miss world

Ending transition is a transition in itself.  Most of my effort is spent trying not to show how I feel and controlling my emotions, which seems counterintuitive because that’s what I used to do as a guy, except it’s much more difficult.  Others sense this all-important task of mine; of not flying apart like a cold war-era ultracentrifuge, which brings me safety and social status.  You can’t make this shit up.

Because I express myself as my self becomes different, and eventually write it down.  I do it for myself because no one hears anymore.

As comforting as it is not to have trans problems at the moment, it’s not actually comfortable.  But I told my friend that I’m over what happened.


Which is why I claw my clothes off in my sleep.

And why I attack my nightstand in my sleep.


My lamp may never be the same.



the apparent struggle

I’m beginning to organize the immediate past in my mind – it becomes apparent that my remaining friends and family would do anything for me and that I’ve essentially achieved my life’s goal.  Things should feel simpler, lighter.  They should.  I’m still lonely and broke, but this seems temporary and relatively insignificant.

I recap events every so often, ‘you underwent a medical gender transition, you’re a woman of effectively indeterminate age, you’re starting over.’

‘you need to finish your degree’

‘these people will catch you if you fall, if you really truly need them’

And so it goes.  There’s a lot of waiting, of the sit-and-wait variety.  I need to chill, because I’ve discovered that I have much less emotional self-control than I’d like, and that these emotions are highly transparent.  It seems to go a long way toward winning people over, since I guess I’m a nice person and all, but I’m uniquely incapable of dating.


When I look in the mirror, I think that I am very beautiful and very ugly, sometimes simultaneously.  I think others feel the same, and it’s mysterious.  Just going out is like visiting a world in the distant future or distant past, where my features are unusual.  Extreme height, wild hair, thin, wearing 21st century makeup and business casual like I’ve lived at a university all of my life.  I feel confident and out of place.


I grapple with my hormones and with my place in the world.  I see other women and I can’t match their affect, I move too quickly, storming around like I’m going to kick someone’s ass.  I don’t know what to do with myself.

My body writes checks my mind can’t cash; tells me to think of children, and birth.  Fifteen pounds of fat form a layer across my body from the tops of my eyebrows to the tips of my fingers to the circumference of my ankles, a conspicuous stockpile of energy seemingly intended to maintain fertility through a significant famine.  Except I will never be fertile, I accept that.  My body doesn’t accept it.


And I realize that I struggle for my soul, struggle for the things I cared about; people, science…

The process of petitioning for my vagina was a Kafka-esque nightmare, chased with the reality that only a handful of people give a shit whether I live or die.  Now I need to figure out what I, myself care about; which in itself is important to me.



It’s something I harp on, but it’s difficult to be completely alone in this world.  Indeed, I’m not completely alone, I have two core relationships left to speak of, but it feels like I am; and that I need to learn to deal with it, because how can two people possibly provide for all of my needs?  I am truly afraid to ask, because what if I lose them too?

Is it even possible to go it alone?  Everyone says it isn’t but I hope they’re wrong.


As far as the transition goes, it’s just wildly successful.  I hardly have to think of myself as anything other than female anymore.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but apparently I wasn’t expecting my transition to work.  Now I’m a thirty-something year old woman who is just horribly afraid of dying or getting old, because I just got here.  It’s kind of irrational, but in the absence of a past or any substantial present, it’s the clearest set of emotions that I experience.


On an average day, it takes five hours to get myself passable and out the door, where I embrace the vast nothing-ness that is life.  Every day I try to find a way forward, parting a fog of negative emotions.  Many, many things I don’t care to think about, which it is not necessary to think about, surprisingly.  It’s good enough to attend to my work, or the bill collectors, take out the trash, write my papers, shop for hair spray.  And I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I’m learning not to care, telling myself that I’ve got mine and it doesn’t matter, won’t matter, can’t matter.  That caring is the worst thing I’ve ever done, a mistake.  That if I don’t care the world can’t hurt me, anymore.


inevitability isn’t an emotion

I don’t know where to begin.

My closest confidants separately and independently declared that no one is going to question my womanhood and that I need to snap out of this nervous funk I seem to be experiencing.  Dana they say, the war is over, wake up…  I do my best to absorb this.

As I meditate on the idea that I am in fact a woman, legally, socially, professionally, physically, and so on, I am engulfed by indescribable confusion.  While I am comfortable with myself in ways I had never known, I am in shock.


I have a good idea of how to conduct myself, what I’m doing and where my life is headed, but that’s all.

I know who I am.  I know what happened to me, but I don’t know why it did in a very basic sense.


I go out and I’m generally happy.  I look in the mirror and I am relieved, then disbelieving.

My body takes up less space.  I seem to breathe less air.  My eyes are expressive and it haunts me.  I appear to feel more than I can actually acknowledge, more than I will let myself feel.  It’s unapproachable.

But I’m told this is real, that being a woman comes with an inner life that’s different and which I might find difficult to accept.


I’m only beginning to sense what I’ve gotten myself into, but it’s not like I had a choice.  I feel like my transition was inevitable, that it would have happened somehow.  This is how it feels on the other side of the gender binary; there was no why, my gender was inevitable.



My jacket hangs on the back of my task chair.  It smells like I used to smell; like a guy, like a friend.  Like someone whose strength I sorely miss.

At first I was put-off and was going to wash it, but now it’s a comfort to me.  I don’t know what that means.  It’s probably just nostalgia.


I’m busier than I’ve ever been – which is a good thing.

I’m enthusiastic about nothing in particular and my emotions blend and run, unspecific to any single person, place, or thing.  I’m told this is normal.


Guys generally won’t talk to me or are really nice to me – and there’s no obvious reason why.