Tag Archives: transition to me

My Grandmother

Upon hearing that my wife and I are splitting up, and that I might possibly someday want to consider going back to school to become a Rabbi. She said, “K will always be apart of our family, because you loved her and because we love her.” I know Grandma. I love her too, we just can’t be together. She said “Of course you can be a Rabbi, this is not such a crazy idea.”

So we talk. Then last night a few hours after our lunch, she sends me two emails, with one link in each email, no other text the first one is this:
http://www.reformjudaism.org/blog/2013/07/15/profiling-first-generation-transgender-rabbis
and the second one is this:
http://www.reformjudaism.org/blog/2013/07/19/fight-equality-life-changing-experience-alabama

Now, I don’t know if my grandmother ever knew that I thought for a time I might be trans, or if she just knows Queer Judaism are as intertwined into my soul as anything. She’s not one for big heart-to-hearts but she is my liberal southern Grandma and I love her with all my heart.

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Filed under Divorce?, family, gender, Politics is Personal, Religion

Thank you for the lessons

In talking to the previously mentioned queer person at the coffee/popcorn shop she was complaining of an ex and ex’s crazy mother and how the previous three years were just down the drain… Just like that. I told her straight up that I don’t believe any relationship could possibly have been a waste of time, that we learn from every relationship we’re in, no matter how scary or plain stupid it was for us to be in that relationship if we reflect on it, we learn something. Or at least we should.

So in looking back at my first real attempt at a committed relationship with a female-bodied person I learned a lot. I used to think that what I had learned was about how not to be in a relationship, what warning signs to look out for from alcoholics and drug addicts alike. And I did learn those lessons I hope. But I also learned how to be a butch. Or what kind of butch I want to be. See my lesson in butch qualities didn’t come from the kind elder butch at the bar once I came of age, or the internet, or the books I’ve read. Though the latter two were definitely helpful and I’m sure I am always learning, my introduction came from hir. When she was sober she was the epitome of what I wanted for my life, though I wouldn’t have told her that then. I was femme. Or femm-ish. Or femme-onmywaytoftmonmywaytobutch if you get the picture, which it’s okay if you don’t.

She wore silk Armani shirts and boxers and taught me about the comforts of boxer-briefs and didn’t mind if I bought myself a pair or two either. She tried to teach me how to pick out shirts without trying them on and how to figure out my size. More importantly, how to cook without instructions, how to grill, how to pretend like the weight of the object you’re attempting to carry is no problem at all, how to make love to a butch and how to f*ck like you never ever want to leave. She let me drive her BMW around town with the top down and didn’t even mind when I stopped wearing skirts and started wearing those silk Armani shirts… or you know, the lesser costing shirts from The Gap and thrift stores. She knew I was becoming more me and that was enough for her.

So, at this time of the year when I am reflecting on previous years, and how to make this one better. In this time of forgiveness and of asking forgiveness. I forgive her for the pain she caused, thank her for the lessons she taught, ask for forgiveness for not being able to cure her pain, forgive myself. Ultimately, I thank her for being my elder. I thank her for being able, through her pain to live long enough to teach me the lessons I needed to learn, the lessons maybe she had to learn on her own, or maybe she was born with.

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Filed under gender, growing up, Uncategorized

A break in the thread

I read a lot. Reading helps me sometimes complete my thoughts, or spark new ones. Debates inside my head if you will. Today I’m reading “Butch is a Noun” by Bergman. I think that in my first Meme post I said my gender is Butch. I stand behind that, but I also want to clarify. My gender, like I think, everyone’s gender, changes slightly over time as we grow, learn, create and be. I was not always butch. Maybe some would identify me as a “soft-butch” and some would just laugh and say I’m no butch, and that’s fair, that is their opinion and their fully entitled to it. In fact I was so not-butch, I was Femme, a pretty good femme if I do say so myself.

eighth grade Soire

So that was 2003 and I probably continued that lovely fake smile for another five years. That’s right, it was 2008, maybe 2009 before I started to become comfortable with the idea that makeup, which I was never good at applying, and tight girl clothes, just weren’t made for me to be comfortable. I feel most comfortable with my pocketknife in the right front pocket of my baggy jeans and t-shirt. Sure, it makes me even feel powerful, less vulnerable. I like feeling in charge, I like that instead of being stared at, I’m respected. I should note, that I think all people should be respected, doesn’t matter if they’re in skinny jeans, a mini-skirt, tube-top, whatever… But I’m digressing. This is what makes me comfortable:

Driving across country the 1st time... My little civic didn't come with me this time.

There was a brief period of my life that I thought I was FTM but I’m too proud of being a woman, proud of the women that helped raise me. I’m just a person, I’m a butch. I just grew up in my own way, a little later than most. As it is, I’m not a huge fan of wrestling with the boys, the bois, the butches or the what-have-yous… Don’t get me wrong, I think I can defend myself if need be, I know what I need to know, but I have no need push other people around for the fun of it. I can see how it can be fun for others, see who is stronger or better at fighting. I just don’t like hurting people, so I don’t try to, in play or whatever. Wrestling, to me, feels like flirting. I’m a pacifist to the nth degree, until you try to hurt me, or anyone else. I only recently discovered a fondness for contact sports, or any sport for that matter. I love working my body to its ultimate limit but that doesn’t require pushing other people around. I’d rather show the elderly that us young “boys” are kind and gentle creatures, or can be. I prefer opening doors for muscle-men at the gym to having doors opened for me. It’s just who I am. I describe myself as butch for the qualities I appreciate in the elder Butch population. When I bind, I bind because it makes me more comfortable. When I’m wearing my work uniform with a sports bra underneath and still get called “Sir” at Wal-Mart, I politely lower my voice as best I can and adopt my “manliest” stance and walk. If they change their minds, they do, if not, they don’t. Most of all, I appreciate that sitting here in the only coffee shop in this tiny town the woman behind the counter gave me a whole bowl of their famous popcorn free, and then recanted to me her life story, excited that their indeed was another queer in the house. If I was a man would that have happened? I sincerely doubt it.

I’ve got another few days of this town and I’m starting to like it. Tomorrow I’ll go back to the MeMe.

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Filed under gender, growing up