Wednesday, March 27, 2013

November of 2010 I wrote: "It's the people who believe this stuff that scare me."

I am those people now, and it's awesome.  I meditate, have visions, read runes as part of my research praxis, and feel so much more at home in my skin that I ever could have imagined.

Part of that is working out, and part of it is being on a right path. It's terrifying, but right.

I have come so far, and these moments of clarity are overshadowed by moments of realization at the distances I have traveled.

I'm doing good.

There's awful things happening at my university though, and I have a meeting today to try to figure some of it out.  I'd like to figure out what's happening for other people, especially people I care about, but maybe I can at least figure out what's happening for me.

Gender is a complicated thing. There is a new book out called Sex/Gender:Biology in a Social World! It is a pretty decent primer and covers biology and socialization theory. It just came out this year.

Why is it relevant? Well, this is the second coming-out for me, and it has to come along with a major apology to my ex-spouse, which I am afraid has to be public as well,  not in the interests of self glorification, or self abatement, but simply in the interests of truth telling.

The catalyst in my coming-out and getting thrown out of the house was a book by Paul Monette, called Becoming A Man.  I was asked if I planned to become a man, and denied it, but admitted to being a lesbian.

I bent a lot around gender in the early years, but it was easier to catch the interest of the people I was interested in, butches and GQ folk, when I dressed as a girl/femme. It was reasonably easy to put on the clothes and makeup, I like sparkles, love makeup, and have no trouble with getting attention, or being told I am pretty, who would?

The trouble came later, when my unacknowledged gender-essentialism started surfacing. Butches do such-and-such, femmes do such-and-such. I had taken it out of biological determinism, and stopped applying it to particular genitals, but I had not stopped applying behaviours or modes of dress to roles, and trying to reinforce them in myself, and in my life...

Here's where the apology comes in. I had no right to have any expectations of my partner's behaviour, gender, role, or identity. That was appalling, and the fact that I had no idea I was doing it, and that it stemmed from my own terror of who I am , and my own confusion about my own identity, is neither here nor there. I am truly sorry.

Who you are, and how you present yourself to the world is entirely yours. I should have had nothing to say about that, and it should have had no bearing on my identity. My insecurity in my own identity was mine to solve not yours. Again, my shit, and I am sorry.

I needed clear delineations for myself within which I was safe, and yet, every time I ran into those I got mad. I know it was rough, and I hope you can believe that I didn't know why. I never meant to hurt you. Not in a million years would I have wanted to do damage to that sweet glacier-eyed butch who stole my heart. I thought I was supporting you, because it would have been supporting me to do those things, to let me "be the man" or what I thought a man was. I was sacrificing so much, and it hurt that you couldn't see it, because I didn't know what it was, and I couldn't articulate it.

I was giving you my chance to be a man, and I had no idea. Put in writing it is so insane a concept it hardly bears repeating. My dreams are mine, and I am sorry for putting them on you.

I was hurting and angry because of the bonds I put on myself, and I was jealous of your ability to move between worlds. When I could have been listening to and supporting you, I wasn't, I was blinded by my own unseen unhappiness and fear.

So we get to the crux of the matter, I am femme, and I am a man. In a female body. which is partly why it took a long time to figure it out as well.  No objection to makeup, girls clothes or pink.

I have transgender, transsexual, and gender queer friends.  I have watched and supported people through transition, so why the terror I feel over this?

One, I have a history in my family of being sent away, culminating in being kicked out for being queer. I am afraid to lose the people I love. Two, I ruined a marriage over this, more history of losing people. Three, I have a partner I adore, who is a lesbian, and we are both worried that this change might herald the end of our romantic interest for each other.