uncharted

I don’t understand.  I was plagued by an overwhelming desire to escape from myself, then I discovered my gender dysphoria and transitioned.

Now I don’t know what it means to be a woman, but it’s how others see me, and it’s accurate.

I feel better.  I don’t want to drown my consciousness in science and software; I’m not desperate to lose myself in marijuana smoke and virtual worlds.

I can breathe and be okay with it, I’m okay with my body.  I can live behind my eyes.  I can stand still.

 

My old journals ask the same questions:

What will make me happy?

What is my problem?!

It seemed normal, to be not okay with life.  I didn’t notice I was repeating myself.

Then I wrote this blog, and every couple of weeks I put the past further behind me.

 

I can write clearly.  Not only about myself, but about the science I experienced under semi-consciousness; file boxes of notes, notebooks, calculations, programs, diagrams, data.  Records of data, a life’s work on disconnected servers.

I wonder if the cable company sent my account to collections yet.

 

They don’t recognize me, and I don’t know how I’d explain what happened to me if I had to.  My old name is legally erased, just another word.

 

I’m trying to trust, and my gut is telling me it’s implausible that any harm will come to me now, somehow.

 

But again, there’s this – these words, this blog.  A search-indexed transcript of many of my innermost thoughts.  What was I thinking?  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Then I promised myself that I would continue writing it; my liability, this unique record.

When I’m done thinking about it, I’m certain that perception of transgender people is so bad, so hysterically misguided, that publishing my diary can’t actually make matters worse for me.

 

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lit review of the damned

The sun doesn’t come up for a couple of hours now.

It’s 4 days into my SRS literature review.  I’ve looked at 1000s of scientific articles over the years and you just get a feel for them, you get a sense for what the scientists are feeling.  And at least a few of the sex change surgeons think sex changes are hilarious.  Cruelly, it’s the surgical pictures and diagrams that are most telling.

I’d never drooled on a paper before.  I won’t read too much into that.

 

Your heart surgeon thinks your condition is hilarious.

I’ve never felt so uniquely alone, so doomed.

 

Day 3, I start drinking, eating, binging, purging.  I’d never done that before.  Unsurprisingly – apparently unsurprisingly – I don’t think much of it.  Apparently, cramming the gender dysphoria literature causes this sense of bodily disintegrity.  I try to get some sleep.

 

It’s 3:30.  Today I’ll read those 3 articles that describe the finer points of why it’s a bad idea to do an orchiectomy (orchidectomy?) before the whole sex change business; 3 articles some literature review group felt were significant out of a vast and confused body of knowledge.  Then I’ll continue skimming the references cited by The Human Rights Campaign’s list of insurance policies that have transgender background sections.  There’s got to be some hope in there somewhere.

 

Spring break forever.

 

the hazard of passing

I’ve never really lived for today.  Every day was a dissociative fugue, a hope for something better, because how could it not be better?  But now I’m present, which is obviously exhilarating and all, but it’s unexpected and unexpected things have been happening.

 

It’s as if I took a cloud of gender dysphoria and condensed it down and made it a physical thing, which can be avoided and assumedly dealt with.

In the meantime, I shower in near darkness and dress with my back to the mirror.

 

When I slam my fist into my bathroom vanity armoire cubby, it doesn’t budge.

I’m physically weaker.

I’m reminded that this is a big deal and it’s absurd to focus on physical, superficial details.

I’m reminded to give it time.

 

the magical megaproject

“When you start your treatment, it might feel a little bit weird.”

“Really??”

“Yeah, well it stands to reason…”

 

I don’t even know where to start right now.  I don’t exactly know what to tell you.  That’s probably because it’s not that complicated…

I decided to start my physical transition.  I scheduled the necessary appointments.  Didn’t tell anyone.

Made my appointments, met delays, freaked out.  Waited.

 

Still waiting…  Feel like I’m going to black out, or throw up.  Apparently, as one gets closer to physical transition, gender dysphoria increases dramatically.  No idea why, but it’s horrible.

 

But I’m so happy and excited to transition, I wish it would happen already.  Then I gave myself an asthma attack reading up on progesterone cycles.

My hormones are just going to go around and around like that?

 

Now I’m working most of the time.  I’m going to be working like this until at least 2016, because I need cash.  Like, yesterday.

I guess that’s it.

 

…oh, and I don’t have a plan.

 

conflicted monologue

You know you’ve been gone for a long time when your stationary smells like toothpaste.  But I’m back home now, surrounded by familiar stuff that I’d forgotten about.

This first week has been weird, in a good way.  I feel like my gender-dysphoric issues, things that I awkwardly speak about, are a weight that has been set down.  I feel like myself, I like myself, life is fun.  I can breathe.

 

It started when I considered auditioning for The Vagina Monologues, which my department is putting on for V-day.  It’s that time of year.  The idea of auditioning was in the back of my mind and I mentioned it to Leia, who basically dared me to do it.  So I read the book.  Surprisingly, I never read The Vagina Monologues.  I vaguely remember picking it up and finding it painful to read.  But reading it now, I really enjoyed it.  There’s even a trans women’s monologue that Eve Ensler added in 2004 (she published the original version in 1998).  It’s the only passage I could really relate to or envision performing in front of people, so I prepared to audition for that part.

I was really nervous.  So I was greatly relieved and disappointed when I found out that the script, the official 2014 V-day version of The Vagina Monologues, does not include the trans women’s monologue They Beat the Girl out of My Boy… or so They Tried.

Why?  I have no idea.  I know it’s been performed for V-day before.  The passage does seem like an anachronism in a classic work of nonfiction – to tack the contemporary experiences of trans women onto a work that ushered in acceptability of the word vagina.

‘You mean grown-ups couldn’t say vagina either??’

 

Yet, I couldn’t help feeling left out.  Could this just be another instance of transphobia?

Then a couple of days passed and I got over it.