23 Feb 2000, 22:33.01.
Well, what’s happened today? Very little! So, this is back to the original more “in my brain” style thing….what’s been going on in the fertile recesses of my deeply odd brain.
Ironically I had been thinking about the meaning of acceptance (i.e. do people actually think of me as a woman, or do they still think of me as male…) when I received an e-mail from one of my friends which, it felt like (to me at least) he was admitting that he still thought of me as male….but it also said he was trying to change his perspective.
So, as I tried to explain to him (and as I thought to myself earlier). This is fine…..at least at the moment. Hopefully his opinion will change over time, as hopefully will everyone’s. But I don’t expect them to change instantly…why? The first, and easiest reason to explain is that it took me years to come to terms with it – now for others they have the advantage that it’s not themselves but they also have a big disadvantage to understanding. It’s not them.
The other reason is complex. Very complex….
It is based around your perception of gender/sex, and your mental self image…. I perceive myself to be (more or less) female. That’s not to say I believe my body is female (at least not consciously) – but in the way i expect people to behave, and indeed react around me I tend to expect something much more akin to the reactions people give to women than to men.
Over the years I’ve become conditioned to accept the reaction to my “male” body’s presence – but it is still sometimes odd to be treated in a way which is totally at odds with something I expect. Like for example being shown the advert for a piece of software for our server – with a semi-naked woman on it – which now graces the noticeboard. Even if I was [presenting as] a lesbian woman I suspect I’d still find it odd to have this thrust at me and be expected to make a “complimentary” comment…..
Fortunately my “Hmmm” noise is well documented and frequently used when I really don’t want to say what I’m thinking at work (I use it a lot generally (sarcasm) but at work it’s more and more used for that purpose).
Then there’s your mental self image. This is the image you have in your head of yourself, now frequently this is not quite right….dependent on your self confidence, what sort of mood you are in, how big-headed you are ;-), then it tends to vary slightly…. for example I occasionally think I look cool…..a foolish idea – and one normally corrected by the simple expedient of going past a window.
But I think you know what I mean….so the odd thing is my mental self image is wrong. Very wrong. Or at least it definitely doesn’t match my body, not at all it doesn’t. Which is very disturbing sometimes. I mean I’ve kinda “got used” to the fact it and I don’t agree, however it makes me very uncomfortable, and sometimes it gives me the most unpleasant shock (particularly waking up in the mornings).
What has all this to do with understanding TSness. Well? Well woman…spit it out….
The thing is these are all deeply ingrained in my personality – in my brain….right down deep as far as it can go. And the only reason I even know that they are there is because they are “wrong”. Because they don’t match what my visual senses are saying they cause an almost continuous clash. I dream of me, female….I wake up and I’m not. It’s odd to say the least. Now, after much time I’ve decided that I should have been born female. Not that I should be female, for at least the part of me which defines me, my brain, is female – as far as I’m concerned….it’s the bit of of me that isn’t (my body) which is the problem.
If it were vice versa….i.e. my brain were wrong, and I was defined by my body then people would have a much easier time understanding because visual cues are very important.
An interesting side effect of the visual thing is that if I dress as me and put a bit of effort in with the old shaver. Then the visual cues are female (unless you look too closely) and I tend to pass reasonably well, unless people actually look closely. Mostly because not only are the visual hint’s to me being female present, so are my actions, my movements….etc..
Now why is that. Apart from walking the rest of my actions are all what comes naturally to me. Acting like a male really is acting for me. I have to think about actions. I catch myself wandering about in a decidedly feminine way if I’m not concentrating – which means I’ve taken to carrying objects about so that I have to concentrate on them – or stuffing my hands into my pockets.
But all of the behavioural aspects are natural patterns – I was not taught to do this, a lot of it I didn’t even learn (at least not consciously) – but I do it anyway. Which makes me feel that I’m female – whatever anyone says.
But I know this because I’ve studied myself very carefully. But other people can’t see inside my head – and I suspect for most of my friends the gender they are matches their sex. Their self image is more or less right. So it’s hard for them to distinguish their self image and their perception of themselves and all the other things which make up their behaviour and personality – simply because it is so deep and so much a part of them that it’s impossible to see it.
So, that’s my opinion. I can’t claim that they are all original thoughts. Most of this has been suggested by manh people overmany years I suspect. And a lot of these general ideas cropped up on TG-Folk in a variety of guises. But I agree, perhaps have extended and had certainly thought about it in these terms before….
Anyway. I’m off to bed….because I’m tired.
People who’ve followed the PC saga will be glad to know that it’s okay again now….touch large oak forest. I’m now blaming “FreeYuck” (my ISP) for my problems – since using the same phone number I get a success rate of about 1 in 5…..
Although I refuse to let off DUN which definitely killed something….
And the printer, yes, anyone from HP reading please can you close your eyes now….the cartridge was brought to life! Soaking the ink producing end of it in isopropyl alcohol for about 20 minutes unclogged it….Wooo Hoo….
By the way, if any of you are reading this – and you found this site via a link can you tell me (please) I’d like to link back to anyone who’s linked to me here….I think that’s only fair….and also my links page is looking more than a little feeble….
Anyway. Sleepy time!