Thursday, February 21, 2008

small moments

I was helping a woman at work yesterday and she commented on my Martin van Buren muttonchops.

"I like your facial hair! You men have so many options."
Ha! I thought to myself. It's true! We do! I'm enjoying my muttonchops a lot, despite the fact that I now have more cleanshaven surface area to maintain. It's nice, too, because without the moustache (and the corresponding obvious space where it doesn't connect to my beard) it's harder to tell that my beard is still in a nascent stage. I'm glad not to look like a high schooler, though I guess looking like our nation's 8th president is a bit of an odd trade off.
At dinner last night, telling a new acquaintance that I have a twin, he asked "Fraternal or identical?"
I gave my long-ago-formed standard answer "Fraternal- my sister and I don't look alike at all!"
To which he responded, "Oh, a sister! Fraternal, of course. Ha, does anyone ever ask you if you're identical? Haha!"
And I remember being a kid and being similarly scornful of those poor ignorant folks who didn't understand that identical meant from the same egg! So of COURSE they couldn't be one boy and one girl! Now that my situation is more complicated than that, I have to smile at my own former ignorance.
Of course, I could've said to the guy "Well, actually, I'm a transsexual, so technically we could've been identical."
I didn't say it- another of the myriad ways, growing more myriad every day, in which I don't challenge the world's assumption that I'm a non-trans man (cissexual)- but as I'm writing this, I wonder, could we have been identical? I know I've read somewhere, or maybe seen a short PBS segment on, a transman and his sister who were identical twins. But thinking about what makes me who I am, and how we used to joke as kids about if we'd been identical, and what if there'd been two Kates or two of me! If we'd been identical and both from my egg, would my mother have had two transsexual children?
Curious! Goes back to the great unknown nature/nuture/etc debate about what causes us to be who we are. I think one of the arguments put forth in the PBS segment about the other trans/non-trans twin pair was that their mother had been in a car accident while pregnant and the trans twin had absorbed all of the adrenalin/other hormones that were released, which caused masculinization of the brain, which caused transsexualism. No explanation of why only one twin got the full dose, though. Anyway, it was interesting to my family because MY mother was in a car accident while she was pregnant with us! Just a small one, much less intense than the one on television, but a car accident nonetheless! Maybe that's the reason...

No comments: