Progress at last

Those last entries, I hope, will be the end of worrying that I cannot transition successfully. Over the past few days I’ve realized, in a very short period of time, that I am getting correctly gendered much more frequently than I had thought. If I wear the right clothes and put a little effort into it, I can be gendered correctly enough to notice that it’s happening. This lasts for as long as it takes me to open my mouth, and so now I finally am getting around to doing my voice.

A friend on Twitter has taken an interest and is helping me with this. I think something is different this time because before I always had excuses to put this part off. Thinking about trying to improve my voice scared me, scared me in a way that’s difficult to describe. Every few months I’d get over my fear and try to do it for maybe an hour or two at a time. Then I’d scurry away, terrified and ashamed, and let the matter drop for a while longer. But now I can’t wait to get off work so I can go home and work on my voice.

The plan is to sing, and use that to strengthen my throat. I’m also going to be experimenting with recording myself–note to self, find hand-recorder–to hear the difference in what I’m trying to do. There’s a whole subreddit dedicated to this stuff that I’ll go through as well, I think.

I’m still scared, but now I’m excited, too.

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Over the Shoulder Boulder Holders

I am now in gleeful possession of two (2) fabulous bras. I owe this chiefly to my friends A (for amazingly awesome, because she is) and S (for Slytherin because when she wants to, she makes Voldemort look like a pussy).

Two weeks ago, A took me to Ross, where I learned the basics of bras and got acclimated to standing near them without fleeing in shame and terror. The bra we purchased that day ended up being insufficient–it was far too small, and caused pain if worn for more than fifteen minutes– but the experience was invaluable, and taught me what to look for my second time, and helped me gain confidence in the notion that this was a task I could master.

Today, S took me first to a local specialty shop called The Pencil Test where the proprietor said that she doesn’t do measuring (in a specialty shop?) and only carries D cups and above. For S’s sake, I let it drop at the time, but let us say I find it highly suspicious that a small, locally owned store would limit itself in such a manner. But S was nothing if not game, and we trekked onward to Victoria’s Secret, where she introduced me to the saleslady and explained my situation while I was busy unpeeling my tongue from the roof of my mouth.

I have to say that for a large corporation that built its empire on the body insecurities of women who are not paid lavishly to hold to a strict diet and exercise seven hours a day, the staff at VC are quite friendly and helpful, even to the lost and scared transchick who is having difficulty speaking.

I cannot overstate how important it is to me that I have people who are willing to do this for me. Even if they only walk in the store with me and break the ice, it is a huge boost. That is more than I could do for myself. Transitioning is difficult and scary and painful. The tallest wall is my own fear that I’m doing something wrong, that I shouldn’t be allowed to do this, that I’m not  worthy of doing this. It is vital that I have people willing to stand on the other side of that wall, and over to help me climb. I feel so grateful that I have such wonderful women welcoming me into the club and offering me help.

One of the dirty little secrets of the trans femme experience is that even though we make a lot of noise about how our genders are as valid as any cis persons–and they are!–a lot of us crave cis acceptance that we’re Doing It Right, even if there is no one right way to do it. We want to know that we’re not making ourselves into absurd monstrosities (by which I mean that terrifying stereotype of the hypermasculine tranny under a thin veneer of mascara, not genderqueer or bigender folks). We help each other, swap tips, provide support, certainly. But we also look for outside cues, indications from our cis sisters that we’re not off the trail, making fools of ourselves in the bushes. I am profoundly lucky to have plenty of cis women who wish to welcome me, take me by the elbow, and help me find my way.

Without my friends, I wouldn’t have the guts to stand in a bra store and admit I’m not shopping for a girlfriend. Because I have women who will help me out, I finally feel like I have a complete wardrobe. I wear a bra and finally feel like my body might be acceptable someday. Someday soon.

So, A: thank you.

S: Thank you.

To all the other cis girls who have helped me, and to any cis girls in the future who may yet lend a hand: thank you.

(PS: oh my Goddess, these things are amazing! It’s like bam! Boob in yo face!)

My Big Fuckin’ Fag Flag

I wear it around my waist. It billows around my legs. It is my skirt, and it is fantastic.

I need to get more skirts, more leggings. I want to wear them every goddamn day. Not because I look amazing in them, although when I wear them sometimes I catch a glimpse of a life that might have been out of the corner of my eye, but because they’re a goddamn statement.

Yes, I am an exotic superqueer doublefag (or “tranny” if you prefer to be laconic). Yes, I work here too. And if you ask, yes, my stats are better than yours. I will correct your pronoun use. I will repeat my name loudly, because I am April like the month! and I will do this as long as it takes. My hair is pulled back by my scrunchy of doom, and sometimes I’m even wearing makeup (although you wouldn’t notice because you’d expect me to look like a goddamn circus clown).

Here’s the thing about flying your colors: people notice, and they react. There are a few people here who used to speak to me a lot who don’t speak to me anymore. There are a few people who never spoke, but never noticed, who now notice, mostly to grimace in that way that says “I am deeply uncomfortable with you being here, but I’m going to pretend I’m okay.” There are people who talk to me just as much as before, either by choice or because we share a cubicle and I ain’t going nowhere.

I haven’t won any friends doing this. But I know the ones I’ve kept are good. And I feel safer, like every day I do this without incident proves there’s nothing to be scared of. Someday, I hope to not be scared to use the bathroom.

Utopia

One day, we will win. Nobody will be forced to suffer through the wrong puberty, and those of us who realize too late we were on the wrong path will be given all help necessary to correct our course as soon as possible. There will be no stimga, no shame. It will be a thing of healing and celebration. We will be loved.

One day, our culture will all have a coming of age process that involves some deep thinking about what gender we are. Everyone will be encouraged to think it over and make their decision, and it will be respected. Children will not be asked to articulate the reasoning behind their choice. Nobody will be forced to choose before they are ready; and everyone will be allowed to change their mind.

One day, we will be safe. We will not live in fear of being clocked for trans. We will be assured that, even if we are visibly queer, we will be no less respected for it. Our careers will not suffer. Our families will not be considered weird, unless we want them to be and make a point of eccentricity.

We will win. The realities of today will be a horrifying warning from the past. We will win.