Greetings, with the wish that we may all be relieved of the burden of gender identity. I am a trans woman who has also lived both male and female identities. Fascinating that I tried to promote this topic in a discussion somewhere on these pages a couple of weeks ago, which garnered little enthusiasm and even less understanding. In that discussion as I have many times before elsewhere I challenged male Buddhist s to explorer their masculine identities by donning a dress while shopping at Walmart. Unfortunately no one accepted my challenge.
I find this discussion most interesting because it is an an appropriate analogy to my life experience as a burgeoning trans-woman of the 1950’s type…which is to say very confused and very emotionally isolated by the circumstances of my birth. I’ll not belabor the point as I have described it ad infinitum elsewhere on this site, except to say that I was filled with a nihilistic sense of doom and a complete lack of self worth having internalized a full serving of hateful judgment at the mercy of a society ensconced in dualistic thinking regarding gender. .
Then in the late sixties with the popularizing of Eastern spirituality, I began to see some light regarding the implications of the conditioned of personality. Slowly but inexorably I discovered the path to liberation lay in understanding the freedom from afflictive emotion that came with understanding dependent origination.
Now, from my minimalist understanding of some of these Buddhist principle, we are back at the beginning of a discussion wherein I am confused about whether and how much to celebrate personality. and when to regard it as illusory. I have long been of the opinion that while it is important to acknowledge and respect my struggle in this material domain, it is most important to know that my struggle is commensurate with the amount of importance I place on gender which is apparently a human caused condition of living in the material world.
I have lived as a man and a woman and suffered life’s slings and arrows in both forms. I have walked the middle path, and can only hope that in my next incarnation I transcend a need for gender identification, despite the fact that no living example of that has yet appeared to me.
As always, I thank you and and pray for your liberation. With Metta.