Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How To Tell You've Transitioned, Part II

I had a kinda frantic day today--spent all day trying to get some SQL to behave correctly, even though the task should have been pretty easy to do. Plus I was late for my therapy appointment--even with catching a cab.

As I was coming up out of the subway, a panhandler asked me for some money; and as I was walking away, he said "You have a nice day ma'am--sir--ma'am." (I'm assuming he saw either my boobs or my lipstick and that pushed him over the edge.)

I wasn't particularly happy to hear that, but I wasn't terrifically surprised either. I was dressed for work, when you work from home: a black tee, jeans, and sneakers. As I was walking away, I thought to myself, you've forgotten how to be a girl.

I am much less enlightened in the dark recesses of my mind than I am in print.

But there has been a change in how I present myself over the two years of my fulltime life; there was a time when I always wore eye makeup when I went out, and gave much careful thought to what I was going to wear. Nowadays, not so much; I've even gone out without wearing any lipstick, something I'd been avoiding ever since I got read when not wearing it.

A little of this is the weight I've put on, and being too broke to buy new clothes and too unmotivated to try and lose weight. But a lot more is simply that I've reached a new point of stability with my life; that my acceptance of myself as a woman means that I need fewer and fewer reinforcements via the trappings of femininity. (That, and a year of pounding concrete sidewalks; that gets you out of heels really quick.)

Three years ago, in the middle of my dark winter of discontent when I began to seriously consider the idea of transitioning, I would sometimes ask myself (as a way to not transition) what the difference was between hanging around my apartment in my PJ bottoms and a tee as a man and doing the same as a woman; the idea being that my life would be the same whether or not I transitioned, so why transition? I think I know that answer better now; it's because now I'm free of the doubts about whether I should transition, the doubts about whether or not I really was a woman, the awful amount of psychic energy I dumped into worrying about that problem. And a lot of those issues are gone now, and overall (when I'm not fighting off major depressive crises), I have a lot more energy to think and do things--case in point, this blog, started a year after I transitioned. Even if I have forgotten how to be "a girl," however it was that I construed living inside the public tokens of femininity.

Being a woman--a person--is a lot more satisfying anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. As a cis woman I've been misidentified as a man before, even though I was wearing make-up and had a relatively feminine haircut (though it was by a child and, being as I am cis, people around were happy to correct him) and accused of 'looking like a man' on several other occasions, so from my experience I would definitely agree it was world!fail rather than your own.