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.

 

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love in the time of hoverboards

I wish I had some time to myself.  After fast-tracking my transition, I just want a week to look in the mirror or visit my family.  I need to get a clear idea of who I am, because my appearance changes every week.  Important stuff like facial features, torso measurements, my outlook on life, different.  Every week.  I just blink into space.

What the hell happened?

 

People talk to me all the time.  It’s unexpected, I want to think it’s weird.  But judging from their body language, it’s normal.

I don’t need to hide who I am anymore out of fear of them finding out whatever it used to be that would put them off, my nascent femininity.  I say some of the most unfiltered and inane shit, and people listen, kind of.  They seem to find it pleasant.

 

Meanwhile, I’m rebuilding my important relationships.  Recasting them and making them whole.  I didn’t realize I was doing this, and maybe it isn’t me.  Maybe they’re ready to accept me for who I am.

Maybe they realize they don’t have a choice, the counterparties of my important relationships.

Maybe I just need help and it’s obvious.

Maybe I’m human and this is just what happens.  I feel a loss of will as I realize the idea of my father accepting me as his eighth daughter, or the idea of speaking to Leia again.  I realize that my friends are assholes, who love me, and there’s nothing I can do to change that, not now.

Not now, as I depend on these people to recognize me when I can barely recognize myself.

 

They know me.  They always kind of knew me, and didn’t tell me.  That’s love.

 

‘today’s weirdness is tomorrow’s reason why’

I can see why no one writes about this.  Why no one blogs about their transgender transition after the ‘I’m OK’ stage, when they drop off the face of the earth.

It’s because you basically drop off the face of the earth.

 

The moment you give away your old wardrobe, when you run out of mascara for the first time, when you find yourself standing in the social security office and declare yourself to the federal government to be a woman – and it’s not even a big deal – everything changes.  It’s as if I had never done anything in my life.  That I’m here, now, born yesterday or whenever, I don’t even know.  Everything is new and my body feels 1,000 years old, as if I’d been this way forever, like I had never known myself until now.

Now it is all I can do to make my credit card payments.  It’s the mundanity that slaps you in the face – that I need to adhere to this schedule handed to me from someone who apparently planned all of this out.  I try not to think about it too much.

 

Because to think about where I am is to break.  Under the weight of lost friendships and family and dreams and time.  To not know who I am or ever hope to know – to know I will never be part of most everything I see, to be alone.  To know that I cannot stand being touched.  To dwell on this is loss.

 

I found myself explaining that I’m stuck this way, and that I can relax now.  It’s true.

 

femininity

I used to sleep well.

Tonight there’s this bespectacled teenage girl asking me why she can’t be a scientist.  Telling me what to do.

Is that what I’m like?  I’m annoying.

 

One thing about being a woman, being subconsciously perceived as a woman, is that every woman on the planet feels totally okay with telling me what to do.  From my mom to my trans mentor – if I’m not paying attention, it’s like I’m dead to them.  A kind of universal disappointment, a unilateral no confidence vote.

Femininity is a heavy, heavy thing.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

the space between

I told a friend that I am transgender.  He said he doesn’t know anything about it but that it sounds great.  I was taken aback.  My girlfriend said the same thing, that my trans-ness is not a problem, that it is good.  It doesn’t seem that simple.

 

Yes, realizing who I am is like standing under a waterfall in 120 degree heat, an overwhelming and unparalleled experience of joy, so epic, so wonderful; it brings me to tears.  I love myself.  But I miss humanity.  I miss the simple pleasure of watching a movie and saying, “me too.”  I miss meeting new people and really getting to know them.  I feel fortunate now to keep the friends I have.  It’s daunting.

I am lonelier than I’ve ever been.  I feel disconnected from people and places that I’ve known.  I can’t remember their names.  It feels like five years have passed and it’s only been eight months.

 

Yet, I feel a strange and powerful sense of achievement.  Yes, I am a woman.  I feel confident in myself and my abilities, more human, more complete.  But it costs.  I feel like I’m in outer space, that I have achieved the unachievable and am so far away from where I started that nothing matters.

 

Sometimes I dream that I am an astronaut on another planet.  When I look back home to Earth, it is the only place I want to be.

Awake, I promise myself that I will find my home someday, somewhere I can feel a part of.  It’s so far away.

 

beautiful freak

I believe that whoever applied the terms cis and trans to gender was a scientist with a sense of humor.

Cis and trans are terms used for two versions of a molecule that are mirror images of one another.  A realistic application of these terms to human beings would be to their DNA molecules.  But a mirror image of my DNA would be complete nonsense.  My genes and characteristics would be garbled like a corrupted NES rom.  If every cell of my body contained a mirror image of my DNA, I would die.

But I am alive; I am a beautiful freak.

 

I stare into space at the corner of a train window.  A man walks by and makes eye contact.  I know he doesn’t see me.

I feel a pain that is always with me, unknowable, annoying.  It’s the feeling in your bones when you’ve been sitting for too long.  I’ve never been able to shake this feeling.

 

A part of me is frozen and lost to my senses.  It defies understanding.  It is excruciating beyond words to feel what she doesn’t feel.

I will never be able to express myself to another human being.  No one will see me.  I will never see the light of day.  I never want to feel this way again!  I want to pretend that I never knew, that nothing happened, that I am not here.

 

I am a trans girl and I have a choice.  I can ignore myself or feel the agony of knowing.

So I type at my keyboard in the dead of night.  I want to know who I am.

 

I want to hate myself but I won’t.  I know what hate is now.  My appearance is changing and I’ve seen hate in the eyes of my neighbors, in strangers and in friends.  My mother fears that the world will turn against me if I tell anyone.  She fears that my father will turn against me and blame himself.

I know that hate stems from pain.  I can’t succumb to it, I won’t.

 

I caught myself explaining cis privilege to my girlfriend this weekend.  I’m like, “You don’t need to think about gender all the time.”  I realize how ridiculous I’m being.  Yes, we’ve known each other for a long time.  No, I can’t actually explain what is happening.  I’m sorry.

Those were the first words I spoke to her as a girl, “I’m sorry.”