| Aug 25, 2014
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Amanda Holiday is a fiction writer who has taken a break from fiction to contribute the following essay to TGForum.

Amanda Holiday

Amanda Holiday

As I wrote a chapter in my next book, I realized my heroine was far from a girly girl but had never been a manly man. My girl was a warrior who liked action movies and chick flicks that weren’t sticky with the flow of sap. She was me. I have been told, or at least as I understood it, the binary model provided only two choices, be a man or be a woman. That is not what I feel. Sure, I like short dresses and high heels as much as any other girl, but I also like fishing and hunting, not for sport or trophies, but for dinner. I will never look like anything other than a man in a dress because even at my 68 years, I have the physique of a retired defensive lineman with the face to match. Yes, I’ve been complimented by friends when I’ve shared photos of my outfit for Halloween, but I’ve accepted that they still see the man in a dress but compliment because I do it well. I went looking for an answer.

I vaguely recalled the concept of two-spirit which I stumbled across looking for something else on the Internet. You may recognize the formerly accepted term the European scholars assigned, berdache. I found that the name two-spirit (twospirit and two spirit are accepted alternate spellings) was adopted as a blanket term for anyone classed as a feminine man or a masculine woman by Native Americans and First Nations of Canada at the 1990 Intertribal Council in Winnipeg to rid the concept of the stigma attached by the Europeans to people who did not fit the male-female binary. I read the Wikipedia article carefully this time. While not all do, many tribes have names in their language for the two spirit person.  Often, the two-spirit was considered blessed to have both spirits in one body. As humans, though, they were still subject to punishment for criminal offenses, and were not always pillars of the community.

It went on to describe the assigned-at-birth-male woman. I saw me. I occasionally dress as a woman because it feels right, but I’ll never look like one for the reasons stated above. I still enjoy fishing and hunting as well as cooking and sewing. I’ve never been shot at, yet, but I have nodded at the Grim Reaper as he passed close by, yet avoided a formal introduction. I don’t screech at spiders or mice, but take steps to remove them if they have invaded my space. I’ve had and got out of some close calls calmly, not suffering shaking knees until the danger was past. I find it easier to carry my femininity in my thoughts, allowing myself Halloween  to let out the inner me in public, able to transform the scowls and stares into smiles and glances with two words, “Happy Halloween.” What I do indoors is my business and no one else’s. I wondered how many others would be freed if they accepted the concept of the two-spirit instead of the binary model now forced upon us by the scholarly writers, psychiatrists, counselors, doctors and others.

I also considers whether, perhaps I stopped listening when my prayers were answered with “Not yet, kid.” Had I listened longer, might the whole answer be, “Not yet, kid. You still haven’t found the path I intend you to follow.” I wondered too whether there was room for another set of initials in the alphabet for all of the various groups in the LGBT etc. and so forth community.

Blam! The epiphany struck as a nearby lightning bolt with the accompaniment of thunder. Aren’t we all really two spirits? Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexual? With the infinite possible combinations of traits just for one sex, surely those preferences can be some result of blending the possible combinations for both sexes. Obviously, it fits the MtF and the FtM communities. CDs? Yep, they fit too. Straights? By golly, yes. Without straights, none of this exists. And all the others fit too. How many combinations do you get when you consider an infinite number of possible combinations in one sex combined with the other sex? I’d guess infinite. And all of us are humans? Yes, all of us are humans. We may be a standard deviation or more away from average, but that does not destroy our humanity, only disguises it from those blind to its existence.

Perhaps we should stop dividing into small special emphasis groups to focus on the main point of similarity, our humanity. If we gain rights by legislation, those can be revoked by an unfavorable vote. If we demand rights due to us because we are humans and have the same rights as other humans, and were granted by the Great Maker (or whatever you call the central authority and organizing power of our universe), they may be curtailed but cannot be extinguished.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul

mandy holiday

About the Author ()

Tell us about yourself...I knew at 7 years that I wanted to be a girl. At 9, I started to question whether that was a test or a mistake. At 53, finally had to talk about it with someone, and found a counselor that specialized in life style choices. Soon, I was getting ready for my first time out in public, though I admit I masked it as part of Halloween. Entered a "best costume" contest at a two local bars. Got a prize at one, never made it to the announcement of the winner at the second. Since, have opened the door to trick-or-treaters dressed, and this year dressed for Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day and showed pictures of the dress I sewed for Valentine's. Have fabric coming to sew a dress for St. Patrick's Day. Slowly but surely, gathering the courage to come out and start RLE.

Comments (1)

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  1. scalesman scalesman says:

    I appreciated your article. I share many traits with you, especially being blessed with the size and physique of an NFL linebacker. I nevertheless do love dresses and heels, etc.
    I do get out from time to time, mostly to TG and LGBT friendly and accepted venues and events. While I always do my best to look my best I do not pretend to be a real woman. I have found a comfort level in being out and about as a guy in a dress, hose, wig, makeup and heels. At my height and size I stand out while dressed as a guy. I figure an extra 3″ will not make a difference.
    I do feel strongly that my core being is a combination of male and female traits. It is that combination of traits that is unique to me that has carried me through my work life and personal life. I am who I am.