Back when I was a baby trans, full of fear and excitement, there was a term, a term that was kind of wandering out of favour. Woodworking. By the time I was out and being me in the world, it was called being stealth. I was Stealth for quite a long time – at least, in-so-far as people at work didn’t know, and I have often had a mix of friends who know and friends who don’t.
Not because I’m concerned about the fallout of coming out, if someone’s in the category ‘friend’, not ‘acquaintance’, then it’s probably just a matter of time. I’ll mention it at some point, but it just kinda gets old. And I don’t think of myself as having been a boy, because I wasn’t I was a hot mess. I wasn’t socialised male, because I was sent to Coventry during a lot of my formative years at school, and then by the time I was at Uni I was already working up to falling apart completely. My socialising was largely under the influence of a lot of alcohol.
And these days, there are people who know I’m trans, and people who don’t. I wander round wearing trans-pride pins and whatever, but a good chunk of people I know are under the impression I’m cis. (I know, because they’ve asked about me getting pregnant, and various other things). Which is fine, because the conversation about being trans can be very, very boring. Especially after more than 20 years of coming-outs. In fact, my transness is one of the most dull things about me, imho. I am not even interesting on that front – I tried to come out at 4 for goodness sake. Then I hid, lots of messy shame/self-hatred for a while and then I get to actually having to exist outside the educational world, encountered people I didn’t for the most part select, and cue total disintegration. HRT and antiandrogens, and huh, I feel like a human and…see?
It’s basically the most stereotypical trans story every.
But the thing is. The thing is, I hadn’t really thought about it much for a long time. I mean, being trans is part of my identity. It’s part of the things about me that I position in the pile of “being me”. It’s part of the allocation of aspects of me that are broadly unchanging, like brown eyes, a dirty great scar on my knee from a motorbike accident, that I definitely drool in my sleep, the fact I think cucumber is the devil’s vegetable (unless you pickle it, then it’s delicious. That’s just how it is, I don’t make the rules).
But, this wave of anti-trans hate. These anti-trans laws. The waking up every fucking day to hearing another group of legislators have let hate, fear and bigotry rule their lives and the lives of the people they’re supposed to represent. The fact that the whiny scared fear-mongers on the right are using me, and people like me as a way to whip their fanbase up into a frenzy of hate? It’s made me… think more about it than I have for years.
More about the way I present to the world. The irony of which is I’ve been having much more fun with my presentation lately – filming for TE and consulting – for the first time in 2 decades I actually wear clothes other than a uniform (scrubs) or jeans.
But the hate – it’s alternately made me want to go back to being stealth, since I have that privilege, or made me want to go to being even louder and out-er.
But it’s also made me dwell on the things I don’t like about the way I look. The things that T did to me that…I wish it hadn’t. I’m not going to list them, because I am fully aware that there are shitty humans on the internet who would use those as ways to attack me. And they may not be good for my mental health which – today in particular aside – has been holding up remarkably well. Ironically, they’re none of them things anyone has ever commented on. But they bother me when I notice them.
Fortunately for me, I have a goodly chunk of blindness about my [human shell]. So I largely forget about the things I don’t like for the most part – they’re not part of my residual self image [cue Trinity] – although for the first time ever I’ve recently found myself toying with the idea of doing something about them. Maybe it’s displacement, I’ve lost about 14 lbs / a bit over 6 kg since I started exercising and I’m much less bleh about my weight than I was, so this is where those thoughts have gone? If so that’s not helpful. But yeah. I don’t know if I would have the enthusiasm to do anything, or exactly where I’m at, but the idea of it is slightly tempting.
But I hate that this feels like it’s me wanting to disappear more. To feel safer & look more cis.
Fuck those politicians and their acolytes.