for myself

Why do I sit here every other week and bleed my heart out into the aether for anyone who is listening?

I did it for myself.  The primary enemy of my transition is my own transphobia and shame.  I didn’t know this two years ago, but on instinct I endeavored to be as open as possible about all of this.  Little did I know that I was preparing myself for random people’s questions about my junk; testing my boundaries of what I am and am not comfortable sharing with others, and learning to accept myself – learning that what I’m doing is amazing and noble and worth telling the world about.

 

Because I was born a man and am somehow, mysteriously but surely, a woman.  And I have to deal with it.  I have to deal with battle royale-style arguments with religious types who want to debate my gender.  And I have to deal with colleagues of over half a decade who won’t give me the time of day.

But I did it for myself.  I had to choose between making a go of being a woman or to die trying to be a man.  I chose myself, I chose life, and I am awesome.  I’m not ashamed of that.

 

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polaroid of perfection

I finally have a proper wardrobe, an array of soft pastels.  Layers and colors, accents to communicate truths about myself in what I choose to wear.  I never understood clothing, I always dreaded buying clothes.  But today they are an extension of myself.

I’ve finally become comfortable-ish with my new voice, I thought this would never happen.  But the positive effect of having my negative self talk in a not-definitively-male voice cannot be overestimated, let alone actually having the ability to communicate with people.  I’ve spoken before, of course, but it’s just easier now.  I am in awe of the adaptability of the mind and the human voice.

 

On the downside, I feel mind-numbing pressure to be perfect.  Perfect weight, perfect clothes, perfect voice, never offending my friends, never spending frivolously, or doing anything to offend God because I’ve seen enough, for real.

I live in fear of impending doom, that everyone will stop talking to me and I’ll find myself standing in the welfare line, again.  That I’ll lose access to my medications and morph into some appalling freak.  That I’ll date someone and they’ll shatter my sense of self.

So I try every day to be perfect.  It’s exhausting, it’s desperate, and it’s so very necessary.  I just want this ordeal to be over.

 

But there is something familiar about this narrative.  It is something I’d heard from friends, just about all of which had been women, that they must be perfect.  That they don’t have as much control over their lives as they would want and so must please everyone all the time, as much as they can, so they can be loved and protected.  It’s a hell of a thing to experience all at once.

So I’m learning to look up to women as I join and identify with them.  I never had in an I-want-to-be-just-like-you sort of way, but it’s something, another thing, which is necessary – that the only thing between me and a careless world is the understanding of others.