A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

Posts tagged ‘beard’

Still in the closet?

I wanted to crosspost this over from a reply I made to a thread over at TQ Nation this morning.  It wound up running way longer than I intended, and it seemed like it’d be a shame and a waste of time if I didn’t record it in my blog.  I feel like this post pretty much sums up how I feel towards my gender these days, even though it’s not the update on my life stuff that I’ve been promising.  I’m pretty sure I’ll get to that this weekend.

In the mean time, sexy crossdressing goodness.  😉

*****

When people ask me if I’m a boy or a girl, I answer, “Yes. I am certainly one or the other.”

If you want the long answer, here it is. I know in my heart of hearts that I was meant to be a dude- to have a male body, a male voice, and male hormones interacting with my male brainwaves (male patterns of thinking + female hormones = not the most stable of situations, psychologically.) But if you were to ask me what KIND of guy I am, that’s where it gets confusing, because I know that if I had been born with all the right fixtures, I would crossdress a lot of the time.

I like the feel of a female presentation interacting on top of a male base. I like theatrics and big musical numbers and drag- I like the feel of foundation smoothed over the closest possible shave, just barely concealing the stubble waiting to apring up underneath; I like the sound of a velvety female voice coming out of male vocal chords. But when there’s not a physical male base beneath these things, it all just feels pointless. I don’t know if this makes me a horrible person, but there’s nothing about female presentation that feels attractive (at least, on me) if it “passes”, if it doesn’t have at least some physical maleness lurking around underneath. In any case that I feel people would look at me and say “that’s a chick” and not “that’s a gay man in a dress”, I would rather just present as male.

So, I have been. I’ve been presenting as male for one and a half years, 24/7. I’ve been trying to get on testosterone, waiting for my voice to drop and my stubble to start coming in. I’ve been a closeted crossdresser for all this time. Where some people in my situation (still stuck, living with my family) would be more inclined to hide their transgenderism, I proudly display my Axe body spray, my Old Spice deodorant, my suits and ties and all the trappings of maleness that visually root my surroundings to my identity and say “A Man lives here.” And in the background, I stuff away all the old flowy scarves and lace gowns and mom’s old jewelry and makeup and I hide it away in my closet and I whisper to myself, “Some day.” I become mortified at the thought of my dad stumbling across it all. It’s another gender paradox- my dad would be thrilled to find out that I still entertain thoughts of dressing as a girl. I know it pains him to see my hair cut short every couple months and see me go to formal functions in that old suit I stole from him and not that Easter dress he got for me the last time before he gave up on it. I beg to go fishing with him, follow him to the garage to get him to let me help work on the car, try to keep up when he’s talking sports, knowing all the while that each little thing like this might be helping to build my “male cred” with him, but at the same time wanting nothing more than to be on that stage in the spotlight, dripping with jewels and lipsynching “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

I know it would destroy my chances of ever being seen as his son- even little things, like expressing pain when I get a papercut, earn reactions like “A boy wouldn’t act like that.” For him, my every action is now filtered through whether or not it makes me a man. I know if his best friend Monty got a papercut, my Dad go “Ow man, that sucks.” Is it just because he can grow a beard, Dad? Is this where the difference between commiseration and discrimination lies? The ability to cultivate facial hair?

It goes deeper, it gets more complicated. I hide my relationships from him. I know that if he sees that the guy who comes over all the time is not only my “best friend”, but also my lover, he’ll have that same reaction that everyone else has. “If you’re dating guys, then isn’t it just easier to be a girl?” The answer is no, because the guys that I like to date don’t go OUT with girls. It’s the cross any gay son has to carry, if maybe there’s a little more at stake for me (because no matter what most born-male people do, their parents still probably use male pronouns- to some people’s disadvantage!), but all in all still the same- the status of your masculinity is threatened if your dad finds out you bone other guys. I don’t feel alone on this one.

It sucks that so many people still link preference to gender identity, but such is life and we all have to deal with the ugly truths. But since so many people still judge based on the kind of tail you chase, and how people in the real world judge me factors into how I feel about myself and interact with others, I might as well go into that too.

Of course, “gay” is also hard to define with me. I’ve dated girls before, although none of them were lesbians- if anything, they were bi (which is cool with me, because if you’re not bi, you’re either going to have a problem with my body or my mind, and not minding either one is always a bonus.) You have to be a really special kind of girl to catch my eye, though- it’s hard to pick the pattern out of all the girls I’ve been attracted to, but I guess if I had to say, they weren’t gender binary, either. They were none of them very butch, but never really feminine- I guess you could say, they were female bodied HUMANS. The packaging was never what drew me in, but their personality.

My preference for guys, on the other hand, is very specific. They have to be willing to bottom, they have to be comfortable with their queerness to the point that they can acknowledge they are dating a guy with a cunt, and they have to have at least a little passion for crossdressing, of course. When it comes down to it, if we were to get married and I wore a tux, if he didn’t want to wear a wedding gown, then he doesn’t make the cut. It’s a weird standard by which to measure, I know, but there’s something about a guy in a wedding dress that just tickles me up and down and all over.

Of course, everything else in between is on a case by case basis. I have a special place in my heart for the transgendered, NOT because of my crossdressing fetish (because if you’re wearing what matches up with your internal gender identity, then it’s not crossdressing to me) but because we fight a long hard battle every one of us, and the idea of having a mate who can relate to that on something more than an abstract level appeals to me.

I guess I’ve been rambling, but in summation, I’m simply this:

1) A fabulous guy with a crossdressing fetish
2) who is pretty much gay but not definitively
3) and also happens to have a cunt.

[Note the order- 1) me, 2) what I like, 3) physical. The physical bits come last out of that order, always.]

In a word?

Queer.

Random bits and pieces.

I’ve developed this weird little rash on my neck where my Adam’s Apple should be.  Yesterday, it looked like a hickey, which is weird because nobody’s been kissing me there.  Today, it feels bumpy and weird.  I don’t like to make a big deal out of unrelated events, but it just kinda tickled me- as if my body is going, “Look here.  You see this?  This here?  This is where this lump should be, and it’s not.  What the fuck.”

Also, I’ve been pumping, so “little friend” (as I call it) has been growing, I think.  I don’t know how much bigger, to be specific, or if anyone out on the interwebs needs to know the details, but my partner said it looks bigger, and he’s not the sort to say things just to make me feel better.  So that’s kind of exciting.

Insurance is being a dick.  I keep doing something wrong, or sending something in the wrong date, or etc. etc., and all I really want is to be able to go talk to a doctor about getting a T prescription.  I’m not asking for insurance to pay for it, I’ll pay for it myself, cent for cent.  But this is taking FOR-FUCKING-EVER, this red tape.  Plus, social services screwed me over for food stamps last year.  They said that when I was trying to cancel food stamps, THEY made a mistake, some sort of clerical error, and need ME to pay them back $200.  Are you kidding me?  I’ve been trying my damnedest just to hold on to $200, let along the $500 I need to get my car fixed- and yes, I’m in a situation where I don’t need help with food, but I AM ALSO in a situation where I DON’T need to owe people money!  This sucks azz, bro.

It just seems like the world is trying to hold me back from medically transitioning, because it’s taking forever to get this freaking ball rolling.  I’m going to be filling out the paperwork, AGAIN, hopefully for the last time, today.

I think my body’s catching on, though, in lieu of the ability to get testosterone in my body.  For instance, I’m noticing hair growing on my back and shoulders and all kinds of areas where I never really noticed any before.  Also, apparently my voice is deep enough for me to at least pass as a 15 year old boy.  I think it might be more of an inflection thing, and some of the voice stretching exercises.

Although I quit the minoxidil a little while back (read the comments on “Quick update: Minoxidil” for the reasons why), my eyebrows have been growing in a more male shape, which may or may not be due to the minoxidil.  I’ve been shaving my face a lot more often lately, too- it was kind of hard to let go of the tiny bits of peach fuzz at first, but then reading that it can actually incriminate more than having a clean shaven face (because men either have stubble or nothing and only women have peach fuzz), I reluctantly picked up the razor.  I’ve read both ways- that it’s an old wives tale that shaving makes your hair grow in darker, or that it’s just because the ends are more blunt when you shave off the tips, but either way, I think it’s been growing a little faster.

In order to give me more incentive to shave it off, I went to the store and bought this totally badass razor that has all these metallic bits and functions, and it came in a set with a bunch of guy-smelling soap and deodorant, all for $8, too, so I felt really good about that.  I was getting low on my shampoo.

All these little things and everything else coming together, plus just relaxing into a male identity and being more confident about it, I think is contributing to the amount of people reading me as male lately.  It was funny- at Faire, that group who initiated me, they were first a lot more awkward trying to tell me that they’d decided amongst themselves that I looked way better as a dude than as a chick.  They couldn’t imagine how epic it was to hear that!

I think it’s when you travel back, you can see how far you’ve come.  Last night, I was practicing one of my theatrical makeup techniques (specifically, how to make your eyebrows disappear without shaving them off) and it worked so well, I wound up turning it into a celebrity impersonation photoshoot for my makeup portfolio.  If you’ve ever heard of Amanda Palmer, you know it’s necessary to have no eyebrows to dress as her.  But you’ll also understand why, dressing as her, it was the first time in a long time I felt that comfortable wearing a dress.  She tends to defy gender boundaries, and that makes me happy.

Anyway, I noticed something in the pictures that jarred me a little- I didn’t look female when I put on makeup anymore.  I looked very distinctly like a drag queen!  That tells me how far I’ve come- I can’t look completely female anymore, even when dressing as one.  I knew that day would come, but I didn’t expect it this soon.

Family issues- my dad’s was trying at first, I think, to be accepting, but something’s going wrong here, because I don’t think he’s taking me seriously.  I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m going through a phase, and his latest hobby has been dropping little hints to remind me “what I really am.”  I think that he thinks he’s doing me a favor.  It feels like shit.  Like, every single little time I let my front of masculinity down the slightest bit, he’s there to catch me and remind me that “men do this and this,” or “you wouldn’t get it, it’s a guy thing.”  I have to conform to every single binary to get my dad to take me seriously, and it sucks ass, because I know he thinks I’m fake, and the way it’s going, he’s basically making me act fake so he’ll think I’m real.  He’s the only person who has power over me this way.  With everyone else, I can flaunt the gender binary and laugh when they look confused.  I don’t much care what people think.  With my dad, I really, really want him to think of me as his son… and he’s making me jump through hoops to get it.  It doesn’t help that I’m going out with a guy, either.  I’m sure that if I’d been born completely male, and if I were going out with a guy, he’d think I was a sissy-boy, too.  I don’t know how to resolve this.  He needs to understand that I’m not a traditional, cut-out male, but I’m not female, either.  I’m just his kid, hopefully his son, and if I’m not perfect, then too bad, because I’d be really boring if I were.  I’m doing the best I can to reconcile the two sides of my gender, and he’s not making it any easier.  In fact, he’s making it harder than anyone else, because I actually value his opinion.  I wonder, if he saw that, would he try to hurt me like this all the time?

Minoxidil log #4: day 22.

To address the issues of the last post:

The patches cleared up and nothing even remotely like it has returned since, leading me to believe that they might not have even been related to the application of the minoxidil.  Of course, they could have been, especially since they only vanished after an incidental 2 day hiatus from application (I wound up at a friend’s house without it for a couple days- my life tends to be completely unplanned these days.)

The 2-day hiatus seemed to do the trick for pretty much everything unpleasant about minoxidil; when I started reapplying it, I barely had any itchiness, absolutely no redness and somehow my face just seemed more generally acclimated to it.  Maybe the 2 days gave my body time to assimilate the benefits and build a resistance to it without another onslaught of it to keep it from progressing?
IN SHORT:  The trick to this, it seems, is to know when your body is telling you to take a break, stop for a day or two, and THEN resume.  Piece of cake.

The biggest points of importance in this post, however, are the signs that it may indeed be working.  For one, I’m already getting babyhairs in the application areas of my eyebrows- ones that are dark.  My eyebrows are subtlely looking more male all the time.

Finally, last but not least, I’m developing blonde peach fuzz in my sideburn and jaw areas- two places that, at the beginning of this treatment, were as bare as a baby’s bottom.  It’s nothing that’s even noticeable unless you knew the difference between an unnoticeable peach fuzz (which most girls have anyway) and barenaked nothingness.  But the fact that I’m getting anything at 3 weeks in, when, typically, these results should happen at 12 weeks, is telling me that this treatment is extremely effective on me and I should definitely keep at it.

I’ll post with any other updates.

Minoxidil log #3: day 7.

As stated in my last log, I applied Minoxidil 5% topical solution again after a 24 hour hiatus on the evening of the 22nd.  The only reaction was a nearly unnoticeable itching, so I chose to continue with my regimen of once a day in the evenings from there forward.  One other thing I’ve slowly been coming to notice: about 20 minutes after application, my face has a somewhat numb feel to it, as if the skin were ever-so-slightly thicker.  I’ll have to keep an eye on that.

The only other thing of note:  I’m having a reaction that may or may not be related to the application of the minoxidil.  It’s outside of the application area: a small, slightly red and itchy area of skin just to the left of my left nostril, about the size of a nickel, and the same kind of reaction just to the right of the bridge of my nose, near my right eye.

I have to admit, I had been applying a tiny amount to my inner and lower eybrow areas so as to give them a more male-shaped pattern.  I can assure that the solution didn’t run or smear elsewhere and it’s having no effect on my eyes.  It seemed a little more important to note that I was applying it there, though, since my reactions in the nose area are a little more easily explained as being somewhat more central to the overall application.  I’m considering stopping application on my brows if these small itches don’t go away; alternately, a break from application altogether depending on whether they clear up.

No effect on my hair growth yet, of course- I’ve heard it said that it’s supposed to be 90 days before the first vellous hairs even show up.  That said, I’ve made it through the first week of that 12 week period with hardly any adverse results.

On to bigger and better things.

Minoxidil log #2: day 4.

I started applying minoxidil 5% topical solution to my beard area on the 18th, once a day in the evenings, and continued to do so for 3 days (18th, 19th and 20th).  It seemed wise to start applying such a radical treatment slowly at first, not the box recommendation of twice a day, in such a sensitive place as the face.  Success so far- no sensitivity, pain or itching in the applied area.

Today (the 21st), I’ve decided to see what applying the solution twice a day would do.  I applied it first this morning, with a slight bit of itching being the only result, although nothing really very noteworthy.  This evening I applied it again, and I’m already experiencing some tingling, itching and even a bit of slight burning.  Obviously, applying this solution twice a day is a bad idea.

Once a day should be enough- I’ll only apply it in evenings from here out.  If these symptoms reoccur tomorrow evening after I’ve given it 24 hours to cool down, I’ll take a 3 day break from my regimen and then see if it happens again.  If after 3 days, I apply it with the same reaction, then I’ll discontinue use.  As it stands, this isn’t a horrible reaction, just some slight sensitivity, and I’m assuming it’s just a reaction to overuse of it on an already sensitive area.

I’ll continue to update with results as they occur.

Dreams and binding.

I’ll have to keep this one short because I only have 20 minutes, but I figured this was worth mentioning.

Last night I had a pretty intensely realistic dream that I was growing facial hair, and what’s weirder, that nobody really seemed to notice.  They just… didn’t mind, and that made me happy.  I wish it were that simple, here on the outside.  The outside of the dreamscape, that is.

Anyway, it seemed so real that, when I woke up and stumbled into the bathroom, I was slightly shocked not to see that patchy fuzz on my chin.  I guess I was still a little asleep.  The biggest thing here, I suppose, is that I’ve got direct evidence that my subconscious self-image is male, if not just yearning for transition.  I’ve so rarely had a consistent self-image while I’m dreaming, I’m usually just watching other things happen, so this is comforting and inspiring to me.  One never likes to admit to these things, but when life hits you over and over with the same avalanche vote of no confidence, one starts to have little moments of self-doubt.  It’s nice to be reminded who you really are once in a while when you start to get lost in what everyone else thinks of you.

Another little news blurb- I’ve graduated from Ace Bandages, finally.  I was getting tired of there being only two choices- moobs, or warped ribs.  So I found something in the family’s costume bag, an old bodice.  I’ve worn it before, backwards, under Halloween costumes and it works perfectly not only to flatten the chest but to arrange the fat in such a way that it gives me totally awesome pecs.  The only problem was that it had really stiff boning, which I ripped out.  It works just the same, if not ten times better, without it, and it’s way more comfortable than anything else I’ve worn so far.  The boning used to give me bruises in my ribs.

And that’s what she said.   😉

Later!

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