Undesired compliments

By , February 28, 2010 4:13 pm

Another tenant in the building where I work came into our office recently. She was asking about our upcoming production, so I gave her the info and encouraged her to come if she’s able. She thanked me, but as she was leaving she turned and said, “You’ve really blossomed this last year. I wanted you to know how beautiful you are.” I smiled, thanked her, and said polite goodbyes.

I need to get out of that office.

I appreciate where she was coming from, and obviously what she said was better than the alternative. But I hate that I’m working somewhere I haven’t simply chosen to be out, I’m inherently out by my long history of working in the same building.

I’m assuming I’ll be out (eventually) at whatever job I’m at. But there’s a difference between choosing to tell someone about your history, and having them been there for it and possess insider knowledge, regardless of how much disclosure you’d like to offer.

Rewriting history

By , February 27, 2010 6:06 am

One of the things I’ve been thinking about, as I figure out a way to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past, is what moments I feel I ‘missed out’ on. There is a whole lifetime of experiences I feel like I’ve missed, but I’m hoping I can find a few specific moments to explore through performance. And, by doing so, and really exploring these moments to their height, I’m hoping to find some sense of resolution about having ‘missed out’ and be able to start looking forward.

Here’s the list I have so far. My rule for myself is I have to put down anything I feel like I missed out on by not growing up and being socialized as a girl, no matter how silly or inconsequential my adult mind thinks it is. I don’t think I’ll explore all of these things on stage, but I’d like to at least try and see where things go, and what feels the most raw (and thus the most important).

  • Playing with dolls
  • Playing dress-up
  • Having slumber parties
  • Having a Bat Mitzvah
  • Learning how to put on makeup (this is a big one, and one I just need to sit down and practice)
  • Horrible, awkward, clothing shopping with my mom
  • Going to awkward middle school dances in a pretty dress (or even in an ugly dress)
  • Going to prom in a pretty dress

How ’bout it, gang? What pivotal moments of girlhood or growing up female need to go on this list? As I said, my entire goal is to be as ridiculous and indulgent as possible. There are parts of me that feel like my regret is silly, that I should be happy about who I am now, not regret who I wasn’t. And, consciously, I think that’s true. I just can’t get myself to really believe it, in my core. But if I can flood myself with things I ‘missed,’ maybe I can realize I didn’t miss anything – that who I am today just fine.


By , February 26, 2010 2:04 pm

Why do I continue and continue to beat myself up for not transitioning earlier? For not speaking up louder? For not being more insistent, more forceful? In the past week, I’ve been told by both my doctor and my therapist that I really couldn’t have transitioned much earlier. That, starting hormones at 22, I was pretty close to starting them as young as I possible could have. That very few people start hormones at 18, and that very very few doctors will prescribe hormones younger than that.

That, realistically, there’s a very slim chance I possibly could have transitioned earlier than I did.

And yet, I keep beating myself up about it. Regretting that I don’t live in the fantasy life I constructed for myself, of going to school as a girl, experiencing adolescence as a girl, growing up into a woman. And I realized it has a lot to do with my own sense of agency, or lack thereof.

Continue reading 'Agency'»

A tattoo?

By , February 25, 2010 9:42 pm

Should I get a tattoo?

I’ve been thinking about it as a way to claim authority and control over my body. I’m not sure where or what, but the general idea has been resonating with me.

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Doctors, self defense

By , February 24, 2010 4:05 pm

I had another doctor’s appointment today, as a followup to the one I had a few weeks ago. He said I should stick with the Lexapro (now on week two) and he opened my chakras again.

We also talked for a while about regret and how to look forward.

I explained to him how I’ve been feeling like I’m wallowing in regret. That I’m consciously aware of how good I do have it, but still can’t get over this fantasy that things would be better had I transitioned earlier or not had to transition at all. (By which I meant ‘had been born female.’ Don’t worry.) I know it’s futile, and I know it’s harmful, but I can’t get out out of it. He responded that I need to find a way to look forward, not  backward; regret over what’s passed can consume you. (Tell me something I don’t know…)

On the train ride home, I was rereading some essays from Yes Means Yes and one in particular struck home. From Sex Worth Fighting For:

I remained preoccupied by fears that something “truly” bad would happen, and often imagined gang rape and murder that would finish me off for good. It would probably be committed by boys who didn’t plan to go that far but felt like trying out their power on somebody who seemed like an easy target. This scenario felt so possible to me as to be the likely next step in my life.

Continue reading 'Doctors, self defense'»

Laser Tag and Pole Dancing as gendered behavior

By , February 22, 2010 7:30 pm

This past weekend was pretty busy. I saw a friend’s dance recital, another friend’s show, had my final high school class (finally!) and, of course, went to play laser tag and went to an introductory pole dancing class. (What, you didn’t do laser tag and pole dancing this weekend?) Both were a lot of fun, but both were interesting examples of gendered behavior and – more surprisingly – brought up some unexpected gendered expectations I have for myself.

Laser tag brought up feelings of inadequacy as a man, even though I don’t want to be a man or to think of myself as ‘one of the boys.’

Pole dancing brought up major feelings of inadequacy as a woman, coupled with an unexpected desire to be sexy and eagerness to go along with instructions toward that end.

Continue reading 'Laser Tag and Pole Dancing as gendered behavior'»

Holding a mourning ceremony

By , February 19, 2010 4:01 pm

I saw my therapist, Laura, last night, and we talked about my feeling stuck; that I’m unable to get past grieving for the life I ‘should have’ had if I’d transitioned earlier or not transitioned in the first place. I was also thinking about something from Questioning Transphobia:

In other words, we need to see the woman in the pre-transition photo of a trans woman, the man in the pre-transition photo of a trans man.  That, and only that, will help begin to dissipate the painful and fraught relationship so many of us have with photographs.

Queen Emily was specifically talking about photographs, but I think expanding the idea to the rest of my life makes sense, too. That is, from my comment on that post, “It’s much harder to view my history and experiences prior to transitioning as an integral part of who I am now; as a foundation upon which I’ve built up rather than a weight which drags me down.”

Continue reading 'Holding a mourning ceremony'»

Statistics and milestones

By , February 18, 2010 3:42 am

Since around the beginning of 2009, I’ve used WordPress.com Stats and Google Analytics to track traffic at The Thang Blog. I’m a fan of statistics and numbers; even though I I never really expected this blog to have a huge following, I figured the graphs would be fun to look at.

So it surprises me when – on days like today – I see that WordPress.com Stats shows The Thang Blog has been viewed 50,000 times in the last year or so. And it really surprised me to see a graph like this:

February is only half-way over, so its numbers are looking pretty good, too

Continue reading 'Statistics and milestones'»

Cupcake and Shut The Hell Up Day

By , February 16, 2010 8:08 pm

A few years ago, one of my coworkers came across Steak and BJ Day. From the aforementioned site:

March 14th is now officially “Steak and Blowjob Day”. Simple, effective and self explanatory, this holiday has been created so you ladies finally have a day to show your man how much you care for him.

This really bugged me, and in response I created Cupcake and Shut The Hell Up Day:

Basically, ‘Steak and BJ Day’ assumes a number of things which are incorrect (I’m inferring some of these assumptions, some of them are flat-out listed on the ‘Steak and BJ Day’ website).

  1. Valentine’s Day is only for women, and there’s no way for men to enjoy Valentine’s Day or for two people in a relationship to share the day together
  2. Women don’t like sex (The ‘Steak and BJ Day’ page says the gift men get for women is inevitably loving, thought out, and wonderful, but implies Valentine’s Day isn’t about sweet lovin’ and that a little cunnilingus now and then isn’t a good thing)
  3. Every day isn’t already ‘Steak and BJ Day’

With that in mind, I’m declaring March 14 to be ‘Cupcake and Shut The Hell Up Day.’

Because the lady in your life deserves a cupcake.

And you ‘Steak and BJ Day’-ers need to shut the hell up.

I still think all that’s true, and the idea of Cupcake and Shut The Hell Up Day still really amuses me. (Even if it doesn’t roll off the tongue like Steak and BJ Day.)

But I just got an auto-reminder that the domain (cupcakeandshutthehellupday.com, obviously) expires next month. So now I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth the $10 to renew the domain. On the one hand, I still think it’s pretty funny. On the other hand, no one actually knows (or cares) about Cupcake and Shut The Hell Up Day.

Is it worth spending $10 a year on a joke only I find funny?

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