trip and being part of the Anti-war Movement was every bit as important to me as being transsexual.

I differed from many of my sisters in my attachment to Hippie.  For me Hippie wasn’t just a fashion trend of flowers and peace symbols.  It was a way of life.

Over the years the hippie ethos has caused me to take part in other movements including gay/lesbian liberation, feminism and the environmental movement.

It has fed my identity as an artist, made me fearless in trying new ways of expressing my thoughts from photography, to writing to painting.

I’ve picked up musical instruments and tried to learn them knowing the learning was more important than the expertise.

I’ve taken classes at a dozen or more colleges and universities including NYU, UCLA, and UC Berkeley.  Learning has been more important than a degree.

I try to avoid mindless consumption with some success except for books and music.

Pop stars, fashion and models bore me.  I would be hard pressed to name any of the popular TV Shows on network TV.

I know Trans-activists want people to stay part of the “Transgender Community” forever.  Identity is the glue that holds political blocs together when the political ideals are weak.

I can’t count the times I have been exhorted to “Care” when a sister is murdered in a distant land.  It is a platitude like “pray for”, meaningless in the absence of any ability to actually do something that would prevent such tragedies. I’m saddened by stories like the murder of  Jennifer Laude, but I can’t do any thing to change what happened.

If there is a typhoon, hurricane or earthquake I can send a few dollars to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders, it may be a drop in the financial bucket but it has real meaning whereas sitting around saying how much I care doesn’t.

Recently some in the Trans-Community” have been up in arms about a satirical skit Sarah Silverman did about changing sex so she could earn what men earn.  The outrage machine hit overdrive.  Yet many in the trans-community are shocked when they are no longer employable in their former professions once they transition.  Shocked to find they will lose 20-30% of their earning power.

Except for jobs I had in my late teens I’ve always been employed as a woman and have seen the sexism in the work place.  Some of the worst has been in the tech field. As my late friend Ruth used to say, “I wonder where the penis goes?  why are men getting 30% more than we are for the same job?”

Life goes on. some of the neatest folks I know on Facebook realize that even during their “Journey”.  The truth is I think most of us realize that trans is only a part of who we are and only a part of our lives.

Our jobs, our relationships, our cause, our passions make us whole people.

Transition requires a tremendous amount of energy and focus, but after you are a person, only one who grew into your true self.  That still leaves a world in which (paraphrase of an old Zen saying) we chop wood and get water because wood needs to be chopped and water needs to be gotten.

Most of us will still get old, will still have some ideals, some passions, a desire for love and companionship, a need for security in our old age.

The Twelve Steps helped me to sort out things I could change and things I couldn’t change.  I first encountered the Serenity Prayer on the wall of the Gender Clinic at Stanford.  It took getting sober at the end of 2000 to bring it back into my life.

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