Tuesday, October 24, 2006

bloody funny

I donated blood yesterday at the Red Cross blood drive on campus, and re-learned the valuable lesson that people are going to see what they want to see, despite any and all evidence to the contrary.

I'd been a little nervous about donating, since they ask for ID, and I haven't gotten my new license yet (argh!). So I decided to just suck it up and put down the name and gender that's on my old license, and explain whatever needed explaining if it came to that.

So I put that down, and put "F" in the box at the top. There are two gender-specific questions- a pregnancy question, where the answer choices are Yes, No and I'm Male, and a "have you had fag sex since 1977?" question, where the choices are Yes, No, and I'm Female. I answered those as though I were female.

After waiting for quite a while, a friendly nurse finally comes over and apologizes for forgetting about me, and starts going over the questionnaire pretty quickly. First she says "Is this you? Did you say your name was Eli?" and points at my name, and I tell her yes, that's my legal name, and give her my ID, which she looks at, and writes down that it's a driver's license.

She starts going over my list of answers, and stops at the question about whether I'd gotten any shots recently. I'd said yes, and when I told her that my doctor had given me a shot of testosterone last week, she didn't really blink, just asked why.

I squirmed for a second, wondering whether to disclose. Up til this point she'd been calling me he, teasing me about wearing my Mets sweatshirt (she was a Yankee fan, but I didn't hold it against her), being friendly and clearly treating me as male. Clearly, didn't see the F on my license. So I just said "Um, I've got a hormonal imbalance, I take testosterone every two weeks."

She just nodded, writes that down, keeps going...and I notice that she has checked the "I'm Male" box next to the pregnancy question, as well as the No box that I'd already checked. And then she gets to the "Have you had gay sex?" question, where I've marked the box that says "I'm female" and says "You're not female! Answer this one again!" and crosses it out and looks up at me expectantly.

What's a guy to do?

I said "Just kidding!" and answered the question, and we carried on from there, and I donated blood, and got cookies, and it was fine.

Moral of the story? Clearly, it was truly ridiculous for the judge to deny me a masculine name because it would be fraudulent, since even when I TELL people that I'm "female" they see me as male. Thanks, of course, to some sideburns and a flat chest and a low voice, etc.

I suppose I could've done some sort of educational activism and said "Actually, I'm a transsexual." Which would've been interesting in its own right, and was what I was prepared to do, since I assumed that the nurse would, oh, I don't know...notice the gender markers all over everything, and believe what I wrote down on the form. Anyway. Funny story.

A parade of aesthetic changes:

-You may have noticed that I altered the layout of this blog slightly. I may continue to fiddle a bit with it.
-I put up a new voice clip here, though I don't think things are changing as dramatically. I've been trying to sing lately without much success...I just don't know where my voice is anymore. Also, I'm totally guilty of lowering my voice too much. I used to have to try so hard to get my voice to dip down low that now I sing TOO low when I'm trying to sing along with my favorite tenors and even baritones.
-I'm continuing to get broader and fuzzier. Funny exchange with Fleury (my roommate) last night:

Eli, studiedly casual: Did you notice my beard?
Fleury: ....
Eli: Well, I mean, I didn't shave for three days, because it was the weekend, and then because I wanted to see what would happen, and so, you know, I was just wondering if you noticed my beard.
Fleury: Now that you mention it, Eli, I guess I can tell that you're kinda scruffy. But no, I didn't notice your beard.
Eli: Oh.

-I went to the gym yesterday for the first time since...April? March. Went into the Men's locker room, looked around vaguely, then stuffed my things in a locker near the front and hurried out. We'll see if I can maintain my beefcake routine. Studly abs, here I come!

1 comment:

Nathan said...

I'm still waiting for my voice to drop and it's been almost 5 months [yeah, call me mister impatient]. But along with that, I'm getting facial hair. I wish the two [voice and hair] would coincide more. I think I'd pass if it weren't for this darn voice thing. I'd also start shaving instead of just "trimming" with scissors if I didn't think people would see me as a hairy girl [not that there's anything wrong with that, I just don't personally want to be that].

Way to go on the gym thing. I'm really trying to work out consistantly, but it's hard when school is in session. I think I would have abs if I didn't have some of this belly fat.

I don't know how you have guts to go into the male locker room. I'm totally still afraid to do it, but I guess eventually you just get over it.