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

Posts tagged ‘stream of consciousness’

More on the trans movement.

 

Today, I feel like connecting with someone.

I know I just posted about ten minutes ago, but I don’t feel done yet.  It’d be nice to just be in the company of someone who understands, someone else trans, maybe someone old and wise who’s been through it all.  Like Kate Bornstein.

I just checked out the only book of hers that our local library carries, “Hello, Cruel World.”  I know it’s a suicide prevention guide, and my gender dysphoria hasn’t been nearly bad enough lately to make death an option, but I just wanted someone who understood me to talk to me.  She didn’t fall short of that at all.

Even my boyfriend, who is supposed to get it more than anyone else, and who really does, isn’t THERE- he isn’t from this place, and I can’t expect him to automatically understand, even when he tries.  I don’t know any trans people in real life and I have a few remote blogging buddies, but I don’t know a single flesh-and-blood person who can relate and talk to me about this, past me educating them about something they’re clearly clueless on.  When I want guidance, and our conversations mainly consist of “How is this any different from cosmetic surgery?  Why don’t you get liposuction while you’re at it?  You’re fine the way you are,” it gets a little wearying.  When you’re talking about the sobering suicide statistics of trans people, roughly one in three, and the only way the guy can respond is “Well, they must be weak/stupid, anything is better than death,” when you’re stating that one in 12 trans people world wide will be murdered violently and you’re standing up to possibly be counted in that slaughter, and they only way they can respond is to say that it must be easier to change the inside than the outside…

You just know you’re talking to people who have no idea.

It’s a little like being from a different country entirely.  It IS being from a different culture.  Imagine being born part of a race that is physically branded by the color of their skin or the rituals of their culture to be ridiculed, spat on, torn down, made fun of and be one of the last politically “safe” punching bags the bullies can use.  Welcome to our lives.  We are the New Roma.

And guess what?  It’s only getting worse.  In a world where the circle of those who are accepted under the umbrella of protection is expanding, where the fringe of people it’s still safe to beat up on is rapidly shrinking, and where those who love to hate can’t find their fix and are told to focus their hatred and ugliness only on those who REALLY deserve it, there are only the sickos, perverts and inexcusible freaks of nature left.  And sadly enough, in the current world view, transsexuals are still under those categories.

We’re the only people left trapped in a burning apartment that the firemen won’t dare enter for fear of getting burned themselves, and we’re running out of time- if we don’t save ourselves, nobody will.

And this brings me to another topic that really burns my gills.  One of the only ways we CAN save ourselves in the world view is to stop being sideshow events and porno subjects and Jerry Springer fodder and try to make our way up in the world as respectable, upstanding, contributing citizens of society.  And yet…

It is SO hard to give back to a culture that has taken so much from us.  When you go your whole life beaten by the system and expected to be nothing more than punchlines and punching bags, you DO tend to live on the fringe, the only place that will accept you, and it’s hard to really clean up, duck your head, give nod to the Man and go back to living a white bread, vanilla life.  How can you even do that when you’ve seen so much cruelty, how far the all-powerful System falls from grace where we really slip through the gaps, when you’ve seen the really ugly side of life?  And it’s a double sided push, too.

On one side, you’ve got Society, the people who expect you to be unable to hold down a decent job and life and expect you to be ugly, incompatible with propriety and generally wrong- and yet, paradoxically, expect you to be able to overcome all of that, and sneer when you can’t.  It’s a direct challenge.

On the other side, you’ve got the trans community, which, as it evolves with the times and defines itself, can be almost as bad of an enemy as anyone else, in spite of itself.  I feel much more tremendous pressure from THAT side of things to be successful, respectable, and morally upright, and never ever let any cisgendered people catch me doing anything that might cast a shadow on the rest of the community.  In that way, I carry the burden of every other trans person on my shoulders every time I step out my doors, every time I make a decision, every time the public eye is on me.  We all do.  We all, individually, carry the weight of every other trans person out there.

And let me tell you something.  I hate it.

I hate being under such scrutiny that, if I decide to do something a little naughty, suddenly my whole people is paying for it, not just me.  I’m sure that anyone of a scrutinized minority understands that feeling.

The truth is, I do feel a responsiblity to my community, more patriotism than I do for my country or even my blood family.  I want to change the world and make it a better place for those like me.  But suddenly I’m a part of this fraternity just for being born this way, and I realize that things are turning around again for me, only on a grander scale.

I’m not part of the trans movement primarily for the sake of making the world a better place, to make a political statement, or because I believe in something greater than myself.  I didn’t “join” this to be part of a club or to take the banner of something that I believed would make me morally purer.  I’m not here because of some crusade, and I don’t support it because I want to give myself to a cause.

I’ve become trans to become myself, and I feel that if I reform myself because the trans community expects I owe them something on the sole virtue of being trans, then I’ve defeated the purpose we’re all here for.  If I become something I’m not for one side or the other, then I haven’t made any progress at all- just switched sides.

So I apologize if anything I ever do or say seems retrogressive to the trans movement, or if I ever seem selfish.  But I believe that, to change the world, we must first change ourselves, and if I change myself into something that I don’t necessarily believe in, then what do I expect of the world?

I will always try to honor my community the best I can, because I do love them, and I do want to change the world beyond myself, and I would like to make an effort to keep from tarnishing an already almost ruined people.  But I will not be fake to do it.  I will not censor myself, and I will not go quietly into the cage that the establishment has cut out for me.

I am me, nothing else.

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I’m losing it.

At the time I’m writing this sentence, I’m losing my conviction that any of this is worth it.

I know I’m just falling through a slump, and the second I even begin to question whether losing the respect and friendship of everyone I love is worth the chance to become something that’s true to myself and everyone else- the second I even begin to weigh the consequences against the outcome-  I feel ashamed for thinking I could ever find it in me to continue living out this lie just to make the rest of my life a little easier.  And even that’s a joke.  How could it be “easier” to accept the wrong moniker bestowed on me by the rest of the world for the rest of my life?  Every time the wrong pronoun hits my ears, I have to control myself- not storm out, hit people, break things, shake, yell, cry or even grimace.  It’s a personal battle because betraying how hurt I am by people’s mistakes leads to things I’d rather not deal with as I stand.  But by staying here, I’m putting a blindfold on the eyes of the world to me and letting them walk over me, and they’re not even realizing they’re killing me piece by piece.  I want people to see me and I’m tired of being seen as someone I’m not.

But every day since I’ve been coming out to my friends, they’ve seemed subconsciously determined to remind me I’m still on the wrong side of the fence, and also pretty determined to let me know that’s where they think I belong.  It’s all slow going, and nobody’s catching on all that well.

The funny thing is, I’m feeling more comfortable with myself now than I’ve been in a long time.  A lot of things are shaking apart as my mind rearranges itself and my perception shifts violently every day, but everything is rebuilding from a base of truth and fact instead of theory and guesswork, and I’m happy with it.  To reiterate, I feel more like a gay boy than anything.  This, I’ve found, is ironically putting me in touch with my feminine side.  My boyfriend said he thinks I’ve actually been wearing more frou-frou clothing since I affirmed to him that I’m male, which is an interesting commentary in and of itself.  To me, it says that, as a gay boy, I don’t much mind working with what I’ve got sometimes if I can make it attractive, but it’s generally for show and/or convenience.  It’s really not “me” as much as my more male clothing, but since it’s there and it’s clean and I really need to do my laundry, I don’t mind using it; I’m confident enough in my state as a male that I don’t feel my clothing defines that.

My problem isn’t my confidence in myself, it’s the disconnect between how others relate to me and what I really am.  Now that it’s in question and people are starting to double take and try to see me as what I’m demanding, it seems like they’re shaking their heads in confusion and sticking with what they know, and it’s making me feel like shit.  I think it can actually be harder when you’re beyond the shadow of a doubt of what you believe in and people deny it.

I have yet to even begin to explain what all of this entails to my dad, and he’s already rejecting it without even really knowing what it is.  When I said in my first post he was beginning to use the name “Jack”, it was because he was finally beginning to acknowledge my DID and the differentiation between alters.  He knew Jack was there without him even having to specify, and that’s always a big moment with an alter.  He was glowing when his own father called him by his name without even being asked.  But dad doesn’t even know about the gender dysphoria, let alone that Jack wanted a sex change, let ALONE that we’re now integrating and it’s basically down to, simply, I want a sex change.  I don’t know how he’s going to get through all this, but he didn’t take the news of integration well when I tried to explain that the end product would probably look more like Jack than me.  He’s a pretty fast study, though.  When I told him I didn’t want anyone going through my mail because I’d be dealing with some personal medical issues, he said, “You’re not getting a sex change, are you?”

My instinctual response was “NO,” because, one, that’s not exactly happening yet, and two, we’re just not ready for that talk yet, not candidly.  But I think he’s catching on.  Who knows?  Maybe he’ll take it better than I think.  But for now, I have to believe that he stands entirely against the idea, and once again, there’s a rift of communication between myself and one of the most important people in my life.  I don’t like having to hide such a huge thing from someone so close to me just to keep the peace, but there it is, a giant purple elephant in the room every time we talk.

Anyway, tl;dr version:

Gender dysphoria sucks ASS.

Stream of consciousness; “Living” and “Being”.

I really feel like writing something tonight, but every time I start on one of the topics lined up in my mental queue, I get bogged down by the realization that I just don’t feel like tackling that issue tonight.  So I’m going to stream-of-consciousness write tonight like I haven’t done in a really long time, and hope something meaningful comes out.

Sadly enough, this whole FTM thing has become the most important thing in my life right now.  It seems a little unorthodox of me to say “sadly”, as it’s completely understandable for it to become the most important mission of anyone’s life.  It’s all about standing up against the box that people want to shove you in, it’s about bettering yourself, it’s about bravery and honesty and all kinds of awesome things, and I can think of no greater personal quest one can devote their lives to.

But there’s something about this whole paradoxical lifestyle that says to me that the entire journey is more about being myself than focusing on the transformation itself, and that becoming obsessed with the transformation is analogous with WAITING to become my true self instead of being that person today.  Yes, growing into your right gender and learning important things like standing to pee and all that, it’s all a part of the process, just like the learning process of life itself, but you really need to look around and take life in NOW instead of looking forward to living on that day when everyone else sees you the way you want them to.

I know how confusing all that was, but it’s a concept that’s really hard to put on paper, so just bear with me.  I think what I’m trying to say is, learning to become the person you’re going to be should be a peripheral life process that goes on all the time, but it shouldn’t be the primary thing you think about every day all day long, it shouldn’t be your main function in life.  LIVING is.

I need to work on placing this in its proper category.  It belongs in the slot of “Being”, and the things I want to do with my life… they need to go into the category of “Living.”  My state of Being shouldn’t become the focus of my Living, because then I’m nothing better than a self-obsessed, image-oriented social climber with the mentality of a junior-high schooler; I’m hollow, and I’m just the image that I build instead of the things that I do and changes that I make and the person that I am inside.

I want to be who I am, today, not two years from now, and not when people start to see who I am, because I know who I am and there’s nothing they can do to take that from me.

Short and sweet.   I like.

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