The beauty of a Virgo…tex.
There are those of us who say, “I don’t give a fuck what you or anyone else thinks of me”. And those of us who try as hard as we can not to give a fuck, and then there’s Virgotex. Ya’ll thought I was gonna say “Maude”, didn’t ya? If there’s one thing I have learned from this magnificent dame, it’s don’t give a fuck, you are who you are—love thyself, especially the foibles and quirks.
After reading her blog Virgotex, and her former blog, Virgotex, as well as her guest posts at FirstDraft, I realized that her informal prose have a way of hijacking a dame’s mind and spinning old thoughts into new ideas. She’s political, politically active, an animal lover and involved in numerous charitable endeavors near and dear to her heart. A straight talkin’, sensitive (don’t kill me, Virg, for saying as much), Texas lovin’ good kid. I am crazy about her. After reading her interview, no doubt you will be, too.
Please welcome Dame Virgotex!
Tell me about you: Your name, pseudonym, where you’re from and what your read is about?
Got a BS and a BA from UT-Austin, lived in Austin, of and on, for longer than I’ve lived anywhere else – definitely my spiritual home town, the place where I came of age. It’s changed a lot, but it’s still an amazing place. Graduated, moved, came back, got a “real” job as an editor, did that for a while, dropped out of “real job,” became a slacker, wrote poetry, hung out, worked in a book store. Lived there till 89/90, then moved with my now-ex (the Ex Mrs. Tex) to NYC. Was there nine years. Loved it but wasn’t sorry to leave and come back to Texas.
On what, life? Or like, what do I blog/write about? It’s kind of the same thing I guess. Like I said above, I think things, life in general, is incredibly complex, incredibly rich, full of potentialities and all sorts of shifting bits of information. I think individuals are mostly like that as well. And none of that is static, fixed, concrete. Nothing is black and white, nothing is all good or all bad. I think we humans are on a spectrum between thinking things are JUST SO, it’s THIS EXACT WAY, I KNOW, IT’S JUST LIKE I SEE IT and the other end is WE HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA what things are about and that’s sometimes bad and sometimes good, or it just is. I think we are always swinging between those extremes, and I like that state, the place in the middle. I’m happy to say, the older I get, the less certain I am of things. And the more comfortable I am with that uncertainty. I believe the nature of our existence is uncertainty, and our relationship with that. At least our emotional/spiritual/imaginative existence, anyway. Obviously, some things are known and fixed, there is scientific knowledge, factual knowing of the physical world, but I’m talking about our perception of our existence.
Anyhoo, I think that is the basis of a lot of my thinking, and what I’m interested in, the things I tend to blog about or discuss online with people. One of the reasons I find politics such a fertile place is the clash of everyone’s identities and their perceptions and interpretations and how that divides and unites people. We all live in the same country, or do we? It’s a very interesting time right now with Obama just arrived in office. I don’t think he’s the end all and be all, I’m pissed at him for a lot of stuff already but I really appreciate that he gives credence to nuance, to the reality of complexity, of various kinds of potential. He doesn’t seem to be about absolutism at all. And some people are just losing their shit over that. It’s fascinating to see this play out.
What does being a woman mean to you?
mmmmmm, not having a dick? I don’t know how to answer this one! It’s funny, I used to be much more militant about my feminism, also my lesbianism. Now I guess if I’m militant about anything, it’s my humanism. I mean, yeah, I’m constantly aware of the differences between male and female. If/when I think of my identity as “Female,” it’s usually when I’m thinking of that in relation to something else. Like males. I work with mostly men and god love them, sometimes it’s frustrating dealing with the testosterone, like, “Dude, we’re writing a policy here, not invading a country. Dial it back a notch.” But honestly, in terms of my consciousness of myself, of my identity, being A Female isn’t as much in the forefront as it has been in the past. I’m more conscious, for example, of being a queer, of being the age I am, of being overweight, of the way I look, and of trying to be “a good person.” (whatever that is!)
I tend to relate being female with that fluidity above, that idea of relativity, of not being fixed. But I think that might just be the limits of my personal construct, but in my experience, women, myself included, are better shape shifters in that way.
Have you, are you, or will you reinvent yourself and, of course, what does reinventing yourself mean to you?
Oh fuck yeah. Constantly. I think that’s what we do, we are always shedding our skins. Sometimes it happens when we aren’t even noticing it, sometimes it’s forced on us or we choose it and we’re hyper aware of it. But I think it’s always happening to us. I guess my most vivid experiences of it lately was in relation to my break up with the ex a couple of years back. Talk about not choosing something. It was not my idea, I had no idea it was coming. It was like getting thrown out of a moving car. You know, like, “Fuck! Now what? Who am now, after being that person, in that relationship for 14 years? What do I do now, and oh yeah, who said I even wanted this? I don’t! I don’t want to have to do this!” Very much the epitome of “life happens when we’re making other plans.”
But ironically, the events that led up to that break up were also bad, lots of drama/trauma, one after the other , and you know how people just normalize that kind of stuff. How we just get all stoic and life is hard and we roll with the punches and don’t realize we’re getting worn down. My point is that during that kind of cycle we are also changing, we are also reinventing ourselves, in a way. And it’s just as transforming as those big sudden conscious reinventions, but in a negative way. I guess it’s an example of “not choosing is also a choice.” I guess that’s negative reinvention, letting go of our say in things, allowing the situation to have its way with us, but we are stuck with what we become and that has repercussions. Like, for example, the person you’ve made a life with saying, “I don’t love you anymore, what you are is different from what I want.” And then there you are, suddenly you have to start making some new choices. Of course, you could be the one making that decision about what you’ve become too, deciding to take a different path. I’m just using my own recent experience because it’s just so easy for me to see it clearly. Though, thankfully, that topic has started to get old. I guess that means I’ve sufficiently reinvented myself, huh?
So yeah, I’m mostly from Texas, grew up on the Gulf Coast, daughter of a shrimp boat captain. My dad and my mother were both working class people, my mom had a jr college degree, but they both were also crazy intelligent. There were piles of books in our house. I remember my mother reading aloud to me a lot, and not from picture books, but things like Great Expectations and Tom Sawyer. I remember getting a library card when I was really young, before first grade-that was my first sense of having a form of ID, then I had to get a wallet to put it in, of course. I was hyper aware of being able to prove: I am a READER. It says so on this card!
Virgotex, on the surface, pretty simple. Combination of my astrological sign and my state. I have used that handle for quite a while now, before I ever “blogged” and was just a plain ol’ commenter, even. Way way back I used to use Big Hot Virgo or sometimes BHV. I used to hang out in the Buffy forums /Whedonverse a lot (my ex used to refer to that period as “the Buffy years,” and not in a good way) then. At some point I got banned – I think from TelevisionWithoutPity- I no longer have any idea for what offense- and so I immediately just invented a new ‘nym and logged back in- then I was Lavalamp! So for a while I was Big Hot Virgo in some places and Lavalamp in others, and I felt the need for integration, so I came up with Virgotex. By then I was hanging out more in progressive/liberal political forums (oddly though, with a lot of the same people) and people were always ragging on Texas and I loved to rebut their simplistic views of the place, so I liked have that “tex” out there like a “I’m from Texas, piss me off!” badge. And yeah, I do realize there are a lot of rightwing rednecks in Texas but it’s insulting to me to get lumped in with folks like that just because someone who doesn’t even know the place reduces a complex place down to it’s lowest denominator. Anne Richards, Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower, Bill Moyers, and all the great progressive bloggers from Texas- those folks are/were who they are, at least in part, because of being from Texas, not in spite of it. It’s as complex as America is (so is any state really), full of wonderful things jammed up together with awful things. So I like calling people’s attention to that. Don’t throw me out with that same bathwater as Dubya!