Thursday, April 27, 2006

putting on my top hat, tying up my white tie, brushing off my tails!

Last week was Trans Prom at the Center, and boy, was it a riproaring good time- a bunch of us went out for dinner before hand, and it was like the giant genderqueer group date that high school never offered. It's times like those that I feel best in NYC- knowing that I made the right decision to come here, because I've found these great folks to spend time with. I know that there are great folks everywhere, but it has seemed more possible to find them here in the city.

Last Wednesday, which was the last group session til June, we talked a bit about community and I said something about how I moved to New York to transition, and I'm not sure that's entirely accurate. I would've taken this time right now to transition no matter where I had ended up living- if I were in Portland, I would be transitioning, or if I were anywhere. I moved to New York because my friends were moving here, too, and I thought I could get a good job and have a good time, but it sure didn't hurt that I thought I could find myself a trans community here. And I have! Not just through the Trans Masculine group, though that has definitely been crucial. I'm so glad that we all exchanged emails, and are going to keep spending time with each other, because nothing affirms me like spending time with likeminded individuals, you know? Chinese food in fancy clothes is always fun, but when you're surrounded by fellow genderqueers, it's just that much better.

I don't want to sound separatist, or trip mself up with identity politics here. It's just as valuable to me to spend time with people who aren't like me, and get new perpectives and new outlooks and learn how to be myself when I'm the only one shoring up my identity. Makes me stronger, I think, to be the only trans person in a situation, because then I'm carrying my own torch. Sometimes I have to explain myself, and that makes me stronger as well.

I'm always of two minds about explaining things to folks who aren't sure how to handle me being trans. On the one hand, I don't want to feel like I need explain myself to anyone. I'm doing what I need to do to live in this world productively, and make myself happy. That's a good enough reason, and it doesn't need explaining. On the other hand, I'm enough of a social creature that I do feel like the people in my life deserve an explanation of what's going on with me. Also, through offering that explanation, I think (I hope) that I can educate myself- nothing like needing to explain yourself to someone to force yourself to re-evaluate and really understand why you're doing something- and also educate others, which is an important, though sometimes contentious, subgoal of mine.

Wow, this post is just meandering all over the map, isn't it? I'll leave off, then, with a picture and a resolution. The picture is of some of my compatriots and I at the Prom- you can just make me out in the back row with my grin and my striped red shirt.

The resolution is strictly my own- I've resolved not to buy any more clothes until the end of summer. I don't want to buy any more shirts until I have the body that's going to fit into them properly, and I don't want to buy any more pants until my hips have redistributed themselves a little bit (though I realize that's going to take longer than just a few months), and I don't want to buy any more underwear until I know there's no chance the Communists (my own private metaphor. you know. the Red army?) are going to arrive unexpectedly and stain my favorite boxer briefs.

Plus, I'm trying to be thrifty, and by the end of August my expenses will be done with and I can start re-evaluating my budget. And then I can go out and go wild on Fall Fashions in September. My birthday present to myself- clothes that fit and look good, on a body that does likewise.