Euphoria or Dysphoria?
I spent yesterday trying out a binder. The wealth of information out there on how to bind your chest is really impressive. I got pretty damn flat. It looked awesome and didn’t hurt, thanks to a technique from Amber at FuckYeahBinders. I used a lumbar support brace instead of ace bandages — much better.
Today, I tried applying the beard I bought, and it’s just not right. I think, to be minutely satisfied with my appearance when I cross, I’m going to have to go spirit gum and sticking individual hairs to my face. The mustache and beard and the sideburns I bought aren’t going to work. I spent some time figuring that out today, and I got a look I like with the real hair (and there’s still someone’s human hair in my mouth) from the beard, which, when I bought it looked like something Hell’s Angels circa 1970. I bet whoever sold their hair to the wigmakers never imagined it would be stuck to some bitch’s face. The trimmings are serving me well, though the net beard itself is not.
Wednesday, I’m going to emcee a comedy show as Frank Brohaim. He’s a closeted gay sexist prick of a comedian, and a total hack, but I’m excited as hell about this.
In the process of trying on all the “costume” of Frank, though, I’m encountering a feeling that’s not foreign to me.
After I unbound my chest yesterday, I just felt sad. I wanted to keep it on, and then I had to go out and so I took it off. And I regret the shape of my body.
That’s also nothing new. As a stocky, chubby woman who’s pushing 40, the things I already hated about my body are exactly the same, only it’s exaggerated when I see a flat chest with the rest of it because nothing about my body would ever pass.
Today with the beard, it was the same thing. I had to spend a lot of time looking in the mirror, and I liked what I saw when I got it on. I cut a little out of my hairline that I can cover with my bangs. And I started watching videos of guys who have transitioned. I went on a huge binge. To a man, the change was something positive in their lives. It isn’t without its struggles. It’s clear that there are plenty of things these guys have to contend with to this day. But there’s an overall sense of self-actualization in the videos I watched.
The thing is, it’s not always that I think about my gender. It’s been more lately because of things I’m reading, the politics I follow, because I have more lesbian friends than ever and I don’t feel weird talking to them about these things (hopefully not to the point of being annoying). I also have one awesome straight guy friend I talk about it with a lot.
I feel like I’m not transgendered, then I feel like I am. If I’m riding the fence about this, I feel like it’s not true — maybe not even in part. I see these videos from guys who made the change and are happier than ever with their lives, and I have to say that my life isn’t all that bad. It took a long time to be okay with being a psycho leather freak and being out about that. I’m doing standup and look forward to doing more. My writing is for me — I have the luxury of that. I live a life of my choosing. I have great friends.
I also have a friend who made the change. She got top surgery, and then at a certain point, had to transition back. It just wasn’t right. I don’t think she regrets it now, but what she told me about it sounded painful. She struggled for acceptance as trans, passed as a man, then had to fight for acceptance again as a woman.
Before starting the sex writing challenge, I read Roving Pack by Sassafras Lowrey. I had already decided to be Frank at open mic, and gender was something I’d been thinking about more than usual because of that. Hir book showed me a lot about being trans and about trans culture that I never knew or considered. I highly recommend it to anyone. I love hir stance on the gender binary. It’s a spectrum. I’m way more about Jung than Freud (Animus in the house!).
While all this was going on, some guy I met at an SM event wrote me wanting me to top him. What he wanted was sex. And he’s much younger than I am, and totally inexperienced. I agreed to hang out, to play with him at the next event, and things got sexual. I didn’t deliver on what he wanted right away. I was concerned with taking things slowly and introducing him to the lifestyle. It seems he lost interest, but I shocked myself by becoming unbearably turned on after struggling to keep the little brat in his place all night.
Normally, I’m not very good about writing about what’s happening in my life. If you’ve read the last four entries here, you might have noticed a pattern: I write about the past when it’s all squared away and I know how I feel about it.
I’m starting to think that’s kind of a wuss move. So while normally, I keep my writing about my confusions to myself, I think it’s time for me to push myself a little more. Is this some Jodie Foster not-coming-out coming out? I don’t even know the answer to that question. What I do know is that my perception of myself is changing, and I’m letting it because to me, that’s what freedom is all about.