August 5th, 2013

Hippo

Week 90 - Not just for soup cans

Still feel like I'm pretending sometimes. The new name's a weird thing to deal with. When we were at San Diego, a friend of mine from college ran into us. She introduced me by my old name and I didn't know how to react. I guess it's no big deal AT ALL to say "Oh! I've got a new name now!", but for whatever reason, I just get awkward about it. I don't feel like there's anything more GENUINE about my new name any more than I've ever felt my old name was genuine. Names don't feel meaningful to me. Maybe they don't feel meaningful to anyone.

These days, I feel like I'm living in a weird dreamworld, where everyone respects this weird bunny costume I'm wearing but I don't feel like I'm actually a bunny and then the self-doubt caves in. It's stupid! My balls are gone. I've been on hormones for years. I don't DOUBT my transition, 'cuz living as a dude is a MORE alien notion to me.

I guess it's just the name-tag strangeness chips away at the confidence I have that I have ANY right to do all of this. About seven, eight years ago, when I applied at a company, they asked if there's anything about me that they should know. Being unsure of the nature of the question, I responded with "Um, well, I cross-dress... So hopefully that's not a problem. I don't mind dressing up for publishers or biz meetings or whatever, but I sometimes wear gender-inappropriate clothing". I was told it wasn't a problem unless I thought it was going to become a problem (which I don't entirely understand). I felt as though they had every right to tell me I can't do that shit at the office. Because that's playing around. That's pervert shit. And I can do that on my own time, but you don't do pervert shit at work. None of this was EXPLICITLY stated (well, my sweetie-pie put it to me more or less that way when arguing against my wearing skirts at work, but no employer ever did)... but that's how I felt. And I felt okay with that, because I UNDERSTOOD what it meant to be a "pervert". I could own that. That's always resonated with me. So much of the transgender stuff is "Oh! Here are some answers to my shit, but even if they don't all totally fit, it's better than what I had before." So I'm left partially LEARNING what kind of woman I actually am... partially fabriating a new identity for myself in order to inhabit a "lady-space" that society would expect of me? I don't know. I never really resonated with "Travis", but at least it had precident. Had history. "Josie" is gonna take some time to grow on me. Gonna take a while before it's not jus' WEIRD comin' out of people addressing me. I know that hearin' my folks continuing to use my old name bums me out. Dunno if that's just a symbol or if that's reinforcement that this is really where I should be going.

Someone recently called me one of the most unashamedly authentic people they knew. I wish I felt that way about myself.

-343
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