I wish I hadn’t had the operation. Or hadn’t had to. Or something.
There. I first said that to another person yesterday, and she said, “I know”. Then she said, “You know I know, don’t you”. Yeah, s’pose- yet that is such a huge thing it is hard to admit it to yourself.
An androphile trans woman told a man who should have kept it confidential, “I’m a gay man trapped in a woman’s body”. She could have lived male, had she learned to accept it. He did shoot his mouth off far too much, that counsellor, but in my case he could be justified, be warning me.
“If I could not have orgasms,” a friend said, quietly, “I would miss them”. Well, I can have orgasms. I retain my prostate gland- I was told that was to prevent incontinence, but it also promotes arousal- and can ejaculate. It does not happen often, though it varies in other trans women, I understand.
You know, I still feel less than other people? They are more vital, spontaneous, vibrant, attractive than I am. I feel guilt, shame, envy, resentment, longing. Transition has freed me to be me, more than before, and it never feels enough. Those other people may also not be happy or sorted, and I am frustrated because being happy and sorted seems possible yet always just out of reach. I don’t care if everyone feels the same way, I still resent it.
Before the op, I said to a friend, “Women get a great deal of pleasure out of penises”. “Yes,” she said, “but I would not want one of my own”. Another friend said to me, before I went full time, “It is as if you are acting when you are Stephen, you are just you when you are Clare”. I treasure that comment like a spark in the darkness, one bit of affirmation when I cannot affirm myself. A not-ill-disposed man said to me that my emails on an email list were like “cries for help”- which I am still making here, perhaps. That haunts me too.
I am a soft male. I tried to make a hard man of myself. It may be like that man H and I saw in the pub, alone with his drink, skinny and tattooed, trying to appear hard, to me just looking threatening because he could do something weird at any moment, clearly not tough. “I wanted to give him a hug,” she said after. I lied to myself because I wanted to see myself as a good man, and my idea of a good man was completely other from how I was; so possibly my softness was visible to everyone except me.
-I’m quite resilient, I told Moira, my first girlfriend.
-Actually I think you are very easily hurt, she said.
My softness is beautiful and valuable, utterly natural and normal in a man- towards the end of the distribution curve, perhaps, but Good; and I thought it was weak, sick, perverted, disgusting, ridiculous and illusory. It is OK to be me, this soft, and I wish I could have realised that.
More on this tomorrow. Writing this has exhausted me.
I’m sorry you’re going through this kind of pain and sadness and exhaustion. I have absolutely nothing to compare your experiences to but your honesty helps me begin to try to understand. There’s so much value in your words. Thank you for your honesty. I hope tomorrow is better. Take care Clare. Sending hugs. Amy
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Thank you. I say these things to make them knowable and bearable. I need to be heard. Thank you for listening.
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You write with searing honesty and self awareness, I am often in awe of what you share. I cannot begin to know what it feels like to be you, but I want you to know I read your blogs, I’m listening, I care.
People soften reality, don’t we? Saying as it is is invigorating. And this is only part of it, work in progress.
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I think that being soft and sensitive is one of the most beautiful qualities a person can have. I also think there’s a correlation between being a sensitive soul and feeling like an outsider–like the need to protect oneself creates a barrier between the self and the world. But whether or not my theory holds up to scrutiny, I hope you see the beauty in all the different aspects of yourself!
Yes. Absolutely. Dreadful if everybody was like that but beautiful in a few jewell-like individuals. 🙂
What’s wrong with being soft? The world could do with more soft people. Does it matter if soft people are male or female? The society we live in has a long way to go in allowing individuals to be themselves instead of shoehorning them into roles they are not meant for. I don’t know if celebrating nonconforming gender stereotypes would change the number of people who identify as trans, but I can understand the pressure one must be under to conform either by changing personality or body. In such circumstances, changing a body to conform seems less self destructive than changing personality, which after all, is the real you.
The only alternative is to pretend to be what one is not. As an Aspie I don’t have the luxury of being able to make myself conform by the use of a scalpel as there is no physical difference between Aspie and neurotypical. However if there was, I would prefer to alter my appearance to “look Aspie” instead of being “cured” so that I experience the world in the manner of neurotypicals. Instead I have to act as if I am neurotypical – something that is unpleasant and extremely exhausting, and something I’m not very good at. I imagine people who are not gender conforming are in much the same position.
Soft is good. Hard is ok, s’pose.
Me wanting to not be trans is like me wanting another person to occupy the space I am in. It would not be me. All these things are gifts: society should value its gifts whatever they are.
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Clare I think that your dysphoria might have been too powerful for you not to have transitioned although this is just my opinion. No matter what you do its a struggle because those of us that don’t are always on the cusp of wanting to. Its not an easy life having this and we struggle every day no matter what we decide to do.
We have all been victims of trying to please the society that told us how to behave and look and now I am becoming very militant against that because it was killing my spirit.
I have tried more focusing on who I am as a person rather than on the body and it seems to be helping me. But we all go through tough spells but we eventually break out of them and I am certain that you will this one.
❤ I choose to take your final two words as a powerful Blessing, an invocation of healing. That is how I heard them in my mind.
We are indeed a whole person, not just a body. The post I shall write today is on why I am glad I had the Op; but I do not resile from what I said. I shall delve deeper into this.
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