I was going to add a tiny little note in my last post basically saying that the long-awaited event has finally happened: I no longer feel the compulsion to make frequent updates about my gender transition.
However, I realised that note was going to be more than just a couple of sentences, so I decided to make it into a blog post. As I wrote, I finally realised I did have a fair bit to say. Still, it was an effort to dig up this much writing matter on my transition, and I expect it will be a long time before I write another post on the topic.
Being trans, and living as a woman, has become somewhat more of the background to my life. It’s still important, and I still think about it a lot, but compared to before, it is so much more on autopilot, so to speak.
I’ve even started wearing some androgynous clothes. A few months ago I think I wore my first item of clothing that wasn’t explicitly female; a simple, non-gendered T-shirt I had kept from my pre-transition days. Someone later gifted me a neutral but vaguely male-tailored jumper, which I’ve been wearing; not because I enjoy the androgyny (I’m still a girly girl) but because it’s practical, and I don’t care that much anymore.
I figure that now I’m more happy with my body, I have a bit more leeway with some things. As well as wearing a couple of androgynous clothing items, I’ve stopped wearing foundation makeup. This probably works now because IPL treatment has thinned out the hairs on my face a bit. I don’t entirely like it, but again, practicality seems to have become more of an issue now.
And I generally still pass as female like this, though I occasionally regret it when I leave shaving off too long and start experiencing again the thousands of microagressions which comprise daily life as a non-passing trans woman.
I’ve also started to pee standing up more often, and to practice some penis-in-vagina sex, both because expedience has weighed against dysphoria. Again, I think that the fact that I like my body more in general makes it easier for me to do these things. In the context of my overall female body, my penis doesn’t seem so male. I find it easier than before to remember that it is a woman’s penis, and that its presence doesn’t negate my womanhood.
Apart from that, I still stare at my boobs in the mirror pretty much every day, wearing a stupid grin as I do so. I have to say, I LOVE my boobs. I guess I’ll get over it at some point, but so far that hasn’t shown any signs of happening.
My boobs have continued growing quite steadily, and the general progress of fat redistribution in my body has continued. My hips have a lot more flesh on them now, which I like very, very much.
Ah, and my hair has been growing back in my bald patches. It took me a while to be sure it was happening, but now I really am. I also noticed recently that I haven’t felt much gender dysphoria relating to my lack of hair for some time, but it happened too gradually for me to notice.
Oh, I wanted to refer back to my last post about my gender transition, where I mentioned I was going through a slightly weirded-out phase over my body. After that short phase was over, it never came back, and I think since then I just haven’t been able to bring back such feelings at all. It just feels ridiculous to me that I would feel any confusion or conflict about my body being feminine; that’s just how it is.
In the same vein, it has been a very long time since I felt any fear that this was the wrong path. I’m just used to living as female now, and having a female body. And now that it no longer feels like a new thing, there isn’t any conflict left to have, just comfort.
Previous inner conflicts and questions have mostly faded into silence. I no longer think that people ever normally accidentally transition because they thought they were trans but weren’t*; hence thoughts like, “Oh, I discovered I was trans so late, does that make me not really trans?” are completely off my radar. I no longer think back to when I was a kid to try and work out if I showed signs of being trans back then; I just don’t care anymore. And being mostly lesbian isn’t weird for me now; I’m no longer so insecure that I could let someone argue that it meant I somehow wasn’t really a woman. I mean, fuck you, and who cares. I’m a woman.
*The few cases I’ve heard of this actually happening involved people who were what I’d consider borderline insane. People who are in full control of their faculties just don’t make this mistake; I mean, if you think about it, you’d have to be pretty fucking stupid.
Despite my fears on the matter, I’ve been doing pretty well romantically. You’d think being trans would reduce my chances with people, or being mostly lesbian instead of mostly straight at least would reduce my dating pool. But the change has produced no noticeable reduction in the action I’ve been getting as far as I can tell. Actually, I’m happy that bigots are no longer interested in having sex with me, and I think those who aren’t bigots are probably more interested in me than before, because being (true to) yourself is sexy, after all.
Overall, I’m just happy to be myself, and so much more at peace now that I have the body I want and an identity that fits me (rather than a façade I had to constantly spend energy on maintaining). I love the soft, gentle look in my eyes in my photos. My inner self shines out where previously it was hidden, and there is such a sense of “rightness” about my image.
On the other hand, these last two years have been so frikkin’ intense, and so stressful back when I didn’t pass and was exposed to the constant judgement of the general public. That’s taken a toll. I have seemingly permanent bags under my eyes, and I see more irony in my smiles than before.
I’m kind of scared of people now. Even though they no longer attack me just for walking past them, I still find it hard to go up to people on the street to ask for directions, or to say “hi” to someone in a party just because. I also find it harder to get through my initial social phobia when I’m beginning a talk in a conference. Several people have described me as “extremely shy” by now, which wasn’t how I used to be.
The trauma has left a mark on my relationships with men, too. After all, most of the people who attacked me before for being trans were men. Also, all of the sexual harassment I’ve experienced since transitioning (from people who saw me as a woman) was from men. I’m still kind of freaking out about that; I still need to come to terms with the fact that I am no longer safe where I used to be safe. It’s a frikkin’ hard pill to swallow.
And that, in turn, has translated into a sort of panic or phobia towards men, particularly men I don’t know. I used to say I “hate men” for a little while, and while it was cathartic I eventually decided that it wasn’t a very healthy attitude to have towards 49.99% of the world’s population. So I settled for calling it a phobia, which I think is more accurate. Either way, my interactions with men are currently rather restricted.
That all is kind of crappy, and I wish I wasn’t like that. I wish these years of ostracism hadn’t left such a mark. But, well, the worst is over, and I’m getting a chance now to catch my breath and recover. I’m sure I’ll get the lightness and joy back in my eyes eventually. Well, I hope. No, I know I will. And then I want to show the world how happy and free a trans person can be. I refuse to let my past suffering drag me down.
So that’s my current mission. Rest, relax, enjoy not feeling the compulsion to think about trans stuff every 7 seconds, and get my joy back.
As I said, there probably won’t be another update on my transition for a while. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing about trans issues; I do want to write an article about how trans issues elucidate and intersect with feminism at some point, for example. But in general I think this blog will become rather less dominated by trans stuff.
I’m not sure how I feel about that. It feels good I guess, though I also wonder if I should have taken more advantage of the urge to write about trans stuff while it lasted. I was fighting it a lot, scared it was going to take over my writing career, and not wanting to be pigeonholed as a trans writer.
But it’s okay. I think I got most of the stuff out that had to be written. After all, it was pretty much hard not to.