Friday, September 21, 2012

The Boundaries of Love

The transgender experience, or more specifically, the transsexual experience, makes good drama.  It's an intensely personal journey full of universal experiences that force people to question even some of their most basic notions about gender, about self, and about love.

A Canadian film titled "Laurence Anyways" recently won the Best Canadian Feature prize at the Toronto Film Fest.  It's about a couple in love, and what happens when on of them announces that he's going to transition (see story with clip here).  It's a very complicated dynamic, and needless to say there's no way to guess how any one of our experiences is going to play out.

I find that romantic/physically intimate relationships as a transperson is a damned if you do, damned if you don't proposition especially if that relationship starts at some point after a transition.  Questions about objectifying any of us AS trans when all we want is to be treated as a man or a woman are intertwined with many of our realities of not having been socialized as our authentic gender so there can be a level of intimacy awkwardness.  On the other hand, we can try to hide it, but that strategy is loaded with a number of significant (and potentially dangerous) pitfalls as well.

It's no secret that many transpeople end up with other transpeople.  There are a number of reasons for that.  But I also find it to be disturbing that there are transpeople who avoid those kinds of intimate relationships with other transpeople specifically BECAUSE they're trans.  It's an odd dynamic, but a very real one.

Personally, many of the transpeople I know are some of the most sensitive, caring, giving, loving, strong yet vulnerable, people you could ever imagine meeting so I'm not sure what qualities they wouldn't have that would make them worthy partners.  Still, that doesn't change my belief that the single most oppressive post-transition need for many of us is intimacy.

Anyway -  this movie looks interesting.  Movies dealing with trans themes are often fairly sensational and simplistic, but various aspects of the journey are well worth sharing with the world.  In this case, it looks like it was handled sensitively.

I've got a big weekend ahead of me.  There's a fork in the road where each path leads in a different direction and I'll get to that fork tomorrow.  Tonight I'll be in Asheville to see David Gray.  I've got a 5th row ticket. Tomorrow?  We'll see how things unfold...Decisions to be made, options to be considered, doors to open, and others to close.

Someone asked me if I had finished my thought thread the other night when I was writing an entry I titled "Friend of Faux".  The answer to that is "Kinda".  But there was more to write than I really wanted to at the time (I was tired) so I left it at that.

I've said before that I perceive relationships to be like tides, coming in and going out in some kind of natural process.  Sometimes the process seems to be helped along by specific incidents, moods, broader life events, and other "things" that tend to pull or push.  But sometimes they're close and sometimes - well, they're not.

I have one specific friend who calls me every single Sunday.  Without fail.  She's done it for year and although I can't always answer we only see one another every 3 or 4 years but she's reliable and dependable and she cares enough to not forget.

I have another friends who I can always count on.  No matter what.  She's dear, and sweet, and loves to laugh.  She sends me simple "Have a nice day" texts or "Good morning" or "The moon is beautiful tonight" notes which I may or may not respond to but the fact of the matter is that I know I can count on her.  Without fail.

I've had friends in my life who I've felt wanted something from me.  Whether or not the friendship grows into anything is more a function of balancing that out than whether I can actually deliver what they think they want from me.

And I've got friends who have stepped up when I've been at low points and have provided help at critical times.  Friends who can do that are special.  I'm blessed to have had several of those in my life.

With all these kinds of friends the question becomes - how long can it last?  Of course, most people seem to want it to last forever.  But it rarely does.

The key to all of this - in my opinion - is communications.  The deeper the communication the stronger the relationship.  Communication is a very personal intimacy but I'll rarely share deeper than I feel I'm being shared with in return.  I've got a defense reflex that just won't allow that.  Once we can talk about deeper topics...NOW we're making progress...

Anyway - that's why I didn't finish the thread the other night.  Too complicated and I'm certainly no expert.  All I know is the way it works in and for me.  Other than that....I'm just as lost as the next sucka....

Another thing I think I know - tonight I'll be sitting in Row E in Asheville enjoying David Gray.  The rest of life should be so simple....


Sophie Lynne said...

Intimacy is the part of transition that scares me the most... after homelessness.

At least with economics, I can do what I can to sort that out. Relationships? Takes two, so it's not all in my power.


Gwen said...

But once in a relationship, economics becomes as complex, if not moreso, than the relationship; making the latter something to think twice (or thrice) about. BTDT