My children keep bringing up non-binary people at their school. As children growing up, I guess the whole concept of gender can be confusing. I guess? I know. But just because it was so horribly confusing for me doesn’t mean I would naturally think it would be just as confusing for everybody else. Oh, and I have never said to them that I am trans or non-binary, but I do think that they must have some idea. I guess it would be hard to live with me and not get some inkling that “daddy is not like other daddies”. LOL.
I have written before about what it feels like for me to have dysphoria, and it is true, there have been times where it was incredibly difficult, and totally disorienting. But I also am deeply grateful for it. There is no doubt in my mind that it has totally changed the way I look at the world around me, how I look at people, how I feel, what I feel, how I act, what I love, how I love. And although there are many times that it brings pain, there are just as many times that it brings quiet joy. I love what it feels like to have both genders inside of me. I love what it feels to feel someone as neither male nor female…to feel them emotionally, to feel them physically.
And although I have never felt a man, and am not going to choose to do that, I feel a gentleness in me, and a depth of love that I guess I would never feel comfortable with having, let alone expressing were I strictly male in my gender. In other words, I feel free in certain ways to be more complex than I would if I identified as male. And that is delicious.
I am attracted to strong women. Not all women. Strong women. And this may seem weird, but I find morality in a woman deeply attractive. A woman who is both strong and who is also righteous is a knockout punch for me. I say this in part because when I think of the women that are closest to my emotional landscape right now—at least in terms of what I write about and experience these days, every one of them has warned me about idolizing women (or people generally). My ex-therapist simply explained it as not ever seeing anyone else as better than me…and that it was important to maintain that kind of mental and emotional equality. My guardian angels—and in a way that is what these women are—have all been protective of me, and explained to me that not all women are good the way I describe or laud, not all women have pure intent, etc. There are bad apples everywhere.
A month or so ago I wrote a post about being willing to ditch people that hurt you. This is the same for me. To survive and thrive in life, you have to walk away from people who suck you dry, put you down, hurt you, don’t support you, envy you, whatever you, and this especially goes to people who you might have placed in positions of trust. For me, that was always a matter of survival. I ended up not speaking to my mother for nearly 5 years for this very reason—because she would be negative to me, to my life, and I didn’t think it was healthy or productive for me to hear that.
We cannot fix the past. We cannot change what happened. But we can come to terms with it. We can “relive” it through therapy and have different outcomes through therapy and learn to move on, and not be stuck in a rut.
Did I wish for so many years that I would just get totally and utterly turned on by a pretty girl and just want to have vanilla sex with her, and have a suburban life, and not question anything? Yes. All the time. Did I wish to just be “normal” for so many years growing up, when I knew if they only knew how “weird” I really was when they said or thought I was “weird”, then they would have really flipped out.
But now, I have nothing left to prove. I have played the game, the official game, the patriarchal social white male game, and have played it well considering how fXXXXed up I always thought it was…and how coping with it led to all kinds of stresses…I’ve had children, professional success, marital success, a happy life…and so can now step back and think, what do I have left to hide, and why do I have to hide? Whose purpose does it serve?
But more importantly, I can start thinking about not just acting for myself, but acting for the greater good, doing something that makes a difference. And yes, I do give money to trans causes, to charities, and will continue to do so…and will continue to write about trans issues from my own perspective in hopes that it will help people understand.
Having a good job, making money, playing the rat race game is just not enough anymore. I’ve done that. But it leaves me feeling curiously empty. What I want is something bigger, to give back, to have life not just be about me. I don’t know whether this is an age thing, or a mortality thing, and what has triggered it. I certainly feel it more as my parents have shuffled off this mortal coil, and that kind of spiritual multi-generational connectedness is lost.
Being non-binary has given me a very different voice in life. I have come to love it and come to love the crazy-ass thinking that goes on behind the scenes to create my worldview. Feeling creative inspiration and expressing it are a blessing that makes it fun to be alive…and that is disconnected from its quality—it is just the act of expressing it that fulfils. Think about that for a second…dysphoria leads to creative expression, creative expression leads to feeling alive, feeling alive leads to having the energy to do. It is this powerful flow of energy that is so deeply motivating. And I know you must get tired of me saying how grateful I am to a Dominatrix for helping me along in this way, but truly this Woman is helping me to help myself by opening this path for me by a mixture of engaging with me without judgement, for playing with me rather than labouring me or criticising me, but also by being a Dominatrix–ie. not for a second putting up with anything other than the best from me–whether for Her or for myself…so, yes, I do the work, but I am well aware of how important being able to open my eyes has been.
I had a lovely lunch today with my wife and one of the things that came up was all of my unfinished projects—20 books sitting half written, buildings half built, gardens half planted—you have no idea…it is a colossal mess…and she was saying that it is part of the spice of being with me…and that it is most definitively in part explained by ADD, and that I should just embrace it. But I don’t want to. I don’t want to be that way anymore. The process is fun, yes, absolutely, but I think that this next stage in my life is about one thing, about making a choice, and about sticking with it, following through with it, dedicating myself to it, being focussed on it, cutting away all distractions.
I am blessed in that I have time to tie up loose ends, time to simplify my life, time and space to do that without distractions, and the ultimate luxury of people around me who are rooting for me, pulling for me, encouraging me. And I feel almost as if it is a crowd of people cheering me on, and amongst these people are the various parts of me that have remained hidden all my life, and above all, my spirit guides—these magical, mystical energy sources that fill me with irrational bliss and love.
I do not wish to denigrate anyone but seeing the world through non-binary lenses is to see the world in technicolour, to see it with a range that is at once disorienting but also intensely revealing. In this past year or so I have learned to live with my body more comfortably, have learned to start accepting myself, and have begun opening up to the people around me who I feel I can trust, and so far, it has been a very positive and reinforcing experience, which encourages me to keep going.
So, while the world seems to be going to pieces, that seems to be an inverse direction of travel to my own. Non-binary is a kaleidoscope. I get to feel it all. So, while my kids are grappling with the concepts and putting words to it in all kinds of inappropriate ways, it doesn’t bother me because they wouldn’t be asking themselves the questions if it didn’t matter to them…and yes, I want to live in a world where the gender spectrum does matter, because being stuck in the middle has been the most formative part of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.