Monday, July 21, 2014

A Pagan Trans March

This is my fourth Trans March. The first year, I came early and listened to all the speakers and musicians and reveled in being around people. That year, Trans March was like a secret in my heart: I knew I was like them, but almost no one else knew. The next few times I went to Trans March, I butched it up. I studied men and the way they moved and tried, if not quite to pass as male, then at least to pass as gender non-conforming. I got "sirred" on the train home. I came out. I walked with my girlfriend and her other girlfriend.

Then I really came out. I changed pronouns. I told my mom. I did some hard internal work. I started getting the occasional "sir" in my everyday life, despite making no attempt to hide my breasts. Kids got confused about my gender. (They're smarter than grown ups about some things.) I settled into my gender on some deep, fundamental level.

This year, when I went to Trans March, it was different. I wore my standard outfit: tight jeans, a white undershirt, and my brown leather jacket, the one that my dad gave me years ago. I also wore a leather mini-skirt over the jeans, and dark eyeliner. And my pentacle necklace. I felt giddy, applying the eyeliner, knowing down to my bones that I didn't need to pass as anything at all. I just was. I just am. I'm genderqueer. It's not my tie or my hair or my cock or my skirt that make me genderqueer. Those are accessories. They're helpful as signifiers, though I mostly combine them in ways that signify "I am outside the binary." They can be a wave to fellow outsiders. But I don't need them to be who I am.

On the way out the door, passing by my Hermes altar, I snatched a feather and came up with two. I left the first at the crossroads near my home, praying for a good march. As we twined through the streets and stalled momentarily in the San Francisco fog, I looked back. I was near the front of the march. We were almost at the top of the hill. Snaking back behind me were hundreds, maybe a thousand, trans folks of all stripes and types. People like me, glittering in the streets. With a laugh, I lifted the second feather high and let it go, letting it fly away in the wind.