(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.
first touch of youlike the kiss of silky milk
covering my skin
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
Such a little thing that can decide lives
Upon us the great moth of time
Flashing the light from the hard campfire time
As weeping Angels creep in the dark
Plumbing thrones miss a mark
Old guitars out of tune
Bursary counting calories to the moon
Thicker than a brick
Trickier and a blink
Choose a meme
Then get chocked in the green
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.
– 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.
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
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
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
I’m not sure I can fly anymore
But they didn’t kill me
Like all the others
I’m sure of it
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
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?
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
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
I’m out of the hive
Not in grey
I’m no longer pretending
But how long?
How long was it before?
I was outside
Still in their grasp
Like a dog?
I’m trying to be them
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
I’m as me as I can be
Ask me and I will say so
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
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.
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.
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.
Distance doesn’t cure
Closeness makes it worse
New and fresh
Pink and white and brown
Eyes stare back
They are seeing herself
She is no longer the only one
It’s a new day
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
Wait. Its circles and pears. Little brown wriggly hairs. Sitting feeling this steaming air, thin, gentle presses of them.
Centre to the Isle of might. Try, try as I fight.
Then escape from it all, to a place of light.
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