A Word from the Editor

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

But It All Seems So Normal!

Here?s a brief overview of my life:

- For the past 13 years I?ve worked for a county agency as a behavior specialist. My job responsibilities include psychological and behavioral assessments, client rights investigations, and the development and monitoring of behavioral intervention plans. I work 40 hours a week and try to cram my other activities and nightly sleep into the remaining hours.
- I?m editor of this journal. The internet has made it possible to do almost everything via the computer, from submissions to editing to fine-tuning the laid-out pages, but editorial decisions, correspondence with authors, and back-and-forths with Art Director Dave Bryant, IFGE Board Chair Hawk Stone, and Executive Director Denise Leclair take the same time and energy as they did in Benjamin Franklin?s day.

- I?m chair of the planning committee for Fantasia Fair, a week-long trans-gender event held in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Telephone conference calls and the internet streamline the planning process, but the work remains the same: registration, programming, planning the fabulous Fantasia Fair Follies and the Fantasia Fair Fashion Show, advertising the event, liaison with restaurants, constructing and printing the program book and other materials.

- I?m a first-time homeowner; buying my house led both to an ongoing do-it-yourself home improvement project and to my first political experience as I joined with other citizens to safeguard the future of our tiny (pop. 610) city.

- I?m a writer. My first play was selected for production this fall as part of the first transgender theatre festival in
New York, and I usually have two or three gender-related articles and book chapters and a fiction project or two
in various states of production or

- I have the requisite number of acquaintances, friends, family, group affiliations, hobbies, and avocations.
Such is my life.

I forget sometimes that according to whom you ask, I am immoral, debased, sinful, mentally ill, a fraud, a pervert, a repressed homosexual, or?my favorite?a tool of the patriarchy. I forget I am all this.
Please forgive me. It?s just that 14 years after my transition and 12 years after SRS, my life seems, so, so... normal! I forget that God hates me because?I?m not sure why he hates me. I just know high-falutin? Christians like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and Fred Phelps assure me that He hates me.

I forget I?m a pervert, because?I?m not sure why I?m a pervert, but Anne Lawrence and Ray Blanchard tell me I am. I forget that I have ?mutilated? my body, as asserted by the likes of Sharon Olds and D. Birkett.

I forget I?m mentally ill, as determined by Paul McHugh, Charles Socarides, and other psychiatrists who are sure they are the experts. I forget I?m a repressed gay man, as has been repeatedly claimed by uh, gay men?Paul Varnell and Jim Fouratt, for example.

I forget I?m just too weak-minded to understand that by changing my sex I?m empowering the two-gender system, as has been claimed by Janice Raymond and by some in our own community. And I forget I?m supposed to be a waitress or prostitute and preoccupied with beaded gowns and having sex with men, or else sexually obsessed with my female body, as Michael Bailey has told me he has proven without doubt.

I forget I?m ?Frankensteinian,? as Mary Daly has asserted. I forget I have a character disorder and a manipulative personality and that I?m shrill and hysterical, all of which Leslie Lothstein just knows is true. I forget that I have a shallow and stereotypical idea of womanhood, as Althof and Keller have sworn to in print.

I forget that my life has not been improved by my sex reassignment, as ?scientifically determined? by Jon Meyer and his secretary, Donna Reter. I forget that I threaten the sanctity of marriage, as claimed by Sean Hannity and other mean-spirited pundits. I forget I should submit to rape and murder, as fine citizens like Tom Nissen and John Lotter and at least one former sheriff of Humboldt, Nebraska ask of me.
I forget all these things. I forget them.

I wonder why?

Copyright ? 2003 by Dallas Denny