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Fear & Slothing On Commercial Drive

Field Notes In/On Transition

Fear & Slothing On Commercial Drive

Summertime has long been a time when I feel most inadequate, and unable to ever be the person I’ve always wanted to be.

 There is so much “real girl” body on display, that, it’s really hard not to be overwhelmed, and really frigging intimidated by the “natural born” Women (or Trans Women who pass way better than me) letting the layers and layers of Vancouver fashion slip away to reveal the hairless supple “real women” everywhere. 

Stereotype people, much, Josie? You ask?  Yes, yes I do. But, well, that’s the tape loop in my head that I’m trying valiantly to defeat as we get those few weeks of decent heat that Vancouver gets every year, and I see once again that the uphill battle that I have in order to get “Ma’am’ed” even once someday before I die of old age... is farther and farther away all the time. Or so it seems.  

I don’t have the body confidence to wear a backless anything (the waxed hair returns so fast.) yet. Flimsy summer dresses thrill and scare me to death. I felt more “exposed” wearing the long tee-leggings combo, than I did the long pink hippy skirt on Saturday.
However, it is really nice  to not be so driven by the testosterone fuelled eroticization of attraction confusion that usually overtakes me in the summer when everyone is exposing at least a little flesh. I seem to be “over” the female flesh I’m seeing this summer sans surging testosterone: I am jealous of all the cleavage bared my way, short shorts, pedicured feet in sandals, etc. But that’s it. 

I’m starting to get to the point where I need to either start covering my beard with makeup and/or start getting rid of it via electrolysis, and/or laser. Also, start a more regimented hair everywhere else removal scheme. I can never get a shave close enough to be covered properly with makeup. (at least: I see the beard poking through always... still.) Also it’s summer, and I’m one of those people who gets sweaty quick in the heat. Makeup and sweat don’t mix so well in my experience. But maybe I was/am just doing it wrong. 

There is also a part of me that somehow knows I’m pretty happy with my eyes, lips done right, and not anything else. This could also be wrong. I won’t know for certain ’til I get some telemetry reports from the moon, in the fall. :p
I’d take a class or get it done by a pro, makeup, and/or hair removal, but it’s so fricking expensive. I’ve already put to much of my “new self” on the old visa that I’ve had to hide it away for awhile while I pay it down. 

Patience is this new thing I’m learning about. weird concept, but I’m starting to grok.

I’m a bit at loose ends as to how to get the gumption up for that kind of grownup woman experience. I’ve been feeling a bit too much like I’m playing dress-up (not that that isn’t a valid expression, for some) all day... My fear is of course all about doing it wrong and looking (even more) ridiculous (than I do already). My gut is telling me that before I even start practicing with the makeup, learning how to cover my beard without going too theatrical I need to slow down a bit and go at a pace that is comfortable for me. 

I’m not really interested in the Diva end of makeup. I want to just look natural, and maybe even a wee bit younger? I’m dying to just once be acknowledged by a stranger as at least trying to present female. Makeup might not even help that, that takes time and effort on my part to “blend”, which entails, moving, talking, “being” all the feminine me that I can. (which likely will never be as feminine as the fantasies I had growing up. But whatever that me is that I’m on my way to, that one. I catch her in the mirror occasionally. Fleeting, but what it’s all about.

A new haircut however just might go a long ways to helping me with my public presentation. Bangs? On payday, at the bare minimum, I’m getting my eyebrows shaped. 

Here are a few (Okay, a big bunch) pictures I made using two of those silly “wig apps” (I’m not paying for a full version of something like that) I didn't feel like getting more "photoshoppy" with them to get the angles, hair colour just right... I'm not dyeing my hair, just want to get an easy to manage style. This first one maybe kinda nails it?  But there are more,  just for laughs/ideas!

In my last entry, I wrote of my realization that I’m not doing this only by myself. My mom, my family, my friends, all are going through this too... and I have to start acting like the Son, Brother, friend that I really have avoided a lot of the time. I spend a lot of time by myself, and enjoy most of it more than you might think. But that doesn’t mean I’m in a vacuum, does it? I still have friends, family that I need to be up front with, and receptive to their concerns. 

They are also my concerns. And once again, I have to  tell those with concerns... the best thing to come out of all this is really that I love who I am now, yet a few months ago, I hated petty much every aspect of my existence. Even if in the end I stop short of whatever the hell my goal is here. (link to article about the diversity of Trans people) I’m by far a happier, and perhaps even healthier person than I was not so long ago. I’m happier at work, hanging with friends, even alone in my room, I’m more productive, I’m doing things.

But of course being me: I’ve been pondering and pondering, and come to the inescapable conclusion that since starting to transition... that I’m not becoming a different person, I’m becoming a person. Explain this glib statement ? 

I’ll try my best. 

What I’m feeling right now is that I had retreated so far into my head that even after I decided to finally at least try to start living the life I really wanted to; I was still living that life of retreat, not keeping contact, and real communication with the people I love. I really do feel like it’s a combination of a bit of the old placebo effect, power of positive thinking, and the anti-androgens lowering my testosterone, giving me a different body already, at that, just millimetres closer to being a real Josie, and I’m content, mostly.

For as long as I can recall, I’ve always kept real intimacy as far from my daily life as possible, not on purpose, mind you, but that’s how it’s played out. Concrete example? Aside from what I wrote last time about having an actual dialogue around this with my Mom, and family... I’ve always felt disconnected, even from “big things” that happened around me, deaths, births, partnerships dissolving, friends un-BFF-ing and so on. 

As a callow youth I saw myself at the centre of these things, happening all around me, later I decided I was the one orbiting, occasionally coming into contact with people who were “having lives”.  I never felt worthy of the partnerships I saw around me, or if they happened to or somehow involved me, I did the best I could to numb the pain, (and sabotage whatever joy I was getting) with the usual youthful fervour of partying and bad life decisions.

Of course though, even people who don’t think they can be an actual person get tired of making the same dumb choices, that never work, every time. Hopefully if you don’t get buried by addiction. (Food being the only thing I abuse, regularly, anymore.) You can, like me, figure out at least a path to take if you can just admit to yourself what it is that keeps you from “being a person”.

Though, it’s becoming so as I transition: all the fears that I’m this shell of a person with little or no real life experience (I mean here specifically about “relationship issues”) to offer as insight. I’m not saying that’s the person I really am/was as Joe, but rather that’s who I thought/feared I was, as Joe.

The latter fear based life, for me, has most of my life, been the world that held me in check/sway. I rationalize thusly: in that having grown up when and where I did, the strongest things in many of our lives came to us through our fears. Fear of: Parents, God,  The Man, Gubmint, Satan, The Church, etc so on...

And we really do live evermore in a world where fear is the main delivery system of mass identity. What happens though, when the “other” is yourself? Ask Kafka, or Camus. Me? I’m still working that out.


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COURAGE {for andrew, gord, & hugh.}
lonelier than never                  within  my neck     my throat       choke words             hard             suicidally so.
I am weary bleary and toothless.
In every mirror          I see hopeless                soft fat breath.   
And wetness.
Then      somehow thick white blood re:routes                   an                   other path into my chest    and the shit melts in   closely shaved rhythms                     or smiles                     songs slither    as delicate     as though    I had swallowed a rose.
My breath is filled               with words and fear                              and                            …