just a preference…

“you’re not really _____________… that’s just a preference…
but i support you / so i do not support you”

posted on crossdreamlife
29 june 2017

i recently came out to one of the people who i was closest to for a decade when i lived in costa rica, a woman with whom i had been in love and then that became a dear and crucial friendship, a source of life-sustaining support for both of us…

she answered me and called me “ridiculous”, she expressed a sense of betrayal at the dishonesty that i had given her, hiding my “crossdressing”… i am remorseful for that and i told her… i told her that i had betrayed her as a by-product of betraying and lying to myself, that i never meant to violate her trust for its own sake… i had been a tortured person the whole time she knew me and she certainly was a witness to the effects of that if not aware of one of the deepest reasons for my mood swings and depression… there were (and are) plenty of other more visible explanations for that… but she insisted that she would never accept me, that i was following a fad, that she would never speak to me again…

it was and is one of the most painful experiences i’ve been through as i’ve come out and left that state of dishonest self suppression… she demanded for me to appear as “terrence”… I took off my makeup and put on a white t-shirt. we spoke for an hour or more on video chat . she was disgusted by my red nails. and in the end, arguing, i told her goodbye.

one of the last things that i wrote to her was in reply to what she had written to me. i believe the following excerpt is something worth sharing. i have expanded and modified the original for purposes of posting it here.

it is about the way i am told by some and see others discussing the idea that there is a way that a way of living is “valid” that is, if it is “hard-wired” or “biological” or “God-given”… and a way of living that is not valid except as granted by society and relations in general in proportion to someone’s desire and/or ability to “support” me… that being preference, or choice.

this begins with a quote from my old, now ex… friend.

“…even though you already had this preference inside you”

yes, i had this person inside me all my life… if not in mind, inevitably by soul.

and no, it is not “a preference” if the word means something unnecessary or arbitrary… preference is a word used to denigrate the idea of choice… as if choice was something separable from the essence of being a conscious being: to choose who you are.

to choose is to fulfill what the essence of a person is; biological in substance and dynamic and creative and interactive in being… scientists such as Lynn Margulis (‘Symbiosis in Cell Evolution: Microbial Communities in the Archean and Proterozoic Eons’, 1992) have illuminated that the forms that life may develop are not determined by the points and elements of origin alone.

these forms emerge in a mutually interacting emerging development. as Murray Bookchin points out after citing Margulis and other scientific research (‘The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy’, 1982) life takes forms which are :

“… the consequence of a prevailing striving rather than as an inevitable necessity.”

this includes social forms, which are of course forms of life peculiarly well developed by humans, as a manifestation of the potential inherent in human biology. the way i understand what these thinkers and researchers say, subjectivity is an integral aspect of the Cosmos, there is no “inert matter”, purely objectifiable… there is no real division between “nurture” and “nature”… they are interactive and mutually dependent and splitting them causes great damage to our lives or confusion at the least.

if we live we can do nothing else but choose and those choices are as integral to determining the forms our lives take as the physical substance they are made with.

but in our state of social development, during the period we call “history’… maybe the last 10,000 years… to know one’s own being to a true self has required one to confront and conflict with a set of identities that aren’t identities that really belong to us, they are conceptual and ideological and mercenary at the heart… we are stunted from examining and revealing interior imprints of exterior imperatives whose ethical and existential consequences define the boundaries of our power to imagine who and what we are and want to be… these ethical and existential choices are ours to create for ourselves, but we are coerced and compelled to surrender them, or even not to believe that our choice belongs to us, that we are “destined” by “biology” and sometimes “God” to be what someone else says we are destined to be (theologians, scientists, politicians, families, employers, corporations, etc.)… but in failing to participate as owners of our own choices, we force ourselves to live within cultural expectations and laws that don’t allow us to perfect the truth of ourselves, and we go mad…

some madness is called madness, and other madness is considered to be “well-adjusted” and completely normal (see R.D. Laing, ‘The Politics of Experience’ 1967). i share Laing’s assessment and have no doubt that we are all mad in this situation we’ve made and continue to make.

self-awareness and self compassion therefore are as Natascha said once on the crossdreamlife forum “forms of radical activism”… radical as in to the root and activism as in being Subjective, inseparable from a whole that is not objectifiable except as a set of scientistic parlor tricks and delusional social practices.

choose. live. interact. give and take… be what we are.

as the graffiti in San Francisco used to say in my high school years…

“Ignore Alien Orders!”

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