P.D. Publishing, Inc., October 2006 ISBN 1-933720-07-7Now available from Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.
I am a transgender. I have lived a life of 72 years as a woman in the body of a man. Norma’s Voice is the story of that life.
This memoir begins before I existed. It covers both the profound agony and the wild comedy of living in a perpetual state of gender fluidity. The memoir specifically dwells on my early childhood, my marriage of 24 years to a wonderful woman, her death, the “death” of my male identity, and the final birth of my womanhood.
The memoir spends some time ruminating on existential matters, in a manner which illuminates the curious way a transgender person relates to self; to family; to men, women and all humanity; to God; and to the cosmos.
A theme runs throughout: The intense need for Norma to scream, and her inability to do so, because she had no voice. Hence the title. The memoir ends with Norma finding her voice at last, and in so doing, finds that she no longer is driven to scream.
FIT THE FIRST:
WE MUST SCREAM
All is Circumstance.
All is Turbulence.
All is Chaos.
Midst spiritual clouds of dust.
We are yet not,
And yet must be.
We have no voice, but
We must scream.
FIT THE SECOND:
Snow huddles against the night, clean and white, low to earth. Brutish creatures are upon the land, survival machines for that DNA molecule. Some have four legs, some have two. Some have hundreds, and some have none.
The interplay of circumstance riots upon the stage of chaos. Bodies join again and again in the turbulent dance of procreation, driven by yearnings built into all creatures by those DNA sequences which in their writhings do succeed to survive, to live again, and yet again.
Sex works fine with two genders.
And yet …
FIT THE THIRD:
Snow huddles against the night, dirty with urban filth. A cat lies dead against a brick wall, eyes staring vacantly at that which once could have been. A small child stands near, transfixed. Neurons connect, disconnect, and connect again in a furious whirlwind, implanting concepts within the mind of the child which will populate and shape that mind, now so young, and now so old, until one storybook of one life is closed.
The child is thin, with delicate hands and the soft face of the very young, wearing no socks within old shoes, a worn and tattered coat several sizes too large, and a woolen cap against the cold.
Oh, kitty, kitty, kitty, why did you die? I would hold you close to me, feel your fur with my little fingers, hear your purr, and try to find some milk for you. Kindred creatures are we, lost in a world neither of us understands.
FIT THE FOURTH:
A BINARY WORLD
Is this world comprehensible? If we lack comprehension, is it a matter of trying harder? Or are we confused actors upon a misty stage, forever denied the answers to the questions which come to our intellects? To be given the power to ask, and to be forever denied the answer: can a more demonic torment be imagined?
For this child was born into a sexually binary society, yet does not fit that conscript. Our very language demands a terrible and final decision, and permits no exception. Let us call him “she”; let us call her “he.”
In thin delicate wrists;
In softness of body;
In tenderness felt For little brave, weedy flowers
Poking through slum-city cracks
As the child pokes through society’s cracks
She is there:
In blades of grass;
In sunlight coming through the trees;
In the sound of wind;
In songs of birds;
In stars of the sky;
And in loving sorrow felt
For a dead cat
In a dirty city alley.
She is there.
Let us scream. But we cannot, for we have no voice.