Field Notes In/On Transition
Talking with Mom... outward early signs that I wanted to be a girl? Not so much...
In truth, I only recall (clearly at least) moments of my childhood, here and there. It’s all a blur, really unless someone sits down with me, and actively jogs my memory with their better recall. I’m pretty sure I was never ever one of those kids who seemed like they were gender confused. For me, living in my imagination, though was just as real as daily life. Until I was in my late teens I maintained the fantasy, that one day I’d just “wake up a girl.” Magically whisked to some parallel Earth where I had always been a girl, or some variation of that dream. I did read a lot of comic books, and SF/Fantasy growing up, so it never seemed impossible to my very naive mind.
But, when I was much younger, I’m not even sure I could articulate what it was I wanted or how I defined my gender dysphoria when I was pre-pubescent... “it” (the teenager name for “gender dysphoria” in my brain) was a like a zen moment... just like I experienced when I was/am drawing, writing, dancing, entranced in a genius film or other works of art. Those times when you are creating/grokking the moment. Time is irrelevant, everything else, fodder. I just did it, when I could: stolen moments in dresses I could never own, but for at least a few seconds, or minutes, my imagination could/would let me go there, and be the me of my dreams.
When I was dressed up in any number of female family member’s, neighbour mom’s clothes, those moments were, for me, the same as any meditation, creation, inspiration: I am doing this; creating this other me, just like in my imagination, whether of the daydream, artistic, or however else you might lose time, creating, making whatever it is that you make.
What I’m trying to get at is that in my particular case of gender dysphoria, it took me years, and decades to piece together what “It” really was. In my University days, it caused me a lot of grief, insomnia, staying up all night fretting over what by that point seemed impossible, this fantasy of crossing into a world where I was already a girl. I was buried deep in denial, especially since I seemed to be attracted to so many women. At the time this was an almost intractable dichotomy for my unaware of the variation in queerness.
My first sexual/intimate endeavours were indeed with ladies, and they were all kind of sad, as I was scared to death, and feeling like I was doing something “wrong.” But how could it be wrong to be intimate with someone who you liked, and who liked you? It just was. All the male movement that was expected of me had to taught.
My inclination was then as now, to “be the girl,” as cliched and narrow minded as that sounds, it’s when I really realized that all those horrifying National Enquirer stories, and Tranny Penthouse letters I’d read were very much all about me. Maybe I really was a Transgendered person, rather than someone who fantasized or dreamed about it. My dreams were always a 50/50 split of me being female in them. Now it’s like 90/10.
What I’m trying to get at, not wholly successfully with this blarghing up of cause/effect/how did it happen is that for me, at least “it” has been a long slow lifelong process, I have spent my life dipping my toes in the Trans waters, occasionally wading in, but always running out when the water got to deep, or too cold. It took me nearly 40 years to get the gumption to try actually swimming in the Gender Ocean.
These days, I feel I have no real choice to be doing what I’m doing here. It’s sink or swim. And I’m swimming, much better than I do actually swimming in actual water. I’ve always been better in the metaphorical reality than the reality we live in.
I spent most of my 20’s, 30’s studying Transgenderism throughout history, myth, and culture. In the late 90’s I thought I was an embodiment of the Alchymical wedding. The 90’s in Vancouver though, were all about defining yourself in terms of your relation to the spiritual, occult, religious, whatever drew you in. Crystals, Ley Lines, Past Lives, Horoscopes, etc, were the vogue in self description.
I feel like this education of the esoteric, and my various attempts at being “out” as some combination of Queer/Bi/Gay/Trans... the constant self revision, is what led me to the place I am now: where my vision is clear, and the obstacles seem to be only of the bureaucratic sort.
“It’s” just happening, sometimes, almost “to me,” like I’m watching myself in a movie.
There is a large part of me that is still mouth agape, tears in eyes, lips curling in terror that I am actually doing “it.” That part of me never thought I’d have the , well, balls, to actually start transition again. But another part of me has been getting stronger and stronger since my high blood pressure incident, helping me shed all that weight, get healthy, and most importantly feel good enough about myself to badger my doctor until I got an appointment at a gender clinic.
And to then go ahead, and just do it. Every day 24/7, like I have been, that, that’s almost unthinkable to that ever smaller formerly dominant part of me, but now that part, he (yes - he), just shrugs and waits for hockey to come back on the television. The stronger more vibrant Josie part of me, is gladdened that even with the sniffles, and missing out on seeing my dear friend Anghared tonight, so as not to pass on my sniffles that are becoming maybe a cough or something, that I am still smiling and joyful at being able to have some peace in all this. Never in my life, have I felt so at peace with who I am and where I’m going.
Except for the dour change in the seasons that happened pretty much yesterday, giving me, earlier than usual, my first cold of the season.
Last night I had some mediocre sweet and sour soup (I also got spring rolls on the side, which were delish, actually) to try and halt the cold in it’s tracks... Now I’m drinking peppermint tea and writing, making the drippiness and hazy senses almost invisible, but not quite. It seems to me, I’ll have a few days of stuffiness, etc, and hopefully the coming 15-20 weeks of rain (Vancouver Winter) won’t make it too much worse before it gets better. This morning, the stuffy head has become a light congestion, that hasn’t yet got me coughing, hacking. I’m proactively trying to head that off with good food, and maybe some medication, as I have to get some scrips at the pharmacist tonight. Sleep, good sleep, like I had last night, does wonders, though.
I’m looking forward (cold or not) to seeing my video poem “Seldomly Transgender Anymore,” on the big screen at Visible Verse Saturday, October 13th Vancouver Cinematheque, show starts at 7pm, I’m on in the second half. This is my 4th year going to this fest, but my first as Josie. So I am a bit nervous, what with my ironic entry, given that I’m Always Transgender Now.
Thinking about getting a makeup session done in the afternoon before the show, just to treat myself, and maybe feel a bit more confident. Also, it would be a great learning experience to have the makeup done by a pro. Lots of reasons to, and lots not to, the latter being dollars, of course.
I made the video, last autumn when I was in the throes of my most self loathing period ever. Dark times. That are over, thankfully. It is the best of the entries that I sent in this year. It was a zen moment, the creation of the video as was the writing of the poem, which I wrote years ago, actually.
Halloween has me a bit flummoxed this year. I’ve never done it from the female POV, except when I did “drag”. But I’m not doing drag anymore. I have half a mind to get a rush order “Nurse Chapel” costume from the internets, but I may avoid the whole costume thing, altogether this year. I’m mulling my options, also my pocketbook. I’ve done the Godzilla costume to death. That’s retired. My Japanese schoolgirl costume would be creepy, or creepier, now. Likely, I’ll find something. I like my Halloweenin’.
These are the things going on in my life, and in my brain as I stumble down Lady Lane, thinking I’m Lois Lane (who sadly hasn’t had much to do, in DC comics “New 52,” BTW,) or some such heroine. I haven’t even been berating myself for saying the other day in conversation (on a day when my makeup was awesome, and I was dressed in a pink skirt) that, “for the Canadian movie recommendations, that I’m your guy... I mean girl.” It is tough for me to unlearn a lifetime of avoiding being myself.
I’m walking in those shoes, taking my baby steps, that maybe the bay, though is really tall, because I feel like I’m kind of rolling along in 3rd gear already. *cough cough*