Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Straw Dogs and Pants Stuffins

It’s always interesting to note who considers what masculine or feminine. I spent some time with a chick that thinks of some of her stronger, more boldface personality traits as masculine. She told me she sees herself as “competent” for starters. Now, this is classically butch-femme as far as I’m concerned. “Competence,” “ambition,” things of that ilk from what’s commonly referred to as “a pushy broad” (okay, you adorable kids today don’t say “pushy broad,” but me with my penchant for lost slang has this, and "brassy" stuck in his head just now) are the hallmarks of a whip-smart femme. Butch dykes are suckers for this shit. So is this guy. I love an aggressive, ambitious woman. I shall lean back in my seat and go for the ride. I am not in the least bit intimidated by smarts and savvy in a woman: I’m in awe. I should be intimidated because I’m a total Type B+ personality and can while away the hours just pondering laundry while aforementioned whipper-cracker will have conquered three boardrooms and written her curriculum vitae in the same amount of time. I will, however have cooked her a decent dinner, so there you go.

The bedroom’s another story. I guess it’s all about motivation, really, isn’t it?

Anyway, so another day the same woman says she’s the man in our relationship. We’re just friends, mind you, and being the man, I agree. I’m thinking “she’s thinking she’s dominating me, being the dude, but I’m just doing the guy thing and agreeing with the girl to make life smoother!” Funny, that. Those of us who have been in relationships know you just take the back seat sometimes. I don’t think anyone would call me passive, but maybe it looks that way, and even and especially women regard passivity as feminine. Hmmmn. Is any of this actually true or am I extrapolating out of my ass?

We discussed the male tendency to yammer on about themselves in conversation. It’s the thing that drives me most crazy about certain men: they clearly have no interest in anything but holding forth. Their interest in you is mainly as a) a bobble-headed accessory or b) a sycophantic yes-man. But women do a version of this, too. Hence the stereotype of the silent guy, drifting internal while his lady cohort gushes an effusive fount of the day’s triviata. This is all bullshit of sorts, but I’m putting it out there for your consideration, nonetheless.

I saw a documentary about gay Muslims yesterday. I live in a liberal ghetto in what has become a southern battleground state, so I can’t really speak to anything resembling the cloistered, oppressive religious orthodoxy presented in this film, although I imagine there are parts of this same state that can. It takes place mostly in Muslim countries, or France, where the gay people had fled to. When I see the pain of literal isolation, torture and imprisonment these men and women endure, I naturally think of my own. Which is mostly interior and made up.

I was swept in the tide of solidarity for my people, who have suffered torments I cannot even fathom. Regarding my transition, I remarked that as a gay person I always felt okay; I never suffered from persecution (which is different than being persecuted, which I have been. I’ve been yelled at and chased and ostracized for being a homo, but it never stuck on me). “For the first time in my life, I feel unsafe!” I intoned for my companion as I drifted into the welcoming arms of gendered exclusionary politics. “That’s the testosterone talking, Honey!” she laughed, “A side effect of that hormone is paranoia! Women don’t go patrolling their borders looking for interlopers. How can you feel unsafe now when you look like a dyke?”

Shut up. I do too feel unsafe. Okay, fine. It is a rather interesting outcome of hormone therapy: I do feel more insecure, even paranoid. I’ve commented on my new(ish) predilection for some serious brooding, some isolatory depression. But my penchant for self-aggrandizing drama, even if I have to align myself with someone else’s, is old news. Now I see why some gay people get all righteous and hand-wringy about their oppression when they’re white dudes living in gay meccas with good jobs and more privilege than they know what to do with. Whatever oppression this kind of bloke has experienced barely mitigates his sweet crib, his bank-making career, the entitlement only those of us born to the upper middle class experience and rarely question. Interesting that being on T gives me a yen to be martyred. This could explain a lot, historically.

Maybe I should start a crusade or something. A genderqueer battalion. It’s always been my fantasy to be in some ass-kicking gay gang. I loved the Pink Panthers, those men and women who would patrol NYC at night keeping the streets safe from gay-bashers. I think a crowd of transsexuals fueled with righteous indignation would be awesome and hella scary.

Before I went to sleep last night, I remembered how nice it is to feel my breasts brush the breasts of my lover, and how, after surgery, I’ll never get to do that again. It made me very sad. That’s for real, and it’s mine, and there are diversions aplenty, things and people and ideas to distract me from my genuine, if hormonally enhanced, grief and loss and pain. So I’ll leave you with that; I’ve got to go to Home Depot for some trip wire and detonators. You never know who might break in.

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