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mom walk
I realized the other day that i am still extremely self-conscious about being transsexual. It's not that i have a fear of being "found out" - in fact, i am more out of the closet now than i've ever been. I am living in one of the most progressive cities in the world, and i hang out in circles that are very gay-friendly, but that part of who i am never leaves the back of my mind, in every social interaction.

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.

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::hugs tight tight::

I know it's hard because of what happened to keep moving forwards, but you probably don't realize how much you "moving on" as best you can has helped me move forward myself.

What you did may not have been the right the right thing for you, but the way you generally handle it, and keep moving forward inspires me.

I didn't know that :) It has been a bit of a rough ride for sure, but when i'm in my better moods i look at it as being just another odd bend in the road. It may not be taking me exactly where i wanted, but there's still stuff for me here, and that makes the trip worthwhile.

I'm really sorry you feel that way, because you are a great person. And I don't understand why people don't see you as just that – a great person. Why they need to put you in a box. Why they need to assign a particular gender, or get your history down pat in their heads before they can move on from that circular conversation. Why they even think it's OK to talk to you about that stuff anyway, when you're almost a stranger and you're just out to have a good time. Why they can't just like you because you're you – here and now - and not make your past (or their attempt to understand it) a factor.

I don't know if it helps at all, but I always just saw you as Alison, because that's your name. I don't know if you want to be perceived as any particular gender, but to me you are Alison. I know your history, but it doesn't make me think any differently about you one way or the other. You can be completely Alison for all I care, and I'll still like you and want you in my life in some capacity (which is now, thanks to distance, reduced to journal entries).

Does any of this make any sense at all? Because what's in my head and what came out of my fingertips don't seem to be the same, but I know what I mean and I hope it comes across.

I know what you mean about thinking that you're in such a precarious position in their lives that the smallest thing will make them write you off – I feel that way with the people around me, to a degree.

Yes it makes sense, and thank you :) I guess these days just being "Alison" as some kind of entity in itself is exactly how i'd like to be seen. I feel awkward being a "boy" or a "girl" or even a "transsexual". Fortunately there are people out there who don't really need to categorize it (or if they do they don't make a point of that in our interactions), so i'm not completely alone :) Still, when it comes to new friendships i am extremely anxious about how i come across, i guess perhaps because i don't really know the other person well either, so i fear the worst.

Just so you know, I enjoy your drunk texts. I also love you. That is all.

Thanks, love you too. And i will continue to drunk text at inappropriate times :)

Known you for a lot of years now in all kinds of states (sober, wasted etc) and always loved you for who you are...MWAH!

Was just going through my mail and noticed i hadn't replied to this so yay! Love ya too. I try to be happy with who i am now, and it means a lot to know other people value that.

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