cold

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it is five degrees below zero this morning, about the coldest it ever gets here.
this is me yesterday, trying to convince myself i am enjoying it.
i figure if i see it on the internet, i will be more likely to believe this.
fake it, til you make it, right?
feelings are weird things.
still trying to figure out what to do with them, now that i seem to be actually experiencing ones that i have not intentionally manufactured.
i am feeling things much more viscerally these days, not just in my head, but in my whole body now, as my hormone balance continues to shift.
some are fairly easy to express, but others still have no path to ground, and they are all mixed together, hopelessly tangled.
i am trying to visualise it as a sound system that somebody partially gutted, and left a huge mess of cables and pedals and triggers for me to sort out and reconnect by trial and error. except that somebody was me, and so i also have to refrain from some of the more severe retaliatory measures that come to mind.
i took some other pics too…


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these are but shadows of the things that have been….

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my life is more full of drama now than it was in high school.
the good kind of drama, mind you.
i didn’t have much of either back then, really.
i also never went to a prom.
i consider this one of the best parts of being a dropout.
i also never had to shower after gym class.
the showers were there, and i was terrified of them, but for some reason, by the grace of the goddyx, they never made us use them.
it was bad enough having to change in a locker room full of boys, though at that point in my life i didn’t understand why i had such issues with my body.
in retrospect, i sometimes wish i had gotten more involved in drama classes, but i suspect the same issues deterred me from this.
now, thirty years later, though i am struggling to catch up, and “fit in”, i am loving playing in the pit and immersing myself in other aspects of the local community theater scene.
i will be playing bass in a musical version of stephen king’s “carrie” next month, and tomorrow, i have my first audition ever, for the ghost of christmas past in charles dickens’ “a christmas carol”.
i’m kinda scared, but in a good way, mind you.
it’s a female role in this adaptation, which feels right to me, but the rest of the world probably has other opinions about this.
i have a lot of confidence in the director to make choices based on ability and fit for the production, rather than appearance.
i worry more, probably more than i ought to, about everybody else, and am almost more worried about what they will be thinking, and feeling, and saying if i actually do get the part.
but i am going to try anyway, and try my best, even knowing i may not succeed, because i want to see what i have in me.
and besides, if other girls can do this….

this weird thing that happened to the sun the other day…

something ate the sun last week.
it was probably a possum.
they do this sort of thing, you know.
it started out with a few nibbles and then a few more…
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and then the light got very queer, and the shadows queerer.
like the whole world was warping, or at least it felt that way.
little slivers of the sun fell everywhere.
possums are notoriously sloppy eaters, you know….

and then there was just the tiniest sliver left.
and the last glimmer of light blinked out
and the bottom dropped out of everything
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to be honest, i did understand what was actually happening, on an academic level,
but this did not prepare me at all for this experience.
this was something that reached deep inside all the layers of reason,
and for a moment a possum actually ate the sun
and everything i thought i knew became a half remembered fairy tale.
and then the light winked back on….DSCN0121DSCN0122
and the sliver came back.
but this time it was backwards.
and all the little slivers on the ground came back too,
and so were they.
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and maybe i was too?
or was i backwards before?
i don’t know, and i am still not sure how to process it all,
or even if i really want to, but it certainly left its mark on me.
darn possums, anyway.
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it’s not easy…

….being green,
…or mean,
or a mother from outer space.
my last weekend playing bass in little shop of horrors.
and though it has been a wonderful experience with a bunch of awesome new friends, i am ready for it to be over.
it has consumed a good portion of my life, in much the way vines and ivy do.
or maybe how a sundew or flytrap might.
i have come to relate to audrey two as a kindred spirit of sorts.
one line that catches my ear through our monitor in the pit each night is “she’s over six feet tall!”
this is, of course, a thinly veiled tranny joke.
audrey two is always spoken of as female, but is rarely given anything but a deeply masculine voice.
she is….  dare i say it?… a transplant.
she is a monster, as trans women and other gender nonconforming people are so often likened to in our colloquial mythos.
i like monsters.
i understand why we scare people.
we remind them of how illusory the divisions between their contrived comfort zones of “male” and “female” are, how mutable their own physiologies are, how flimsy the fundaments of all their gender-based prejudices are and how desperately they cling to them even knowing this.
scary stuff.
i had to reconcile similar feelings in “rock of ages,” where there was a minor character who existed solely as a bad caricature of a trans woman. she literally had no other purpose than to get that cheap laugh.
but the band was featured on stage in that show, and i got to play gender in whatever way i pleased.
in little shop we are sequestered in the workshop, removed from the view of the audience, and more frustratingly, from the important visual cues of the performance.
but i am still ok with it all.
these tropes are not going to go away any time soon, and like many other invasive species, fighting them the wrong way only causes them to spread, become more resistant.
theater has always been a way to reach people on a deeper level, to allow them to see what lies underneath their own costumes.
i have virtually no experience in actual theater, but my life has basically become theater since abandoning the script i was presented with and being forced to improvise.
the only real difference is that i do not have the luxury of the fourth wall.
all space is liminal for me, and i reach people on those deeper levels whether i want to or not.
little shop is silly, and campy, and dorky, and i love it because, when it is performed as well as i have been privileged to see over the past few weeks, it reaches me on those deep levels where i am moved almost to tears by the simplest of things, and this is how i want to reach people in my own performative existence, and get at the roots of those fears.
also, audrey two is a fucking badass.

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why my pronouns are not gender neutral

this is somewhat inspired by an article by Ashleigh Shackelford.
my lived experience is much different than hers, but there are some common threads.
i often refer to myself as a genderless being in a trans woman’s body.
people tend to take this to mean they can refer to me as they/them/etc. this is not correct. i am she/her/etc.
yes, i, myself have no gender, but my body does, and my body is what is being reacted to, socially and politically, in this world where “gender neutrality” is still little more than an abstract concept.
an example of why i insist on these pronouns came up recently when somebody referred to me as a tall man (despite my bare breasts being clearly visible.)  i corrected him, stating that, no, i am a tall woman. he then decided to call me a tall person, apparently thinking this would be adequate.
it was not, but i let it go, as i didn’t feel like dealing with him anymore at the moment. if he had said that in the first place, that would have been fine, but in this case it was a forced compromise; an indication that he was unwilling to regard me as a woman, trans or otherwise.
this sort of thing happens often, and i am tired of it.
this is not a debate. my identity is not negotiable. my entire life is already a compromise. my insistence on terms specific to the polar opposite of the gender i was assigned is not an endorsement of the gender binary, but actually the only way i can fuck it up enough to hold my own place outside of it. this needs to happen on my terms and not anybody else’s. otherwise, they get to define that “third gender” they are assigning me.
fuck that shit.
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