Trans folk understand identity better.

Image by Tiph Brown via Huffington Post.

Who are you beyond the titles you've been given at birth?

i have spent the past 25 years trying to figure out where man begins and where man ends and what i have discovered is that man begins only where i end. 
— DarkMatter

Who are you beyond the boxes you check off on your social media profile or job application? 

What I loveee about the trans community is their reinforcement to see ourselves beyond externally imposed definitions and structures. To be fluid in our interactions with self and how that self is expressed in the external (the real world). 

What the trans community understands and echoes so clearly to me is the fluidity of identity. The fluidity of all things, really.

Isn’t this what we’re reaching for? Permission to express ourselves, to be unabashedly who we are in that moment, to our very core? And from within that expression, to feel accepted?

"I struggle with how Western culture is obsessed with the idea of having one self/identity. I struggle with how the only way we talk about gender is as an identity. I think gender just like our "selves" is relational. I think we are in a constant state of evolution. I think we have been and will become many selves for many different people. So things like "authenticity" aren't about striving for some far away truth, but rather an acknowledgement (perhaps a submission) to the constant ebb and flow of change." -- Arok, DarkMatter

We’re not the white walls of conformity--more akin to insane asylums-- that we chain ourselves to. Our worlds are fluid, if we allow them to be. We impose these external structures on ourselves, and others, unknowingly so, and refute the validity of how others feel. 

Our messages, gender, race, religion, name...fluid. The boxes aren’t uniform, rigid or even necessary, but we cling to them with an almost violent aggression. 

“Don’t take this from me. Who am I without this? Who am I if not my name, the color of my skin or the shape of genitals between my legs?”

Really, bro? 

I think you can do better. I think you can dig deeper. You’re going to die one day and that skin you’re waging wars over, that penis you’re affording a lifetime of privilege to, well those things die too. 

Shrivel. 

Wither. 

Face demons like erectile dysfunction and skin cancer. #eek

Why not pony up, level up and gift yourself some stronger magic?

You’re made of stars, ancestors, and oceans. 

So why are you arguing over varying degrees of melatonin? 

If you had the power of thunder at your fingertips, would you tremble at the sight of a black guy? White man? Transgendered people? Would the color of someone’s skin, gender or language feel so eternal or threatening?

To know your true nature is to let go of the fleeting nature of life. It is to embrace what trans people are rocking the f*ck out of-- fluidity and self-expression. You don’t need to get it to employ it. 

Changing your name (and identity) is confusing. 

When I embarked on this spiritual journey of sorts and came out on the other side with a new name, my grandmother’s name in fact, well — it’s been confusing. Since changing my name, migrating my website to this new URL and decidedly taking a new direction in my work, it’s felt more silent around these parts. I’ve felt lost in terms of what I’m writing about and to whom. 

My mentor’s words on the importance of locating your tribe echo in my mind. Where’s my tribe, I’ve wondered? 

Who’s listening, as I pour my heart into this work, under a new name, and in a different country, without the anchoring of NYC at my feet? 

But what I’ve realized is there’s an anchor deeper than the land beneath our feet and the ideas that flutter in our minds. 

Go home. 

I’m still thrashing and honoring my trans gente from the bottom of my soul. 

Your work in this world is so brave. This path you’ve undertaken is blazing a trail for the boxes of our past and present to be shattered and redefined. 

I see you. I see each of you making a transition out of who you were to become who you are.

Today, in this moment. 

Go. Be. 

I see you. I got your back. I give you permission (not that you need it). 

Do no harm and soar

 

Other things I’m contemplating, right now:

  • Real talk: am I an old or young soul? If I’m a young soul, #wtf. How much longer do I need to keep reincarnating? This shit’s getting old. 
  • Eighty people read everything I write, no matter how bad. You guys are rock stars. THANK YOU. Some of ya’ll even signed up for this cult while in church. Is that a thing? Yes! And I’ll take it! Connect with me, people. Email me and say hello! I want to know you, help you and build with you. 
  • DarkMatter: In ❤. This South Asian art duo that identifies as non-binary trans has me feeling in love. Their work is vulnerable, transparent and open. This level of commitment, honesty and vulnerability is what I strive for in my own work, daily. 

 

Gimme a ❤ if you liked it — and if you’re into swanky cults,
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