Reverting III

1 Sept 2013Whether to revert?

On the bus, I sneezed, and two people, separately, said “Bless you”. For the avoidance of doubt this was in a friendly manner with no trace of “irony”. I met J by the bus stop, and she went to a rough brick building to buy a mattress.

-Desh isn’t in his posh car today. He’s got his big van.

The posh car is a Porsche. The building is fairly central- well, it is Swanston- and wide enough to have beds both sides of a central aisle. Desh, that name shortened and Anglicized from something Urdu, sits in the back humouring J who chats away to him far more than is strictly necessary for the transaction. I look at the stock. I have no idea what the prices are like, relative to the market, but on a small store and a small stock, Desh seems to be doing well enough for himself. Hmm. If you can make a go of it, self-employment seems the thing.

I need to “man up”, for want of a better phrase- “Toughen up”, I suppose- and get back into the World. It is inevitable that these thoughts make me think of Reverting, because I see most things through the prism of my Gender Thing.

Women can be tough too, of course, and have to be. Oh, it’s all so binary– revert or not revert, express myself as male or female, and even if androgyny is an option it is one of three very separate options, three boxes. Clare, Stephen or Lindsay.

Certainly I have no burning desire to be Stephen again. So the question seems so much less important than transition did: that was the most important thing in my life. Even if I reverted now, I had to do that, in order to find that living male is better now- if it is.

I want to be comfortable in my own skin, and that is something I must do for myself- reverting will not do that for me, P1010603though it may be a tool to make it easier, or a mistake, which will make it more difficult. It is so much more a pragmatic question than transitioning was: not “I absolutely have to do this” but “given my circumstances in my society, will my goals be more easy to achieve if I am presenting male?”

If the thought of presenting male upsets me, now, that could be a confidence thing rather than an Identity thing. I dig down into my psyche and ask, have I a “gender identity” at all? It could be a lot less noticeable because it is congruent with presentation, now.

8 thoughts on “Reverting III

  1. So many homies, so many decisions, so many unknowns. Ah, the curse of being a human, the curse of living a life of meaning. Whatever you choose, it will be right for you at that moment. I for one know this, but it doesn’t stop my noisy mind rattling through all the permutations, like some crazy lottery ticket machine! (BTW, on an utterly shallow level, I wish I had your legs!). 🙂


    • 🙂 Thank you. Be shallow like that,any time you like.

      It can be as if there are two parts of me doing the choosing, the part that knows and the part that doubts and challenges the knowing. At the moment, I don’t know if the noisy mind is ever right!


  2. I’ve been following this “Reverting” series, wanting to comment, but having nothing constructive to say. But today i just want to let you know i love that you are openly asking these honest questions. Thank you for sharing these internal questionings.


  3. Dear Clare

    I love these pictures of you. Thanks for posting them. You look perfect, from the tiny hairs sticking up at the top of your head, to your beautiful toes. Very much you, very comfortable.

    You once wrote to me that after transition, your world had changed from black and white to colour. If memory serves I remember an awkward boy wearing shabby brown corduroy who looked uncomfortable in his clothes. I always got that feeling about him, so I am pleased you found colour.

    If you re-presented as male, would you feel uncomfortable again? Discomfort is likely to follow you around, so the question then is simply, which discomfort is more bearable?

    What do you wear to interview…? A sharp trouser suit with a very beautiful but masculine shirt? A boxy jacket? (Love that word! Since you mentioned it, I have been using it a lot lately….) 😉 You could even tease the world, turning up as a vision of power and loveliness that baffles….in a suit, with girlish cuff links, elegant ambiguous shoes….. there is a lot one can do to appear more conciliatory – but brightly so! – without giving up on the dream.

    Finding the gender thing less all-consuming is natural, probably, as we get older. Perhaps you can turn that to your advantage, without compromising.

    Bless you!

    XXX :-))


    • I need to toughen up, or certainly to add toughness to my palette of options. Sitting with it and thinking of it, I am glad I have played with the thought of Reverting in order to do that- because I know, having thought of it, that it is Not the way to do it.

      God bless you.


  4. Ultimately you can try different things and see what it is that makes you most comfortable in your own skin. I often use the phrase “uncomfortable in my own skin,” as a descriptive for the crawling feeling I get when the world inside my head clashes with the world that is real but it is more than that. It is possible to toughen up in many different aspects without losing femininity or masculinity.

    I have found that if you portray yourself how you want to be perceived the world will begin to perceive you that way. To use myself as an example – when I have to go out into the world which thankfully isn’t often, I portray myself as completely sane. Very few people that I interact with see what lies just beneath the surface. It comes down to I think therefore I am in a twisted way.

    I hope this makes sense to you as I cannot quite put into words what I am trying to say. It could be the lack of sleep lol.


    • Thank you. That is a useful perspective.

      This is the last gasp (I hope) of seeing myself as the problem, deciding that I have to change to be happy. I have to accept and be myself to be happy. I have mouthed that for years, and may be getting there.


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