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

Posts tagged ‘gay’

And so we encounter the Biggie: the Dating Problem.

So I’ve been out of a bad relationship for a couple of months now it seems, and my sex drive has had time to recover.  I’ve long since passed that point where no longer having to Report In For Sex nightly is really nice.  I’m at that level of loneliness where being low on physical contact makes me feel notably low on energy, but not yet at that point where seeing a nice ass actually makes my crotch ache.  It’s close, I can tell, because being around cute guys who trigger my gaydar makes my heart race, and porn is slowly becoming interesting again.  I figure it’s time to get back on the bike and look into dating before I get to that point of desperation that makes me do really stupid things that I’ll regret for years to come.  For once, I’d like to actually have a choice in the person I wind up in bed with rather than jump on the first piece of ass that wiggles in my vicinity.

I never really thought I’d actually descend to the level of dating sites, but two years of pondering my personal position makes me realize that I’m really only going to find a partner in a situation where it’s not awkward to say “Hey, by the way, I’m FTM” right off the bat.  And it seems like the only situation where that could seem even remotely natural is on the web, preferably on a site where that’s a quality that someone is actively looking for.

I don’t necessarily want that to be the reason someone goes after me (although I don’t seem to have the problem with tranny-chasers that most Tguys seem to have), but by the same token, I don’t want to seduce any gay men who would initially have images of penis dancing through their heads.  In short, I want you to know what you’re getting up front when you get it, without you putting in time and energy to getting “trapped”.  I don’t have any vendetta against gay guys who aren’t into the vajayjay.  I get it, you know?  Some people just can’t be aroused when their partner’s crotch has a certain setup, and I can perfectly understand that.  It takes being compatible in ALL aspects- not just mentally.  I’ve come to terms with that.

So you might understand what I’m feeling when I say I saw someone on a message board lamenting that there weren’t enough gay transmen around.  HOLY CRAP, I’m thinking, THIS IS MY CHANCE!  I click into his profile.

He’s cute, an added bonus.  Genderfucker, his profile says- one of my fetishes!  I scroll down- Drag queen?!  Where have you been all my life?  He keeps a blog.  Oh my god, a fellow writer!  I have to read this!

I click in.  First post I see is about silly lighthearted shenanigans concerning forking someone’s lawn and TPing their house as retribution for a series of pranks.  This is great!  He’s got an active social life, isn’t afraid of a little adventure, a great sense of humor and not only that, the fact that his blog isn’t only about his queerness shows a levelheaded and well-rounded person who isn’t obsessed head to toe with the “Lifestyle”.  Well-written and good grammar to boot.  I’m all a-twitter.

Next post- a reflective post on spirituality taken to extremes; well intended, humorous, kind and thought-provoking, as well as a direct reflection of my own outlook on religion.  I’m ready to propose.  I find his facebook, shoot him a friend request.  Hope springs eternal.

Next post:

“…something something something, My Boyfriend something something…”

He has a boyfriend.

My heart crashes through my feet.  I feel betrayed.  Didn’t you just say you were looking for transmen?  Clearly you already found one, or you were referencing a time you were looking for one, in a different time, in a different place.  I scan your blog frantically for some mention of polyamory, open relationships, hell, even fuckbuddies-

I stop and laugh at myself for getting so wrapped up in this.  You promised me nothing- you don’t even know I exist.  The good ones are always taken, aren’t they?  I should have known someone so cute, sweet and smart would already be involved.   Now I feel like some kind of crazy internet stalker.  I should keep looking for someone in meatspace.

But in a community where the gay men hide due to fear of being shot and I’ve met two transpeople- total-

How do I even begin?

Tomorrow is the Big Day.

When I woke up this morning, this was the first thing on my mind.

(Well, technically, the first thing on my mind was “Oh my god, it’s Sunday and I can sleep in as long as I want!!! …oh wait.  That was a dream.  It’s Wednesday.”)

Fuckin’ Wednesday.

But anyway, as soon as I remembered where/who/when I was, the first thing on my mind was this.

“Oh wow.  Up until tomorrow afternoon at 2:00, all of this will have been a fantasy, wishful thinking.  Nothing is set in stone yet.  But after tomorrow, I’m in for the long haul.”

Yes.  My insurance FINALLY kicked in some time earlier this month, and tomorrow, I have my first official appointment with my gender therapist.

I’m actually fucking terrified.

This is the day I’ve been waiting on, uninsured, for two years, technically my whole life.  But there’s really nothing in your life before that moment that can prepare you for walking in to the one person who has the power to help you, claiming that you were born into the wrong body, and begging them to fix it.  There’s no precursor to it.  It all comes down to that moment- is my case strong enough, or not?  Are they going to try to dig up things from my medical past to disprove my psychological stability?  Is this going to be one of those therapists who thinks that if I don’t cookie-cutter fit the binary, then I’m not trans enough?  What if she thinks that if I’m not attracted to girls, then I can’t be trans?  We all know these things aren’t true, but what if that course of the training hasn’t made it out to my neck of the woods yet?

And even after all that, once I make my case and she says I need to get on hormones ASAP… now I’m medically committed to something that has thus far been an intangible.  Sure, I’ve been binding my breasts for two years, I’ve cut my hair, thrown away all my old female clothing, even tried to grow facial hair by my own means (not a very good idea.)  But nothing I’ve done has been permanent yet.  I’ve rearranged my social and professional life, but the pronouns aren’t sticking with everyone yet.  In all technicality, if I decided to drop it all right here right now and just let it go and live my life as female henceforth, none would be the wiser.

Transition is ACTUALLY REALLY SCARY.

I was thinking all of this in the bathroom, and then I glanced at the mirror and I realized something.

There’s something that definitely scares me more than committing to live my life as a male, and that’s committing to life my life as a female.  The idea of that doesn’t give me a couple jitters, some butterflies in my stomach, or a little case of commitment anxiety cold-feet.  It makes me want to crawl out of my skin, rip babies heads off, projectile vomit, and start speaking in Latin while my head spins.

Let’s face it, no matter what I’m committing to, I do have a fear of commitment.  It’s just my nature.  The job I’m in right now is possibly the best thing that could happen to me, ever, and my first instinct is to abandon ranks because it’s a year commitment through Americorps.  I’m in perpetual fight-or-flight mode just because committing to it makes me feel claustrophobic.

But what I’m doing right now is finding my way out of something that I had been committed to, without my permission, since the day I was born.  I’m breaking free of that, and if I damn well don’t feel like fitting the binary once I AM growing facial hair, well then, there are ways out of that too.

So, screw cold feet.  I’m moving forward, because dammit, if 21 years of gender issues don’t speak to my need for this, then I don’t know what will.

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.

Day 13: I have defeated sleep.

Just felt like informing you all that this is the first time I’ve ever gotten on the computer after a long day, sat down and stayed on it until the sun came up the next morning. Feels weird, man. Without the sleep in the middle, I feel like I’m still in yesterday.

In 21 years I’ve probably never gone 24 hours without at least 5 hours of sleep, and that’s skimping- my usual runs somewhere around 9. And yet, I really don’t feel tired- I just kinda feel like I’ve somehow crossed the threshold into the Twilight Zone.

***

Seeing as that’s completely unrelated to gender and I promised I’d spend this entire month forcing myself to talk about gender every day and hopefully get it out of my system, I guess I’ll go into what happened yesterday.

Um, I got to hang out with my dad a lot.  And there was, like, father-son bonding and shit.  This has happened a lot recently and I find that it’s very cool that I don’t have to go to someone else to learn how to be a man.  Yep.

What else.  Uhhh…  I guess the lack of sleep is making me more likely to spell out what I’m muttering as I try to come up with something.  We’re now going to try not to do that because it looks stupid.

…I actually just had to delete an “Errrrrm…”, which is brilliant.  It’s like I’m on chat or something.

Anyway.  Oh, yes.  My sex drive is definitely returning.  For a few months there, I was completely turned off the idea of sex in general.  I was really worried when it became the case that pictures did nothing for my libido.  I was getting to the point where I’d be looking for something, anything, to turn me on and I couldn’t find anything online, even the sort of stuff I knew used to get me going.  It all kinda just looked like art to me.

But then tonight I happened to run across a little gay porn in the forum I frequent, and I felt that old familiar sproing.  Maybe I’ll be able to enjoy sex again in the future.  Meanwhile I have to deal with wanting it and not really having the option…

…Which somehow seems like it’ll be easier now that I have all these new things along with my genital dysphoria, such as shame and anxiety.  All I really want right now from anyone is a bj, I think, and it’s not going to feel quite right until I get at least a little growth going on.  It seems like sex with other people might just serve to screw more with my dysphoria, so it’s easier not to rush into things and appreciate the solitude.

Still, though, I do miss the intimacy.  That’s one thing that makes me feel like less of a dude.  I ALMOST, not really, but almost like snuggling better than the sex itself, and it’s hard to ask that of someone you’re not intimate with, for some reason.  Hell, it’s hard even to admit to.  Sometimes I feel just… hungry, though, and physical contact of any sort is enough to start filling the void- the more skin contact, the better, in that holding hands is like a granola bar and naked snuggling is like a buffet.  It’s like sleep and food and water all at once and I feel so energized and yet relaxed afterwards- just replenished, I guess is the word.

This blog has kind of taken a weird, non-gender related turn, but whatever, it’s all about keeping it real, I guess.  The point is, women are “supposed” to want intimacy and so they trade sex to get it, and men are “supposed” to want sex and therefore trade intimacy for it, and right now I guess I’d trade a certain amount of sex if it meant I could have someone to hold.  I’m getting lower on energy by the day, and paradoxically, sleeping at night gets harder because of it.  You’d think I’d sleep more, but no- well, unless it’s during the day, I guess.  My sleep schedule gets all screwed up…

So, I’m starting to feel that my pride may have to take a back burner to my health, because I just feel like my eyes are becoming sunken and gray.

Or maybe I just to finally go to bed.

(Im’ma write about something REALLY embarrassing tomorrow!)

Day Whatever: Grandma’s funeral.

So, in the mayhem of the last few days, being stranded in various places with my computer bluescreening at me completely at random, and this new death in the family, I’ve made little progress with keeping to my challenge, and frankly, I don’t really care.

Some things are more important.

I think her funeral is going to be Tuesday, but nobody really knows for sure yet.  I was never really extremely close to her- she was the grandma on my mom’s side, and after mom died, I didn’t want too much to do with anyone attached to her.  At least, it was that way for a long time.  Not only that, but she was very religious and kinda homophobic, and frankly, I didn’t want to deal with the drama of being exiled from her side of the family for being a tranny freak.  I remember thinking, quite grimly, that she didn’t have much time left on this earth and I’d rather her go out thinking the best of things about her grandchild than to have to know the truth.  Besides, I thought, she was a relic of a time long past, someone set in her ways, someone I’d probably never have any hope of changing.  She’s been in bad health for a long time… it was best to just let things be. At least, that was how I felt until only a few months ago. Now, I have regrets.

Recently, I’ve begun to let go of the bitterness I had towards my mom, and coming with that has been a surprising curiosity and hunger to know about the person my mom really was.  All I really remember about her was that she was a crazy bitch, in the good ways and in the worst ways.  She did the sorts of things to me that people remember monsters for, and yet, at the very least, she was a very interesting person.  I’ve heard things about her from her friends, from my dad, and her family that tell me she was capable of extraordinary things. I was coming to believe that my grandmama knew things about her that I wouldn’t even be able to ask of anyone else. I wanted, for a while now, to at least have one last conversation with her- tell her things that she didn’t know about her child, and learn things from her that I didn’t know about my mom.

It seemed like we could have both gained some healing closure from making that connection about one person between us who touched our lives, for better or for worse.  But she was in such bad health for such a long time, especially after her first stroke, bedridden and sleeping every time we came to visit.  I kept thinking, I’ll be able to talk to her next time.  Now, she’s gone, and with her, things that have now forever been lost to time.

Oh, well.  Life goes on, and maybe it’s for the best.

About that thing… (sex)

So, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how my sex issues have been working out.  Either people are having the same problems and they’re looking to me for the answers, or they’re just generally curious, but either way I’ve been wanting to make another sex-related post anyway, so here’s to it.

To start, my partner and I have just been more or less negotiating a lot on when to do what.  As I’ve said before, I have a lot of problems bottoming lately, and he just generally doesn’t want to a lot of the time.  But after I sat him down and said to him, that old classic line: “I have needs, too,” and pointed out that I really only got to top about 20% of the time, and asked him to try and imagine what it would be like if the tables were turned, he really put himself in my shoes and put a lot more effort into trying to accommodate.

Aside from that, we’ve been trying to find a natural rhythm in which to switch back and forth.  I’ve discovered something rather counter-intuitive about myself.

I have moments where I feel more or less in tune with my female side, and more moments where I’m in tune with my male self.  When I’m in tune with my male energy, I feel a lot more confident and comfortable in just about every area of life- except the ones that enhance what I don’t have, specifically, my penis.  So (and I’m assuming this will change when I get on T), when I’m feeling more male, I have a really hard time doing anything in bed that really has anything to do with the genital I have.

But when I’m in tune with my female energy, I feel awkward, overly sensitive, and generally weirded out in every area- except where sex is concerned.  I’m assuming this is because when I’m doing something that’s so basic and physical in nature, it’s better for my energy to be attuned to something that matches my body, rather than my mind.

So, to recap, I’m basically only comfortable with sex- and sex only- when I’m in tune with my female energy, and therefore with my body, but I’m far more comfortable with pretty much everything else when I’m in tune with my male energy, and therefore my soul.

I’m starting to feel that this problem could be rectified by having the full battery of surgeries and bringing my body in line with my soul, because quite frankly, the moments where I’m in tune with my female energy are far more few and far between.

Anyway, we’re trying to sync up the times when I bottom with the times when I feel more or less comfortable with my body, and topping with when I feel more male, particularly when I’m feeling very, very inadequate and unhappy about my… bits and pieces.  It works some of the time, but sometimes it’s unpredictable how I’m going to feel about it afterwards.  It can be very upsetting sometimes to try and force a stiff upper lip and take it on bottom without getting emotionally disturbed, and think that everything’s going to be okay, and then afterwards, feel completely broken and worthless, as if everything I’ve ever stood up for and fought for and every piece of manhood that I’ve built up from scratch has been ripped away, and I just stood and watched and let it happen because I loved the person who was doing it, and they didn’t even know what they were doing- god, that got to be a lot more dismal than I meant for it to be.

But anyway, it can be dangerous to think that I’m not going to feel like that and it wind up being that way, if I don’t want to be depressed for the rest of the day.  It can take every last bit of inner strength to build myself back up from something like that, and I think he’s finally starting to get what it takes out of me.  So, I get to top a little more these days.

On the subject of topping, I have a personal question for any of the guys out there who have had the problem of not having a member where they felt one was supposed to be.  This could be graphic, so speed away if you’re bothered by that sort of thing.  It’s also a pretty weird subject, even for this blog, so I don’t know how easy it will be for most of you to suspend your disbelief…  anyway, the point is, proceed at your own risk.

Sometimes I really have this feeling as if there’s one there, and it’s just… invisible, and untouchable.  The feeling of wanting someone to be able to touch it has been so strong in the past that I’ve actually had the experience of… well, I don’t know if there’s a word or a phrase for it, so I’m just going to call it “sensation transference.”  In other words, if there’s a part of my body that resembles the shape of said member, specifically, a finger, that is touched, or stroked, or even sucked in an erotic way, it can almost feel like the part that’s missing, to the point that if I close my eyes, I can even forget for brief periods it’s not there.  So… basically, for the time being, any time things get hot and heavy, my right pointer finger has inadvertently become my penis.

That can become awkward.  I’ve noticed a particularly strange characteristic in these last couple weeks- I think it’s subconsciously programmed itself due to my behavior over the months, but whenever I’m aroused, it feels really, really bizarre to try and bend my finger.  Not painful or anything like I’d suspect it feels to bend a natural one, but it’s sort of strange, like trying to watch a contortionist… or feels weird in that way that it’s odd to move your toes when they’re asleep- you know you should be feeling one thing, but you’re feeling something entirely different.  So, when I’m aroused, my finger’s default position is to be pointed, and I CAN unpoint it if I focus on it, but only when I notice and really pay attention to it.

Long story short, I get finger boners.

But on the other hand, we got some finger cots and I keep my nails cut short, and it feels REALLY, REALLY amazing when I really get in the zone and penetrate my partner.  It can almost be enough to stave off the dysphoria on most days.  Sometimes, though, the mental disjunction of the distance between where my finger attaches to the knuckle of my hand and where my penis should attach to my body can snap me back to reality with the weirdness of it, and sometimes even make things worse if the illusion breaks hard enough.  It all depends on how focused, or unfocused I am on any given element of the situation.  It’s all jumping through mental hoops.  But hell, I’m not one to look a gift horse in the face.  On some days, I can be satisfied!

So, does anyone else experience this strong penis-finger connection, this “sensation transference,” or am I the only weirdo who has this thing?

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?

New friends, new binder, new year.

Just got my first real binder in the mail, and I have to say it’s improving my quality of life by a considerable amount.  It doesn’t hurt my back, it works a lot better than anything else I’ve used, it’s very breathable (almost to a fault- why does it actually make me colder than when I’m NOT wearing it?  -oh well, it’ll be great this summer) and it generally makes me feel more attractive to wear it.  Because, as my honey said, the only difference between my haircut being a boy haircut and being a lesbian haircut is the presence of tits.

I’m being read as male about 50/50, still.  I had to pick up some deodorant the other day (I like Old Spice) and I was expecting to have to explain that I was picking it up for my dad or boyfriend or something, like usual.  But the lady at the checkout counter asked if I had a dime (so she wouldn’t have to give me 90 cents in change), my friend started to dig for a dime in her purse, and I pulled one out of my pocket, so the cashier said, “Don’t worry dear, he’s got it.”  She completely read me as male without even a doubletake- I’m wondering if I’m androgynous enough now that it’s little gender cues like what kind of deodorant I’m buying that are tipping the scale one way or the other.
I’m getting funny looks when I go into the ladies’ bathroom, but weirdly enough, now that I’m entering that phase, I’m enjoying it way more than I thought I would.  It’s kinda funny, really- I feel as if I’m entering the enemy’s camp, in a fun spy sort of way, and the double takes I’m getting when I step into the bathroom are more validating than anything.  I’m getting read male way sooner than I thought I would, so it’s like a little freebie.  I don’t know if it makes me a pervert that I feel like a spy when I’m in the girl’s room, because that’s where I’ve been all my life, but it’s a burden we all trannies bear- no matter which bathroom we go into, society’s going to see us as perverts, so I just roll with where I feel more safe at the moment.  I don’t have the balls, so to speak, to enter the men’s room quite yet.  I’d rather be sure I at least sound male before I try that.

Anyway, I got to go to one of my old friend’s parties last week- actually, I really only got to meet him once before, long ago when one of my other friends took me to one of his parties, and I got a little too drunk to want to show my face there again for a while, but he saw me at the hardware store and he invited me to “Movie Nights” on tuesdays, so I guess they don’t hate me there.  The thing about this place is, almost everyone who shows up is some brand of queer, so I felt safe.  Last time they saw me, I was still trying to pass for female and it wasn’t working out, so it was really awkward.  Now I’m settled into a male-ish identity, and I was determined to let them see that I was a lot more stable now.  Ultimately, I just tried not to get too crazy with the alcohol.

I met a lot of new people at the party, introduced myself as “Tommy”, and here’s the cool thing.  Now I have a whole new group of friends who aren’t burdened with trying not to use the wrong name all the time.  Bless all my old friends who are trying their damnedest not to hurt me, but it’s just a burden off me once in a while to hang out with people who aren’t all dancing around what to call me.

Anyway, the party seemed split down the middle- the girls were in the living room watching a chick flick, and the guys were in the kitchen slamming Irish car bombs and laughing it up.

That night, I had my first Irish car bomb.

They really treated me like one of the guys, for hours.  I even clung to some hope that they were all reading me as male.  It wasn’t until way later that my perceptions became more realistic when one of the girls referred to me as “she”.  It was an unexpected little punch to the gut, and I actually felt winded and had to go sit down in another room for a minute- give me a break, though, it was the first time I felt comfortable and felt like I was hanging around with people who had no female preconceptions of me, and that rug got yanked out from under me quite effectively.  I didn’t let it get me down the rest of the night, though.

As it turns out, one of the guys who lived there was FTM, which was pretty exciting for me because I’ve never met one of my own in real life before.  I’d heard of him before from one of my other friends who knew I was FTM and wanted to hook me up with other transpeople in the community- it almost makes me feel guilty talking about him this way on here, as if he were a unicorn or something.  I have to keep in mind, he’s just this guy, but it’s exciting to know the possibility of someone out there who understands me and gets what I’m going through.

Anyway, there happened to be a moment where the guys all went out to the porch and he and I were the only ones left in the kitchen.  He said something about how he remembered the last time I was there.

I shuddered.  “That was back when I was still trying to pass for a girl.”

He nodded sagely- he knew it all, everything we needed to know about each other for that moment passed between us.  He’d already been down that road, taken the hormones, his face had the hair and his voice had dropped and everyone referred to him as he, and he was where I wanted to be when I looked to the future, and I was where he’d once been when he looked to the past.  Then he looked me up and down and said one thing.

“It never gets any easier.”

He left, and my stomach tightened.  Why did he say something like that?  Things were already getting easier for me.  His words haunted me for the rest of the night, and I tried to dismiss them as a generalization- that life gets harder in general, whether you transition or not, or maybe that his life was an anomaly- one of the few for which transition actually makes things worse in a quantifiable way.  What I tried not to think about was that terrifying possibility that hangs over all of us:

What if it really ISN’T worth it?

But I prefer to think of it this way, and I posted this on my facebook the next day:

“I don’t believe that things never get easier. I think they get easier, then harder, then easier and harder over and over again like the ebb and flow of the tide, and you have to learn to go with the flow, accept the hard times, appreciate the good ones, and over all, learn to embrace change as the one true constant.”

This has always been my philosophy, and it makes the future seem brighter.  And the funny thing is, it has been getting brighter.  I made a lot of friends there at the party, ones who accept me for who I am.  At about 3 in the morning, they popped the question:

“Are you FTM?”

They were so straightforward, I had to answer the same way- with a simple Yes.  And they were cool with it.  They had a couple questions, which I was fine with answering, and since they knew this about me, I had to know something:  when I got there, did they see me as one of the dudes?

One of them mulled it around for a second, and then shook his head.  “Not really.  Just being honest.”

I fell a little flat.  “Not even just a little?”

“Well, if anything, you seemed like one of the gay dudes.”

I felt a whole lot better now.  “That’s basically what I am, so… go me.”

I could definitely be comfortable with my identity as a gay boy.  I’m finally free to be myself with a group of people and be seen as a rough approximation of what I am.  All in all, the night was too cool.

2010 is shaping up to be an awesome new year.

Onslaught.

So I’ve been feeling really great about everything.  Last night, my lovely boyfriend and I finally managed to pull enough money together to order a good binder so I can stop using the backbreaking one I’ve been using, my insurance is about to go through so I can see about getting a gender therapist, everyone’s been seeing me as a guy, and people are slowly but surely figuring out the name.

I feel like I’m sitting on a go-cart that I’ve been trying to make go for months now, and finally some deity descended from the heavens and gave me a gentle push and now I’m finally, slowly, starting to roll down the hill.  But suddenly, my stomach is lurching because I’m looking forward and the hill gets a lot steeper from here, and I’m just about to pass that point where, if I wanted to, I could stick my legs out and grind to a halt without any major injury, get up, and walk away.  Things are About to Happen, and if I don’t stop before the Point of No Return, then there’s absolutely no going back and I’m going to have to ride this cart for the rest of my life.

It’s unbelievable, because I never thought I’d have these feelings.  I know it’s only natural to have a little bit of apprehension before the point of no return, but now I’m having this internal critic hit me with a real onslaught of all the really hard questions, things like:

– “Everyone’s going to look at you and say, ‘Why did you even transition, if you’re a gay man?  Gay men are basically just women anyway, wouldn’t it just be easier to stay in a girl’s body?'”

– “You never fit in as a girl, but suddenly you think that if you transition, you’ll fit in as a boy, and you KNOW that’s not true.  If anything, you’ll fit in less!”

– “You’re using this trans thing to explain all your boy tendencies, but once you cross over, how do you explain away all the girl ones?”

– “What if you’re not really a guy?  What if this IS just another phase, another obsession with being different, one that could get you KILLED?”

– “You say this explains everything- the abuse, the dissociation, etc., but what if you’re just making connections that aren’t there so that you can make your life make sense, and when the novelty of being trans wears itself out, it’s just another layer of fuck-up on top of the pile?”

These are the kinds of questions that have been killing me, the ones that have been keeping me up at night, really personal questions that only I would know.
I have answers for all of those questions, and when I remember the things that can’t be explained away with a “what if” scenario, like how only wearing a strap-on makes me feel complete and how being on top is the only sex act that entirely works for me, or how I really only feel attractive and not-deformed when I bind up and have a flat chest, or how I’ve been lusting after facial hair since I was six, and how I’ve always felt gay with boys and straight with girls, even long before I knew I could possibly be trans-

When I remember all those things, and how being trans makes my life complete, and how my mind has been at more peace in the last 6 months than it’s been the entire rest of my life-

When I remember how accepting that I was trans made the voices stop, made the dissociation fade and made me stop seeing things at night, and made my mind finally healthy, and some semblance of normal-

When I see how my friends and family are finally more happy that I’m less crazy and upset and irritable and generally screwed-up these days than they are sad to see the old me go away-

Then I know that everything’s going to be alright, and I can keep going.

My little insecurities and fears are not nearly enough to turn me away from the one thing that has made my life finally worth living.  I have been more afraid to die in the last six months than I even was when I was a child, and I take that as a good and healthy sign that I finally love life enough not to want to leave it.

6 months of gender EUphoria!

As of yesterday, on the 24th, it’s been 6 months since I began my transition journal, and it’s flown by unbelievably fast.  My life has been so full since coming to terms with myself, and bringing those around me to be on those terms.  So much has changed- mainly, my respect for myself and my own standards.  I’ve dropped the practice of hiding behind the wrong gender and pretending to be what I’m not just because it’s easier, or because I was afraid.  I’ve gained more friends and more respect for coming out than I would have kept by keeping it all inside.  Most importantly, I’ve gained a father who knows me- not just someone who looks like a girl verson of me- and my father has gained the son he didn’t know he had.  The richness of life this has brought has made my life an unbelievable dream come true.

Just six months ago, I probably would have still worn makeup and even female garb if the situation called for it.  Today, I wouldn’t put those things on if someone told me they would reject be forever if I didn’t.  And on top of that, I’m comfortable enough with my gender that, if I wanted to put on a girl costume just for the fun of it, I could probably do that without any serious emotional injuries.  The point of all this, as contradictory as it seems, is that I don’t wear what I wear for anyone else’s approval, because of fear, or because I believe that what I am is unacceptable.  What I look like in any given situation is now my choice and mine alone- nobody can tell me what to be.

I’ve learned that people in general are very, very stupid.  The 95% majority of them are not educated in the least on the problems that people like us have, and the ones who are usually are misninformed, ignorant of the more important subtleties, insensitive, bigoted, or just plain prejudiced.  A lot of people will go out of their way to let me know that what I’m doing is wrong, but that they still love me anyway, even though I’m going to burn in Hell.  Others will tell me that they’re very sorry that I feel the way I do and that it must be very hard, but as long as I still haven’t had surgery, still sound, smell and look like a girl, I will be a girl in their eyes and there’s nothing they can do about it.  Even the people who do accept and support me 100%, put in the effort to educate themselves, and do their very best to make people like me comfortable in a harsh and cruel world… are simply not equipped to deal with something this complex.  Most of the people in my life are not college graduate gender theorists, majors in psychology or left-wing social workers.  I have to keep in mind that even I have such a hard time sorting everything out, and I’m steeped in this information and situation day in and day out.  There is nothing about this that is easy for anyone.  I have to be grateful for the people in my life who at least don’t make a big deal of it, and certainly for the ones who don’t want to kill me.  There are certainly enough of those in the world.

I’ve also learned that people are very, very different and very unpredictable.  There’s no way to know how they’re going to react to my situation until I tell them.  Some of the people I thought would reject me, hurt me or try to fix me have turned out to be the people who are most supportive- the ones who try the hardest to get the name and pronouns right.  And sometimes, the ones I thought would be behind me 100% all the way turned out to be most resentful of my transition, if for no other reason than I “killed off” the person they thought they knew.  I’ve had to learn to accept and work through the feelings of betrayal that some of my friends have had since this started.  It can be just as hard for me to understand the way they feel about this as it’s hard for them to understand why my female aspects are abandoning them forever, but we all have to work together if we want to get through this in one piece.

I’ve learned that there are places in this world that are surprisingly accepting of people like us, all evidence to the contrary.  I’ve learned there are places that are suprisingly dangerous, all evidence to the contrary.  I’ve learned of the unbelievable bigotry and ignorance in the LGBT community, the place I was convinced I could turn, the people who should understand gender issues more than anyone.  There’s a big difference between queer and trans- in the eyes of the world, queer people LOVE the wrong gender, and trans people ARE the wrong gender.  But we all fall under that same umbrella: the world rejects us because of some relation to the wrong gender, and if we can work together to dispel the gender stigma, then we’d all be better off.

I’ve learned that my own issues run deeper then I thought they did.  Since I’ve developed a healthy sense of self respect, I’ve learned there are things I’m not okay with.  I’m not okay with being touched in certain places, or used in certain ways.  I’m not comfortable with wearing long hair while I still have the soft, round features indicative of the sex my body still is.  I’m not comfortable with being dominated most of the time- I’ve learned of the delicacy of the male ego and the paradox that comes with that.

And of course, I’ve learned all the logistical facts and skills, like how to bind in a matter of a few seconds, use an STP, shave my face, walk and talk like a dude.  I’ve tasted the victory of being “sirred” in public, being read as male at least until I opened my mouth, and being told by some people that my being male “really does make sense of a lot of things” with me.  I’ve been told to put the toilet seat down, to stop being such an insensitive Guy, and to sit with the dudes.  I’ve been called by Tommy at least as much as by my legal name these last couple of weeks, and that, I know, is a huge improvement and a sign of respect and of being taken seriously by those who care.

I have a long way to go.  I still have to get back on medical insurance so I can get consultations for getting on T, but the paperwork is in the system.  I’ve worked out that I will just barely be able to afford testosterone with the paycheck I get now, but I’m prepared to put a lot of other things on hold so I can get my life going in the right direction.  I have to quit smoking before I can get on T, but so far I’ve cut so far back that, when the time comes, it will be a piece of cake.  I still need to buy a real binder, but I think I’ll have that in the works by the time I get back from San Francisco.  I have yet to come out to any of my extended family, but I’m sure they’ll figure it out once I start showing up with facial hair.  I still look female, but my genetics dictate that the T will have a nearly catastrophic effect on my body- my father and mother both grow hair prolifically, and both had very male, broad physiques.  I’m not exactly built with the most feminine structure as it is.  Quite frankly, I can’t wait to get the stuff in my body- it’s going to feel great!

The new year will bring a lot more revelations, to myself and to the world, or so I hope.  I would hate to remain static in this state, either physically or mentally.  I have a lot still to learn.  My opinions on what I may have done surgically, for example, are not the same as they were 6 months ago, and they probably won’t be the same in 2 years.  I’m sure that the effect the T has on my mind and body will direct that.  But to put it all in one sentence:

I’ve walked further on this path than I thought I had, I’ve got longer to go than I thought I would, and over all, I’m just happy to know that I’m finally on my way home.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

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