The Glory and the Wonder

…of my butt. Yes, my butt is becoming a thing of majesty. An asstacular spectacle of such beauty as to make the strong weep from the sight of it. A derriere of distinction, a rump of renown, the buttocks of bliss; my ass is becoming a national treasure.

When I run, I feel parts of me bounce that I’m not used to bouncing. Not just my butt and my chest, but my thighs as well. They’re thicker, fleshier. They look like a woman’s legs. There’s no deeper point here. I just really, really like my butt and the legs it is attached to.


It Gets Worse From Here

As my transition ticks along smoothly, I find myself more and more drawn to thinking about topics for this blog that are not strictly transition related. I’m beginning to think of this period not just as my transition, but as the time when I become the person I’ll be for the rest of my life.

A quarter century old is a little late to come of age, but that seems to be what’s happening. I feel like the time between graduating from UCSC and now is just a void, lost time. That’s not true, of course. I’ve had three jobs, started transition, earned most of a Master’s degree, lost more than 20,000 dollars to a haze of despair, depression, and bad decisions. And I’ve nearly killed myself four times. Yet I’m only now waking up. I feel old and young at the same time. Old because I’m tired. Old because I’ve lost that sense of boundless future where everything’s possible. Young because of how ignorant I realize I will always be. Young, because I’m insecure, weak, and despite it all, still untested. I know now why people are willing to settle for mediocrity. Why they’d be desperate for it, really.

I’ve still got some growing up to do. Before I get too old.

It’s an incredibly bleak time to become an adult, and I feel like I’m starting even later than the rest of my famously tardy cohort. The kids who come behind me have an advantage: they saw me and my friends get the shit kicked out of us, so they’re coming into the game with their eyes open. Me? I have a Lit degree. Almost a half decade into my working life and I’m getting paid less than 22 grand a year. I have no idea how that stacks up (inflation adjusted) with how my parents did, but it’s the best money I’ve ever had and it’s about as much money as I expect to be paid for the foreseeable future. Forget saving up to buy a house. I’m saving up to buy shoes.

Gothe said, “Life’s dangers are infinite, and among them is safety.” Christ, what an asshole. For the first time in almost a year, I am safe and in that safety, I’ve had enough time to glance down and see how badly I’ve been broken this whole time. Part of me liked it better when I was too busy surviving to pay attention to how fucked up I am. I could pretend that I was making progress, that I was toughening up. That someday I’d come out of it as a stronger person, just by surviving long enough. But now, I’ve got a job, a place to stay, and a new circle of friends I see every week and there’s no hiding from it anymore.

I still hate myself.

I think that it is inevitable that this blog will eventually come to be as much about my struggles with my depression and self-loathing as it is with my gender. It might stigmatize my future employment prospects, but fuck it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year is that next year happens next year, and rent is due in a week. I have to talk about this, if only to be honest about what transitioning is. You can’t divorce trans issues from the rest of it. To dig deep enough to resolve gender stuff in any kind of a satisfactory level demands that you also dig up everything else, too. Otherwise you’re just patching over the difficult parts with convenient lies, and if you start doing that, then what the fuck’s the point of transitioning?

So I guess what I mean to say is, that stuff I mentioned earlier, about making sure this blog to won’t be a blighted wasteland?

Total fucking lie. It gets worse from here.

Injection Day

Injection Day, Injection Day, Thursday was Injection Day.
Injection Day, Injection Day, I missed my last Injection Day.
Injection Day, Injection Day, how I loathe Injection Day.
Injection Day, Injection Day, I do so fear Injection Day.
Injection Day, Injection Day, please save me from Injection Day.

Falling Down Again

So it turns out that spending a year being homeless and on the edge of suicide isn’t an effective therapy mode. I know, I was shocked too, but you’re going to have to trust me on this one. On Wednesday, I went in to meet with two of my professors in their office hours. The first meeting went well; I updated/reminded my adviser where I was in the process, got some clarity about how to proceed with the rest of the quarter.

Then I had a nervous breakdown. A full scale sobbing, keening, wailing, slamming-my-head-into-the-wall-over-and-over-again breakdown, right there in the bathroom. I ended up curled up in the corner of the large handicap stall, doing my best to fit in some quality hyperventilation with the sobbing. Somebody comes into the bathroom and I shut up, hold my breath, watch the feet walk to the urinal and hope they don’t know I’m here. Standing in front of the mirror a few minutes later, I practice looking like I’m not a shattered wreck of a person and hey, it looks pretty good. It lasts until about four minutes into the meeting with my second professor, where I admit that I wasn’t able to do the work I said I would, and begin sobbing right there in front of him. He suggests that I should consider pulling out of my classes and focusing on getting healthy before I try graduate school again. He’s right. I can’t do this yet. My relief is unspeakable.

An hour later I find myself standing in line with a pair jumbo pot noodles (low quality carbohydrates, it’s what’s for dinner) thinking What does it say about me that I feel best about myself when I’m running away?

Now I’m not inclined to believe in God sending me signs, but I am inclined to believe that the Universe revolves around me, so when later that day Portland got hit with two inches of rain and hail in the space of an hour and a half, I figured that of course it was some kind of cosmic reflection of my state of mind. I felt wonderful and terrible. I hadn’t really wanted to go back to school, but it had seemed like the thing to do. Get back on the horse, and all that shit. I loved my class, it was the first truly exciting intellectual experience I’d had in years, but I hated and feared my workload. This post isn’t maudlin enough yet, so I’ll go ahead and say it: it was like the rain washed away my anxiety, while reflecting my grief at my defeat. (Yes! High score! Nobody does overwrought like a tranny. Nobody.)
On Thursday, I went back to school to drop my classes. It was the right thing to do. I wanted to do it. And when I got to the page in the web portal that drops classes, I couldn’t bring myself to do it for a half hour. I came home, truly sad and feeling deflated. The enormity of what I’d done, of giving up, pressing me down.

There was a box on my doorstep. My friends had mailed me a blender. When I finished wandering around my apartment, laughing and sobbing deliriously, I made myself a smoothie.

I have the best friends.