Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why "Transient"?

The name of this blog is "Transient" because . . . when I decided to start a blog about being transgendered, it was obvious to me that it had to be named trans-something.  (Actually "trans-something" would be a good name too.) 

And the truth is that gender is a transient concept for me.  I don't mean that I used to be some other gender.  I mean that for most of my life, I didn't know I was transgendered.  It's not something that one can see, like skin color, eye color, or physical sex.  My gender was not clearly visible . . . it moved in and out of view, like a distant shore seen through the mists. 

Also, for a while, I didn't believe in gender at all.  I still don't think that anyone knows what gender really "is."  At worst, they have opinions about what it should be.  I believe that traditional gender roles don't benefit anyone, male or female, because they're based on a long list of things that you're not allowed to do if you're female, or male.  Whatever gender is, it is not cast in stone.

Recently I read a very interesting novel by one Gwyneth Jones, called White Queen. It's about a race of aliens who refer to people intermittently as "he" or "she," depending on how that person is behaving at the moment.  That's a good example of the transience of gender.

However, transience goes beyond gender.  Life itself is transient:  that's the real reason I picked that name for my blog.  Gender is only one aspect of who we are, and life has a lot more things in it than just gender.

A few months ago I decided to move to another part of the country. I traveled some 1,300 miles.  That's transience for you. And with this decision and this journey I realized more strongly than ever that everything is change.  Except for one or two things that endure.

I've always tried to see the world as it is.  (Which makes it all the more interesting on the occasions when I discover how ignorant I've been).  Transient is the world as it is.

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