no return

My manicure is wrecked and it’s only Tuesday.

I don’t know what to think.  I’m becoming used to myself, my gender, and now it’s a grind.  Day after day, whoever I am.  There were some students flirting awkwardly on the quad and it all seems so normal, everything.

Leia called me ‘she’ at the dinner table with her family and nobody blinked.  Maybe I blinked.  The deli guy called me ma’am when my back was turned.  Neither of us really seemed to register this, but we looked at each other over a cheap turkey-egg-and-cheese sandwich with a sort of confused understanding.

 

It’s cold again.  My iPhone shuffles songs and some of them remind me of when all this started.  The Bird and The Bee, Spoon, the scary-beautiful winter when I told Leia that I’m a woman.  Everything changed.  I remember listening to Gimmie Fiction on vinyl, staring at the wall, not thinking everything.

I had never been so lost and I remember it so fondly.  And there’s no going back.  I’m used to being myself, in all of my incompleteness and complexity.  The contradictions, a strange understanding of other women and men, a strange separateness from them.

I realize that I’ve felt this all my life.  It’s better now that I know.

 

Advertisements

too tall

Being trans, but not very outwardly trans, is strange to me.  I don’t feel like I can share the first thing about me, my gender, because people don’t understand and it becomes irrelevant.  This is my experience sharing with others who are not very close or BFF.  They say, “that’s interesting” or, “that’s great” or something awkward, and nothing changes.  They still relate to me as a man.  I could walk into my workplace every single day and say, “hello everyone, please remember that I’m a woman.”  And I won’t be heard, only seen for what I apparently am, a man.

 

I paint my nails once or twice a week.  I paint them with a semi-matte polish.  I started using two coats.  It’s not too glossy, not too clear.  And I am sad.

Is this my female identity?  My nails and a cute haircut?  A silver ankle bracelet that Leia (my girlfriend) gave me while we were on vacation?  My trans girl blog?

I search for answers to these questions every day and sometimes I write about it.  Fluorescent lights glint off of my nails as I type, reflected in the glare of an iPad.  It feels risky, reckless.  It scares me to write in my blog.  But I don’t want to live in a world where I’m afraid to speak my mind.  So I do.

 

It feels like the only way for the world to see me, to understand me, is to transition; to do the paperwork, take out loans, jump through hoops.  To deal with the lawyers, the doctors, the litany of painful and risky medical procedures, voice therapy, walking lessons.  To accept sterility, liver damage, sharply restricted access to medical resources.  To risk failure and the prospect of detransition.

And I hear that hormone therapy is a beautiful homecoming.  I believe it.  I dream to be reunited with something, chemicals to match my neurology and what-all.  I have no idea.  Maybe no one does.

This is all very painful to think about.  And my loved ones are rightfully distressed.  I fear that I would be dead to them if I transitioned.

 

And I’m too tall.  Maybe if I were an inch shorter, maybe twenty pounds lighter.  I don’t want to stand out, because few women are taller than me.  And many women that are taller seem to have transitioned.  They freak out or stare daggers at me when they notice me notice them.  Sorry.

 

is it really a transition

I want to be a certain kind of female scientist.  My world can’t stand this.  I can’t be what I am and it’s tearing me apart.  My life is so hopelessly fragmented and compartmentalized, I wouldn’t know where to begin.  I can say things to people at work that no one else will care about.  I can say things to friends who know I’m a woman and others who think I’m a man.  My story is shattered like so much glass, the mirrors I would break if I wasn’t superstitious.

I’m writing and emptying my mind of my emotions, my memories, my work.  If you could see inside it’d look like I’m moving, and outside it’s a yard sale – free manuscripts, a box of knickknacks filled with awkward memories.  And will someone please take these physics theories off of my hands, I’ll deliver them anywhere.  Just someone please take them.

 

 

There are unruly mobs of children on field trips outside of my office space, squeaking the floors, banging on the walls, making all kinds of noise – and the chaperones constantly shushing them.  The scenes of rioting schoolchildren from Sid and Nancy come to mind.  I want to go out there and tell them all to shut up, but I never do.  I’m just reminded of when I was bullied in school, every day, constantly.  So I turn up my headphones and wait for them to pass.

I was bullied because I was a misgendered girl in the anarchic world of public school children.  The bullying stopped in high school but I continued to feel that I was working against something, running away from something, that I needed to justify my own existence.

I’m slowly realizing how my female gender has permeated my life.  I’ve always been female and it is what it is, whether I like it or not.  Even though I embodied the male gender, people could tell.  They definitely didn’t think, “Oh, he’s a female in a male’s body.”  But they knew I was an outsider.

 

There’s an upside to this.  I can become more or less feminine but it doesn’t make me any more or less female.  Maybe this is the key to this whole thing.  I could take hormones to become more comfortable in my body and I could change my appearance so that social cues match my gender, but these things won’t make me any more or less of a woman.  Nothing will.  I was born female and will die female.  Nothing can change that.

 

gender is mysterious

Gender is mysterious.  It’s more than what you read about or hear about or learn about or see.  It’s more than what people tell you you are or what you tell yourself.  It’s more than a dress code, a social script, a biological imperative, a state of mind.  It’s more.  And it’s immutable.  And it’s there, always.

 

waiting

I am a girl.  I think like a girl.  I act like a girl.  Sometimes I even look like a girl.

Am.  Am not.  Why is this so important?  Because you need to relate to people.  We are always interacting and gender is the primary category.  There are fundamental differences of behavior between men and men; and men and women; and women and women.  If you are not in a category, then social interaction is irregular.  You will be assigned a category anyway because…  well, just because.  That’s the way we work.  That’s the way things are.

 

I want to be seen as a girl.  I need to be.  I really, really need to be seen as a woman.  Men make me anxious and I try to avoid them.  I try to avoid myself.  I look in the mirror and try to look past myself.  I try to make the best of a hopeless situation.  I try everything.  Everything.  And nothing works.  My GF doesn’t want to know who I am.  My parents don’t know.  My counselors seem to think that I’m not who I am yet, which makes no sense at all.  The more I mess with this Rubik’s cube from hell, the more I’m convinced that I am royally fucked.

And I’ve always been royally fucked, except I thought I was making headway until now.  Now I just don’t know what to do.  I’ve always known what to do, but not today.  Not tomorrow.  Probably not ever.  So I wait.  I wait around my kitchen, my study.  I lie awake in bed.  I muse to myself and wait.  I have no idea what I’m waiting for.  This makes me smile an ironic pointless smile.  This isn’t like waiting for a bus or a train.  Nothing is coming.

 

This isn’t logical, it just is.  I wait because there is absolutely nothing else I can do.  I’ve spoken to everyone I could find until I’m blue in the face and no one even gets it, let alone has a solution for me.  I’m afraid to talk to other trans people because I don’t want to be convinced to get surgery or other medical procedures because it is tempting and, I feel, utterly inadvisable.  Maybe this is what I’m waiting for.  Maybe this is what I’m doing wrong.

 

So I’m waiting.  I’m waiting right now.  I don’t know what the fuck I’m waiting for and there’s no way to stop because I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I WOULD NEED TO STOP DOING!!!  OMG, this is…  not that bad really.  I’m just used to knowing things at this point in my life and suddenly, without warning, I don’t.