Learning To Lie: A Collection
Copyright © Callan Williams, August 1997

The main difference between the Soviet camps and detention camps in the rest of the world is not their huge, unimaginable size or the murderous conditions found there, but something else altogether. It's the need to tell an endless series of lies to save your own life, to lie every day, to wear a mask for years and never say what you really think.

In Soviet Russia, free citizens have to do the same thing. Dissembling and lies become the only means of defense. Public meetings, business meetings, encounters on the street, conversations, even posters on the wall all get wrapped up in an official language that doesn't contain a single word of truth.

People in the West can't possibly understand what it is really like to lose the right to say what you think for years on end, and the way you have to repress the tiniest "illegal" thought you might have and stay silent as the tomb.

That sort of pressure breaks something inside people.

Jules Margoline, 1949, in The Black Book of Communism, 1999.

Being Called A Liar

Aside: Can we be defined by our genitals?

The Costs Of Learning To Lie

The Fake Opening: What We Share

Finding A Truth To Share



The nature of the truth

Truth and grace

Moving Beyond Lies: Embracing The Challenge Of The Truth

Call Me A Liar

Facing The Responsibility Of Being Queer.

A Narrative

A Conversation between Jake & I

The Cost Of Control Freakism

My Own Control Freak Story


Claim & Substantiation

Transgender & Honesty (1994)

Lies, Truth & Assimilation


Being Called A Liar

When I express my transgender, anyone one can call me a liar. It usually comes out in the form of a shriek: "Shit! That's a man."

People feel like they have revealed a deception, some sort of psychic untruth when they say that, pinning you in a lie. You are, in spite of

-- all the woman's choices that you make in dress, action and speech

-- all the effort you have put in to convey some truth of who you are

-- all the learning you have done about the gender system and about who you are

--all the feelings in your heart that cause you to cross the gender line,

--all the longings to be something different than people tell you must be, longings that started when you were very young

--all the sure knowledge that this is your calling in this world, crossing gender lines and reminding people of our continuous common humanity

The truth is simple. Søren Kierkegaard "To be a woman is something so strange, so confusing and so complicated that only a woman would put up with it." Nobody goes down to the mall in a dress simply on one whim. There is something in themselves that they need to explore, need to say -- some truth they are trying to express. They are expressing a transgendered nature, their own queerness.

In spite of all that work, knowledge, feelings, thoughts and actions, anyone, in one moment, can determine you were not born the sex that they think is appropriate for your expression and call you a liar.

The costs of being called a liar can be significant. We lose social standing and credibility, and many people feel that the lies that they see, that juxtaposition of woman and male, man and female, gives them permission to laugh at us, to erase and ignore us, or worse, to humiliate, harass and abuse us. Some even see reason enough to discount and discredit our entry into the family of humans -- and when all this happens simply because you attempt to tell the truth in your heart it can be hard. When people choose to categorize me as a liar, they have an excuse to deny me respect, humanity and to deny me love.

Yet, if you hide this deep and abiding calling in your heart, this clear truth about how you are, the same truth that you share with people throughout human history, then you are forced to lie about who you are, forced to deny the truth that is so vibrant and dynamic in your heart, simply to avoid the stigma of being called a liar by the people who are uncomfortable with the truths of your life that challenge the assumption that someone can be defined solely by their reproductive biology.

Aside: Can we be defined by our genitals?

There are lots of studies about the biological difference between males and females. After all, with such an easy differentiation to make, especially in a world where Heterosexism is the norm, we can get some gross differences.

But every study comes with the following caveat: "Differences between any two individuals in one group may be larger than the differences between the norms of the two groups."

What does this mean? That two females, for example, may be much more different than the difference between a "normal male" and a "normal female."

One female may be bigger than 90% of males, and one male may be smaller than 90% of females, for example.

We all know this to be true: that norms tend to erase deviation. Men in general make better firefighters because in general they are bigger, but we all know some males we wouldn't trust to get us out of a burning building and some females that we would. Women tend to be more nurturing, but we all know some males we would be happy to leave our baby with and some females we would prefer not to entrust our child to.

The vast majority of males want to be men and love women, just as the vast majority of females want to be women and love men. This is however only the norm, not a universal truth. Norms are just that -- norms. We need to allow room for the exceptional people in culture, not limit them by some normative center. To me, that's what queerness is all about.

To make and enforce sweeping statements about the differences between males and females is to limit all of us.

The Costs Of Learning To Lie

If you keep your transgendered nature bottled up, it means that you are forced to act like a liar

This is the choice. Lie or we will call you a liar. Your truth isn't welcome here, so erase it or we will erase it for you. And if the lies you tell get in the way, then it's your fault for lying.

I hate being called a liar for telling my truth, the truth of my femme heart. I hate being forced to be a liar and deny that truth.

More than that, I hate what all this lying, this erasure has done to the transgendered people I care about. gender yourself: erase whatever doesn't fit neatly into the box.

Erase your transgender and be a normative man with a bit of a fetish.

Erase your history and your sex and be a transsexual.

All this lying, this demand for dissembling and dissociation leaves us crippled and hurting. And when we ask, they tell us that we are the ones who have to change.

The Fake Opening: What We Share

As I look out over this room of transgendered people, I see such diversity -- MTF, FTM, TV, TS, TG, Drags, fetishists, old, young, mixed race, mixed class and more. We are such a diverse group, with such different goals and lives, some wanting change, some resisting it, some being very fixed and some being immersed in transformation that I wonder what holds us all together.

There is only one experience we each share, an experience that we share with all kids who grew up queer, were born with a heart that they were told to be ashamed of. If their soul told them that they should cross gender lines, in role, in clothes, in desire, in life, and they showed that calling, they were quickly told that it was wrong, inappropriate, wrong, shameful.

What we each share is the experience of being shamed into the closet, shamed into believing that expressing what we felt inside was wrong, shamed into hiding ourselves

In other words, what we all share is that, from an early age, people demanded of us that we learn to lie.

"Lie to me honey. Come on, tell me it isn't true, tell me that just because I found you crossdressed, you aren't queer. I just don't want to hear it. No son of mine could be that way! After all I have done for you, this is the thanks you give me? Not in our family, there isn't!"

Everyone of us in this room is an accomplished liar. We had to be, because everyone, from our parents to our teachers, our priests to our friends, told us that they wanted us to lie to them. We wanted to tell them the truths of our heart, but they told us, in so many ways, that they didn't want to listen, that they could not hear it. Our truths challenged their dreams, their view of a simple world.

Even if we showed them who we were, they chose to ignore that. If we would not erase the truths of our lives, they would do it for us, making up some motives for our choices that trivialized them, and then dismissing us as no threat to the simple binary world that they were taught to expect.

What we share is that each and every one of us has turned into experienced and highly proficient liars. We have lied to our family, our friends, our employers, and even to ourselves, working hard to erase the challenging parts of ourselves.

All this lying gets us caught, though, in a Catch-22 situation. We are punished if we tell the truth, and then, if we are caught lying, we are punished for that. Society demands that we hide, and if that hiding is revealed, we are blamed for hiding the secrets that would not have been accepted if we had revealed them. This notion that we are blamed for being alienated, for lying, blamed for the effects of the alienation and deceit demanded of us, creates a self fulfilling prophecy that keeps us marginalized, dammed if we do, and dammed if we don't.

Most of us learned to lie so long ago, learned without thinking and considering the consequences of those lies, and there are serious consequences to believing that you have to cheat and lie to get the affection and support of others. The people who come into our lives, though, often find this the most difficult part of our lives, the fact that they are thrust into the closet, have to learn to lie in one fell swoop, not just slide down the slope that we grow into, to find ways to cover up that their partner is transgendered, inhibit their conversations by avoiding truths that affect every part of our lives.

Many of us are fighting this challenge, trying to find new ways to tell truth about our lives. We go into recovery, into analysis, and attempt to reveal ourselves in positive ways. It is as we face this requirement to be truthful in our lives, to live with integrity, to be forthright and positive, that we realize what is possibly the biggest challenge of all.

Learning to lie is pervasive. For lots of men, the day that they cannot close their pants -- even when they slide them way down -- the question that they ask is something they know to be a lie: "What happened to these pants?" The pants never changed, we did, but saying that out loud is very hard.

-- Finding A Truth To Share

There is no truth about our lives that people are comfortable with. I am woman and I am born male, but because most people see these as completely contradictory, they demand that I erase one of these truths. They see me in a dress, and declare I am a man, or they choose to erase the truth of my different genital configuration and refuse to accept my history.

We are the logical puzzle that shows the limits of binary thought, and to accept me is to question the easy separations of humans by reproductive organs that we have been taught to believe in, the lie that males and females are somehow different species. This has always been the role of transgendered people. As anthropologist Anne Bolin reminds us, "In cultures where gender is rigidly bi-polar, rituals of gender transgression remind us of our continuous common humanity."

When someone looks at me and shrieks, "That's a man!" I wonder how they have missed the obvious cues that I am not quite a man, even if I was born with a penis. They choose to pick one attribute of mine and put that in the forefront, finding a pigeon hole to put me in that erases the complexity of my life.

This is a challenge that we each face -- when we won't lie about the messy and conflicting truths of our lives, people will do it for us, erasing us.


What are we, as transgendered people, called to erase from our lives, though the lies of denial, dissociation or outright dissembling?

There are three major areas that we can choose to lie about. Our dreams & desires, our history, or our awareness of our actions.

As a child, we learn that we cannot share our dreams with those who care for us, because our dreams are not normative, not the dreams of the people around us. We are assigned a whole set of gendered dreams at birth, being the image of our fathers, continuing the family by having a family of our own, or a host of other expectations. When we talk about how our dreams are different from that, we are put down, chastised, and we learn to deny our dreams, to lock them away.

When we grow up, we know that the cost of change is the cost of abandoning our dreams, and some of us believe that if we do gendershift, we will lose the possibility of ever achieving our full potential. We believe that we are marginalized, and that everything works against our success, so we again put our dreams on the shelf because the cost of following them seems to be only frustration and pain. It is better that we kill off our heart, put it in cold storage, rather than let it break.

There are all sorts of desires that we are asked to deny. Our desire to look the way we want to look, our desire to be with the people we want to be with, our dreams of living the life we want to have.

We learn that our dreams terrify others, and that means we come to believe that our dreams should terrify us.

Even in support groups, we are often asked to shrink down our desires, not celebrate our successes, because of the way that they reflect on others, the way that they reflect on other people's beliefs in their own oppression at the hands of others. Oppression comes because we believe in oppression. As many people have shown us, when we open to life, our biggest flaws may become our biggest attributes for success, allowing us unique and powerful expression


The hardest thing about being a liar is the amount of control and energy it takes from you. We become consumed with maintaining the image we have created, this image of perfection that is supposed to cover over the messy and human truths of our lives.

Control freaks try to create perfection, to manage everything. "Tell them what they want to hear, deny what makes you uncomfortable."

Question: can we really create something more beautiful than we are at heart? Aren't the limits of our creations always less than the limits of our core selves?

Breaking The Mirrors: Fighting being revealed, because you fear you are ugly.

Don't know when I'm lying: You say "It's their fault" often enough, you don't know when it is your fault.

Hiding a a corner, avoiding crucifixion, avoiding life

-- The nature of the truth

There are many truths because the truth is relative. It is a circle and how you see it depends on  where you stand.

Editing your truths: not letting the facts lead to the conclusions, but justifying what you have done by being selective and even deceptive with the facts.

Does liminality erase all truths or does it honor all truths? We have to have the intent of truth to play.

Queer: Accepting that everyone has their own reality and that our obligation is to understand what they mean by the symbols/words they choose, not what we think they mean. Diversity comes when we open ourselves to other people, even when they challenge us, rather than simply blame them for our own emotional response to them.

It's the blind men and the elephant, all real and true views of a shared metaverse, just from different points in the circle. Listen to others and you not only understand where they stand and what is important to them, but you gain more insight into the world we all share.

-Truth and grace

Everyone learns to lie

Miss Manners says we want kids to lie, to not tell Aunt Martha that they hate her gift of ugly pajamas.

Do we, or is it grace that we want? "Thank you for the gift, Aunt Martha. Whenever I see them, I will think of you." Not telling the truth in rude ways is different than lying, as I have taught many technical people.

Real etiquette honors the diversity of people, rather than demanding a sameness. Civility is the respect of wildness, not the erasure of it. Respecting the individual is the basis for building the community. It's not about me, it's about each of us as individuals.

-Moving Beyond Lies: Embracing The Challenge Of The Truth

How do we become safe space to tell the truth? How do we empower people to live in the light?

We learned to lie unconsciously. How do we learn to tell the truth consciously, take control back from those who coerced us? When we go though adolescence again as adults, creating an identity, we have to look at the kinds of erasures we did without thought as children.

One hard part is trusting truths, relying on them. The Hungarians say that "The believer is happy, the doubter is wise." How do we both believe our truths enough to act, and doubt them enough to be wise and open to the many views of the truth that exist in this world?

Whatever, accepting the many truths, not trying to create a false, situational truth, is key. Breaking the mirrors that show us what we don't want to see doesn't help, no matter how much it helps us hide.

The truth will out, and we must come out with it. People will try to erase that truth that scares them, but we must be persistent.

Subj: Call Me A Liar
Date: 08/18/97

It's not the lying that I mind so much. I did learn to lie as a kid, like everybody in this culture did, and I can do it well, tell fantastic stories.

I don't mind telling the truth. I would rather tell the truth, because, after all, it is much simpler -- not all those details to take care of, no forgetting what is the truth and what is a lie, no nasty breaches of trust when your lies are discovered.

What I mind is being called a liar no matter what I do. The world demands that I lie, when I would rather tell the truth, because lies can gloss over challenging truths, paper over the real complexity of life. Lies maintain shared fictions, pleasant illusions, comforting fantasies, not like the truth.

What happens when I try to tell my truth? I am called a liar, a man-in-a-dress, someone trying to conceal and hide, a danger to society. Everytime someone ignores the truth of who I am, they call me a liar.

The world is not a comforting place when you get called a liar for telling the truth.

And what happens if I lie about my transgendered nature? Then I pay the price of a liar, always defended, isolated, detached, inauthentic and alienated. People then accuse me of being dissociative and incapable of intimacy, like I am hiding something. If for some reason the truth comes out, they see a breach of trust in me not telling them -- even if I read that they didn't want to be told.

People get angry at you because you cannot open up, act like a liar.

I am dammed if I tell the truth, called a liar, and dammed if I lie, because I cannot tell the truth.

People want me to erase the challenging parts of myself, and if I won't do that for them, they will do it themselves, assigning me a motive for my actions that allows them to marginalize and damn me. If I do that, any problems as the result of my lying are my fault.

It is as if I stand convicted of lying no matter what I do, labeled, branded and isolated, simply because the truth of my queer and transgressive nature is something they wish to be able to deny, to pretend that it doesn't exist.

It isn't the lying that kills me, though the side effects of it may, and it's not the telling the truth, it is being called a liar no matter what I do. It is not being able to find words that can express my truths, so I am erased, or forced to erase myself.

I hate being called a liar. It is very hard for me. But I am not sure what the other choices are.

A Narrative

I knew that I was different from a very young age, like many of us do. We are the ones who are too bright for our own good, the ones who seem to have too much insight and wisdom, and for me, the ones who have a heart that doesn't quite match their body.

Very soon, though, I was taught that different is dangerous. The lessons came though that the callings of my heart were shameful, embarrassing and must be hidden.

The message was simple: Learn to lie. Lie about what you feel, lie about what you hear, lie about who you are in order to fit in. The nail that sticks up gets pounded down, and that means you better learn to not stick up, to try to hide how different you are.

Lie about what you dream about. Lie about what you desire. Do this, for yourself and your family. Learn to lie, and to try to control what people think about you, because if they ever get a glimpse of the real, you they will hate you.

If you don't lie, you will challenge people, make them uncomfortable, and they will blame you for these feelings -- the feelings that they have bottled up when they learned to lie.

What is the cost of believing that the only way we can be accepted is to lie to the world, to rigidly control what we show to other people?

When we make the choice to lie -- even if we see that as the only choice we can possibly make -- we make the choice to start to build a web of lies that both bolster each other and block anything or anyone who might show how thin and fragile that web that attempts to disguise our authentic selves is.

To lie over the long term requires the complicity of people around us, that they also work to ignore "the elephant in the room." In this culture, it is easy to find people who want to help us lie about our past, our desires, to erase them in order that we can more neatly fit into their own neat little map of the world.

Does that actually work, or do, over time, people see the reality of us? To tell the truth is terrifying to some, but in the long run, there seems to be no other choice. But we have spent so much time "learning to lie," to erase ourselves, that anything else seems impossible.

Some people try to tell the truth, to be open about the unique callings of their heart. This can leave us liars scrapping with other people who we are afraid will reveal us, because they reveal themselves. We feel the need to silence those who mock our choice of managed information, to break the mirrors that show us in ways that expose us in ways that we are afraid might reveal the truth about us.

This is a book about my journey for the truth, a truth almost forgotten because I learned to lie about it, to erase it and erase my heart so long ago. It is an exploration of how to reconcile the requirement to both tell the wild and free truths in our heart, yet also maintain a social order and grace that lets everyone else be free, that provides a strong community for each of us, a good place to raise children.

Can we learn to reclaim our truths, to be fully in the world, to be big and true to our spirit and also be good citizens and neighbors? Does embracing diversity make the world unsafe, or do the little lies that grow into erasures of spirit actually make the world a much more dangerous place?

How do we have a better world until we can call honestly call shit "shit?" The problem is that when we do tell that truth, people think we are calling them shit, rather than just their choices and actions.

By believing that every human is valuable and is capable of putting out high quality, we know that when we respond to their output that we don't write them off, we give them a chance to rise, to achieve their level. This does require that people be able to work at things they are good with without stigma -- some may be the best dishwashers in the world, and that may be their focus, but doing the dishes is an honorable thing.

We build family by helping people achieve their potential, fulfill their dreams, be all that they can be. We don't build it by letting things slip, by cushioning the truth with a nest of lies. "If it is to be, it is up to me." Holding people responsible for their choices -- even if that means calling shit "shit" -- is one of the most compassionate things we can do for people, even if they don't like it, as every parent, and every child knows. We grow when we are challenged, not when we slip though with a fluff of haughty indigence that "they don't understand what we are dealing with," or to assume that they have a secret motive, a lie that is behind their comments.

Whatever the reason, we have the responsibility, to clean up our own act, and blaming others for telling the truth does not lead us to a better place.

The truth is often not the most pleasant thing to hear or see. Until this culture can face truths, and not be lead by the lie that everything should be pleasant, that conflict is bad, we will be forced to not tell the truth, be forced to lie.

A long time ago, I learned how to lie. Today, I am trying to find a way to tell my truths, truths that are big and challenging. If you are ready to help find new ways to tell your truths, I encourage you to join me. Maybe together, we can learn how to stop lying.


Subj: Facing The Responsibility Of Being Queer.
Date: 08/13/97

Personally, I believe that people should speak for themselves, that the only way we can come to consensus is if all views are heard. People are very smart, and given exposure to the facts and a bit of time, they can see the truth. That's why I have always believed in the maxim "Show, Don't Tell," not characterizing the facts, but bringing them forward and letting people judge for themselves. I was pleased when a coworker once said "I have had some big debates with you, but I always believed that the only thing you were fighting for was the best possible solution for everyone, a good compromise."

This is one reason that I believe that debate training, learning to speak to both sides of an issue, is crucial -- if you can't argue effectively for something, you can't argue effectively against something. If we want to fight any biological determinism, from race to reproduction, fight the constructs based on that determinism, like heterosexism, we have to understand what the benefits of that system are, and how the world would be affected by changing it. We can't simply tear everything down, we have to also build, offer solutions that can address the need and offer new and compelling benefits.

In order to be effective in this world, I find I have to work on many planes at once. I am enraged at people and systems who try to erase me, to force me to erase myself, to fit neatly into some box so their worldview will not be challenged. I am emotionally crushed from the feeling that people reject me because I am too challenging. I am torn between the dreams of my heart, which are smashed because they don't fit into the normative systems, and the promises of normativity, which are denied to me unless I deny and silence the queerness in my heart.

Through all of this range of things going on in my mind, though, I am aware that my only hope to connect with people is to be calm and assured, thoughtful and considered, assertive but not aggressive, logical and emotional. This is a hard balance, because the forces inside of me are very strong and visceral, but if I don't work this hard to balance the pressures of the culture and the pressures of my dreams, my heart will crack.

I am aware that with every step people have the ability to write me off, to surface me in a way that satisfies their own views, to throw me on the junk heap. A woman who is to strong can be dropped to "not woman enough," and be denied the pleasures of connection, but I can be dropped to the level of "man" and be dismissed completely as one of "them." Men will drop me to the level of "not man," and I exist in a part of humanity that scares many people.

It is very hard to, for example, look at the restrooms and think. Some people will assume I belong in the women's room, yet others will think it is scandalous, worthy of calling the guard -- and I can never know which is which. There is no security, no safety, and the thought of things falling out of my control -- in a medical emergency, or being arrested, can terrify me. The margins of safety are removed.

Some would demand that I simply erase parts of myself, that by being silent I will be safe. Yet I know that silence is death, and that even my silence, if I could manage it would not protect me. The truth is that who I am is written on my heart and on my body, and if I have to deny that truth, I may as well die. To try to look female would take major & massive medical intervention and still be limited by my body. To have the heart & brain of a man would require a procedure that we don't even have yet.

All these are reasons that I cherish queer space, space where our transgressive nature is open and explored, space where I can connect with others who also feel or have felt the demand to erase themselves, to kill off part of themselves to live in culture. It is also a reason that I want to protect that space, where we do not have to face the intimidation and separation of culture.

We all see ourselves in others -- the world, in many ways, is a mirror, and we are more likely to get angry at others who show the parts of us we have not yet learned to love, accept and embrace. As queers, we transgress the norms, and we often get upset with those who make that visible after we have gone to so much trouble to do the best we can to hide, to silence ourselves. We loath those who expose what we loathe in ourselves, especially when they seem to show no shame or remorse about their own transgressions.

This anger is the price of silence, the price of the rage that we feel when we pay the high price of being erased and others seem to mock that sacrifice by refusing to keep quiet. This is the force that divides queers, and as such, keeps them from coming together to change culture to be a more accepting place.

I deeply understand the rage, the pain, the hurt and the fear that we hold, and everyday I wish I could just succumb to it, just give in and give up. In that moment, though, I know that not taking responsibility for my own actions, no matter how many challenges I face, is to give up on the only power I have to change my world and my life. I know that every step I take to stand up for myself is to risk being isolated and reviled, but if my only other choice is self-erasure, I have to take that risk.

A Conversation between Jake & I

ZEROBOYCJH: btw, you hit the nail on the head with that "no matter what i say you say i'm lying" thing

TheCallan: Yeah, and it makes me really upset. You asked what I hated, why I hated guy-in-a-dress. It's because it calls me a liar, so fuck this, I may as well be.

ZEROBOYCJH: the way i get the liar thing is that if i present as a guy i'm lying and if i present as a girl i'm lying too

TheCallan: And when someone says "you are lying," any denial of that appears to affirm the lie. You cannot show your veracity in any way.

ZEROBOYCJH: zactly -- it's a lose-lose situation

TheCallan: Right. It is what we all share, being painted as liars, and deciding if we want to erase ourselves or let others be overly reductive for us. The gift of the closet, you know?

ZEROBOYCJH: but even if we're out of the closet we're accused of lying -- it is impossible for us to be honest in nons' eyes

TheCallan: It is impossible for us to be honest in trans eyes too -- we have a habit of trying to smash mirrors that reflect truths we thought we have hidden.

ZEROBOYCJH: yes, that too

TheCallan: Part of this whole thing is reaction to Ms. D, how she got crazy when I showed her lies. She refused to self-disclose, manipulated her image, and went nuts when that control was shown to be tissue thin and ineffective.

ZEROBOYCJH: yes, i hear that. the dominant ftm line is that we are only telling the truth when we preset as the men we truly are.

TheCallan: That is the dominant transsexual line, as opposed to the CD, "we are just men who like to dress up sometimes, not queer."

ZEROBOYCJH: and as opposed to butch lesbians, who are supposedly women who love women and whose masculinity is artificial

TheCallan: Right, and drag queens who are also gay guys and not transgressive, just with artificial femininity

TheCallan: I have been chatting with Julian, who is VERY CLEAR that he does not want to be a teacher, a leader, that will corrupt him. He "doesn't want to influence people" -- yet I know how much he wants to change the world.

ZEROBOYCJH: so there are a very few genderqueers in the world who can own that, and a very few folks into personal transformation ...

TheCallan: And the reason is that when we talk about our queerness, we are seen as liars. Better to erase parts of ourselves and try to control the lies that are attributed to us.

TheCallan: I know how I lie when I present as a man. Other people get to decide how I lie when i present as woman.

ZEROBOYCJH: i lie either way, callan

TheCallan: As do I, in some way or other.

ZEROBOYCJH: and if i look gender ambiguous. i am taken to be mtf or butch dyke or non-ts fag ... & those are lies too

TheCallan: That is the reason I stay with the lie I know, rather than the one that is more rewarding and much more risky. As a woman I get all of the downsides, plus all the downsides of a man, and almost no benefits, because why should we respect a liar? But the other issue is that both are true, all are true -- I can and do occupy so many positions.

ZEROBOYCJH: right -- choose your lie!!!! what a lovely predicament

TheCallan: I think this is what Rikki/Butler is trying to say when they say "gender yourself!" It means society demands that we choose our lies, our erasures

ZEROBOYCJH: yup, lie after lie after lie, we can only choose those that discomfit us the least

TheCallan: And we choose where to take that discomfit -- image, soul, dreams, history, future -- it is all gonna damage something

ZEROBOYCJH: yes, but it isn't always damage thru and thru

TheCallan: One good reason that so few of us choose to take the hit in desire

TheCallan: I think that damage has effects in all directions, but we really can manage our life to try to pretend to be effective.

ZEROBOYCJH: or to minimize the damage

TheCallan: Most of us see that as the same thing, although for the majority of us it is not a conscious process. We need to make it that to help us find some center

TheCallan: The issue with queerness, to me, is learning to accept everyone as an individual, move beyond simple groupings.

The Cost Of Control Freakism

What if we really believe that the only way we can be accepted is to lie to the world, to rigidly control what we show to other people, because of they saw the real us, they would be disgusted?

Does that actually work, or do, over time, people see the reality of us?

And does this leave us scrapping with other people who we are afraid will reveal us, because they reveal themselves? We feel the need to silence those who mock our choice of managed information, to break the mirrors that show us in ways that expose us in ways that we are afraid might reveal the truth about us.

When we make the choice to lie -- even if we see that as the only choice we can possibly make -- we make the choice to start to build a web of lies that both bolster each other and block anything or anyone who might show how thin and fragile that web that attempts to disguise our authentic selves is.

To lie over the long term requires the complicity of people around us, that they also work to ignore "the elephant in the room." In this culture, it is easy to find people who want to help us lie about our past, our desires, to erase them in order that we can more neatly fit into their own neat little map of the world.

To tell the truth is terrifying to some, but in the long run, there seems to be no other choice. But we have spent so much time "learning to lie," to erase ourselves

My ex-partner didn't want to learn how to lie, yet there was no truth that would fit.

J. can't tell when she is lying anymore -- it's all their fault, someone else's problem. She also suspects that she is lying all the time.

Lying all the time means you always have to be sensitive to how people are responding to your lies, ready to patch things up, cover things over.'

My Own Control Freak Story

I am a bright person, with an acute ability to see what is going on, a capacity to feel the emotions of other people. Some people call this shaman sight, and the costs of being able to see has always been hard. "Accepting reality is the first step to insanity."

This sight also includes a very visceral response to life. Erica Jong: "I think you have to be a fairly introspective person to want to be a writer. I think writers experience things very, very intensely which is probably why so many of them try to commit suicide."

As Alice Miller has written about in "Drama Of The Gifted Child," I am also the child of a narcissistic mother, for whom every judgment was about how it affected her life, not how her children could feel empowered and capable.

Add to that the truth that I have a transgendered nature, one that from an early age I was told I needed to hide, and there is no surprise that I ended up a serious control freak, emotionally and intellectually alone, needy, and trying to manipulate people into getting what I thought I needed. I knew the tools of manipulation, of spin, quite well, and used them over and over again.

In short, I felt that nobody could or would love the real me, and that the only way to get the love I needed was to lie, cheat and steal. I, at a very early age, learned to lie, learned that lying seemed to be my only choice, because actually opening up to people showed my flaws.

When I dated women, sooner or later they would decide that I wasn't man enough for them, which was no surprise -- I wasn't man enough for anyone. What I kept hearing is "You are a good friend, but. . . "

My response to emotional starvation and trauma was simple -- try to manipulate people into getting what I need.

In the last 15 years, I have stepped away from this in many ways. The first step was simply being honest when I was manipulating, to not try to deceive people. Every human tries to exert control over their own life, but we need to be honest and open about that.

C. taught me, though plenty of head banging, to try to focus on the process and not the outcome. She refused to be manipulated, and I refused to accept any results that were not her choice.

This notion was affirmed by an old friend who, when I saw her after 20 years is still angry at how I tried to manipulate her back then, although she enjoyed the relationship.

Yet, I still find that I am challenging, multi-faceted, high powered, intense, able to blow out circuits. I suspect that this is useful in my writing -- that level of emotional intensity helps light up the page, in the way that it also blows away people who stand too close. I remember hearing that people still eat dried foods because the flavor is so concentrated, and I suspect that is the same with writers -- if you are going to dry the emotions, it is best they be intense to start with.

It is however, something akin to the Midas touch. I cannot get too close to humans or I turn them to char. Maybe the point is spreading myself out over a wider base, maintaining a broader network of relationships, but that is hard to create when you start as being intense.

This morning, the question for me is "Can I ever get what I need without manipulation?" A friend notes that I usually go 120 MPH, and that while I can slow down to 60 MPH to be with other people, it is hard for me. I cannot surrender my editor to slow down, I have to put up filters and limits to slow down, yet those filters frustrate me and don't protect others from the challenges of who I am.

I also tend to believe that people who say they agree with me have no idea what I said, because if they agreed with me, their world would be blown apart, as mine is all the time.

I have tried to learn to be open, honest and trusting, but I still believe that somehow, people are not willing to see though my eyes, that they would rather choose not to hear my truths. I am a handful, brilliant in a way that lights what others would rather not see.

I look around at transgendered people, especially the very bright ones, and I see reflections of this "control freak" part of myself everywhere. People who continue to try to cover up their own feelings of shame, inadequacy and being unlovable by manipulating others, even smashing mirrors that reflect them in ways that they do not like.

I believe that I am lovable and beautiful, that I am a perfect child of God. I also believe that people have great trouble loving me if I don't throttle myself down, edit myself in a nice way, lie about parts of me that challenge them, make them uncomfortable. Part of this is compassion and grace, the attempt to be me without needlessly challenging or offending others, but another part of this is how I feel the need to desperately try to control how others see me.

In other words, I feel the need to lie, or to have others reject me. Everyday, I feel the cost of those lies, the cost of not being loved for my authentic and challenging self, and the failure I have in being loved for the self I try to create though effective management.

Every time I feel a rejection from people, I am acutely aware of it. They are very nice, the message simply being that they have other priorities, that there is limited room for me in their life, and I have to accept the truth and honesty of that. Yet, still, those rejections cut me off from the connection that I need, the caring and the love that are so hard for me.

I know my flaws. I know the challenges of being bright, perceptive, thoughtful, sensitive, visceral, challenging and transgendered. I don't do it to be mean to other people, I do it because it is who I am, though many people blame their own gut response to my challenges to who I am rather than their own emotional response to challenge.

The consistent message that people give me is to just relax, be more honest and to not be so challenging. They want me both to be more like me and less provocative, but I suspect that they miss the point: it is my nature to be provocative. The hard question always jumps to my lips, the light always escapes from my soul.

I have written about this before, about the challenge of being a character, no matter how I try just to fit in, and people have told me clearly: whatever you do, the truth that you are a character will always seep out.

Maybe the answer is to simply succumb to this fate and become a character, admit defeat and surrender my normative dreams after all these years of trying to claim them. They were never real anyway, just fantasies of someone I wanted to be, as I wrote in the "pure transformation" speech.

How do I both get more control and relase control at the same time? How do I become more truthful without having people call me a liar?

How do be more authentic and yet not as challenging?

How do I die and yet not die?


So, who are you really? Can I see your real hair? Your real name? Your real heart?
Somehow, I refuse to believe what I am seeing is real.

(from the country song) Drink steal cheat and lie: do one, you may as well do them all. When people expect the worst from us, when we are already judged and convicted, why the hell not do the crime?

Well, you are disagreeing with me, and no real (woman) would disgaree with me, and so you must not be a real (woman), but rather a liar. I win the case by calling you a liar, so ergo, you must be a liar.

I'm sorry for. . . . DAMN, i'm sick of feeling ashamed of being human, that I feel I have to be perfect or lie about it

Pretense, Pretend, Prevaricate. Disingenuous

The truth is too big to be told with mere words. The truth will get you killed. Queer is accepting people as individuals, that there are multiple conflicting realities.

Lie, suffer the effects, and be accepted as truthful, Tell the truth and be called a liar.

Holly: we all agreed that there are times we just had to lie to get work. Everyone has to learn to lie about gender, to erase, we just have more to lie about.

. . . and that choice to stay in spaces where you feel safe enough to tell the truth has denied you the success that you desire now.

Anyone can lie for a day -- it's a lying for a lifetime that will kill you. If the only way you can be heard or seen is by lying, then you tend to learn to lie. Knowing you live as a liar it's easy to become self loathing.

If the only truths are lies, then how do we believe anything?

  • If I listened long enough to you
    I'd find a way to believe that it's all true.
    Knowing that you lied, straight faced
    while I cried
    Still I look to find a reason to believe.
  • "My whole life has been a struggle for my own identity." E K-R

    "We know things." (MW) When the truth is very palpable, is very visible, as it is to someone with shaman-sight, then lying is especially hard.

    Holly: Masks that conceal, masks that reveal

    Woman at church, commenting on my dress: "You are lying to tell a truth about yourself." If I am telling the truth, am I not lying? I tell the truth to tell the truth, even if she wants to think that it is a lie.

    the woman in the plane: "You are a good conversationalist." Yeah, I am another woman, just hiding. Not a woman trapped in a man's body, but a woman pretending to be a man so society won't say I lie

    I suspect that this all comes from the fixed conflation of sex and gender? Does Terry's "other" plan solve the problem because it gives people something else to say: "Oh, they are 'other'"?

    So, do I lie when making the choices of a woman, or do I tell the truth? How do people see me when I do that? Do they see me as lying or telling the truth? Do I get bopped as a liar if I refuse to lie?

    "Develop relationships by connecting in shared interests." "Do not criticize people who are doing what they can, simply accept whatever the can give." "Doing your own work well will make it less desirable to criticize others." "If you are not getting enough, you are not giving enough, even if people don't want what you have to give."

    How does claim & substantiation fit with all of this? At what point do we take people at their word/expression about who they are? Oprah & Maya say that is important, you know. . . .

    Subj: Claim & Substantiation

    Date: 05/31/97

    The question is asked: What are we to think if someone says that I am X?

    Maybe that's I am butch, I am woman, I am man, I am bisexual, whatever.

    Can someone just announce that they are something and be that?

    Clearly, when someone says I am X, we will judge the credibility and the context of that claim to see how we are to take it. If, for example, David Letterman announces "I am a lesbian" during all the Ellen hype, we know that is a joke. How do we know that? We look at the choices David Letterman is making, and know that in no way (other than maybe sleeping with women) is he making the choices of a lesbian.

    In the same way, if he announced "I am itchy" or "I am Polish," we would have to decide what he meant by that, see it in context.

    To say, for example, "I am for personal liberty" and to then campaign for more search and seizure powers for police may make us wonder about the validity of the claim. Our choices contradict the claim. To say "I am financially well off," and then borrow money from someone seems to have a choice that contradicts the claim, unless of course the borrowing is substantial and from a bank -- you then know how to use OPM (other people's money.)

    We make claims and people evaluate our choices in the context of that claim and decide the validity of the claim.

    Now, when we claim membership in a group, like "I am a member of this tribe" the same process happens. We evaluate peoples choices to decide if this is probable. The premise of assimilation is to adopt the choices of a given group in order to be accepted as a member of that group.

    In some groups this is a formal procedure. If you want to be a plumber, for example, you have to take a test, prove your plumbing skills, before becoming a licensed plumber, an official plumber. You won't be accepted by other plumbers until you have your certificate.

    Of course, to non-plumbers, you can make the claim you are a plumber, and people can then judge that claim. If you validate it by doing good plumbing work, you can then be a gypsy plumber, working without a license, not accepted by plumbers as a plumber, but still accepted by most people as a plumber.

    Another example might be people who claimed to be Indians (Native Americans, as we would call them today) in Wild West Shows in Europe around the turn of the century. Because most Europeans only knew stereotypical images of Indians, anyone meeting that image would be accepted, even if they were not Native American by birth. It may even be true that some people of Native American blood would not be accepted because they didn't look enough like the stereotypes.

    However, to other Native Americans, there was an essential and an assimilated component to being a Native American. You both had to be born of the bloodstock, and raised in the tradition. Is it possible that some of the bloodstock who were raised in another environment, say a primarily Anglo boarding school, were seen as not "real"? Is it possible that some who were not born of the bloodstock but who showed their respect and understanding of tribal ways, who made the choices of the group, were welcomed in and seen as somehow "real?" I suspect both are true.

    If you want to make a claim of an attribute, you have to back up that claim by making the choices that substantiate the claim. If you want to claim to be a member of a group, you have to be accepted by members of that group as one of them in some way.

    Sometimes this is easy. It is easy, for example, to make both the choices of a Hawaiian and an American -- they do not conflict. But if Hawaii decided to bring back the royal family and secede from the Union, then the choices of being a Hawaiian and an a American would be in conflict and choices would have to be made.

    It is only when the choices contradict that we have to make tough decisions.

    For transgendered people, this is a hard point. If we minimize the conflict between being a woman and being a man, then we don't have to make those hard choices, we can be both. This has happened over the years -- there are many more choices that are seen as appropriate for women then there were just 25 or 50 years ago.

    But, if we erase the differences between being a woman and a man, then we erase the differences that attract us. Like many converts, TG people often go overboard in proving their allegiance to their chosen group. I remember the story of Claire Booth Luce, a converted Catholic, who was said to have been in a meeting where the Pope was overheard saying, "But, Mrs. Luce, I already am a Catholic!"

    We stake our claims. We then substantiate our claims by our choices, let others decide on the validity of our claims. If we want to be accepted by a target group, we let members evaluate our claims and see if they will grant us the benefits of membership in that group, knowing that the less formal the evaluation, the less formal the acceptance, and the less formal the benefits. Becoming a lesbian, for example, has less formal rules than becoming a plumber, though the rules exist.

    Sometimes, people dispute our claims, usually because they see our claims as infringing on their claims, lessening their label value. "Hey! You can't claim to be smart! I'm in MENSA, I'm smart! People like you claiming to be smart without a certificate give all smart people a bad name!"

    In some ways this is good. I like plumbers to keep a watch out for bad plumbers -- it protects my investment in plumbing.

    In some ways this is bad. Some people brilliant at plumbing may not be able to do it because they can't hack the politics of plumbing.

    "yeah, sure anyone can claim to be a plumber, and maybe they can even do basic home repairs and such.

    "but being a plumber is much more than that. as a plumber, you have to be able to do the whole range of jobs, from planning the plumbing in a house under construction to working with a whole team of plumbers in working on a high-rise under construction. believe you me, those aren't skills you learn on your own -- they take a long apprenticeship, and that apprenticeship has to start early.

    "every real plumber has to keep their skills up to date, to contribute back to the union by training new people and helping pay for our comprehensive programs. anyone who doesn't do that is not a plumber my friend.

    "what really galls me are some of these 'self-taught' gypsy plumbers who decide they want to speak for real plumbers, want to grab for positions of leadership claiming they are a plumber. these people have no deep connection and understanding of what it means to be one of a brotherhood of plumbers.

    "if some places want to let these people play out their little fantasies of plumbing that's fine, but let the buyer beware! if they want to say these people are the same as a union plumber, should be considered in the same class as union plumbers, then they have another think coming, because we will not stand for it!"

    It is social pressure that requires us to substantiate our claims, to actually make the choices we say we are making, to be more honest and forthright in connecting words and actions, claim and delivery. That pressure may help us be more honest, or may erase us.

    We make claims (symbolize) and then we act on those claims. It is the harmony between our words and our choices that let people understand who we truly are, see the shadows of meanings behind us -- be they shadows that affirm or contradict our own self view.


    Transgender and Honesty.
    © 1994, Callan Williams

    (from Tapestry)

    How do you explain transgender? It's not an easy question, yet it is a question that we have all had to ask ourselves. We were children, and we knew that we were different, yet, for most of us, there was no one we could talk about that difference with. There was no easy place to get answers, no simple set of truths that we could look to understand ourselves.

    Thankfully, for all of us who spent a lot of time looking between Transportation and Transvaal in the card catalogue for Transvestitism, the only subject with even a listing for a long time, things are changing. We can thank the work of the pioneers for this, and be happy that kids growing up today will not have nearly as hard a time as we did, though it is still not easy.

    But with the lack of information, we all had to invent our own answers, develop our own systems of understanding to give out world a context. And because there were going to be big blank spaces in our knowledge, we had to fill in the gaps with our own fabrications.

    And those gaps were big. Why did we have to do something that was plainly, clearly and patently wrong by the definitions of society? Why did we have to do some think that put us at risk and upset our families and friends? Why did we have to be outside of the norm?

    We used every trick we could find to get answers to those questions. We constructed our own theory of gender, and our own definition of what was acceptable. It is amazing what the human mind can do when it goes to work. We see what we choose to see, and we all had to do some fancy choosing to be comfortable with what we had to do to express our transgender. There were so many blocks and barriers that we had to stop seeing them, or we would have been incapacitated.

    In The Big Chill, Jeff Goldblum's character believes that rationalizations are more important than sex. His evidence? "Have you ever gone a week without a rationalization?" I know that no transgendered person ever has. We had to learn to deny the problems and focus on some solution that we hoped would be workable, just to survive. If we couldn't find a way to manage our transgender, the results would be depression and sometimes be fatal.

    So we all learned how to build our own worlds. Maybe it was a world to show to others, hiding the secrets we were taught were shameful. Maybe it was a fantasy world where we go to be beautiful, or didn't have pressure, or were the woman of our dreams or whatever. Or maybe it was some other world we built for our survival.

    These worlds are precious to us, and fragile. They were the counterweights for our sanity, bubbles of peace in a crazy world. But all of these worlds were based in some what outside of reality. We saw things in a unique and different light. We looked better in the mirror, or nobody noticed us in the mall, or there wasn't a hint of problem, or something. We were in, at least a little bit, denial of the truth. We learned to lie, and if we told the lie long enough and loud enough, we began to believe it. It was the only way we could protect our feelings.

    Our conceptions were built on our own pillars. And when anyone started to ask questions that questioned the assumptions our world was based on, we got scared. And we fought back, tooth and nail. I'm a heterosexual crossdresser, and as long as I never think about men, I'm OK. I'm a woman, I have always been a woman, so there. I am expressing my femininity, and if you say one thing, I'll pound you out!

    "The real reason transsexuals stay away from each other is because we threaten the hell out of each other," says Kate Bornstein in her groundbreaking Gender Outlaw. "We call into question the basic assumptions in each other's lives."

    One of the primary beliefs in most systems, including, for example, recovery, is that getting to honesty is the only way to effectively deal with the world. This is very difficult for transgendered people, who have been trained to keep secrets, to build pretty, if unreal, faces. We believe that if we tell the truth we will be punished, ostracized, marginalized, even criminalized. This is a very potent fear.

    But recovery understands this. It does not requires us to tell the whole unvarnished truth to everyone we meet. It is sufficient to tell it to just one person, to learn to tell the truth in a safe space. We can maintain our privacy, while embracing our honesty.

    Magic happens as we begin to be truthful. We begin to heal, and we begin to be able to tolerate the truth from others. We spend our energy getting ourselves in harmony, rather than maintaining a shield of fear. We finally are able to get in touch with who we really are, rather than who we have pretended to be.

    When we come naked and honest to the world, dropping the deceits that we thought protected us, a wonderful thing happens. People begin to see us as full and complete humans, and glimpse our inner beauty. They see a whole person, and are able to respond to us that way. The walls of rationalizations we put up to keep out what we fear also keep out love, and dropping the walls lets in love.

    We have learned to lie for survival. But survival is never enough. It is crucial that we learn to tell the truth for happiness.

    Lies, Truths and Assimilation

    Why do people lie? Mostly, people lie to get something that they fear others won't give them if they tell the truth. It could be their freedom, or a job, or a sexual encounter, or lots of things, but people generally lie because they believe it will make them more attractive to others, more likely to get what they want. Lies are part of a pattern of manipulation, creating some image that is better and more desirable than the one that the truth might give.

    Why don't people tell the truth?

    Is that the same question as "Why do people lie?"

    I don't think it is. People might not tell the truth for many reasons.

    and so on.

    For me, the challenges around assimilation and individuality, between individual and community, between wild and tame, hinge on this distinction between truth and lies.

    Are some people lying to lie to themselves and others in order to manipulate people around them into giving them what they need?


    Are those same people telling the truth about their lives in the best way they can in order to balance their own truth and the contrasting truth of the culture around them?

    For me, this goes to the underlying question I have recently been asking about transgendered people: Are transgendered people trying to lie about their bodies, or are they trying to tell the truth about the contents of their hearts?

    I like people who are confident and comfortable in the choices they make about their life. "I am doing it as right as I can."

    People who are not confident and comfortable, on the other hand, give me the willies. They tend to want to justify their own choices -- which they doubt -- by putting others down. Once you have said "I'm doing it right, but they are doing it wrong," you have shown that you are doing it wrong, because anyone who needs to justify their own choices by putting down the choices of another is not clear in their own choices.

    I know many people who have renounced lot of themselves to be like everyone else, to assimilate -- take on the choices of a target group in order to be accepted as a member of that group -- and these people often get very angry at others who refuse to make the sacrifices they have made. Homophobic males, for example, have been shown to be fighting their own homosexual tendencies when they strike out against others who have not denied their own homosexuality. These people prop themselves up by putting others down, justifying their own choice to suffer for acceptance.

    These are people who are paying the price of lying about who they are, lying in order to be accepted by others who they fear will not accept them of they tell the truth. Often times, of course, they are right -- they will suffer dire consequences if they don't lie. The problem is that the consequences that they suffer if they do lie may be even more damaging, destructive and insidious, eating away at them.

    Every one of us shades the truth, by lying or omission or spin, to get along with others. Anthropologists tell us that the polite lie, the lie that avoids confrontation and social conflict, the lie that saves face and retains dignity, is used in almost every tribal culture on earth. When the truth demands a response, but that response will tear the social fabric too much, lies are useful.

    We live in a society that asks queer people to lie for the common good. The social graces ask us to go along to get along, to just not get in people's faces all the time, and frankly, there is no reason to do that. Virtually no one in our life needs to know the total truth of it, especially truths that we have grown away from. That bust for pot at age 15, for example, could lead to people leaping to conclusions that are totally invalid today, when we very rarely use marijuana.

    Anyplace we life in society, there are shared conceits, shared rationales, shared expectations that we are asked to go along with to be a member of the group. We feel the pressure to conform. Conformity is not a bad thing -- it creates bonds, connections and comforting expectations that create the threads of many communities. Yet when we feel that we have to lose ourselves to conform, we get hurt, and that often shows when we lash out at people who don't choose to conform

    This is much of the pain that TG people feel, the coiled tension, the rage and pain that people have taken away from a gender system that demands sacrifice for acceptance, demands denial for reward. Some see transgendered people as mocking the amputations of the heart required to fit neatly in a gender box, and that mocking is too much to bear, so they strike out at this reminder of their pain.

    It is the line between this socially graceful omission & deception and the tension that builds up in our hearts when we feel we are lying -- tension that often lashes out at others who do not choose the same conceits as we do -- that is the challenge. Everyone is just trying to tell their truths in the best way they can, and that means that they are balancing the expectations of others, the obligations of culture and the truth of self in odd ways.

    For me, that makes it hard to call people who choose more traditional, more tame, more social, more get-along paths, to call these people liars. They too are struggling with the challenge of wild and tame, trying to be both true to themselves and effective in society.

    It is when I see people strike out against others, however, not just engaging and disagreeing with their ideas, but kicking with fury about character, full of anger about the choices others make, watch the pain erupt, that I see people who are not comfortable with their own choices, who haven't found their own center, believing in their own truths, but are still in pain. Wherever we get upset, there lies our own pain, our own struggle. Whatever touches us off, touches some challenge deep in us that we have not yet resolved.

    As a queer, I know I have lots of these pain points. The difficulty of being true to my own heart in a world that has erased all the words for me leaves me stuck between a rock and a hard place. I can tell my truth and be called a liar, or I can tell societies truths and feel like a liar. No good choices, a deep and difficult moral conundrum.

    What I do try to do, though, is to believe that people are mostly trying to do their best to tell their truths in a world that doesn't want to hear them. That may mean the truths are colored with lies that people think will help the medicine go down a little better, or may mean the truth is in the rage against people, but it does mean that everyone, as much as they want to get what they need from others, also wants to tell their own truths.

    I just try to listen and ask questions, engaging their words. This often means that i identify twists in their thinking, the little rationalizations they use to explain why their situation is different, why their attacks on others character are justified and not rooted in their own pain. Most people hold their rationalizations sacred, those little reasons they use to explain why they don't have to heal too, why it is other people's fault. Of course, I screw up on this, because my pain and rationalizations are also real, but I know that the only way I can be happy is if I do my own work, find my own path, and not if I slam the choices of others. The only thing I can control in this life are my own choices, and that is what I have to take responsibility for.

    We all lie, shade the truth to get along better, be better accepted in the group we see as home. It's a very human thing to do. We all also tell the truth, try to express our hearts.

    But when we try to tell the truth and it is called a lie, that is when we cry the hardest.


    People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim.
    What I've learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication,
    because one surrender's one's reality to the person to whom one lies,
    making that person one's master,
    condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality
    that person's view requires to be faked.
    And if one gains the immediate purpose of the lie --
    the price one pays is the destruction of that
    which the gain was intended to serve.
    The man who lies to the world is the world's slave from then on.
        Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (Hank Rearden,"A is A",Chapter IV,"Anti-Life")