Break It Down, Butch.

March 26, 2011

[59] Transdude.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 13:16
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I started this blog with the intention of using it to keep an account of my evolving gender-journey, so I could look back later and remember all the funny/cool/weird moments that usually fall by the memory-wayside. (And also because all the cool kids were doing it and I wanted to play, too.) But it turns out that I’m really bad about writing what I’m struggling with, because I don’t like to throw it out there half-formed and conclusionless. I want a concrete result before I let it go dancing in front of an audience.

Control freak much?

But radio silence is boring for you and bad for me, because evolution can’t happen in a box. And going round and round with the same ideas in my head is just going to tip me off a ledge.

So here’s the skinny: I don’t identify as female anymore. And to be honest, I haven’t in a while. I just haven’t had the backbone to admit it to myself. Even going back through this journal was a revelation — sure, there’s a whole lot of butch musings, but the really joyful moments were realizing I could use whatever pronouns I wanted, that embracing masculinity was A-okay and sexy to boot, that it wasn’t the rebellion of mixing male-mannerisms and female-body and making something new that I wanted, it was just being male.

Which, yeah, I know, is mono-gendered and buying into the binary (and the patriarchy) and probably unenlightened, but fuck it. I’m tired of binding myself breathless and living in an awkward half-space. I want the chest-surgery, and maybe the hormones, and the ‘sir’ that people give me to feel like it’s right, not like something I’ve managed to steal. I want to explore the idea of being a transman. I want to be a brother and a son, not a daughter and a sister. (Though that’s sure going to freak out the family.)

I want to keep writing, too, whether in this blog — which could probably use a rename, now — or a new one for the fresh start. And I want to keep all you fabulous folk around, but I’ll get it if some of you feel the need to jump ship. (Except, no, that’s a lie. I WILL BITCH YOU OUT LIKE HELL, ACTUALLY. And I will feel good doing it. How’s that for a healthy ego?*)

So here’s me, coming out.

Again.

Anyone feel like throwing a party?

*On the re-read, that’s a heck of a lot more asshole-ish than it originally sounded. Who knew an ego could get you in trouble? /wry

March 2, 2011

[58] People in glass houses should not whack-off in front of kidlets.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 05:25
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I am still alive! Here, have some irony:

Anti-gay pastor caught masturbating at a children’s playground.

February 14, 2011

[57] Valentine’s Day, 2011.

Happy Valentine’s day, guys!

I celebrated mine getting my American passport renewed. Dual nationality for the win. 😀

There was a very cool moment at the embassy, actually. I was the first guy in line, thanks to getting there bugfuck early, and the lady behind the bullet-proof glass was eat-your-heart-out gorgeous. A proper double-take beauty. Dark hair, dark eyes, killer smile, coffee-caramel skin, and I don’t mean to get all objectifying here, but I would have happily created a small diplomatic incident if she’d let me take her out of lunch.

But that’s not the cool part. The cool part was after she’d called me ‘sir’, like pretty much everyone else ever these past few months (that’s a post for another day), and then got a look at my old American passport. The one that has the photo of skinny little seven-year-old me in a dress.

I was expecting the double-take, and the embarrassment, and the flustered apology. What I wasn’t expecting was the carefully worded inquiry about whether I was changing my legal gender.

“Nope,” I said, with a wry kind of grin. “Still legally female, if you want to be technical.”

And this is the cool bit: she gave me a thoughtful once-over, embarrassment falling away, and then smiled beautifully. One of those light-up-the-room smiles. Then she called me ‘sir’ for the rest of the exchange, perfectly naturally, like it was just the thing to do. Like she’d seen a little piece of me, and understood it, and was happy to share it.

That made my whole day, pretty much.

January 2, 2011

[56] The week of rest so far continues on course.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 02:28
Tags: , ,

Today, I have done almost absolutely nothing of use. It was wonderful.

In fact, the list of my achievements includes: making four sandwiches, eating cold spaghetti out of a can, laughing myself breathless when the cat attacked the christmas tree, watching lots of TV, and writing with a friend.

It’s almost three a.m on the first (well, technically second) day of the shiny new year, and I have done NOTHING OF NOTE.

I love holidays.

January 1, 2011

[55] New Year, 2010/2011.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 03:05
Tags: , ,

Two a.m.

Flew home down the freeway, singing loudly along to Aerosmith and ABBA and Blue Oyster Cult, still happy-hot from midnight hugs and kisses. Parked up a mile from home and walked the last bit. Saw a guy being piggy-backed home by his mates, too drunk to stand. Wished them a happy new year. Saw a lady staggering around in the middle of the street, hair wild and heels gone, chased by half a dozen friends. Lots of laughing.

Thirty people in a queue outside a taxi rank, half of them sitting right on the sidewalk. Bloke with a black eye and a reel in his step called me a fucking asshole, apparently for existing. Wished him a Happy New Year, too.

Cat at home, leaping madly around the apartment. Dragged around a shiny thing on a bit of string for him, gave him a good ruffle. Put the heating on because it’s cold. Flicked the TV on for a minute.

Basked in the glow of a good time.

We had a costume party — Star Wars dude, Catwoman, Blackbeard, Poison Ivy, two members from Kiss, a golfer in Union Jack pants, Captain Kirk, girl in a Guinness costume, guy from The Hangover, and Cleopatra. I went in a shirt and jeans and stole Blackbeard’s pirate coat. There was cake and beer and nibbles, bad music, lots of cracking up. We watched the countdown live on TV and switched the lights out for the final thirty seconds. Popped poppers, had champagne, played limbo with the golfer’s putter (I fell over first), threw streamers, teased the hell out of each other, hugged and kissed and complained about 2010, took pictures.

Photobucket

Generally behaved like dorks.

Happy New Year, y’all! I hope yours was just as great as mine.

December 31, 2010

[54] Just a quickie.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 00:03
Tags: , ,

I’ve deleted about six attempted posts in the last few days because they were a) boring, b) irrelevant, c) miserably self-indulgent, or d) all of the above.

Here’s the good stuff going on in my life right now:

– I AM NO LONGER A CARER.
– I have until the 5th of January entirely off work.
– I am playing hotel to a two-year-old, neutered, male tomcat for the next six months.
– My apartment is slowly becoming clean and organized again.
– My haircut remains awesome and I’m starting to feel somewhat like myself again.
– There’s a fancy dress New Year’s Eve party tomorrow that I’m really looking forward to.
– I have new glasses, a new duffel coat made of sheer win, and new boots. (Pictures soon!)

Less good stuff:

– The cat has tapeworms*.
– I am stunningly behind on all my emails and general correspondence.
– I haven’t managed to read anything butch- or gender-related yet this week — but there is still time!
– I seem to have gotten so good at feeling CONSTANTLY STRESSED that, now, despite an actual lack of stress for the first time in six months, I’m still reflexively tense. Which is deeply uncool, because I used to be so good at that whole chilled out thing. But I figure that’ll get better with time.

Okay, so this post is still a bit d) all of the above, but eh, good enough.

[*If you just spent a moment doing flaily hands and saying ‘EW’, you are not alone. He was whisked down to the vet first thing this morning and has been thoroughly checked out and dewormed, but I still need to bleach every inch of my apartment, wash the hell out of all the soft furnishings, and scrub my hands every time I pet him — which is a little awkward, because he’s a very friendly cat.]

December 28, 2010

[53] Car conversations.

I’m out of touch with gender-theory.

I haven’t cracked a book in six months, since I wrote my dissertation. Oh sure, I picked up the new Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation collaboration between Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman, and skimmed through it, but I didn’t really absorb anything. I just read it and thought ‘huh’ and went back to work and forgot about it.

There is so much suck in that sentence I’m not even sure where to start.

So, I was giving my brother and his girlfriend a lift back home today and the suject of gender came up, as it sometimes does around me, and the girlfriend (who was also my best friend back in college; long story) started asking me the standard questions. You know, things like ‘So what is the difference between gender and sex?’ and ‘This MtF you know, he-she-it, was she a guy or a girl first? What is she now?’ and ‘D’you reckon there’s a genetic cause for gayness?’

(Okay, that last one’s a sexuality question, but it led me onto a whole ramble about social gender cues and how sexuality and gender aren’t the same thing, so I’m counting it.)

Six months ago, I was really good at these questions. Or at least passable. Today I totally choked.

Like, choked. Badly.

(Part of that was probably being exhausted and frustrated and a little ‘whoa, weird’ with the whole quitting-my-job-today thing. And, y’know, being slightly nettled at the questions, because there was a whole wealth of misunderstanding going on there that I couldn’t even start to tackle in a 45 minute car journey.)

I need to get my reading back on. I’ve done my Bornstein and Butler and Bergman; I’ve read Female Masculinity backwards and forwards, and a lot more besides. I’ve been in the blogsphere for, what, a year? I should know my stuff by now.

But still, choked. And I can feel my thinking about gender getting fuzzier and vaguer the more time I spend in the working world, away from academia, and I don’t like that.

I promised my friend I’d lend her some Bornstien, because she is genuinely interested in learning about the weird wide world of gender, but I reckon I need to read it again first. Along with the rest of my shelf of books. And then I need to re-engage my brain.

Here’s my new challenge for myself: a piece of gender-related reading at least once a week, and a thinking-thoughts type post along to go with it.

What are your favourite gender-writers?

December 25, 2010

[51] Christmas, 2010.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 21:26
Tags: , , ,

It’s amazing how much better things get when you have family and turkey and pretty lights and SO MANY DOGS and presents and slightly crap TV and — Christmas, basically.

We’re not particularly religious, and this whole side of the family (i.e. my step-mum’s side, because everyone else lives hundreds and/or thousands of miles away) is a little awkward with each other, but we still do the tree and the gifts and the roast beast (except for the step-mum, who’s vegetarian), and a ridiculous amount of presents, AND DID I MENTION THE DOGS?

There were four this year. Two chocolate labs my dad owns, one black lab my step, uh, grandparents own, and a GINORMOUS Newfoundland puppy-thing that tried to EAT MY HEAD.

(I was literally dripping dog drool at one point. It was both hilarious and gross.)

Happiness is seriously a house full of dogs.

Anyway! I got presents (a martial arts DVD, a hoodie, a pretty swish looking necklace and bracelet from friends who get the butch thing, some pink bath stuff from family who really don’t, a gift voucher — and at some point in the future I’ll be getting new glasses, a coat, and some Timberland boots), and ate waaaay too much turkey, and got a whole lot of back-pats and shoulder-squeezes from the male side of the family, which was interesting.

I’m looking particularly guyish at the moment. In the interests of feeling like myself again, I went and got the stupid girly hair-mistake chopped off and restyled, so now it’s super-short and spiky and so much better. I can look in a mirror again without wincing, which is a major improvement in life.

But yes, male-looking. Which seems to bring out a certain… reaction in the guys of my family. There’s a sort of fellow-feeling that goes around. Like a shared wink and a sense of usefulness (it’s the guys who do most of the Christmas work, while the women tend to put their feet up and get drinks provided; an arrangement that seems to work for everyone), and a kind of mutal glee over making sure everything goes off without a hitch and decent presents are provided.

It’s all very caveman, really.

But this year I got a lot more included. I haven’t been to a family christmas in two years (I spent the last two with my ex-girlfriend in the States), so maybe they’re more used to my genderwierdness now, or maybe I’m just more comfortable inside my own skin and it shows. Who knows? Either way, it was pretty cool.

(Though, again, daft pink bath stuff. Yeesh.)

Actually, thinking about it, I’ve only been embracing the butch thing for the past year-ish or so, so it probably is that being more comfortable inside my own skin thing.

That aside, back to my original point — CHRISTMAS IS HERE AND IT IS AWESOME. I have eaten turkey THREE TIMES TODAY and it is not yet getting old. (Though I am extremely full.)

Continuing the good news, starting tomorrow I only have two and a half more days at work, and then I am freeeeee!

Also, I have The Chronicles of Narnia on the TV and a snoring labrador pressed against my hip. Is this the best Christmas ever? I THINK IT IS.

December 23, 2010

[50] Whining.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 00:29
Tags: , , , ,

I lost a client at work today.

I can’t go into much detail — confidentiality issues — but it was renal failure and an expected death and three fucking days before Christmas. I don’t want to whine, but Jesus, it’s my last week and this shit is not cool, universe.

He was a nice guy. He didn’t deserve to go out like that.

Everyone says that. And it sucks that most of what I’m focusing on is how I feel bad about things, but it has seriously been that kind of year. I have four more days at work (not including the three I get off in the middle), and I am sick of disasters and illness and fucking medication and people dying. I’m sick of being stressed out and screwed up and completely exhausted. I am really, really sick of sleeping on my mate’s sofa.

I’m heartsick and soul-sick and so not feeling butch right now.

This is just a bad moment, and I know things will look better when the sun comes up, but seriously, I need to get a job as a lumberjack or something.

December 18, 2010

[47] Make-up: It’s not just for girls.

Bit of hilarity I forgot to mention:

In pursuit of looking kinda-female-ish for my interview, I got my eyebrows waxed and eyelashes tinted. (I know.) It was this sort of three-for-one deal, where they offered to tint your eyebrows at the same time, too. But my eyebrows are already plenty tinted, so I took a friend along and she got her eyebrows waxed instead.

I’ve never had my eyelashes tinted before, so I had no idea what to expect. But it turns out it’s pretty easy. They just stick some moist, protective cotton (cotton-ish thing? I have no idea) under your eyes, make you close your eyes, then paint dye all over your lashes and throw another protective cottony-whatever over the top of that. And then you sit for fifteen minutes, trying not to blink.

If you have a nice make up artist, she’ll take this opportunity to talk to you.

First thing my make-up artist said: “Y’know, not many guys have this done. But I think it’s awesome. I used to do my boyfriend’s eyelashes all the time.”

“I fancied a change?” I said vaguely, flat on my back and determined not to fluster the woman dyeing my eyes.

“Great!” she enthused. “I think this’ll really make your eyes pop.”

Well, wahey.

Then she left me alone and went to talk to my friend. Apparently, the conversation went something like this:

Make-up lady: “So, have you known him long?”

Friend: (without missing a beat) “Oh sure, he’s been my best mate since college.”

Make-up lady: “Awww!”

I’m just guessing, but I’ll bet she thought I was fabulously gay. Which is half-accurate. And she was right — dyed eyelashes really do make my eyes pop.

Edited for picture evidence:

Photobucket

Here is regular me, with eyebrows intact and hair short.

Photobucket

And new me, looking creepy-weird and slightly fluffy. I shall be getting the hair fixed soon. (The make-up lady did think I was a guy, so she didn’t take my eyebrows too thin, fortunately. They’re just a bit… neater.)

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