Posts Tagged ‘friends


learn something new every day, chapter 5

(Right well really it’s every month more like)

January 6: Driving up to Crusader’s house for D&D (by myself, since I was coming from work and everyone else was already there). Thought process while driving up/past:
1. Oh shit, that’s a lot of fire engines.
2. Damn those people standing outside look cold. They haven’t got coats on.
3. Fuck, that’s flames coming out of the chimney.
4. Well, looks like it’s fairly contained and under control. No need to stop.
5. (hyperventilate sob hyperventilate sob hyperventilate sob)
6. Huh. Panic attacks make it hard to drive. I really ought to pull over.
7. *Calls the Captain* “Hi honey. I’m having a panic attack. Can you talk me down?”

January 19: Driving to work on 100E.
1. That giant plume of smoke up ahead could be a fire, accident, or idiot semi.
2. “I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer…”
3. Flickers of flame on the ground. Upright beams, charred and still burning. Chimney. Fire truck. No people. Ground is black.
4. Nothing more to be done and the FD is already there. No need to stop.
5. (hyperventilate sob)
6. No. I’m not going to be late to work.
7. “I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will let it pass over me and through me. When the fear is gone, there is only me.” * Rinse and repeat.
8. OK, my voice is steady again. Just keep driving.

I do the same thing going over the Bay Bridge, actually (usually it’s just whiteknuckles on the steering wheel but the Bay Bridge is HORRIBLE and it’s the quickest way to Storyteller’s house). Depending on who’s with me. I’ve found that if Crusader is sitting in my car (January 2nd) I can actually carry on a conversation with him. He and I ended up talking a lot about fear and religion (and relationships, kind of) on the way back one time and we’re a lot more alike than our political views would suggest.

Things I learned: It doesn’t matter where the prayer comes from or whether it’s made up or cribbed from a movie/book or copied directly from [holy text of your choice]. What matters is that it does what you need it to.
…Also, the consequences of getting bindrunes tattooed on you may happen unexpectedly quickly. (The consequences themselves are not unexpected. This is WHY the spider.)

* Having now looked it up, yes: Your foaming at the mouth is justified. This is inaccurate as far as the novel is concerned. It is, however, accurate to my memory of it at the time. Having both read the novel and seen the movie at least a year and a half ago, I paraphrased. It worked anyway, so there you go. The complete and accurate litany against fear.


I learned a lot this past year or so.

Crossposted from the Fetlife.

I love cloudy weather. It means I can look for a silver lining.

I don’t read tone, inflection, or generally body language.
I generally take people literally and at their word.
When I am being serious, I speak literally, and expect to be taken literally.
People lie and people cheat. People do unkind things to one another, people take sides, people build walls to whisper behind.
I can’t trust actions or words.
When two people say two different things, I cannot pick one to believe, unless I see physical evidence. No matter the circumstances.
If I don’t know what’s true and what isn’t, I can’t do anything.
The only thing I know I can act on is my gut instinct, because nothing is going to change it anyway so I might as well follow.
I can no longer take actions that aren’t congruent with what I believe to be the truth.

I stopped being petty and cruel, stopped entertaining myself at others’ emotional expense, for a lot of very good reasons — one of them being that I didn’t want to hate myself any more.
There is a place for everyone on this earth, and there is something worthwhile in every living breathing one of us.

If I really want to believe in the inherent goodness of people I need to be willing to look for it. Something good has come of the last year(ish), something good has come from this past weekend, benefits will continue to be found in the coming weeks. Even if they are in the form of lessons to be learned, or warnings taken to heart. Any insight taken away, even from the ugliest situation, is a good thing.

One more thing I have been forgetting for a while: There is hope. There is always, always hope.


Presentation and Identity

There was an adventure on Sunday (the Captain, Fox, and a couple of other people) to which QuietOne brought a friend whom we’ll call Pink. I haven’t hung out with this particular (nutty) group of people for a while, and I’m pretty comfortable around them. I think there was something along the lines of “Just because I have a hormone imbalance that makes me pretty doesn’t mean you get to be jealous!” said by me to Fox. So, I was being rather flamboyant and gregarious. QuietOne was more talkative than usual, and afterward we chatted about a kink community group that she wants to come to, which Pink is apparently interested in as well. Which is nice. More queer/kinky (or at least ally) people on the island is always welcome, not that we’re in any way lacking 😀

Apparently, Pink later mentioned something about me to QuietOne (who passed it on to the Captain, who passed it on to me), about how she was weirded out by me because she “understands trannies and crossdressers and stuff, but most of them at least try to present the gender they’re going for.”

My response was something along these lines: “lolwut? Gods I wish she’d had the gall to say that to my face! No, really. I would actually have been nice about it. To her face, anyway.” I admit I did have a catty moment but it passed quickly. Come to think of it I likely wouldn’t have had a response beyond ‘lolwut?’ if I was feeling nice or ‘none of your damn business’ if I was not feeling nice, if she’d asked it then. It’s probably a good thing cispeople are so awkward about asking questions, because it gives me time to think up clever answers.

What I suspect is going on here is that people (in general, not just Pink) conflate presentation and identity to some extent, at least when it comes to transpeople. It’s ok though, because I used to do it too until quite recently. This is intimately connected with the ideas of gender-construction hierarchy and “stealth.”

Words, words, words:
Presentation: the way someone behaves, the clothes they wear, the language they use, the ways they interact with other people; expression
Identity: someone’s innermost being, their essence, their interior mental self-construction, “the me in my head,” their soul.

In this example, the pertinent component of my identity is “homoflexible female man.” My gender expression, however, apparently reads to Pink as something like “flamboyantly feminine prettyboi genderfuck.” Which is not all that off, actually. It’s the assumption that the two need to match up in order for my gender to be “real” or “valid” that’s the problem. Or, possibly, that she may be perfectly ok with trans people — as long as they squeeze themselves into one of two polar, binary, socially constructed genders, with all the stereotypical trappings that come with that.

Stealth: I had a lot of trouble with this for a while. I would try to convince people I was just another guy, and obsess over binding and manly mannerisms and all that. It was really a lot like being back in the closet, and I spent more time trying to convince people of my gender than actually, y’know, having fun and stuff. A little while back I decided (with some input from the Captain) that it wasn’t worth my time to worry what other people know about me. The next time someone asked “Hey is this true…” my response was a simple “Yes, actually.” And, surprisingly, most people just don’t care. They might not totally grok it, but as long as they know to use the right name and the right pronoun we’re good. It’s just a respect thing, and the vast majority of human beings (that I hang out with, anyway) tend to have at least that. Back to the point… I don’t fit into a binary gender, and I rarely “pass” to other people’s standards. It’s detrimental to my having fun to try and force it, especially since there is no appreciable gain, and I get the same benefits if I just ask for them (and the added benefit of being an educator).

It would be easier to dismiss Pink’s comments with things like “Well of course I’m flamboyant; I’m gay! Of course I’m effeminate; I’m a bottom! Of course I look girly; I’m pre-op!” But no. I’m all about doing things the hard way. I don’t have to express myself a certain way in order for my identity to be valid, i.e. I have the right to be as effeminate as I please, and I don’t have to make excuses for it in order to retain my identity of “man.”

I really hope she does come back, because every ignorant comment is an opportunity to reeducate someone.


The Closet

Yes, I’m still in it. In a lot of places.

There are parts of my life where I am only selectively out to people who need to know — i.e., people who are boinking me (currently only the Captain) and people he trusts to be smart about it (a very small number, most of whom I only see a few times a year), and people who have access to my records at work or school, or have known me under a different name. I just tell everyone else I’m a guy. Because much as I’d love to be out about everything, it’ll be on my own damn time. And much as I think educating people is important, sometimes I don’t want to be the gateway tranny. Sometimes I just want to go out and have fun and be “one of the guys” in that special geeky way we have.

(I got glared at yesterday and reminded that I agreed to this. …And I want to do it myself, my way; not accidentally via someone else’s thoughtlessness.)

This is why social networking sites are so devious, because a link from one can have a link to the Twitter which is connected to someone’s personal anonymous blog, and a lot of the stuff on here is quite transparent if one knows the people involved. Bit of a problem. So, some care will be exercised until the issue is resolved. Don’t know what form that’ll take yet. I don’t know if I’m overreacting but uh, putting someone in danger of being outed seems like a big deal to me.

Stealth? Yes. Sometimes. Yes, most people there would probably be supportive. Yes, I’m open about most things most of the time. Yes, I have a blog with basically my entire personal life all over it. But in real life my biology in particular is not everybody’s damn business.


Made of Win and Candy.

I don’t usually like navel-gazing, which is why I’m not on Myspace or Twitter and only on Facebook as necessary, but I feel I should share this story, because it’s fucking hilarious.

(Backstory: the Captain thought I was a transwoman when he first met me / we hooked up– “I’m trans” + “T. Rex is a guy” = Mistaken Captain + Oblivious T. Rex. We were on totally different pages for a week and a half. Once I figured that out, I did not immediately disabuse him of the notion, more for my own amusement than anything else, and then about two weeks in decided it would be a good time to explain about tits and bits. This is known as the ‘Tranny Surprise’. He was somewhat taken aback, but applauded the mindfuck and has since been in on it when I mess with other people. Hooray for partners who have a sense of humor.)

Last weekend we were at a large event, where I was working in the kitchen under the kind tutelage of the Captain. (This bitstrip contains everything you need to know about him, me, my trannybuddy DDog, and the brainwaves in between. Read the rest while you’re at it, and then tell DDog to make MOAR.) The Captain knows a large number of the people who were at this event, and most of those working in the kitchen, but it was the first time I’ve met most of them — the exception being Not-Narrow, who just watched us go and laughed along.

For the entire time, the Captain was a good sport and introduced me as the new-ish boyfriend and did not refer to me as ‘tranny’ within earshot, as is his usual wont. Things is, I’m not on hormones (yet…). So I’m apparently pretty for a guy, and people were confused…


(Names are changed, including mine)

Captain: This is my boyfriend, T. Rex.
Buddy 1: Wait… that’s a guy?
Me: Uh… yeah? *pointing at magically flat chest*
Captain: Oh trust me, he’s a guy *winknudge*


Buddy 1: Hey, T. Rex.
Me: Eh? *turns around*
Buddy 1: *gropes left not-a-boob*
Me: Buh?
Buddy 1: Damn, I guess you are a guy! A girl would’ve slapped me!
Me: (Hooray, dysphoria! And alcohol!) *blinkblink*


Me and the Captain: *kiss*
Buddy 2: Oh, is she your girlfriend?
Captain: He. Boyfriend.
Buddy 2: Oh my G-d, I’m so sorry!!!
Me: Don’t worry, I get that a lot… *wan smile and long-suffering sigh*
Buddy 2: Wait, Captain — when did you turn gay?
Captain: …bi? Best of both worlds!
Me: At the same time. *chuckle, wink*
Captain: I’m just a greedy poly bastard.


Buddy 3: Dude, I totally thought that was a girl!
Captain: Nnnope.
Buddy 1: I did too! But then I grabbed his chest last night, and there’s no boobs!
Me: (…and then told everyone, you loudmouth you. My job here is done.)


I guess you could say this is lying by misdirection and omission? I dunno. I tend to keep the bits on a need to know basis, and as far as most of these folk will likely ever need to concern themselves with, I’m a very feminine gay guy, which is what I’ve told them, and it’s the truth. I never said ‘I was born biologically male and am possessed of all the usual faculties’, but I know that’s what they assumed (I know cisfolk assume that man=male and I admit to freely taking advantage of that) so I led them to that conclusion. As much as it’s one of my goals to be out and educate people as much as possible, ‘pre-event party’ and ‘stress-hell kitchen’ is not a place I feel comfortable conducting Tranny 101. It works much much better one-on-one. Some of it will be done on Sundays, some of it will be done over Spring Break, some of it will be done in April and May (by which time there will hopefully be T involved…) And, Tranny Surprise is just FUN. Anyway with this particular social group, usefulness is of more importance than identity or preference: I can cook, clean, carry, sew, drive, make lists, and stay organized; I don’t make drama and I follow through on things. Sounds an awful lot like I’m just another decent hardworking human being.

Still bothers me a little that I’m doing something that could be called ‘transperson lying about their past’ and ‘hiding what I really am’ even though, no, really. Telling people, “No, I’m not a girl, I’m really a guy, I have a male name, I take male pronouns, I’m a gay man, I know I look pretty but that’s not my fault” is what I really am, it is honest, it’s the version of truth that will make the most sense to people who will just be confused if I start explaining about the difference between sex and gender and socialization and trans identities, and on and on. The best rationalization I can come up with is, I’m training them to use male pronouns, so when I finally do come out about it, they don’t need to change their habits. I won’t have changed; the only thing that changes is how much they know about me. And even that still bothers me, because I’m not being entirely up front and honest with people and, much as I keep the walls up in public, being honest and open is hugely important to me, and I’m not trying nearly hard enough most of the time… *sigh*. I don’t want to be a stealth tranny. I shouldn’t have to hide these things even from strangers. The Captain is an amazingly staunch supporter and good partner and I ❤ him all the more for it, but our I feel like our codes just don’t mesh on some things (and I’m working on being ok with that). Or maybe I’m just thinking too hard about this whole thing. And the world should be fair and good and nobody should ever feel guilt or fear. Castles in the sky.

Don’t mind Mr. Serious Tranny down here; this post wasn’t supposed to go that far into the rift. Just reread the excerpts above and laugh some more. That’ll go further towards fixing this poor world than any amount of ranting and reeducating.