Ways of being

We saw two possibilities: transition, or distorting ourselves behind some manly mask; but then I met one like us who was attempting to be themself and authentic, showing emotional responses, without dressing female. Tina, a counsellor who specialises in our kind, said this was very difficult. Such a person would confuse others which usually means angering or distressing them. We don’t have the words concepts ideas for it. “Pansy” or “effeminate” men are expected to be gay. “Genderqueer” begins to approach it. For some of us, it might even be liberating to call ourselves men, and see another way of being: presenting as feminine men.

The problem is that some espousing this view argue we are not women, we are wrong to dress as women, and deluded and oppressed into losing our gonads as the price of grudging acceptance as trans women.

And I have been too close to that view. I am affected by my friend H who sees me as a man, and likes soft men as I like strong women, but “sees me as a woman” as far as possible relationship goes. If only I had kept my testicles! I am seeking love and acceptance again. I seek to fit in. Beware those who offer acceptance on their own terms!

Now, I reject that view. I am a woman, and chose gender surgery: I was happier than I had ever been. I could not have been a man in that way. I have been liberated.

And I have been too close to the view that we are not “really” women. Women are not like that. Well, the concept “woman” is broad enough to include me. Thank God.

I hear that stuff, and it sets off echoes of self-doubt from the time of transition, because the acceptance of trans women was grudging then. Am I right to do this, I wondered. I picked over every possible doubt- if I had found any reasonable doubt I would not have done it. I remain ashamed of myself- it is the echo of the shame I felt then.

Or-

I am persuaded. Apart from cultural expectation there is no difference between men and women apart from reproductive organs. It is all a huge con. We are men, and should express ourselves as soft, gentle men. Beta males, perhaps. I distort myself into a female form and am mutilated, because of Patriarchal oppression. Those who think they are trans should be saved from themselves, and prevented from any bodily alteration.

Or-

The reason I can’t admit that trans is a huge con is because I would have to admit I was wrong to choose to be mutilated.

But really-

I don’t know. I can’t decide. Differing loyalties, among other things, pull me different ways: I am with these people, who say this; or those, who think the opposite. It would be easier if I knew-

possibly

I am depressed, failing to value my current way of being and my decisions. I am where I am.

 ♥♥♥

This is the thing. When she says “I see you as a man” because of radical feminist theory, I could bear it; but when she “sees me as a man” except in the way of a possible partner, where she “sees me as a woman” and herself as simply heterosexual, I find myself regretting my op. Because I love her.

So I phoned the Samaritans, second time in two days, and was explaining the dynamic. The woman had not heard the word “harridan” which is entirely negative. “It’s not like ‘bitch’,” I explained. “‘Bitch’ can be positive. ‘Find your inner bitch’.”

And I thought, yeah. Find your inner bitch. Bitch can be positive.

I hated my body. I had it adjusted. And then I loved it.

-Lots of women have a great deal of fun with penises, I told a friend when I was considering the Op.
-Yes, but I would not want one of my own, she said.

Various people say, but penises and testicles are wonderful, part of your humanity, part of your beautiful body. Do not mutilate your body. They can’t understand it, and nor can I, for “I am a woman” is a rationalisation not an explanation, and their opinions affect mine, because I want to fit in- but we want this, and we have the right to make our own decisions.

I want to find my inner bitch, find my power. I am weightless, blown by the winds.

Signac, Femme a l ombrelle

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