Sometimes I feel like I’m over thinking about things.
Everything from food to weight loss to gender “stuff” to Aspergers to do I feel like wearing Superman underwear or Transformer underwear? From the time my sleepy eyes open to the time those very sleepy eyes close I’m thinking about something big in my life (and yes what kind of underwear can feel pretty big sometimes).
The other day I received the following message via Twitter:
“Nice to see another Trans-Athlete out there”.
My first reaction was something like “oh but I’m not really Trans because people refer to me as a she and this person is going to realize I’m a fake because I still have nail polish on my toes from 3 months ago and I’m not trans enough to be called a trans-athlete”…then I took a deep breath and stopped berating myself for having breasts and dug a little deeper (read: creeper) into who this person was, who threw what I can only describe as a little life jacket for me to wear while swimming in this ginormous ocean of gender
He recorded a video the other day and I watched it yesterday after our short but very powerful (to me) interaction. I’m linking the video not because it’s so mind blowing profound I want everyone to watch but because there is one particular line at 4:31 that I think literally has lifted a weight on my shoulders…
“I never felt trapped in my body”
“(it just didn’t make sense)”
Part of this “gender” journey has been about feeling guilty that I’m not trans enough. That because most of my life I just felt like I am who I am and therefore (dot dot dot), I just accept this body that I was born with. There is confusion about why I never felt trapped like I hear being described from other trans people. I assumed you had to be trapped and therefore (dot dot dot) you were always looking for a way to escape. But in looking back, my body has never made sense to me. Ever. I never once felt like my mind and body were on the same wave length. As in the video, I guess I’ve always felt like I was wearing my clothes backwards and assumed that because I was uncomfortable so must everyone else be uncomfortable in the proverbial “oh we’re all wearing our shit backwards”
I spend a lot of time thinking about my childhood and whether I was “super girly” or “overly boyish”. I spend a lot of time thinking about was there ever a time in my life I actually enjoyed this female body I walk around in? Have I ever felt a connection with my breasts or genitalia like most women? Did I ever actually enjoy picking out a dress and heels for some special occasion? I can’t really think of an instance or time in my life where I may have thought “I like being a girl”…but I also never thought “I hate being a girl” (except during *that* time every month where I’m sure we all hate being female bodied amiright????). I just felt like this is what it is…
But now it doesn’t feel that way anymore. I feel myself pulling away from the notion of “it is what it is” and more towards “what is all this business about anyways?”. I don’t feel trapped any more today than I did growing up, but moving towards a more gender congruent alignment with mind and body makes me realize that in fact maybe, just maybe there is more to this trans stuff as I continue to turn away from who I thought I should be and turn towards the person that is truly me.
In the video, Riley talks about feeling like you’re wearing your clothes backwards and feeling uncomfortable and assuming that even though other people’s clothes aren’t backwards they too feel uncomfortable, but as he transitioned, he had the opportunity to turn his clothes around and experience life like everyone around him.
Even though we’ve never met in real life, this is the first time I’ve heard someone put words to describing how I’m feeling on this journey of gender understanding. I felt so uncomfortable in women’s clothing but never really understanding why I felt that way. I just assumed that most people felt uncomfortable in their clothes but because I had breasts and sat to pee that meant I had to wear the clothes that matched the body. I’ve never put on women’s clothing and looked in the mirror and thought “man I am rocking this shit like no one’s business”. It’s always been “I don’t want my hips to show”, “I hate that this makes my boobs stick out”, “WTF is a scoop neck and why is it showing so much of my neck?” and “how the hell do I walk in these heels”…I’ve always dressed just above the radar of passing for “female”.
I think being morbidly obese played a big role in my acceptance with the body I was born with. It was easier to accept a body I was never aligned with when it was bigger. You don’t want to show off what you don’t want when it’s also carrying around a lot of weight with it. It’s no surprise that along with the weight loss came the undeniable truth that maybe, just maybe there is some validity to idea that while my body is female, my heart and mind is male.
I actually like looking at clothes these day. I go straight for the Men’s section. Perusing the sharp button downs, admiring the dress shoes and wishing I had a fat bank roll to buy all the things. I think about upcoming events and wondering if I can buy a bow tie to match the dress Mimi will be wearing. Some days I’m self-conscious that other people are wondering what I’m doing in the Men’s section but when I take those clothes into a dressing room I’m not trying to hide anything from myself. In fact, I’m wondering if the makes my ass look good? Does the t-shirt/short-sleeve show my muscles? Does the button down make my neck look good and some times I even think “man I am rocking this shit like no one’s business”
You see I didn’t know I was wearing my “clothes” backwards for so long…
I just assumed that this was the way “clothes” were meant to feel. That this was the way I was meant to feel in my body and now that I’m trying to “turn” that around, it’s a little confusing but holy hell it feels so much more comfortable. Like, deep breath, relax and let the weight slip from your shoulders comfortable. When I open the proverbial “closet” and see on one side my wife’s dresses and scarves and those scoopy necky things, they feel foreign. I don’t understand them. Then I turn to the other side and see my dress pants hanging nicely, my button downs hung according to color and my suspenders hanging just within reach, I understand them.
They belong to me.