Category Archives: Sci-Fi

I Was Inspired by a Facebook Post

A friend had posted this:

Transitioning late in life male to female is very rough mentally. I love it when people say “It’s ok, some women have beards”. But let me explain a bit more. If you think being a woman is rough. Take that and multiply by 2 for the late transitioner. So I just want to be loved, included and accepted. Just like you.

I am also a late transitioner, if there is such a label. I’m 30 years older than my friend. The more I thought about what she said (which I edited for length), the more it dawned on me: We are the in-betweeners. We started late, perhaps too late. We were born before the advent of puberty blockers, HRT, and current scientific knowledge of who we are.

But is it ever too late to be your true self? I used to think of my transition as becoming my true self; now I realize that was an oversimplification: I always WAS my true self—all I’ve really done is to stop hiding her.

I, too, will never “pass.” But I’m okay with that. We are the next stage of human evolution, and despite all of the roadblocks and setbacks, we will outlast the social Neanderthals.

Science fiction and other fantasy genres are full of tales of people who don’t quite fit into their societies. As Trans folk (am I the only person who can’t keep up with what’s the proper terminology—usually placed on us by cis people—to say who we are?), we fit right into those novels.

Indeed, the great master Robert A. Heinlein wrote about our predicament long before most of us even knew what “transgender” even meant. His I Will Fear No Evil  may have been my first introduction to being transgender—although I didn’t realize it at the time.

So while so many of my friends and neighbors are bus worrying about the Trumplethinskin administration heralding the end of the world, I simply smile and think to myself, “We are the ones who will pick up the pieces.”

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In a Hole In The Ground There Lived a Hobbit

Long before any cartoons, long before any movies, and long before any graffiti, there was Bilbo Baggins. And long before Bilbo, there was J.R.R. Tolkien.

I don’t remember whether I was 17 or 18 when a friend pressed a copy of The Hobbit into my hands, with the whispered secret knowledge that “Bilbo Lives!”  In a way, it was her small revolt against the ubiquity of Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger In A Strange Land and its byword of “May you never thirst.”

It’s funny, now, when I think back 50 years later, that I don’t even remember her name, that rebellious friend who started me on what has become a life-long quest for well-written fantasy, science fiction, and the various sub-genres we now lump under the heading of Sci-Fi (or sometimes, Sci-Fy).

Today I came across an old, somewhat weathered paperback copy of The Hobbit, and I was instantly transported back to that day in the hall of Highlands High School when I first heard of the book subtitled There And Back Again.

“Bilbo Lives!” never became the great rallying cry that “Frodo Lives!” turned out to be. Maybe The Hobbit came too soon, or maybe The Lord of the Rings had better press. Either way, had there not been The Hobbit, there would have been no Lord of the Rings (LOTR), in the same way that had there been no monthly The Strand magazine, there would be no BBC series called Sherlock.

And there most certainly would never have been that great classic of modern literature,

bored

But I digress.

The Lord of the Rings

I we were in the early years of the reign of King George Jr. when The Fellowship of the Ring was released in theaters. Shrub (so-called by Texans because he was the little Bush) hadn’t yet embarked on his take-no-prisoners approach to the environment, but already I could see the parallels to the Orcs tearing down trees in order to fuel the flames which would birth the great army of Uruk-Hai that would soon ravish the land and enslave millions if Frodo failed in his mission.

frodo failed

After watching The Fellowship, I came out of the theater wanting to be Arwen (Liv Tyler), elf-maiden, and fierce warrior. And to be honest, the fact that she (like me) had the hots for Aragorn, played by Viggo Mortenson, didn’t hurt, either.

LOTR, Redux

17 years later, the Eye of Sauron has reopened. This time  it has taken the form not of the ultimate evil but rather that of complete incompetence: Donald Trump as Gollum. Slimy, hate-filled, monomania wrapped in fascism and served up via a Russian samovar. Toxic masculinity at its absolute narcissistic worst.

Where is the Frodo Baggins who will destroy the ring in the fires of Mt. Doom? Or will he fail, and the country itself be driven there by Gollum?

Please. Vote sensibly in the mid-term elections this November.

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Filed under Fantasy, rants, Sci-Fi