Petitioning the government

If you care about something deeply, and want to make a difference, why not- start a petition on the UK government website? It’s so user-friendly. “What do you want us to do?” it asks. It wants a headline. Then, “Tell us more”. Why do you want government or parliament to do this? It only allows 800 characters, including spaces, for background and additional information, so you might be better to draft before going on site. Then you need five supporters’ email addresses.

It has to meet the “petition standards”, but this is a low bar. It has to call for a clear action within the government or parliament’s responsibilities. It should not contain false or unproven statements. It should not be “offensive or extreme”, which includes petitions that negatively focus on a group of people because of characteristics such as gender identity. This rule is interpreted narrowly.

The petition to find the 200 lost refugee children was rejected. It says 440 have gone missing and only 200 have returned, but an official refused it saying the state is already looking for the children. Though not very hard.

906,229 people signed to call an immediate general election, and were brushed off. The most signatories ever asked to revoke article 50: 6,103,056.

Recently, the site has allowed hate petitions, but these are in a sense reassuring: they get fewer signatories than petitions for rights. One wanted gender identity removed from school relationships education. It got 38,403 signatures in six months, less than the 55,947 for “Increase funding for NHS transgender services”. The government did not respond to the hate petition, but said it was increasing funding and seeking to offer access to specialist interventions in primary care. That would be great. Waiting lists are still long.

The highest petitions on a search for gender are 140,768 to recognise nonbinary which was debated in Westminster Hall and 137,271 to Reform the GRA, by removing the need for a medical diagnosis, which was also debated.

Petitions are closed after six months, so the same request can be made again and again. There is a current petition to recognise nonbinary, closing on 13 June 2023. Obsessive anti-trans campaigner Natalie Bird wants trans women not to be counted as women in crime statistics, and has gained just 297 signatures in more than two months. But when she claims “The GRA has resulted in violent males being placed in women’s prisons”, she is clearly “negatively focusing” on trans people. She has breached the petition standards, but got away with it.

Obsessive anti-trans campaigner, and profiteer from the huge sums of money available to haters Maya Forstater has done better, though not as well as allies’ petitions. She’s got 76,124 caring enough to click a link or two to demand that “sex” in the Equality Act means biological sex. She wants all trans women excluded from all women’s services, and she does not care if women with androgen insensitivity are also legally excluded.

This is an attack on trans women. Now, we can go into women’s services. If Forstater got her way, we could not. But the petition was let through. The government response says there’s no need, it is easy to exclude trans women without such a change in the law.

A mirror petition to commit to not amending the Equality Act’s definition of sex has run more than two months to get 12,728 signatures. The government response says they are committed to single-sex services, referring to the EHRC 2022 guidance, not the 2011 code of practice, which takes precedence.

Almost on level pegging is a petition to repeal the GRA, again scaremongering about trans women. It says the GRA “causes avoidable harm to women and children who fear male violence”. That is a clear attack on trans women because we are trans.

In only a few days, the petition to reverse the decision to block the GRR (Scotland) Bill has got over 25,000 signatures. The government has not yet responded.

Other petitions just started this month include one to recognise nonbinary people and remove the requirement for a medical diagnosis for a GRC, and one to require self-contained gender-neutral toilets with a basin in all new buildings, rather than stalls with communal sinks.

The hate petition to stop the GRR Bill was rejected on 19 December because it was the responsibility of Holyrood not Westminster at the time: it came out just before the 86-39 vote in Edinburgh to pass the Bill.

Holyrood petitions are only open for four weeks, rather than six months in Westminster. There’s one to withdraw the guidance to Scottish schools on supporting trans pupils. Well, at least from that, I learned about the guidance (pdf). The haters can’t avoid spreading good news.

Countering hate

How can I be understood, when my experience is so different from most people’s, and when some try to make me the out-group, the hated Other?

Miriam Cates’ speech in Parliament on Wednesday 18th distilled her transphobia: she wants everyone to “condemn more, and understand less,” as John Major said of criminals. She started with sex criminals, who will exploit any loophole to get access to children. She turned to a trans person, defined as “someone who is uncomfortable with their sex”. Then she spoke of women stopping going to a counselling class because there were men- trans women- there, and they were entitled to “the dignity of a woman-only space”. She spoke of herself feeling threatened by a trans woman. She said law “should be based on fact, and someone cannot change their sex”. As Lloyd Russell-Moyle said, that is disgusting, shameful, horrible, the worst transphobia, and pursuing a war on trans people.

Cates calls us people “uncomfortable with their sex”, an unsympathetic outsider’s view. Then she imagines dreadful consequences from allowing us to be who we are.

Cates sees us as an out-group, at best delusional, at worst sexual predators. You cannot change your sex. Nick Fletcher’s stupid incomprehension reinforces this view. Knowing nothing, he spoke of “wisdom”. He thinks removing restrictions is unwise, that trans children are just going through a phase, and their parents should tell them they were born in the right body.

Someone might not understand why trans people would want to do that, look like that. Cates and Fletcher tell that voter we are not just weird, but dangerous, someone to punch down at and relieve their everyday frustrations. After a hard day at work, they could come home and get likes and upvotes for sharing endless variations on Trans Is Bad.

People differ, in the way they understand the world, think, or feel, and in what they desire, but unconsciously, you expect people to be just like you. It is hard to see other people.

Many people understand the value of diversity. It makes life more interesting, and our way of coming together to solve problems more effective.

A woman who moved from the US to England said that there were ways people indicated they were using irony, but they were different in each country. Possibly they differ between regions, and are a reason English Northerners and Southerners find each other so weird. You learn the signals in childhood, and noticing becomes unconscious. Bringing it into consciousness and seeing the different signals is difficult.

I start with a type of diversity everyone knows exists, few people now think of as harmful: lefthandedness. I want to persuade not only the person who values diversity, but those who find difference incomprehensible, or even threatening.

I am lefthanded. It seems a bit weird to me that people use their right hand so much, so I can see that for a righthanded person it might seem weird the other way. Lefthandedness was seen as bad, gauche rather than adroit, even sinister rather than dextrous, “cack-handed”, meaning clumsy, because people wiped their bottoms with their left hand and ate with their right. Children were forced to write with their right hands, and this was traumatic. Let us use our hands as comes naturally, and we flourish.

Angelina Jolie, Annie Lennox, David Bowie, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are all lefthanded. I got the names from this list, which is almost all British and American. That site encourages lefthanders to play guitar lefthandedly. It shows that people diverse in one way don’t necessarily promote diversity generally.

I am not “uncomfortable with my sex”. I am reconciled to my Y chromosome and my narrow pelvis. I have a whole, integrated personality, wounded but healing. My identity as Clare allows me to express who I really am. Trying to present male was miserable, and in the end unbearable. My friend saw: it was as if I was acting when I was Stephen, I was just me when I was Clare. It is like writing with my left hand: you might not want to do it, but when I do life is much easier. It comes naturally to me.

Tories want to spread incomprehension, disgust and fear, to foment a culture war distracting from their economic incompetence and plutocratic exploitation. I want everyone simply to be able to be themselves. People are different. You have to make an effort if you are going to understand them, but how much better to see the world as it really is, rather than to reject it!

Parliament debates blocking Gender Recognition Reform

“Transgender people deserve our respect, our support and our understanding.” Alister Jack and the Tory government proceeded to give us their contempt, gaslighting and othering. He made the most blatantly hypocritical statement in the debate:

“We need to take the heat out of this debate. We are dealing with a reduction in safeguards for women and children.”

No, he was talking about demonising trans people. Stewart Hosie said he should apologise to us. Instead, Stephen Flynn, leader of the SNP at Westminster, made “an apology to those people… who have hopes and aspirations for the future and who have fought so hard for a piece of legislation for so long and now see their hope being taken away from them.”

There are three debates recorded in Hansard: Continue reading

Keir Starmer dodges the Trans question

Keir Starmer is only not likely to be the next Prime Minister because Mr Sunak is unlikely to last the two years during which the Tory party can deny us an election. So he had a long interview on the BBC Sunday politics programme. Of a 27 minute interview, 6.20 minutes were spent on gender recognition reform, which will marginally affect a few thousand lives. That’s longer than they spent on anything else, including NHS reform, which has the possibility of changing the lives of everyone in this country.

Laura Kuennsberg asked Keir Starmer if he would allow gender recognition without a diagnosis, and if he would introduce self-ID. That’s two ways of asking the same question, and he dodged both. He said he would “modernise” the system. That sounds great, but he did not say what it means. The ICD does not call trans a mental illness, so a diagnosis by a psychiatrist is inappropriate, and doctors resent having to make it. He wants to take out the indignities of the process, and he wants trans people treated with respect. That depends on definitions: I don’t think it’s respectful to exclude me from women’s services, but some disagree.

He said for 99.9% of women the issue is biological. Well, how else could anyone be trans, or gay, or aphantasic, but by biology? A fairy curse? About 0.4% of people are trans, as the census showed. That may be undercounted.

He said, “What I don’t want to be drawn into is the usual toxic political football which this always seems to become.” Unfortunately he is: he’s on the football pitch whether he likes it or not, and people keep kicking the ball at him. Hence all the waffle about “modernising”. It could mean anything.

He said he had concerns about getting a GRC aged 16. He did not think people were old enough. They are old enough to vote in Scotland, to marry or join the army. He’s pushing the lie that cis children change their gender then regret it. In Norway a six year old can get GR if their parents consent.

Starmer said he’s very keen to preserve women’s safe spaces. Well, I’m a woman. That, again, means nothing. But the haters may hope that he means, women’s services according to gender assigned at birth, which they call “sex”. He waffles, and leaves a back door he can dodge through.

He would not say if he would vote to block the Scottish Bill. He said he would wait to see what the Government proposes. He’s being lawyerly- don’t commit to opposing before you know what the proposal is- but he should oppose any attempt to block, as a threat to the Union and against the Labour government’s devolution settlement.

Labour in Scotland introduced an amendment to the GRR Bill to ensure the primacy of the Equality Act. Starmer said he’s very concerned that it was not accepted. I don’t know if he does not know about s15A, which says, “Nothing in this Act modifies the Equality Act 2010”. And the Scotland Act says anything in a Scottish Act affecting Equality law, with specific exceptions, is “not law”. Is that not enough?

Kuennsberg asked the actor Brian Cox about it all. He said he is very proud of Scotland for the GRR Bill. She then asked Caroline Nokes, a Conservative MP. Nokes chaired the Women and Equalities Select Committee when it reported that something like the Scots GRR Bill should be enacted in England. She thinks it’s an odd issue for the Scottish secretary to pick a constitutional fight over. She too is against the toxic allegations thrown around in this debate, though for her this included the use of the word “terf” as an insult.

Nokes agreed that some in her party were trying to use this issue as a “battering ram”. She wanted GR simpler and kinder.

The BBC had two reports on the interview. The one on GR had more views than the one on the NHS, even though the NHS affects everyone and GR only affects trans people. It’s as if people read news for entertainment, or to get riled up, rather than to be informed. The Guardian did a report on Starmer’s comments on the NHS, but not those on trans.

Kemi Badenoch and international gender recognition

The government proposes to take away legal rights from trans people. This is new. Previously, they have denied our legal rights, or proposed additional rights only to refuse them, or threatened to block rights. Now, the Minister “for” women and equalities, Kemi Badenoch, proposes to take rights away. But, will this happen? Probably not. If it did, would it affect any trans people? No.

The Scottish GRR Bill proposes to recognise the gender of people who have changed gender in their country of origin automatically, but now anyone who comes to the UK after a gender change has to apply for another GRC, under GRA s1(1)(b).

Immigrants can get a British GRC if they already have GR abroad. They need evidence of that GR, probably some sort of official document, and a statutory declaration of whether they are married or in a civil partnership. They need to be from a country or territory approved in a list. That list is in The Gender Recognition (Approved Countries and Territories) Order 2011. It includes most of the US, Australia, Canada, and EU, and some other Council of Europe countries. It includes South Africa, South Korea and Uruguay.

Kemi Badenoch proposes to remove those countries if their GR system is not “equivalently rigorous” to the English system. She writes, “It should not be possible for a person who would not satisfy the criteria to obtain UK legal gender recognition to use the overseas recognition route to obtain a UK Gender Recognition Certificate. This would damage the integrity and credibility of the process of the Gender Recognition Act.”

This does not affect Scottish GRCs under the new system. They will still be UK GRCs. But someone from Uruguay or Malta, say, with GR at home, would need a diagnosis by a specialist psychiatrist. That makes no sense, and doctors object. This is ridiculous. The English system has no credibility.

From the UN report on gender identity, these countries use self-declaration: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, and Uruguay.

So, what if someone trans from that list comes to the UK after the UK no longer recognises their GR?

Well, they will still have their original passport, which will give their correct gender. If their driver’s licence is recognised, you don’t need a GRC to get a British licence showing your correct gender (it’s coded in the driver number). If they get “Indefinite leave to remain” in the UK, then they still use their original passport. If they get British citizenship, gender on the passport does not require a GRC.

If they get married, their gender on the marriage certificate will matter to them, but might not require a GRC. Would a registrar insist on writing that a trans woman bride’s previous status was “bachelor” rather than “spinster”?

If they married abroad, that should be recognised whether their gender is recognised or not. Britain recognises gay marriages. England recognises a foreign marriage if it was valid according to local law when it was carried out, and if any previous marriages of the parties were dissolved in a way English law recognises.

Certainly it won’t affect what toilets they use, or even if they can use a women’s refuge.

The GRP gives statistics of the number of GRCs granted, but not whether they are granted to British people or to immigrants. There were 256 in July to September 2022.

Possibly, nobody will be affected by the new regulation. The government, unable to govern the country or avoid recession, resorts to mindless posturing. If they wanted to take action about sexual violence they could fund refuges or prosecute rape. There is no potential incident of sexual violence now, which would be prevented by the regulation. It is done solely for Badenoch to pretend to be protecting cis women by reducing trans rights, and demonise trans people.

They are removing trans people’s rights. They have not done this before. It is the first time LGBT+ legal rights have gone backwards in the UK since Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988.

But, the regulation cannot be introduced without a vote approving it in Parliament. This is the procedure. First, it would go to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. They must ensure it is legal. They should recognise that it breaches human rights and international human rights treaties, and block it.

If it got past that committee, it would be referred to a Delegated Legislation Committee, where any MP can speak. In rare cases, SIs go to the House of Commons for a debate.

If passed, the regulation could be challenged by seeking judicial review. The challenger would have to be a native of one of the countries removed. They might not need to have had their gender changed, or even to be trans. They could show that a potential right had been removed, and argue this was wrong.

It makes me terribly sad. Kemi Badenoch does this not to prevent sexual violence but to attack trans people and foment culture war. The civil service time spent looking at other countries’ GR procedure could be used to imitate them, but instead is used to condemn.

The Scottish Daily Express linked their report to the GRR Bill. The Times claimed that this would allow Westminster to cease to recognise Scottish GRCs, but there is no such power in the Gender Recognition Act. The Guardian did a hostile article, calling it a “trans travel ban”. Well, it is quite unpleasant if New Zealand recognises your transition but your paperwork reverts when you come to the UK. You would still be socially transitioned but there would be this state hostility to your transition.

Left-brain, right-brain

You’ve been dating for three months, and it’s fantastic, but a question gnaws at you- Are we in a relationship? You want to know where you stand. You ask her, and she leaves you, because she does not want to be pinned down.

Certain things have to remain implicit, and I have to accept that, however uncomfortable I find it. I have a model of my spiritual growth where I become my true self, living in the moment, responding to reality as it is. Rather than worrying about the future, I see something I can do in the present to make it better, and do it. Instead, I am trapped in ego, attempting to propitiate the insatiable critical parent, where facing what I have to do is too painful so I do not do it however much I worry about it.

Iain McGilchrist, in “The divided brain and the search for meaning”, explains: the right brain deals with perceiving the world as it is, and the left brain manipulates it, so divides it into discrete concepts, a map not the territory. To the left brain, a table has no meaning or existence except when I need to use it. So I use it then forget it again. To the right brain, it can be a thing of beauty and as if on an LSD trip I can be transfixed by the detail of the wood grain.

For McGilchrist, Zeno’s paradox shows how a left-brain attempt to codify the world is a delusion. The arrow must first go half the distance to the target, then half the remaining distance, and so on, so that it never reaches the target. When we observe the real world, the arrow travels as fast at the end of its flight as at the start, and hits the target rather than slowing down before getting there. The “paradox” shows that privileging logic over perception can mislead us.

The spiritual practices I spend most time with seem to encourage right-brain thinking. I sit in silence, seeking awareness in the moment of myself in my surroundings. The surroundings are kept as non-distracting and non-triggering as possible to make this easier. So there are rules- no knitting, for example, in the Quaker meeting, as it means you are not “centring down” properly. And I am now analysing with left-brain- I do this to achieve that- rather than simply sinking into that right-brain mode of being.

In reality, the left and right brain are both involved in anything I do. McGilchrist writes, “The meaning of an utterance begins in the right hemisphere, is made explicit (literally folded out, or unfolded) in the left, and then the whole utterance needs to be ‘returned’ to the right hemisphere, where it is reintegrated with all that is implicit – tone, irony, metaphor, humour, and so on, as well as a feel of the context in which the utterance is to be understood. To achieve meaning in the world requires what linguists call the business of pragmatics, which comes from the right hemisphere.”

When I cook, I chop things up and put them in a pot, manipulating, left-brain, then use judgment of smell, taste, appearance- right-brain.

On the twelve steps, I seek serenity to accept the things I can’t change, and ACA defines this as other people. In making amends I would concentrate on the things I did wrong: any wrongs by another are irrelevant. Seeing someone as a cipher without an internal reality, whom I could manipulate, sounds to me like left-brain thinking. Attempting to relate to a whole person sounds more like right-brain.

McGilchrist says that in Western culture, “the ideal, theoretical world began to triumph over that of experience”. We think in terms of manipulating the world. As tax or benefit law gets more complex, with each rule getting more defined, any exceptions precisely delineated, there is a hunger for control which collapses on collision with messy reality. Yet “the left hemisphere sees truth as internal coherence of the system, not correspondence with the reality we experience”.

If my culture emphasises left-brain manipulation, and so my spiritual practices emphasise right-brain perception, I seek taijitu balance. But Right-brain good, Left-brain bad is classic left-brain thinking. I never understand sufficiently to formulate an iron law.

Step four, part two

I am never more truly myself than when God speaks through me. The light is in me, and I must let it shine. All else in me, which blocks it, must fall away. That is the heart of step four: there are shortcomings and defects of character to be removed. First, they must be identified.

The devil on my back is my sense of worthlessness. I try to flee it, but that does not work. It makes me feel bad, and I seek external things in an attempt to feel better. I am glad I do not use alcohol or overeating, because those things harm the body, but social media is as compulsive and useless. I have used affirmations, and I can look in the mirror and say “I love you” to myself. Still I have the sense of worthlessness. This shortcoming or defect of character distorts my judgment. I do not know myself, or what I feel.

In my twenties I wept and prayed God, and a psychiatrist, to take away the curse of cross-dressing. I am female. I wanted my nature cauterised. I thought it a defect, and it was not. I was trying to conform to an outside standard of rightness- manliness, whatever. It did not work. I could not do it. I cannot change my nature, yet I wanted to because I was wrongfully shamed and traumatised.

With an ascetic streak coming from that sense of worthlessness, it is tempting to call my human needs “defects”. I might explore that: what do I want, what do I need? More generally, the thing which gives me discomfort is not thereby a defect.

I starve for touch. I have meaningful conversation: I have four people I speak with weekly, and meetings more than once a day. I still feel lonely. Touch is a human need, and my ways of seeking it may still be co-dependent.

Loyalty, generosity and trust can be a fault. As a child I self-abnegated, conforming to my mother’s needs. I supported her emotionally. I have value. I must not subsume myself.

Hopelessness and despair blind me to desire and possibility. I could ask God to cleanse my unknown faults.

I noted how some trans drifted through life until they transitioned, and contrasted my getting a degree, qualifying as a solicitor, working in court. I was going in the wrong direction. I wanted to fit in and not be noticed, and thereby be safe. I would have a job in which applying intellect, the strength I valued, would be the key to success. I did not know myself or the world, so was stressed, miserable, and sacked fifteen months post-qualifying.

I did not know myself. That is the defect. I want to be other than I am. I use intellect to attempt to understand what I feel, as intellect was valued in my childhood. It does not work and I still habitually do it. I still suppress feeling. I avoid my responsibilities- that may be a result of dissociation from feelings. My critical parent demands I do housework, my true self rebels. I know it is a shortcoming. I do not want to pray to remove it without some idea of how I might do that.

I fear the world, so I seclude myself. This is hamartia, missing the target, and yet it is so ingrained in me it feels part of me. How might it be transformed?

A fearless moral inventory must take account of good qualities. I am beautiful and valuable. So rather than an inventory of trauma, neglect, abuse, denial, resentment, shame, abandonment, things done wrong and done to others’ harm, I want a Delight worksheet. What happened? What did I gain? What did I give? This may still come up with defects: when I commit to something I work at it disregarding my own safety, and that comes from devaluing myself.

I illustrate this with John Gast, American Progress. Gast was celebrating. In rebellion against that, I would hate the railway and the telegraph- cutting edge technology- driving out different cultures and wild nature. So my challenge is to see the good in all of it: in American Civilisation, and in all it excludes. And to see the beauty in what I initially dislike, because I dislike and flinch from so much.

Hope for the new year

I want to be safe.

Yesterday, I responded to a request for words of conciliation with anti-trans campaigners. I wrote that for reconciliation they have to accept that I exist, and my needs are real. It might seem rational to say a man cannot become a woman, but it ignores how people are. In the same way it might seem rational to say gay love is objectively disordered, sterile, based on incompatibility, but some people are gay. The anti-trans campaigners must accept my nature and my needs.

So I wrote that, in a few elegant paragraphs, taking about fifteen minutes. Then I spent ninety minutes ruminating on it, reviewing certain facts and details showing how I was right, and verbal formulations which should absolutely persuade anyone who had an open mind. This rumination got me nowhere. I learned nothing. I achieved nothing. I just got wound up and bothered.

There is the thing I can do- in this case, an email to a particular group of people, which may or may not persuade them, may or may not influence what they eventually write. Or, when Labour goes canvassing I can go with them. It has the chance of producing a good result. And there is the thing I can not do: I cannot influence Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Alister Jack or The Times in their campaign to vilify trans people. The rumination is my excited, desperate assertion that I know The Truth, and that God or society or whatever should just accept The Truth. It does not work. I am like an infant pleading with a kindergarten teacher, but there is no teacher.

I cannot make myself safer than I am. Jesus said, For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it (Mt 16:25). The words “for my sake” are an interpolation: the phrase is more satisfyingly parallel without them, and makes more sense. I lose my life: I stop attempting to create safety by impossible means, and so gain it, gain the ability to go out into the world without worrying what bad things could happen, or that there are people who are anti-trans.

I have in me a confused and hurting child, traumatised by parental rejection, which seeks safety in such old habits as rumination. It is called the “Critical parent” because when I am conscious of it, it speaks to me like an angry parent. “You can’t say that.” “How could you be so stupid?” But it is the burden of emotions I could not process as a child, so which stay with me. It is my rage and terror.

The conscious ego, which I call the adjusted child, attempts to propitiate the critical parent, but never can.

That hurting child is a burden of shame, hurt, fear and anger from my childhood and previous generations. It blinds me to the world and to myself. I will let it go. I will become one whole integrated human being, accepting myself and the world, all my feelings and needs, and the reality surrounding me, including all other people.

I associate with groups of people who, however imperfectly, know the light within them and seek to manifest it.

It is a process of cleansing long ingrained dirt, of loosening cramped, constrained muscle, of eyes adjusting to bright light, of letting go false understandings. I may never fully complete it. But oh, I begin to dance, and it is beautiful.

I am never safe from fear, anger, sadness and hurt, but now old hurts and fears control and constrain me. I will let them go. This is a process which takes time. I will process those old hurts.

Unfortunately present matters echo the past, reinforcing it. New fears may make the old fears seem more real. I hope more clearly to discern what is real, and what is merely an echo.

In this process of healing, the present may be a symbol of the past. M is a real human being, on a similar spiritual healing to me, highly attractive and gifted, and also a symbol in my head of my abandonment by my mother and desire for co-dependency. I will chew that cud until I no longer need to. I wronged the real person, and should not approach her, but the symbol will live with me until I have processed it. This is a healing. It takes time.

I will find freedom to express all the hurts and fears I have kept inside and to free myself from the shame and blame that are carryovers from the past. I will become an adult who is imprisoned no longer by childhood reactions. I will recover the true self within me, learning to accept and love myself. This is a quote.

I associate with groups of people who, however imperfectly, know the light within them and seek to manifest it: Quakers, ACA, the Lovely Gathering, others.

I will bring myself to wholeness. This is all that matters to me now. It is my struggle to pupate, to bring myself to new birth.

Increasingly, I dance.