Thursday, July 17, 2008

Trans I am, I am trans, or The Planet That Went Ape.

I heard this guy on NPR talk about how he developed an unforeseen interest in physics after being on T for a while. I regarded my own burgeoning interest in sciencey things. I’ve always been a fan of pop culture science writers, much as I’m a fan of historical novels – meaning, I’ll take that there learning with a little fancy storytelling dressing on it thank you very much. I feel a cerebral shift, a lean towards science. My dendrites are definitely moving towards some new sun – perhaps there are two suns now, like Planet of the Apes.

I also see that I was enamored of science, particularly biology, as a child. One of the things you can read about transitioning is that place, that intersection, where personal reality caroms into social construct. I’m starting to recall those neighborhoods, streets, where I was maybe playing (G.I. Joe, Amazon Explorer! My brother’s – purloined of course!*) and then the big ol’ pink touring bus of “So You Think You’re a Boy” came like a juggernaut down my side of the road. It smeared me all over the pavement in ways I’m only beginning to appreciate.

It’s almost incomprehensible, what this demolition does. After the “accident” someone - your parents, a teacher, all your friends, or maybe just your own untidy head – comes and scrapes you up, patches you together and puts you in a cylinder labeled “Female.” It’s a confinement unlike any other social template: I speak from vast experience.

My friend K says “when I realized I was a lesbian, I thought ‘oh! That’s what’s wrong with me!’ And then later when I realized I was an alcoholic I thought ‘oh, that’s it!’ But when I figured out I was trans, everything clicked in to place like a fantastic puzzle and I realized ‘there’s nothing wrong with me at all.’”

The pieces of my puzzle have been so widely scattered, but I have felt them over these last 5 years be pulled inexorably towards some center. Nonetheless, I have a deep sadness over relinquishing my woman, my woman’s body, my lesbian. I tell my therapist “I want to be a woman sometimes because I love women so much! I love their ways, their bodies!” She says I’m letting go of a whole way of relating to women.

The science interest, for me, is probably not a result of hormone injections. It’s that I’m finally allowing myself to be who I really am.

What is perhaps a result of T is an interest in things automotive. I want a shirt with a Trans Am on it, I want muscular, oil-smelling, gasoline soaked boy things. Dear God please don’t let me buy a pair of Oakley sunglasses! There’s so much BAD heterosexual male fashion! Please God, no New Balance! I told myself I would NEVER, EVER wear a polo shirt – I loathe and despise them as the pinnacle of fashion mediocrity – and now I have TWO. Okay, one has an oversized argyle pattern on it and I adore argyle and the other is this stunning deep blue…nonetheless if this keeps up, along with the wearing of dirty clothes, I’ll be wearing SOCKS WITH MY SANDALS. Jesus, I don’t even own sandals.

*he never missed it. He was too busy crying during the “Miss America” finals. He’s a theater guy.


  1. Your newfound feelings for grunge are interesting. You have a new advantage over those of us who want to be clean, laundered, washed and fresh smelling. You can deal with the biological. biochemical, chemical and ecological realities of life with aplomb. Interesting how that might figure in the survival of the human species.

  2. Awesome!

    [insert one boatload of intellectualizing that really means...]

    a. thanks
    b. jealous
    c. so rethinking the thanks
    d. I'm kidding about "c."