I really could have used a nice relaxing weekend at home after my first week at work as Suzanne. I got a weekend at home, but a lot of it was spent in bed coughing and sneezing, since I came down with a cold on Friday. Not as relaxing as I'd hoped, and this cold has been hell on my voice for the past 4 days and counting. I needed another challenge, apparently.
Alone and sick. I am not happy. I need rest.
I woke up at 3:30 am this morning for the second straight night, but at least this time my throat was not on fire. A mild burn at best, so I'm getting over it. I thought about writing this blog entry then (14 hours ago), but decided to go back to bed despite feeling wide awake. Yesterday, I had stayed awake and paid the price later at work, when I was practically nodding off in my 4pm meeting. I didn't make the same mistake twice. I'm not stupid, and that may be my whole problem.
I assume this post would have come out a lot more interesting in the state I was in this morning, had I written it at 3:30. My stuffy head was crammed full of regret for what I am doing and loathing of what I have become. I'm not sure if it was a moment of clarity or confustion, but a few extra hours of sleep and another day to ponder things have allowed me to see things differently. I'm sure I can recall most of what was bothering me, but I can't recreate my state of mind (hopefully, anyway -- I don't want that back). So here goes...
A lot of people have told me what a lot of courage I must have. Courage to live the life I want to live. Courage to do things that surely must be terrifying to me. I suppose that's true in a way. I don't feel cowardly. But there's a fine line between bravado and self-destruction. The fact is I've made choices, and difficult ones to be sure, but choices which nonetheless have set me on a course that now I feel that I can't back away from easily. Jumping out of a plane takes only a moment of courage, and gravity does the rest.
The problem is not courage; it's the furries. I can't get away from that.
Furries, in case you don't know, are people who fantasize about being animals or dressing up like animals. I think some of them like to get together and dress up and have little animal sex parties or something. Maybe I'm missing the point, but it doesn't really matter. I've got nothing against them, really. Whatever they like to do in the privacy of their own houses is fine with me and all that. I'm sure they're lovely people who I'd be happy to invite over for cocktails and a nice chat. I'd just find it odd if they wanted to show up dressed like a cat or a racoon. Shit. Does that make me a hypocrite?
No, Suzanne -- what you are is somehow validated by the fact that transsexualism has been around since forever and it's not a paraphilia, it's a normal human variation. Being a woman born with a man's body makes sense, in a way that being a squirrel born with a human body cannot.
Look, I don't really want to get into a debate over the causes of transsexualism. There are many theories, and the fact is it's a little-understood condition, and I'm not likely to settle the debate here. Maybe it doesn't matter what causes it, and the only thing that matters is doing what's right for my well-being. Fine, but I'm asking an awful lot of people, including myself, to accept that this is somehow okay and not freakish, or maybe it is freakish but you still have to accept it. Bringing this into the workplace has amplified that quite a bit. Before, it was friends and family and strangers, who could pretty much accept it or avoid me. Coworkers have an obligation. People who report to me at work have to accept this or face real consequenses. They don't get a choice. I jumped out of the plane but there were people tethered to me, you see.
I'm sure most of them are not bothered by this as much as I am. I just worry about the ones that see me as basically a fetishist and a freak, even if they don't know that's what they see and would never admit it if they did. Now, suddenly, whether they're right or wrong in this view changes everything for me. Am I guilty of some real transgression or are they being closed-minded and intollerant?
So the question comes back to what caused my condition. Am I a woman trapped in a man's body? That's an appealing concept to me, as it seems to be to most transsexuals. If you woke up tomorrow and your sex were reversed, who could begrudge you wanting to be the sex you are on the inside? Shame on you if you don't sympathize with me! Or is my condition autogynophilia? That's a controversial theory posited by people who do not seem to be well-liked among transsexuals, which is basically that this all male-to-female transsexuals are either very effeminate gay men (not me) or people with misdirected heterosexual sexual desires, who fantasize about being women. I think that drags us down (if that's the right term) to the level of the furries, you see. That's not an appealing thing to me, in any case -- and again, let me stress that I've got nothing against furries per se, but if you decide to get a surgically-constructed tail, I think most of the world is going to see that as being a bit strange.
I don't know. I'm not blessed with the talent most people seem to have to see whatever theory is most convenient to their situation as being The One Clear Truth and all else as insane nonsense and heresy. So occasionally I'm going to suffer through moments of self-doubt and maybe even self-loathing. You didn't think this was all sunshine and roses, did you?
But you know what? Fuck it. The world's a strange place and it's full of strange people. If you want to live in it, you have to accept that. That's the conclusion I've come to. Maybe I'm a freak and maybe I'm a normal variation on the human condition, and maybe that's the same thing, even. I can accept that. People can see me how they see me, and I don't especially need validation.
Changing your sex is a difficult thing to do, but the things that are hardest about it are not the things most people would think of. It's coming to terms with yourself that's the really hard part. I'm going to have to take that as it comes, I think.
3 weeks ago