RE: Cis

On how and why I changed my mind.

I once myself opposed usage of the term cis. I thought that having “trans” was sufficient to describe the differences between what I then called “transwomen and women, transmen and men” I went on rants in tweets and wrote several articles about it and dangers I thought it presented, but I was wrong.

Everyone who holds that view is wrong, and I would challenge them to consider some of the same criticisms I considered myself in my journey to change my mind.

Your idea of “transwomen and women” and “transmen and men” may make sense to you, but what do you think of the idea of “transpeople and people”?

Most people who think like I used to think will make a dramatic shift here. Of course, they know trans people are people and not “transpeople” and they recognize the othering power such a word could carry, and it causes dissonance such that they will immediately distance themselves from the idea in some way, or simply accept the linguistic logical inconsistencies that come with it and admit that trans people are in fact people.

Some, in spite of how clunky it may seem to the rest of us, might maintain their view in spite of these inconsistencies.

For them, and indeed everyone who stands against usage of the term cis, I would simply ask why it’s so important in their mind that they oppose to being described as not trans, when they are in fact not trans.

We can use the phrase “not trans” instead, but after repeating not trans so many times, the mind begins to long for a simpler, easier way to describe the state of being not trans.

Most people, I’d guess, have no frame of reference to understand when and how being cis is relevant, because they simply don’t talk about trans people and trans issues enough.

One important fact that I came to realize on my journey to changing my mind is that being cis is directly equatable to being “normal” as many cis people like to call it, while implying that being trans is abnormal.

Since realizing that, it’s become ironic to me seeing how irrationally people react to being called cis. It’s because they are something they didn’t realize they were and don’t understand it, so they react– never realizing the reason they didn’t know is because they never had a reason to think about it before.

Trans people on the other hand, we know we’re trans. For us, that reality is inescapable. I don’t think a day has gone by since I transitioned that I haven’t thought about it. It impacts my life every single day. How much does being cis impact your life?

The answer, of course, is that it doesn’t. Being a cis man or woman is the default. It is common. It is what you might call the “normal” way to be a man or woman. That is what cis means.

How can it possibly offend you so much?

As a cis person, the ONLY way being cis impacts your life is when you are compared with a trans person. Otherwise, you are normal. You are default. When we talk of you relative to >99% of the world, being cis is completely irrelevant to you.

But, when you are compared with me, a trans person (NOT transperson tyvm) THEN you are cis. THEN being cis becomes relevant to your life.

AND O N L Y THEN!

Astral Projection – Spoken Word

Here’s recording(s) of “Astral Projection,” one of my most recent poems.

This came out very weird, but I like it.

There are multiple ways to read some of these lines, and some layers are reading it one way, others are reading it another.

Hope you enjoy!

YouTube Version:

Soundcloud Version:

Why do we look to the stars,

When we could look to ourselves,

For answers unringed from our furtive bells?

Externally valid in our navigating–

Our selves stay at home, hidden awaiting,

Bodies in spaces where no one is screaming,

We cling to Orion’s belt, foiled and seething;

Desperate, we seek our forsaken divine,

Lost to the ebb and flowing of time.

Until at last we fall from this grace,

Embalmed with dirt masking a face–

Self-service eroded by forward procedure,

We’ll keep looking on, when no one is here;

Burnt away in life’s fortune and flames,

Wandering hollow with forgotten names,

We’ll look to the stars reflected in the mere,

Without ever knowing we’ve always been there.


Buck

A tale of misconception.

Buck was a giant.

Like most giants, he was angry for no real reason.

Well, he thought it was real. It was real to him, you might say.

Buck was so big that he couldn’t hear the little people in the nearby village. Buck didn’t know that the people in that village were afraid of him and afraid of the trolls who lived under their bridges. And how could those little people understand the pains of a giant like Buck?

Every night, the trolls would come out from under their bridge and go in two directions:

One group would go into the village and harass the people there, the other would go up to Buck’s cave to taunt him and steal his goods.

Buck was so big that he couldn’t tell the difference between the people in the village and the trolls when he saw the trolls fleeing back to their bridges.

One day, as he spotted them fleeing, Buck grabbed the biggest rock he could find and hurled it at the village. He stomped, kicked, and smashed his way through its walls shouting, “Where’s my goods?!” in a language the people couldn’t understand.

Terrified, they screamed as Buck picked up a screaming child and hurled her across the countryside.

Buck smashed the whole village that day. It was obliterated, nothing left but dust, stains, and splinters.

But, he never found his goods. He never checked under the bridges.

And the trolls lived happily ever-after.

Rail Lines

“I don’t want to go anywhere. I like my rails, thank you.”

– Thomas the Tank Engine

There’s no stopping it,

A new town’s always ahead,

A new place, for a new life

Or old ones returning again.

We’ve got time to pass, so settle in,

A train’s motion is not for wasting.

Wagged chins over rattling teacups

Resting in cacophonous carriages

Drown wasted time in dipped biscuits

As folded newspapers remain unread

And whole countrysides pass

Without so much as a thought.

A lonely girl writes in a quiet corner,

Alone but for her troubles, her suite

Better suited to the ghost of a poet

Whose eternity is in motion

Carrying emotion from one cab

To the next, delivering the full force

Of shaking fingers over bumpy tracks

Who just want to get off the line.

Auntie Tom

The Uncle buried beneath the tree.

There’s a place that exists

Between myself

And my self,

Where lies;

Beneath the surface

Undermine me–

They spread like wildfire,

Burning us, like dead tree stumps.

“Auntie’s a man! Don’t you see his XY chromosomes?

A man named Tom and that is all– that is all!”

“She’s a woman! DNA doesn’t matter, SHE

is not like any male I recall.

…And her name’s Nell,

A female;

S H E

never was ‘Tom’.”

“Stop it!” Nell cried,

Struggling;

Grappling;

With him again:

“My name was Tom,

it hurts to say..

There’s baggage with it,

and hell to pay..

You can’t know what it’s like,

Living on edges so grey,

To carry the burdens of Uncle Thomas,

Auntie Nell never having her say!

What’s a scorned woman to do

With such burdensome men?

But kill them over

and over again?

He might rest in peace,

If you’d just let me live,

But instead here’s Uncle Thomas again,

Cursed by you to live among men. “

“THAT’S TRANSPHOBIC!” one activist cried,

“THAT’S MISOGYNISTIC!” another replied.

Auntie Tom walked onward with a sigh,

Back into the place between herself and her self;

Tripping, over

Misunderstandings;

Like brambles in time,

Cutting through, and through and through,

Uncle Tom died:

Then revived;

Revived;

And revived to be shed,

By Auntie Nell with her ever-waiting edge.

“Stay out of my spaces!” a woman cried through her lips

“Keep out of mine too, faggot,” boasted a man with his fists,

Twisting Nell into Tom

And Tom into Nell..

Contriving her soul

Into liquid-like hell;

Wringing it out, pouring

Into the void of themselves.

Cursed, they now carry on

With the truth of their lies;

Knowing the hells of Auntie Nell

And the heavens Tom will never find,

As a man who wants to, but just can’t die.

Humanity 101: Life, the Universe, and Gender

“There is nothing either Good or Bad. Only thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare, Hamlet

What is humanity anyway?

And for that matter, what is the consciousness we use to infer such things? Are we just bodies here to reproduce or is there something that exists beyond that flesh?

Humanity is what you will find locked in the eternal struggle between the two possibilities of that question.

Is it the flesh itself that drives our intent through to the impact we make upon the world, or is it something that exists beyond that, which drives that flesh?

Are we corporal? Or are we spiritual?

Or is it all just cognitive?

Cogito ergo sum!

Sed quis ego sum?

Do we even exist at all?

Is there an afterlife?

If I am a woman here, am I a woman there?

Do we have any choice in the matter, really?

Regardless of your answer to those sorts of questions, welcome to humanity! This is our condition. We cannot know truth. We can only have opinions of it. This is the human condition.

We are eternally locked in that state of knowing/not knowing the answer to this riddle. This, to me, indicates that there’s really not much point in making a fuss over what we might see as “facts” or “truths” about our reality and we should all just begin to live in respect to one another’s opinions so long as those opinions lead to harmony and not dissonance with the rest of humanity.

As this relates to myself as a transgender person, I am happy to agree to disagree with those who believe differently in this eternal debate of humanity. As such, my approach to the world is to enact as much good intent upon it as I can and leave a positive mark, so they say. I wish not to hate those who hate me. I wish to help them understand me and show them the good will of my intent.

I wish to show comfort to those who find discomfort with us. The best way to go about doing that is to allow them the freedom of their own agency to interpret their understanding of human conditions and to, in spite of that disagreement, not become mired in our differences and instead just work together to end the problems of humanity, all to bring us out of dissonance and into greater harmony.

No matter what you may believe is the answer to the riddle of humanity is, we should all be working together to end the dissonance of our condition in order to bring as much harmony to humanity as possible.

This is why I am happy to lay down arms against the trans-exclusionists. Our disagreement will be eternal because our disagreement is a disagreement on the human condition. That runs deep with people and I understand that I cannot control such beliefs.

All that I can do is encourage harmony and spurn dissonance where I see it.

All of this said, please lay down arms as well and work together as human beings to improve the condition of humanity.

An incredible way you might do that right now is by giving to your local shetlers and working with them to improve these spaces and allow the survivors who need such care access to safety and a harmonious pathway to recovery.

Here are some resources to help you find shelters in need:

Volunteer your time to them and donate to them for the betterment of all humanity.

Thank you.