Following my recent dip in personal opinion of myself and being overwhelmed by the absolute shame I have for myself I in turn receive a well deserved ‘right royal’ roasting from my girlfriend, regarding the way I am killing myself with cigarettes. Her argument which is well informed is this, because I’m abusing myself with cigs so much I am obviously killing myself slowly, in addition I’m also making it more difficult for my hormone medication to take effect. For those who doubt her take a look at this study – The effects of smoking on estradiol metabolism. The overall result is I’m making the doctor increasingly worried about me so much so I am being re-referred to CHX and more than likely will have to take more powerful medication.
This type of telling off is only delivered by someone who truly cares about you, it takes effort and love to bollock someone like that not to mention guts, especially when the bollocking could have a massive impact on the relationship. I’ve always said, love comes in hard and soft measures a like and this was the tough love I needed.
So I resolved to tackle my cig smoking one cig at a time, consciously cutting out cigs as the urge arose, ok it’s only day two but I’ve got the new logic stuck firmly in my head – I MUST STOP! This time I will do it, I have the right motivation, if I learn to love myself and properly accept myself, then I may have a fighting chance of seeing a ripe old age.
It’s strange how your mind set can easily move in a more positive state, the triggers can come from the strangest of places, but I do believe I’ve learnt another new way of thinking one that will hopefully teach me to love myself.
Before I went to bed I briefly watched Sky News and their review of the Sunday papers, they were about to cover a story about a new law allowing boys to wear skirts to school, quite simply gender neutral uniforms. They cut the story short as they ran out of time, this morning I searched for the story in the Time Online and read the bit they publish for free. Wanting to find out more I returned to search and found another article loosely related to it in the New Statesmen, as I slowly read the article it started a small shift in my thoughts on my trans nature and the shame I feel. Shame I must add I have felt all my life.
The article posted under the category feminism, spoke eloquently about Trousers for All a UK-wide group that campaigns to give girls the option of wearing trousers as part of their school uniform. However the writer of the article introduced much more pithy points pointing to the greater and wider significance of the whole concept. The article stated amongst other things
As is the case with so many seemingly trivial points of differentiation between men and women, what matters is not the thing in itself, but what it signifies. If the right to wear trousers had no broader meaning, women would not have had to fight for it, but fight for it they have. Trousers are associated with male privilege and dominance (hence the question “who wears the trousers?”)
This paragraph alone opened up a shift change in the way I look at myself. Really have I not been just a secret male chauvinist of the more gentlemanly type, my chauvinism reflected on myself first but then through to the women of the world? May the person who is more prejudice about me be me.
The idea that I am ashamed of myself because of what I wear or look like is really abhorrent on one hand but real on another, all the same it does have wider implications more than how I view myself. It is in many ways formed in fear of what other would think about me, as I’ve never truly had a proper and unbreakable defence of me being me, I have never really been able to properly be proud of simply the person I am. Seeing myself as weaker, inferior, second class, freakish, you name it – why because I am more womanly than the majority of natal males..
So really what’s my new line on this and what’s my defence if challenged or questioned.
Firstly let’s look at the common statements made about being trans
“It must be so hard to loose your masculinity” … my new response would be why? Is masculinity greater, more powerful, dominant, successful or better than femininity or are they equally strong in different ways. To say either is better or worse is wrong, so what I loose with one hand I gain with another. Would a natal female say she is any less of a person than a natal male? I doubt it. Nor would a natal male say he was any less of a person than a natal female. So how can it be that I am any less than either … I’m not.
“But your not a real woman, or real man that’s weird?” … I defy anyone to define accurately either real woman or man. Yes you can define sex, real male or female, but accurately define woman or man, not at all. I’m simply as we all are a real me, another variant of the human species, with traits as we all have of both gender stereotypes.
To conclude this long ramble that’s just the start of my learning about myself, I return to the article in the New Statesmen …
What really bothers me, though, is the one-sidedness of the approach. Why just trousers? Why not skirts, too? Why is it that, yet again, whatever the boys are doing is seen as the default thing, to which the girls should necessarily aspire?
I’m all for trousers for all, but let’s have skirts and dresses for all, too. This seems to me far more revolutionary, given that the “no skirts for boys” rule applies far beyond the school gates, and the only reason for its existence seems to be to assuage male anxiety about being a “proper” man.
What I have learnt from this period of my life is that none of us are proper men or proper women and that gender stereotypes are far, far more deeply engrained than any of us ever believed. Many people actually perpetuate the problem by decisions they make about themselves, limitations they put on themselves, things they must do or wear and assumptions they make about themselves and others. I ask this question why would someone have a problem about what someone was wearing, or looked like, do they draw the same questions about themselves, or do they never ask themselves who they really are?
More over why should I have a hang up about not being a ‘normal woman’ or ‘normal man’ when neither exists, on being asked in the future am I a man or a woman my answer will be neither. I am just like anyone else, a human being with a set of DNA that describes me first as male after who cares – I’m me. I have no idea who made the gender rules but I too am all in favour of trousers for all, and skirts and dresses for that matter. The line ‘who wears the trousers in your house’ came about eluding to the dominant force being the male of the household, I ask this, how many women would support a male being the dominant force in any situation, I guess most would opt for equality at very least.
Maybe I’m becoming a feminist, I doubt it, but maybe I’m becoming more of a balanced human whom at very least has had some really deep thoughts about who and what they are. Defining myself as what I do rather than what I look like.
All this of course is very well, living it is the next challenge, but I must value my life, each and every day of it, appreciate the smallest things and climb over the challenges. I must also appreciate not everyone will like me or love me, but some will, either forever or for a short period, some may not be able to be with me, share my company, work with me or share recreational time with me – but some may. These are all their choices, but at the end of it all I owe it to myself to be true to me, to make the most of who I am, to accept just as with age we loose strength but can gain wisdom, being trans I lose some things yes but nature will ensure I gain in other areas of life to compensate.
I simply have to keep re-affirming to myself there is nothing wrong with me, any adverse reaction towards me says more about the individual reacting to me than it does about me.