I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I have been feeling really anti-social. I truly am feeling like this is the bad haircut stage of transition. Everything seems to come into question at some point. All the things I used to be sure about now seem to need re-evaluation. I used to be a confident well spoken individual who enjoyed the company of others and welcomed being included in group activities. Now I find myself wanting to spend less and less time with anyone but myself and my cats because I feel trapped. When I am finally settled into my new body and my mind and my body finally vibrate at the same frequency perhaps that confident self assured individual will return.
Recently, I have developed a fairly short temper and find myself more irritable than not. I don't fly off the handle or get raging angry or anything I just find that I am becoming very particular about the way I like things and when they aren't the way I like them I get irritated. Another recent development is that I don't want to be touched unless I invite it. I don't want my hand held, or be petted or have my arm or leg or back rubbed by anyone unless it is necessary. I am becoming very protective of my body as it changes. I am shying away from physical contact, particularly if I am not wearing clothes as this seems to bring on a near panic and defending my naked personal space is instinctual. I can't get my clothes to fit the way they used to, my skin has erupted into its own topographical hell, and for some reason my ankles have decided to swell up like a pregnant woman's. Hopefully this will not last forever.
My voice is dropping every week which I like but I no longer recognize it as my own. I am growing facial hair which I also love but again, seeing myself in the mirror reflects the man I have imagined becoming and the person I am now. How I feel and how I look are not yet synched: I am in limbo.
I read a blog post someplace and forgive me, I can not remember where, that said something like: If you are planning to transition, erase your past and create yourself all over in a new place where people haven't known you. There will always be someone who can't reconcile your former life with your new one. At first I thought this was bullshit but sometimes lately I am thinking that maybe there is something to consider there. Unless all your friends are trannies, there will always be people who just don't/won't get it. I can't help but think where the hell am I supposed to live, where am I supposed to work and exist while I go through this second bout of puberty? Am I supposed to hibernate until I can emerge from this den fully formed?
I moved to a place where most people don't know me. The people that do are friends of my girlfriend and seem to be pretty easygoing and cool about my whole transition. I started a job where people only know me as Marcus, there was no before time but when I talk about my past I have to edit which seems odd to me even now. My mother never had a son until recently and to describe my past with myself as a little boy instead of a little girl seems like lying. And I am a horrible liar.
So here I am in a place where I have people that know me and people that don't know me. I am trying to exist in a body under construction. It is currently is more foreign than the female one I have been trying to escape. I am trying to exist in a place where some people see me as that guy Marcus and others don't. It is weird to be out in public with my girlfriend and have people be even more confused by me. Some people don't know about my transition because I haven't told them either because I don't think it's my place or because they aren't in the right circle to hear the gossip.
I saw I guy I work with at my girlfriend's baseball game. He asked what i was doing there i told him I was there to see my girlfriend. He asked which one she was and when I pointed her out he got a really confused look on his face...
Really? he asked.
I thought she had a girlfriend.
So you're saying she has a girlfriend and a boyfriend?
Something like that.
OK Awkward. Before I was asked any more questions, I left. Then at work things were a little weird. My girlfriend hasn't told her parents about me, or her boss and co-workers. I don't know what to think about that. I don't know if she switches between she/he when talking to different people or how she remembers or how awful it must be to feel like she needs to. I hate to think she's embarrassed of me being transexual but I would understand if that was the case. I don't know if I could date me...
I know this will get more awkward for both of us as time and testosterone change the way I look. Other queers still see me as butch which is fine but that is still linked to being female as odd as that is for me now. Can female masculinity use male pronouns and still be female? Maybe my problem is I don't want to be seen as female at all and having anyone, queer or not, refer to me as she or her is what is really bothering me. I know I can't have it either way. Queers will soon read me as straight and I feel like I will then be exiled from the community that fostered my identity and sent me out into the world to become trans. The LGBT community is a microcosm of the bigger world and just as hung up on labels as everyone else. Is a trans man a female or a male? Is the queer community ready for non operative trans men? Trans women have been far more visible but trans men are something of a conundrum I would think. Am I still a lesbian? Is my girlfriend a lesbian? Is my trans brother's girlfriend straight? Can we fit in with the queers if we have no labels? Does it matter?
While at a party a while back with some of these people we got to talking, my girlfriend was out of town, and they admitted to talking a lot amongst themselves about our situation but no one ever talked to either of us. I worry about my girlfriend changing her mind about being with me, after all she's a lesbian and likes girls and soon enough I will be a hairy-assed man with no breasts. I am looking forward to that but I am not sure she is.
My point is the blog post, and all the awkwardness, and the labels or lack of labels all boil down to one thing: faith. I have to remember why i am doing this and look into the future to know that all of this will pass. Everyone needs time to adjust to my transition. I need time to grow into my body, need time alone to hibernate and meditate, need to have faith that my friends and family and queer community will support me and accept me throughout the rough and awkward haircut stage and embrace me and celebrate my emergence and arrival into the world as a complete individual. I have to have faith in the seven year old boy who never thought about being anything but himself; a confident, happy, introverted, independent, artist. It's that kid that keeps me going, gives me strength, and beckons me into the future.