Looking back, looking forward

Funny how three years later, I still think about GCS (gender confirmation surgery). There’s this doctor in New York City, Dr. Jess Ting, who creates girls’ vaginas using pieces of the inner lining of their stomach so they can experience lubrication during arousal. This surgery wasn’t available four years ago when I lived in New York City. It wasn’t available to me. I gave up chasing my dream of GCS in Thailand and chose to go to grad school to study therapy. Then I left grad school to pursue my art. Now two years later, what do I have to show for it? A great deal I suppose. I’ve started a record label, music collective, and event series. I’ve honed my skills as a sound engineer (and continue to). I’ve played a number of live shows and continue to receive bookings. I feel things are moving in the right direction. But a familiar void has resurfaced in me all these years later–a yearning for a deeper physical experience of my womanhood, a closer proximity to the physical form I see in my mind’s eye.

I remember when I left New York I said I wouldn’t return unless I had a thriving creative career. Now it seems it’s headed in that direction. UN/TUCK is bound to take off. I’m quite sure. And when it does, I’m going to leave Kansas City. And begin my life once more in a place where I can seek trans inclusionary healthcare–where I do not have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on surgeries–where the very notion of calling trans related surgeries ‘cosmetic’ is seen as violent and oppressive–where the final alleviation of my dysphoria is not seen as a burden.

I am ready for whatever changes come. And for the ones I intentionally seek out. I am ready for the true flowering of my life, the true birth, to commence.

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Haikus on the Trans Day of Visibility

Haiku for my trans brothers and sisters:
Hey look we did it
Defying stupid ideas
About gender norms.

Haiku for the Mythical Norm:
Normalcy is false
Just another way to use
Power over you.

Haiku for Cis Allies:
You are doing
An okay job but for real
Could be much better.

Haiku for the Butt Hurt:
It’s not about you
Or your fragile feelings.
People are dying.

Haiku for my Non-Binary Peeps:
Take dualities
And put them in a smoothie
Watch them disappear.

Haiku for fallen Trans Women of Color:
You were beautiful
Brilliant light in a dark world.
Please rest in power.

Her.

Reclaiming what was lost. 

My goddess 

Long twisting curls 

Hovering over me 

With eyes like jackhammers 

Eyes like needles

Eyes like black holes. 

You are not done,

She says in a tone 

Too sharp for a blade

Too wide for a chalice. 

You are not done 

Becoming who you are.

I cannot help that I forgot;

That womanhood was the flower 

To bloom of my seed; 

That a little bit of Lolita lipstick 

Could bring my soul alive;

That somewhere in me 

Hid the whispers of water bearers 

And funeral tenders,

The soft glow of moon 

And tinkle of stream,

The valley to my mountain 

The sensation of joy 

That comes with the recognition of beauty 

A pinecone atop a crystal 

A stump on a glass dish 

A rope of white lights 

Strewn in circles, 

A band of wildflowers 

Wrapped in bows. 

Somewhere in me, 

According to the mother, 

Bubbled some ancient spring 

Waiting to burst 

To flow 

To dance among the reeds 

And the trees 

And cherry blossoms, 

To croak 

And sing 

And cry until the evening 

Fell to silence 

And the soft underbelly of my being 

Made herself known.

Girl.

Stop. Full stop.

Take a look for a second.

Touch your curls and pout your lips.

Tilt your head to the side.

Look yourself in the eyes.

See who you are.

Alive.

Beautiful.

A meaningless composition of atoms,

Bound to disperse themselves

Among the void.

A girl

Somewhere between youth and adulthood

Caught in some impenetrable chasm 

Some liminal space.

The feeling of betrayal

Walking in your bones.

A girl.

A monster perhaps,

But a girl nonetheless.

Now tilt your head the other way,

Arch your back.

Smile.

Now don’t smile.

Good.

Close your eyes.

Now open them.

Now close them again.

This time imagine yourself.

Even if it’s different

Than what you see,

Dream yourself alive

Awake.

Envision what’s possible,

Imagine that God gave you the keys 
To the car,

Imagine that you can drive 

Anywhere you like.

Go there.

Don’t come back.

Now open your eyes again.

Take a look for a second.

What do you see?

A girl.

A stranger,

But a girl nonetheless.

Shame

If the world didn’t fill you with shame, how would you live your life? Would you fill it with strange and exotic movements? Would you be somebody else? Would you continue to hide those aspects of yourself that others call ugly? Or would you make them beautiful? Would you celebrate your darker impulses? What would you do?