I know I haven't been contributing much to my blog but I've been reasonably prolific on the forums and Facebook over the last year, so I don't feel like a total lazy ass. Most of the stuff I've been addressing lately is related to this new weird censorship movement in the trans community. It's bizarre and I'm afraid we're only a couple of months away from actual book burnings so it's definitely going to get interesting. We do live in interesting times after all, but that is not what I'm thinking about right now.
What I'm musing about today is why any of us go through this awful process of transitioning at all. It has been very difficult for me and when I look around, it occurs to me that I may have even had it easy compared to some of my sisters. As hard as it's been, I can certainly imagine how it could have been much harder. My heart goes out to all of the transitioners, but especially to those gals who have seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their way. There are all kinds of things that can derail a transition not the least of which is a decidedly masculine presence. I grew up as kind of a femmy boy but even I had considerable testosterone poisoning by the time I pulled the pin on the Tranny Grenade at 42. Luckily I had some resources that allowed me to deal with looking like a dude, and I dealt with it with extreme prejudice. It only took a couple of years for the whispers to stop. I'm one of the lucky ones though. What about the gals who don't have the resources and who were cursed with a large masculine frame that a pro athlete would envy?
I'm sure those gals feel the same way I do and like me, they are going to do it regardless of what they end up looking like. That's the way it is you know, once you realize that there is a way out of the bondage you've endured for a lifetime, you can't get out fast enough. So they do and they end up trading a life of privilege as a large imposing man to a life of scorn as an obvious transsexual. Who in their right mind would do such a thing? Well, clearly nobody. I honestly don't think any of us are in our right minds. I think the decision to transition is made somewhere so primal that it can't be intellectualized. There is no advantage to transition. There is no reason whatsoever to do something that completely dismantles your life and very likely alienates you from everyone you know. No reason at all. ...except for one; Freedom.
I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to explain this, but we are all simply trying to be free. Imagine going to the beach in a tuxedo you couldn't take off. It's fun to be there but volleyball would be so much easier if you could kick off your shoes. It would also be nice to get in the water for a minute, maybe catch some rays. Sure you could sit in a nice comfy chair with a drink and watch everyone else. That has its own appeal right? It's comfy, you can get a nice buzz, you can watch the girls and/or the guys frolic in skimpy clothes. I could easily spend a couple of hours doing that. Then what? Then nothing, you go home and wonder why you're wearing a fucking tuxedo. That was my life. Always watching, always on the outside looking in. Drinking too much, watching too much, and never really living. I knew there was something I should be doing, but I frankly didn't have the courage to do it. Hell I didn't even have the courage to face it. The day I finally kicked off my shoes was a point of no return for me, I knew then that it was only a matter of time before I was in appropriate beach wear.
There is really no way to explain what it feels like to be profoundly uncomfortable in your skin. The easy answer is to say I felt like a woman, but that doesn't seem right to me. I don't know what I felt like, but I can say for sure that I felt like an outsider. I felt like a perpetual student, always on the lookout for new lessons on how to fit in. Always denying myself any desire that would threaten my acceptance as a regular dude. It was a lonely and pathetic existence. So my transition was truly liberating in a way that makes all of the difficulties of that transition totally worth it. That's the deal. As bad as transition can be, our lives before it were even worse. I know that seems hard to believe but if you take away the trappings of a life that appears to be great, then you can see that what's left is just a person who is desperately pretending to be great. We don't transition because we hate our lives, we do it because we want to feel something real as the person we really are.We want to express something real. A real emotion, a real laugh, a real attraction. Something that is not shrouded by the veil of a facade built up over so many years that we barely remember who we are anymore. We transition because we want to feel the sun and the wind and the sand on our skin, without the protection of a disguise made of lies and confusion and anger.
Transition is hard but we do it because a life unlived is even harder. I'm not a big cryer but some things can definitely spark the water works and one of those things is thinking about those people who wasted their lives being afraid of who they really are. If you have the capacity for empathy then I want you to think for a moment about someone who is looking back on a long life with crushing regret. There are wonderful things to be had in this life, but you have to be real or they are as hollow as a chocolate bunny. It's funny how mundane the most incredible experience can be when you are trapped in a life you can't feel, yet the most mundane thing can be so joyful when you are free.