(Approximate reading time: 7 minutes)
Essay: I am Trans-personal
“Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.”
-Cheris Kramrae and Paula Treichler.
I might suggest, that actually, feminism is the radical notion that people are women or men.”
Both/Neither, man or woman.
I am Trans-personal.
“Transsexual” the very word is so loaded with stereotypes and fetishizing connotations; like a “chick with a dick ” or a “man transitioning to be a woman” or a “woman who is trapped in a man’s body” and so on and so forth. The word contrives my gender experience into a physical reality exclusively that exists both in difference to the controlling binary stereotype of “men and women” and yet made to conform to the rule of being exclusively either a man or a woman – trying to be the opposite. The very word, “transsexual ” cultivates my gender reality into a terminology created by psychologists who are at best profiteering witnesses to the experience.
And so if I don’t want to use the word transsexual or transgender for that matter since both terms idolize and support the presupposed binary norm of exclusively male or female potentials in the world – then what on earth do I call myself? Perhaps, I am Trans-personal: A being who expresses the potential of human gender; emotionally, physically, psychologically, sexually and any other way just like any other person does.
And so as a trans-personal being, I acknowledge a biological basis for my physical self – living within the confines of a gender binary obsessed culture. As such, I accept transitional terms like transgender, transsexual, intersexual, homosexual, or whatever other term you can apply sexual to, and oh yes, androgynous, and a eunuch (you know or probably, don’t know) as the case may be, and well, don’t forget gender queer, or just plain gender fucked!
But none of that changes the way I feel.
Yes, I was raised by the appearance of a boy, when I was little, but that still does not define me as truly ever having been a boy. And that I do not consider myself ever to have really ever been a “male” not in the cultured sense or in a biological sense either; and therefore, I am not ever really a “male who became a female”. And thus equally I was never a “woman trapped in a man’s body”. And although I kind of like it now, at least in a past tense 20/20 hindsight kind of way of appreciating history, that maybe for a while I was a “chick with a dick” but even that was only a transitional blink of an eye!
Still, I am left again, with just having to say, “I was not a boy, and never a man; and so equally I must never have been a girl unless I was a girl born with a penis – but either way not a girl in the cultural norm sense and therefore, I have never been a girl and thus a woman either – so in the most honest and humble way I will tell you, please believe me when I say, “I could never have really been a man or woman trying to be the opposite sex, and thus I am not even transsexual; at least not in the ways you think.
After all, if I was never a boy, and I was never a male, and I never had to really transition my sex or my sense of self – but only rather transition the illusion of an inappropriate confine of a gender that was never really mine and all along was wrongly placed on me based alone on an infant genitalia… then I am telling the truth I am not a man, I am not a woman, and I am not even transsexual… I am transpersonal.
I am Trans-personal.
If you ask me, I might say I was born “intersexual, ” but that’s just one of those clever psychologist terms that nicely integrates male and female in a dysfunctional clinical way. But still, because of the pervading dominion of the binary exclusive gender code that society acknowledges and demands right now, I will use it and just say despite that fact, I was conformed to be raised as a boy. But I was never a boy. In fact, I feel being raised as a boy completely negated the possibility of any actual authentic identity.
I mean to base my entire gender for the experience of my whole life simply by infant genitalia is too grotesque and limiting. Even then if you still want to look at another way, then I could maybe tell you I use to sometimes think, I was a girl born with a dick. But society can’t seem to imagine that possibility and doesn’t let that possibility exist. So then even if I all alone imagine that possibility – well, even then that still doesn’t quite fulfill who I really was then and much less who I am now; and so I still have to say I was not a boy and I was not a girl. And therefore, I’ve never been a woman, and I’ve never been a man.
I truly am another.
The true word if there ever was one must have been lost when those who confessed they were this other had their tongues and more cut out by those who demand, “boys be boys” and “girls be girls.” After all, boys have to grow up to be men and girls have to grow up to be women and well, I know that just isn’t true!
But those same people with all their many knives, knives of societal pressure, knives of conformity, knives of power, religion and more; are the same ones who have created the fear – that still lingers and makes so many of us hold our tongues even now when we want to confess our honest truths – especially when our truths transcend other peoples lies.
And when we do – we say with the most bitter of tears, “It’s not my fault. I didn’t ask to be born this way! I can’t help it! It’s a birth defect…” we hope they’ll pity us and not hurt us with their knives any more.
But they don’t. They never have. I doubt they ever will.
But that doesn’t stop me – from being me.
And yet, I sadly admit, one time I lived through the fear and I use to say all of those things and hope for pity. Instead, I lived through all the pain, and was cut so many times by all those knives – I became silent.
But after all of that, I won’t be silent – not anymore. I still want to say the real truth; my truth, even if I have to stick my tongue way out and lick the words into your ear – and then tell you where you can stick your knife!
Because what is really grotesque – is to feel being who I am is a shame!
But I am not ashamed, not anymore. I am not a victim! I refuse to be! I believe I am a divine being, a conscious sentient being capable of incarnating into the experience of life. I believe I chose with deliberate divine intention and will power – before the birth of this body to be born willing to experience the reality of a body – and that includes the experience of gender, gender in all its glorious power!
My body, my gender is not a birth defect. It is not a mistake. It is beautiful and has made my life worth living. Only because you or someone you know would stigmatize me and denigrate me for being simply who I am – have I had to suffer. Only because society with its’ demeaning and limited idea of two genders was, I forced to suffer and experience personal turmoil in having to realize myself into a complete biological schism – and go crossing from one seeming gender extreme to the other.
And I have done this bravely with great determination, and willingly suffered – just to prove the power and truth of my gender; and the ability of my gender to be more than either stereotype of what it is to be male or female. I have done this to truly be an empowered human being, a caring, honest person – in short, to be trans-personal.