I’ve spent the past 48 hours wanting to be a dyke again. Imagine, just for a minute, that you’ve spent the last 9 months in therapy, telling everyone what a big old MAN you are, jabbing your now hairy hams with lion jizz. Settle into that for a minute. Let it wash over you. Feel how welcoming, how warm, to finally be allowed, by one’s self, by science, to evolve into your own. Own it. Love it. Express it. Make sure everyone on earth knows about it. Now change your mind.
It’s fucked up, is what I’m saying to you, and I need you to know. I need you to feel my pain, my confusion, my personal torment. It’s not all that big a deal, actually, but imagine you’re me and how fun this is! I woke this morning with my heart hammering in my gullet, along with all the stomach juices anxiety could summon from my guts at 5 a.m. There’s a piece of my ego that believes it’s dying and IT DOESN’T WISH TO.
I’m powerless over this transition, and all its attendant drama, the second-guessing, the doubt, the depression, the ecstasy, the furriness, and the lack of same. I have absolutely no control over any aspect of this, except I can always change my mind. As far as the process is concerned, I can only let it happen and do my utmost to not attach to any of it. It’s very Buddhist that way. My feelings around it change ALL THE TIME. By nature I am terrified of the unknown, and by nature I mean by my virtue of my humanity. By the fact that I’m in a skin sack with a tangle of urgent CNS notifications and ambitions, which may or may not be fiction telling me to do this and do that and feel this and feel that, exclamation point!
What about this Gender Identity Disorder, anyway? What a peculiar thing! How many disorders that one can identify in the DSM IV say as much about society in toto as they do about the individual? Lets see: anorexia comes to mind. Just as much a disease of our culture as a personal pathology. Really, you could deconstruct nearly every mental illness diagnosis and lay a broader cultural template over it – bipolar, agoraphobia, borderline, any metastasized neurosis, right? Does my dysmorphia come from my mind, or does it come from living in a culture that forces people into an idealized gender binary? Yes, I say, yes to all that! And does the influx of DES, estrogens, and other hormones, in our food, our water, our plastics, our medications affect the bicameral brain, especially in utero? How could it not?
What is in my brain that I struggle so? What is the identity that wants to emerge?* I think always, it wants the lovable one. It wants the one that will bring it love and comfort and acceptance, and it grapples with this idea that the one it thinks will bring about this peace is the one capable of rendering me most alien.
I wish to be a woman because I know it. I also love it. I love women. I love being a woman with women. I guess I’m missing that a little, or rather, I’m standing on the shoreline, wistfully watching that unmistakable ingress, access to other females, float away on a really fabulous all-girl party barge. It could even be nostalgia for something I never actually had. Have I ever had ingress to women? Yes, I guess, with certain others, dykes like me. Will I, as a transguy, find that place again? Anything’s possible.
I feel like what a sentient dinosaur might have felt like, knowing its time was nigh, understanding the inevitability of its extinction, feeling like a scrapbook turned flipbook, watching its personal history pass on a cartoon landscape with longing and regret. It might also be animated about the future, excited by the prospect of something new, something perhaps greater, richer, better adapted to trudge this green-gray plain. It, and I can’t imagine what’s next, and we’re a little scared, even though we can both rip people’s heads off with our teeth in a heartbeat.
I’m glad you’re with me. I need you just now. I forget sometimes that this is just human amplified, that you’ve been through some measure of this, maybe not as weird, but something. I think popping a kid out of your uterus must be kind of like this. I’m just saying. Anyway, I trust you’ll take my hand, boy, girl, man or woman, and walk with me, at least part way, to the tar pit.
*and could it somehow involve a cape please?