Introducing TransValu

| #001 | Featured Post | 818 words |

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The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

- Insanely attributed repeatedly to Franklin, Twain or Einstein

Welcome to a new lens for seeing your world. TransValu is a site dedicated to seeing and expressing the value of transcending or transgressing many or our most sacred social norms.

Why? Because social norms that have evolved to solve problems can also crystallize and create trouble. In our rapidly shifting sociocultural environments, one size does not fit all. And too often a trusted norm benefits those with advantages at the expense of the disadvantaged.

Social norms tend to bind the status quo. But even the most privileged may find their full potential locked down. More and more of us are now reevaluating the old standards. That’s what transvaluing is about.

Transvalue – to reevaluate especially on a basis that repudiates accepted standards.

- Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Conformity or Nonconformity

On their surface, social norms are a good thing. They generally get us on the same page for cooperative living. We cannot survive long with each doing their own idiosyncratic thing, completely at odds with everyone else.

As long as I’m a driver in the U.S. I don’t think I’ll ever go “British” and start driving on the left side of the road. What would that serve?

But the more I conform to the social expectations to use my car to get around the more conscientious I am of its impact. I’m contributing to air pollution. I’m increasing demand for a limited fuel supply, and indirectly contributing to conflicts in the Middle East. And I’m spending precious time stuck in traffic.

My radar is naturally open to signals from viable alternatives. Not just with travel norms but in many of the other norms that permeate our lives. I seem to be uber conscious of how established norms often create more problems than they solve, at least in the long run.

Needs and Norms

This site upends such norms. It delves into our experience of needs, along with our normative responses to relieve such needs. Then dares to question the norms we passively follow.

Consider these familiar norms, and the needs behind them.

  • Pursue a higher degree to improve your economic security.

  • Obey the law to avoid going to jail.

  • Vote in each election to keep your political leaders accountable to your needs.

I am on my second master’s degree and nowhere near the American Dream. When coming out as transgender during the waning years of sex abuse hysteria amidst rampant transphobia, I found just how easy it was to be arrested and jailed. No matter how often I’ve voted I still see insufficient accountability to democratic ideals in our elected officials. Perhaps these norms are overrated.

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If you are able, willing and ready, I invite you to join me in this journey, to see life from a whole different vantage point. My aim is to deconstruct each of these norms, and explore viable alternatives. Then live them, boldly, in fulfillment of my authentic self, and perhaps yours..

As for me, I can do little else. I must tactfully transgress those arbitrary standards that tactlessly transgress my need to live more deeply. I must responsively violate norms that irresponsibly violate me. What about you? What is your outlook on these dominant norms? Do you also require more space to breathe?

Intuitive over Deliberate

A decade after I came out as transgender I realized something about myself, something not shared by all transgender people. The more I found myself pulled into a deeper connectedness in life the more I felt myself pulled out from a sea of social norms stifling my full potential.

What’s more, I recognized this was a common experience, beyond the emerging transgender phenomenon. I could see others were also compelled to violate arbitrary social norms that stood in the way of their intuitive connection with life. Many of them cisgender. I saw us as sacred misfits, patently ignored…or worse.

About this time I self-identified as a two-spirit, as other LGBTQ NDNs were doing. But the more I felt myself transcending/transgressing cultural norms, including the contemporary limits of my tribal heritage, the more drawn I was to self-identify as a transspirit—one whose social connections were intuitively transcended for a deeper connection with life.

Descriptive over Normative

This site is geared toward critiquing intrusive norms that smother our full potential. That includes a healthy suspicion of replacing old proscriptions with new proscriptions. Let’s more thoroughly describe our needs first, and then negotiate how to accountably know when our needs are meaningfully resolved. Let’s dig deeper for value.

I leave normative responses to those for whom they’re better suited. This site is about unpacking our answers to such problems as economic inequality, police brutality, and political polarization. While others understandably propose prompt solutions, this site is for all those seeking the value of deeper solutions.

TransValu seeks to create this value by stepping off the beaten path. We introduce some refreshingly new ideas with a new vocabulary. We illuminate the possibilities of more lasting solutions, or at least a new way to look at what we are doing now. Welcome to TransValu, a new lens for seeing our world.

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Translucidity Wheel: illustrating a rainbow of full potential often hidden behind stifling conventionality

Revised post 2015-01-19

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Steph is a self-described transspirit, which is a kind of sacred misfit. By transcending conventional limits—gender norms, religious identities, political polarities, and more—Steph experiences a unique connection in life. And suspects others do as well. This blog shares that spirituality, and affirms others of a similar state of being.

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