I Am A Transwoman. I Am In The Closet. I Am Not Coming Out. — Medium
>>> last night i started wondering if all my friendships and relationships with guys are doomed and i should just become a lesbian or cat lady XD;
Tue Jul 12 12:26:57 2016 - permalink -
Pronouns are the least of my concerns.
I visit a women’s college. I am surrounded by new women and we feel instantly comfortable around each other. I attend a lecture. The speaker yells “who gets to be a woman?” and a crowd of cis women responds “anyone who wants to be!” The sentiment is nice, but I think about the years I spent staring out the window at the stars and I feel suddenly uncomfortable.
Until I am told by one of them, angrily, that I am not really allowed to talk about femininity because I am a straight cis boy. It is not my place and it is not my territory. I should shut up and listen. Are these my people?
I am told there is something special — something ineffable — about Female Friendship. I am told that I could not understand or experience this. They said anyone is a woman who wants to be—is it true? What does this say about my friendships with girls?
I am told that masculinity exists in opposition to femininity and that it is unequivocally toxic.
The good qualities I’m talking about are actually femininity, they explain.
I say that I feel like claiming that self-sacrifice and kindness are feminine values that men are borrowing is like claiming that they are Jewish values that Buddhists are borrowing.
It is interesting to see where people insist proximity to a subject makes one informed, and where they insist it makes them biased. It is interesting that they think it’s their call to make.
Some nights, always alone, I go out in scavenged makeup and women’s clothes with an ID I found in a lost wallet. I never feel more male than on these nights.
When you don’t pass, you are injured. When you do, you get exactly what you’d expect being a woman alone at a bar. I have no rose-colored notions of what public life as a woman—trans or cis—entails.
Genderfluidity gains popularity.
because the boring binarist wrong-body narrative of the 1990’s is the one that fits me best, even after all this time.
Misandry humor is peaking and it is dripping with cissexism.
How incompetent they are emotionally. How they’re too weak to handle childbirth and periods. Neckbeards are the scourge of the internet.
The meme gospel says penises are just shitty clitorises.
I don’t know where I stand in this. I don’t know my place in this. Are these my people?
On who has a right to talk about femininity? They will read this and tell themselves “No!”
I wonder if there are ways to criticize people based on their character without impugning the hairs that come out of them. She says I am mansplaining. She says I am Not-All-Men-ing. She also says I couldn’t possibly understand the standards of beauty imposed upon women.
When you are cis and you don’t shave your legs, some people think you are a gross feminist and some people think you are a badass feminist. You have the privilege of experimenting with your body hair because your status and your identity are otherwise secured in ways they are not for transwomen.
What she is really furious about is being contradicted by someone who, according to their facebook profile, has a lower ranking on the intersectional discourse chart than she.
If a person is telling this cis girl she is taking for granted a privilege that trans girls don’t have, why is it this cis girl’s instinct to hunt for that person’s identity to see if she can discredit them and not have to think about their point?
Bald men make them think of television pedophiles. Bald men remind them of self-indulgent authors and desperate improvisers. I see men on the train losing their hair, their youth, their options, and I feel for them. It’s not funny. It’s a dysmorphic nightmare for anyone. I don’t bother mentioning that I find the jokes unnecessary and insensitive. I know what the girls will say.
Do I even want to convince someone who will only listen to me when they find out I’m a girl?
Do I have to out myself to be treated like a person worth listening to?
But do I want to join those hip intersectional circles that won’t have me until I disclose my most private experiences? That will tell me to shut up until I lay bare every year of dissociation and dysmorphia and dysphoria?
Do I need to be inspected and dissected by the people who laughed at me to receive my credential?
I don’t want to be treated like I have glass bones by well-intentioned cis friends. I don’t want to be told I am “so pretty” when I hate my reflection. It doesn’t make me feel better. It makes me feel worse, and it’s almost impossible to get cis people to turn it off. And I’m uncomfortable enough with the hateful judgment I get when I foray female-presenting into the city alone.
some people manage dysphoria better than others. When you fight it, it fights back
Because for some transwomen, femininity can feel asymptotic — the closer you get, the more you feel you can never make it.
I don’t want to be a conversation-starter or a curiosity, and that’s what I would be in this world, to so many people. All I wanted to be was Wendy Darling. I wanted to be an average girl with an average girlhood
I’ve had years to try and be at peace with that loss and sometimes I manage. We’re humans. None of it’s fair. So many of us have things taken away from us.
“I wish I looked like that but I don’t and can’t. It sucks and it makes me feel really awful if I brood on it. That’s why I focus on my writing—I’d rather make things. Investing in and building things that aren’t my body helps me cope with the body issues I’ve been saddled with against my will.”
She doesn’t sound like she needs advice on how makeup will actually fix her core problem, does she? She seems like she’s doing alright. I’m her and I’m trans. That’s all.
y brain is my brain — my body is my body. They don’t match, and I’ve chosen to devote my energy to coming to terms with that and focusing on other things, rather than trying to change my body.
fuckboi, or to humiliate one with an OKCupid screenshot because we’ve willfully conflated the clumsy ones with the threatening ones so we can grab those solidarity faves. It’s fucked up. It has metastasized.
“I play along,” one of them told me, “because in the queer community the only people who defend cisboys are cisboys. I don’t want to give up finally being read as a girl.”
Another says “I do the misandry stuff because it’s an easy way to earn queer cred points, but when I think about it it makes me uncomfortable.”
Another: “It’s a coping habit I’m not proud of. If I agree ‘girls rule boys drool’ it makes me feel more like a girl.”
I am not saying “open the floodgates, let in the shitty male trolls!” I know the trolls—they have tried to be my friends, they have tried to sneak into feminist spaces with no desire to learn or listen. I understand not trusting men who loudly and constantly hold forth on women’s issues and refuse to accept when they are mistaken. I’m not encouraging anyone to trust blindly. I am pleading to the discoursers: consider that this insulation has effects and try to mitigate them, if your priority really is finding truth amid a muck of concealed patriarchal lies. Check to see if maybe you are saying things and reproducing things mostly because it sounds good and feels good and nobody is challenging them.
Because it’s not a small deal that the words “not all men” have become entwined inextricably with male fragility and whininess. It makes it awfully easy to insulate the (largely cis-)female perspective on what males are.
My dysmorphia is as entwined in my identity as anything else. I have lived with it for decades as a girl pretending to be a boy. And the nearer I get to something I’ve wanted my whole life, the more it feels like playing into the aesthetic politics of a group of people who reject me because of the associations they have with my body—a body which I cannot, ultimately, change very much. These people who will only be comfortable when I dilute those associations with femme signifiers.
As if maybe, by simply being what I am—a girl-feeling brain in a boy-looking body and boy-looking clothes—I might burn down something very important to them. Something that makes their life more comfortable and easy.
PLEASE, cis allies, realize that girls like this are among you and they are trying to bond with you over how much men suck. They are calling themselves feminists and they are commenting “yas!!!” on the neon vagina-centric art you reposted on Facebook.
What you want to say right now is “Not All Cis Women,” which is okay! Just also remember that feeling when you hear “Not All Men.”