~ Its always about the power! ~

10 Nov

Hello there!

What I am increasingly enjoying about my not caring about binary gender expectation, and also in playing the system to suit myself, the result being that I feel, at least a little, more in control and with more personal power than I had before.  What I deeply feel is that any expression of transgender feelings should be primarily about gaining more control – control over your body and control over how you experience being transgender. You may perhaps loose control over your finances, loose cis-status and associated gender privileges of course, but you may attempt to minimise this loss of power by gaining more control over your personal identity. In time this control may result in more confidence or offset the loss of control over other aspects of one’s life. 

For instance, currently, due to my remaining androgyny and choice of feminine blazers, I do sometimes hear comments directed towards me, such as “OMG, that’s so obviously a guy”. Now…if I were to turn around and say in a feminine voice “I am a woman, whats your problem?” then they’d laugh and I’d be the typical man-in-a-dress transwoman. The tired-old cliche re-confirmed. But if I turn around and happen to make some random conversation with my male voice, without any reference to seeing myself as feminine, then all of a sudden I have more control.

It re-asserts my right to male-privilege, plus I potentially make them feel stupid for assuming that I was a “trannie”, so I basically take them off-guard, giving them  response the opposite that they might be smugly expecting. They’d be expecting me to be a typical non-passing transwoman, the type that the media simply adores to portray,  and because of such idiotic and damaging assumptions can result in abuse and discrimination, I want to try to avoid those by subverting expectations.

And THAT is what I feel transition should also be about, not just about the self-realisation and need to outwardly express your innate gender, but about how to gain more personal power over your existence.  Adapting your circumstances to your advantage and presenting yourself in a way that may successfully navigate a world not in-tune with how you may feel. Play the system instead of letting it play you, basically.

You may argue that Transgender people in this day and age have been dealt a bad hand to play with. As someone who increasingly sees themselves, I’m increasingly aware of the potential pitfalls of breaking gender conformity & seen to be being visibly doing so. Thus I’m more than happy to play this (arguably) bad hand as I like, even if  some may call this “cheating” or perhaps my lacking in my gender conviction.  However I’d counter these accusations with – why should I be honest with strangers and the general public who obviously don’t and most likely wouldn’t care or take the time to understand my gender perception? If I am honest with myself and those I am close with about my gender, then that’s where my wider responsibility ends in that respect. 

A case in point was when I was dressed in a home-made Victorian bustle dress and was travelling on the tube to a Japanese rock gig (which incidentally featured some rather fetching crossdressing musicians). I was travelling with friends, and enjoying the journey, however we disagreed upon my reaction to some looks by fellow passengers. The disagreement hinged on the fact that I tend to say passers-by (if asked) that I’m dressing up as female for charity, simply because I like the clothes, or just for a laugh, instead of telling them its because its to do with my gender presentation. I don’t see why I should need to tell them the actual reason as A: they probably wouldn’t understand, and B: their reaction may well be hostile regardless. Thus, I give an answer that simplifies my reason for the benefit of understanding, its more socially acceptable and also more subverts their expectations as to how I’ll react. So my resulting interaction with these people may start off as frosty as they may not approve of or understand my presentation, but may well warm and become cordial when I present my non-conformity as something they can relate to more and which may not seem as aggressive. Usually, I end up having a warm and friendly conversation with them. I doubt, though, whether they would still be as cordial if I were to say “its because female presentation is part of my identity” or “I see myself as part female”, etc.

Most of the public of the UK might well be familiar with crossdressing comedians and/or friends/acquaintances who may wish to crossdress for a fancy dress party for instance. So a related answer may ensure a more palatable response. There’s less chance of being ridiculed and therefore  more chance of getting through the day without incident. And as for the issue of “standing up for oneself and their beliefs” – I consider that my dressing up as the “other” gender whilst in full public view in order to express my identity is massively standing-up for what I believe in! But I don’t have to complicate that statement by needing to tell people the full story.

In order to change society, I feel that the best way is to buck the system and undermine it one step at a time, almost subliminally until the transition between the old way of thinking and the new way is almost expected without much disagreement. One or two trans* people stating their real reason for cross-gender presentation to strangers isn’t going to change society, no matter how honest the intention. As with most landslide changes in social customs and human systems, changes tend to be gradual and only really become openly addressed / accepted when the issue or custom has to be un-avoidably addressed on a global scale. Issues from climate change to infectious diseases to equality all have had to reach an explosive point before the world is forced to accept the issue and deal with it. With diseases, the issue may only be openly explored in the mainstream when it may reach pandemic proportions. Then is the time to be open and honest with the public at large. Until then, however, one of the only ways to slowly build awareness without huge risk to the individuals involved, may be to put the point across in a way that the current mode of thinking can understand. To make it seem less like a leap to understand. One step to understanding should lead to another, instead of sea-changes which seem to make the public feel scared like the world is running away, and thus the public strikes out at those who are rocking the status-quo. If you stand-up like a nail you WILL be knocked down. 

In the novel and film(s) of “Nineteen Eighty Four”, we are introduced to Julia and Winston, the two major characters in the story. Winston believes in an all-out revolution whereby the repressive regime will be destroyed in one fell swoop upon the awakening of the repressed classes. Winston believes that this revolution must be looked forward too, whenever it may take place. Julia however, thinks rather differently. She believes that the regime being so complex and the repressive culture so entrenched in its citizens, that a mass revolution will never happen, and so the only way to stand-up to the regime and undermine it is to rebel quietly and individually. Unlike Winston, she actively participates in the schemes of the regime, whilst simultaneously  and covertly rebelling against it with the personal acts she commits. Her “revolution” happens every time she commits an act of defiance against the regime. Even if her little defiances are not also to be secretly perpetrated by others, her rebellion will still be valid and resonant to her. As she sees it there is no hope of revolution in her lifetime, so the only way to undermine the system is to commit personal acts of treachery, deception and rebellion.

This is the way I see gender transition as having to unfold in our day and age – it HAS to be personal, it has to be tailored to the individual and the transition should definitely not be about conforming to the same regimes & expectations that may well be one of the fundamental reasons for your problems in the first place.

Transitioning from one restrictive binary box to the other is simply perpetuating the gender divide and binary mindset that is a major component in persisting issues such as transphobia and gender inequality.

But back to attaining more personal power – If I did transition pass to a certain degree as a woman – I’d still want to be listed as male on my passport, I’ll keep my deep voice, I’ll continue to very firmly shake hands in the traditionalu up-standing male way, etc etc. Why? Because I’ll being constantly subverting people’s assumptions. They’ll think when they see me “oh I know you’re a man, haha”. And when I tell them “yep, I’m a man. Did I ever say I was a woman?” Then what leverage do they have? I’ve played them at their own game. I hate people thinking that they know me by my appearance. I love to talk about how much I fancy girls when Im looking very feminine. Its not an act, its fun to see their confusion as they were thinking “Oh, I thougt he was gay”. And I’m thinking inside “haha, get fucked. You see! You know shit-all about me”.

Unlike alot of transitioners who blended in 100% with others of their birth sex pre-transition, I’ve always had questions raised about my gender not being man enough, etc etc, so I already know what its like to have reduced male privelege. And I don’t wish to go back to that, unless I have some increased personal power over this.

The doctor said to me “well, if it hurt not being seen as a male, then how will you feel in-control if you started to look more female whilst on hormones?” And I said, that when I was younger and androgynous – I had no control over the process at all. However, this time round I would be in more control of the process. It would be my choice,and this helps to give a sense of power of proceedings.

Take suicide for example. If someone was feeling suicidal, and a doctor said to them “OK, can I inject you with a terminal illness, then?” The person who most likely say no, but might still go on to kill themselves. Why? Because the suicide is an act of taking control. Being diagnosed with a disease isn’t controllable by your wishes. But planning suicide to your own specification is. Once again, it all goes back to needing to have power when feeling powerless. A person with no power over their lives can still hold ultimate power over their life by having the potential to take their own life. And transition to me, can be similar, especially in my case.

I’ll never be a manly guy, so instead of spending a lifetime trying to run after this ideal – buying shoes two sizes bigger to make my feet the male average, wearing two pairs of jeans to thicken out my legs etc, and thus having no control, I might as well control how I experience this feeling of inadequacy.

You have turn a weakness into a strength. That’s what I feel I’ve done. My exasperated and broken male identity has been actively replaced by a stronger, more increasingly well-rounded feminine identity. If this hadn’t of happened, then I’d continue to be a depressed and broken man. Instead, I’ve jumped ship. Perhaps my whole feminine identity is a construct, but if it is, then it’s what powering me forward in life, and therefore its a force for good. I’ve adapted to my situation and may thrive as a result.

Why I Fear I May Become a Gender-Bending Miss Havisham

4 Apr

Righty ho, this is likely to be a cheery post than usual as, well I’m not sure why, but bare with me. What always ties me in knots when writing blog posts is the fact that my mind asks “why?”, “why are you typing out what you have already thought?” My brain doesn’t seem to comprehend that thinking about an action, or something to say, will not make it manifest. Sadly, this is not Inception. But, still my brain seems to assume that if I think about the subject, then somehow it’s been done. It’s real. And therefore there’s no point typing. Bizarre.

Anyway – Great Expectations and Miss Havisham’s character, onwards!

I borrowed a novel from the library, it caught my eye with the usual immediacy I notice when confronted by any book that calls itself “historical fiction” and features a period-dressed lady on the front. Guaranteed read.

The general idea of reading is to loose your bearings and get lost in the story, without the issues of having to get lost in adventure in real-life – which would invariably lead to being declared missing and having to answer to the Old Bill when you eventually turn up again. Annoyingly, the more I read about Miss Havisham, the more I see similarities with her and myself.

Catherine Havisham sees much logic in stopping the controllable passage of time, in order to negate the effects of emotional trauma. Thus she, rather theatrically, literally halts time in her house by literally ceasing the clocks, and wearing the same wedding-day attire as she wore when her terrible news was broken to her. Her cracked and warped, yet oddly reasonable reasoning dictates that whilst she can’t change her past, return to it or un-learn her painful discovery – she can control the present by re-asserting the past as present.

So far, so “1984”, (I’m sure that in some corner of the universe, if there happens to be meet & greet sessions – with drinks and nibbles -for fictional characters , O’Brien and Havisham may get along very well, based on their whole “he who controls the past, controls the future…” ideas).

Havisham then embarks on a scheme to train a neglected girl into a male ego and heart killing machine, a femme fatale for an era when femme fatales wore poke-bonnets and not high heels. She carries out this scheme as to make a belated strike to man-kind (not woman-kind) in reparation for being jilted by her lover on her wedding day. So far, this sounds completely as far removed from my situation as ever…. but apply some imagination and some finger-nibbling worry, and you could have this scenario – which if made into a film – could be called: “Inspired by Great Expectations. Well. Sort of. (ish)”.

I suffer “emasculation trauma” as a child, however this trauma doesn’t surface consciously until I’ve started cross-dressing & imagining my voice as female when reading, or expecting that I should have hips, and all that jazz. I stumble along as male, but sooner or later I get dumped, divorced or loose my job at which point I loose all faith in my masculinity, suffer a crisis and let my mysterious feminine ego take the reigns. I can’t let go of feeling anger and resentment towards the males I feel I can never be as good as, and at the women who I feel see me as inferior. (My equivalent of Miss Havisham’s instance on keeping the house as it was on the wedding day, and later on, trying to extract revenge by proxy on a new generation).

I take hormones and quickly sterilise myself (my equivalent of Miss Havisham letting herself rot away in her house). I’ve stopped the clock on my masculinity, severing it and leaving at the exact state of masculinisation that it was in the form of when I started HRT. 
But I’m not quite feminine, not quite masculine, a sort of ghost of the two. I still feel attached to my masculinity and feel it was taken from me, so perhaps I even keep a room in my house just for those belongings to gather dust and fester.

I enjoy my stunted femininity & feeling free from the “great expectations” of masculinity, however, in-time, I feel an ache to have a child, but alas, I can’t, so I adopt! And I adopt a boy, who I fashion into a chap whom I design to be androgynous of mind, yet with an outward strong masculinity designed to  attract ladies. However, he will be taught to distrust women, so he will lead them on and then drop them so he can mock their power which women have over men. And thus his masculinity will never be shattered, as was mine. If ever a lady was to regretfully break through to him, and potentially wound him – his internal sense of androgyny would be impervious to emasculation. A job well done, and a revenge well executed.


So I guess my biggest concerns now are A: not to let this happen and B: potentially work this idea into a short film. A gender-bending variation of “Great Expectations”. Over and out.

The answer!

12 Jan

Ok, so I’m going straight into a ramble.

I think I know what’s happened to me, and I think I understand it now, and I think….yes, I do believe I am OK with it. If the shits hits the fan because of this, then of course I will get angry with the powers that be up there. Wow, I find it soooo hard to write anything, or express myself, this is REALLY ridiculous.

Ok, I just can’t do it. Im trying to write a simple bog post and the words won’t come out.

To sum up (drum role please):

I was born a boy. Didn’t mind but wasn’t very boyish. Steroids stunted growth. Kids and parents made me feel inferior. Some said I looked like a girl. I felt bad. In secondary school I felt emasculated. Alastair further made me feel inferior and weaker. Over the past two decades this has crystalised inside me, and I’ve absorbed the jibes about being feminine, to the point where it’s become me. And in recent years Ive come to explore it. Now I’ve come to like it.

And that’s where we are at the moment. I wasn’t a girl when I was born, I don’t think I had any gender issues. But things in my life, including in my own head, have made me identify with being feminine. Now that my body is defining itslef as very male, I’m freaked out and that’s triggered the gender dysphoria. So for the first time, my body doesn’t match my personality or mind.

But would I want a therapist to spend years re-programming my brain back to how it was when I was a boy and happy? Hmmmmm. For some reason, I don’t want that. I have distanced myself so much from masculinity in many ways that I do feel I’m too far gone and I’m not really fussed about joining the man club again.

So I think, quite literally, it is possible to alter someone’s actual sense of their gender by social means. Alienate them enough and they may internalise the feelings. Then own them. And then love them.

I used to hate being mistaken for a girl when I was a kid. Now I whenever it happens (and it does randomly for some reason) I love it.

I guess to protect myself, I’ve absorbed the criticisms & mistaken identity, and to get over it – I’ve learned to love it.

I’m reading a book about Titanic survivors. And with alot of the survivors, the disaster defined the rest of their lives. They would continue being victims but surviving. The same life patterns over and over. I do feel we influence our own journies.

So with me I think I’ve gotten so upset by not feeling manly enough, that I’ve taken the self-hate and adapted it into a new personality. Ive taken the sting out of it by learning to enjoy it.

There are cases where people who have been abused tend to get their kicks out of being put in the same situations. The film A Dangerous Method (which I watched a few weeks ago) exactly demonstrates this phenomenon. Keira Knightley’s character was abused as a girl, she was spanked. As she never got over it, over time she internalised it, and now she gets pleasure from being spanked in the same way she was when she was a child. Her mind learned to cope by controlling the feelings. It became a positive part of her personality as such – a horrible act turned into pleasure.

With me – I think that because I feel SOOOOOO inferior as a man, that in order to cope and function as a useful human, my brain has learned to enjoy these feelings of feeling weaker than other men, and so has created a female persona. By doing this, I feel like I’m controlling my sense of shame. When I dress up I feel validated as feminine, and I enjoy feeling delicate and frail, as this is what people used to say I was when I was a kid. So my brain has turned my inferiority into a positive expression.

So do I want to be cured? Hmmmmmm. Its been two decades since I last enjoyed feeling male fully, and feeling integrated with people. I don’t think I want to be cured as I don’t want to become a man. I’m too scared of it. Its my ultimate fear I think, to have to come to terms with being a man, and being a short guy with no hair, being perceived as inferior. Accepting that this is my lot in life.

I’d rather play my own game, and be inferior in my own way, a way which I control. As a transgender I’d be considered inferior definitely, but I’d feel happy looking feminine, thus I’d be in control of my feelings. I didnt choose to be a short guy but I chose to be a transexual, if you see what I mean? I’d still be propogating the negative underlying issue from all those years ago, but putting a genuine positive spin on it. A lifelong coping mechanism.

Its all about control, owning who you are, and moulding it as you need too. I dont have control over who I am as a man. But I could create myself a woman, with whatever degree of success. And that control could give me a sense of power of myself that I’ve never had.

I really feel that at the very core of my being, is this crushing insecurity, emasculation and inferiority. And Im not sure I want to address all that. I’d rather plaster over the cracks with my own vision of myself. A completely created vision. I do genuinely want to rebuild myself as I see fit now.

I realise that even if I get facial surgery and the hormones make me have a girly face, and I get nice hips, and become a pretty passable woman, I’ll still not be happy deep dpwn. I’ll still feel inferior. But it could be damn better than being a thirty-something balding man in therapy for years trying to be convinced that I’m a viable man damnit.

I’d have no control of that. But I would have more control over rebuilding myself into the vision I’ve developed of myself. And seeming that not many people want to make my films, work with my ideas or fully back my plans, or appreciate my whimsy – i’ll concentrate on making myself as pretty as possible and putting all my effort into making myself my best creation.

 

Why Everyone Secretly Hates Femininity. But Tolerates Squirrels.

2 Aug

Wow. Four days in a row. I’ve never had this level of output consistency. …Oh I missed writing yesterday :-p so business as usual it seems. I appreciate the commendations my posts have been getting, despite the fact that my thoughts simply tumble onto the page a*rse first like a text-based Top Gear stunt. Your pc may decide to explode like one of their abused caravans. It may not. Onto the post. I can’t illustrate this post really with anything relevant, so  instead I’m going to punctuate with it pictures of unusual stuff that has gloriously no relevance to the actual post.

This post combines a bit of the usual bloody gender stuff….but also with a discussion on how femininity may have been & may be perceived using the Japanese Lolita street-fashion as an example towards the end. I’ve had my perspectives shifted alot during the past two years of crossdressing & filming Lolita fashion & it’s followers. It’s highlighted certain ways of thinking by males and females & society at large about how expressions of femininity are understood & interpreted. And, to be honest, I feel that femininity has been utterly corrupted in recent times. Masculinity has no’t come off well either. It’s as if both expressions have been warped & have been caricatured into grotesque versions of what they were. Femininity is either exploited or mis-interpreted I feel. Naturally, there is no clear answer to this and this is just my very much none academic opinion.

Our time is not the first time in history that genders and gender expression has been skewed, so I guess it’s business as usual for the human race. In the mid-Victorian era in particular women were seen as the deviant sex, the sex most likely to be corrupted & prone to corrupting others. (Medical journals of the time proclaim such statements). Hence females were viewed with a quiet suspicion & as a result were restricted in society in order to protect society. In Shakespearean times, this was also the general consensus. Femininity was led by the devil and men would be corrupted by feminine wiles. It’s almost hilarious to imagine such thinking but existed. These days I feel that femininity is still negative but it’s changed into a different negative. People are less afraid. More just dismissive.

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Only briefly in the early 19th century came almost….almost…a friggin’ almost a balance and a clarity of thought about the genders & how masculinity and femininity were two states to be more openly appreciated. Women became more integrated into the lives of men (who of course still outwardly ruled the world) & were viewed with less suspicion (partly evident by the comparative freedom of dress that they were allowed to wear). Corsets & stays were largely discarded & clothes were not as restrictive as they had been. Women were not in fabric and steel cages as they had been before. Part of the Roman inspired fashions of the Regency period were of course alot to do with reflecting the changing political attitudes of Europe towards more democratic & progressive aspirations & attitudes. The ancient republics were drawn upon to symbolise this and of course fashion followed – hence the overt classical references in women’s dress. Oh and of course, as ever, 90% of the rest of the population just went along with it as it was simply in fashion, never mind the multiple overtones. I wonder if Primark would ever get that deep? Emmm…no.

Anywho, this is all relevant, so bare with me. A bit more. My point is that femininity was something to be appreciated without having to be scared of it or feel the need to box it off, or wanting to sexualise it to the point of caricature as is what has happened. In tandem to this, unlike today, there wasn’t this need to define someone by a stereotyped sex from birth. Boys wore dresses and wore bows till they were around 5-7 years of age. The idea behind this form of parenting apparently was to simply celebrate the softness & latent power of youth as expressed through feminine overtones of the clothing. Men (and of course I mean society gents as working class people could hardly were anything but rags whilst tilling fields or oiling early stationary steam engines) also wore clothes that referenced the feminine silhouette.

Why? well…. i guess they were biased that an hourglass figure does look better than a figure that resembles a 80’s Volvo Estate or a standard cardboard box. And I agree.  But also, once again it was to with expressing more of a balance between femininity and masculinity. So the theory goes, and it is backed up to some degree by accounts of how males and females could have more integrated lives than later in the century & both femininity and masculinity were still respected. Of course women still didn’t have any rights, and men still held all the cards, but the important thing was – both femininity and masculinity were respected and they had their place. And that place wasn’t fixed. Thus there wasn’t as much negativity or strict segregation and identification of the genders.

ImageBy the mid 19th century however, mindsets were changing fast. There had been a recession in Europe, and when that happens, morale lowers and sh*t hits the fan. The masses tend to retreat into what they know. What feels safe. What feels controllable. Males and females began being separated further into distinct and immovable gender roles, not just by law and by physical gender but, crucially, in the mindset of the public. The old stereotype of un-emotional men in their sober suits who worked, only socialised with their male friends, whilst women became encased in increasingly ridiculous (though bloody pretty to look at I have to confess) fabric & steel based caricatures of their form & be severely regulated.

Femininity in men would become associated with solely negative connotations – homosexuality, effeminacy, weakness and foppishness. And dodgy cravats. Femininity in women to be associated with – sexual submissiveness, perversion, hysteria, weakness, & a tendency to faint constantly in period dramas. Femininity in children….well that was OK. For a bit. Until for boys – they turned into MEN at a grand old age of perhaps 10. And girls – femininity was to attract a chap. The earlier the better.

So whilst masculinity kicked ass and was something to be admired, femininity kind of just reserved for f*cking or being f*cked with. And that is how it’s remained. No seriously. It has. And this is where it gets controversial 🙂 (unless of course you are a qualified historian and also think what I’ve written so far has been complete bollocks. In which case correct me in private pretty please).

So, on to why things haven’t changed since back in the days when the sun was lit by gas-light and steam trains weren’t called Thomas:

Whilst feminism has empowered women, it’s distanced empowerment of women away from the concept of femininity as a positive attribute of a female. Femininity in a woman is still seen as weak and in danger of submission. So women can be strong. But femininity still weak. (there deserves a whole paragraph on this clarification but then this post would be a mammoth length, so you’ll have to trust me that I’m aware as much as any vaguely switched-on person that there are many different interpretations of femininity, however as you’ll see further down, aping masculinity’s blunt aggression is not one of them).

Whilst men now on the whole seem to respect women, femininity still simply equals sex or submissive weakness on the whole (though I must admit, there seem to be alot more young males out there that seem to be far more open-minded to the idea of equal sexes). Bows, frills, perfume, flowers, softness. All equal sex generally however, especially in the media & in marketing. Femininity in men is also still seen as well, like, totally gay yeh? And whilst homosexuality is tolerated now and even celebrated, it’s not still not exactly accepted as a positive lifestyle choice. And ultimately…it all comes down to sex & being seen as submissive.

So once again – in 2012. Femininity seems to be all about sex and submission and all that jazz. Way to go.

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But how do I know this? Well, I can’t whip out a history degree or a social degree. But I feel this to be largely the case in general because of the reactions I witnessed whenever I come out as a crossdresser and increasingly as someone who feels I may be a  bit more than that.

The first reaction I get when I say I want to explore my femininity…and I kid ye not, this is the number one comment;  “so you want to date men, then”.  This comment of course that basically boils down to….yep, sex. And submission.

The second reaction is that I notice that respect for me instantly lowers much of the time. As if I’ve suddenly whipped out a signed Justin Bieber CD collection & asked them to play it. There’s no denying it. And it’s most likely happening subcontiously in their minds. Probably, because they may have been conditioned to read femininity as weak. I’ve now become a fairy, someone who isn’t being responsible, someone who can’t take control of their life etc etc. That sort of thing. With infinite variations and associations & assumptions about my character.

The scary thing though is that the worst reactions tend to be by women who know me well. Men simply see my choice as something unusual and a bit daft and funny. They usually assume they automatically now have dominance over me socially, thus I most likely subconsciously enhance their sense of their own masculinity. Women however seem to have alot of trouble processing what I’m saying. The reactions tend to be one of puzzlement, deeply troubled even. “Why would you want to do that?” is the expression I notice. Which is interesting….if you consider that if you were to meet a person that wants to join your “side”, you may likely congratulate them on their fantastic choice. After-all, they have chosen YOUR side to stick with over their own.

However this doesn’t tend to be what they think as their vocal reactions certainly don’t reflect that. The general reaction is that I am a weak male, not dating material due to weak character, wouldn’t be able to hold my own in an argument with a rowdy stapler let alone win a contract at work above my colleagues etc.
Now, if I were to be exhibiting the hallmarks of a weak male…that would imply that my wanting to be feminine equals a coming-down in the gender pecking order…. That masculinity is above femininity in the rankings. If a woman thinks that then unknowingly she may be putting her own sex down without actually realising it.

But I don’t feel annoyed by this any-more. Nor do I take it personally. Although my own respect for that person’s self awareness lowers dramatically. I see it as conditioning by society that femininity equals weakness. And they have been brought up to believe that. Use femininity to sell sex by all means, but not for anything else as it’s as weak as Dutch lager (yes that’s a Red Dwarf gag).

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But you could argue, that modern women don’t need to imbue femininity. Maybe it could be seen as redundant and thus an undesirable attribute. However this automatically promotes masculinity to the de facto state of mind. And… whilst it may be a shocker… biological men tend to do masculinity better than women. Given that they are male and all and all. Trying to manufacture masculinity to prove your sex is as strong makes no sense as it devalues your own product, and thus you simply re-inforce the stereotype of femininity and females being weaker then masculininity and men. And the cycle repeats. Over centuries.

Both states and genders have strengths and weaknesses. A combination of both genders in a country can create balance. A combination of masculinity and femininity in a person can create balance, which can lead to a more well-rounded individual. You can identify as male or female as your gender identity and still have a balance of femme and masculine qualities. What’s the point of a world with big machines & lots of force if it constantly tries to blow itself up all the time. And conversely of course, a world where there may be so much harmony & respect for the environment that nothing actually gets built and we continue living in caves building TV sets out of sticks. I’m speaking very simplistically here because I’m not very bright, and this blog is getting looooong, but you get the picture.

Both masculinity and femininity have their place. Both do not need to feel ashamed of each other. Femininity in women & men should be celebrated without the negative connotations or connections with submissive sex.  Both should be just as valued in this world. As do the people.

But it’s hard to grasp this. And it a balance will never happen. And we all are conditioned to think like everyone else, until we are challenged. For me, my challenge was coming to terms with the fact that I don’t feel fully happy being male. And that meant exploring what that meant. And that has progressed with me realising that I have potentially more inclination to femininity than masculinity. And all that has meant that I’ve spent alot of time dressing up in stuff not meant for me and being in weird-ass situations that have made me feel & look like a bit of dick.

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See what I mean. Sexualisation. Even of squirrels. 

However, I can now make some pretty valid observations that some of men and women may not be able to fathom. And probably won’t be able to understand. I’m not going to outline everyone here, except this one: I was once a caveman in thought regarding women, and in many ways I still have those ingrained thought patterns. My first experience of Lolita fashion was when I bought items for a girlfriend. To my mind back then – it went like this “Ooo frills.Bows.Sexy…SEX!” And that was it. No appreciation for it other than that.

I had become accustomed to seeing overt femininity or softness as something to signify an open invitation for sex. No matter that Lolita fashion (despite that bloody name for it, which really, REALLY needs to change) actually can be about expressing the softness and creativity of femininity in a modern & assertive way. Nope, it’s still seen as being all about the sex. Which is a big shame, as it’s an example of all of the above. I think differently now, now that I have finally re-wired my brain to not associate everything feminine with sexual pay-off. And, amazingly, it’s still possible to remain straight and do that. It simply meant removing as much of the social conditioning bullshit regarding that as possible. It’s hard to do, and I’m still male and still human, and still straight, but I value femininity in it’s own right. I suspect that most women still do, but don’t publicise the fact for fear of immediately being a target as being seen as weak or submissive by men and women alike. And certainly a feminine male or transwoman seems to be a step too far for most.

But it is possible to be kick-ass and in charge one minute, and genuinely soft & emotional the next. For a male or female. This may seem obvious and this post pointless, but really from what I’ve experienced over the past two years…. there’s still a massive mis-understanding of what femininity is. And I’ll be buggered if I know what to do to indisputably prove that or fix it. Maybe you can.

ImageThis last picture I genuinely find quite endearing. It’s from
http://amberalexander.typepad.com/weblog/2010/03/squirrel-painting-olive.html

Good night 🙂 

It was acceptable in the ’80’s. The 1880’s?

31 Jul

Surprisingly only 48 hours later, I’m back writing again. Which is amazing as I NEVER finish anything I start. I get fed-up. I don’t have faith in it. I abort it, like it’s an unwanted alien foetus. I’ve had some very generous comments about my writing, which was surprising, so I hope this will be as interesting.

Thank Cod (& I don’t use the word of that sacred..and overfished…fish lightly) for the musical duo; Boards of Canada. Their ambient soundtracks convey any world I wish to inhabit at any time. They got me through my dissertation on the rather dry subject of 3d multi-camera technology. And they allow me to immerse myself in fantasies. Currently I’m listening to this mesmerising track – “Muckinabaht” (haha, take that spell-check!) which conjures up images of stumbling upon a faded 1950’s ballroom on abandoned ocean liner. Check it out – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIY0c_OmcOY

Right now I’m mulling over why I feel I’ve lost a connection to the late Victorian era. I feel I’ve lost many connections over the past few months. My mind is like a bank (or “monitor stack” for those of you who work in TV) of hundreds of monitors, and one-by-one since November their vibrant screens have been replaced by un-relenting static. One such feed to disappear has been my age-old connection to Victorian & Edwardian femininity which has haunted me quietly since I was around 10…. although my mum has confirmed that one of the little oddball things I used to do when I was 7 was stare for ages at an oval portrait of a Victorian lady in a bustle dress.

I recently found the portrait at home. The lady wears a green dress in the 1880’s “natural form” style. If I were organised, I would include said picture in this very post, to illustrate the anecdote. Alas. I don’t have a plan. And so I didn’t. And so there isn’t a picture. But there will be….at some point in another post, probably unrelated.

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(A fashion plate depicting the short-lived natural form style which became popular from around the late 1870’s to mid 1880’s, before dying out & being replaced by the “hard-bustle” IE: the style that made a woman look either like a snale or a generous bottomed Goddess depending on your view). 

Anywho. My question is – why does a chap born in the 1980’s somehow feel an affinity for a gender I’ve never experienced and a time I’ve never lived in? Maybe its a past-life, maybe it’s just my over-achieving imagination. But…grrrr & argh, it’s so intriguing & confusing. I always feel an odd sense of melancholy when I read about young women from those eras’ or see their pictures. Sort of feels like I may have lost something but it’s too unpronounced to trace it’s source. I damn well felt kick-ass and more powerful and more energised when I dressed up as a pseudo-Victorian woman (on a VERY limited budget & with little skill). Many crossdressers like to feel weak & powerless when they dress up, but I feel the opposite. And if I’m in a tight-laced corset and a bustle dress…I feel I can *cue Jeremy Clarkson voice* conquer The World. The BBC. Even my chocolate addiction. And possibly The Stig on the race track.

There is also something deeply moving & poignant about being a woman in those times I feel. I don’t seem to care about women from any other era. As I tell my mum who loves the 1920’s and ’30’s and ’40’s “I don’t do Art Deco. Art Nouveau is as far as I go.” Yep, it’s all about the 1870 – 1914 for me. Yes I am that specific. I may even throw in a month – March 1914 there you go – just to be super OCD.

Image (That’s a picture of me taken a few months ago wearing my favourite flared dress…erm…honest… Anyway, I’m sorta smiling as I was excited about Panasonic’s newly released 3d television camcorder – the AG-3DP1, even though I knew I couldn’t afford it. Actually…)


(…the Panasonic AG-3DP1. Panasonic’s first fixed-lens 3d camcorder for broadcast use, available for £30,000 squid. Good camera, nice convergence control which helps to create usable 3d pictures. Though the fixed lens limits what you can get a decent picture of – closeups or wide shots? Forget it.  I have used it at the Olympics on tests though and it worked ok. Hopefully I am the first blog to combine a a brief TV camera review WITH a discussion on skewed gender AND turn-of-the-(last)-century fashion for ladies).

There’s just something so awesome & powerful about the depiction of femininity within those times. Yep, It must have been fairly repressive and a bit pants to be a woman from any class of those eras (though I must say if someone offered me a life where I got to stand around looking decorative & hold social events every year I would trip over my servant in my rush to have that).

That is all I can say really. I don’t have any analysis. After the general ambience of antique femininity floated around for a few years, I managed to get quite close to feeling quite connected on a more physical level. Yes, all crossdressing is essentially is wearing some fabric with a bit of social meaning embossed onto it, but it certainly seemed to shift my perspective on things. I also for a very short space of time managed to perfect putting my hair into one of those Edwardian up-do’s which I think look amazing. It felt wonderful to re-create their hairstyle on me, very natural, and it felt “right”.

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(oh. And. One of my first “roll models” before I even became aware I was seeing them as such, was this lady. I can’t find the damn name for the painting, the artist, or it’s date (though I guess it’s around the 1870 – 1890 mark, due to her costume & it looks like an Impressionist painting). I used to imagine I was this lady whilst serving in many catering establishments. Finally last October I cut my hair EXACTLY like it is in this picture, & went to work with it like that. It raised eyebrows and I certainly didn’t look like your average chap but damn did I enjoy feeling a bit more feminine).

But since my strange internal change I can’t place, and my hair loss I can’t stall, I feel I’ve lost that connection. I don’t feel ambivalent towards the depiction of femininity of that time…I just feel dead where that emotional interest used to be. Oddly, nothing has flooded in to fill the void. If I am becoming more male in body and mind and this has forced out the femininity issues, then surely I should be feeling more kick-ass & generally pleased as punch? But I don’t. I just feel. Homeless in my head. I don’t feel happy in my form. And I don’t have any place to run to in my head anymore. I can’t escape to that etheral, foggy, deamy place of antique femininity, it does not exist. I feel I’m finally after 27 years of managing to always escape to a dream world – I’m now in the real world. And it sucks. And it feels horrible.

Some dream worlds are harmful. I used to suffer from OCD…and that was harmful in that I turned me into a recluse alot of time. When I kicked that I felt liberated. I strove to break those OCD rituals and through patterns. But the feminine internal dream world and those feelings… since they’ve gone I feel I have no power left. I can’t seem to generate as much enthusiasm for anything anymore.

I’ve woken up to a world that constantly cloudy. I may be awake finally. But like Sam Tyler in Life on Mars – I don’t feel I am alive anymore. That discreet feeling of being connected to femininity used to brighten up my day, power me through all the bollocks of life. Internally I could feel that I was a girl & later on, a woman from those times, and these feeling were somehow compatible with being a biological straight average male. Once again though, now they’ve gone….I don’t feel my mind is my own. I’ve been invaded by…. something: Reality? Age? I’m not sure. But 1870 – 1914 is dead. And all the women in there are dead. When I wear the bustle dresses I’ve made, the experience feels empty. But I don’t feel liberated. I feel lost.

I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten older, I just seem to loose more attributes of myself that I care about. Bearing in mind that I’m only 27 and in great physical health…I shouldn’t be noticing any losses. But I’ve felt life has been pulling things away from me since I started puberty. It began with my imagination & ability to channel my creativity, then got to work on strangling my open emotions, then hardened my face, and recently has stripped me of my only expression of my internal femininity which I’ve been openly allowed to have over the years – my hair.

I feel that the latter has crossed the line, it’s too many losses to accept as being male, when I’ve been skirting the boundaries of being a “real” male for years anyway. It’s caused a sort of “constitutional crisis” within me, as it’s forcing me to address what makes me tick & who am I.

I feel I must go after the feelings of femininity I had, I miss them so much. I feel too much like an organic machine without them. Amazing to think that thoughts can lead to the destruction of the vessel that they travel in, potentially. So…if I did seek to regain those feelings – I would essentially be delving deeper into myself. But isn’t that a bad thing? An introspective thing to do? Afterall, I have spent three years breaking out of my shell, fighting fears & breaking habits to get into the wider world. I guess it depends on what one feels is their reality? If one’s fantasy becomes their internal reality…. then as long as that makes that person function in outer-reality, would that make it the right thing to do?

Ultimately speaking, If I were to submit to a feminine biology, would that make me stable enough & happy  enough internally to be able to function better outwardly? I have no idea. Currently I feel like a fractured man & some crude draft of an unfinished woman. What makes a person? Biology or thoughts and feelings?

I’ve recently found out that lots of men suffer from “crossdreaming” which is where they want to be the other sex. The ideal version of themselves are conventional sexy women like Cheryl Cole for instance. I turn up with pictures like the one below and say “Well. This is me.” They I’m weird. “How can such a woman from such a time feel like an identity they may say?” This is hilarious. It appears I am chief oddball. Among oddballs. Strangely, this makes me smile.

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(One of those famous “Gibson Girls”. Named after the illustrator who created the Gibson Girl as the embodiment of upper-working/middle-class female perfection of the very late Victorian/early Edwardian epoch. I’d love to riff on this look and wear a modernised version to work. Annoyingly I can’t.
But I can actually play golf.)

Every time I tell my self to get a grip and just get on with being male, I think of the Japanese musician called Mana, and how he has pretty much gotten to have his cake and eat it, so to speak. He lives a life of dressing up as a pseudo beautiful Victorian-esque lady whilst dating as a straight (or possibly bisexual) man & bringing home the bacon by performing in his band. It does not matter how he identifies who he is. It just matters that he “is” and that he functions well as a human being. I wonder with rising anger – “why can’t I be someone like that?!” Even if it’s on a woefully smaller scale. Even if I were to be a poor quality, low-budget version of Mana, I’d still prefer to that life progression to my current trajectory.
Image
(Mr Mana. I’m not actually sure what pronouns he prefers. I wonder what he/she sees themselves as).

Those damn Victorian & Edwardian ladies coaxed me into their world when I was an impressionable child, kept me intrigued up until I had the courage to impersonate them (yeh, yeh, Little Britain style I know) & just as I felt I had obtained a reasonable feeling & look within the limitations of my physical form. BLIP. I found myself suddenly alone. And painfully aware of the massive gap between how they were and how I am. I feel I’m at the point of no return. I am now undeniably male. My masculinity has penetrated my core & it feels alien & hostile. I feel like that core is solidifying into something hard & cold. I desperately feel like I must find a way out, to feel warm & soft again, to live again, possibly even more abundantly than before. I feel like the replicant in Blade Runner demanding “I want more life!”

But who’s life would I be living, mine? Or a real-life version of an 1880’s woman?

(but anyway sod life and gender and historical stereotypes, who’s for some visual titillation? Hope you enjoyed these ramblings)

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An email to a therapist

30 Jul

This is what I’ve just written to Madeline H. Wyndzen at http://www.genderpsychology.org/identity/mail.html.

Perhaps it’ll help her with her research, perhaps she will write back & give her thoughts on my situation. Even if its none of those, I still feel better for writing it all. I seem to be able to commit my thoughts much more concisely when they are to a singular person, rather than if it’s for a blog or diary.

“I’m in a thoroughly confused state about which way I need to go to be happy & feel fulfilled. I’ve recently discovered that I am a crossdreamer (or autogynephiliac) and therefore have been since I was 14, which is when I first felt the need to crossdress, & since then pleasure has all largely centered around dressing up & increasingly wanting to feel like the female during sex. However, I’ve also recognised that I’ve felt an internal non-sexual connection to femininity that has persisted & grown within me since I was 11. This part of it manifested itself by my thinking I must have been female in a past-life, together with creating fictional female characters in my mind for books & short films I never ended up writing. Over the years I noticed that I was more sensitive than the average boy, if I fancied a girl I would by default feel the need to prettify myself & be flirty in a “conventionally” feminine way. I finally realised that this wasn’t how men attracted girls, so I learnt how to appear more masculine. In relationships that did work I’d often feel my male labido suddenly vanish and I’d feel that I should be the girl in the relationship. It used to feel as if I was a planet and my Poles suddenly shifted and became inverted. After a while, the Poles would reverse back and I’d feel totally happy being the male again.

I also felt a deep down inkling that I wanted to have a feminine face & hips. It just felt like it should be that way, though I didn’t think to myself “I feel i should look like a girl”, I just seemed to feel content if I looked soft or got mistaken for a girl. I mourned loosing my emotions as my 20’s progressed, & I felt myself becoming more male in temperament. I wondered if testosterone was to blame but my therapist at the time disuaded me from that line of reasoning. I decided to “kill” the femininity within me when I was 25 as I couldn’t get a girlfriend, people at uni and work seemed to think I was a sissy, and I began hating my sexual dressing-up sessions. So, I found a girlfriend, concentrated on appearing more authorativite & succeeded in purging my clothes & not crossdressing or crossdreaming for 7 months. However the urge became too great & it burst back into my life on a much stronger & emotional level than it had been before, the urge to dress became as much of an expression of creativity & what I wanted to wear as the sexual side was. It had a life of it’s own. It seemed to come from nowhere within me. A the same time I lost my emotions for my girlfriend and we ended up splitting up.

A year later, I discovered Japanese rock music. I found out that many musicians openly dressed as women out there, this was a monster revelation! I felt my heart skip a beat, & I felt that this discovery was a sort of “permission” for me to start dressing up as it meant I wasn’t a freak. I sort of felt like I didn’t need to just dress up for sexual purposes in order to express the femininity & creativity that I felt was hiding within. So I came out shortly afterwards to my friends as wanting to dress as female.

As soon as I started to explore this femininity, I began feeling more confident, more expressive, it was wonderful. And it continued. Long suppressed feelings of wanting to be seen as female by men rose to the surface. I began having increasingly stronger bisexual feelings. Dressing up became more normal & started to permeate into my every-day-wear. Finally I decided to have an obviously feminine haircut & I began wearing my hair in elegant up-do’s like the Edwardian women which I admired aesthetically. I was starting to do all the things that had been in the depths of mind and emotions since I was in my early teens. I still was primarily attracted to women however, but because of my obvious expressions of femininity I began to realise that the chances of dating straight women were becoming non-existent. I lost a few potential girlfriends around this time simply due to my displays of femininity even though they were subtle (apart from the hair) & I did act as manly as possible around them. A bi-sexual girl I almost had a fling with told me she didn’t know how to react to my advances as – though I was acting and presenting as male, I apparently approached sex like a cisfemale does & that combination confused her. I still don’t understand what she meant.  

Also at this point – November 2011 –  a great phyiscal change seemed to occur within me. In retrospect it feels like a second male puberty hit me. Within the space of a month or so, my skin got oiler, my hair began to receed and fall out, my face definitely developed more of a hardness that had not been there recently & my weight increased despite not putting any more fat. My face also thinned. I suddenly felt that the balance of masculinity and femininity within me had been toppled, and since then I’ve felt agitated, unsettled, confused, fearful & depressed. I feel that just as I had begun nurturing my feminine side & becoming  more rounded person as a result – my body had decided to really start hammering home my biological masculinity, and I feel this has created a massive dysphoria due to this dichotomy. I no longer feel “myself” and I feel adrift. Within the space of just a year, I feel much older, more hopeless and generally antagonised. I feel like a man now and to be honest I feel utterly repressed by it, both internally and by the outward physical manifestations.

I still am attracted to women, but that attraction is curdling into serious envy as feel I degrade and they remain how I feel I want to look. My attraction to women was complicated enough before as I tended to be attracted to women that I felt I would have liked to have been had I been a woman. Now, I just can’t bare to look at them sometimes, now I’ve become so masculine. I recently discovered that HRT therapy can potentially help one to look and feel like one feels they should, and that has intensified my dysphoria. I want to keep level-headed however and not make any rash decisions. This is getting much harder though as the NHS over here continues to postpone my therapy appointments, and I can’t afford private care. So, currently I spend my days mentally running in circles. I feel I’m trapped as male, but as I also want children – I also feel I cannot transition.

Plus, I’m also scared that I’m not a proper transexual and just a selfish effeminate male with a sexual fetish that somehow became a full-blown personality disorder who is running away from being a real man. I know that creatively and emotionally I would adore a full shift to femininity, I am sure of this. But to express all that, I would have to let me sexuality and male body die and that feels like murder. I am in a no-win situation, but I feel I have to choose. I feel that some part of me is shutting down inside and that I’m becomign a sort of 2D person, when before I was a 3D person. I feel my power source is dying. Yet, health wise I’m in excellent condition, apart from the hair & my thinning face. 

I feel I have to either take action or plough all my effort into embracing being a man, as I cannot pull-off being androgynous anymore. If one is in their teens and early twenties and is pretty enough, one can be succesfully androgynous and thus present as both male and female whenever. However at my age (27) my biology is clearly defining itself as male so I cannot pass as female without hormone (and surgical assistance). I cannot bear to become a typical balding middle-aged crossdresser with a “tolerating” wife, who lets me crossdress once a year in some hotel room in the middle of nowhere. That would be so humiliating, ultimately self-defeating & also tough on the wife. At the same ime though, I don’t think I’d make a passable women if I did transition. I could end up as a very feminine man on hormones but then I’d be neither a “real” man or an actual woman…which once again would be ultimately self-defeating & not very fulfilling. I’ve hit a brick wall. And there’s nowhere to go.

In an ideal world – I’d look fully female, I’d have a full range of expressive emotions, I’d wear feminine clothes whenever I felt like it so I could express myself, but I’d also have children and a wife who’d I’d strive to protect and provide for, I’d have a good steady job in my profession (cameraperson on outside broadcasts for television) & I’d design Victorian inspired dresses as one of my major hobbies. I’d be neither male nor female, I’d just be me. Functional, useful and if at all possible, beautiful in an elegant & gentle way. And I’d want to use my inner happiness to make other people happy. But alas, society and biology won’t let me fulfil what I feel could be my full potential. I hate gender. I feel cheated. Short-changed. Dis-enfranchised and lost. I feel like a cancer on this world as I don’t fit in and I feel that nature is trying to panel-beat me into submission to what it wants me to be.”

Fran’s-Gender – what the W, T & F is going on?

30 Jul

I’ve never been adept at relaying my feelings into words, be it typed, written, spoken…semaphored, morsed… or even generated in the Ceefax of my mind. Instead I tend to percieve & understand my feelings using my own dilapitated mental audio-visual department. Using stock memories & my imagination I generated  a torrent of images and sounds that seem to fit how I feel. I suppose this way of dealing with things befits someone who operates cameras for a living.

So, how do I percieve how I feel, now that I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m on a spin-cycle of emotions related to what I percieve is my gender? I see it as for the past 27 years I’ve been a venerable steamship sailing over the choppy waters of life. I’ve managed to navigate it so far without any hardship or event in life managing to breach the holds in the hull of my emotions. 

Throughout my serious asthma & bullying issues when I was a kid, my parents’ divorce & into the general alienation I’ve felt when entering my 20’s, I’ve managed to power through unscathed by burning through my eclectic imagination, whilst (in retrospect) my increasingly repressed emotions & personality began to rot in the confined space of the holds. I had no idea that at a certain time, these little time-bombs would rupture one-by-one, creating a carnival of chaos on-board, exploiting weaknesses in my ship’s structure & setting fire to everything. The wonderful thing about the personalities of humans…is that alot of us seem to be built with little weak spots, which life seems to be expert at exploiting, exerting pressure every so-often on each one, before usually sticking a finger into the weakest one & standing back to watch the whole structure implode. Life will always find a way to strike you at your weakest spot.
Find the schematic of your personality, understand yourself, trace the faults…and you may be able to address the issues before life comes along & shuts you down.

Anywho, I’ve kept sailing, with a fire raging in the bunkers. I’ve begun exploring my inclinations towards expressing femininity in it’s many different forms, after repressing them & not really acknowledging them for many years. My ship was well able to accomodate these experiments, thanks to appearing younger than it was. All was well. And then. KA BOOM! Life decided that things were going too well, so it decided to push that all-important weak spot so it could sit back with a beer and watch the fireworks.

After years of struggling to look masculine in order to attract girls, keep my jobs & also not get flak for looking effeminate, I finally came out as wanting a truly feminine hairstyle..as depicted here – http://www.figure.fm/cgm/ecommerce/figure/images/large/9bb3673a42e3eb655a86a0e7c4e30883.jpg?1265361073
And I finally got to look feminine & also began styling it like Edwardian ladies indulged in!….for all of three weeks… before my hair started falling out. And it kept on flowing out of my scalp like smoke from an industrial chimney. What timing. Co-incidence I’m sure… yeh, right. Nope, it was because life knew it would generate a commotion, an inner-epxlosion, the one thing would get a reaction. A missile of testosterone into the superstructure of my personality and sense-of-self.. My hair has always been the only tangible expression I’ve felt I have even when it was shorter. Thus, I now have an emotional connection to it. Taking it away was akin to stealing a country’s official flag. A loss of identity & a questioning of where I’m travelling too.

The answer in my case was – to the land of “much, much, much more male”. Which to someone who only recently begun to blossom further & further into the femininity I’ve always wanted to explore, was a stumble in a wrong direction, via some pretty nasty falls down steps and a crash-landing arse first into the realisation that my ship was going the wrong way. Out of nowhere, someone had changed the course. I’ve had a somewhat stunted growth due to taking steroids as a kid to combat that asthma hobby my body had when I was a nipper. Thus I’d remained petite and compartively feminine in stature & looks compared to other men my age. Until now. When within the space of a month, my body bulked out, my hair of course began migrating my scalp & my face developed a hardness I’d not seen before.
Tis always the way isnt it? You try to build yourself a personality based on one’s form & physicality…and two come along at once in quick succession. 

This missile had struck my personality, detonating my repressed feelings and sending a fireball of angst & confusion blasting through the corridors & decks of my soul. I was forced to address this issue – I could no longer simply daydream through life, I had to address where I was going as a vessel. Why was I suddenly changing? How could I balance feeling feminine when I was starting to become more physically masculine? I was stopped dead, taking on water. Not knowing which way to steer the helm. And then, life introduced the concept of “hormones” into the mix.

This sudden realistation that potentially I could sail towards what I had believed was a mythical destination, and potentionally end the testosterone destruction, was like a torpedo striking my hull, sending volumes of “what if I transitioned?” water into my engine rooms. Over the course of a few months further torpedos struck, further encouraging my thoughts.

I had begun to take on water. Sinking into a sea of transition. It may well put out the flames of rampant testosterone, but at the cost of taking a perfectly servicable male ship…and all the stability that comes with it…well…with it.
The structure of the ship is groaning, the two genders governing the ship applying increasing pressure so that internal splits have begun. There is no balance anymore between the two. Only one can survive.

My decision can either be to continue steering a burning and damaged male ship towards whatever direction it wants to go, or allow the transition to scuttle the ship and send it hurtling towards the uncertain & tempestuous depths of femininity where it may either adapt or get break-up via the increasing pressure of the elements of change.  
    
That is where I am now. A sinking ship. Cue lots of onboard explosions, rumbling noises, twisting and groaning metal, collapsing supports, water crashing onto the submerging decks, superstructure beginning to fail as both gender structures onboard cause the ship to increasingly break into two.

If I could create a video montage I’ve how I’m feeling right now – it would include the sinking & splitting sequences from “Titanic” & the various collapsing dream sequences from “Inception”.

I hope all that made some sort of sense. Ooo err.