I need to do two things when I'm writing a self-examining post.
1. Try to infer what external causes have prompted me to write this (AKA take at least a minute to calm the fuck down and think)
2. Don't pull my punches.
Overlooking both. Bad habits. Showing improvement though.
Anyhow, what I forgot in the last post was:
I'm growing out my facial hair as a step to going to the L.A.S.E.R.
hair removal clinic. This is the last time I have to do LASER hair removal on my face. After this, a matter of electrolysis.
When I do this, I tend to dress in a much more masculine fashion, because while I don't like being a "boy in a dress," I like being a "bearded boy in a dress" even less. The gender of my presentation gets on my mind, as one might well imagine. Each time I grow out my beard like this, I know that the next time, it will be even sparser. This reminds me that I am making, and have already made irreversable changes to my body. It's good, but it drives home that I have committed myself to this.
Also, due to the changes in my face and build, each time I grow out my beard and toss on some baggy shirts, I look increasingly FtM, which amuses me to no end.
2. Pulling punches
The dilemma can better be summarized as:
What's the point of trying to look feminine when the more I try, the more it highlights all the parst of me that don't look like a girl, so I present like a crossdresser? Am I dressing like a boi out of fear of having "tranny" stamped on my forehead? Or do I actually just not want to look feminine? Is this discomfort and the dire towards the masculine more due to the fact that I just don't feel right in a feminine presentation?
[this was where this post was supposed to end, but following my own advice has led me to really sort things out]
And is the problem with intelligibility more to do with my worries about seeing my family?
When I told my Mum about how her "advice on femininity was welcome, but I'm not a gender normative female," she said that she didn't consider herself "to be a gender-normative female." I had to drive how that when I said "not gender normative" I didn't mean "I'm comfortable being single, kayaking and carrying boxes up stairs" but rather "the kind of woman that, a while back, my Mum would describe with the hushed phrase, 'I think she has some gender issues.'" So I said, when I say non-normative, I mean kinda butch.
"Kinda butch" was not the best term, but I used it because I thought that my Mum might get it. Our former neighbour was/is dealing with his daughter's coming out and suddenly "looking like a butch lesbian." Those were his words - I would say that she looks and acts like a Greenpeace volunteer whose sexuality is her own business, but if that's my mom's baseline of "butch" then that would make me Leslie fucking Feinburg
A lot of my conversations about my changing my sex (my sex needs changing, my gender is fine) include similar problems. The issue in my head is that most of my family hasn't seen me since December, when the biggest change in my appearance was that I was wearing better fitting clothes than normal. Thanksgiving is coming up and I just want to go to Kelowna and eat some salad and drink punch and talk with my loved one - i.e. I want to forget about all this trans shit
This is likely because I've spent the last week introducing myself to other SFU students as female and having no bloody idea how I'm coming across
But come Thanksgiving, I know that I have the choice of presenting either in an intelligibly feminine fashion, or as the giant (possibly somewhat butch, possibly not) dyke that I am. The former is not something that I want to do - or am going to do, so I guess that dilemma is solved. But the latter may lead to more well-meant expressions of concern over "whether I've really thought this through."
Gah! Of course I've thought this about this
I mean, of course I've thought this through... I think
I mean: I... guess this is the right thing to do, but if you have a better idea I'd like to hear it
All of these relate to looooong concerned/worried/loving/irritating conversations that I don't want to have - in part because I want to come out to someone and get slapped on the back and offered a celebratory beer (Anne Travers is, so far, the only person to take this tack) - but largely because I've already had the "Have you actually thought about what the fuck you're doing?" talk about six times with others, and about four hundred times with myself. Maybe I should just write my best guess as to my gender identity down and what the hell I'm doing with/to my body, career and personal safety on a business card, hand it out and say "it's all there, now let's forget about it, eat and talk about the last season of CBC radio, Dynamic Optics, social history and all that other wonderful stuff." And maybe we can actually forget about it instead of using it to cover up the giant ball of mutual concern that is the product of me changing my sex.
Okay, maybe I don't actually want to forget about all this trans shit, but rather be able to have meaningful personal conversations with people that don't rely on me going over the basics to the point where I'm wondering why it's Helen Leung
and not me who's teaching "Introduction to Gender Studies."