I am Kora.
I can’t believe I’ve been here for 29 years, there is so much more I want from life, sometimes it feels as though there are a million hurdles in my way. So much of my youth was misdirected, time spent in endeavors that were not paramount to my identity and happiness in this world, and now I am struggling to balance the demands of growing up alongside my need to go back in a sense and rebuild the foundation of my existence. It’s always been hard, life is hard. I wish I had been my mother’s daughter from the start, having my mother with me as a full out girl, I feel as there was so much that I missed out on learning from her, that I am sure she learned from her mother and that she learned from her mother. My heart will always be wiser and stronger from having my mother as my guide through my life, even without the gender I am on the outside not expressing the gender I am on the inside, so I know I didn’t miss it all. It’s just sometimes I wish that I could fly backward so that I could visit her back then as I am now. I wish that I could fly so that I could get away from this awkward, difficult, place that I wouldn’t trade for anything, somewhere where we could spend our days together in never land. I love you, forever and always
Am I Unnatural? By Kora Wynn
Am I unnatural? You tell me this is so, and yet, what about the human experience is natural? Like aliens, we have terraformed our planet and filled the sky with artificial stars. With an unthinking and brutal nonchalance, we clamber to meet our species lust and desires, at the threat of all other indigenous species. Our cultivation of ourselves over all else is also, and ironically, unnatural, as it is at the threat of our own sustainability. We are so departed from our natural state that our civilization runs on an abstract and artificially quantifiable concept we call currency, which people live and die for, yet it cannot be eaten; is inanimate; cannot love.
I am a woman, but I was born in a body that does not represent my gender. However unusual that may appear it was the product of earthly stuff. A rare but natural occurrence of environment and chance: just as crocodile eggs are male or female depending on the temperature. I exist in and by nature; not made or caused by any artificial endeavor. All that contains me is of the same fabric that contains you. My characteristics are as various from yours as one snowflake from another and yet we are all crystalline, made from the same cloth, within the same range of color, texturally identical. I was born with my hair wild, my bones not bleached, untainted, in a state of natural.
It is merely luck of the draw that allows the orthodox ideal of “normal” to transpire among the normal. Natural is not defined by normal. The usual, average, or typical state or condition is a notion, not a truth. I’d be no more natural if I rejected what I my brain, my heart, my very cells convey to me that I am. To do so would be truly unnatural. Just because my kind has been thwarted and muted through time, so there is not a description for us in your ancient texts, my existence is no curse. Am I an abomination to your sense of perfection, because, when during my fetal development my scissors did not win against your stone? Even though my love and innocence was as pure as any upon birthing into my first gasp of this world? Know that my heart is wide and open and my devotion as strong. My willingness to carry out the part I know as mine is unquestioned, just as you continue along your true path. We are both unimpeded in our destiny, in spite of you’re more fortunate ease, it is the same. Know that just because the universe flipped a coin and I called tails and it came up heads does not make me unnatural.
“To breed”, you say, and for many species to breed is to die, “that is our purpose”. “We are made to “interlock” you rejoin. It’s all explained for you in the cosmic knit of things as you imagine it. You pronounce that the interconnectedness of the male and female bodies speaks for itself. If you compare us to all species across the world, many do die upon the act of regeneration of self; for many it is the single purpose to breed but we are born in bodies that potentially allow us to create many offspring over many years. Are you in such a rush? Must love be rationed at the expense of tailored fit, even though its garment is spacious and flowing? We do not breed to die or die to breed. Our genetics allow us to breed many times with choice and consideration. You believe yourself to be a fertile man and if you are, that too is luck of the draw, again the giving Universe flips a coin and you call tails and it is tails. But then the forces that be, must also be in agreement with the character, or makeup of, or circumstances surrounding you. Sharks have no natural enemies but like us their nature to be predatory can bring about their unnatural end.
To be natural is to occur as a matter of course and without debate, inevitable. Your natural course may have been to be born a mayfly to live and die in a single day, the singular purpose of your existence to “interlock” then wither from this world. Because we endure, we can arbiter that our genetic purpose is not solely to breed, when in reality we are the same as a mayfly and are made to breed and die, even if we are given decades to reproduce and longer to live. What else then is natural to our species and to each of us? The instinct to survive is natural. That is, in fact, innate in all of us regardless of our differences physiologically, emotionally and mentally. It is not just those who cling to the advantage of normality for which this is customary. Without much observation it is clear that in our species diversity is key to survival. In our tribal existence we depend on diversity of genetics as well as temperaments and talents.
The concept of diversity can be found to be as deep if not deeper to our survival than the ability to breed. We rely on cooperation and variety of skills, abilities and qualities to function within our villages. They’re so much of value, in this aspect of human existence that we refer to individuals born with particular understandings and abilities to carry out these various roles as having natural abilities. “She is a natural leader”. He is a natural healer.” These varieties of traits are identified with respect and admiration. It is love that keeps us alive beyond birth and binds us together in our dependency upon each other.
Why is it that you, as a sentient being, would deny yourself engagement in this ordinary discourse of diversity? What is it you distrust in yourself that would cause you to shield yourself from any human variation, at the risk of passing on a potential richness of collaboration? Why shun one love over another when you are capable of feeling it all? By turning down the spigot of experience you are in a sense denying the miracle of humanity; the gift of time we are given to experience anything at all, something before and beyond the moment of that which is given to the mayfly for genus regeneration? We are expansive in our capability to feel and discover our being, yet you define your existence and what you will accept and reject by a contradiction to nature: that which you call the natural order of things. By a decidedly restricted doctrine, which was not written for all humanity, but for the oppression of free thought and the slaying of heart.
It is a baseless lack of courage to disallow the extraordinary to shape ones life in order to favor one village, one tribe, over another. An unnatural distrust of ones own sub species to thrive, traded for the myth of normality. Behind this indoctrination of judgment you sit in the glory of all your luckiness. I suppose you imagine that you called the coin and it landed as you called because you and your uniformity of chosen peoples hold some unnatural grace that allows you to betray all that is in fact natural, unaffected and spontaneous.
How can you be so cruel to look down on those that, unlike yourself, did not receive privilege by the providence of a roll of sixes? Don’t look down at us. Don’t disagree with our very existence. None of us can survive if we don’t find the way to interlock without a perfect fit. We have survived far past what could have been intended. We have destroyed the natural world in our pursuit of interlocking in the sole pursuit of sameness. For the purpose of creating offspring that will snap into place among themselves as barriers to change. If this is our purpose, then our purpose is to end the world, as we are doing.
Don’t wave off the harshness of what has already been done and talk to me of starships and fantasy utopias, colonies on yet unsoiled planets. That is not hope. It will not distill the poisonous sting of a lifetime of men such as you, telling me I am unnatural. I refuse to be illegitimate. I am the natural heir born to my father’s mistress and I cannot be stopped by the likes of you. I am the full natural notes of a harmonic melody not sharped or flatted by your clumsy fingers. You are the color beige painted on the walls of some unidentifiable common room and I am the unusual and unexpected event that leaves marks upon them. My grasp on reality trumps your bedtime stories. Before the night falls each day I pray better fortune for people like me, who perhaps in the fantasy future you imagine will be embraced and empowered for their ability to see beyond uniformity and live a life of full, unchallenged, purpose.
Drag is a drag when it’s not uplifting. By Kora Wynn
I love Lou Reed and his iconic song Walk On The Wild Side. I want to say though, very emphatically, that I’m not Holly, the first woman in his song. As a trans woman in 2016 I absolutely love that he called Holly by her correct pronoun a couple times in his description of her before saying “then he was a she”. The “he was a she” part of his song I don’t identify with. Choices like plucking eyebrows, shaving legs and basically prepping to appear like a glamorous beauty hasn’t anything to do with being a trans woman. It has no more to do with identifying a trans woman’s femaleness than it has to do with identifying a cis woman’s femaleness. I like drag as an art form but I wish people to know that yeah a man can feel his wild side and make us feel our wild side by dressing glam and preforming drag but he doesn’t have to be gay, bi or even androgynous and he definitely isn’t a trans woman, because a trans woman is not a he. A woman can also perform drag if she likes that style and she can do it as gay, bi, androgynous, trans or cis. Real drag, as an art, has to do with stars like RuPaul, James St. James and Jessica Wild, Munenori Takeda of traditional Japanese Noh theater and the traditional female roles played by men in Japanese Kabuki theater and nothing to do with stars like Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis in some like it hot. They are just being silly and in fact their whole shtick is based on misogyny.