I’m used to being clocked. It’s a normal affair for me. What I’m not used to is being read as cis. But on the BART tonight, I was approached by a man. He sat down near me, and started asking me things, like what was the book I was reading. It was Redefining Realness by Janet Mock. A book that may have given me away to someone more informed, but he continued to talk to me, until he asked what the symbol on the pin on my backpack was. He thought it was something “Native American”. I informed him that it was a trans pride symbol. He looked startled, and suddenly stopped talking to me, and a minute or two later he moved away. Now, he could have been hitting on me, or he could have been just being friendly, but he obviously wanted nothing to do with me after finding out I was trans.
Which leaves me with questions. How often am I blending in with cis society? Usually the fact that I’m trans is pretty apparent, so I’ve never had to deal with someone suddenly finding out. I’m not ashamed of being trans, which is one of the many reasons I have the button, others being visibility so other trans folx know they aren’t alone, and resistance to cis-supremecy. I don’t want to be deep stealth. But I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth it to deal with situations like this, and so much worse, in every little passing interaction when I don’t have to. I mean, for a long time, I had no choice, but to deal with the laughter and non-consensual picture taking. I guess I feel like I should have a greater ability to disclose when and how I feel like it. On my terms. But I like the visibility, and resistance. So I just don’t know.
I hate it when people follow me on twitter, just because I’m a trans woman. It’s a very peculiar type of microaggression. It isn’t even a part of my profile description. I have other thoughts and feelings. I mostly don’t even talk about being trans on there. Most of the people I talk to, well they respect me for other things, and I like them for who they are too. But sometimes, people just follow me, without ever having had a conversation with me, or with any mutual friends of mine. I’m a poet. Yes, a lot of my poetry is deals with oppression dynamics. But a lot of it isn’t. The oppression is part of my life, as is the dysphoria, and things like needing hrt. So those will end up in the things that I write. But these people don’t follow me because they like my poetry. I’m an artist. I just got my first commission. But are these people interested in my art? No. I like talking nail art with my friends. Are they follow me for that? No. I talk kink, and rope bondage. Are they interested in that? No. They just follow me because I’m trans.
I don’t even talk all that much about it these days. I’m too busy doing things. But all they see is trans woman. The fact that they are around doesn’t bother me all that much. It’s the inherent devaluation of all else I am and all else I do, and just seeing me as the oppressor does, by my status as a trans woman.
Lunasa Days is a book about majic, travel, and adventure. But not the grand adventure of Epic fantasy, the adventure of life on the road. Small majic is effectively used throughout to tell the tale of a small town in drought times.
It’s a well written book, but the mentality of the cis straight white male pervades. The attitude toward the female interest is a bit creepy, and very coercive. The love interest is nothing but a receptacle, for the attention of the protagonist, for the abuse of her boyfriend, and for the emotional abuse of her family.
The metaphor of the creative force of male and female coming together works, but at what cost?
And let’s just examine that trope for a bit, the creative force must always be a coming together of male and female, equal and opposite. There is much more than male and female in this world. This type of thinking harms us all, by enforcing strict gender roles, and more than that, denying the possibility of non-normative relationships (including but not limited to same gender and poly relationships), or non-binary gendered folx.
Where the story works admirably well is developing the character of the town and the protagonist. The setting at once becomes a character and an antagonist.
7/10 Would read again, but heavy trigger warning for coercion.