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

Posts tagged ‘sir’

Some shade of awkward/awesome is happening under my roof.

I’m not sure why, because I’ve had the haircut for a couple weeks now and I’ve been binding for over 6 months now and I haven’t worn makeup in probably a year and haven’t shaved my legs in two, but for some reason it all came together a couple nights ago, because the eight-year-old we adopted turned around when I walked in the room, looked me up and down, and asked, point blank, “Are you a boy?”

Now I wasn’t sure how to handle this, because yes, it would be awesome if everyone I lived with started acknowledging my gender, and I know that young children happen to be some of the most easily accepting people out there, without any huge gender strings attached.  But I also know that they can’t keep their traps shut when needed, and also, with my stepmom who can never really accept this and her religious outlook on raising these kids, it would just be asking for trouble to come out to them.

So, hardly skipping a beat, I went with the “casual, no big deal” attitude approach and said, “Sure, why not?”

She inspected me a little more closely.  “Because you look like a boy in that shirt.”

Later that night, she started to call me Tommy.

The funny thing was, I was wearing what I considered to be about the dykiest stuff in my wardrobe.  I’d taken this attitude that, no matter what I do with myself right now, until I get on T and my voice drops and so forth, I’m pretty much going to look like a dyke to everyone who sees me, so I might as well roll with it for now, call it a cosplay, and at least be sexiest dyke that I can be.  To that purpose, that day I was wearing one of those black t-shirts with a tuxedo front printed on it (so 80’s!), a pair of hand-me-down pants I like to call the “Pretencha-Pants” (because they were factory-ripped and bleached to perfection off the rack, hence dripping with pretension, and my boyfriend frankly couldn’t bring himself to wear them since he got them for christmas last year) and also army boots, a leather jacket, and a fedora with a pinstriped band.  Oh yes, I had looks to beat the dykiest dyke out there, and in my moment where I was embracing that everyone couldn’t see me as anything but a girl and therefore I might as well look like the kind of girl I wouldn’t mind looking like, someone snapped me out of it and pinned me as a boy.

The next day, of course, I was called to jury duty.  That morning, I went relatively dress-casual, with black jeans and a grey dress shirt (no tie) and also, my leather jacket because I couldn’t find the other one in time.  I figured, if there was anything in my outfit that would pin me as a dyke, that was it, but I just shrugged and rolled with it.  I didn’t really care what people saw me as- I was just there to do my civic duty and so forth.

When I was getting ready to leave, 8 y.o. decided to make a big deal out of it- “You look like a boy again.  You look like you have a mustache.”  I leapt to the mirror to look at my tiny fuzz- not much, I’m afraid, but just enough to give me a little tiny shadow in the right lighting.  She thought I had put shading there, but I had her look real close, and she saw that it was real hair.  And that was when she really started to freak out- “She’s turning into a boy!  Quick, glue your hair back on!  Shave your mustache!  We have to stop you from turning into a boooooy!!!”  It was actually pretty funny, because I obviously didn’t want her to take it seriously, and I don’t think she was.  (Also, my dad called her an idiot.)  Mainly, I just took it as affirmation.  But at that point, I figured I still looked like a dyke and an 8 year old couldn’t really tell the difference, not having been part of queer community and whatnot.

So imagine my surprise when, going though the metal detectors at the courthouse, I had the guy who checked me say, “You’re all clear, sir.  Move along.”  It was the best moment EVAR.  He didn’t even double-take and say “Sir- I mean, Miss, sorry,” like has been said before.  It was the first unquestioned “Sir” I’ve ever gotten.

Better still, when the Judge was doing her cross-examination of the jurors and she got to me, she looked at me and said,
“Mr…”
(glance down at paper)
“…Harbor*…”
(glance back up, then double-take at paper)
“…Excuse me, MISS Harbor.”
(commence slight tittering throughout the courtroom)

My first legal name is unmistakeably female, so the Miss was understandable.  I didn’t even get bummed at being outed as female in front of a courtroom of about 80 people.  It was a pretty cool test, saying that, with a little effort (and without opening my mouth), I can be read as male, even by someone as observant and sharp as a justice of the court.  (And yes, she was very sharp- I liked her a lot.)  Everyone seemed to read me as male before she unveiled me, too, so it was pretty intense.

Hopefully later tonight I can post pics of my transition progess and haircut.  I’m just glad I’m becoming visibly male.  The next step is a proper binder, which my partner is actually offering to pay for because I’m so strapped for cash lately.  The other very vital step, to me, is getting on T so I can fix my voice.  Everything else feels secondary- I’d just like to be able to communicate without being read.

*name changed to protect the not-so-innocent

THE most awesome day in history!

I really REALLY don’t want to make this into a long-ass dragged out post because, one, I have to go do something in 15 minutes, and two, I think long-ass posts are annoying, even though most of mine are.  Case in point- I annoy myself.  God, ALREADY I’m digressing.  That’s what happens when I’m hyper.  So, let’s get right to it and go through my day by bullet point:

(14 MINUTES GO GO GO!!!)

  • Last night, I had a shitload of really heavy conversations over the phone with my friends about my trans situation- for some reason, it just kept on coming up with them- so I fell asleep feeling really down on myself, but a lot more settled about some things.  I think I finally really got it across to my best friend how important and huge and real all of this is to me, and as evidenced by today, she really took it to heart.
  • This morning, somehow in response to the depression of last night, the first thing I thought when I woke up was that I needed a new shirt.  All my old shirts I pretty much can’t stand nowadays (as they are made of Girly and the Devil and Fail) and I have about 2 shirts I’m comfortable with wearing, so I scrounged through all the change in the house for 2 bucks so I could get one at the thrift store.  I also found that my psychological need to go out in binding is finally so overwhelming that it overtakes any social awkwardness it could produce, so for the first time today, I went out in binding in my home town.  I usually wear guy clothes around here these days already, but with chesticles, it always looked weird, so I actually felt really comfortable today.  This is the start of a new era for me.

(AUGH!  3 minutes!!!)

  • When my dad got home, I told him I stole 75 cents from him for a new shirt, and he basically responded by going into all his old shirts and gave me the shirts he doesn’t wear anymore, which is awesome.  I always used to go into his closet and “play dress-up,” and then slip his clothes back when he wouldn’t notice, and now I’m getting to actually wear his clothes, seemingly recognized as his son.  I now have about 12 shirts I like, which is probably more than I’ll ever need.  Three of them made me intensely happy- they were from his old men’s retreat annual camping meetup called “Fire on the Mountain,” and emblazoned boldly on the front of each is “FTM”.  I couldn’t stop laughing, and told him he’d know what it meant some day.

(Dammit.  Have to come back and finish this later…)

(later)

  • Okay.  So I was in binding when he got here and he didn’t even make mention of it, which is great, but he did remember to call me Jack, probably on that count, which is vaguely awkward retrospectively because we’re merging and I’m not sure how to address the name issue nowadays.  But the whole afternoon was more Jack than me at that point anyway, and he was grateful, so I can’t complain.
  • We decided to go out for an, as I awkwardly put it, “Father and… child… meal” of steak and baked potato.  This is where it really gets good.
  • When we got to the restaurant, the headwaiter showed us to our table and asked us what drinks we wanted.  When he turned to me, it was “And for you, sir?”  My eyes must have almost popped out of my head.  For the first time, I was “sirred” in public and I hadn’t even REALLY been trying to go in drag- it was nothing more than a compressed chest and a t-shirt and baggy shorts!  I couldn’t stop grinning, nor could I barely express that I wanted a Mountain Dew.  Of course, when he really looked at me and realized he’d made a “mistake,” (which was funny because it was the first time someone HADN’T made a mistake in my life) he tried to apologize profusely, but I objected wildly and said it was quite alright.  My dad and I actually slapped a high five over that one.
  • Later, my dad said, “You should tell him why you didn’t mind him calling you ‘sir'”.   I looked at him weirdly- “That’d be kinda awkward, dad.  What do you expect I would say?”  He shrugged.  “I dunno. ‘I’m a woman in a man’s body?'”   I almost choked on my drink.  It was crazy how nonchalantly my dad’s accepting this.  I had to explain to him that it’s not generally taken very well socially- i.e., people get KILLED for outing themselves in public.  I could have very well gotten kicked out, anyway.  But it was weird, the whole scenario showing how easily he accepts it and thinks other people might accept it, in a practically naive way.  If nothing else, it gives me faith that he’s gonna be with me on all this later down the road.
  • The night wrapped up with a jam session, just me and my dad, him playing the guitar and me on the drums (a little badly, but hey, I’ve played about 3 times, period.)  It was awesome.  We played a lot of Kiss (Detroit Rock City is harder than it sounds) and some old 12-bar blues/rock pieces and I think we tried and gave up on some Santana.  It’s awesome having almost the same taste in music as my dad, especially since he plays killer guitar.
  • After it was over, he wound up telling me this- “I came home from work feeling all beat up like something the cat dragged in, and then hanging with you just brightened my day.” Or something equally sappy.  And then he said he loved me.  I’ll assume he meant Jack, and me, and the whole unit, altogether, whether we’re me or I’m us or I’m a guy or whatever.  It’s all kosher to him, and that means the world to me.

So there you have it, the longest shortest post in the universe.  At least it was made of awesome and win.  I STILL can’t believe I got sirred today, for the first time, without even trying or looking for it.  It must all be in the attitude. I’ll try to keep that attitude up.

Signing off!

(Don’t let me forget to tell you guys the Saga of the Purple Beard.  You just WISH you had a purple beard.)

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