2.04.2009

Same Name, Different Pronouns

As I try again my hand at this whole blogging thing...I thought I'd update from last time.

The most recent post was about how I had started going by Ryan in April. That went amazingly well. A little too well, one might suppose, as it forced me to deal with so many things. Mainly, that it suddenly became completely unbearable to continue to use female pronouns with myself. Evey "her" and "she" grated on my ears like an obvious absurdity. About two months ago, I started using male pronouns with a couple close friends and that very quickly spread like wildfire. After my initial test period and acclamation (getting over the "who the hell is 'he'?"), I was suddenly so much more comfortable that I came out to my college activist group and the lgbt discussion group. Also, I got an internship at an lgbt organization, and immediately started going by male pronouns. Almost too quickly (I probably should have waited a little bit for this, but too late now) I came out to my parents.

I guess I should explain that besides just switching pronouns, I more or less decided to transition. It is something I only touched on briefly in this blog and usually with great trepidation, but it is something that I had slowly come to accept as an eventuality in my life. The trick to it being an eventuality is that eventually I would have to deal with it.

A trip to the ABC store is what triggered the whole avalanche of thought processes. I just wanted to buy some rum to make truffles (although those truffles never got made...), so I picked up a bottle and got in line. The cashier said "I can help you here, sir," and I flinched and walked up to the counter. I normally would have been ecstatic to be sir'd, but in a situation where someone is about to look at my license, I would rather it didn't happen. I showed him my ID (with long hair and all), and he didn't believe it was me and said as much. I grabbed my student ID and handed that to him too. In the process, I said five words, and he suddenly "realized" I was a girl. He proceeded to give me a long-ass explanation, that quite frankly, I've since forgotten because it was so aggravating, as to how exactly he knew I was a girl and pointed out all my features that told him.

I suddenly realized that I just didn't want to be a girl anymore.

I facebook messaged a friend of mine and we got together to talk over some coffee. He asked me what it was that was keeping me back from transitioning and I realized, besides fear, nothing. There was nothing in being a girl that I wanted to hold onto. I had coffee with another friend a week or so later and he had pretty much the same thing to say. Over the terms of the next couple of weeks (full of sleepless nights), I realized that it was something that I could see myself doing. That I could see myself being happier as. That I could see my future in a much clearer picture.

In my head, I always imagined myself male. It was not that it was a conscious choice, but more the subconscious knowledge that I could not be an older woman. The word "woman" makes me sick to my stomach as it is. That is NOT me.

Today, I became frustrated with my counselor. I am seeing him through University Counseling Services. I think I am one of his first transgendered patients. I like him overall, although I always end up defensive when talking about anyone but myself. Like when I talk about the conflict with my family in high school, he always points out what was wrong with how they acted. Clearly, I know he is right, but I feel like I should justify their actions. I became frustrated today because he very suddenly became alarmed that I was moving too fast. Firstly, I don't need him to be alarmed about how fast I'm moving because I already thought of that. It is alarming me. Everything is happening too fast to process, but at this point, I've done everything I'm going to do for like six months at least. I have tried to explain to him the complexities of my gender identity. He seems stuck on the fact that I don't identify 100% male. That I said in a perfect world, I wouldn't have to choose. I know he is just trying to make sure that I don't make poor decisions, but at the same time, it seems like he is trying to get me to change my mind.

I haven't touched upon sex with him, which I suppose would make a big difference. I also realized as I read back on this blog, that I have gotten increasingly uncomfortable with my body as I become more entrenched in figuring out my gender identity. I still agree with genderqueer, but there is more to it. This is why I feel like that humurous identity of "lumberjack" fits me so well. Lumberjack is inherently masculine. It involves flannel, boots, and facial hair, but our infused meaning into it is an element of gender bending. I will never fit cleanly into a box, but I want to at least make an attempt to find a box that I am physically and mentally most comfortable in.

In my counseling sessions (I hate the word therapy), I have expressed an exhaustion with fighting the world. It is true. I am tired of fighting. Obviously, that is the wrong reason to change my body in irreversible ways. But that is only half the story. I wouldn't be quite as tired if I didn't feel like I were fighting for something that wasn't true. It's not that I don't fit into society's idea of "girl," it's that I flat out am not a girl. Am I 100% boy? I don't think so, but I'm some percent.

I should have facial hair. I should have a deeper voice. I should have a flat chest. I should have a penis. When I look in the mirror or at my body, these things are not there and it makes me sad.

I am tired. I am tired of convincing myself that my body is the one that I am okay with.

But I know that someday,
someday, I'll offer up
a song I was made to play
until even the mocking birds
don't know what to say

2 comments:

Cassie said...

Telling people is a big step. Its like saying something that is real to you out loud makes it even more real. Stay strong.

saintchick said...

Wow this was a strong post, very thought provoking.. thanks for sharing it !