Saturday, September 13, 2008

She's More Than a Lady

I’m broke-ass broke this month. One of the things I’ve noticed about being a guy is I feel like I can’t rely on other people to support me, which as a woman I’ve done. It’s imperative that I be independent, in a new, manly way. I remember tapping into that in my last relationship, really wanting to support my girlfriend financially, which was laughable given that she made a bazillion bucks, owned a house, status car and I limped along painting houses and wiping the liquid poopies from my friend’s MS ridden ass for money.

I recognize for me there’s some chivalric fantasy – if I succumb to some wonky family-of-origin hardwiring I can default to rescue mode in a heartbeat of shining armor – and I really want to take care of my woman. Don’t mistake me here: I need an equal. I’m an insufferable ass around people I feel are beneath me. Nonetheless, I am inspired, with an equilateral, indulgent partner, to be solicitous, gallant. Testosterone has a unique way of gelling these liquid romantic dreams into a solid block of purpose, raison-d’etre.

I digress. So having lost my source of income, I’ve been lucky to have been given some work painting houses, but not the kind of house-painting I’m used to. What I’m doing is serious labor, and I’m old and tired and I work with young men. I keep praying the testosterone will magically boost me beyond lady middle-age, and to a remarkable degree it does. I am absolutely stronger and have more stamina than I did 4 months ago, which reminds me - I picked up my new vial of T today. Here’s what it says under “side effects:”

“If you are an adult woman, tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious* side effects occur: deepening of the voice, hoarseness, unusual facial hair growth, enlarged clitoris, irregular menstrual periods…”

Other side effects are “increased sweating, trouble sleeping, ankle swelling” – all of which I experience. I wish I could lug out a big, hompin clitoris and just lay it on the table like a beefy gherkin for my endocrinologist but alas, enlarged parts don’t get anywhere near man-sized, much less resemble the Jurassic weiner I sport in my mind’s eye. Forgive me; I daresay I promised both you and myself I wouldn’t talk about bits, but it is nearly compulsory in any trannyman blog.

Anymicropenis, so I’m working with these young guys who, by the way, have no idea I’m a guy too. I’m not out to everybody, just the entire internet. Guys can really work hard! Their physicality is amazing! This is no surprise, I’m sure, to the mothers and sisters out there who watched their sons and siblings consume pre-historic quantities of animals and animal by-products, who witnessed the profound changes in musculature and development of their pubescent progeny. It’s freakish almost, what many a young man can do physically and how much they can eat, and expend energetically, and exercise, and masturbate. As a woman who’s been in relationships almost exclusively with women (I said relationships, not sex – we’ve established my history of sub-clinical trampdom) I have to report that most of the women I’ve been with don’t have half the energy of men I know. Men are revved up, 8 cylinders, Big Wheels; women are Vespas, efficient, sleek, practical. Even the insanely athletic women I know – I had a gf who was fantastically buff (it was her arms and shoulders that captivated me first) who had to run, had to work out, for her sanity. We lived together for 4 years during which we spent some time with her physically and emotionally sloppy family, and I figured out what she was actually running from – would be hard pressed to do a day of physical labor like some guys I know. Although, conversely, I doubt any of these guys could spend 3 hours in Step Class** and survive, so in part it’s what we’ve trained for.

It’s impossible to discuss the differences between the sexes without tripping over my own steel-toed Timberlands. I feel like I’m slogging through a step class of stereotypes, and believe me, I would be slogging through any step class. I was just starting to type “I admire the men who show up for step” but I realized I was lying. I think the men in step class look ridiculous. It pains me that I am so deeply steeped in stereotype, so judging, and that unlike beings of superior moral fiber I will sell out my Original Sex to fit in, seem “manly.” Therein is the masculine Achilles heel. You can hear it loud and clear in the guys I work with; they are constantly establishing pecking order by feminizing their fellows.

Well, I’ll pass for a woman until I can’t. You gots to pick and choose your battles on this field – there’re so fucking many. Being a “man” is easy till you’re 40 feet up a ladder with two buckets, trying to match a 27 year old brush for brush. I find refuge in the prima facie evidence that my skin looks so much better than theirs, that I can pass for a 37 year old, if not a dude, then a something. My voice cracks, everything’s changing, and I’m an old lady on a 60 foot ladder. I can also take refuge in the fact that hybrid creatures like me can transcend any pecking order. I’m like a Griffin; I’m heraldic! Yeah, that’s the stance me and my steel toes are committing to. Just don’t ask me to don a leotard. Even mythological beings feel insecure in spandex.

*italics mine

**Who figured that out? Why is it still popular? It looks like a gimmick from the 80’s – I can never watch a step class and not think of Duran Duran.

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