My Private Remembrance Day

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”-Buddha

I am coming up on a time that is bitter sweet for me and it influences my life so profoundly to this very day.

The time I speak of is that pivotal moment in every person’s life who has ever been in the closet.

When you’re hoarse from running, exhausted and scared at every shadow, every whisper and every look feels like the weight of the elephant in the room. It is time. When you are paranoid that the world knows your secret and judges you for it. It is time.

But the only one tormented into the early morning, day in and day out, is you.

One day, as if by accident, while looking over your shoulder, you run smack into that thing you’ve been running from and it hits you in the face in a sometimes very real and painful way.

For me, it was being proposed marriage to, by a guy I had been in a relationship with for a long time and being caught up in the moment enough to say yes, only to have the yes tie itself around my throat like a noose.

Was I walking down the aisle or to the gallows?

I knew marrying this man was a death sentence for my inner self. It would kill my true self, my feelings, my struggles, my creativity and my plans for the life I wanted and was too cowardly at that point to reach out and grab.

When I finally took that great leap, it was painful and ugly.

I laboured to give birth to myself under lonely conditions. But I was proud when it was over. Not that it ever ends.

You come out every day in casual conversation, when someone says, ‘what does your husband do?’ or even things like division of household chores or workplace emergency contact lists or hospital waiting rooms.

When Pride events begin in my neck of the woods in about a week from now, I allow myself that time to ruminate on 7 years ago, and how very different life was for me in my twenties…and that I wouldn’t change a moment of truth for all those years of lies and omissions.

Truth is the only safe ground to stand on.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 – 1902)

Is It Hot In Here?….Or Is It Just Me?

So B. has decided, since she’s gone back to work, that apparently, she can now take over the world.

She has started working out and has decided her next goal in life aside from going back to school is to become a body builder.

B and I have kind of a butch (me) / femme (her) thing going on.

She’s a little shorter than me but definitely curvier and can put muscle on like no one I’ve ever seen.

When B was in cooking school, the chefs would make her whip things by hand…in our first year of dating, her hands were like steel and her arms were sinewy, veiny, tattooed hotness.

It’s weird how gender and sexuality move in such a weirdly fluid way sometimes.

Sometimes I can’t help but get creeped out at how I melt when she, being a diverse and multi-faceted person, makes jokes like a frat boy while wearing a dress and heels….

…Or how she can fix things around the house when really, I’m mostly good for brute strength and grunt work…ditch digging, lifting couches…that sorta thing.

Anyway, when B exhibits her female masculinity, I turn my head like a dog and perk my hears like I heard something only audible to canines…”huh? wow…your hot!”

I like that B can make me surprise myself by finding something sexy that normal doesn’t do anything….

Also neat is that she’s possessive without being creepy/abusive.

When someone ‘notices’ me, B. notices them back, with another dog like behaviour…MINE!!

While I don’t endorse jealous behaviour, sometimes it’s nice to know your partner gets their feathers ruffled when someone shows you flirty attention.

Here’s a sexy quote for your pleasure:

“ When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities. ” –Matt Groening

Building Rome, A Day at a Time

I was not always this person. Well duh monkiss, you’re thinking, we’re all in constant evolution.

My dear reader, I’m sitting in the basement suite I share with my gorgeous wife and feeling a sense of peace and empowerment in my life and that is what I want for you.

Knowing my gender identity and my sexuality was not something that clicked for me one morning; it was a painful and long journey.

I didn’t think I deserved to be the person I am now.

There were out lesbians all around me, some were feminine and lipstick wearing, some androgynous and others more masculine, like me. And I couldn’t look them in the eye.

There was a paralysis that took place when I saw them on the bus or seated in my women’s studies class across from me in the circle where we talked about Germaine Greer or Gloria Steinem or Ellen’s coming-out episode on her sitcom in the 90’s.

I hated them because they weren’t afraid to be who they were and I hated them because I was afraid to listen to the voice inside me that said, yes…this is your tribe and these are your people.

They don’t call it the love that dare not speak it’s name for nothing.

A search for pieces of myself took me through a terminal illness and the wreckage and rebuilding of my body.

I left a 7 year relationship with a man who tolerated someone who had no desire for him, who didn’t burn for him the way I feel for my wife. I don’t know why he did that to himself. That part is not mine to feel guilty about.

After learning how to walk again, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. That was my moment, my moment to say I can’t choose this life anymore.

For me, being thousands of miles from my family and having little money and no one to talk to was like jumping out of a plane with my eyes closed and no parachute and no knowledge of how badly the landing was going to hurt or if I would come through another risk with my life.

After rising from the ashes, the painfulness of rebuilding, the growing and the work that came from that gave me the strength and the courage to make the next leap.

Leaving that man was brutality, he assassinated my character, he took everything we built together and I let it happen.

Even though I had nothing, I pulled myself up, forced myself into the world anew and reminded myself that as long as I was alive, I was a success, I could change.

My friends, my grandmother and extended family saved my life during those dark and painful days.

By the time B came into my life, I felt indestructible.

I accepted my sexuality and was proud of who I am, I shrugged off the negative stereotypes of being a masculine presenting female and allowed that identity to continue to evolve. I still have days.

We are not what happens to us, we are ourselves and the collection of lessons we take away from the slings and arrows life hurls at us.

I had taken many falls, survived so much damage and pulled myself to a place of success and strength.

The universe had rewarded my work.

B. was the woman in my life who changed everything.

With her, for the first time, I felt things I’ve never had in my life.

I felt what it’s like to want someone, to desire them…body, soul and spirit.
The power of desire cannot be underestimated.

When you are in the minority as a gender identity, sexuality in the way you present yourself to the world, it’s a very lonely and isolating place.

B. was and still is, my everything.

We’ve been together three years and I still don’t know what it’s like to not want her. I may never know.

When I wrap my arms around her each morning, I am home, when I kiss her goodnight, I rest in complete peace, when I come home to her after a day at work, I melt into her arms and smell her hair and know I have arrived.

It took me 30 years dear reader to feel this for the first time. This true love, this true peace.

Building an empire of truth is the only way to live.

I wish you peace dear readers. I wish you love and I wish you success in building your empire.

monkiss

Continuum

brief note –** warning that there’s some words in here I wouldn’t say to kids, so if you’re a kid who stumbled on it, do me a favour and don’t tell me** (i don’t believe in protecting kids from the real world, but i don’t want to be responsible for “corrupting” other people’s kids…good deed done for today.)

You wanna get burned
You wanna get turned
You wanna get fucked inside out
You wanna be ruled
You wanna be fooled
You wanna be a woman like a man like a woman like a man
-Woman like a Man, Damien Rice

This song always made me think, back when dating my wife meant driving the 2 hours between the city she lived in and the hick-hole I was working in at the time, what does ‘like a man’ even mean?

I know all the normal stuff that gender and sexuality is a continuum and contrary to popular belief by most factions, the majority of us fall somewhere in the middle.

Wouldn’t it shock most conservatives to know that Kinsey determined most of us are bisexual?

For me, I guess, I find more difficulty in the part where peope assume all butch lesbians are ‘in transition’.

I don’t know what it’s like to want to be the ‘other gender’ and to be screwed some way by nature to notice you left the store with the wrong accessories.

I ‘do’ know what it’s like to be accused constantly of wanting to ‘be a man’ ‘act like a man’ and live my life ‘like a man’.

Just because some people, aeons before I was born, got together in a room and decided what was ‘manly’ and what was ‘womanly’ does not mean I agree to those terms and conditions.

I don't accept the terms and conditions of your social constructs

I like my mammary glands and I have no dislike for my genitalia and all the delightful things and sensations it allows me to experience.

My wife is also a pretty big fan.

I like all of those things about me and no, they don’t jive much with my brain or my preference in wardrobe. I still have no intention of changing anything to match anything else.

This is just my own experience.

Cue musical interlude:

Fathers & Pseudo-Sons

When I speak to my father it’s much like ‘going through the motions’ of what society expects us both to do. As a father he’s supposed to keep in touch with me and know what I’m doing.

As a thirty-something child, I’m supposed to have ‘gotten over’ childhood hurts and adulthood hurts, matured and accepted my father for what he is.

Were I in possession of the right genitalia, I would’ve been the perfect son, hell, I was the perfect son:

I excelled in highschool varsity sports, helped with renovations, brought home nice girls and got a job and started paying my way when I was 15 years old. I went to university, kept in reasonable touch with the home front and drove my brother to hockey practices.

This difference between who I am and social constructs created a divide of epic proportions between my father and me.

It didn’t have to be if he wasn’t, in his words, “old-fashioned”. This is supposed to be the words that make me accept that he is uncomfortable when I hold my wife’s hand or shave my head or talk about ‘male’ things that I like.

Over the years, since his secret understanding that this is who I am, he has stopped asking about my life and has limited our conversations to the weather and his household projects.

I have to say that this is fine now because I’m sick and tired of “don’t talk about your personal life” or the sudden and not so subtle subject change signalling his clear discomfort.

This is just a part of life, I can wear myself out and fight him every step of the way, every ignorant comment and every awkward silence. Or I can attempt the Buddhist practice of acceptance and compassion of this man.

Again, cultivating patience is always my downfall.

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. ~Kahlil Gibran