Neither

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/Assortment_at_Mount_Misery_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1500914.jpgI am neither man nor woman, and it hurts. It hurts Now.

On Saturday, it was too hot to dance with my wig on. Even before we started dancing, the school was too warm- so I took my wig off, and tied a scarf round my head- and it was too hot for that. People I had never met before got to see the male pattern baldness. It is one thing to be read as trans, but that- is as if I am not really trying to appear female. Which I am. I do not want to look like a man half dressed up.

Lots of women want to “look their best” and the sense that they do not is cruel to them- and it is particularly cruel to me. I have seen the fear on the faces of women who have not got their foundation on.

And lots of people feel they “do not fit in”, and I really, really don’t. I wanted more to fit in with my mother’s expectations, her conservative ideas, than my peers at school. Usually a child picks up his accent from his classmates, but I got mine from my mother. (Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, raised in England, is another example.) My sister spoke a different accent at home from at school, and when I visited her in Edinburgh and she met me at the bus station a nursing student friend said, “S, you’ve got your English accent on,” the one she used to phone her parents.

So I created a Shell, a rationalist persona to fithttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/Thomas_Gainsborough_-_Mary%2C_Countess_of_Howe_-_WGA08407.jpg in, and held my rage and terror out of consciousness.

“Why is my life so hard?” sang Paul Simon. Yes, yes, I know. And- “Who will be my rôle model?” Always difficult, but the obvious ones for me were men, and they did not fit at all. I hated many people, for they were wrong too. It still feels a bit weird picking a female role model. I was aware of other transvestites in my twenties, and they were furtive and persecuted, and rightly so for they were disgusting. Chief Constable James Anderton had them arrested, when they went out in public. Watching telly together, in our teens, I said, “Oh look, a man in a dress. What do you think of that?” And my sister said, “I can’t imagine anything more disgusting. That turns me right off.”

I am neither.

I am terrified.

Lana Wachowski is that role-model, for younger lesbian! TSs, hat tip to Mindy.

There is a negotiated path, of transition. It takes determination and courage, and two years or so after taking the plunge one is awarded with a Gender Recognition Certificate, which says “The above named person is, from the date of issue, of the gender shown”. So if I “marry” it has to be a man, I could make a “civil partnership” with a woman, and those M-Fs old enough to have a different retirement age get the woman’s. And if people object to me in the women’s loos, the law is on my side. And- being a “woman” does not entirely fit me either, though it is a great deal more comfortable than being a “man”. I am neither.

14 thoughts on “Neither

  1. I don’t know what it’s like to walk in your shoes, but I would love to send you a hug and some loving thoughts. You are human, and you, and utterly unique and special. xx

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  2. Or, both?? Can you not choose to celebrate the best of both of your worlds, instead of focussing on what is missing from them? Yes, I know too, how hard that is to do, when we cannot do it. When we feel like howling with rage and pain, all those others who can still laugh and smile, make us cry louder.

    When my rage is exhausted and my pain is numbed from years of crying, I am still here, and my head still lifts to familiar music. I am still here, and something has to shine sometime soon.

    What shall I say I love about you? Your physical strength? Your strength of character? Your proud height? Your humour? Your laugh? Your dress sense? Your drole wisdom? All these aspects of you have their male and female parts.

    Hurting now, can be healthy, because it is the body casting off buried anger or grief. Light a candle, and give yourself a hug. Lots of love!

    XXX xxx XXX

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    • This is part of a sequence. I wrote “Woman” today, scheduled for 4 November, and “Both” is projected. “Man” was yesterday.

      I am deliberately seeking out the rage and pain, as I have numbed it, and if you numb rage, you numb joy too. Yes, I am casting off the old rage. I am taking the time I need for it. I have two job application forms to complete, which is a sign of progress even if I do not get an interview.

      I lived a lie for a long time- claiming that male identity, Christian Gentleman, Muscular christian, whatever- which includes denying the pain and disconnect. So admitting it is good for me, now. I am certain this is a stage I am passing through. I am not attached to what might be on the other side.

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  3. I refer to myself as “the woman with the Purple shoe” Many ways I don’t fit the “norm” and at my age now (52) I’m mighty damn fine with that.. you will find your resting place, we all do!!

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