My Gay Muse

 by Doctress Neutopia


 

 

Note: this essay is a blend between fiction and non-fiction. Thanks my editor and idea friend, Lynea Search, for working with me on this essay.

Sept 10, 2011

I flipped out earlier this week after Thomas came over for juice. I had wanted to invite him over for a meal for more than a year, but never found the courage to do so. But circumstances had changed; he had come over to my house after Sunday's dinner at Govindas temple with other friends to watch poet John Shumaker's video about the coming of the Ecological Age. It was then that he saw my Greenstar Juicer, and asked me if I would invite him over to try it out. We set at time for him to come the following week.

When the day arrived, what fun it was to work with him, putting our combined vegetables into the Greenstar! He brought kale, organic carrots, and ginger. I contributed organic celery, cucumber, and beets. The blend turned the color of mud, but it was highly nutritious and tasty. I poured the juice into wine glasses, and we toasted to our health. The juice tasted especially zestful because we had prepared it together, and we sat face to face, drinking it slowly. After about an hour and a half, he helped me clean up the machine, then he headed out on his bike. Before he drove off, he said something that was nice, but puzzling: "This has been good. We juiced. We chatted. And it wasn't too intense." I wondered, what did he mean by "too intense”?

I knew we had worked well together, at least on using the juicer (which wasn't a difficult task). He seemed respectful, not too cynical, which I like, and I had learned a few new things about him.

One thing I knew for sure: Thomas talks a lot about being gay. Depression set in after he left, because I realized I felt attracted to him. Was he 100% gay, or did he just have a gay side? During our juicy chat, he had told me he wanted me to see a place he loved, a gay “faerie” sanctuary in Utah which he helped build. So, we had looked up the community on my iPad. He explained how its collective, radical, shamanistic culture works—as a rebellion against mainstream society in general. These are gays who don't want assimilation into the American culture; they don't want the suburban house, a gay spouse, or to join the military. They wanted to create a new world.

I had asked Thomas, "Since you helped build the project, did they give you any sweat equity points in ownership?"

"No," he replied. "It wasn't that type of thing."

"Oh, so you worked as a volunteer?"

"Yes, that's correct."

"Will they take care of you if you get sick or need long-term care?" He assured me they would indeed take him in if such a situation were to arise. It was as if the place was his second home.


Now, that he was gone, I went back to my iPad to take a better look at the mountain sanctuary. I read one article on their web site. It had a neologism that I hadn't heard before, heteroqueer. The term seemed to resonate with me. Was that what I was? Why were so many of my good friends gay? And what does that say about me?

I called my bisexual friend, Jill, in Massachusetts to tell her about this new word. When I got her on the phone she said she liked it, too. She added, "Lately, I've been leaning towards the queer side. I have been dreaming that you'll fly to Massachusetts for the Death to Fossil Fuel parade I'm organizing in Northampton for Sept. 24, to fight against global warming. Want to come? After the parade, we could travel to Washington for the occupation of Freedom Square."

Her meaning was clear. But I guess I was leaning more towards my "hetero," stay-put side, so I declined, even though I really wanted to be at the Washington protest and wanted to see my beloved friends in Massachusetts.


The reality set in that Thomas was gay and I am the wrong gender for his romantic affection, or even for sharing intimate thoughts. I didn't want a friend for sex anyway; I wanted to share caring and a sense of community. The downward spiral continued until I had a strange thought: Maybe I could do a Chaz Bono transgender change. I had read that Chaz had recently had his breasts cut off, which gave him a big sense of relief, since his goal was to become what he terms a transman. Now that he was taking mega doses of testosterone, he was starting to grow a beard. He couldn't be happier with his transformation. He even signed on to be one of the celebrities in the TV series Dancing with the Stars.

I looked in the mirror at my breasts. I gazed up at my face and thought, "Now, how would I look with a gray beard? Do I think I would look more distinguished? After all, when a woman turns old in our culture, she becomes a “hag,” complete with scattered hairs growing out of her chin, while a man becomes respected for his wisdom and, if he's lucky, buildings are named after him. Beard . . . hmm."

Perhaps becoming a transsexual isn't such a bad idea. After all, I have never been successful as a woman. Men haven't found me particularly sexy. When I did have sex with them, I couldn't conceive a child. What good is a woman who is “barren” anyway? She is an evolutionary dead end--more like a man than a woman.

Painfully I went over the arguments. Over the years, when I failed to get pregnant, I went through several years of acute womb envy. Bouts of this deadly cardinal sin would occur when I stood in line at grocery stores. There would always be one or two pregnant women in front of me. I would stare at their pregnant bellies and scream inside to my ovaries, "I want what they have!"

From this unbearable experience, I began to understand why men can feel absolutely powerless next to the inborn power of the female womb. So, since I was an evolutionary dead end anyway, why not change genders? Perhaps then a man might respect and possibly be turned on by my presence in a way they aren't now—not necessarily sexually, unless they're gay and like transgender men emotionally.

I wondered if a transgender surgeon could take off my breast tissue, shape it into an artificial penis, embed a pump, and attach it to the genital area in just the right place for successful sexual performance? I have a fantasy, probably not biologically accurate, that the doctor could leave a few milk ducts present so that the artificially pump would fill up with milk to make my new-born penis erect. Then, during oral or anal sex, at the time of orgasm, I could press a button on my wireless device that activated the pump—except that semen would not be ejected. Instead, it would be raw organic milk. How wholesome can you get?

What a transgender fantasy--mother's milk shooting out of my penis! Every gay man might drool for my Goddess-filled penis! Finally, my true sexual identity could be put into archetypal, transformative motion as I reclaim my natural sovereignty, as Queen of Queers!

I could imagine myself showing off my newly constructed, milk-filled penis at the gay-pride parade. My float would be designed as a holographic, solar-powered arcology —an ecological city that celebrates the diversity of our love--that uses William McDonough's idea of recycled, “cradle-to-cradle” clean industry, as a foundation of a caring and compassionate economic system for this urban prototype. Importantly, my float would also be lovolutionary, by which I mean that sexual love is the energy source of cultural transformation.

At the bow of the float, I imagine myself standing erect, with the ease of Michelangelo's David. A stoplight rotating with filters showing a rainbow of colors would be focused on my totally unique, transgendered penis. It might attract gays like bees to the sweet-smelling purple irises in the famous Vincent Van Gogh painting. As David, I aim my slingshot, that had turned into a camera, upward to take a shot at Corporate America, whose monstrous forces block our erotic love from creating a new world. I feel my prosthetic testicles shrink inward in fear of confronting the Corporate Giant.

As a transman, I would know the transformation depends on my accessing the masculine valor to live my life with what must be, to me, a new kind of love. My ultimate challenge as a global lover is to overthrow the plutocrats--what the Occupy Wall Street movement calls the 1% who own most of the world's wealth--so that we can be initiated into a new heroic love epic. From the platform of my gay parade float, with my enraptured audience, I speak about the virtues of building a sustainable world.

Radical gay men are thrilled to work for me, signing people up for a job to build a lovolutionary experimental arcology on Arizona State Land Trust acreage. Finally, I have found the way to gain men's power and respect! And, I will need the muscle strength of laborers (both women and men) and the mental willpower of engineers, architects, scientists and legal experts to construct a prototype of a 21st Century transcultural, transnational, wireless, sustainable, biomimickal, integral, car-free, zero-carbon city!

My transgender makeover has worked! No facelift, tummy tuck, liquid filler injections, Botox, eye bag removal, eyelid surgery, forehead lifts, or hair coloring would have ever worked as well as to attract men to me as my newly implanted penis does! The Lovolution was moving the "Y" chromosome from making war, to building something useful for our collective future.

With my erect pride, I was a monumental obelisk of Gay Liberation, moving us away from the bondage of corporatocracy, meaningless work, Third World Poverty, and the prison cell of the nuclear family. By building collective child-care centers where both sexes help raise children could mean the end of traditional motherhood and also of the American pesticide-poisoned, sugarcoated, artificial-colored, fake apple pie lifestyle.


I know that changing my gender is only a fantasy because I don't have the mega money that Chaz Bono did to experiment on himself. I am, I know, stuck with the body the Goddess has provided me. As my mentor, Dame Phyllis Rodin, has always said when I have come crying to her about the brutal ways men treat me, "They're not attracted to your intelligence. If you want a man, think below your belly button." At least in my fantasy, though, thinking with my prick was changing things for me.

Back to reality: for the next three days, I sunk deeper into depression because I thought I might never see Thomas again. He had gotten what he wanted, and it was to play with the Greenstar machine, not me. Secondly, I went into the blues because I had bursts of erotic energy when I thought of him. These thoughts gave me faith that together we could help create a virtual model of a loving, evolving Earth. But since he is gay, and because, in his monk-like existence, he says he has never had a significant other, I started to panic. In addition, there was no way any rational person would want to travel with me in my fantasy up such a dangerous mental mountain!


To continue my real-life story: I didn't want unrequited love. I have had too much of that in my lifetime and knew what serious emotional problems can result. I know its symptoms. It is just too painful when all the cells in your body are screaming, "touch me, touch me, touch me!" and the gay guy is totally turned off, as if a dog had chewed off half the flesh on my face, exposing my skeleton. I didn't know if I could endure any more such anxiety.

Why was this happening to me? I was again on that love roller coaster that takes me to the bipolar regions of my crazed mind. Wasn't there a drug to stop it? What about Lithium or Seroquel? Didn't these drugs decrease and eliminate the highs and lows of love, and indeed, of all emotions? Wasn't it better to keep my libido in a zombie state than for it to be wildly active and out of control?

It seemed as if love was as dangerous to the cells as radioactivity. Look at their similar qualities. Like radioactivity, love works on a subatomic level. The immune system is unable to safeguard against love, just as it is unable to protect us from the internal emitters of ionizing radiation. Both appear to be elemental forces of the universe. Poets say love last forever. We knew from scientists that radioactive wastes have half-lives of millions of years, what is the same as forever. Both radioactivity and love can make you fatally sick.

The next day, I was so upset at my yoga class that the teacher asked if I was OK after she saw tears welling in my eyes. I wasn't OK. The love virus had released chemicals in my brain that were causing fits of bliss. The sun got brighter and the clouds got whiter and the mountains seemed like old friends and the world was beautiful--even though I was driving down one of the ugliest commercial strips in Tucson, in a fossil fuel car that was contributing to the 100-degree temperature. We were baking from global warming, and drowning from icebergs melting . . . But no matter; I was driving myself divinely mad.

I had to do something fast to stop this disease from spreading. I remembered a poem by Emily Dickinson about love being a divine madness. I could relate because I, too, felt mad, really mad—but it included an angry mad. I realized that this phenomenon was no John Lennon and Yoko Ono “double fantasy.” It was only happening to me, as a solitary experience, something to masturbate to. After all, I reminded myself, he was gay, so I definitely wasn't receiving intense love vibrations from him. Our connection wasn't creating a morphic field of invisible healing waves, like they talk about in New Age thought!

I realized I was becoming involved in that old familiar relationship with the God Eros, with whom I was trying to never again allow myself to be overcome by my exotic feminine love. I hated Eros for what he had done to over the decades. I had hidden myself from him for those seven years while I was with the abuser, having given up on finding my one true love--a well-matched soul mate, virtually impossible to find in today's morally lost world. But, I must have thought, better to take the abuse of a man who doesn't love or respect me than have to face that heart-torturer, Eros, again!


That relationship with the abuser ended after an unforgettable episode of domestic violence when he said he wanted to “kill me and make it look like a suicide.” He chased me around the house, knocking down furniture, kicking me after he pushed me down on the floor. When I ran to the phone to call the police for help, he grabbed the phone away from me and broke it in half as he screamed at the top of his lungs, "I hate your concept of Lovolution, you BAG OF SHIT!" And he was a heterosexual! He was supposed to love women!

I had to learn the hard way what Queer theorist Adrienne Rich said: "Heterosexuality is a violent political institution making way for the male right of physical, economical and emotional access to women." This is exactly what I experienced with the heterosexual abuser. He saw himself as so entitled to my video equipment and the documentary footage that we had shot together over four years that he proceeded to steal it!

When the police arrested him for domestic violence, they failed to retrieve my equipment, for which I had receipts for with my name printed on them. He told the police that he needed the equipment to start his new business. Well, what can one do? It's a man's world after all; the police didn't care that I needed my equipment to continue running my business of telling a new ecofeminist story.


Recently, I was alone in line for food at the Govinda temple. In this non-commercial atmosphere great conversations take place. This is where I first met Thomas years ago. The moment I saw him, I was attracted enough to want to engage in conversation, but I was with the abuser at that time so I didn't dare talk to him or show my subtle erotic feelings for him. But every time I passed him in line, I would quickly take a peek at him, then lower my eyes.

Once I was single again, I spent many evenings seated at the same table with Thomas and other friends. In my mind at least, we feasted on each other's words and faces as we talked with others about our global crisis. But at the end of the night, on the nights when he wasn't riding his bike, he got into his car and I got into mine.

For a while last summer, I felt scared of what was (or was not) happening. I got there early so that there was no chance of us having alone time together. Or I would skip a week because my energy felt too intense to see him. It was hard to skip a week; seeing him was the highlight of my week. For me, time was always rolling towards Sunday's temple meal. There, at some kind of Time Vortex, Thomas seemed to stand on a sea shell like the woman in Botticelli's painting, The Birth of Venus-- except he had become for me the Goddess in male form, arising from the sea. He was beauty, and the angels were blowing kisses at him. He was the music my heart longed to hear.

After my experiences with the abuser, I had made a commitment with myself that I would NEVER pursue happiness with a man again. I needed to focus my attention on developing Neutopia (my neologism for a new kind of Utopian vision) and not look for an outward source for love. I had decided that it was best to think of myself as an intersexual human being, a hermaphrodite, a true-life creature with female and male sexual organs intact. Time was short to save human life on Earth. As long as my desire continued to be for the opposite sex, and continued to be unattainable, I was clearly going nowhere.

Then, one evening at the temple, Thomas was depressed. His pay from his university job had been cut in half and because of this he no longer had health insurance. He would need to find a second part-time job to supplement his teaching. This high-strung man was truly strung out. We all listened as he shared his depressed and almost suicidal thoughts.

Lori offered to give him a massage later in the week. Anticipating her touch seemed to calm him down a bit. These were the times when I thought; "Thank goodness he's gay, because he's a real basket case. The Goddess is protecting me from getting involved with another male energy vampire." But, of course, I had great compassion for his situation because it was happening to me, too. I also had a problem with depression due to chronic unemployment in my vocation of Future Studies except no one was offering to give me a free back rub! That night at the temple, we exchanged email addresses and phone numbers. I told him to call me if he needed to talk with a friend. For the first time, we parted ways with a warm hug.


Throughout our long-evolving acquaintanceship, there were times at the temple when Thomas was lusting after some young man, his attention clearly focused below the belt. I had seen action like this before when I was a poetry student at Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO, with Allen Ginsberg and his followers at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Even though Allen had an older poet partner, Peter Orlovsky, he was nevertheless going after the good-looking young men who were my poetry peers.

Back then at Naropa, my frustration with being excluded from the after midnight interesting and intimate conversations with Allen and the young poets came to a head at one of Allen's featured poetry readings. Right before it began and people were waiting for Allen to speak, I rose and asked if the Napora administration could schedule a student poetry reading where new voices could be heard. My action infuriated Allen. He grabbed me in my seat, twisted my arm as if he was the police, and escorted me out of the auditorium.

I was humiliated. In shock, I sat alone in the hallway outside the auditorium as Allen began his poetry reading until his teaching assistant and one of his young lovers, Charles Carroll, left the event and asked me out for dinner at a jazz night club. I was so impressed with Charles's courage to help the underdog poetess that when he proposed, I agreed to married him later that month. Allen was one of the witnesses at our civil ceremony at the Boulder Court House.

The marriage lasted for nearly a decade until things started breaking down. Our house had become a gay intellectual sanctuary; artist William Lemeshevsky lived upstairs and served tea day and night to his friends who came in and out.

One day when I was looking for a pen, I went to Charles's desk. There I found a pen and a beautiful poem about a candelabra. I read through it, amazed with my husband's passion, which was more intense than he had ever expressed to me before. With each lighting of the candles, his love grew deeper. My heart was nurtured by the love poem until I got to the final stanza, where I discovered that the candelabra was a metaphor for his love for a woman named Debra! He was working with her on producing the student literary and fine arts magazine, Spectrum, for which he was the managing editor. So, I had to ask myself, "What kind of marriage do I have, if I am not his main muse?"


Sexism has been part of our American culture since the founding philosophers of Western Civilization, the Greeks, held that the quintessential love story is not between a woman and a man but, rather, is between male homosexual lovers. This story revolves around a wise, older man who is pregnant with knowledge that he wants to teach his beloved, beautiful boy. For the Greeks, heterosexual love was a lesser love that exists merely to impregnate the physical body; its only offspring are children. Whereas homosexual love gives birth to all the important virtues needed to order cities and govern households.

My male peers at Naropa were not interested in the governance structure of the ideal city the way I was. My poetry centered on building a humanistic, scientific, artistic, evolutionary ecocity. It was I, a human in female form, not my male peers, who needed to be impregnated with wisdom--instead I was ignored. The simple fact was that young poets had pricks and I didn't.


Today is September 11, 2011. A decade has passed since the bombing of the World Trade Center and America was falsely led into what seems like an endless war using new weapons of war--unmanned military aircraft, drones. Our global ecology is being destroyed before our eyes. There are too many people in the world whose basic human needs aren't being cared for--and there are simply too many people. It is obvious that the homoeroticism on which Western Civilization is based doesn't teach the kind of knowledge we need to save our world. But I also know the old heterosexual model--heteronormativity-- doesn't fully respect women; it begets violence and no longer feels to me like an option for the future.

I take a deep breath and look inside myself. If neither “hetero” nor "homo” forms of love have created wisdom, then what is to be the new archetype of love within which true wisdom can be born? Should I become a separatist lesbian; is that the politically smart thing to do?

Adrienne Rich's advice for dealing with men was not to be allies in the quest for gay liberation, but to create women-identified experiences so that the lesbian continuum needed to reconnect us with nature and rebuild our world based on feminist values would not die.


When I was in graduate school at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a memory was laid down that now bled from my unconsciousness to my conscious mind. There was a group of progressive intellectuals there who engaged with me in conversation. One of the participants in this group was Shambala, who was working on a doctorate in molecular biology. She was a petite, untraditional woman from India who had become the President of the Graduate Student Senate. She was also a lesbian separatist. Wherever she went her devotees surrounded her.

She knew my radical philosophy of love and partnership with men because the Graduate Student Senate often published my articles in their newspaper, The Graduate Voice. She liked my general leftist politics, but hated my vision of Lovolution. She thought my constant heartache and longing for romantic involvement with the right man would not be solved until I gave up men. For her, romance was an illusionary slavery—“sleeping with the enemy.” Heterosexuality was the primary tool that turned the capitalist wheel of American imperialism. As long as I believed in heterosexual love, I would be a fool for men. They would continue to chew me up and spit me out in the garbage.

I remember Shambala saying, "There will be a time in the near future when scientists will mistress the reproductive science of parthenogenesis, female-only conception. My scientific colleagues are also working on developing an artificial uterus so that extracorporeal pregnancy would be possible. When this happens, we will have reached the turning point of women's liberation--as well as medical breakthroughs in ways to cure genetic disorders and diseases in vitro."

She explained to me the work she was doing using female bone marrow to produce a female sperm that could be used to fertilize an egg. I pondered, “A female sperm made from the bone of woman? Wasn't that a reversal of the story of Eve being made from Adam's rib, his bone?”

Shambala continued, "Women are the primal human gene stock. Males are most likely a mutation that went haywire. We see the results of this genetic error in our daily world--from the possibility of nuclear war, to corporate greed, to global warming. Neutopia, you need to get on board the peace train with us! All the great religions talk about reaching spiritual oneness with life. We are actually creating oneness by putting an end to the dualistic split that has plagued life on Earth since this tragic genetic mutation began.”

(Though for some reason she didn't mention that sexual separation began way down the evolutionary ladder, with certain bacteria. Its biological purpose is to create genetic variety.)

She continued, “Men, in their current violent form, will be phased out. Gay men are the precursors of the feminized human who is evolving. They are our allies in that they have heightened awareness of “feminine” values such as caring for children and the elderly, and attention to nutrition and health, among other values.

Looking me directly in my eyes, she asked, "Neutopia, are you really devoted to ending war? If so, you need to look into the biological way to end the war between the sexes. Be open to thinking outside the box. Crack open your mind to ending war through science and reproductive technologies rather than what you have been doing fruitlessly all these years, going out in the streets with your protest signs and signing petitions--as if Congress is listening to you. If you consider yourself radical, then go to the biological roots of the problem."


Back in the present, I felt that turning myself into a transman was going to the roots of the problem. I had to wonder though: Was my way of becoming a transman the most strategic plan to end the war between the sexes? Or was Shambala's way of male gender elimination the best way? I knew my way was a long shot because, for 5,000 years men, with a few cultural exceptions, have never learned not to exploit and dominate women. In general, they have never learned how to be mature and love a woman whole-heartedly.

I want to make it clear that I really love men. I just want them to be socialized to be more like women. In my fantasy as a transman, my goal has not been to eliminate men; rather, it is my metaphorical attempt to wake them up and change them from inside out, shocking them with a new prototype for the feminist male. After all, isn't example the best teacher? So, my fantasy is a last ditch effort to save mankind from becoming terminated seeds. All I am lacking is a doctor who can give me phalloplasty!


I was lucky this time, with Thomas. Actual gender reassignment surgery isn't the direction I wanted to take. I have been able to stop the love virus with him early enough that it did not ruin my life. The emotional upheaval it caused lasted only two weeks--just enough time for me to experience the ecstasies and fantasies that gave me the inspiration to write this essay. Since the erotic love energy which had invaded my body was unshared and couldn't be actualized, I sublimated it and have been able to release it through the writing process. To my gay muse, Thomas, I deeply thank you. My mind would never have reached these Death Valleys and Himalayan mountaintops without my love for you.

Postscript:

Thomas came over to my house yesterday afternoon for a raw cacao drink. He said, “I've been sick with a head virus since the last time we had juice. Maybe you didn't clean the juicer well enough and it was affected by bacteria. Did you get sick?”

I wasn't able to say to him that I had indeed gotten “sick”—a love-sickness that even induced visions of growing a penis. He seemed totally unaware that drinking the green juice together had produced some kind of profound metaphysical experience. So in my opinion, the “virus” had hit us both. But it hit me in the upper chakras and produced my perception of him as my muse, as well as this piece of writing. It hit him in the lower charkas of his gut when he became ill, which he reported caused “fuzziness” in his brain and knocked him off his feet.

Since he couldn't digest the friendship because of his genetic sexual preference, not to mention his cynicism, despair, and conservative tendencies, the juice could have made him physically ill. For me, the juice's bacterial message was activated; I became a channel for its message. But, like a hallucinogen, I feel that there was also a purging that cleansed my soul of negative thought patterns based on past love obsessions, allowing more profound solutions to arise.

There is a message delivered to us when we drink most cells of the plant world: we need to do whatever it takes to save eukaryotic (sexual-cell based) life on Earth. World food security depends on it. Our very future depends on it.

As I was sipping the drink, he said he'd like to do juice together again. The question is: Do I dare?


 
 



 
 
Human Extinction or Lovolution?