a strange place

A transgender transition is a strange place to be.  I kind of hate myself, I kind of love myself, and I kind of don’t care.

 

Hate, in that everyone’s first reaction, everyone that knows me, they think I’m crazy.  They’re like, “His small mind has finally cracked – spectacularly – under all that pressure.”  And proceed to treat me like a very fragile person.  This makes it hard to look in the mirror.

Meanwhile, looking in said mirror, I love myself.  I feel more beautiful every day.  This is the first time that my body feels like it’s mine, and not some separate entity.  I have an irrational fear of waking up to find that none of this is real.

 

But part of me doesn’t care.  The fragility of love is clear to me – that it can be shattered with all of the ceremony of an egg dropped from a 30th story window.

 

I thought an egg could be so strong if you hold it just so and squeeze.

Silly rabbit.

 

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going outside

A deliveryperson rang the bell at 7 am.  I was expecting them, but I rolled out of bed.

I signed the form and she was gone.  As I stepped outside, I couldn’t remember a more beautiful day.

 

I tiptoed down the step, down the walk, peered down the block and realized I’d worn two layers of clothing all year.  All spring, all summer.  But now I could feel the air on my skin.  I remembered how cool it could be in the morning, that it’s damp and smells like lawn.

I lost myself in this and rubbed my eye – a vague burning sensation from my undereye gel.

 

I had coffee on the step that morning.

 

reflections pt. 1

As I stand on a train platform, my feet are cold and firmly rooted in the ground.  I see the world differently and it seems that I don’t actually know where I’m going.

 

Its been almost a year now since I’ve affirmed to myself, my identity as a woman.  It’s not as scary as I imagined.  It’s not as fulfilling as I imagined.  It’s not as final as I imagined.  Basically, my concept of self is all that has changed.  Friends and acquaintances, coworkers see me the same way.  Changes in my appearance and how I carry myself are seen as the fashions of a gay man, if they are noticed at all.

Paradoxically I’m a lot more sincere, but when I say things like, “thanks!” or, “I think you’re really smart!” it comes across as sarcasm.  Literally everything I say is flat.

The most surprising thing is that it doesn’t really matter how I see myself, people see me the way they want, in the way that makes sense to them.

 

So I’m trying to look at this with a cold, objective eye.  Thankfully, when I look at myself in the mirror, it is not with cold eyes.  I like myself now.  I couldn’t say that before.

I hated myself for failing, for miscommunicating, for being painfully awkward.  For everything, from forgetting someone’s name to losing a friend.  I could never forgive myself for these things.  But tomorrow is another day.  And I hope that these memories, my regrets, won’t define me anymore.

 

A detail that is lost in all of this is my parents.  Its always been messy with them, as they’ve been separated for as long as I can remember.

My Mom knows that I’m her daughter and my Dad thinks that I’m his son.  This is difficult, and I turn over and over in my mind how I can fix it.  It’s a strange schism to live with, which I couldn’t believe for awhile.  My Father and I had drifted apart over the past year and I could have sworn that my Mom told him, but she didn’t.  It’s Thanksgiving soon and I’m worried about what to do.  I’m afraid to talk to my father about this.  Maybe we’ll never speak about it.

My Mother was in disbelief when I told her that I’m her daughter.  She still holds out hope that it’s a passing phase, that I’ll work it out, that it’ll go away, which hurts.  When I first told her, she said I was incorrect.  Then once she believed it, she felt upset for me, that I would be subject to such a fate.

 

I honestly don’t know what to make of this.  And I try not to think of it that way.

 

don’t look down

“Don’t think about the future.  Don’t think about the past.  Look at what’s in front of you.  Please, just focus.”

I put one foot in front of the other, not thinking of who I am, how I’m coming across, what I’ll ever do about any of it.  It’s numbing.  And I fear the truth, that I can’t.

 

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything.  I tell myself that it’s over, that the worst is behind me, that it’s not necessary, that I don’t have time and I’m hungry, that I shouldn’t write when I’m tired.

But someone said that I handle the things I write about so gracefully.  This gives me hope; and wrending, vertigo-inducing dissociation.

 

And part of me feels nothing at all – It’s not fair.

 

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.

 

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.

 

june 14th, 2013 (on a friday)

From my journal:

“What I feel now is not true hopelessness, it is not full absence of hope.  It is shock and panic and fear as I contemplate how my newly realized identity changes things for me, changes my future.  But it is a positive change in the long run.  I am more stable.  And I am arguably more realistic, not living in a fantasy of anything that I could imagine to make the world make sense in my terrible ignorance of my true self.  I even seem to have the ability to write now when I could not write before.  My old journals are an exploded debris field of confusion and pain, longing and despair.  Now I know.”

 

it got real

The world makes less sense than it did three weeks ago.

I read some other trans girl blogs.  Most are out of date.  I read Trans Girl Diaries.  I don’t laugh, but am fascinated, terrified.  I search for queer blogs and am overwhelmed by a universe of noise.  All-in-all, I am struck with the sense that my life will not become better.  Things may not get worse, but they will not get better.  This is not entirely a result of reading about SRS and HRT and contemplating a life of isolation – the fact that my life will be nothing like the movies.

My GF is having reservations about my girl-ness, serious ones.  I check my phone, is it Wednesday already?  I can’t believe it.

 

I sit awkwardly at work and write this.  I don’t know why.  My mind is restless.  My schedule is full.  I need to perform experiments and make phone calls and fix machinery.  My coworker acquaintance from another building keeps asking questions about how stuff works on this floor.  I try my best to act naturally (yes I know, I shaved this morning and I have girl lips…  and girl hair.  Please stop looking at me I’m trying to write about it) but I’m sure I give myself away somehow.

 

And I’m pretty sure my GF wants a real man.  She said so.  I know I’m a girl but I still take offense.  I’m not a ‘real’ girl and if I’m not a ‘real’ man then I’m not a ‘real’ anything.  Technically, someone in my position can use the pronoun ‘they’ as in epicene they.  Instead of, “she went to the store” you can say, “they went to the store” if the person’s gender is unknown.

I feel nauseous.  I am not they – I looked this up some time ago and cried myself to sleep.  Yes, I’m pathetic and TMI all around, but I don’t give a fuck.

This is today’s lesson in grammar that no one uses.  You also shouldn’t use semicolons.