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Field Notes IN/On Transition

The Nostalgia of Terrible Body Imagery.

Definitely…  working through some anger recently. Anger, that I feel to be flotsam of my male life that springs out of me still, when feeling stressed. (testosterone increases then, maybe?) This anger needs an outlet, maybe other than writing here and posting antigovernment stories on facebook. 

I am really feeling like I have to figure out how to get myself to a place where I can exercise every day. It’s that gumption, ambition, determination I talked of in my last post that is so tough for me to own, that holds me back. How can you be embarrassed to exercise alone in your room? I often have to work past that just to try doing sit-ups, or whatever small amount of stretching and callisthenics that I do muster.  

It seems so completely ludicrous, writing it out, but it’s a stone cold fact of my life. It’s far easier for me to go out in pubic with eyeliner, painted nails, women’s clothing, than it is for me to do sit-ups alone in my room. Still, though, that is easier for me than going to a gym, where everyone is concentrating on bodies that I perceive as so much “better” than mine. I’m scared of exercising “wrong”. I don’t want to make my body more male looking through muscle building. With the right sort of exercise though, I know this doesn’t have to be the case.

What I can easily do, and do actually keep up somewhat is a regimen of walking as much as possible. I just need to up the pace, and routine of  the walking, more often, and faster. I thnk that’s the most comfortable place for me to start. It will also help immensely with my hypertension, to have more routine physically.

My body is not something I can easily display, as it’s never been what it “should” be. I rarely ever as a kid, took my shirt off when swimming, or at a beach. I’ve always had the “man-boobs”. And when I was a kid I covered them up all the time…That kid in the pool, wearing a tee shirt- me. (of course the only picture I can find is with me sans tee after being shamed into taking it off) In my mind, more for the same reason the girls/women around me wore tops in the water, beach or wherever in the summer: I saw my boobs as, well, boobs. Boobs that someday I secretly hoped I would be proud of. Until recently that was a bit of a pipe dream. 

What they really brought home to me was shame. Having the flabby chest though also secretly gave me strength in my deep down Trans self. Boys (back when I was a kid) didn’t have boobs almost as big as some of the girls, bigger, than some even. So I must not be a boy. Of course the public manifestation of this private strength, was as usual, grief, and shame. It was “the thing” that I was teased about. 

My boobs made me "less than male" (not really, I know), in many eyes (especially my own). It was the thing teachers, other students used to shame me, bully me. Though in retrospect, either I handled it pretty well, or I didn’t get bullied as much as I hear about from others. I guess, I was relatively outgoing, and made friends easily. I only remember being physically bullied once or twice. I was called a girl far more often than “fag” or any other hurtful name calling. “If only they knew”,  I always thought, scared out out of my wits that even calling me that, would somehow let everyone in on my secret. The fallout was beyond what I could even imagine. I just had overwhelming fear of being “outed”. what would happen after that, I was to scared to contemplate.

That I could do more than yearn for pretty dresses, “girl toys”. The shame of looking at girl toys/clothes in the Eaton’s catalog and getting caught was for me, almost built in. I knew if anyone caught me, I’d be in some kind of horrible trouble. A lot of my early memories of this are actually me being scared that “they’d” (they being adults around me) make me live as the girl I wanted to be, without actually being that girl. Oh so confused, I was. I knew what I wanted was bad, and saw it almost as a punishment. 

Getting my heart’s desire was in my eyes, a punishment, as it was a “bad thing” to do.

What it, the name calling, being mistaken for a girl, (which with the relatively long hair, boobs, “soft” demeanour was often enough that others noticed it, too.) was to build up my vague idea that someday I would indeed just magically become a girl. I’d wake up one morning with all the proper parts… that was the only thing I ever prayed for before bed, or wished for on shooting stars, wishing wells, etc.

Of course, in my “wish” it was more of : I was born as a girl, and no one anywhere recalls anything different. 

When I first learned and understood the idea of parallel universes from comics, at the age of 6 or 7, that became my constant wish/prayer; to wake up in an alternate universe, where I had always been a girl, and most importantly, knew how to do it, be a girl. Sadly though, despite what reality TV tells us, dreams are generally only made real through effort and no small amount of being in the right place at the right time.

As a confused kid, teen, young adult, I edged closer and closer to this particular dream, until now at 45 I finally feel at least mostly equipped to somehow make some of it real. I will never have had a “girlhood”. 

But that is just another obstacle, at this point. something to leap past, yet not something to take lightly. I mostly enjoyed the heck out of my youth, aside from this one issue, really. So, I no longer have those regrets about not having been a girl growing up.

And judging by these recent news stories, I may eventually not have to go through quite as much shame, while travelling as my soon to be new self.

Which in my long winded way, brings me to these recent news stories that are at least somewhat heartening for me. It seems that some countries, some bureaucracies, are starting to come around to the idea that people can have another “designation” than male or female, something that while it might not work for everyone, will at least maybe make it easier for people to not be harassed so much at borders, or other “show me your ID” places.

It’s mostly about “passing”, as they say, whatever are you called…Hijiras, Transwomen. I don’t mind being “officially trans”: on documentation like passports etc.  If It would help streamline any airport difficulties I may have in the future. It would also give the often hardass border guard types a specific label that they would have to “let pass” as it were. If it’s official, it’s official. Right? Probably not. 

I’m sure some trans people would still get hassled, also some would be insulted to be labeled only as a trans woman or trans man, instead of man or woman. It would be awesome if people could instantly make that switch in their “seeing of you”, but alas, not everyone is informed about the issue. 

People who work in places like airports, or anywhere that ID is used, however, in this day and age, should though have some training around “touchy” issues like this. That’s the real point of their jobs: simply to make sure the person is the person on the ID, Gender should be irrelevant, other than as a means of verification. 

If my passport/ provincial ID says Woman, or Transwoman, and I’m “dressed as a woman”, then maybe I do match my ID. So why on earth would it be difficult to get ID that matches how I am living? Just because. Everything is difficult in dealing with bureaucracy, unless you are one of the 1%, I’m pretty sure millionaire trans people (if there are such folk) have an easier time transitioning and getting through airports than us po’ folk. But that is the case with everything. 

I’m heartened that these issues are being dealt with, just as I’m starting to think about them. I just might be ready soon, to start switching the slightly easier IDs to switch. BCID, and other cards, etc. I’ll be discussing it with my Doctor next week. She told me last time that she can write me a letter to get some of the fees waived. that is the best news of all.


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