Every woman and girl knows what it is to hold our water until there is somewhere SAFE for us to relieve ourselves. This is something all females understand: the vulnerability of being easy prey simply from urinating outdoors.
If you’re a post-operative trans woman, you know what I’m talking about. You also know something I don’t; what it was like to live in a body that entitled you to a life of almost constant and instant relief. Do you have any idea how that simplest and most necessary act affects you? Women and girls born to these bodies do.
Last year, I purchased the p-style and it’s transformed this tiny corner of life we all turn several times a day. The first time I used the p-style and was able to simply unzip without uncovering my backside, the instant relief, the security of standing and seeing…I was LIBERATED. I crossed the country twice this winter. Instead of waiting for a rest area, I pulled over on the interstate itself and at the underpass I was free to pee! For women and girls, this is not our experience. It may not be yours either. But can’t you see we need the space to discover, to peel off the shield, to reveal our vulnerability in SAFETY?
Transwomyn need the space to discover, to peel off your shields of defense and to reveal your vulnerability in safety too. I support that. I am so Piscean torn because you are women too. Women with a different shared experience than mine and other women born in female bodies. Transformed women.
Do you hear the voices of the women who are setting a boundary of women born women and asking to have the boundary respected? Instead of addressing that policy on face value, the issue is now framed in the language of aggression by those focusing on exclusion. The terms “anti-trans, trans-phobia” and “attack on transwomyn” become the focus and hijack the objective of MichFest whose mission statement is celebrating and empowering womyn.
With rare female hubris and a hegemony infused by my experience at MichFest I claim a different kind of understanding that women are capable of. I’m choosing to participate in Camp Harmony’s aims to build bridges between the voices of opposition raised against each other. I want MichFest to continue to be the place where I am free to celebrate and heal in pure femaleness with other women, free from harassment, male bodies and male aggression.
I want to celebrate those who have TransFORMed their form to look like mine, willingly subjecting themselves to all that’s inherent in that choice. Like a real bisexual, pan-atheist, twin-spirit, biracial, liberal, open and wishy-washy Pisces, I can’t make Sophie’s choice and exclude the trans members of my extended queer family. And like a real sister to separatists, I want to honor the womyn who made MichFest THE place to rehabilitate my female soul.
How can it be done? I’ll start with dialogue. I’ll continue with support. I’ll sustain with respect and I’ll abdicate by not choosing either way but by choosing to listen. And I’ll tell you this. At the closing ceremony on the acoustic stage, where the woo was in full effect, I had to go to the bathroom. Something in me could not turn my back to use my p-style. Some force in me commanded that I release my bladder in a way respectful to where I was. So I squatted, like the woman I am, among women and connected to my feral femaleness and the mother earth and felt the connection that women have to each other.