I really thought I was going to be a feminine man. After all, I enjoy looking good, nice clothes, identify as queer and I’ve always been attracted to feminine men. It turns out I might be quite regular. And it bothers me.
When I first entered the gay community, people told me I wasn’t feminine in their eyes. When I told a friend of mine that I’m transsexual, she said «well, the most feminine about you was always your clothes». During my two years of evaluation at the G.I.D-clinic, I’ve felt pushed towards a stereotypical kind of masculiity. I’ve resisted the best I could of course.
I realize that I actually am quite masculine. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’ve always been proud of my masculine way of thinking and behaving. But then it was a a-stereotypical thing, something that set me apart from the crowd. Now it threatens to make me part of the crowd. I hate crowds.
Cheerful Megalomaniac puts my fears into words when he writes
However, I am not special anymore. Not particularly non-conformist, or non-traditional, or subversive. I’m not shattering gender binaries, or being a gender warrior, or trail blazing in any way shape or form.
I’m just a regular guy. I feel normal for the first time in my life, even though I am about as far from *normal* as one person can get.
I don’t want to be normal! As I write I can hear my friends, like a choir, say that there’s absolutely no need to worry. I’m special and will always be. And if the threat of becoming normal should be too real, they’re sure I’ll do something drastic to avoid it. Yeah, they’re right again.
Fredrik rant about someone who seems to combine the worst of both femininity and masculinity, and I feel blessed.
And then Jacky writes about how she wasn’t a tomboy and I love it! The approved story of an FTM is that of a tomboyish childhood, playing with cars and no dolls. And it’s stated with an «of course». I really can’t see the connection. What children play with is very much a product of culture, not identity. I resented the questions they asked at the G.I.D.-clinic; they asked if I played with girl’s or boy’s toys, if my friends were boys or girls and so on. There seemed to be no room for nuances, no explanations. I suppose it was The Recalled Childhood Gender Identity/Gender Role Questionnaire. I knew I was supposed to have revised my childhood to match my current identity. I wouldn’t do that. I was supposed to tell the truth, but the truth had much more nuances than the questionnaire. Besides, I’ve read too much narratology and other literary and social theory to agree with making my history coherent. Actually, from an honest, postmodern view, any coherent story is a lie, and it should be the therapist’s duty to single out the important from the non-important. Of course that didn’t work very well…
RuPaul: “You’re born naked and the rest is drag.”
That’s some of the reasons why my writing from this period had to be poems. Poetry is a different way of thinking. You don’t have to make up a beginning, a middle and a end (although I did anyway I guess). Each poem has a value of it’s own, like a piece of some archeological remains. You can read the poems as a story or as a set of probably unrelated pieces of truth. I concider my poems more truthful than any test I’ve ever taken.
My childhood is an archeological site. I can find pieces and put them together to make a boy, or rearrange them and make a girl. But the truth is probably to be found in the middle. If you dig in the ground for real, you might find a sigarette from the 90’s, a nail from the 1800’s, a piece of a tool from the middle ages and much more. And it may have nothing to do with each other or the building that’s about to be constructed at the same site.
I’ve moved away from what I originally wanted to say. This was not supposed to be the big rant about The Recalled Childhood Gender Identity/Gender Role Questionnaire. Actually I just wanted to quote Jacky:
I had to unsuppress the reflexes that I had learned to supress because I had feared they were too masculine. And now I’m free.
Now I don’t even care about gestures that may make me seem feminine to others. I don’t think about my movements, posture, expressions . . . anything. I just am. And it’s amazing how much I’ve been accomplishing now that all those parts of my brain that were occupied with presenting a false face to the world are free to do other things!
I realized that it is linked to my rant about the questionnaire after all. I wholeheartedly agree with Jacky! I’m through with «presenting a false face to the world». I don’t want to spend more time in the past, with it’s exhausting focus on a coherent presentation. I just want to live, damn it! When will I get the permission to live, to be myself, not just exist?