Friday, November 21, 2008

The scattered mists of womanhood

Today I spoke with my grandfather, it never ceases to amaze me how iron-willed and open minded he is, despite the fact that for almost two years my mother FORBADE me to tell him of my transsexual status, and my plans of transitioning from male to female. She swore he'd have a heart attack and die. Natural causes were the most condemning threat my parents used on me for the longest time. If I should shave my legs or wear a dress, my parents bodies would give way to the shock and stress, and pass away. Far be it for me to begin hormone treatment, and change my name. Charged with the guilt of my mother's murder how could I transition in comfort, but as you can see, my family is still there. I do worry for my elderly grandmother though.

He told me every time he comes to see me, grandma asks if I look different when he comes home, and he tells her I look the same, and he doesn't know what exactly I'm doing. Ouch, do I really look exactly the same? My body is changed so much, and my face is so soft compared to the Carpathian mountains I had for a jaw when I started, heavily forested and all. I do wear baggy clothes though, when I see my family, so as to make things easier on them.

I didn't want to tell him that I dress as a girl now, that I fear for my life taking the train at night, but somehow the conversation, and all the wonderful and terrifying truths came out. His main concern is for my safety, that is, that people do not lash out with physical violence. My concern is also this. I can get used to dirty looks and cruel remarks, but if someone shoots me in the face what am I gonna say to that?

Where the hell is the balance, between dressing in a way that brings me a sense of identity, and dressing in a way that provokes disaster, or does such a thing even exist. I don't wear dresses yet, and I don't really wear my skirt that often. I started painting my nails and stuff, I haven't gotten on to make-up for the simple issue of I have no idea how to apply makeup without making myself look like a clown. I've never done it before. The dirty looks have started up as expected, but what do I do?

I came home and took my baggy shirt off, my tight tank top underneath, in my opinion far more flattering, but apparently I'm too fat for something that shows a lil of my tummy, so I'll only wear it as an under...thing. So says my roommate and her mother anyways. After talking a bit with my friend, she told me that she was talking with her friend, about my apparently, ape-like posture and mannerisms. I didn't know it was that bad... apparently she did a walk like me in front of her friend, and her friend laughed and said "that's just mean." I really didn't realize I was quite this bad. I know I need work but geeze.

So after this I received a bit of coaching on walking and standing more like a girl, and I tried as best as I can to correct my ape-like posture and walk. Another description I heard tonight was "bull-dyke" I think that's a bit of an improvement to "ape-like" since most butch chicks I know, are far more civilized than apes. She told me to stand with one leg straight and that hip up, and the other leg at an angle. I see girls standing like that alot, but it seems an exaggeration to stand like that ALL the time. I guess I'm one big walking social faux-pas, no wonder people stare at me, as though I were the Frankenstein monster.

Later however she told me something chillingly painful. She said that in discussion of me, her and her friend said my aura was androgynous, neither male nor female. Consider me what you will, in believing in auras and such things, but this roommate, friend of mine, for all her flaws, is someone I trust implicitly for council on all things regarding the spirit. If she told me that, there is no doubt in my mind that it must be the truth.

So why the hell does knowing that, though I believe I already knew it, hurt so much. I'm not having second thoughts about transitioning. I'm not regretting what I've become. I'm not considering transitioning back into a man, the thought seems absolutely abominable. I know I'm not the very model of a typical feminine woman, particularly in the unforgiving world of transsexual stereotypes... but I always believed myself to be a woman nonetheless.


Véro B said...

Sara (one of my favourite names), I am thoroughly impressed by how far you've come. I've been reading your blog since you were scared even to write, never mind to be out and about as you are. That's awesome.

Of course, reality isn't always so awesome, but I'm glad you're coping. Despite family problems, I hope you will make sure to take care of yourself and do what you need to do. There's a term for what they are trying to do to you, when all you are doing is being yourself. I hope they see that in time.

It takes time to find your own style of dress, but don't be afraid to experiment. I personally have never tried to disguise what little shape I have, but that's me. I dress the way I dress. My goal, at my age, is to be "stylish," not trendy but looking well put-together. Stylish older women are the ones that catch my eye, and I pick up tips from observing. Of course, most of the time I wear jeans and a top, nothing fancy. You'll find your own style. It might not be what you expect it to be.

When you feel ready (and I know money is tight), go to a decent makeup counter and let the salesperson do a makeover. See, lots of natal women don't know how to do their makeup well either. Everyone needs to learn. I think you'll find that the salespeople will be kind to you.

Most of the time when I go out, I wear only light powder, blush, and eyeliner, and sometimes lip gloss because the one I have is really a balm. Sometimes I'll add lipstick under the gloss, or use lipstick only, a fairly light shade that works with my skin (too dark and I look old and/or like a drag queen). Sometimes I do the full eye thing, which means two or three colours of eyeshadow and mascara in addition to liner. I know, that probably seems complicated, but you work up to it.

I do think that carriage is important, because it's very important for how people will gender you. I was fortunate many years ago to do Alexander work, which is all about good posture and standing in a relaxed way. That has stuck with me. When I walk, I stand straight, with my head high. I walk with minimal motion, which is quite different from how you see a lot of guys walk. I take smaller steps than I used to, and I let my bum do what it wants, which is move somewhat from side to side.

I was never that graceful before, but I'm much more graceful now. It's good that you have help from natal females. Don't get discouraged.

As a card-carrying atheist who prays to the Lady only as a sort of metaphor, I can't address the aura reading. I don't consider there to be any such thing as auras, but we believe what we believe. I hope you don't let this supposed aura reading get you down. If you sense yourself to be a woman, you are.

One more time -- I am very impressed. And I like your picture, even though it's small. You have made so many breakthroughs!

Samantha Shanti said...

Véronique makes an excellent point, you have come a long, long way in a little bit of time. I too have been following you from the begining, and girl, you're growing like crazy! Keep up the great work!

As to auras, be patient, all of you is in transition. Considering what you are going through, yours looks amazingly bright and beautiful from here Sara. As to "gender" auras don't usually have genders, so I wouldn't worry too much there. What they might however be talking about is overall "vibe" which many folks get confused with aura. Again, you're still growing, changing, getting your legs under you so to speak, they have to give it time.

Watching how other women move, speak, dress, and express themselves is an ideal way to become more proficient at giving off the right "cues" or "tells" as they are sometimes called. It takes time, but I have every confidence that you will get there. Think of how far you've come already in so little time, you are doing great!

You're getting there Sara.

Me, I'm working on a new hypnotherapy session, actually several of them. I'll let you know when I finish them, they will help greatly with movement, voice, expression and so forth. How do I know they'll help? Because I used them back years ago when I first started and I don't have anyone around me that has the slightest doubt.

As to the difference between bull-dyke and ape-like, well it's all relative. I know several natals who wish they could pull off bull-dyke because they feel to "fem" for their own tastes. They like hanging around me because they don't feel quite as "fem" when I'm in the room. It's all relative. You WILL get there, of that I have no doubt at all.

The other thing to keep in mind is that right now, your body is adjusting to the change in hormones and you've not yet started on testosterone blockers. Believe it or not things will change more once Estrogen is able to run "unapposed" in your system. HRT is more than just breasts and body fat girl, it has profound effects on everything. Testosterone blockers will make a change in how you move too. Most folks don't talk about that, cause they don't think of it. Give yourself time, you will get there!


whatsername said...

I'm cis and people used to tell me all the time growing up I wasn't enough of a girl. :P Honestly I don't think there's a "proper" way to be a "real woman". So I'd say just keep doing what you're doing and be yourself, you'll figure it all out. :)

Samantha Shanti said...

Something that dawned on me that you might find helpful. I took this post, and the clear unmistakable vibe I got from it, and ran it through something that determines ones gender. Mind you it's a machine, and it is far from perfect, by the same token in the past I've often found it quite accurate.

With only the sample of your blog, I asked the gender genie at is it was written by someone male or female. The machine had nothing to go on but your prose, which of course is a reflection of your heart, mind and soul. With nothing else, it said quite clearly your post was written by someone female:

"Words: 830
(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)

Female Score: 1260
Male Score: 969

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: female!"

Not to say it hasn't been wrong a time or two, but it is far more often right than wrong. With a difference of 291, you are clearly female according to the computer. What makes this fun, interesting and slightly enlightening is the computer is NOT biased. It isn't invested emotionally or socially in what gender you are, where as your friend's friend might be.

Hugs Sara,


Sara said...

Thanks again everyone, By the way I've found an interesting study on HRT and it's effects on brain tissue. I'll post it when I get the opportunity, it's actually good news in some ways, but it's unfortunately great fodder for the fire in those are against our rights as well. I'm glad for the support I've reached through this blog, and I'm also glad I've got non-transsexual readers. :)