Words for transition

I was never a “woman trapped in a man’s body”- there were two people in this body, and one of them had to go. I have not associated with trans people, particularly, since I transitioned, and felt a real need to attend the Quaker LG+ Fellowship gathering. We gathered for one day, and people went to Manchester from London and Glasgow, or stayed overnight to be able to attend.

We are good with words. When I said “I am female” it was the most liberating thing I had ever done. It freed me to be myself more than ever before. Now, we are asked to define our gender and sexuality, and many like my formulation: “Gender: Abigail. Sexuality: Abigail.” I am entirely, idiosyncratically me. That is, I aim not to reject any gender expression or sexual desire because of some belief that it does not fit my understanding of my gender or sexuality. I want to bring my shadow into the light.

That is separate from acting upon it. In our spirit of openness, one says that after marrying of course she falls in love with other people- but does not act on it, because she is married. Words help with self-discovery: an older man said that as a teenager, he wondered if he was bisexual, and then if he was gay.

What if a trans man cannot wear a binder, because of a medical condition? Before top-surgery, he has breasts, which influence how people regard him, and especially perhaps other trans folk. Do we judge him? It would make the Real Life Test very difficult, especially if T had caused facial hair growth. Does that make him choose to be “neutrois” or “gender-neutral” or some other non-binary label, rather than a trans man?

Note this speculation is not about anyone I met there; and the use of “T” for testosterone. That is what I have heard trans men call it. I feel they are the ones entitled to name it.

Someone remembered my ministry at Yearly Meeting, nearly six months later. That pleases me. We also had a mutual moan about nominations committee: on central nominations, they have to contact on average eight people before filling a job. The idea of a calling to do the job seems to be ended. Perhaps, that is because we are not dealing in callings: we fit jobs rationally rather than seeing the fittingness of them.

Now I look at my notes, and see initially I wrote “Gender: hyper-feminine; Sexuality: submissive gynaephile, empathetic, suggestible.” I had thought over lunch, am I seeing this gathering, these trans people, through her eyes? Now, that thought produces resistance in me, the need to be my Self. Threat- Crisis-


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