amw (amw) wrote,

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is there an "option c"?

I haven't had a gender rant in a while. It all kind of came back to the surface for me this week when i helped give a presentation to a local transgender support group. This is the first time i've been involved with "the community" in over 10 years. I don't fit the "traditional" transsexual model any more but i don't really want to be a genderqueer lifer either, so i've been left a little on the outside. Agreeing to do this thing at the group was a big deal for me, but something made me feel like it was time.

It was. Seeing all those kids questioning their gender identity and working through their transition brought all the emotions back. I remember the trepidation, the exasperation, the anger, the sadness. I also remember my loneliness - i didn't really have a support group. That was just one of the stupid choices i made. Although i didn't turn out particularly happy with my transition, my heart really goes out to them because i understand just how fucking big this all seems at the time. It feels like your whole life, everything you are, is defined by the way society perceives your gender. After the meeting i went out on a limb and volunteered to be a bit more involved. I think it will feel good to help out in small ways, and it might help me figure out my own shit too.

See, because after i came home my head was all awash again. How the fuck do i define myself? Everyone - even my partner - sees me and treats me as a woman now. That doesn't bother me too much in gender-neutral situations, but any time i get caught up in some "girls only" conversation or i'm addressed in the third person as a female it stings. I still hate getting dressed up en femme, and i feel ill every time i put on my interview suit (which i had to do this morning, incidentally). But in spite of it i have no desire to de-transition. I don't want to go through all that pain again, and - like it or not - the girl me is just as much a part of my identity as the boy me now. It seems pointless because it'd never erase the last 10 years. That would probably sound a bit defeatist to a "traditional" transsexual because it also applies for the original transition, but whatever.

For the last few years i settled on being a semi-butch chick who mostly hangs out with men as "one of the guys". But coming to Toronto for the first time almost everyone i've met - all my new friends - are women. That's put me in a bit of an odd space because i'm getting exposed to that whole girl power/feminist thing and i feel like an impostor. I'm not hiding my history with my new friends, but i'm not really talking about it either. People tend to ignore it because it's easier for them to just see the gender box i fall into right now. The problem is i feel like they're missing half of me, but what do i say? "I'm not a guy but i don't really feel like a girl either..."? Fuck if i'm going to ask to be referred to using some wanky gender-neutral pronoun, so what do you do? Just shrug and get on with life, i guess, accepting sometimes i'm going to be pulled into weird women's conversations i didn't really want to. And weird men's conversations, for that matter. The whole thing is weird.

It's all coming up again with work too. The last year i've been able to feel myself because i can wear what i like and talk how i like and the hell with it... But when i apply for jobs i am so much more conscious of how i look, how i speak - everything - it's like i have to be a whole different person. That's probably why trying to get this freelancing thing going has appealed to me so much. Fuuuck so yah, maybe this stupid gender shit does affect more of my life than i like to pretend it does. Blar.
Tags: gender

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