Transgressive – Involving a violation of accepted or imposed religious and/or social rules. Relating to art or literature in which orthodox moral, social, and artistic boundaries are challenged by the representation of unconventional behavior and the use of experimental forms.
I was born into this world a woman. Devalued. Less than a man.
I was born into this world a transgression. Illegitimate. Belonging to no man.
I was born into this world a rebel. Heretic. Liberated from the rule of man.
“Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be.” James Baldwin
I began claiming my freedom as a teenager. I fought for freedom from the emotional grip of my narcissistic mother, from the fist of conformity in public education, and from the poisonous embrace of Christian fundamentalism. Most significantly I knew at 15 that everything I was taught about love was a lie. The love modeled for me at home and church was conditional, punishing, and required my submission rather than my participation. My heart told me that love was free and radically inclusive of all that is human. When I left home, and the church, I learned that I could claim my freedom and new ways of loving through transgression.
It is by breaking the rules about women and truth-telling that I found my voice as a writer. It is by breaking the rules regarding women and sex that I found the courage to attend, and then produce, erotic parties that transformed lives. It is by breaking the rules about intimacy and relationship that I learned healthy partnership, where power is equitably shared and violence is accounted for. It is by breaking the rules regarding who and how I should love that I experienced belonging. It is by breaking the rules about how to relate to God that I experienced the ecstasy of direct communion.
Transgression is necessary to my ability to thrive in a culture that endeavors to oppress my humanness. When I transgress I refuse to submit to culture’s story of superiority. Transgression is my road to liberation.
The foundation of the Transgressive Woman project is being constructed through the Stories of Transgression. I am writing stories about ways I transgress(ed) cultural and religious conventions by choice and circumstance. These stories are part memoir and part manifesto.
Transgressive Woman lives in active resistance to the cultural narrative regarding all aspects of a woman’s life. It is also a view of life on the margins that will not sensationalize, nor look away from what is real.