Here I was feeling weak and I was rescued by another girlie-boy…what are the chances of that?
God moves in strange ways. I say strange, only because the mystery and motive behind it can be hard to decipher at times, but evidence of God’s presence is always around us.
I have had some heavy things happening in my life lately, which will be the subjects of future posts, but the net effect of these has been twofold: to rock the relational foundation on which my life is constructed, and to strike at my self-confidence. Both of these two have been elemental to my ability to come out and to do so with confidence.
Why does confidence matter in coming out?
One thing I have noticed, is that the energy we put out, is the energy that comes back to us. A casual stroll through transgender Twitter or Medium will show just how real the fears of “passing” or “dressing” or experiencing transphobia are. My own experiences thus far have been fabulous and affirming, and I believe that these are a direct result of me being so joyful and quasi-euphoric. What I have felt is a falling away of self-resistance towards being out, and this has increasingly manifested itself in being willing to be me, to dress as me.
De-Gendering Fashion and the Political Essence of Being Trans
This is a really important topic, and it comes up all the time not just in the cis world but also in the trans world. Although I have not experienced this, some trans people, those who pass, who transition young, who have fully transitioned, and who can effectively live as their desired gender without social ripples, at times look at those who just have the clothes to work with and pass judgement. Same can be said for those who remain in the closet. I do not begrudge anyone who feels dysphoria of anything—we all need to find our own path.
As for me, I increasingly feel that I have a political duty to my fellow-travellers to wear the clothes I choose at all times, no matter who it makes uncomfortable, because doing so will open doors for others, as well as for myself. And why not. I look forward to letting you know about my first tennis match with the “boys” wearing a skirt.
What Being Transgender Feels like for Me
I am transgender. I love it. I have a weakness, however, which is that I am vain. I do not wish to be overweight, or ugly, or to look like a “freak”…First, let me apologise to myself for the use of that word. Second, let me apologize to all of my fellow trans sisters and brothers who experience this and have to work tremendously hard to shake that feeling. Within the trans community there is an obsession with “passing” and it is in part founded on this principle of not being regarded as naturally the sex we identify with.
I would have made a beautiful girl had I transitioned at a young age…statuesque, slight, pretty…all the things that an aspiring boy-to-girl trans person would have been. I don’t doubt that I would have gone full girl had I had the option growing up to do so. I am not sure whether my current self-definition as non-binary is therefore one of coping, or what it always was.
In other words, I know that I cannot be the beautiful woman that I want to be, at least in the superficial sense. Instead, I would be this big, goofy, chunky thing, not the beautiful princess ballerina of my dreams, fey, light, graceful, and filled with whimsy. And so non-binary in that sense fits. And as a “man in a dress”, which is what I look like to most people, I am not sure that the message that I wish to convey is the one that is coming across.
The feeling I have when I am not looking in the mirror is the feeling of being that light and airy ballerina of my dreams, and looking down at myself, I find that I can feel the illusion. But I also feel that hormone therapy will be in my future. And I am afraid of what that will do to my body, and whether I will find love once the journey begins.
What is sex and sexuality for a non-binary person?
Being a “lesbian” in this body. Losing the functioning of my equipment. Being able to make love in the way that I feel it and have always felt it. Using all of me, my skin, as my “sex” organ.
The importance of touch
I need to learn how to touch and be touched. I would embark on the study of tantric healing, but who would want a non-binary person to touch them? You see, the filth I feel about men and male touch, and the male gaze, are in me…not because I feel them or have them, but because as someone who looks male, even if effeminate, is seen in other’s eyes as male.
I sat on a couch recently and my arm at one point dropped down behind the couch where another woman was sitting. She got up and left, and I wondered, “oh no, did she just get up because she felt I was coming onto her, being inappropriate?” She avoided me the rest of that evening and all the next day… And that made me feel sick to my stomach…in part because of how she saw me and being confronted with that, but also that I had not been more sensitive to my and her personal space. I later learned that she was present at this place to heal sexual trauma in her life, as she shared in group. But after I came out in group, and showed up in a dress, she was drawn to me, and spoke to me again with great warmth and friendship.
The absolute best part of my journey has been female acceptance
My love for women and female things is enormous, and that has been no secret on this blog and elsewhere. This extends to politics, love, work, life, beauty, exercise, conversation, anything. Wishing women well in these areas and being able to connect with women who are friends in this way has been an important part of my life over the years.
I will write about this more fully shortly, but I went to a kinesiologist/chiropracter who added so much to my understanding of the issues I have with men, masculinity, maleness. He uncovered that my core wound is not with my mother as I always thought, but with my father. His brutality towards my mother, and to all of us was both verbal and physical, and was experienced already for me as an infant. As such, I had no positive starting point from which to see positivity in masculinity. Combine this with my mother’s understandable rejection of masculinity, I ended up trying to be different, to show that I am different, that I am not a man like that.
But as a “man”, most women don’t see me how I feel. But since I have come out and have felt my behaviour change, and my appearance too, I am finding that some women look at me with a softness and openness that I have never felt before. It comes from both those close and those I just pass in the street. I am not a threat. I share fear and vulnerability. This is the greatest gift I have found thus far.
The political debates are absurd
The political debates which rage about being transgender and how “transwomen” are a threat to women strike me as fear-mongering sexist claptrap.
Do sane people really think that a person takes hormones and has or contemplates surgery so that they can pee in the ladies? They do it because they are afraid. I use the men’s room and wouldn’t consider using the ladies at this point, because I am still a “man” in a dress, but this will change at some point, and knowing which side of a blurry line I am on will take finesse.
Do sane people really think that someone contemplates a sex change to get ahead in sports? That is the most insanely absurd argument ever. Yes, years of testosterone confers lasting advantage in body size, size of lungs, size of heart…but estrogen takes away the strength advantage over time…And unfortunately, there are just not enough of us to make a 3rdsex category at the Olympics, though I wouldn’t complain if there was one. Perhaps joint medals could be given? Surely reasonable people can come up with a solution.
No, I think what is germane are topics like suicide, depression, and being shut out of the workforce, or worse, being shut out of love. An estimated 30-60% of transgender people attempt suicide at least once in their lifetimes. What about everyone else? 0.5%. Yup. 100 times more likely. Scary. An estimated 50% commit acts of physical self-harm. Please think of that when you think about the bathroom or the sports game…or when you see us out and about, and before you judge, or before you comment. Don’t feel sorry; be supportive, applaud our courage.
What happened at the airport
Getting dressed in the morning is usually a treat. But two things happening in my personal life have knocked my confidence recently. And it was striking right at what clothes I felt like wearing. Plus, on this particular day, I was flying out of a South American country, a very macho one, and wasn’t sure whether it was wise to tempt fate with a border guard or a covid vigilante. And that bothered me. Why should I care?
So, instead I made sure to put out my clothes, every last item, before going to bed, and actually packing and closing all of my suitcases, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to wimp out. I chose white, a very frilly blouse, and a wrap linen skirt, below the knee. I chose a shawl to keep warm. Sometimes, when the courage fails, you have to say fuck it and just go.
In the morning, I knew I looked good, but I wasn’t feeling it. And I felt myself more sensitive to how people might perceive me. And there I was not feeling in my body at all comfy, but suddenly right before me in the line to get past the covid-vigilantes to let us into the airport was the cutest, most gorgeous feminine girlie-boy. S/he was all out there. And when I ask myself what is “straight” for a non-binary girlie-boy, I saw the answer right in front of me, and s/he was gorgeous. Her/his presence in the line right before me made me so happy, so relieved, and brought all of my confidence back. So, when I talk about how God moves in strange ways, why did God put the only two girlie-boys in the entire airport completely by chance right next to each other. And by the way, s/he had the most beautiful smile and the most beautiful eyes and eyebrows, and we drank each other in with the biggest gosh darm smiles.
And you know how fate always seems to put the last person you would ever want to sit next on the plane in the seat by your side? Well this time, the opposite happened, but that’s another story…