Thursday, 17 July 2014

Fishes and mermaids

This didn't hurt as bad when I was in denial about it.

It's strange to think about that, but it's true. Up until least year I'd spent my whole life trying very hard to be a boy. And even though I knew that something was amiss, and that it was gender-related, I had never experienced anything but life as a male. And just like a fish doesn't know it's wet, I never knew how crushed I could feel by living in the wrong gender.

Things have changed now, of course. I've seen, and more importantly been seen as, the real me. And going back to the pretend after experiencing life as myself can be fucking hard. I'm not an oblivious fish anymore: I'm more like a mermaid, cast back to sea after knowing what it's like to live on land.

Like this chick
And so there is this paradox, that accepting my trans-ness has given me the chance to do something about it, (for which I am very glad), but it's also brought into focus a whole lot of pain that was once vague and ill-defined. And today especially, for whatever reason, I'm having a really hard time with it.

One thing is clear though: the only way through it is to move forward— going back now to the denial that once numbed this pain is no longer possible, nor is it desirable, and honestly, I think it might even kill me if I tried. So... forward it is.

By the way, I actually had a dream the other night that I was turning into a mermaid. It was more like a nightmare, actually. Perhaps it means I spend too much time thinking about gendery stuff!


  1. And just like a fish doesn't know it's wet, I never knew how crushed I could feel by living in the wrong gender. So true! For so many years there was only the certainty that I was quite simply insane.
    Knowing who you are is a relief, but the price is high because of the society we live in.

    1. That's for sure. This past year or so has probably been the most emotional time of my life, ranging from estatic highs where I'm so happy just to know that I'm a girl, to some very dark lows from not being able to express it.

  2. (((hugs)))

    I was watching a video a few months ago about a teenage girl named Jazz. In the video they talked about how much she loved mermaids, to the point of even designing herself a mermaid tail to use in their pool. Then they mentioned it was common for trans kids to love mermaids (I can't remember if it was MTF trans kids in particular or everyone), they figured due to their ambiguous genitals. Maybe you're just a late bloomer.

    Or you might have had a tuna sandwich right before bed :)

    I'll tell you what I've been telling Jeremy. You only have one life to live so make it count and be yourself.

    1. Thanks :)

      In addition to the ambiguous genitals, I suspect the story of The Little Mermaid, and her quest to become a woman, has something to do with it as well.

      What's interesting is that the author, Hans Christian Anderson, almost certainly had an atypical gender identity. The unrequited love of his life was a man named Edvard Collin, and when Collin announced that he was engaged to be married, Anderson wrote him a rambling love letter, stating, "My feelings for you are those of a woman.... Yet the femininity of my nature, and our relationship, must remain a secret." Sounds pretty trans-y to me.

      Collin was unable to reciprocate those feelings, though the two remained lifelong friends. His marriage sent Anderson into a profound depression, during which he wrote The Little Mermaid. Unlike Disney's film version, Anderson's mermaid is rejected by the prince in favour of a real woman, ultimately fails to transition, and ends up as a miserable, disembodied spirit. It's not too hard to figure whom the prince and the mermaid represented.

      Pretty sad stuff.

      (And in retrospect, reading about all that on wikipedia recently is probably the actual cause of my perturbed slumber.)

  3. Wikipedia... the gateway drug to insomnia.

    I've read the original Little Mermaid story before and, yeah, it's pretty depressing. No voice, feeling like walking on broken glass, needs to woo the prince at his engagement party (so no real chance), and then... sea foam. I did not know the rest though... very interesting.

  4. Fascinating post, hon! I was unfamiliar with the background of The Little Mermaid.

    As far as feeling like a mermaid... it *will* get better. Keep working the way you have for the past year, and it will. A wise friend told me that transitioning is 25% physical and 75% mental. You are doing aces on both fronts, girl, so keep on keepin' on!!!