“Are you transsexual or just dressing up”? The stranger whom I had only known for a total of five minutes had come out and inquired of me a question I thought no one would have the gall to ask me. The woman, ever imposing in height in my seat, had almost left before turning around and quite candidly asked me without hesitation.
People really are different down south.
“I asked because your voice is actually fairly good,” she added.
She went on her way after I replied. And I felt verified; the happiest I had felt about my self in a long while.
There are a number of issues I want to write about, but I want to write about this first.
What made this encounter so special was that this woman was considerate and open-minded enough to give me the benefit of the doubt to ask what the state of my identity was, rather than simply do what another male did and plainly deem me a male in women’s clothing. If only the rest of the world was so keen and innately sensitive as she was, many like myself wouldn’t have to worry that we were being denied our right to outwardly be who we feel we are inside. Most of all, I would love to know that I wouldn’t feel judged under the roof I live under with people who see me daily.
And that’s just it. I’m someone who needs to know that others are comfortable and at ease before I can continue on with whatever I’m up to. The moment I get the feeling something is off because of some form of tension, I get restless and find it difficult to give my all to anything or anyone, including myself. That woman made me feel totally comfortable and capable of communicating a clear answer about how I truly felt about myself:
“I’m still in the process of figuring that out,” I started with clear confidence. She was unhesitant with approaching me, so I wanted to give the same raw reply in return. For her, and mostly for me. “I’m somewhere in this gray area, but I identify moreso with women than with men.”
That was the first time I was ever able to be completely and unabashedly honest with myself regarding where I exist in society’s gender binary to another person. This is hard to believe given how many times I have spoken with my best friend about this. It is the truth though. I keep wanting to have this amazing, concrete footing in what is truth, and, in the process of wanting to be strong, contrive simple details into unnecessary complex dialogue.
This all came at the right time – this past weekend I had become exceedingly frustrated with myself for being unable to accept my self enough to allow myself to be seen by my mum’s b/f (again) and my brother. So I had begun taking gun shot wounds throughout this weekend, wandering through the house all put together as I should be. My best friend has become conditioned to take blows for me – going downstairs for me to lock the door because mum’s b/f, his daughter, and her b/f were present after we had already entered the same door, for example – but I took them upon myself instead.
I thanked the woman from the bottom of my heart. “You have done what many are unwilling to do because they think they know the whole story already. That means so much to me. I wish more people were as considerate & open-minded as you.”
If I am ashamed of my self and cannot accept my self for who I am, then no one else will. No matter how much I want it, they will refuse to take me seriously. Any perceptive, well-knowing person can tell when someone is ashamed, embarrassed, or being evasive. Though I do not and cannot express myself as female daily, when I do, I need to do so as if I have not changed.
And I have not.
I remain the same as I have always been. Just open and unbound physically and psychologically. I like the same things. I generally talk the same way with more openness and affection. I have the same ambitions and inhibitions. My friends are the same. I am still me, but not everyone will be accepting of all of me. I fear losing that and having my dreams and associations shattered as there would be no way to maintain them as a woman.
I can handle giving up everything else in my life EXCEPT for my dreams. Without them, I think I would lose all meaning of living. Unfortunately, maintaining this farce of masculinity, no matter how I have quietly rebelled against it for much of my life, is all I can do if I intend on achieving my ambitions.
Is this really living though…?