It came up again last weekend at a house music gig. I had originally planned to stay home, so i was all snuggled up on the couch, and then come midnight i got a sudden urge to go out. It was getting so late it didn't seem worth it to get all dressed up, so i literally just switched my sweatpants for jeans and headed out the door. In a Captain America T-shirt (men's). And fuzzy indoor socks. Now, it's a fairly common occurrence that people will confront me about my gender when i go out clubbing, maybe once a night. Usually it's just a moment of confusion and then a polite apology, or a shake of the head and that's it. On Saturday night not one, but two completely different girls came up to me and started epic fucking chats. Not in a bigoted way, but just in one of those frustratingly circular discussions you wish would end kinda way. It always starts with the "you're a guy, right?" And then the "no, really, you totally have a dick, right?" And then "it can't have been over 10 years, you're still in your 20s, right?" Eventually it comes to "so if you like girls, why did you do it?" I don't want to lie, so generally i'll say that it seemed like a good idea at the time. And then that kicks off the whole next layer of well-intentioned questioning like "but surely you knew since you were a kid?" And when i say no, i really didn't seriously think about it till i was 19, at which point i just up and did it, i've completely lost them. It's as if people have a box they can put boys and a box they can put girls, and even a perfectly reasonable box they can put transsexuals, but because i don't easily fit into any of those, i end up confounding them. Invariably it circles back to "so you're a guy, then?", as if the whole conversation was just me spinning a yarn. And so it goes.
And i'm torn. Because if i meet someone and i don't tell them all the sordid details of my history, then i feel like a fraud because either they see me as a girl (when i was actually a boy for the first 20 years of my life) or as a transsexual (which i've only been for the latter part of my life) and either way it's not really me. Or i do tell them and then i come off as an even bigger enigma because i don't fit any particular category. And rationally i know that everyone goes through the same things when they meet people - everyone has life experiences that make them unique and give them a personality and outlook that is different from everyone else - but this feels so much more socially crippling. I feel like i make women uncomfortable because i am too stereotypically "boyish" to really hang, and i make men uncomfortable because they're not quite sure what to make of someone who might share a lot of interests but inexplicably decided to get the chop. Of course i'm not ostracized - i am (very) slowly beginning to make friends here who i exchange texts with and catch up with at parties and who always seem genuinely happy to see me - but i feel like there's an invisible barrier that stops me from ever getting too close. Because i'm just a tiny bit too weird, too unusual, and i don't quite fit into their everyday lives.
So as a result i am all the more devastated when i do the smallest embarrassing thing (like accidentally knocking over a table at a party), and i take it all the more personally when something i say or do could possibly be construed as insensitive or hurtful. I feel like i'm on such fragile ground with people anyway that they'll cut me loose at the slightest transgression. I get completely fucking wracked with anxiety when i drunk-text someone and then realize how stupid it sounded after the fact. Whereas if someone did that to me i'd smile and we'd laugh about it later. It's killing me how much i overanalyze everything, and how much i worry if people like me or not. If they see the real me. I know i'm a nice person, but my fear is that no one else notices.
The whole thing is stupid because at the same time i very much enjoy my solitude and doing my own thing. I am quite happy being on my own and living my life the way i please. So why does it bother me so much? Friends are nice to have, but... Ugh. I feel like whenever i open up it just rubs in deeper how badly i fucked up, how different life might have been.