You don’t need to have the knife gun or pill-bottle in your hands to phone the Samaritans. Though you can phone for a listening ear, I did not; because I did not know whether to give a male or female name.
Having believed in autogynephilia– the idea that I could have been an ordinary husband and father if I had had a little more self-control, but because I wanked to fantasies of myself as I woman I decided to become one- I saw my sexuality as diseased, and I suppressed it. Now, emerging from my denial that I was a sexual being at all, I find quite how passive I am, and how ashamed I am of that.
I had a disappointment, and it overwhelmed me. First I felt upset, then I went into a vicious spiral. I want this ridiculous, ludicrous thing, because of the way my sexuality is, which I cannot have, that makes me miserable, and my misery prevents me functioning. Frightened of my own misery, my fear magnified it; it became proof of my uselessness and unchanging impossible weakness. For some time before weeping I was numb.
Even now, there is an ideal relationship in our culture- heterosexual, of course. The man should earn more money. The woman should look after the house, though this is no longer a full time job. There are other ways of being, or we would not have words for them- a woman might “wear the trousers” in a relationship. Rod Liddle called Simon Schama a “male lesbian”, relating to women but not in a properly hetero way. Among gays and lesbians there are the terms butch and femme, top and bottom.
I want a woman who “wears the trousers”. After my long period of denial, I realise how utterly ashamed I am of this. I found myself wondering whether this was why I imagined I was transsexual: it was less shameful to be passive if one was female. That is deluded. Do I want to go back to male clothes or a male name? No. Horrible idea. And pretending to be female for ten years would be unbearable, except that I am female.
I have been wiped out and weeping today (Thursday)- and I have worked this out. The shame is the problem. I am so fearful of my desire and my misery that it overwhelms me. And- I was disappointed. It is natural to have the emotional reaction of unhappiness at a disappointment. And that unhappiness passes. I need not fear it, the fear makes it a far greater problem than it would be.
I am glad not to be so deep in denial. This is progress. My shame lessens. My sexuality is within the normal bounds of human diversity, and diversity is a good thing: we have a cliché for that as well. It is “all part of life’s rich tapestry”.
If I despise and hate myself and fear my own reactions, then every reaction I have brings me to a juddering halt. If I can come to accept myself the outside world does not become any easier, but it does get less overwhelming.