The Truth of the Matter

A member of an online forum I frequent made the following observation…

It isn’t so much a question of essential natures being rigidly dichotomous (they aren’t), as of there being a convenient typology we want to use, and perhaps most of us need.

…part of a larger discussion that prompted my following reply.

Hrm…

:: reads the above again and begins to slowly nod in agreement ::

Over the past couple of years, I have found that more and more I dislike being seen as something ‘other’. That has been something difficult for me to reconcile and something even more difficult to come out and say.

:: kicks at the floor with the toe of her pumps ::

I can state with no hesitation “I am not a man” – all the while acknowledging that one can label aspects of my persona as being rooted in what is stereotypically a ‘man’. Yet, I still *cannot* make the claim “I am a woman” – again acknowledging that aspects of my persona can be seen as being rooted in what is stereotypically a ‘woman’. Despite this, I cannot deny how I want to be perceived and treated…

I do not want to be perceived as a man or as a queer or as a jeez-Martha-what-the-heck-is-that-supposed-to-be Earth-dwelling humanoid. If the situation presents itself, I’m comfortable being ‘out and proud’ about who I am. But on a day-to-day just-going-about-my-life basis, if I am to be brutally honest with myself, I want that ‘convenient typology’ – to not be quite so ambiguously gendered – to have some stable identity and public sense of self.

:: turns and looks behind as a small impish figure pokes her with a long stick – prodding and telling her “Just f’ing say it already and be done with it” ::

I want… No, I think need is more accurate…

I need to be seen as a woman – to be able to live my life as one – to be treated as one, interacted with as one… To as best as I can, be a woman…

:: waits for a moment – half expecting the skies to darken and a thunderbolt to strike her down ::

I don’t know that I can ever embrace the identity of ‘woman’ as my own – but I need others to embrace it. I need them to gender me as such – to not fumble with pronouns or become overly distracted. I need something that comes as close to… well… normal.

:: sighs ::

I have been at this a long time…

And I’m tired…

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I know just how you feel. And I can tell you that if you want to, you can get there, you can get here.

    I’m not a walking advertisement for “the community” especially since the more time that passes, the less a part of it I feel. Too much discord, to many people making definitive statements and people claiming to be experts and authorities that clearly are not.

    My journey is done. Not because of what I have or have not done, not because of meds, surgery, or someone else’s idea of done, but simply because I’m living and embraced as female. Sure, I’ve done those things I needed to do for ME. No one ever mistakes me for anyone but who I am. A woman with a past. I have a label, it’s Samantha. Admittedly I’ve invested in my own happiness so that all my paperwork says the same thing with the marker that is appropriate for how I live. As I’ve said many times before I’ve transgressed FREEDOM, more than gender. Because in the end, it was all about freedom for me more than gender.

    And while I still have things to me tired about, that monster of a problem is done, gone, no longer a real part of my life except as part of my past.

    You can be less tired, you can find a balance that works for you. It doesn’t have to be what OTHER people say. It’s about your heart, your happiness, your peace. Anyone worth having in your life, who really loves YOU and not the labels or lines, will walk with you, will stay in your life. Those are the people really worth having. Those are the folks who will stick. Just be prepared to be patient and gentle with them as they journey with you, because it’s their transition too.

    As I mentioned in another comment, my sister, when faced with the news was happy for me, but terrified for us. She’d been through transition once, and while she and her friend are still “friends” they are not nearly as close as they were before her friend transitioned. Because her friend didn’t respect my sister’s transition.

    Me I held her, and promised no matter what, I would never put her through what “D” did. Ever. A year later, a bunch of us were standing in the kitchen trying to decide what to do about dinner and being herself. I quipped “You’re a better woman than I am.”

    “Of course I am ” she replied “I’ve had more practice.”

    My sister “S” was shocked and started to give her a tongue lashing and I stopped her and said “She’s right of course, but I’m catching up fast!”

    “L” and I were doubled over laughing and “S” said you weren’t offended? I said “Come on, really? Me be offended by ‘L’ being herself? Hell no!” And “L” and I knew in that moment we were going to be fine. A few weeks later at a BBQ we were telling old funny stories from our shared past, and never once did she stumble. As she and I were getting ready to go home she pulled me into a bear hug and said “Thank you.” I held her and said “I have no idea what you’re thanking me for, but you’re welcome. For you, anything. You’re family.”

    She pulled away just holding my hands and said “We spent the whole night talking about memories, having a great time, and it was just like it has always been. You never once corrected me about name or pronoun or anything. Never tried to alter my memories of the past, nothing. I love you, you’re the best sister a girl could ever ask for.”

    I smiled and said “Well, first I swore I’d never do what ‘D’ did to you, and second you never used the wrong name or pronoun, not that I’d have cared much either way. You know my rule, ‘anything but late for dinner’ so you were just fine.” It was then that she realized that HER transition was over. She laughed and said “You know, you’re right. I hadn’t realized it until just now when you mentioned it, but I think about our past, and I see you, I know you. I’d have to look at old pictures to see who you used to be. How strange. After ‘D’ I’d never expected that could be possible.”

    So regardless of where you decide to go that works for you, be gentle and loving with the people traveling with you. Be patient, Be you. They’ll get there in their own time. Remember, you’re tired, and you want and need this to be done and behind you, but you’ve had more time to adjust than they might have.

    The future is yours Donna, only yours, and you have to work in your own shoes, make them comfortable. 🙂


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