No beach to walk on

There are many things about which I do not allow myself the luxury of contemplation. I keep these things tucked away in the back of my thoughts, covered with whatever I can find in the hopes that they will remain forever hidden from me. I do this because to consider these things – to bring them into the forefront of my thoughts – is simply too painful. They become too much of a distraction – to the point where they will occupy the majority of my thoughts. They become an almost deafening noise in my head – and once released, they are difficult to re-capture and once again tuck away. And so I bury them – as deeply as possible – in the hopes that they never again see the light of day.

It doesn’t work … It never does.

I think I can understand why some people turn to drugs or drinking: anything to make the noise stop – to make the daemons return to from whence they came… If only for a while.

I accept that I’m trans, that I’m genderqueer, and that I’m never going to consider myself to be ‘a woman’… But what I cannot deny is that I want to be seen as a woman: not some anomaly. More than just that, I want to be seen as desirable as a woman. And most of all, to be desired by a woman, as a woman.

Like I said, there are things I keep locked away – because to consider them aloud can be profoundly painful.

I know that this ‘fantasy’ of mine will never be realized. I don’t pretend that ‘maybe some day’ it will happen. I know better – I’m not that naive. But it doesn’t change the fact that this is something I carry around inside of me and, despite my best efforts, I am unable to shed. Lately, it seems that the light has been hitting this one far too often.

I always have preferred girls (when younger) and women as friends over men. Somehow, being with girls / women has always felt right to me. There is something at an emotional level I get that I cannot seem to get from friendships with men. This has always been the case for me – even before I knew what ‘trans’ was or that it applied to me.

Men tend make me feel uncomfortable: not all the time, but often enough. I don’t know what to call it, but there is definitely a different vibe hanging out with women – and I feed off of that. It’s a positive energy: not an affirmation of me as a ‘woman’, but of someone they consider a peer – as ‘one of their own’. I know more about who has their period, who waxes what, who’s been lasered and where. We talk about spouses, kids, families – relationships. We interact in a way which I never have with men – nor have I ever seen men interact. One thing I have never been is the ‘guy’ at the table with my women friends.

I have, for the first time in my life, what I can only characterize as a girlfriend: not in the romantic sense, but in the ‘share your secrets’ sense. We take the train together twice a day. We share, we laugh, we cry… We are there for each other emotionally and have had far too many long discussions about issues in both of our lives. It is not a relationship I could ever see myself have with a guy – ever. It is a different kind of relationship – one that satisfies different emotional needs. And while my friend from the train doesn’t see me as a ‘woman’, the interaction we have much more closely models that of ‘girlfriends’ than it does a guy-girl friendship. One big thing I get from this is that she does not see me as ‘trans’. She no longer sees what others see when they look at me. All she sees is me – a person who is her friend: I cannot describe how special that is to me. And as far as I can tell, my other women friends treat me in a similar manner. Perhaps it’s me seeing what I want see, but they seem more ‘accepting’ of me than men. Of course, I want them to be, so there you go.

But there still seems to be something missing in all of this. Even as a child, most of my friends were girls and we played girls games. They didn’t think of me as one of the ‘stinky boys’ like the ones up the street: we played together as peers – as equals. When I hit puberty and trans stuff kicked in, I wanted not just to be with the girls: I wanted to be like them – to be one of them.

And now, some 25 – 30 years later, that feeling is still there: still alive and well, in the back of my mind. It is something forever just out of my reach. Sometimes, I think I can get close to it – but never actually have it. Perhaps I need to resign myself to the fact that for whatever it is I’m looking, I’m likely not going to find it.

This ‘mystical bond’ I imagine women form may be just that – imagined. And it could very well be that there’s nothing to find – that I continue to torment myself for no good reason… Which makes me feel a bit like the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there.

I feel that I am where I am largely because of the choices I have made in my life: I cannot ‘un-make’ them. I am left feeling that ‘what I want’ must come second to ‘what I must do’. I feel I have commitments which must take precedence – and that my ‘wants’ can figure in only to the point where they do not ‘unduly’ interfere with with those commitments.

What I want it to have it both ways – and I know that I cannot… But that doesn’t stop me from wanting what I want.

Time to find a new hiding spot…



  1. Posted September 13, 2008 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    pardon the spam, but if you’d like to share your coming out story i’d be delighted..

  2. Posted August 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    You know, I don’t know that it’s true that you can’t have it both ways so to speak. It’s about finding balance in your life. I know, that can be easier said than done, but the opposite is true too.

    I know several women, married, with children, that are post transition (including surgery) that are still happily married to the woman they started their journey with. Their children and even grandchildren love them just the same, often more, because they are happier.

    As to being a woman among women, that can be too. Easily. Don’t buy into labels, into finality, into lines in the sand or boxes to meet someone else’s expectations. Forget trans or cis, those are labels, identities that other people have made up for any number of stupid reasons. Holding onto a label as an identity is what makes this journey so hard on everyone.

    Live your life, be happy, find balance, some peace. You can do it. No law says you MUST take hormones or have surgery. No law says you must change the gender marker. Changing your name can be a fairly simple inexpensive process. That alone can make a difference in how you are perceived. If memory serves it is no longer a requirement that one have surgery or hrt to have the gender marker changed in NY. A doctors letter is often enough. Nothing else unless you want or need it.

    There are options Donna. And trust me, the work is so worth it. I’m a woman with a past. Of the horror. 🙂 But like your friend on the train they see and know me, not my past. I’m just the girl next door that happened to have been widowed at a young age. The rest is just noise, but not my noise. I’m just a girl walking along the beach.

    As to being desired by women, as a woman, that can happen too. I didn’t set out for that goal. I certainly didn’t set out to be found attractive and desirable to men and women, it just happened, I’m not even sure how. I’m not really interested in dating anyone, which in some ways makes my life easier. By the same token I don’t look me age, so I’m turning away people young enough to be my children. It’s amusing, and not a little weird. But so too has my life been weird. When I was in my 20s and trying so hard to fit, to survive, to banish the noise, I looked like I was in my 40s. Now people think I’m in my 20s. This cute girl that was hitting on me the other day upon finding out I was old enough to be her mother said, well you know, they say 40 is the new 20. It’s not impossible.

  3. Posted August 19, 2012 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    I have become especially good at throwing pity parties. They are a part of my coping mechanism – my way of unloading all the crap I keep inside – all the crap about which I don’t talk while I pretend it’s all going well.

    I can feel very defeated at times and allow that to feeling to take over and shine a bright light on my past. I get to look at it all over again and play the one game I hate the most: the ‘if only…’ game. It’s a kind of self abuse really – reliving a past you never had as a way of confirming a future that will never be. I suppose we all have out unhealthy escapes. This is mine. Thankfully, I don’t do it too often – at least not to the extent I did here.

    I know I have options, choices, possibilities… I always have and I have exercised them as I felt I was right at the time. It may be seem like I have ‘sacrificed’ much if anything, but then that’s sorta the problem with being trans – we can hide it – we have been *trained* to hide it.

    :: Donna smiles as she feels the nostalgia of what never was begin to push forward… ::

    My time has come – it’s just a matter of intestinal fortitude now. Soon, very soon… I’ll take that step into what truly will be an unknown for me. But I am past the point of safe return now. I’ve no choice but to go forward or fall from the sky.

  4. Posted September 11, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I am betwixt and between as well. I am not seen as a man in the public eye and I’m not sure I want to live into the binary. However, I do want to be seen as a man … as guy… Or I want to be seen, at least, as not a woman. I go back and forth between taking advantage of medical tools for transitioning and just being my best transmasculine self. I have a small group of people who see me for who I say I am. They are totally on board with my self identification. This is a wonderful thing and more than I could hope for many years ago. Still I get into slumps like the one you describe. It happens.

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