Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The fear of needing to

"Wanting to be a woman isn't what I'm scared of. Needing to be a woman scares me juiceless."

I read that, or something like it, on a crossdressing forum back when I was first beginning to try and make sense of this stuff. The speaker had recently begun crossdressing herself, and she, like I, was recovering from a case of fundamentalist Christianity. Her words, and the fear they represented, stuck in my mind.

Do I want to be a woman? Maybe, but I don't want to need to.

I sat on the edge of my bed, paralyzed. It was last Sunday and there were a bunch of errands I needed to get done. I was dressed as a boy. At that moment it seemed like the only reasonable thing to do would be to laugh, Ha! I look like a boy, better fix that!, make myself up as a girl and be on my way. The thought of doing anything else seemed completely insane. But I couldn't go as a girl, and I couldn't bear to stay a boy, so instead I just sat there. Eventually I started crying. Then I got angry: Why am I transgender?! I never fucking asked for this!!

Do I wish I'd been born a girl? No, not really. I'm happy to have had the experiences I've had as a boy. I'm grateful for the perspective that being trans gives me. I don't hate my body, though there are some changes I might consider. Most importantly, I'm happy with the person that I am, and that's not who I'd be if I'd been raised as a girl.

Do I wish I were "normal" boy? No, not at all. I love my femininity. I love that I love heels and skirts and nail polish, and I would never want to lose that part of me. I just wish I could enjoy that stuff while still being comfortable as a boy— lots of crossdressers do, after all. Or I wish I could switch my gender on when it's convenient and off when it isn't. But gender doesn't work like that.

Do I want to be a woman? More than anything I just want to have some say in the matter.

[EDIT: In the time since I wrote this post I've come to realize that some of the terminology I used is problematic. Especially, I should have written "assigned female at birth" rather than "born a girl." But even so, I've decided not to change it because it reflects the understanding I had at the time.]

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