I’m sitting on my porch, writing because there’s nothing else I feel like doing. Sure there are video games, all of the video games. I could go for a walk, maybe get some coffee, but I have a tasimo and going out involves so much effort, to still feel as if I don’t and will never measure up. I know this is selfish, I know many people have greater struggles than I do. This only serves to highlight my shortcomings. I should be working on the novel, I may get to that in a bit. For now the focus is on getting words onto the page.
It’s a nice day out, the lawn needs mowing. It’s warm and fairly dry. There’s a family next door discussing… something. They’re obstructed from view, one nice thing about my current location is the privacy. My upstairs neighbor just stopped to speak with me, saying it was ok to park my car in the back. She addressed me as Dave, even though I first introduced myself as June. They got the old name from the landlord I presume. My weight this morning was 170-174, depending on where I placed the scale. My hair is starting to tickle the back of my neck, and there are a few strands that reach down to my shoulder level.
So much work to never be good enough. It’s nice here. I’m enjoying the calm more and more. At work yesterday there was an agent who made a poorly thought out decision and I questioned them. They hung up and got help from a different agent. It bothers me, on one hand it was a really stupid thing they wanted to do, on the other hand my job isn’t to correct that. I don’t know what I would do if I lost my job, the thought terrifies me. Everything terrifies me. I like the quiet.
Last week I went to a monthly event hosted by my cousins called cafe absinth. It’s kind of an open mike, present whatever you have to present kind of deal. Many people sang, or read poetry. There was a book reading and a drag performance. One person did a presentation on the history of video games and another presenter spoke about the emergence of AI. I got up and told my story. I don’t remember exactly what I said but the following is the gist of it.
“If you couldn’t tell from my towering frame, thick muscly arms and deep rich voice – at this point I sank into a low baritone and could hear an audible intake of breath from the audience – I am a trans woman. But what does that mean, to be honest I have no idea. I do a lot of reading and there are all kinds of opinions, no one can seem to agree with one another. I guess what it means is that this is me – I looked down at myself. At the time I was wearing a black dress with velvet patterns, cut in a classic style with black silk frills on the edges, purchased from a store called Blame Betty, which specializes in 1950’s style ‘rockabilly’ clothing. It looked good on me if I do say so myself. – This has always been me, but I’ve spent most of my life hiding.
By the time I was eight years old I knew what it meant to be a woman in a man’s body, and I was pretty sure it applied to me. I knew the basics of transition, the hormones and the surgery. More than anything I knew about the intense stigma that surrounded the idea. I decided I really didn’t want that.
I isolated myself, I avoided getting too close to anyone. I did my best to become invisible. I focused constantly on how I presented myself, always afraid of exposing myself. So what changed? I fell in love, and she loved me. Except she didn’t love me, she loved the person I was pretending to be. I hurt her a lot, she’s gone now. Not gone gone, I mean she moved back east to live with her parents.
Coming out is a bit like removing a cast, the first thing you notice is just how gross and smelly you’ve become. It’s a relief, and incredibly freeing, but the muscles have atrophied, everything is painfully slow and awkward. And terrifying. I’m scared all the time when I’m out in public. I worry constantly about what people will do and think. But I’m also starting to connect with people, really connect, the people in my life are getting to know me for the fist time, and that at least feels a lot like progress. Thank you.”
My parents were there, to be honest it was really them I was speaking to. Afterwards my Dad gave me a great big hug. It was a an incredible moment, one to make me realize just how lucky I am. Perhaps I should stop moping and go do something productive. But first maybe one more round of Destiny and an episode of OITNB 😀