“I am ridiculous,” I said, and my cis friend demurred: won’t other trans folk object? It means “absurd- deserving derision or mockery”. You can’t say that! “Ridiculous”- a “man in a dress”- no, perfectly normal, part of ordinary, beautiful human diversity. A trans woman. It’s OK to be me.

Am I being cissexist, considering myself as an Outsider from a cisnormative perspective? Possibly that’s part of it. I am cissexist. I have grown up in a cissexist culture, and imbibed its notions. And it’s not just that. My inner critic’s concept of normality is a hard steel block with a lead core for extra weight, unmoving, unrelenting. It doesn’t only object to me expressing myself female, it objects to much of my emotional reaction and spontaneous response. For me, “feel the fear and do it anyway” includes “see it’s ridiculous and enjoy it anyway”.

There are other ways to respond to my inner voices. I can talk to them sensibly. I can explain this is OK, that I have a perfect right to do what I want to do, and that takes time and effort and does not really convince me because it is a feeling thing. Or I can answer “What will people think?” fears with I don’t care. Some of them will disapprove, and some will disapprove strongly. I am safe enough. It is OK to be ridiculous. If dressing colourfully, doing things that please me and having fun are ridiculous, perforce I must be ridiculous.

Or- it’s a way of coping. I find coping difficult, so any way of coping has to be a good thing. Tell me of the ways of coping that work for you, and I may try them; but don’t tell me not to cope in the way I know how.

Oberon, Titania and Puck with fairies dancing

2 thoughts on “Ridiculous

  1. As one who is also considered “not normal” by most of society, I understand what it feels like to feel disapproval by it. As I didn’t know what was “wrong” with me for the first 60 years of my life, I realise now that I gave myself less worth than I deserved. I felt to some extent that the difficulties I face being accepted was my own fault. No I realise it’s actually society failing to accept and value diversity.

    Sometimes. Clare, I think you are to harsh on yourself


    • Yes. I am too harsh on myself, and it produces paralysis in me, from confusion and lack of confidence. As I get to know myself- like getting to know another person, who is not like my self-concept so surprising strange weird unsettling- I come to think, well, she doesn’t do things how I would, but she’s alright, really…

      Liked by 1 person

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