Moving toward something?

By , May 31, 2010 12:40 pm

Yeah, it's a little cheesey. What do you want from me?

Transitioning, for me, has primarily been an experience of moving away from things. At every stage, I’ve thought about how unhappy I was, not about how things would be better if I did XYZ.

I went into therapy because I was miserable, not because I was particularly sure I could be happy. I went on hormones because presenting and living as male fit me horribly, like an itchy and too-tight outfit, full of pins and needles. Not because I thought I’d succeed as living as a woman. I underwent hair removal because being hairy felt all wrong, not because I thought being smooth would be pleasant.

Fortunately, I was wrong about those things: When I reached whatever minor goal I’d set for myself it was better, not simply “less bad.” But my thought process was still about moving away from things – a false presentation, hiding something, masculinity – not moving toward anything.

I’ve been continuing to think about The Surgery. And I’ve realized that, for the first time in my transition, I’m interesting in moving toward something rather than away.

Scalpels and scissors and SCARY!

I’ve talked about The Surgery before (most recently here) and I know that I’m much more interested in SRS than I was two years ago, let alone ten. But this is the first time I’ve considered it in terms of ‘moving away’ versus ‘moving toward’ something. To be honest, it’s kind of a scary proposition. I’m so used to thinking about what’s wrong in my life, what makes me unhappy, that thinking about what could make me happy seems really foreign and overwhelming.

It’s much easier to say “What’s going on right now is making me unhappy. I guess I’ll have to do something about it”” than it is to say “What’s going on right now isn’t so bad, but it’s not what I want. Lets change it!” The former seems obvious. The latter seems selfish and indulgent.

Obviously, that’s a false picture, because it’s not selfish and indulgent. But I’m really bad at recognizing what I want (in any situation) as legitimate and worthy of consideration. I’m so used to settling, to assuming that things aren’t great but could always be worse.

I think I’m also carrying around a lot of cultural baggage. Sex reassignment surgery is not something that’s viewed respectfully in 99% of the media out there, and that’s taken its toll on how I think about it for myself. There’s something that feels dirty about the idea of wanting a vagina. Of rejecting my penis.

But I want to like my body, enthusiastically and all over, not just feel like I’m settling.

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