Wanda

By , July 31, 2008 3:47 am

For my 16th birthday I was given a copy of Sandman: A Game of You. This is part of the larger Sandman series of graphic novels which, if you haven’t read, you should do so as soon as possible. Really. (The first volume or two are perhaps the weakest of the series, but once you get through that it’s just masterful storytelling.) One of the main characters is Wanda, a pre-op trans woman. I can’t imagine this was the first trans character I’d seen in fiction, but she stays with me as my first memory of seeing a strong trans character in fiction; one of the first experiences I had saying “She’s like me!” when relating to a fictional character about my trans identity.

I remember flying through the book, eager to see what would happen next and impatient when the action shifted from Wanda. (Something I’ve managed to surpress in later rereadings. Fortunate, as the book as a whole is wonderful as well.) I stayed up later than I should, in those high school days where going to bed after midnight or one or two and getting up before seven all week long just seemed routine. But I couldn’t imagine waiting until tomorrow to see how the story turned out.

A spoiler warning. Those who haven’t read the book, think they might, and want every moment to be a surprise, should stop reading this post now. (I don’t know if the information ahead will fundamentally change your first read, but I’ve had friends give spoiler warnings about the information on dust jackets, so I know some people take these things very seriously.)

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Workshop writings – an intermediate stage

By , July 31, 2008 3:28 am

This is the text from a writing excersize in the workshop. I was very much continuing the work I’d done here, but enjoying letting the power of storytelling enter a little more. The final text I performed, which I’ll post one of these days, was somewhere in between in terms of flowery storytelling language and stark physical imagery.

I was struck at birth by the shaft of Ares. It’s true. The gods on high looked down and across time and saw me, barely formed. Perhaps one smiled or one frowned, perhaps they were spiteful or bitter or joyful or pleased; I don’t know. But I know Ares (or, perhaps, the warriors of Ares, his phalanx of gleaming, armored troops, which – in the end – is close enough to a mortal such as myself) drew his bow, notched a piece of wood, straight and true, and let fly his arrow.

It was a poison arrow.

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Bachelorette parties

By , July 31, 2008 3:21 am

This morning I received a FaceBook invite from SH to her bachelorette party in a couple weeks (she’s getting married in late September) and I’ve spent time on and off throughout the day thinking about how I feel about getting the invite. (Which is a separate issue from whether or not I’m going to go.)

I think the biggest thing I need to focus on is that I do feel good about getting invited. I know, from two decades of experience, that when I’m not included in women’s spaces I feel bad about it, even if the exclusion was on the not horribly unreasonable assumption that I was male. So I know that, had she not invited me, I would have felt really lousy about it.

But it reminds me about how I felt when I got accepted to the mentorship program: There was a definite aspect of, “Wait, what? You think I’m trans? You think I’m an artist? You think I’m a trans artist?” I know I have major issues with claiming identities, ranging to things having nothing to do with gender: pianist, geek, actor, artist, etc. But maybe it all does relate to gender, in that if everyone is (unintentionally) negating my femaleness on a daily basis that self-doubt about who I am seeps into everything else.

And so part of me doesn’t want to go and have to face that fear of being ‘woman enough’ to exist in an explicitly female space, and the other part does.

-R

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