Transition and non-binary identities

2 01 2011

S.E. Smith over at This Ain’t Livin’ wrote something that hits very close to home for me (and I’m betting for a lot of people in my social circle):

One very widespread perception about nonbinary people is that we don’t need to transition. Nothing could be further from the truth. While every nonbinary person is different and not all of us need or want to transition, some of us do, and we cannot access support for transitioning without lying and prevaricating; to transition, we need to lie about our gender, because transition for nonbinary people is not recognised. As a result, those of us who want access to medical transition, to hormones and surgery, must pretend that we are binary and must be able to do so effectively enough to be ‘approved’ by the gatekeepers.

In the early stages of my transition, I remember reading very scary accounts by trans people where they were denied letters approving hormone replacement therapy by their psychologists because they weren’t able to demonstrate that they were “woman” or “man” enough to warrant medical transition. I heard of trans sisters who were bluntly told that they weren’t “feminine” because they always wore pants and no make-up and of trans brothers who were denied because they were attracted to men. I also read about all the lines one should feed the therapist to “prove” that they adhered to their chosen gender identity so that they could get their HRT letter. In addition to proving that they conformed to their chosen gender, the idea was also to prove that one was in a horrible amount of distress and needed to be “cured.”

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It’s just that . . .

27 08 2009

It’s just that I don’t see myself as, or feel like a man independently of my female past. I had to be female to be male. And my present maleness accentuates, rather than hides, the female  . . .at least according to my inner eye.

Anytime I ever tried to cut one part off, the other part would suffer. Not that I have a discernible male part and a female part that complement each other. Rather, fe/male is intertwined within me. There is no way to cut male or female out and leave the rest because there would be no rest.

Living as male, as in physically presenting as a guy, makes me feel good. My body likes it and my brain likes it. I feel more balanced. But there is woman interfused within all that is male about me.

I look at my hands and they are fe/male hands.

I look at my face in the mirror – delicate laughing eyes with a dark history, soft skin, beard – and it is fe/male.

I look at my chest with the breasts and the hair and it is fe/male.

I look at my cunt and it is fe/male.

My drive comes from the female. My balance comes from the male. My power comes from the blend.

I choose to live as male for now and I like it because I sometimes go on stage as female, or fe/male.

But, who knows, maybe someday I will just go out into the world as fe/male . . . a fe/male who’s lived both lives.





Being part female and being a feminist

8 03 2009

So here’s another ongoing funny thing in my life as a guy: the surprised reactions I get to my feminist statements. Both men and women are surprised when I denounce patriarchy and androcentrism, or when I talk about my training in feminist anthropology.

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From femme to GQ to drag king to ftm to ftmtv

13 11 2008

Are you confused? I’m not. Not anymore. In the past 5 years, I really have gone from femme to MTF transvestive. I used to wear femmey clothing to try to be a “real” woman. Now that I don’t have to prove anything anymore, once in a while, for sexual purposes, I like to dress like a femmey slut. And it feels subversive now, so I like it.

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