Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Boy vs. Girl

"There's no way you're all girl!" my wife once said to me after watching me enjoying the innocent pleasure of powersliding a lawn tractor on wet grass. And she's right. Within me I've got as much of an intact slice of my built-in maleness as I have the transgendered female that's been there ever since I can remember.Both sides of me together have allowed me to do some really cool things I might never have experienced had I not been born transgendered. Spending a day rebuilding an oily and worn engine is just as enjoyable to me as people-watching from a coffeeshop window and analysing the fashion choices of the passers-by, and I feel fortunate that I can appreciate them and other things normally reserved for one side or the other.The trick is not to suppress either, not to let them go to war. Suppressing my inner girl brought me nothing but pain, setting her free has allowed me to achieve things I never thought possible. I just have to be careful of the protective instinct of my male side. If I'm not careful, he'll have me opening doors for myself.


  1. The biggest discovery I ever made, and thankfully it happened early in my transition, is that there is no right way or wrong way to do "woman" (or "man" for that matter, though the male hierarchy is decidedly more defensive about the criterion for membership in its group sometimes).

    I know lots of women who would love to powerslide a lawn tractor, or get greasy switching out an engine on a car or bike. Behaviors of this sort aren't innately gender-specific...they're just socially reinforced as such.

    For me, the big issue was horror movies. I love horror movies. I didn't know any other women who loved them as much as me, and the fansites are male-dominated. But if you look, you could see there are women in there too, holding their own, just as fervent and fanatical as me (in fact, I'm a contributor on a female-only horror blog now). And it was simply a matter of realizing, "Oh, okay, so I'm one of those women."

    And really, you can do that with any interest or hobby or whatever. The umbrella of womanhood is wide and there is lots of room underneath it.

  2. Thankfully I've not fallen into the "If I want to be female I have to do these girly things" trap yet. :) Hence my feeling just slightly guilty in another post at my embrace of the female-gender-stereotyped craft of dressmaking in the face of my ancestresses efforts to escape such things.

  3. Yeah, I just read that post. Interestingly, I wish I could sew. Doing my alterations, or even dressmaking, would be neat and a nice alternative to buying off the rack...which can be so troublesome when you're our size. I may be learning soon though...my friend Sara apparently wants to teach me how to sew so we can make Ren Fair costumes together this year. :-)

  4. Wish I was in a position to come over and help you learn. I won't claim that my ability with a sewing machine matches my ability with a soldering iron. But I can follow a pattern and there's nothing like the satisfaction of wearing a garment that's made for you.

  5. Yes, *sigh*. Stupid continental divides.