On paganism and being transgender

(Most of my essays on dreaming and paganism were archived with my older blog. This is the first essay I have posted on this blog, probably not the last.)

Being both pagan and a transgender woman can be a very harsh road. As I was working out my gender identity, I learned some of the hardest people that existed in my community.

There are still Pagans who are followers of a belief that only women who had experience of a period could be “true women”. Forgetting how ableist this is for a moment, it is often explicitly directed at exclusively. Usually paraded in the name of historical accuracy, which if you ever do your reading in neopaganism you know for sure is complete bull shite.

I’m confident that such history, is ultimately flawed, even reconstructionist pagans can never hope to have an entirely accurate depiction of what the pagan cultures they reconstruct. Many modern and ancient cultures though had more than one gender, and our binary two have not always been a strict line that is followed. The whole idea of two-genders an exclusively Abrahamic idea, but it is a duality that historically has been used by those purporting to such religions have used to their advantage.

Almost all reconstructions of pagan beliefs hold that their is nothing to be done about the parts of history that have humans harming each other. Pagans were systematically persecuted for centuries. Conversely, when the pagans were in control of the government systems that did exist, the same was done to the Christians. It’s unfortunate but true. The other thing was that the pagans who did get more modern practices, those that survived to the point of the Christian church’s reach over the Roman Empire, believed that sex and gender were more fluid than those coming from the teachings of Abraham and his followers.

I’m not looking to open old wounds here. I’m looking to compare. LGBTI people often find sanctuary within the neopagan community. The idea of sex being scared, life itself is scared, and these are qualities that many LGBTI people find attractive against the raw, often strict monotheisms, though there is an issue of being excluded. Transgender and intersex people still usually are. I have seen the way too many a pagan ritual or pagan woman’s group that has said I have to have been “born” and or “blood” or have experienced it. I have heard of similar men’s rights that require a penis, or the ability to ejaculate. I think we also shouldn’t go into the “cakes of light” stuff from the often pagan aligned occultism. How LGBTI people can fit into some of this is usually a big question that some of these paths answer, others never even consider, and some make explicit that LGBTI people are just not yet welcome.

So I exclude myself. Work only with women who see me as a woman. Who actually know “biology” is far more complicated. That “Mother Nature” is a fallible woman. That many animals exist in the single-gender environment, swapping their physical gender due to temperatures, age, status etc. The gods to some pagans are infallible just like they are to the Christians. Such a thing seems insanely dull to me. The gods are changing, movable, malleable, and almost every mythology tells of a god or goddess changing their mind or forced to due to their situation or needs. Strict rules are often bent, broken or in some case just plain ignored. Why then can us supposedly fallible humans not be the same?

I’m hopeful myself that these things are something more of the pagan community sees as sacred. The ability for the changeable divine. The transgender divine even. The gods are always going to have to change as we do. One day, maybe we will find how to change as quickly as they.

Advertisements

Soft dress

first touch of youlike the kiss of silky milk 

covering my skin 

it’s beginning 

I can hear the healing 

in my veins 

don’t look twice 

I’m sorry this is to nice

I’ve wanted this for so

Long

Nerve Endings- edited by Toni Hill-Meyer – review (repost)

Nerve Endings review  

I’m reposting the link to review of Nerve Endings here so that it’s available my readership. Also goo see the stuff that Elizabeth does on her website / blog. I’m always amazed at how well she keeps up with the publishing industry and manages to read way more books than I’ll probably read in my lifetime. She’s also a excellent editor and writer, and a wounderful freind. 

Ovipositor

– This is a poem about dysphoria I felt in high school and how it returns to me sometimes,
even post transition. It’s about my past, present and my future. Its one of the poems I have tried to get into a poetry journal without success. I search for feedback on how to make thing better.

0. Ovipositor

It’s like a ovipositor

It’s not one thing or the over

It looks like them

The ones who have made me cry, alienated me from myself

1. Wasp

I’m like a wasp

All the hive is buzzing

All of them busy grey things in this nest

I’m trying to be like them

Trying

I’m doing the same things

I’m wearing the same full body grey suit

I’m helping with this grey mass we build

Mud, it’s so perfect a metaphor for my life

I’m like the sunshine on this mud

Heating it, hating it, making it solid

Into more hive

Strife, in a hive is dealt with quickly

I’m not sure why I wasn’t

They did that thing, the attack

The strike

The clipping

I’m not sure I can fly anymore

But they didn’t kill me

Like all the others

Ovipositor

I’m sure of it

2. Hive

On this day

This hateful day

Our grey bodies

Ready to go outside

I’m stuck in hear, in my mind at least

Leave the hive, but not really

I’m still grey

3. Cave

It’s dark

Cliff above us to the outside

One of them

Those others that pretend that I’m one of them

They drop a knife

It falls millimeters from my head

Anyone else see it?

That I was nearly dead?

Nope

I’m told to take the knife back

All the way up the cliffs

Carry the weapons of my enemies

I’m broken inside

I’m dead inside

I’m never going to escape the grey

4. Hyena

I’m in the library?

Not a wasp right now

I’m a reader

Reading about a hyena

Vagina that’s like mine

I’m a hyena?

I’m not, but I am

My piece, my bit feels like that

On the outside it looks like

On the inside

In my mind

It’s not

5. Escape

I’m out of the hive

Not in grey

I’m out

I’m me

I’m no longer pretending

But how long?

How long was it before?

I was outside

Still in their grasp

Like a dog?
6. Dog

I’m trained

I’m trying to be them

I’m pretending

I’m also trained

Like me, barking, sniffing, digging, pissing

But secret, shhhh I’m not. I just pretend

I’m not a good barker

7. Ovipositor (2)

I’m not pretending anymore

I still have my ovipositor

But I’m me

In many ways

One day, one day I can

Be all me

All I want to be

For now?

I’m as me as I can be

Ask me and I will say so

Bloated firestorm 

Every fire in my stomach 

Tired of the drive from this place

Gloating firefly in the doorway

Shutting down the black marble road

Crowds shoutout for anguish and drama 

Them are surprise to get it, is that the social karma?

Fifty fires, down inside, empathy of the day 

Just the frosty icing licks, just the hatful knife that wil kiss 

Something incandescent 

You can touch it sometimes 

It’s there. You can feel it.

Like a blank canvas with no inspiration, you can’t find the words to explain.

You look at others. Your like them. You want to be them. You need to be them.

Every thing in your body aches to be like that.

Everything in you life makes sense when you image your life as it.

But they tell you it’s impossible. Or only bad people do this. Or that your not really one of them. Or you can’t be like that. 

Sometimes though it’s you. You hold yourself back. You can’t get yourself to be yourself. 

Like a tadpole to scared to be a frog.

Like a flower to scared to be a seed.

Like a cloud to scared to be rain.

You exist. You love. You feel. You even try. 

People want this person. The one you create. To be the real you. And you try. You try so hard.

Like a green light trying to be red.

Like a camera trying to be a photograph.

Like a letter trying not to be read.

But it’s their. Like the rain falling. The light switches on. The camera takes a photograph.

You can feel this. Here. In your heart. Down in your soul. Telling you. Wishers from a moon. First far away but slowly. Surely. It. Is. Deafening.  

And you try to hide it maybe. You try to makes it a secret. 

Failing.

So hard.

So worth. Your being. Your seeing. Life as you can only continue in a conundrum of being not the you that people think is you.

That little seed. You keep hidden.

You hide.

It begins to bloom. A radiance that slowly shows.

Then one day. 

Your the real you. 

And you think. Why did you ever?

And you remember how impossible it had seemed. 

And you remember you have so far to go.

But your fuvally stepping.

Like the path that speaks your truths. 

Dress

Smiling at how far I have come

Watching the swish of the dress I have on

Feeling the breeze and the fabric

Feeling the woman I am inside, outside

Seeing those who look

Hearing those who comment

The new dress is a blessing

Don’t need any more guessing

Flowers and blue

And brand new shoes

Red dress

Red again
This time a dress
Imagine yourself in it
Feeling the cloth
Every bit of your skin tingles with delight
Your feeling freer than ever
Not a illusion, the mirror gives you
Your acutely you.
No one else
No one is telling you otherwise
It’s your day
You start to walk
It’s a lovely morning to be a woman
One day