Someone once said that life is but a series of teachable moments. If that is true then for the last couple of weeks, school has been in session. I've leaned all sorts of things, thanks to Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal.
From Ms. Jenner I've learned that gender isn't about biology as much as it's simply a social construct. The roles that society has assigned to men, women, boys and girls are arbitrary and full of patriarchal biases. The sexual hardware that you are born with can no more define who you are sexually as being born Caucasian can any longer define who you are racially...enter Ms. Dolezal. She self-identified as black despite the fact that her parents were both very white. What matters for Dolezal was how she felt, not what she, in point of fact, was. Powerful and impressive new words and phrases have crept into my consciousness. I now know what gender fluidity means. I now understand that truth is no longer transcendent. Truth has now become a personal possession, as in "my truth", much like a handbag or a golf club. When they wear out, we can simply get new ones.
My discovery of these new realities has caused me no shortage of anxiety. I'm now considered an older man, white, privileged and something other than middle class, so the air is thick with condemnation for my kind among the new cultural elite in America. But there is no reason that it has to be this way. A person doesn't cease to learn, grow and evolve just because he happens to be white, relatively well off and male. I intend to make the best of this new world. I'm going to embrace the new possibilities that have presented themselves to me courtesy of this new personal truth fluidity thing. If what matters in life isn't objective reality but how I feel, then I say...what the hell?
I today declare myself a TRANS-TAXUAL man. In my heart, at the core of my very being, I truly feel like I have paid enough taxes already. When I add up all of the taxes I have paid over the last twenty years or so of my business life, it is staggering. From federal payroll taxes to both halves of FICA, to Virginia state taxes, down to personal property taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, and all of the taxes hiding within my eight page Verizon bill, I'm done with them. Besides, I identify much more with people who don't pay any taxes. For years I have denied who I really am as a taxpayer. I used to just go along to get along like everyone else. But then I started being punished by the tax system,(talk about your social constructs!!), for my success, losing one deduction here, another over there and before you know it I was paying an obscene share of my income to the government. But now with the advent of taxpayer fluidity, its a brand new world. My personal truth is that I've paid enough, so to be true to myself, which is now the ultimate truth, I'm just not going to pay anymore.
Now I realize that there will be those out there who will object to my new truth declaration. I will be accused of having ulterior motives, of being a tax-cheat, of dodging my civic responsibilities. Well, to quote that great philosopher Taylor Swift, " haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate." It takes great courage to go public with this announcement, and I will take comfort from the support of my real friends and family as I make the transition from tax-payer to free-loader.