The other evening my wife said something that made me cry. What she said is not important, she didn't mean to upset me with it and she later apologised. It was one of those in-depth emotionally charged conversations with your spouse that should be familiar to anyone else who's transgendered and married, so it was very fertile ground for lachrymation.
The thing that surprised me about it was how quickly I started crying. I didn't mean to cry, it just happened. I've probably cried more in the last five years than I did in the previous twenty, and since that period was mostly spent suffering some kind of clinical depression, that's going some!
Why is this? Being bodily a bloke and thus awash with testosterone, I should be all shouty and sweary or something in highly charged moments. I've always been annoyed by phrases like "Boys don't cry" because they imply that girls do at the drop of a hat, and my experience tells me that most of them don't. Yet as I've allowed my mind to admit that it's got something of the girl about it I find that it's letting the side down a little with its haste to become emotional. If I was trying to be girly, this isn't one of the ways I'd prefer to express myself.
Reading around on the subject things become a little clearer. It seems crying is a natural mechanism the body uses to rid itself of excess stress hormones when their levels in the blood reach potentially damaging proportions. One particularly interesting insight was that the crying mechanism can be suppressed by clinical depression which then causes the stress hormones to build up and make the situation worse. As someone who's been there, that explains so much! Kinda makes me feel like an idiot for suppressing my transgendered side in the first place. Different time, different place I guess, Maggie's Britain probably wouldn't have been forgiving to a teenaged t-girl.
All this talk of crying is starting to make this post sound like a particularly sentimental offering from Nashville. For which I am truly sorry.