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.

 

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.