I came home early from work today in tears, the kind of tears that don’t quite escape your eyelid and dry and make them all sticky… And it hit me. This is why so many trans people commit suicide. It fucking hurts. It hurts like hell, and no amount of love and understanding, no amount of self-awareness is going to get my body back. Not that I ever had a female body, but no one ever said this shit made sense either.
I will never commit suicide. I have shrinks and drugs and I wouldn’t put my people through that. But I understand why people do it now, I mean I understood before, but I never just sat and faced the pain of this before. I don’t want to describe it.
I have to go back. I put on a pot of coffee and ate some cheerios. I made this playlist. It’s going to be ok.
The Bird and the Bee – The Races (Please Clap Your Hands)
The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1 (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots)
The Beta Band – Human Being (Hot Shots, Vol. 2)
The Bird and the Bee – Ray Gun (Ray Guns are not Just the Future)
Metric – Raw Sugar (Grow Up and Blow Away)
No Doubt – Just a Girl (Tragic Kingdom)
Coldplay – Viva La Vida (Viva La Vida)
The White Stripes – Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine (Elephant)
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.
I’m a trans girl. I’ve known this for half a year now and had spent the vast majority of my life as male. I strived to live up to the male ideal, fulfill male conventions. I lived life as a man. I did not have a clue that I was another gender. Sure, my friends would make fun of me for being soft spoken, with feminine posture and long hair, but that was just upsetting.
One day I was really hung over and it occurred to me, “Hey, maybe I’m a woman.” I thought I was tripping but the idea stuck with me. Eventually I told my GF about it, and then it was a thing. For the next three months I was physically ill (flu season), literally beside myself (myself!) and still without a clue. I talked to my shrink, I talked to my other shrink, my Mom, my FTM trans friends, and they asked, “Well, how do you know?” There is no way to answer this question, which apparently everyone will ask you if you tell them you’re another gender.
You can talk to your hair dresser, you can shave or not shave, you can go through seven bottles of nail polish, you can consider gender reassignment surgery. All of these things have plusses and minuses but I felt alone and disconnected from the world as I obsessed about my options. There didn’t seem to be a path forward for me or other trans people who do not plan to undergo gender reassignment surgery or hormone therapy. It’s like a new thing, exciting and scary and new. Should I consider myself lucky?
I didn’t go very far with my appearance and left my hormones unmodified. I still look like a man, a man with an angled bob haircut and clear nail polish, but these things are subtle. These things are a delicate balancing act between social norms and the sense that I am on acid. Why do I say that? Because realizing that you’re a trans girl after being a cis guy for 20+ years is like being on an acid trip that you’ve somehow gotten used to.