American Liberty — A Great Speech

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I’m vigorously enthused about freedom, and I go by the meaning of the word as it was used in 1776 – applied not just to white genetically integrated straight males. Applying it broadly makes me fundamentally opposed to the notions represented by the man who’s currently in the White House, and the ideas of both his VP and his AG.

Someone recently summed the issues up much more eloquently than I have done.  Here are some excerpts from his speech. Can you guess who said all this?

“Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication….

“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism–forgetting the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America. We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade–forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism. We have seen the return of isolationist sentiments–forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places, where threats such as terrorism, infectious disease, criminal gangs, and drug trafficking tend to emerge….

“Our identity as a nation–unlike many other nations–is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. Being an American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility. We become the heirs of Thomas Jefferson by accepting the ideal of human dignity found in the Declaration of Independence. We become the heirs of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the US Constitution. We become the heirs of Martin Luther King, Jr., by recognizing one another not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

“This means that people of every race, religion, and ethnicity can be fully and equally American. It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed….

“Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children.”

* * *

It’s nice to have so eloquent an ally, in the battle of ideas, especially at this point in history.

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Some Guys’ Strong Emotional Reaction to Trans Girls

[With minor edits, here’s something I posted today in a forum on legal sex work, after some people said nice things about trans girls.]

Thank you both for the kind words.

To add to that, I’m sensitive that the appearance of a trans girl is something that some guys feel uncomfortable about, so here are some kind words aimed in sincere empathy to those who feel weirded out by girls like me. You can’t help how you feel. So, let’s talk about it, albeit nicely.

Sometimes it’s as simple as people liking simplicity and binary things — black or white, male or female. Fundamentally, I’m female so if you like things being binary, yay that I’m 100% female where it matters, my brain structure.

But even so, I can understand that it’s probably strange to see a person like me, with nice legs, nice boobs, long pretty hair, and yet a jawline like Rambo. It’s sort of like seeing an Chevy V8 in an XJ6 Jaguar. Wait, what? “That doesn’t belong there!” — or more precisely: “that’s not a combination that I am accustomed to seeing.” It’s disconcerting. I can understand that.

How you feel, when you see me living with integrity — that is your problem, not mine — but even so, it IS a problem so let’s talk about it, and I’m OK with going first. Ideally, I’d like us all to be open-minded, get along and sing kumbaya, and ultimately that’s the ideal I wish for the human race, but until that happens, here I am mapping out a nice, clean path through the emotional mine-field, in the interim.

Trans girls are not everyone’s cup of tea. Heck, we’re not even my own cup of tea. I have several hot trans girl friends, at least one of whom would be only too happy to go to bed with me, and yet my personal sexual & romantic preference is not for trans girls. Most of my former girlfriends were tall, slender cisgirl blondes or short, curvy cisgirl brunettes. The girlfriend I’ve had for the last 5+ years, and still have, is a short, curvy cisgirl brunette. I think androgynous people are intriguing in a cool way, but I have yet to have a trans girlfriend, and perhaps I never will.

Then again, I also don’t eat oysters or go skydiving, but I understand that sometimes, perfectly rational people might choose to do those things and so be it. As long as it’s consensual, to each his (or her) own … and I’m glad there are those who do like trans girls as such. As to those who have strong feelings about trans girls: pro or con or conflicted, I sincerely sympathize. To elaborate:

I grew up in a very macho country: South Africa. With — at the time — its white-racist codified laws and hints-of-Nazism affinities it basically made the American South look like San Francisco by comparison. Ironically I actively tried to fit into South African macho guy culture so I studied it well, and I’m sensitive to how in macho culture (South African or US) it’s anathema to a macho guy to show an interest in a trans girl, with his buddies being aware of this.

It’s stark how that so-very-important “careful what you say or do, or the other guys will think you’re a sissy” mandate from male childhood carries on into male adulthood and drives much of guys’ social agendas. That includes doing macho stuff and avoiding stuff that’s considered not-macho — such as being intrigued with “outie” plumbing.

In my experience, a great many guys are intrigued by trans girls and our “outie” plumbing. Oftentimes when I was doing independent escorting work, it was only after much hand-wringing that someone would finally book time with me and then he might need to go smoke several cigarettes or have several glasses of wine to work up the courage to meet me — even stare-death-in-face-and-don’t-blink seriously brave guys in law enforcement or the military. One guy literally was a professional killer (as in, he’d done wet work for a three-letter-acronym US agency) and he loved being with me but the social implications were very hard for him to deal with.

Whatever you’re into, you’re into — and denying it or feeling guilty about it just messes with your head more. I am saying to leave Fido, Kiddo and violence out of the bedroom — but beyond that, the best way to get rid of an obsession might well be to give into it and then you can get on with the rest of your life.

If you’re attracted to trans girls, there are many reasons beyond “outie” plumbing to like girls like me (typically we are more tall, leggy, muscular, etc., and we understand guys better than most girls do, and we embrace femininity and sexuality as if we’re making up for lost time because hey, we are) but even if your interest is in her “outie” plumbing then so be it. Does choosing her make you gay? No, it doesn’t make you gay.

If you were gay you wouldn’t be focused on a girl like me, with smooth skin and nice boobs. You’d be hitting on a guy instead. For example, if you’re a guy and you choose to have sex with a big, hairy, barrel-chested guy whose neck is as thick as a tree trunk, and he’s got a bald head and facial hair like sandpaper, and a deep voice and gruff attitude, and he makes you swoon and you think he’s so hot and OMG you’re falling in love with him … then yeah, you’re probably gay. By contrast, if you seek out an “out” trans girl like me, who’s so fundamentally feminine that her femininity overcame decades’ worth of almost everyone telling her “you’re a guy” … someone who rose to say “no, I’m not, and I insist on living as the girl I am even if it means I have to risk dealing with poverty, violence and social ostracism” … someone who actively embraces and rejoices in her femininity … if you’re a guy and you choose me then whatever else you are, you’re not gay.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being a gay guy, but it might be useful to be clear that a guy being hot for a trans girl doesn’t make the guy gay. Even being intrigued by cock doesn’t make a guy gay. Most likely it makes him normal. Both from inside-guy-culture perspective and after I came out as a trans girl, when guys finally confessed to me, I learned how many guys are intrigued by cock. Surprise! It’s a very large portion of the guy population.

So, I sympathize as to the strong emotions I trigger in some guys, and I hope this post helps you eventually feel better about me — and more importantly, about yourself.

I’d prefer that your sexuality brings you joy and ecstasy, not guilt and torment.

~Tanya

Emotional Empathy, and Boundaries (Rewritten)

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If someone presses the issue of my age, then I ask if they’ve seen the “Lord of the Rings” movies because I relate in many ways to the character called Gandalf the White [Wizard] even though I’m female, and he’s grumpy sometimes whereas I’m not. As I understand the story, he’s thousands of years old. As to cynicism and wisdom, that’s a good approximation as to how old I sometimes feel.

It’s also safe to say that I have more empathy than most people I know. This combination of cynicism and empathy has had strange repercussions for me.

I haven’t been diagnosed but I’m probably somewhere on the Aspergers spectrum. Since I’m romantically attracted to other girls, I find myself attracted to girls who have a similarly unusual mental structure to mine: girls with Aspergers, autism, girls who are bipolar, have post-traumatic stress disorder or borderline personality disorder. I don’t consciously choose it like that; I’m just attracted to their intensity. Likewise, such other girls find me too. There’s much to like, typically: even though we are troubled, we’re also highly cerebral and intellectual, and emotionally intense — often sexually intense too, by extension. I’m not implying someone has to have a mental disorder to qualify; she might or might not. The defining characteristic is that she’s cerebral and logical. By extension she probably started out being trusting and benevolent, and probably got called “naive” by her peers, and hurt again and again. She probably loves music, and books. She probably felt outcast socially as a teenager, and she learned the social dynamics of typical people slowly, probably during her 20s. She typically feels alone and lonely even when she’s with other people because they don’t understand her, as she truly is, at her core.

I coined the phrase “cerebral shy girl” for girls like myself, and over the last 18 months, I started extracting and synthesizing principles from pointed observations as such. Much of the learning was: about myself, about girls like me, about our mutual attraction and what happens as the dynamic progresses.

Almost every one of the girls with whom I’ve had successful intense interpersonal dynamics … was a cerebral shy girl. By “successful” I mean: mutual value was added, we each felt a strong mental connection, and I was both inspired and inspiring. As to everyone else in my life, my interaction is more in the category of “I like you” than “Wow, I feel an intense, deep connection with you.”

For most cerebral shy girls I know, life has been very hard, emotionally. More than one has told me “I wish I’d met you when I was younger” as in, much of her pain could have been avoided. The main value I add is to help her understand herself, and to provide a cultural safe zone in which it’s fine for a cerebral shy girl to be herself. Girls like us know we’re different from typical people, and being a social misfit can often involve a sense of isolation, loneliness and self-hatred. The value I add is to help a girl re-evaluate herself by my standards, and gradually feels a lot better about herself and about deserving a place in the world.

When I meet such a girl, then initially, there’s a mutual euphoria at meeting a like-minded person. The next few days or weeks are joyous. Then, her sadness from days past tends to catch up and overwhelm, and this is where I tend to be able to add the most value; both to help make things fundamentally nicer, and to make each day specifically nicer too, including by understanding her well, by having empathy and by comforting her.

I help most effectively when I immerse myself in the girl’s mindset so intensely that I go down the emotional rabbit hole with her, and slowly bring her out of it. For me to do it effectively, is an utterly exhausting process for me. One of the movies I disliked the most, ever, was “The Green Mile” — perhaps because I relate too much to the character who could take on others’ pain and remove it from them by experiencing it personally. Because it’s so soul-drainingly exhausting for me, I nowadays make a point of being more and more selective as to the girls with whom I connect, emotionally.

I can nowadays spot other cerebral shy girls as if they’ve been dipped in fluorescent paint and an ultraviolet light is shining on them, but now I choose only a few on whom I focus. I still interact with other cerebral shy girls benevolently too, but I keep more of an emotional distance. I nowadays realize that I have to choose this distance up front, before I become emotionally entangled.

Many a cerebral shy girl has actively tried to pull me closer than I wanted to be, and it’s been a challenge to manage the optimal distance gently. Sometimes I have to be firm as to protecting my own boundaries. For example, I’m not a counselor and when it’s become clear that a girl in my life could benefit from being with a counselor, I’ve made the arrangements, driven her there, sometimes paid for the sessions, sometimes even bribed her to go, sometimes even went into the session with her so as to be supportive.

I also don’t have suicide prevention skills and in two occasions the best thing I knew to do, was to bow out, while gently pointing the other girl to the suicide prevention hotline of an agency whose individuals I know and trust, because a former girlfriend of mine used to work there.

For me, it’s been an intense journey: to learn how and why girls like me are different, and why I’m drawn to such girls and vice versa. It’s been inspiring to see the effects of the value I add. I’m never purely a positive force in the girl’s life nor necessary pivotal — at most I can claim to have added net value, but sometimes, it is a lot of net value.

One girl, who in the process also became my girlfriend, liked the analogy of the mutant people in the “X-Men” movies. She changed her mind about herself and her future dramatically, and summed herself up as “mutant, and proud” – an apropos quote from the movie.