A Trans American Awakening
Something’s About to be Born
Something’s About to be Born
As a trans woman who’s awakened to her identity late in life, it’s easy to think I’ve arrived. But my awakening isn’t letting me settle for that. It’s been five years, but I still walk gingerly in heels. Existential ankle-twists explode what I once took for granted.
I’ve lately awakened to some dismal truths about the United States. Deep down, I always felt something was off with my country, but I couldn’t pin down my misgivings. I knew we ought to live up to the ideals proclaimed in our founding documents. Then I lived the queer life and saw an America I’d blinded myself to. I now realize that, in the eyes of so many (who often tried to tell a stubborn me), we were never the good guys our history books portrayed.
What can I do but tell you I was wrong? That I may still be wrong. That the only way I learn is by deluding myself, then one day getting it and shouting from the rooftop, “Hey, everybody! I’m a knucklehead!”
As my previous post recounts, I’ve lately been anxious and depressed at how far off the mark America is and always has been. Julian of Norwich said, “First the fall, and then the recovery from the fall, and both are mercy.” My realization about my country is naive and late in coming. Yet, I take hope in knowing I’ve still so much to learn. “Getting it right” doesn’t mean “not being wrong.” Finally, I’m where I belong — right down in the muck of a civilizational transformation. Sure, it’s scary and perilous, but that’s what adventures are.
Revolution means breaking a hopelessly misguided and doomed course, to do the right thing I never dared. Always aiming for a target, I didn’t notch the arrow, let alone pull the bowstring. Now, my arm is steady, my target in sight, because I’ve stopped trying to pass as something I wasn’t. Now, I won’t pass by what’s happening in our world.
I’m no savior. I can’t right our country’s and world’s wrongs. But I can touch those whom my arrow grazes. If you’ve read this far, you’ve been grazed. I want more — to pierce your heart, no matter what comes next for you, me, and the American experiment.
Experiments are simulations under laboratory conditions, the rats locked in the maze, the experimenters callously detached. For too long, I experimented, endlessly running a maze. It’s time for me and America to stop experimenting and do the real thing, even if that means death. For it’s an adventure to die, to rise, to learn, and to live into learning more.
Now is my time to live, no matter what comes down the pike at me. In my upcoming posts, I’ll journal a trip Pam and I are making across America to see my newborn grandson. I know now that any journey means death to the life I take for granted. I won’t be the same on the other end. Here’s to finding out what’s down the road.
Originally published at bethanybeeler.com
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To learn more about my journey, check out my memoir, How to NOT Know You’re Trans or my newly-released dystopian time-travel thriller, Above the Stars.
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