Tag Archive | love

From SomaliaFest to Porcfest

Wow.

In a single day–in the span of a few hours, in fact–the tone and overall vibe of this festival changed dramatically. Yesterday, it was a family. Today, it’s a festival.

It’s true that the majority of attendees showed up yesterday, but that’s not really what caused the shift.

Monday night we had an awesome rave. A Muslim DJ’d, the Anarchist Shemale recorded and took pics, and danced with gay dudes, and naked and half-naked people wandered however they wanted. No one judged, no one disrespected. There was the issue with the rave going on a bit late, and people taking to Facebook to bitch about the music, but the rave was in Agora Valley, not near the campsites. That is a curious thing itself, that instead of just coming over and asking us to wrap it up, they went to Facebook and bitched.

So what did they want? If they wanted us to wrap up the rave, all they had to do was come over and ask, and everyone here would have known that. But they evidently didn’t want the music to be turned down, or the rave to end–they just wanted to bitch. Two minutes to make a request versus an hour or two of bitching on Facebook? They just wanted to bitch.

Last night after I took some MDMA and went to sleep, there were several groups of people wandering around the campsites at 1:30 in the morning being loud as fuck. Some of them were just drunken, inconsiderate douchebags who had no idea how loud they were being. Around 2:00, some young chick came walking through the camps singing loud as fuck. There’s an enormous difference in raving in Agora Valley a little late during Somalia Fest, not Porcfest,  and making a ton of noise through campsites where people are sleeping.

Mutual respect was a critical part of Anarchist Shemale Fest. No one ever stared at me. No one raised their eyebrows in surprise when I came out of the women’s restroom. I was stared at more yesterday than I did through the entire drive, and I got gas in Nashville, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The best way I’ve come up to describe it is that it was an influx of hipsters, but they’re not hipsters, really. It’s a lot of young people–early 20s and such–and that’s great, but there’s been a shift. The incomers aren’t radical anarchists as I was four years ago.

It reminds me so very much of the young people who went to Standing Rock to protest the DAPL. To them, it was just a party. That’s the vibe many people are putting off today. Don’t get me wrong: Somalia Fest was quite obviously a party, but it was a celebration of peace, love, and liberty–individualism, mutual respect, and self-ownership.

Everyone is still friendly, for the most part, but now it’s a celebration of… something else. Words escape my attempts to elucidate the difference.

Great news! There’s a Soap Box Idol show, and if too many speakers are late, I’m really hoping that I can work my way in and speak on AnCap principles, justice, and forgiveness–topics that I know intimately.

Even greater news!

I officially left the Keyboard Activism. I went to attend a seminar, but the speaker didn’t show. My brain began working. The next thing I knew, I was talking to the organizer about giving a lecture on AnCap principles, justice, and forgiveness. Two minutes later, I was on stage in the main pavilion hosting a seminar. I recorded it, but it will be next week before I’m able to actually upload it. I do have a 4G signal, but of the 4000 people here, probably 20% use Verizon, so network congestion is killing my speeds. With a data cap, I just can’t justify a 1 GB upload that could ultimately fail.

I’m not particularly proud of the speech, though several hours later two people approached me to tell me that they enjoyed it. I finally got to meet Daryl W. Perry, too! Considering I’ve been told I’m “like Daryl Perry in drag,” it was a tremendous honor to finally meet him.

Regarding my speech, these factors need to be remembered:

  • Public speaking is hard under any circumstances
  • I am hungover from MDMA
  • I was thirsty as fuck
  • I had prep time equal to “The amount of time it took to walk back to the pavilion,” so about a minute and a half.
  • It’s extremely difficult to generate a coherent, effective speech on the fly, even for a topic I’m so passionate about and have written about so extensively.

But I did it.

As Ernest said, “Audacity ensued.”

And he’s right. That is audacious. Narrow window of opportunity, and the Anarchist Shemale jumped on it. Not only did it make many people I’ve met more aware of my interest and ability in leadership roles, but it also paved the way to make it much easier for me to speak at next year’s. My first Porcfest, and I gave a speech in the pavilion.

It’s not great. In fact, it’s not even good. Without a plan, without notes, without rehearsal, and without any time to clear my head and organize my thoughts, I went on stage and gave a speech. It would be hard to exaggerate how difficult it was. I can rant privately all day long, but there’s an enormous difference between ranting and recording it, and standing in front of a crowd to give a lecture.

Technically, I moved from Keyboard Activism to real activism a while ago, and now I’ve just moved further along that road. I intend to keep doing what I’m doing, and I’m evidently decently good at it, so I’m excited to see where it goes.

One thing is sure: I’m gonna push as far as I can.

Turn the Other Cheek? Fuck that!

I don’t know very much about Islam, but that’s okay, because I don’t claim to, and so I generally stay pretty quiet about Islam and what it teaches. I know enough about it to know that it’s very close in tone to the Old Testament of the Bible, and I know that, from the point of view of an atheist, it’s pretty much just a different flavor of Christianity. So I generally don’t have any conversations about sharia or what it is, because I don’t know (or particularly care) what it is, just as I don’t particularly care to know exactly what parameters food must meet in order to be considered kosher. All religious systems have codes, laws, and layers upon layers of teachings. It’s both ridiculous and unrealistic to expect someone who doesn’t believe in the religion to know every detail–or even many details–about the layered teachings. My knowledge of Christianity is a result of my upbringing in the south, and not out of any desire that I felt at any part of my life to explicitly find out what is in the Bible.

I want to quote the Bible for a moment, though, if you don’t mind; Mathew 5:38-40:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.  And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

Now let’s get to the point.

Recently, an anti-Muslim bigot was hospitalized, and libertarian vice presidential candidate and Muslim Will Coley started a campaign to raise funds for the guy, quoting various teachings of the Quran and actions of Mohammad to show that this sort of behavior (turning the other cheek) is perfectly in accord with Islam and should be encouraged. At first, this went exactly as one would like: people saw the wisdom in the teaching. After all, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, or so goes the saying. It’s similar to things I’ve talked about before, regarding being transgender in the south–it was not whining and screaming about victimization and bigotry that caused my landlord to change his mind about evicting me; it was my willingness to shrug and acknowledge that he was perfectly within his rights to do so. There are a few other people I know of who hated transgender people and the very idea of transgenderism until they came face-to-face with me, a real person who is simply trying to exist in peace and is very much against the idea of forcing anyone to do or be anything.

Then came the SJWs. And, oh man, did they come.

Suddenly Will was their enemy, despite having the approval of many prominent Islamic figures, and the reason that Will was their enemy?

Because he’s white.

I’m not even kidding. That’s what it all boils down to. It’s often said explicitly.

You cannot defeat racism with racism.

You cannot defeat sexism with sexism.

You cannot defeat sexual orientationism with sexual orientationism.

This is the mistake the alt-right makes. They’ve attempted to meet the left’s increasing racism, sexism, and orientationism with racism, sexism, and orientationism. I’ve directed this message at leftists and rightists. I don’t care who is being the racist–it’s never going to end racism.

That’s where I went after three prominent alt-right youtubers: Atheism is Unstoppable, The Non-Believer, and Autopsy87.

Here’s where I went after the left doing the same thing:

Now, this post is more than just a way for me to collect together various applicable things I’ve made on the subject.

The bottom line is that Will held up a mirror for Christians and Muslims alike to look into, and very few of them could stomach what they saw reflected back. When faced with this situation, they had no recourse but to either self-reflect (something most people are simply unwilling to do, because so few people are willing to acknowledge their flaws and mistakes) or to attack the messenger. Enter the cries of racism and the strange remarks that Will has no business teaching anyone about Islamic teachings… because he’s white.

This is a refrain typical of leftists, sadly. In fact, it just cost them the presidential election. Did they learn anything from losing to the most reviled presidential candidates in modern American history (after all, their preferred candidate lost to Hillary, who then lost to Trump)? Of course they didn’t. If anything, the worst losers in the 2016 election (indisputably, the “progressives”) have only doubled down their hate speech and violence, the very thing that landed them in this mess in the first place.

We have to be better than this.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus, and Mohammad would all be shaking their heads in sadness at what is going on, and I can only commend Will for staying on track. When I released my video about the Liberal Redneck, I faced similar criticism, though Will is obviously facing it on a larger scale (though, it’s worth mentioning, the scale of criticism that I faced for that absolutely dwarfed the attention that anything else I’ve created has received anyway), and I remember how difficult it was, when one comment after the next rolled in calling me an idiot, a traitor, a racist, a Biblethumper, and other similar things, to stay on point and not stoop to their level. In the end, I caved and pulled down the video. I really wish I hadn’t, but… c’est la vie.

I don’t think I’d cave today.

Maybe this is just meant to be a collection of other things I’ve said on the matter. Otherwise, I’d just be repeating myself. But it’s sad that podcasts that I released a year ago are equally applicable to things today because, if anything has changed at all, then it’s only been for the worse.

I recently wrote an article attacking the notion of LGBT Pride and Outright Libertarians. I’m going to repost it in the future, but not until the shit with Cantwell has died down. It’s rather similar to how I defended Gary Johnson with the “What is Aleppo?” thing. I’ll criticize someone “on my team” when no one else is, but if someone outside that team starts to criticize, I’ll have their back–assuming they’re right.

When they’re wrong, I’ll gladly tell them so. If they’re wrong and are rightly being attacked for being wrong, then I will at the very least hold off my attack until the attack from the outside is over (after all, you won’t find me defending Outright Libertarians from Cantwell and his people).

I find that I just can’t say much on this matter with Will. I’ve already said it all–and that, I think, is the sad thing, because I’m far from being the only person saying it. Jesus said it. Mohammad said it. Gandhi said it. MLK, Jr. said it. If people won’t listen to these esteemed leaders, why in the world would they listen to me or Will Coley? Christians, Muslims, Jews, and atheists alike have all had these wonderful ideas thrown at us from every corner for centuries and thousands of years. Yet we only pay them lipservice. Whether it’s Bill Hicks or Mohammad isn’t important.

And, yes, libertarians are guilty of it, too. When Fidel Castro died, many libertarians actively celebrated his death and digitally danced on his grave. Weird behavior from a group of people whose ideology is literally built on forgiveness and love.

We need less hatred in the world.

That starts with you.

 

The Rising Ideological War

Western society is schizophrenic, and not in any light-hearted way. There are two diametrically opposed threads running through society today that absolutely refuse to forge a compromise, and we’re seeing it manifest in strange ways. First, there is the reality that neo-liberalism won the culture war. There is no doubt of this, and, prior to Trump’s victory, the majority of liberals were aware of it. It was the Liberal Redneck, after all, who said, “This is our world now, and you’re not getting it back.”

What characterizes this liberalism? It is socialistic/fascistic in nature; of this, there can be no doubt. Huge swathes of the western population look upon capitalism as deprecated, antiquated, selfish, and morally wrong. To them, capitalism isn’t just a remnant of bygone eras; socialism is progress. They tie this directly to what they consider social progress–divisiveness, burning the heretical witches, and moving the goalpost when no one was looking from equality to oppression. This is exemplified most clearly in the anarcho-communist, which I’ve often joked is an anarchist who drank the SJW kool-aid. So far, that assessment has been spot-on. I’ve yet to meet an AnCom who wasn’t guzzling gallons of SJW kool-aid.

This is the side that values their personal feelings more than they value free speech. These are the ones who proudly proclaim that hate speech is not free speech, the ones who clamor for the EU to punish Facebook, Twitter, et al. for not, as the Rational Review News Digest put it, being sufficiently enthusiastic about gutting freedom of speech and embracing censorship.

On the other side is the rise of what we are calling populism, and that’s as good a term as any. This has given us Brexit, Donald Trump as President of the United States, and, the way it is looking, a soon-to-be far right Italian government. But can we take a moment to bask in the knowledge that it was a leftist who wanted to repeal the parts of the Italian Constitution that were specifically meant to diffuse power and prevent another Mussolini from rising? Let us just be thankful that his proposition of “Let’s remove some of these checks and balances that we instituted in order to prevent the total control of fascism” was rejected by Italian voters and that Renzi has now resigned.

Is there a clearer picture than that?

Fascism is what we face. I know these liberals don’t like to hear it, because they don’t know what fascism is and therefore accuse everything they don’t like of being fascism, and it doesn’t help that fascism isn’t really clearly defined, but…

It’s basically a socialist government where the state is supreme. It wasn’t terribly long ago that I saw some idiot write an article where he specifically stated that Hitler wasn’t a socialist. No, I’m not kidding. It was some idiot at Ranker. At least the fools who say “Democratic socialism is totally different from national socialism” aren’t so deluded, ignorant, and misinformed that they don’t think Hitler and the National Socialist party weren’t socialists.

The ties between socialism and fascism are so obvious that they’re frequently call the same thing. Indeed–they are one and the same in practice, for a fascist government must be a socialist one (“Everything in the state”), and a socialist one must be a fascist one (since economics, as Thomas Paine wrote, “…when considered as the fruit of many years’ industry, as the reward of labor, sweat and toil, as the widow’s dowry and children’s portion, and as the means of procuring the necessaries and alleviating the afflictions of life, and making old age a scene of rest, has something in it sacred that is not to be sported with, or trusted to the airy bubble of paper currency,” is the result of day-to-day life, control of the economy becomes, by extension, control of everyday life).

economy2Then we have on the other side modern populism.

There is a devout nationalist tendency among the modern populists, which is a clear antagonist of the neo-liberals’ preference for globalism and a worldwide state. Except it’s not nationalistic in the classic sense–for the most part, the modern nationalists don’t want to dominate other countries and subjugate them as the 20th century nationalists did. Modern nationalists stand somewhere between non-interventionism and limited interventionism–they are okay with war, but only insofar as they are confused about what precipitated those wars. In the case of American wars, of course, America caused them.

See, the nationalists of the 20th century hated Russia on principle. Whether this was due to Cold War propaganda or nearly constant fearmongering, who can say, but one way or another previous nationalists held that Russia was the greatest symbol of evil and had to be destroyed. Although modern nationalists do flirt with that mentality a bit in regard to Muslim nations, they don’t view all Muslim nations like this. However misinformed they are, it’s not Muslims or Muslim nations they hate, but groups like ISIS.

The nationalism we see today is more like a rejection of globalism and an attempt to return to national sovereignty. Most of the people I know who supported Trump also support the U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations. I suspect the same is true for many of the Brexit advocates, and many of the far-right Italians.

global-fascismBecause the neo-liberal has tied globalism, social justice, and socialism together into a single, unified package called fascism (and yes, such a package is called fascism), they are no longer able to separate out individual pieces of this trilogy. To them, it is a triangle; if you remove a single piece, the entire thing stops functioning. It is so tangled together that I don’t believe that they are still able to differentiate the three.

So if you reject one part of this, or two parts of this, they think you must be rejecting all three parts. If you reject globalism in favor of this weakened nationalism, and if you reject socialism in favor of this socialistic pay-for-play/privatized profits and socialized losses that we mistaken call capitalism, then they think you must also be rejecting the social justice aspects. I’ll try to cut that sentence down a bit by reframing this mess of an economic system we have that is not capitalism as simply “interventionism.” I don’t approve of that term as an economic descriptor, because I think “socialism” works very well as a descriptor, even if we aren’t fully socialized yet, but whatever.

If you reject globalism in favor of nationalism, and if you reject socialism in favor of interventionism, then they understand you to be against social justice as well. This is how nationalists have had all manner of insults heaped upon them: sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic misogynists and all that. In their minds, socialism is inseparable from the globalism, which is inseparable from the social justice, which is inseparable from the socialism, much as I say that peace is inseparable from love which is inseparable from liberty which is inseparable from peace.

In this great divide, I land on the side of the nationalists and interventionists. I am not their ally, but I am an enemy of globalism and socialism. I’ve written extensively about the failures and stupidity of socialism. But the nationalists are wrong, too. The nation isn’t the end-all-be-all of sovereignty; the individual is. In this sense, the nationalists are every bit as fascist as the globalist–the only difference is what level of state they want to bow to, with it reigning uncontested and always right. Like the people you see interviewed who take the side of the cops in the DAPL protests. “Well, I believe the cops over the protestors.”

I don’t believe any of them.

Similarly, interventionism is a broken economic model.

But before we can pull sovereignty back to the level of the individual, it must be pulled back away from the globalist-level, and that’s not too much of a problem here in the United States. We already don’t listen to the UN. Hell, in a lot of ways we are the UN. This rift is playing out here in a different way, though, with the liberals wanting a strong federal government that dictates over all fifty states, and with conservatives generally wanting a weak federal government and for the states to rule themselves.

Considering how unhappy a lot of people were with Obama’s presidency and how unhappy a lot of people are with Trump’s presidency, the solution is obvious–the answer is obvious. Globalism doesn’t work. Federalism doesn’t work. There is no One Size Fits All government that will make everyone happy. There is a divide in the world–a divide that will never go away, no matter how much closer we get to egalitarianism. People have different worldviews, and that will always be the case. In fact, psychology specifically suggests that it will always be the case.

If you take any ten people and try to propose a solution to any problem that will make them all happy, you will probably not succeed. The more people you try to impose that solution on, the more likely you are to make someone unhappy. When you have three hundred million people, you are guaranteed to make a large chunk of them–about sixty percent, evidently–some degree of unhappy.

We should stop trying to get our way, and start working toward peace. In order for there to be peace, there must be liberty. Don’t tyrannize others. Individualism must defeat fascism, but first nationalist fascism must defeat globalist fascism.

 

Libertarian Love

A lot of people say that libertarians are without empathy, that they feel no sympathy for people who struggle, and that they care about no one else’s plight. Seeing as I’ve spent the last few days burning straw men, I thought I’d burn one more: the Straw Libertarian.

Particularly on the left, I’ve noticed people tend to use the word “empathy” without knowing what it means.

Like this:

Notice also the arrogant and condescending pet name of "sweetie". They've learned nothing.

Notice also the arrogant and condescending pet name of “sweetie”. They’ve learned nothing.

Here is a woman so confused about empathy that she thinks it’s being okay with violence and people’s property being destroyed. I’m not going to get into how this woman’s current “suffering” is entirely in her head, because just notice what she said. I, a transgender resident of Mississippi, have no understanding of her plight and no empathy for people who, entirely in her mind, are being attacked and having their property destroyed–an “empathy” so powerful that it leaves her being okay with people being attacked and having their property destroyed.

Her “empathy” isn’t empathy at all, is it? It’s a disguised division of Us and Them where she doesn’t give a damn about Them. Those Trump supporters and innocent bystanders having their cars totaled, their businesses broken into, physical bodies assaulted–she doesn’t care about their real pain and loss, because it is her side inflicting it.

I’m not against protest. I’m not even against rioting. There sometimes does come a time when it’s necessary to take up arms against the government. Not against hapless bystanders who just happened to park their car in the wrong place. Before you attack someone or destroy their property, there are two things you must be absolutely sure about:

  1. The person you’re about to victimize has done you real, quantifiable harm. Esoteric harm does not count. That you heard it from a guy who heard it on Twitter from someone who like totes 4 real watched a video where Trump totally said it does not count.
  2. The person you’re about to victimize is directly responsible for your real injury.

If those criteria are not met, then your protest is not in any sense just; it is indiscriminately inflicting destruction and violence with no goal or effect except to hurt people.

Unlike the left, I condemn violence against the right. Unlike the right, I condemn violence against the left. I condemn all violence against innocent people and condemn all destruction of random property.

So do all libertarians.

We condemn violence precisely because we do have empathy for our fellow human beings. A political disagreement does not affect our desire to see them happy and unharmed. “Just because they disagree with us” is not enough justification for us to want to see them harmed. If it is enough for you, then I would suggest that you are the one who lacks empathy. If you only care about people on your side of the political aisle, fine, but don’t you dare pretend that blatant tribalism is empathy.

img_20161111_125747

These are my people.

img_20161111_125726

If you define empathy as that warped thing, or as refusing to acknowledge that a person can stand on their own two feet, then it’s true: libertarians lack empathy. Libertarians don’t want the government to protect me, to help me, or to cradle me in the nest so that I never have to fly. They will stand with me. They will not stand for me. They do not care in the slightest that I’m transgender (except that it makes me an oddity, since most lgbt people are democrats, so it gives me an edge gaining supporters). They care that I’m standing.

img_20161111_125708

Pictured: empathy.

There has been a large outpouring of support because of something I said elsewhere, on one of Tom Woods’ posts, about how people need to chill out and live and let live. I’ve no doubt that hearing that from a transgender person is a breath of fresh air, juxtaposed with all the lgbt people screaming that religious people can’t be allowed to act in accordance with their religious beliefs.

But that’s the key element, isn’t it? I’m not one of many. I’m not sacrificing my identity to the group for safety in numbers, chaining myself to a dogma that homogenizes me into a tally mark on a page. I am not so insecure and afraid that I sacrifice my sovereignty to others who totally promise to have my best interests at heart, and libertarians don’t want me, or anyone else, to sacrifice my identity so that they can act in my best interests.

They want to make sure that I am able to act in my own best interests. They don’t want to give me a fish. They want to get the state out of the way because the state’s restrictions are what is keeping people from learning to fish. They will do nothing for me. But a lot of them will choose to do stuff with me.

So thank you, libertarians, anarchists, and voluntaryists, for standing with me, rather than for me. Thank you for caring enough about people that you want them to be strong, independent, sympathetic, and free.

I was going to include all the comments from people showing support, but it seemed kinda masturbatory for me to do it. Liking their support even felt masturbatory, but it was better than replying “Thank you!” over and over.

An Open Letter To Parents and LGBT Teens

A few months ago, I sent a friend request on Facebook to this teenager I know. He’s the son of this couple who are some of my clients, and they manage a hardwood company, more or less, and he’s about the gayest person I’ve ever met. I don’t mean that as an insult by any means, but you immediately knew what I meant, didn’t you? I value clear and effective communication far more than I value political correctness. So yeah, this teen is, by a wide margin, the gayest person I’ve ever seen.

85bb2416-2052-4151-bbf0-5d5d2000c2e1e8962366-2f61-476d-aec4-c5c67d89f3abAnd his parents are in absolute denial about it. He and I have had a very brief conversation, and it was after this that I sent him the friend request, though I retracted it after a few hours, because I realized… that his parents screen his communications almost entirely, so he can’t befriend someone on Facebook without them knowing. I just wanted to tell him, because I wasn’t able to during our conversation… that things do get better. He will get out of that house, and he will be free.

He’s homeschooled, and he wants nothing more than to go back to school. His parents say that it was because he was bullied, but that’s not the case at all. They did it because they want to control what things can influence him. He can use his mom’s phone to some degree, but you’d better believe she reads all communications, and his laptop was taken away from him for an entire year. They’re essentially trying to shelter and oppress the gay out of him, as my grandmother and dad tried to oppress and shelter the transgender out of me.

Dear parents reading, that never works.

You cannot change your child’s sexual orientation, gender, or anything else by oppressing them. At best, you will corrupt them, twist them, and destroy them by forcing them to not merely live a lie to you, but to live a lie to themselves. But the truth will always come forward; it cannot be hidden forever, and it cannot be repressed forever. If your child is gay, deal with it, accept it, and move on, because there’s nothing you can do to change it. And anything you do to try to change it will be destructive, and it may very well grow into bitterness, resentment, and hatred.

It is only because I pity my father and grandmother that I do not hate them for what they did to me. By all rights, they should have sat me down and told me, “Look, you’re wearing girls’ clothes. If that’s what you want to do, then do it. Whatever makes you happy. Fuck whatever anyone else says. We have your back, no matter what, because you’re our <child/grandchild> and we love you.” But they didn’t. They threatened me, grounded me, nearly assaulted me with violence on a few occasions, oppressing me and forcing inner conflict into me until I could only resolve it by living a lie and by lying to myself, culminating in nearly two decades–twenty goddamned years–of wasted time that I will never get back.

I will never be an 18 year old chick partying with her friends on a Friday night. I will never be a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding. I will never have any of the things that a teenage and young adult female gets to have; those things were stolen from me. I will not get to be a gorgeous, sexy, young minx. Well, I will, because I’m not actually that old, I’m only in my freaking twenties, thank the fucking gods, but still. I did have a lot of time stolen from me.

And I am angry about this, parents out there reading this. I am bitter. I am pissed. I resent them. I hate their religion, and I hate their god*. It is only because I pity my dad and grandmother that I don’t hate them. So think about that–I am what your kids will become. They will either pity you for being so misguided by fucked up religions and ideologies that you would literally oppress your child, or they will come to hate you for oppressing them. It will not end well, and they will not stay “changed.” You cannot pray the gay away, and fuck you for trying to.

Take a good, long, and hard look at this website, parents. I am the result of that religious brainwashing, that religiously motivated oppression, and that bullshit that places loyalty to the tribe over love for the children. And, of course, at every point in this, my dad and grandmother would have said that they only wanted what was best for me, and that is why they did what they did. And they would still insist on that to this day. If you’re oppressing your kids for being LGBT, then chances are that you’ll say the same.

But you’re full of shit, if that’s the case. You’re completely full of shit.

Because the simple fact is that I’ve been transgender since I learned to walk. One of my earliest memories is of hiding all of my underwear so that I could wear my sister’s panties. Based on the timeline I’ve constructed for Dancing in Hellfire, I could not have been older than four, and I was almost certainly three years old. For all intents and purposes, that is “since birth.” There was no cultural influence that could have corrupted me; at that age, there is no way that the devil’s evil television and mainstream media could have deceived me into believing I was transgender. I was three. My exposure to culture consisted of practically nothing; we didn’t even have cable then, and no one on television was talking about homosexuality or transgenderism in 1989 anyway. So there is literally no way that the devil you believe in could have corrupted me into sin.

This means, beyond any doubt whatsoever, that your god made me this way. So what is the argument here? That your god made me desperately and sincerely feel as though I should be a girl because he expected me to resist the temptation to sin at the age of three? Is that the contention? Your god made me transgender at the age of three because he wanted me to resist the sin? I have to quote Maynard James Keenan here when I say, if that’s the case, then “Fuck your god.”

This is Christianity in a nutshell, isn't it?

This is Christianity in a nutshell, isn’t it?

That’s the equivalent of starving a child, poisoning their dinner, and then putting the poisoned dinner in front of the child without even telling them not to eat it. Because I was three, remember? No one had yet beat into my head that it was, for unknown reasons, a sin for me to wear softer, polyester underwear instead of coarser, cotton underwear. No pastor, parent, or teacher had told me that it was a sin for a man to dress like a woman. So I had no idea that the dinner was poisoned.

And it’s entirely accurate to say that I was starving to wear girl’s clothes and to be a girl; I always have been. There’s a reason that it has always popped back up in my life and that I’ve never succeeded in repressing it for more than a few months. And believe me–I’ve tried. My ex-wife and I had been together for like five years before I just straight told her that I was about to put on a pair of her underwear. Until that point, I’d hidden it pretty well, but I still had to do it occasionally, after she went to bed, or when she was gone. It’s a deep, pervasive hunger that has always been there.

I wouldn’t expect you to understand that. Honestly, I wouldn’t, and I don’t expect people like my dad and grandmother to understand what I mean when I say that. But it’s true–it might be the truest thing that I’ve ever said. To deny me that was to starve my soul**. Even people who aren’t like my dad and grandmother won’t necessarily get it–many of my friends have expressed the sentiment that they don’t care why it matters to me. They don’t mind that it obviously matters to me, but they don’t understand why it matters to me.

Why does it matter to me? I don’t know. It certainly doesn’t matter to most people, since most people are born the correct gender and don’t run into any problems there. Why does it matter to you what kind of music you listen to? What kind of movies you watch? “It just does.” And it does, parents. Whether your kid is gay, bisexual, transgender, or lesbian, it matters.

Put it like this. Why does it matter to you whether you’re getting oral sex from a man or a woman? It feels the same, doesn’t it? You can’t tell whether it’s a man’s tongue or a woman’s tongue. So why does it matter? Who knows? But it does matter.

My ex-wife frequently called me gay because I like butts so much–seriously–and, according to her, I might as well like guys, too, then, since guys also have butts. It’s hard to even know where to begin dissecting that particular illogic, isn’t it? Guys also have hands, so if I want to hold her hand I might as well just hold hands with a guy, right? Guys also have lips, so if I want to kiss her then I might as well just kiss a guy, right? But no… It matters. Some people find it strange, considering that I’m transgender, but I’m solely interested in women, and I have no attraction whatsoever to men. I wouldn’t touch a guy sexually, I wouldn’t hold a guy’s hand, and I wouldn’t kiss a guy; the thought actually repulses me^.

These things matter.

So no, you can’t simply make your gay son kiss a few girls and hope he’s cured. If he’s gay, then he’s gay, and he’s just as repulsed by the thought of kissing a girl as I am by the thought of kissing a guy. We have no control over this. It’s not something that we can help, and it’s not something that can be changed. It is simply who we are.

To the Teens

I’m so sorry.

I’m sorry for the situation you’re in, and I’m sorry for what I’m about to tell you. But the simple truth is that… you’re going to have to live a lie to some degree. You’re going to have to hide who you are, keep secrets, and deal with oppression. They’re your parents, and you’re the kid. Sadly, American society has absolutely no respect for the rights of anyone under 18–your parents can oppress you all they want, can invade your privacy all they want, and can go all in with their attempts to destroy who you are.

But if I could say one thing to you, and only one thing, it would be this:

It gets better.

It sucks, and it’s going to continue to suck for a long time. You’ll be miserable, and you’ll likely fall into depression throughout all of your teenage years. You will probably be forced to lie to them, to hide things from them, and to have a false identity just to keep them off your back for five freaking minutes. I get it, man. Believe me, I get it. I totally get it.

But stay true to yourself. Don’t lose sight of who you are, and don’t ever forget that you’re simply wearing a false identity. Don’t ever forget that you’re simply wearing a mask to appease the oppressive adults in your life, and that the day will come when you can remove that mask. Because that day will come. Hang in there. You can always reach out to me. My goal is to create an Internet web of people who are there for LGBT teens in the south, or anywhere with oppressive parents, so that you can be reminded by me, or someone like me, that it will get better. No matter how much it sucks, no matter how bad it gets, and no matter how depressed you become, don’t lose sight of that fact. Once you graduate high school and turn 18, go to college, and be yourself. Remove the masks.

A lot of people will say to go ahead and forcefully come out, make your parents accept you, but that isn’t always an option. Consider your needs, first and foremost. Ask yourself that one simple question: “Will my parents kick me out? Will they send me away?” You know your situation better than anyone. Go with your gut.

Those same people will probably say “If they can’t accept you, then screw them. You don’t need them anyway.” I don’t understand why people say things like that. A few months ago, someone told me that about my clients. Since my clients will drop me the moment that this transition can no longer be hidden, he said “fuck them,” and that I don’t need them. I honestly don’t know what world these people live in, but it’s not the real world. Back in real world, I do need those clients. Those clients keep my bills paid, keep me fed, and keep a roof over my head. This isn’t a movie where you can just be yourself and saw the hearts of the ignorant, convincing them to come around to the side of tolerance and understanding. The real world doesn’t work that way. Ignorant people will remain ignorant, and you will, in many case, need those ignorant people.

Work hard so that you don’t need those ignorant people. And the moment that you don’t need them, then you can tell them to deal with you on your terms. Yeah, if I was making even $2000 a month from writing, I could tell my clients, “I’m transgender. And if I’m going to continue working for you, you need to understand that all future service calls will be done by me ‘as a female.’ And if that’s a problem, then we need to our separate ways.” But back in the real world, I can’t afford to do that. Thanks to how the Vegas bullshit made me lose 90% of my clients, I need my clients more than ever.

And the fact is that, yeah, you do need your parents right now. You might have a friend whose parents wouldn’t care, who you could stay with instead, but before you take a leap like that, you need to put a great deal of thought into things. I would say that if it is possible for you to be you, then do it, no matter the cost, as long as you can survive. If you can’t survive, then… you’ve just gotta wear the mask. And I’m sorry to say that, but…

Wear the mask. Don’t become the mask.

* Though I do hate their god, this is unrelated to my being an atheist.

** I don’t believe in souls, either, but, again, I value effective communication, and you immediately know what I mean when I say this.

^ Homosexuality doesn’t repulse me, to be clear. Obviously, it doesn’t. The thought repulses me because I’m not attracted to guys in the slightest. As far as my sexual orientation goes, there’s no difference for me between the thought of kissing a guy and the thought of kissing a dog. That’s not meant as an insult to men–I’m not comparing men to dogs. I’m simply making the point about the significance of orientation.

Hormonal Ass Kicking

This. This is exactly how I feel.

This. This is exactly how I feel.

I’ve been worried over the past week that these hormones aren’t real, because I got them from an online pharmacy located in Germany, and because the pills themselves are small, round, white, and totally without any markings at all. Meanwhile, Internet searches routinely show that 2mg Progynova (I take 6mg daily) are blue. And since it takes a while for any physiological effects to become noticeable, I have no choice but to keep taking them and hope that they’re the real deal.

However, I no longer have any doubt. They are the real deal, and they are kicking my ass all over the place. I am so freaking sad, and there’s really no reason for it.

A friend shared an image on Facebook of some girl texting her boyfriend and asking how come he never calls her “princess,” and the dude responded that he doesn’t know how to spell it. That’s stupid, as far as replies go, and not the point. The point is that I did call my ex-wife Princess. From the time we started dating until several years into our marriage, she was Princess, and I almost never called her anything else; I treated her like a Princess, too, and she would vouch for that if she read this.

However, that sort of thing doesn’t last forever, and she evolved into “sweetie.” I would argue that I still treated her great and still gave her and the relationship plenty of attention–it never failed that, after cranking the vehicle, I would always reach over and take her hand. When walking around the store, we held hands. We talked constantly, kept no secrets from one another, and we spent a lot of time together. We played video games together–Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart Double Dash, World of Warcraft… And I always tried hard, but she always beat me in Mario Kart. That chick can go-kart. So when I say that I stopped calling her “princess,” it’s not because I fell into the normal relationship rut of taking the other person for granted; that’s just not the way that I am. Really, it’s not, and she didn’t take me for granted, either.

But as I was talking of leaving her, a period of time which lasted about a month and was the most difficult, confused, and frustrating period of my life because I had no idea–and still don’t–what brought about my very sudden discontent, but it was discontent so powerful and extreme that I ended the relationship of 7 years, the marriage of 5 years, and walked away. To this day, I don’t understand why I was suddenly unhappy, because I did love her, and I was happy, but for that period of time, I was not, and I acted. I don’t want to get into all that, though.

Anyway, during that month or so, she said to me at one point, “I stopped being your princess.” At the time, I was so detached from my emotions that it didn’t really have an effect on me. But when I saw that image my friend shared, it kicked me below the belt, and I nearly broke into tears. Then my brain went down a lengthy road where I wondered whether she is happy, and where I hope–good god, do I hope–that she is happy.

I did love the girl, and I still do, but I had to travel a road that she couldn’t follow me down. And she would have. She would have followed me without hesitation, probably even to today, with my proud statement that I am a non-op transgender lesbian. I do believe she would have adjusted. But would I have made it here, if she’d followed me? I doubt it, and I fear that the journey with me would have destroyed her, or at the very least made her supremely unhappy. It was true even then, and I’ve said it for years without truly knowing the reason why: I let her go because I loved her.

She has remarried. In fact, she remarried very, very quickly. I understand that, but… She married the person with whom she jumped into a rebound relationship. That alone has its issues, but he’s also way older than she is–he’s in his 40s or something, whereas she is my age. Moreover, she’s always been the type who, like me, just goes along with other people’s interests and ideas, but there are a few places where her interests are clear. Anime, for example–she loved anime. And i don’t remember the names now, but I watched a ton of anime with that girl. I hated the anime, but I loved watching it with her.

Except Excel Saga. That was the most irritating thing I’ve ever seen or heard in my life.

But she was even less interested in sports than I am. Yet now she attends football games. To some degree, I get that–you’ve gotta do things with your spouse, even if you don’t enjoy them, but a football game is a 5-6 hour endeavor. I wouldn’t have dragged her to something like that, and damned sure wouldn’t do it regularly, because it is teamwork, that marriage thing, and if your spouse doesn’t like football and you do, then you cut back on the football. But to be clearer, we played the Horde in World of Warcraft, because the Horde has character. The Horde is real, and the Horde has freaking Lady Sylvanas.

Guess this means I'm a necrophiliac. Oh, well. She's worth it.

Guess this means I’m a necrophiliac. Oh, well. She’s worth it.

But now the ex-wife plays Alliance, which, for those who have never played, is the other half of the war. The Alliance is lame and full of /btards. If it wasn’t for the ability Every Man For Himself that humans get, then no one would seriously play alliance for PvP. And we PvP’d a lot–it was what we primarily did when we played, though she also raided–I raided, too, but not very often because I’m a Warlock and the queues for raids and dungeons could get pretty long. Since she was a healer, though, she didn’t have to worry about that. Now she doesn’t PvP; she doesn’t do arenas.

You know what really makes me sad about this? We did 2v2 matches together. It’s when 2 teams of 2 players are let loose in an arena to kill each other. She was my healer, and she kept me alive while I killed the other team. This did cause some tension between us when we lost, but never anything major, and the tension was entirely and completely my fault for being so competitive. But we enjoyed it, we were happy, and we did have a good time. Anyway, there are a number of Achievements that can be earned through PvP, and we only did 2v2. Occasionally, we’d dabble in 3v3, but not very often.

The achievement we wanted was “Just the Two of Us: 1550” where you earn a rating of 1550 in 2v2 arena matches. We got to 1538 once, but we never got that achievement. I ended up quitting the game after our separation, and I returned last year, toward the end of the Mists of Pandaria expansion. It only took a few weeks for me to get the achievement. And then the achievement for 1750. And then the 1550 and 1750 achievements for 3v3… And a title for being in the top 10% of arena players. I’m a professional game reviewer, after all–I’m pretty good at these video game things. 😉

So shortly after I returned, I got the achievement and then some. And, sadly, curiosity got the best of me… and she still doesn’t have them. This is probably because she is now focused exclusively on raiding, but that’s the point–she enjoyed arenas, too.

The point of all this is to say that… I hope she’s happy. And I say that with so much sincerity that I can’t even process it. I want her to be happy. And I’m afraid that she isn’t. She still doesn’t have any kids, and that was a point of contention that came up during “that month,” when she revealed to me that she had been wanting kids for years. I had always said that I didn’t want kids until we were firmly established, I was done with college, and had a great career, not a job. And she always agreed with that. But I learned, near the end of our relationship, that she’d actually been wanting kids for years. She said that she was getting ready to break down and cry to get me to have kids with her. She never told me that she was ready to have a kid. She always agreed with me when I said we should wait; I had no reason to doubt that she was telling the truth.

She hid something that she wanted… that she wanted badly… just so that she could fall in line with what I wanted. This characterizes her pretty well–hence her playing on the Alliance now, going to football games, probably not watching very much anime or Daria, and… still not having kids. Please, Princess, have a child. Be happy. Be yourself. Fulfill your desires. I didn’t let go of you so that you could repress yourself and hide your desires, interests, and needs.

I hope she’s happy, and I’m deathly afraid that she isn’t. And if she isn’t happy… that’s on me, in many ways, since I left her and she was happy in our marriage. We were both happy; we had a terrific marriage. I’d even say that it was an idyllic marriage. We fought, of course, but we communicated, even while fighting, and we were both happy. Were things perfect? Of course not, but we were both happy and moving toward our desires. I fucked that up when I left her for reasons that I don’t fully understand to this day.

But I did try to get her back. Like I said, it was just a phase that I fell into. It came out of nowhere and hit me like a cement truck. It was all genuine, the negative emotions, and I tried to resist and overcome them, to put them behind me, but I couldn’t, and I moved in with my sister. That, to Princess, was a betrayal that she was never willing to forgive. I tried repeatedly, but she wasn’t having it.

Another large problem is that she was rewarded by not being with her. Her dad is an asshole, and he hated me. There was no limit to what her dad would do if he could make me look bad. One day I discovered we needed new brakes, so I went and bought new brakes. I scheduled a day off work to replace them. And then her dad, who fancies himself a mechanic but isn’t, took a look at it and said we didn’t need new brakes, that our brakes were fine and that I’d wasted our money. Princess reported that back to me, and we needed the money more than we needed the brakes, so I returned them to AutoZone. Less than two weeks later, her dad approached her and told her that we needed new brakes. Instead of saying, “Oh, well I guess Aria was right all along, then, and dad was wrong,” it was “We didn’t need new brakes then, but we suddenly do now.” So her dad was literally willing to put our lives at risk with brakes that needed to be replaced just so that he could attempt to say I was wrong.

Every time he touched our vehicle to perform maintenance on it, it fucked up the next day. There are no exceptions to this. Every single time. One of the battery terminal connectors was uncooperative, and I often had to adjust it to ensure a firm connection with the battery so that the vehicle would crank. It would go weeks after my adjustments without needing to be messed with again. But it never failed that after he messed with it–checking the oil and doing whatever else people like that do–it fucked up the next day, often the same day. I pointed this out several times, of course, but my remarks fell on deaf ears.

One day–the day after he’d messed with it, of course–I actually became stranded in a Wal-Mart parking lot because it wouldn’t crank and the battery drained for unknown reasons. But before anyone could jump me off, I had to fix the terminal issue. So I went into Wal-Mart and bought a new connector, and then, using tools suited for working on computers and not vehicles, I replaced the terminal and had a friend come boost me. That evening, she, of course, told her dad what had happened, and after he spent a while messing with it, he reported to her that I’d bought the wrong thing. “He should have gotten a positive connector,” he said. “But he didn’t. He got a negative one.”

She reported that back to me, and I laughed at how asinine and childish it was. Then I pulled the packaging from my pocket, and there on the package, written in white, bold font: “Positive Terminal Connector.” I held in my hands proof that her dad was lying to her and making shit up to try to lower her opinion of me, something that he had been doing for years and that I had quietly corrected to her instead of dealing with him. But here I had proof that could not be denied. He was wrong, and I could prove it.

What did she say?

“Go confront him about it.”

That underlies one of the other issues that Princess had–we were never a family. I was never her husband. The proper response of a wife would have been to confront her father. “You lied to me so that you could try and make my husband look bad,” she should have said. “He’s my husband whether you like it or not, and he’s not going anywhere. I love him. You need to grow up and stop trying to undermine my marriage, stop trying to lower my opinion of my husband, and stop trying to make him look bad.” Of course, she could have said it more diplomatically, but that needed to be done.

If my dad was talking shit like that about her, trying to make her look bad? I would have dropped the hammer on him in a heartbeat. But, then again, my dad would never try to drive rifts between me and people I’m involved with.

And now I’m angry.

I guess I’m gonna wrap this one up for now. Be sure to click Like to my Facebook page over there on the right, or by following this link to www.facebook.com/aria.the.writer to keep up-to-date on the things I do. You can also follow me at Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/AriaDiMezzo . Please consider contributing to my GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/ariatransition , or buy my short story for 99 cents, which I would actually prefer to a donation: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AS5NJHM?*Version*=1&*entries*=0 And be sure to Follow me on Twitter to stay even more up-to-date on all the crazy shit I say: twitter.com/Aria_DiMezzo, or @Aria_DiMezzo . And you can find me on Tumblr, though that’s really just a way for me to reach a larger audience: www.shemalediary.tumblr.com . Follow me on OpenCritic for all the awesome games I review, because I’m probably the toughest reviewer out there, and nothing will stop me from reviewing a game honestly: http://opencritic.com/critic/1579/aria-dimezzo . Alternatively, you could just start visiting Cubed3, where I write weekly gaming articles known as Critical Hit, discussing things like Launch Day DLC, the use of slurs by gamers, re-re-re-re-releases, and other hot topics: www.cubed3.com/staffreviews/Anema86 .

Holy crap, that P.S. is getting long. I guess that’s good?

Addendum

Seems I’m not done.

Another friend posted earlier something about how fat people don’t react badly when they’re told that they are fat, and my thoughts immediately jumped to my nephew. Although he began as a slim and healthy child, for the past 2 or 3 years, all he has done is sit around, snack and eat, watch television, and play video games. I think I could probably count on two hands the number of times that he has played outside, and the primary reason for that is that his parents won’t let him play outside unsupervised–plus, he would be playing by himself, which… just makes me fucking sad again…

He does have a younger brother now. Okay. I can move on from there.

And his parents are pretty lazy themselves. My sister will play with him, but pretty much only inside; she doesn’t want to go outside. So add that to the fact that he can’t play outside by himself…

He has ballooned in the past few years, now weighing more than 100 pounds. He’s six years old. He is pretty tall for his age, but the kid is fat. Now, I don’t personally find that to be a big deal, but it is factually unhealthy, and… he has cried about being fat. He doesn’t really want to be fat. He’s not happy about the fact that he’s fat, but he can’t lose weight until his parents help him lose weight, and they have no interest in doing that, it seems. His dad has gotten huge himself, but my sister, like me, has stayed really skinny.

I love my nephew to death, and I miss the hell out of him. I’ve been able to see him a few times, and… I’m about to cry again. I’ll finish this some other day, when I’m not constantly breaking down.

A Psychopath and Her Victim: Abusive Relationships and Walking Away

Sunday night, I received a message from the Vegas chick: a strange apology fixated almost entirely on herself rather than me, the recipient of the apology, which was so blatant in its narcissism that it contained references to herself 46 times. While I do have to give the Vegas Ordeal its treatment one day and fully describe the thing from start to end, it is likely to soak up thirty thousand words alone, so it’s almost certain to be reserved for Dancing in Hellfire. But it’s okay–I don’t intend to harp on about it today. It was damaging, it was severe, and it was unparalleled to anything most people will ever experience.

And it was, I see now, nothing more than the sadomasochistic dance of a psychopath and her victim.

She knew of my needs, because I’m an upfront person. I’ve just honestly been through too much to have interest in playing games, so I’m straight up with people. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve by any means, but I don’t beat around the bush. If I expect something of someone, I tell them that; I don’t leave it to them to guess what I want, what I need, or what I expect. A lot of people make this claim, in my experience, but I actually mean it. If I say “I need direct communication from you, or I’m walking away,” then take it at face value: if I don’t get direct communication from you, then I’m walking away. I don’t throw ultimatums lightly, and I never back down from them. A great deal of consideration and introspection goes into me and everything I do; I do nothing lightly, and I do nothing to manipulate. When I make such a claim, it is because I want direct communication, but that’s hardly manipulation; it’s a warning that I’ve been pushed to the brink, and that I will tolerate no more.

Between my old website, many long conversations with her, and years of circling around, she knew me very well; she knew exactly how to exploit me. She knew exactly what to offer me, exactly what to say, and exactly how to say it. She knew exactly what to do to turn me into her thrall, and she succeeded. I thought she was genuine, because she knew that I sought someone who was genuine, and so she knew to present herself as genuine. It was like this in every area. She knew what to do and what to say to take me off my guard, to manipulate me, and to bring me under her control. And she succeeded, as she knew she would, because I’d given her the tools she needed to do it over years of friendship and borderline relationship.

It was jarring when I realized, shortly after my return to Mississippi, that she had done this exact thing to me before, when she lived in Alabama and offered for me to come see her on one of my birthdays. I was excited; she seemed to be excited. And I got about halfway there when her sister texted me and explained that we couldn’t go through with it because of some ridiculous bullshit. Before the Vegas Ordeal, she knew that she couldn’t do that again, and that if she tried that shit when I was halfway there I was likely to absolutely hate her forever, no holds barred, and would be uninterested in ever speaking to her again. But what would have been the next closest thing? Turning me away within days. And that’s precisely what she did.

Blinded by the hope that we could repair our relationship and unable to see that I was playing directly into the hands of a psychopath, I stayed in touch with her; we immediately went back to talking on the phone every night, and I did my best to keep a smile on my face as the fallout from the Vegas Ordeal struck me repeatedly. As I said, evidently I was supposed to be more cheerful about the inevitability of living out of my car then, because she turned away from me for being a downer. Yes, this chick for whom I’d given up my entire life, closed my company, spent all my money, and moved across the country to be with… threw me out of her life because I was being a downer about the incredible consequences I faced from all of that.

Then I dabbled and thought about reigniting my old site, and she almost immediately contacted me through it. I emailed her explaining something she’d misinterpreted. She replied with a post on her blog. I replied via email. She replied with another post. Soon we had fallen into a cycle of posts, where I would post something direct and meaningful, and she would post vague, non-sensical poetry that had to be interpreted–and even then didn’t make a lot of sense. I grew frustrated and threw the gauntlet at her feet: engage me directly, because I’m finished with this stupid shit. And it was stupid, to be communicating that way. She clearly wanted to communicate with me; I clearly wanted to communicate with her. But she wouldn’t give me the “satisfaction” of doing it directly.

Through all of this, I was motivated by need–the same need I’ve written about before–and it’s no coincidence that I was only ever able to go to her blog to read her replies as Aria. Otherwise, it was just too painful. And though I’ve minimized that need substantially, and though she went to great lengths to make that a need for her (as psychopaths do) and succeeded, I did force myself again to throw my hands up and walk away, which made this the third time I’d had to do it. If you’ve ever walked away from someone you love, you know how difficult that is. And I had to do it not once, not twice, but three fucking times. It is more complex because of the psychopath/victim game that she has played, but that doesn’t change the fact that I do love her, and that this is merely on top of the standard relationship interplay of a psychopath and her victim.

The manipulation in the apology she sent is blatant. Out of respect and love for her, I will not post it here, but suffice it to say that it’s the most unapologetic apology I’ve ever seen. While professing to be sorry, she creates a shadow version of herself that “has no empathy” and magically has an “undiagnosed mental disorder” (a refrain I’ve seen so often from women attempting to excuse their fucked up behavior), and, here is the best part, “a work in progress.” As though we’re not all works in progress. But it’s more insidious than that, isn’t it? You can’t be too harsh on a work in progress. When aspiring musicians share their music, they say it’s a work in progress as a buffer against criticism. Shitty Early Access games on Steam hide behind “It’s an alpha build” or “It’s a beta build” as a matter of policy, because they know–we all know–that you can’t judge a paper too harshly when it’s still a “work in progress.” It is the phrase of a coward, someone who wants to indemnify themselves against criticism and consequences; it is not the phrase of someone who admits they were wrong and is genuinely apologetic for it.

It’s of extreme significance that among the last things she’d heard from me, before I walked away in October, was that I demanded an apology. Because it made her aware that the only way she could keep playing with her toy would be to offer me an apology–and so she did. In the most insincere way possible. At the end, she also added that she wants me to know that it wasn’t my fault. That blew my mind to read.

She didn’t have to tell me that. I’ve known that from the beginning. I have never said or believed otherwise. I have said countless times that I rolled the dice, but she was the one who determined the outcome. I have never said or implied otherwise. Why does she think that she can make me believe it was my fault? She can’t. I was there; I know what happened. I know how it went down, and I’ve known from the beginning that none of this was my fault. That doesn’t have to be said.

This would be the fourth time that I’ve had to walk away from her, and it hasn’t gotten any easier. But I know now… that walking away doesn’t do any good in this sort of relationship. It simply doesn’t. I have to make her lose interest, and I do that with the Gray Rock technique. You can’t always walk away from a psychopath who has targeted you as her toy, because she won’t leave you alone; like clockwork, she will pop back up and rip the wounds open again, all while denying that it was her intention to do so and all while apologizing for how sorry she is in the first place. See why I can’t accept the apology as sincere? The very fact that she would contact me to voice her apology is ipso facto proof that it isn’t sincere and can’t be sincere.

In talking to a friend, I was asked what kind of apology I would accept as sincere. If she showed up on my doorstep one morning, in tears with her arms wide, saying, “I’m so sorry” when I answered the door, then I would accept that as sincere. But she wouldn’t do that under any circumstances. But I don’t want that, really. I don’t. What I want… is for her to be sincere. And she can’t do that. Or she won’t do that. It doesn’t matter, whichever is the case. The result is the same.

If you’ve never been in such a relationship, count your blessings, because it’s much easier to become ensnared than one might think. The psychopath knows what you want. The psychopath knows what you need. The psychopath knows where you are weak, and the psychopath knows how to exploit those weaknesses. The psychopath knows where you are strong, and the psychopath knows how to avoid those areas. The psychopath knows how to get into your head and into your heart, and how to keep herself there. The psychopath knows how to hook you, and the psychopath knows how to keep you on the hook.

And walking away doesn’t always work; it depends on what the psychopath is getting out of it. The key thing is that the psychopath has to lose interest. The psychopath has to come to believe that her toy is broken; only then will she move on to find a different toy. As long as she is getting what she needs out of the toy, she will keep picking it up. I don’t pretend to know what she wants from me or what she is getting out of this, but her apology was most assuredly not for me or my benefit, and her immediate switch back to cold, one-line responses is all the proof that I need of that. She just wanted to elicit an emotional response from me, and I gave it to her, because I reacted emotionally–because she knew how to stir those latent emotions back up, how to rip those scabs back off. The psychopath has to be made to lose interest. And this means I must be a gray rock to her.

Because she won’t leave me alone… And goddamn it all part of me doesn’t want her to leave me alone. Part of me wants her to be the person that she pretends to be. But she never will be. That’s what I want, though: I want her to be the person she pretended to be, to be the person she ostensibly wants to be. But she isn’t that person. And I’ve accepted this. I accepted it long ago.

Relationship Reflections: Will You Be My Mirror?

2015 was a life-changing year for me, and 2016 is going to be even more life-changing, but for different reasons. 2015 showed me how truly self-destructive some of my behavior was, and 2016 shall be the year marked by my move away from that path. In order to truly do this topic justice, I have to explain a few things.

First, there is the simple fact that I love women. I love everything about women, and “feminine beauty” is a phrase that you will read here more than any other. I am totally and completely in love with feminine beauty, feminine grace, and femininity–whatever you wish to call it. This is pervasive in my life, and it’s one of the greatest ironies of my life that I have no attraction to men whatsoever. In fact, my love for femininity is part of the “problem,” as is my failure to see anything attractive about what is masculine–with the exception that I have a bit of a penis fetish, but there’s no need to get into that, because it’s not really pertinent. The core of this paragraph is just to say that I wholeheartedly love everything about women, and that I find very, very little about men that is appealing.

This included my male self for the most part, but it gets more complicated than that.

People who know me also know that I have a very specific “type” in regard to women: slender brunettes with long hair, preferably straight, without bangs. For some reason, the hair is a major aspect of my attraction, and bangs are almost a deal-breaker. I don’t know why that it is; it just is. And it’s easy to see this from my relationship history. My ex-wife (from whom I divorced for reasons entirely unrelated to this) was, of course, one such figure. Slender brunette, long-haired, no bangs. The girl I dated before I met the ex-wife: slender brunette, long-haired, no bangs. The girl before the girl that I dated before I met the ex-wife: slender brunette, long-haired, no bangs. The girl for whom I drove 1700 miles to be with last year by moving to Las Vegas: slender brunette, long-haired, no bangs.

There’s definitely a pattern, and my haste and willingness to drop everything, gamble everything, and move across the country to be with someone I hadn’t really seen since early adolescence was entirely a result of her being a slender, long-haired brunette with no bangs. She was also intelligent and fun to talk to–don’t mistake me for being shallow, because it wasn’t that simple. If physical appearances were enough, I wouldn’t have left my ex-wife. This does not change the fact, however, that the physical appearance is why I was so willing and eager to move to Las Vegas; I wouldn’t have done that for just anyone. In fact, I’d had the opportunity a few years before to move to New Jersey to try a relationship with another woman, but I didn’t pursue it, and I tend to think that it’s because she wasn’t a slender brunette–she was slender, but also blonde. There’s nothing wrong with that, but…

Those slender brunettes are my weakness.

I’ll spare you the details of the Vegas ordeal, for the most part, except to say that she turned out to be a shallow liar; I was her Mount Everest, and she simply wanted to climb it. It was surely more complex than that, but that’s sufficient for now. And I suddenly found myself in Las Vegas and totally alone, having spent nearly all my savings moving there and then surviving there while I sought a job, and trying desperately to make the relationship work so that I hadn’t just given up my entire life for nothing. In the end, however, I had given up my entire life for nothing, and I had no choice but to return to Mississippi. My funds ran dry, and I barely had enough money to get back. All my fault for taking the leap, I don’t and haven’t ever denied that. I will never dispute that I was the one who rolled the dice. However, I did so because she was the one who controlled the outcome, and I had every reason to believe, prior to this, that the outcome would be what I expected it to be.

When I returned, I began evaluating myself, what I had done, and why I had done it, and I did so with sincerity. I was not trying to trick myself or deluding myself; I knew what I had done was stupid, and I wanted to know why I had been so willing and eager to do something so stupid. But the answer was staring me in the face, and it was one I’d told to a friend shortly after my divorce, a friend who was, until last year, the only person who knew any of this: I needed a slender brunette in my life. It wasn’t a question of wanting. It was a question of needing.

And as I evaluated my past relationships and my awful reactions to the ends of those relationships, it became more and more obvious. All I’d ever done was transfer feelings for one slender brunette to another. When J. and I broke up, I was devastated until I got with L. I immediately just transferred everything I’d felt for J to L. Then the same thing happened again, but I got with A., who I eventually married. N., the Vegas chick, was just the latest in a long series of women as I transferred my feelings from one to the next, caring for and loving the woman in question, but loving something much deeper that was entirely independent of the person involved.

It is no coincidence that I am a slender, long-haired brunette with no bangs.

Messing around on Craigslist one night when I was bored, I posted a listing. I don’t remember now the details of the listing, but it wasn’t anything particularly big, and it wasn’t anything sexual, either, because I’m not that kind of person. But it was about cross-dressing, and one of the people who replied said something like, “Good girl” in reply to something I’d said. And in that one moment, I realized that what I’d told that friend years ago was far bigger to me than I’d thought. She was the friend I’d told I was considering SRS shortly after my divorce, but I played it down with her; I played it down to myself. It was too big of a thing, and I wasn’t ready to face it or even acknowledge how much it meant to me. I just thought of it as an anomaly, some weird fetish I had, but certainly nothing that could make or break my spirit.

I was chasing after these other women trying to almost parasitically get something from them that I should have been producing myself. I shouldn’t have been trying to draw feminine beauty from them–that was too destructive, too parasitic, and the Vegas ordeal showed me keenly how incredibly destructive that could be. I knew that I couldn’t do that again; I barely survived the last one. When you’re sitting at the starting point of a 1700 mile drive with nothing to look forward to at the end and nothing to go back to, walking into the desert with your 38 special is extremely tempting.

It was never the brunettes that I loved. Well, it was, because I did love and care about all of them, but that’s not what I mean. They were just symbols of my inner self, the one I wouldn’t let myself acknowledge. So losing them when the relationship ended was like having a piece of myself die, and it was brutally devastating. It wasn’t J. or L. or N. that I had a difficult time letting go of–it was that they represented a part of me, they provided the slender feminine brunette beauty that I needed, and that was what I loved, and even was addicted to.

It’s a fact of extreme significance that since I made the decision last year to move forward with this, to stop hiding it, and to stop trying to convince myself that it isn’t as important to me as it is, that need to have a relationship with someone like J., L., or N. evaporated entirely. Now it is a matter of “want,” not a matter of “need.”

As always, Mississippi does not make this transition easy, and the physical changes hormones bring will make employment virtually impossible six months from now, once I begin growing breasts and stuff. Your assistance to help me get through this would be beyond appreciated:

https://www.gofundme.com/ariatransition