Sunday, 11 December 2011
Come out and see me, make me smile.
Do you have any idea what it's like to wake up every morning and just feel slightly wrong? Like one little thing is out of place in your head?
I often end up doing this. Some times it's not as bad as others, some times it's worse. But the fact remains that every time I look in a mirror there's a balding, bearded man looking back at me. While I was a teenager growing up I thought that my dislike of the changes I was going through was just because I didn't want to have to grow up and have to take responsibility for myself and, to a certain extent, that was true. I don't like being responsible, but I'm capable of doing it when I need to however distasteful I find it.
When I was around 19 I discovered a webcomic called El Goonish Shive, which featured transgender antics from several of the main characters, especially focussed at first on Ellen, who was a female clone of the original main character Elliot. I joined in the forum-based community the comic had where someone had set up a free-form role-play game inspired by Ellen's creation wherein everyone played a gender-swapped version of themselves. Suddenly things slotted into place. I wasn't just stressed about growing up, I was stressing about growing up male.
I knew I wasn't gay; I have no sexual interest in men. I tried to persuade myself that I was bisexual when I was 17, simply because I believed it was a better way to live but proved that, at least for me, sexuality is not a choice, despite what right-wingers say. So my conclusion was, logically, that I must be a transgender lesbian. It took me a while and I think I must have been around 21 when I finally came to this conclusion for definite.
So now in the morning I wake up, look in the mirror and I feel slightly wrong. I present as a straight male (I even have an Evil Goatee©), mainly because no matter what I try, it's never good enough for me. If I'm completely clean shaven my jaw structure and skin are a little feminine, but instead of comforting me this makes it worse. It highlights the things that are wrong: balding hairline, heavy shoulders, huge hands and feet. There are times I've considered seeing about Hormone Therapy, but I do want to have at least one genetic child in my life, and I'm worried about potentially making myself sterile, and I'd still run up against the wall of it not being enough. I am a bit of an all-or-nothing person.
I've never told my parents about this. My brother thinks it's just one of my silly little obsessions. Most of my friends at uni know about it, I have a tendency to blather on about everything about me as a defence mechanism. But for people who didn't know, I'm coming out. I have to thank things like The Godless Bitches and Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook, along with much love to my friends Fortiquest and Entorien, and my fiancée, without whom I wouldn't have had this courage. I'm a member of the LGBT community. I'm L and T. I know, inside, that what I look like, what my genetics and hormones made me, isn't right.
I am still the same person as I was before; my personality is quite 'masculine;'* I love me some video games, I'm argumentative and bickery, I'm completely obsessed with how things work and how life, the universe and everything are put together.† It's just that I wish I looked more or less like Jessica Rabbit.
Jessica Rabbit in Jeans! With a spiky bass!
I'm not bad... I'm just drawn that way
*At least by cultural definitions of masculine, which fails like most stereotypes do in the end
†I don't know all the answers, but 42 has to be in there somewhere