Parting words

So clearly I haven’t been writing for the last, wow, more than 6 months.

Occasionally something pops into my head that I want to talk about, but I never sit down and write about it, can’t really say why. Sometimes it’s just that I lose interest, or I figure it out myself, or it’s been beaten to death already, but when it doesn’t fit into those choices, I find that instead of writing about it, I talk to my close friends about it instead. Deal with it, or explore it in the way I want to and that feels satisfying, and I’m done with it, I no longer need to keep flogging it… and on the odd time that I do, I go back to my friends or just deal with it myself.

I’ve been asking myself, fairly often, what purpose does this blog have for me now. I still enjoy going back and seeing my own progression in there from time to time, although now that I think about it it’s been quite a few months since I’ve even done that. It was a great therapeutic tool for me, one that I don’t seem to need anymore, and that’s OK.

Actually, it’s probably a good thing.

As things improved last year and kept getting better and better, and I kept getting stronger and stronger, I found that I came to regret certain posts I’ve made, or at least wished I hadn’t been so personal (the ones w/r to my ex boyfriend dumping me were perhaps…. a little harsh). At the time I needed them, now I’m not terribly proud of them. Again, this is OK, I’m learning. Assuming I’ll leave this blog in place, I’ll be unpublishing a number of entries, for my own peace of mind. When the year runs out on my hosting, I think I’ll just let it fade into the past, or maybe transfer some specific pieces which I’m quite proud of back over to my original free hosting site, I don’t know, the me that will exist at the end of the year will figure it out, I trust her.

It’s odd, even while writing this, which I guess is a closing piece, at least for the time being, part of my mind is telling me to write down and catalog all of the amazing experiences I’ve had since the end of last summer, all of the lessons learned, hardships endured, victories achieved, like I would do in the past, but now I’m like…. why bother. I know what I went through, my people were there for me, I have my pictures, why do I need to write about it and send it into the public aether like I’ve been doing for so long now?.

So I wont.

I was there after all.

All I’ll leave you with is… I’m doing wonderfully…

Thanks for listening

Maybe I’ll see you all again one day

With Love

Dawn


2015

Well, that was a year to remember.

I think of where I was at this time last year, the headspace I was in, and it sucked, I was at the bottom of a hole and I was only starting to realize it. My subconscious self screaming out for attention, for liberation, and I finally started listening to myself, taking all those negative feelings seriously, no longer ignoring them, valuing my needs and accepting my anxieties and fears as valid and real and taking action.

And the beautiful thing, is that I continued to do so all year. Finally listening to my gut, and never regretting it when I did even though it wasn’t always easy.

Ending relationships, platonic or romantic, when they no longer felt right, and not looking back. Not second guessing myself, knowing there is always better to come. Learning how to forgive and let go, both others and myself. No longer kicking myself when my random explorations and experimentations didn’t go the way I planned, and seriously, nothing has gone as planned, but I still thanked them and valued them as parts of life, as figuring out what I do and don’t want, what is truly important to me.

Learning to enjoy my own company, and knowing that it’s OK to feel lonely sometimes without hating or blaming myself for having those feelings. Knowing that I’m never truly alone even though I may feel it from time to time.

Saying no, cancelling plans without worrying that I may miss out on something, taking time away from friends or work for myself when I needed it, and slowly letting go of the anxiety that it has always caused me. Helping and supporting friends when I could, and also turning them away when I really couldn’t, always keeping my own energy level and needs in mind, not putting others ahead of myself.

And saying yes to new experiences, new people, new experiments.

I have a new family, I have so many amazing people around me that only want the best for me in my journey, people who love me, and who I love back with all my heart. I have new homes away from home where I know I’ll always be welcome and people will always be happy to see me there and invite me in. I had the most amazing birthday party that a girl could ask for, one that I’ll always remember.

And I’ve still got a long way to go, more lessons that I need to learn, more evolving, more exploring, more tears and more laughter, more disappointments and more love, more sadness and more joy, and I’m going to fuck up again and again, and I’m going to succeed again and again, isn’t that what life is?

I’ve never felt more love in my life than I did this year. Love from friends, love from random acquaintances, seeing my beauty reflected in the eyes and actions of others, as well as in my own mind and heart. Loving myself more and more, and giving myself all of the compassion that I require. Reaching out when I need, and always being there for others to reach out to as well in their times of need. Becoming at peace with myself, one step at a time, and figuring out who I am while knowing I never truly will, evolution never actually stops after all.

Thank you all, to those that took care of me early in the year when I needed it most, to those that have danced and drank and loved with me, to those that have opened their hearts to me and allowed me to open my heart to them, to those that have opened my eyes to new worlds and ideas, to those who have taken me in, to those that have held me as I cried, and kissed me when I hurt, and showed me how they saw me and helped me find myself without judgement, to those who have debated and argued with me, to those that have taught me, to those who have made my life the amazing journey that it is.

Here’s to 2015, let’s all raise a glass shall we

and let’s make 2016 even better

Love you all

and thank you


Perspective

She rolls out of bed to use the bathroom, on her way back she checks her cell, wondering how much time she has left to sleep. Like every morning, nature called only a few minutes before the alarm was set to go off, so she unlocks her phone, delays the alarm by half an hour and crawls back into bed.

The alarm sounds and she hits snooze, ten minutes later she does it again, and again. Eventually she crawls out of the covers, knowing she’s going to be late for work, like every morning.

She wonders why she felt more awake a few minutes before her alarm was originally set to go off than she does now, almost two hours later.

She wonders why she feels that way every morning.

She wonders why she never does anything about it like forcing herself to stay awake the first time she gets up.

She sighs.

Coffee on the stove, first cigarette, flicking aimlessly through facebook, coffee bubbles and is poured into a random mug, its brethren lying dirty in the sink. Cream. Sugar. Another cigarette. Facebook holds nothing new, refresh, refresh, nothing. The cell drops on the couch. Third cigarette.

Staring at the wall, mind circling yet saying nothing. Where did her energy go?. Even on the best days, the days she has something to look forward to, every morning is a struggle.

Grabs the towels and washes. Hairdryer blows loundly in her ears. Pills. Clothes. Hair and makeup. Fill up the cat food, try to get the cats inside, give up.

Walk to the car.

Another day of banality.

 


 

She rolls out of bed to use the bathroom, on her way back she checks her cell, wondering how much time she has left to sleep. Like every morning, nature called only a few minutes before the alarm was set to go off. She chuckles to herself at this, and as usual, decides to let herself sleep a bit longer, wanting to get back to the dreams she was having.

The alarm sounds and she hits snooze, too comfortable under the covers, cat snoring beside her head. She knows she is privileged in that she can show up to work pretty much when she wants, and as usual, she takes advantage. She slips in and out of her dreamstate every ten minutes as she keeps snoozing. Visiting the worlds in her mind. Eventually she crawls out of the covers, knowing she’s going to be late for work, like every morning.

She wonders why she felt more awake a few minutes before her alarm was originally set to go off than she does now, almost two hours later.

She wonders why she feels that way every morning.

She wonders why she never does anything about it like forcing herself to stay awake the first time she gets up.

She sighs, and smiles, remembering her dreams and the journeys she had within. The cat scrambles to be let out now that Momma is finally awake.

Coffee bubbles on the stove, she lights her first cigarette of the day and inhales deeply, longing for the taste of her first sip mingled with the acrid smoke. She lounges on the couch, the other cat crawls onto her belly, and punches up good old facebook, seeing what the world has been up to as the night passed. Not much new. The coffee is ready, and she prepares her cup and returns to the couch. Another cigarette is lit, and with the caffeine and nicotine, her mind begins to properly wake up. She leaves her phone on the couch, and breathes, enjoying the light falling on her from outside, watching her pets play on the balcony. She lights another cigarette and sits.

Staring at the wall, she collects her thoughts, her plans for the evening, the weekend. She wonders why it takes her so long to get going in the morning, she’s never been able to get out of bed, get dressed, and run out, her morning is a ritual, it drives her partners nuts sometimes, but this is her time, and she enjoys it.

Grabs the towels and washes, drys her hair while perched on the edge of her bed, her cat beside her enjoying his morning time with Momma. Takes her pills, chooses her outfit, fixes her hair and dabs on her makeup. She looks at herself in the full length mirror near the door, and beams, still amazed that she is who she is. She makes sure the cats are fed and watered for the day, and as usual the male doesn’t want to come in. She laughs and tells him that he’s stuck outside all day. He just gives her that annoyed cat look.

She walks to the car and heads on her way

Another day


Life…… it’s all about perspective……


Growth

Growth is learning how to say no
how to say no more
how to say not you
even when there is no one else there to hold you

Growth is listening to yourself
your inner voice
when it is afraid and confused and feels that something is not right
and holding it, and loving it, and following its message

Growth is feeling your fears, your anxieties
and thanking them
and cherishing them
and then facing them, and surpassing them

Growth is learning to love yourself
to value yourself
to realize all the good you have in you
and to nourish that, without judgment, without apology

Growth is allowing only what feeds you
shedding dead skin
forgiving
and moving forwards

Growth is accepting where you are
where you’ve been
seeing the lessons learned
and being proud of your wins as well as your losses

Growth is life
love
compassion
for others
and yourself
letting go
feeling gratitude for all your experiences
even when they were horrible
because they made you who you are
and you’re beautiful


Cyclical meanderings…. part 12…. What’s Next?

She sits on her front balcony, a balcony that won’t be hers in a few months from now, holding a glass of whisky, ashtray to her right, cat meowling at her feet, and wonders.

What’s next

What’s next for you my darling, the door is finally closing on the remnants of your old life, and truly, truly for the first time, you have your whole life ahead of you, nothing more to hold you back. Not finances, not family, not partners who need you to stay within their world in order to make sense of themselves, not fear as to who you are and where you are and even worse, where you are not. Not anger at the past, not solid expectations about the future, not regret, not guilt, not sorrow.

Possibilities abound.

She has finally reached a state of fluidity.

She thinks about the past few years, especially the past few months, the myriad of experiences she’s had, the people that she’s encountered, the souls that she’s touched, and has been touched by. The loves that she has gained, the pain, the loss, the joy, the growth, the experience.

So many pages, so many stories, so much life.

She feels blessed, lucky, thankful.

Blessed is not a word she is accustomed to, a word that has come from old liars in gowns and funny hats, but it’s a word that fits. The universe has blessed her, because she has blessed herself.

She feels lucky to be who she is, how she is, what she is, where she is. Lucky to connect with the world with the ease that she does, lucky that she has crossed so many beautiful travelers, lucky that they will share their stories with her, and at times, share their bodies, their love, their souls.

She feels thankful for those who stand by her side, and thankful that she gets to stand by theirs. She is thankful to the army of ghosts that stand behind her, always there, memories, fragments, lessons and warnings. She feels thankful for the fact that her journey has not ended, that she knows now that this journey never ends, and even after we become a ghost ourselves, remnants of us remain in the thoughts and actions of others, we all change each other as we travel through this existence, who is to say how far those tendrils can reach. Immortality is within each and every one of us.

And now she sits, sipping on her whisky, and she wonders, what’s next….

She is finally comfortable with her place in her life, happy, even proud at times. She has been through so much, and she knows that there is so much more to go through, and she is eager to discover who she will be at those times. She used to want to know who she will end up being, but she sees now, there is no such thing. There is no end point, there is no goal to be reached, there is simply the journey.

And every day brings the possibility of something new.

Her fingers dance across the keys, hands twisting, putting words on the page before she knows them in her mind.

Nothing has gone the way she has planned, life has never become a static bliss, because there is no such thing, and each time that she has tried, life has simply… stopped. She knows not where she will be, who she will be, but she trusts in herself that she will take the right path, and even a path that appears wrong, or leads to darkness and pain, will eventually reveal itself to be necessary. Because that is her life, her journey, her story. No one else’s, not anymore.

And she is drifting in the river of experience, and she lets the currents take her, and she revels in the chaos and excitement, and yet, she no longer tries to hold onto the shore, no longer grasping for branches that dip into the waters as tempting handholds, false escapes, promises of stability, promises of calm and contentment, promises of control. There is no such thing.

And she smiles, and tilts her head back to the heavens, and breathes.

And she wonders, what’s next….

A spiderweb of paths lie before her, a indiscernible pattern of parallel universes, layers upon layers of them, and she realizes, that they are not exclusive, she can follow many, she can split herself amongst them, tasting them, knowing that each path will bring beauty of a different sort, some intoxicatingly beautiful, some filled with soul shattering pain, but all filled with emotion, experience, life.

The possibilities are endless, yet, so is she, and she is no longer afraid.

She knows what she ultimately wants, she knows what she wants her life to mean, she knows what she wants to leave behind, and what she wants to create. And she sheds the rules that she once believed would lead her safely there, she discards the expectations on how her goals will be reached, the means that she will attain them, what they will look like, and trusts in herself, knowing that she does what she needs to do, what she feels is right, even when it isn’t, and honors that, and discards that as well, and moves forward.

Ever moving forward, no longer with her head down and shoulders hunched, no longer with anger, and longing, and jealousy, and need, but with love, and joy, and experience, and strength, and ultimately, trust that she will do what is right.

Trust in herself, trust in the universe, trust in this incredible gift that we have all been given, trust, in life itself

And she smiles

and she sips her whisky

and she asks the stars

what’s next?

 


relationships are confusing

I’ve been trying to write a piece on relationship types for a few weeks now, in order to discover what I ultimately want in my next long term coupling.

And I’m finding I just can’t do it, I always end up writing myself into a corner, at a complete loss of what is right or wrong for me.

I talk about the pitfalls of classic monogamy and how I want to avoid those. I look at poly and open relationships, which I’ve done both now, but the former was unhealthy, badly done, and with someone that really wasn’t right for me, no matter how much I believed it back then… and the latter didn’t last long enough to know if it would have worked out in the long run even though the open aspect was going great.

I examine how my feelings changed within the poly relationship at the whole concept of being intimate with others as the relationship progressed, how at first I slept with and fooled around with others, and how that rapidly shut down inside me, the desire vanished.

I think about how for most of my life I didn’t like casual dating, didn’t understand it, found it a waste of time, yet now that’s exactly what I’m doing. Fooling around a lot, seeing a couple of people from time to time, always finding new connections and exploring them in various ways.

I realize that for the first time in my life, I don’t want a steady long term “planning for the future” relationship. I felt the possibility of that with someone even though it would have taken a while to get there, and at first it felt great, comfortable, then I immediately crush on someone else, and someone else, and someone else, and don’t want to throw away those crushes, those possibilities, even though I know that none of them are long term potential… I still want to see it, feel it…

I want to keep exploring

Re-reading this, I’m kind of sounding like my ex all of a sudden…. that’s odd….

A good friend of mine told me a few weeks back while I was catching her up on my latest… *ahem*… adventures, “see, I told you you were poly!”. I laughed and waved it off, but…. I guess I’m kind of doing a version of it…. I just call it casually dating multiple people.

I still expect that if I feel that killer connection with someone that the rest will shut down, that I won’t want the rest anymore, in fact I kind of want that to be the case, poly is complicated… but I’m starting to realize that I can’t count on that.

This really is starting to feel like when I try to pinpoint and label my sexuality, each time I think I have myself figured out, the universe says “ha ha!, fuck you!” and throws someone of a completely unexpected gender variant at me. Figured I was bi, then became straight, then fell in love with a cis woman, kept wanting guys when I was with her, that ends and now I have next to no interest in guys, except an adorable trans guy, and I just don’t fucking know anymore. When it comes to sexuality, I find that I care less and less about what I am, if I’m into you, there’s a good chance I’ll try and kiss you, and I don’t particularly care who or what you are.

Guess I’m going to have to do the same with relationships for a while as well, just go with the flow, if I want to spend more time with someone, or become intimate with someone, I’ll put it on the table, and just see where it goes.

I’ve been getting pretty good at letting go of expectations in general and just letting life take me where it wants, time to start doing that with relationships I suppose. Can’t hurt

Just watch…. after coming to this conclusion… I’ll be in a traditional mono relationship in like a month from now…. thanks universe 😉

 


Slivers of life

summer sun, bronzed skin
black, white, red and silver, spinning around my body
green all around

late night whisky, souls meeting
laughter, joy, music
stolen kisses, random encounters
friendly routine, building connections
delving into minds, sharing realities
Tuesdays suck

touches of family life
a great friend discovered
wonderful feelings
closeness, reality, depth
past, present, future
all together

new explorations, new vistas
new life, new ideals
learning about others
learning about myself
doors opening

passion knocks a table over
laughter and flirting
meet me in the back
romance under an awning, rain splashes our feet,
lips, so soft
OK, just one kiss

loving the adventure
loving the city
loving others
loving ones self

healing
acceptance
growth
forgiveness
support
reaching out
evolution

I can’t stop smiling


A note on passions

Why do our passions seem to fade as we age?

One of the things that I love the most about spending time with children is how they are passionate about everything, everything is new to them, their little minds scream out for discovery and they see the beauty and joy in whatever they come across. I often find myself jealous of them, and, being an empath type creature, my joy is fueled by theirs, as I see the beauty of this world through their eyes, I can feel it for myself as well.

I remember being a kid, how every twisted path through a forest held the potential of adventure, every swirl of water in a stream would make me think and wonder at what was causing it, and being exposed to technology at such a young age made me marvel at how these fat off-white boxes could make all of those wonderful experiences appear on our TV set. I remember calling in sick to finish reading a book that I was entranced with, feeling the emotions of the characters, living their lives, wanting to know what happened as much as they did, reveling in their victories, crying at their defeats. Discovering new music and wanting to understand everything about it, picking apart the lyrics, finding my own meaning within, wondering how they made their instruments make those wonderful sounds, wanting to know the people behind the music, what made them see the world that way?, how did they create these beautiful pieces that moved me so much?

But then life continues, responsibilities mount, we answer so many of those questions that baffled us when we were younger, and the answers never held the same level of magic as the questions seemed to offer. Eddies and currents twist the water just so, adjusted by the rocks in its path, and usually, there was no real adventure at the end of those forest paths, no little hut holding mysteries for you to unravel, no buried treasure, beautiful nature sure, but after a while, even passion for that faded.

Then we find ourselves older, more mature, more adult, the routine of life sets in, and we often wonder, what happened?, where did it all go?.

I met a couple of interesting people this past weekend which got me thinking about this. The first, a young woman, mid-late twenties I’m guessing, who was busy practicing her instrument of choice. I listened to her for a couple of hours while playing games with another friend, doing her warm up exercises, hammering difficult passages over and over again, and seeing the absolute joy in her face as she figures out the correct fingering on a particularly difficult riff and comes to explain to us how she did it, happy to share her discovery, and joyous for herself that she finally did it. At one point after examining her instrument, I asked her how much it cost as I know nothing about these types of instruments, and her answer made my jaw hit the floor. You must do this professionally I asked, and the answer was just as shocking as the price, this is a hobby for her.

Now that is passion

But granted, she is still young, may not have had the passions beat out of her by life, responsibility, I know nothing of her personal story, I can’t come to any form of conclusion or truly learn anything from this encounter except for respect for her dedication to her passion, which I truly do respect and admire.

The one that really impressed me though was an older man in his seventies. I had learned some of his story through my friend who was nice enough to invite me up to her cottage, and it was the type of story that just makes me want to learn more, which I won’t get into in any more depth out of respect for anonymity. We went to the cottage that he shares with his wife and he showed me all of their projects, all the work that he and his wife have done on their building, and I could see that twinkle in his eye as he talked, the same type of twinkle that I saw in the young musicians eye, the type of twinkle that you take for granted from children. He showed me the stockpile of raw materials, bigger than any I’ve seen for  someone who doesn’t build professionally, the trees they had cut down to make more building materials (just that morning mind you), how they had wanted a place to put a picnic table so they built a beautiful extension to their deck, the add-ons they had put onto the house, he was like a kid bouncing around happily going “and this!” “and that!”, and it really made my soul smile.

He isn’t doing any of this to prove anything, or to be the best at anything, or to make money, or further his career, he may not even be around long enough to see his vast myriad of projects finished, but none of this matters for him. He simply wants to create, to *do*, and to feel the joy that this brings him for no other reason than he enjoys it.

Absolutely beautiful.

If these two can maintain their passions, why can’t the rest of us?.

It got me wondering where my own passions have gone, the chills I would get when a new book or movie was about to be released that I had been waiting for, a new technological breakthrough that could change the world. I used to be quite the techie, always researching, always hunting for more, always entranced by the possibilities that came with it, always wanting to be a part of it. I truly miss sitting down with a fresh book in my hands, excited at what reading it would bring me. I miss wanting to rush home at the end of a day of school or work to continue working on my own projects. I may be enjoying life right now, actually enjoying being single even though I can’t wait to know who my next real partner will be, maybe I already know them, or they may still be a shadow of potential that I have yet to meld my energies with, so even though life is pretty darn good, there is a longing for this type of passion within me and I’m not sure how to satisfy it.

I want that twinkle in my own eyes….

The only love that has never left me is for music, discovering the new, seeing what truly gifted people have created, hunting through the shit for diamonds, then devouring it, listening to it over and over, learning about it, soaking myself in it, feeling it change me. I’ve always wanted to be a part of that, yet those self defeating thoughts come back, I’ll never be able to create something as beautiful, I’ll never be good enough to do this or that, I’ll never be a musician travelling the world sharing my music, and while I enjoy listening to it and discovering it, and while I’m a decent bass guitar player, those bullshit ideals hold me back from truly learning how to play, how to read, I never learned enough of the basics to start creating. I can hear my fathers voice in my head saying if you’re going to do something, be the best, otherwise don’t bother, perhaps that horrible lesson has become more of a core aspect of my psyche than I had realized….

I have discovered a love of writing, and I like to think I’m pretty good at it (even though in the end, that shouldn’t matter should it?), but as anyone who reads here can see, it is very sporadic. Occasionally something gets in my head that I want to explore through writing, and I will rush home to do so (or just start working on it while at the office, the importance of exploring this idea overriding my actual work), but this doesn’t come as often as I like. I know I want to write a book, semi autobiographical, or at least drawing from my own wide range of experiences. I know the opening line, the ultimate purpose of it, and how I want it to end, but I’ve yet to put pen to paper on it, telling myself that I have more living to do before I’ll be able to write it properly, knowing that this excuse is horseshit, and that it’s the same self limiting beliefs that are holding me back, not good enough, not perfect, waste of time, etc…

Actually, thinking about all of this as I sit here in my PJs writing, there is one thing that still brings that twinkle to my eye, a passion I do revel in, one where I don’t need to be the best in (probably because there is no way of measuring this), and that is people. I love people, sharing with them, listening to their experiences and sharing my own, exploring what we each see as reality through each others eyes, being changed by their stories as they are changed by mine, debating ideas and ideals, thinking thoughts we’ve never thought before, there is so much beauty in this, and no purpose other than to grow, share, explore, and open minds of others as my own is opened by theirs. People interest me, I love trying to figure out one’s motivations for the choices that they have made, which in turn allows me to explore my own in more depth, gathering those variables that make people who they are, seeing the patterns and archetypes in all of us unique little snowflakes. I’ve traveled a lot in this world, yet the places I’ve been to have never captured my attention, interest, memories, more than the people I have met there, seeing the world through eyes of different cultures, seeing the similarities that make us all part of the human race, seeing the motivations that make us travel through the world as we do. Knowing that there is an infinite pool of experiences and outlooks to share truly excites me, keeps me going out, talking to people, meeting new realities behind their eyes, it’s incredible.

So where was I going with all of this?, feel like I wrote myself into a corner again. Is there a lesson in here for me?

Does there need to be a lesson?

As I stated, not being the best, not changing the world, not being able to make money out of something, these useless ideas hold me back from pursuing things that do bring me happiness. Why invest so much time in something if I don’t get X out of it, what’s the point?, why waste your time?. Why keep practicing my staff work if I’m not going to end up performing?, why start on my book if no one will care or read it or make me the world’s greatest and most insightful author?, why really learn the bass if I’m not going to be part of a band that tours the world?.

Perhaps the answer is as simple as….. why not?

If it makes you smile, do it, no thought to the outcome, no need for explanations or justifications, just do it

Very very few of us are going to change the world, or be the best at anything, or be able to sustain ourselves financially out of our passions, but that’s not the point.

Each time we share our passions, our loves, ourselves, we do change the world. We change our own world, we make our own world brighter and more joyous, we may connect with one single other person and change theirs just a wee little bit as they change ours. If we change each other’s world with love and joy, that in itself is a beautiful thing, and maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll see the twinkle in that persons eye, and just maybe even feel it in our own.

Sounds like a good reason to me


Representation

I’ll admit, as a former white guy, I never quite grasped the importance of representation, and not just representation, but positive representation. For the record, in this entry, I’m talking specifically about representation in the media.

We’ve all seen the token people of color in movies and TV shows, never important characters, usually fairly deficient when compared to the main cast in one way or another, or alternatively, placed there as some idiot savant character. The producers of the shows obviously filling out some racially sensitive quota or another, and I just didn’t get it. When people of color started to have important roles in your average white-led TV show, I didn’t see it as an important step, I didn’t see it as progress, I was absolutely fine to have non-whites in those roles, especially in high quality TV and movies, but I didn’t realize how meaningful it was for minorities to be represented meaningfully.

Then I became the ultimate minority… granted, a white, ridiculously privileged minority, but a minority none-the-less.

When I started to see trans people in TV shows, way before my own transition mind you, they were always represented as victims. At first I was happy to see them because holy shit, a trans person on TV, but at the same time, their trans-ness was always the focus of their being there, they weren’t regular people, they were avatars for whatever freakshow the producers wanted to titillate us with. The first season of Nip/Tuck comes to mind, where the main characters son develops a fetish for trans women, which slowly turns into something more meaningful (after beating the shit out of a trans woman mind you, I cheered when she and her friends put him in the hospital, although blanched at the scene where they all pissed on him while standing up cause hey, they got dicks, may as well use them in the most degrading manner possible…. ugh… fuck you producers… anyways). The end of that season finds Matt and his trans woman friend tied up by some neo nazi asshole who is threatening to mutilate someone’s genitals, and she says something to the effect of “cut mine off, they aren’t any good to me anyways”. A horrific scene, and I love gore and horror and violence in movies, but this time it hit me differently. Again, focus on a trans woman’s genitals was the key part, her being a victim, her being used in a way that a cis woman would never be or could never be in that scene. Glorification, sensationalism, ugh.

I remember Becca looking over at me while we were cuddling on the couch watching this episode and asking if I was OK, that I was pale and shaking. I wasn’t OK, I was scared, I was hurt and terrified, in a way that I’ve never been while watching people be mutilated in the horror flicks or monster movies that I’ve always loved. This one hit close to the heart and it made me feel a discomfort that Pinhead has never gotten from me.

But then came along the wonderful and powerful Laverne Cox. I remember being so excited to see an actual trans woman playing a trans character on a TV show which didn’t seem like it was going to glorify her trans-ness, or use it to make her into a freak. I loved the episodes in which she played a prominent role, especially her backstory episode, that one scene where she is dressing up as a woman for the first time with her wife, and her wife gives her crap about what she’s wearing, saying she looks cheap, and fixes her up properly. Laverne looks at herself in the mirror once her wife is done with her, and with a look of perfect disbelief and shock, says “I’m hot!”. Her wife looking at her, happy for her, yet at the same time, so terribly sad at losing the man that she loves. That scene made me break down into tears, it was something that I had lived, almost line for line with Becca, it broke my heart while at the same time cheering that our stories were finally being properly told.

But ultimately, other than that one episode, I couldn’t find that connection in Orange is the New Black. Partially because I don’t think it’s a very good show, definitely not my style of TV, and other than the “being trans” aspect, there were no other similarities between Laverne’s character and myself, and she is still quite a minor role. What I do seriously appreciate about the show is that her role could be played by any other cis woman, she doesn’t *need* to be trans for the character to make sense, she’s just a woman, who happens to be trans, and I fucking love that. Just wish the show was a little less ridiculous and mean, who wants to watch a bunch of people be shitheads to each other with no point… seriously….

Then along comes the wonderful movie Boy Meets Girl, finally out on DVD this year (and on Netflix for those interested). A generic love story with a twist, the main character is trans! (cue the oooohhhhhhhhhhhs). A sweet story, and the first time I’ve ever seen full frontal nudity of a woman whose body approximates mine (but I’m hotter, all us woman compare ourselves to other women don’t we?, bad habit I need to break), and I could connect to her a lot more than Laverne’s character. It was a story more along my tastes, a character done well and while her being trans was a central part of the story, she wasn’t presented as a victim. Granted, the role was specifically about a trans person, but it worked in this one, she was a strong character, she never apologized for who and what she was, just a girl trying to figure life out in a fucked up and unfriendly world. Huge props to the (cis male) producer for taking this seriously, and doing their research, and listening to the lovely Michelle Hendly (who plays the leading role) about her own experiences in the making of this film.

Over the past week I’ve been watching the new TV series on Netflix called Sense8, and for me, this one finally hit the mark in all ways. One of the main characters is a nerdy, geeky, brilliant, strong yet vulnerable woman, who happens to be trans. Her trans status is used briefly to setup her character and inform people of who she is in the first episode, then nothing is mentioned until episode 8 which I just finished watching, and in this one, she uses her own journey and experiences to help a gay man who is struggling with his own self repression. No one else cares what she is, it isn’t a big deal, she has a couple characters stand up for her identity against her absolute bitch of a mother who continues to deadname her, but other than that, it’s a total non issue and she is never questioned about it. She is simply, a woman. And to top it all off, her genital status is kept completely off the books, it is never mentioned, never questioned about, she has her nude scenes like pretty much all the other main characters have had (only one set of genitals have been shown so far and they are those of a cis guy), and she is treated exactly like any other woman would be.

This is what I want to see, this is what I’ve been waiting to see for so long that I haven’t even realized how long I’d been waiting for it until I saw it. Not a trans woman, but a woman who happens to be trans, played by a woman who happens to be trans, as a leading role, with no victimhood, no focusing on what she is, and the trans aspect only comes up when totally appropriate. It isn’t glorified, it isn’t sensationalized, it’s just an aspect of who she is while they focus on everything else that makes this person amazing.

*That* is representation, and once I saw it, once I felt it, I get why it’s so powerful, and so important for minorities to see themselves on the silver screen. It brings me into the story even more, it lets me connect, it lets me see myself in there instead of watching show after show in which I don’t exist, and when I do, I’m usually the butt of someones joke, or the freak, or in my case, the TRANNY.

We are a part of society, just like everyone else, we are human, we do our shit, let us exist, show us without glorifying us, without victimizing us, show us in positions of strength, let the muggles see us as just another person, represent us.

Thanks to the Watchowskis and JMS for this, let’s make it a trend shall we?

 


sex

A glance
eyes lock
a slight smirk
gliding by, neck craning to follow
the moment passes

thoughts tumble
energies entwine

return

a smile
cheeks flush
names exchanged
her hand, like silk
sipping nervously on a straw, bubbles rise

a word, a laugh, an invitation
dance
alone and together
the distance between, ever smaller
sweat mingling, exchanging
hands, hips, waists, the small of the back
her cheek
my neck
lips
teeth
lust

the world vanishes

tongues wrestle
heat from within
mouth softer than silk
dancing as one
no end, no beginning

we depart
we explore
we experience
bodies pressed together
her hair in my face
marks of passion blooming, blue and glorious
memories for tomorrow

every inch, kissed
every curve, worshipped
every aspect, wanted
every desire, obtained
pain, pleasure, the line between, gone

wanton
animal
carnal
exquisite

then rest
quiet
words have no place

hearts pumping
skin cooling
a final kiss
the door closes
the curtain falls
sleep