Tag Archive | Truth

Family and the Art of Imperfection

Family

My father died 16 years ago today.  In one way, his death seems like it just happened yesterday, but in another way, it seems like at least a century ago; I am left with a hazy, vague impression of events that might as well have been from a movie I saw long ago.

I guess time blurs the edges of pain. Maybe time blurs everything.

Between the anniversary of my father’s death today and Mother’s Day yesterday, I have been thinking a lot about family.  I was an only child, so I am the only one left to remember.

My relationship with my father was always good. Straightforward, solid, steady. Predictable. Consistent. I knew he loved me, although we didn’t say it; no, we were both much to stoic for that kind of mushy nonsense. Instead of words, it was his actions showed love. He took care of me whenever my mother was too busy, too self-absorbed, or simply too forgetful to do so. It was my father I could always depend on: for unexpected pop quizzes on random topics; for a cheese sandwich on gooey white bread with extra mayo and a teacup of whole milk anytime I was hungry; for endless rides to and from school; for help whenever my car(s) broke down; for listening to my ramblings about life on long walks from the time I was old enough to walk all the way up until he got too sick to walk anymore.

My relationship with my mother was much more complicated. My mother herself was much more complicated. My mother was fierce, difficult, egocentric, demanding, and stubborn. She was also funny, smart, strong, über-organized, and quite independent. I once took this quiz, “Do You Have A Narcissistic Mother?”, and let’s just say the score was significant. Very significant.

From the time I was born until the time she died, my relationship with my mother was a challenge. I would often feel exhausted in her presence, sometimes falling into what I called a “coma nap” when I visited with her, which felt like being dragged under into a deep, deep sleep by a force more powerful than myself.  Mom was shockingly self-absorbed, rarely showing any interest in me or anything I did or anything I was interested in; for instance, she never even asked what subject I got a Ph.D. in, nor did she ever show any interest whatsoever in my studies. As another example, I once traveled all over Europe for a summer, and upon my return, she did not ask my anything about the trip. At all. Not one thing.

That is certainly not to say that Mom and I didn’t have many good times, because we did. I can remember staying up late with my mother and watching Benny Hill, laughing until we cried. I remember her selling her high school ring to buy my high school ring. I remember her rescuing me from a wannabe molester like a superhero. I remember how I escaped the “coming out” horrors that many Lesbians endure, and I believe that this was likely, at least in part, because my mother decreed publicly that it was fine with her, and everyone was always too afraid to go up against my mother. I fondly remember playing cards with Mom, her friend, and my ex every Thursday night for several years after Dad died. I remember Mom coming immediately, without questioning, driving over 4 hours, to help me move out of my apartment when I was young and had just discovered my first girlfriend cheating on me…although I also distinctly remember her saying “I told you so”.

When I first wrote about my mother, I wrote: “Love her or hate her (and I still vacillate between the two, even after her death)….

Doing a Mother’s Day collage yesterday, I realized that it is time to amend that statement, because I no longer feel hate when I think of my mother. Now, I just feel love…it’s a complicated, difficult love, but it’s clearly love nonetheless.

In doing my Mother’s Day collage yesterday, I suddenly felt a kind of burden being lifted from me; one I wasn’t even fully consciously aware of carrying. The cloak of hurt, anger, anxiety, perfectionism, and angst that has been wrapped around my shoulders/neck ever since before I can remember was lovingly unraveled and discarded. I feel that I can finally breathe freely now.

It turns out that the answer was stunningly simple and had been available all along: My mother wasn’t perfect. Nor am I, nor are you, nor is any other human ever born.

I have come to believe over the years that most people are doing the best we can with the resources we have at the time. Sometimes it’s good enough, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. Sometimes we succeed admirably, sometimes we fail miserably. Sometimes we hurt others, sometimes we get hurt.

I realized while doing the collage yesterday that I needed to forgive others, starting with my mother; to forgive myself; to accept that life is not perfect, others are not perfect, and neither am I.

Of course, I know that this isn’t earth-shaking, ground-breaking insight. Countless others have figured this long out before I did; in fact, the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi has been teaching this lesson for centuries. I’d read about wabi-sabi years ago and truly didn’t understand how anyone could accept, much less embrace, imperfection.

Now I finally get it…better late than never, right?

“Dirt Is A Failed Transman”: The Urban Myth

I have written before, here, about how the urban myth that Dirt is a “failed transman” persists like a demented zombie in a low-budget horror film.

What I didn’t fully address, though, is WHY this myth is so prevalent.  I did mention that the people perpetrating this falsehood are so trapped in their own gender-straitjacketed notions that they simply cannot conceptualize the fact that Dirt is a LESBIAN, nor do they understand that Lesbian is NORMAL, but I didn’t elaborate further on the underlying causes of this tedious rumor.

But the exact WHY is crucial, and needs to be addressed directly.

Therefore, Dirt did her own post on this topic (link here).

I have also copied and pasted her post below, because I strongly feel that it is important to address the root of this prevalent lie.

So, without further ado, here is Dirt’s response, in her own words:

As not simply someone who has written about Lesbians and transition for more than a decade, BUT as a Lesbian writing about Lesbians and transition, to assuage transgender fears and prejudices, in transgender circles the world over it has become urban myth that I myself have “tried to transition” but sadly “failed“. I’m not quite sure how one would fail, apparently the myth making never got beyond fail, but there you have it. “Dirt is a failed transman.”

A little something about myths:

As there is ZERO facts/truths to me having transitioned/detransitioned/tried transitioning/tried and failed transition, what would be the analogy which motivates these falsehoods? Outside of the zillions of petty little self soothing needs/motivations that spring from the individual, there are two prime reasons for the Dirt is a Failed Transman Myth:

  1. Lesbian has been removed from Lesbians.
  2. If Lesbians don’t exist beyond RadFem anyonecanchoosetobealesbian warped ideology and gender nonconforming confirms transgender origins, then normal Lesbians MUST surely be Trans, even if we fail at it.
Myth doesn’t hide things, it distorts them.”

Prior to Transgender ideology being commonplace, Lesbians like myself were often viewed/called and bashed with phases like mannish lesbians, lesbians who want to be men, lesbians who really are men, lesbians who act like men, masculine lesbians to list a few. Insults all couched in the swaddling cozy comfort of Heterosexuality.

But also prior to Trans Trending, even prior to the DSM III, Gays and Lesbians found comfort in finding other Gays and Lesbians. We didnt feel threatened by other Gays and Lesbians, instead for many of us we felt for the first time what it felt like to BE normal! To KNOW we were normal. NORMAL Homosexuals! NOT freaks of nature! NOT sick mother fuckers who shall burn in hell! NOT Gender Non Conforming! And most certainly NOT Transgender!

How do myths get created?

Between un-signifying Lesbian and inventing signifiers for Transgender from the ashes of Lesbian, Transgender has suddenly ALWAYS existed in human history. So much so, the once Lesbian tropes used by Lesbians (and Gays) as both survival instincts and mating instincts alike, are being used to back label historical Gays and Lesbians as Transgenders of history!

In my case, Heterocentric qualifiers/traits like mannish looking, acts like a man, masculine, handsome (rather than cute or beautiful), wears mens clothes, keeps a short or cropped hair cut, passes as a man etc, with Lesbian removed from history and with me being qualified as man/nish BUT also being a biological female—queers special snowflakes/Transgenders of both sexes/Trans cohorts and allies of both sexes conclude that I’m a transgender who failed at transitioning because I remain calling myself by my sex (female)/and my sex’s proper (she/her) pronouns. And from thence, myth!

I’m not a failed transman because I am, I’m a failed transman because some people need me to be.

dirt

Homophobic Threats? Bring It On

Check out this lovely (not!) tweet (which was in reply to Dirt’s tweet about a ridiculous comment she received via the Contact Form regarding her recent post, How Lesbian Became The Vehicle For Radical Feminist Anger):

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(The Jolly Green Tweeter promptly deleted this tweet, likely because she belatedly realized that she had made herself appear to be a few fries short of a Happy Meal, but we easily recovered it, thanks to the magic of technology).

Here is the eloquent, scintillating (hahaha!) comment to which she refers:

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Examples like both of these prove the very points that Dirt and I are making:

Not only are heterosexual (alleged) “feminists” often not willing to listen to Lesbians speaking frankly about OUR OWN EXPERIENCE; but they are also frequently outright hostile and terribly homophobic in their responses.

See Dirt’s post about the same topic, here.

I have just a couple of things to say to this green-faced shrew (and anyone else like her):

1). Thanks for proving our points for us, cupcake(s).

2). If you think that threatening my wife (or myself) is a good idea, BRING IT ON.  We’ll see what happens. Spoiler alert: You will wish you hadn’t.

3). Keep on commenting, folks; because, with every wannabe insult, you are showing your true hateful, homophobic colors and Lesbians who mistakenly think you are our allies will eventually see the light.

With Friends Like That, Who Needs Enemies?

Recently, I have been seeing posts and memes on Facebook, calling for unity and/or wishing for simpler times, when videos of cats doing silly things were the most serious things you’d see on your Facebook feed.

I do understand the wishes to keep Facebook light & fun and free of politics. I wish that were the case too.

But the current administration makes that impossible; I am afraid those days are gone, perhaps forever. We are living in a new world now.

Why? Because when you realize that your cousin (or uncle, brother, aunt, sister, friend, neighbor, coworker) supports the Trump administration, an administration which actively promotes hate, intolerance, injustice, discrimination, and untruth, you realize that there is no way you can remain friends with that person.

Because with “friends” like that, who needs enemies?