After yesterday’s post, I thought I should clarify a few things. Gender dysphoria doesn’t mean a sex change (at least, I don’t so anyway). This is not a fetish. It’s not crossdressing nor is it drag. In fact, it’s not even about clothes. However, I can see how people would automatically jump towards that. Clothing has become an external thing that defines our gender, whether we want it to or not. A guy wearing a dress doesn’t make him female but it does cause a reaction from those around him. But why is it always a negative reaction?
There is no rule that says a man must where trousers. There’s no law that prevents a man from buying a dress. There isn’t any restriction on what a man can wear in public. Yet, if a man did wear a dress in public, he’d be ridiculed. Shouts of “look at the tranny!!” whilst people laugh, stare, point, take photos to spread on social media…some even get violent. Isn’t it fucked up that unwritten rules govern what we can or can’t do? These so-called rules cause people to be afraid of being themselves, whilst giving more power to those that use them. I’ve not been beaten up (yet) but I have experienced a lot of negativity. As mentioned in another post, it does wear you down but all you can do is try and ignore it. However sometimes they can’t ignore you. I’ve seen men suddenly have an issue with me when they realise I’m not female. Jekyll to Hyde in the space of a few seconds. No words are said, it’s usually as they’re walking past or staring at me from a distance. A sudden look of disgust on their face when reality hits them. But wait. Apparently it’s my fault they were checking me out whilst my back was turned. It’s my fault that they thought I was female. They then try to be as manly as possible, just to let the world know they’re not gay. Well, hang on. It’s never their fault is it? They make it my fault. But it’s not my fault they got it wrong and it’s certainly not my fault they have an insecurity over their own sexuality. People like that need to fuck off and stop judging or imposing non-existent rules on others. I’ve read stories of transgender people being violently beaten up just for being themselves or because somebody decided they weren’t allowed to exist on the same planet. Chrissy Polis was one such victim. She was beaten by 2 females as she went to use the toilet in a McDonald’s restaurant in the US. Chrissy was beaten so severely that she had a seizure. It was deemed a hate crime and led to an awareness of violence towards transgender people. Such a shame that it took something so violent to create that awareness. So could I ever be myself in public? Probably not. If my own shame doesn’t stop me, then other people certainly will.
In the past, I’d often wondered if it was just a phase. I guess anyone in this kind of situation would do the same. Some people simply like wearing clothes of the opposite sex. Some do it to make a statement, some do it for the sexual kick, some do it to explore their femininity/masculinity. They’re all choices though. It’s not a permanent change and ultimately people who do that know who they are. Expanding on my example earlier, a guy might like wearing dresses but that doesn’t make him less of a guy. Ultimately he knows he’s a guy and has no intention of being anything other than a guy. In my case, it’s not a choice. At no point did I ever go “hmmm, I think I’ll start behaving or thinking like a girl today”. In fact, I have spent most of my life trying hard to be male. Trying to snap myself out of it by being as male as I could be…which was pretty fucking difficult as I’m not built for the gym and I’ve never ever been able to fit in around all male groups. In fact, most of the few friends (I find it’s easier to not have many friends – fewer people to disappoint) I have are female. Despite having done all I can to be as male as possible throughout my life, deep down I knew it just didn’t feel right. I couldn’t physically bring myself to emulate what males would typically do. Yeh, I acknowledge that in this day and age it’s not as clear-cut as that, but hopefully you get the idea about what I mean. Me trying to be male feels wrong and unnatural. It’s like telling a lion to be become vegan.
In terms of clothes, I’ve never gone out of my way to buy a dress or anything like that. In my mind, I didn’t think “I can’t buy this, it’s not for me” nor did I ever think “if I buy this, I’ll be more like a girl”. Nope. If I’ve bought something, it’s because I like it. When I was a kid and my mom sent me to school in my sister’s hand me down shirt, the fact it was a girl’s shirt didn’t bother me – it was the fear of other boys finding out or teasing me that bothered me. Luckily it looked like a boys shirt, except for the buttons being on the other side. Yeh, certain things do really upset me, for example body shape. Not having the right body shape to wear something is a huge wake up call to the fact that you don’t have the right body to match your brain. Stuff like typically sends me into depression – I’m reminded of my problem by something that should take me away from the problem. There was another frustration too: women have a far greater choice of clothes than men do. To be more specific, women can wear what men wear…but it can’t be the other way round. If it could, then my life would have been so much easier and a lot less torment. These days, my look is quite androgynous. Not ideal, but it strikes a balance between not having to wear what men wear, being able to wear something that is female (and therefore feels right to me) and still being able to go outside without drawing too much attention. Let’s face it, I draw enough attention to myself by looking androgynous…imagine the public meltdown if I wore what I wanted? That meltdown would be even worse for those who know me too. I’d be putting them in an awkward situation. It’d be selfish of me to do that. Everyone needs to come to terms with stuff in their own way. I may have taken a step forward with acknowledging my gender dysphoria, but there’s still so much more that I need to deal with and come to terms with.
So what do I do now? To be perfectly honest, not a lot!! It’s not something that will change overnight. Maybe nothing will ever come of this? I feel a certain relief having admitted it to myself and grateful to words, stories and general comments that have helped me to reach this point, but it’s only the beginning of the next chapter for me. One that will more than likely be filled with even more doubt, shame, guilt and loss. Until then, I’m just going to let the last couple of days sink in properly.
Featured image: via Ilkley Gazette