Saturday, September 09, 2006

man alive

Post-surgery, five months on T, and nobody ever thinks I'm a girl anymore. It's been happening so gradually that I didn't really notice at first- it's become normal to be read as a guy all of the time. And I mean all of the time- I can't remember the last time a stranger she'd me.

The other day one of my coworkers said something along the lines of "Hey, I helped someone out just a minute ago, and she said she was looking for a book that the man behind the desk had helped her find earlier. She called you he! Good, right?"

And I said something like "Uh, yeah, though not so unexpected." Which I now realize was a fairly ungracious thing to say, since 12 months ago I was constantly nervous and stressed about whether the students were going to get my pronoun right out not. Now that's something of a fading memory.

Which is an interesting point to explore later- are my memories of being female-bodied person going to start fading away? I imagine they will, like memories of any other circumstance once it ceases to be true. I hope that I can hang on to the fruits of those experiences, though. I'm not about to consider myself post-transition (not for a long time yet, if ever!) but I am ready to acknowledge that I don't consider myself a female-bodied person anymore. I don't consider myself a male-bodied person, either, exactly....a transmale-bodied person, I guess. What else? But to that end, I want to let my memories of what it's like existing as a more visibly gender variant person guide me as I become a visibly congruent man.

I mean, it's good not to have to worry anymore. It's weird that there are students from last year who thought I was a girl (dyke, what have you) who have returned this year- wonder what they'll think now? But that's one of the few remaining pockets of anxiety I have, most of these pockets being inhabitated by peripherial folks from my past who never really got it for one reason or another. It's not until it has ceased being such a drain that I've started fully realizing how much energy goes to worrying about whether or not I'm being appropriately seen.

And I have to say, I think my voice, my sideburns and my new delightfully flat chest are all bringing me into new territory, replete with new assumptions about my history, etc being made. For example- I went to a baseball game the other day and someone in our group asked "Did you ever play baseball?"

I blinked for a moment or two before it dawned that, seeing as how she didn't know I was trans, she might very well assume I played baseball in high school. (Though reflecting now on my scrawny self, maybe she was just being kind!) But it's symptomatic of a new and larger theme in my life: namely, that there's a whole world of history that I didn't share with most guys, and another world that I did share with most girls, and that side of my story is no longer readily apparent to everyone else. My common ground with the rest of the world is rather out-of-sync, and not everyone is going to know that at first sight anymore.

I got some Mederma scar cream on Thursday, and I've been rubbing it into my scars three times a day- when I wake up, get home from work, and right before I go to bed. It's not too greasy, smells okay, and call me silly but it already seems like my scars are slightly less red/puffy. I'm glad I've gone with this option- it makes me feel like I'm actively helping my scars heal better, but I don't have to tape anything to my chest anymore. It's making me feel much much further on the road to recovery know that I don't have any gauze or tape anywhere on me...I can just wear a shirt like everyone else! I'm rather proud of how I look in my t-shirt, little pot belly and all. In thin white tees and tanks I can see the lines of my scars through the fabric, but probably just because I'm scrutinizing myself in front of the mirror.
Oh, and I put up another voice post.

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