The hardest part of womanhood for me is not showing anger. I sometimes see feel good feminist stuff about women’s anger being liberatory, but let me tell you, that applies ONLY IN HUGE GROUPS. An individual woman showing her anger is NOT signing up for liberation, she’s signing up for being written off as crazy, which is an especially cruel kind of cage to try to make a life in.
That was one thing I was really looking forward to about manhood, being allowed to be angry without being labeled crazy. That was a very dumb analysis for me to have. Duh, most people, including their allies, have written trans people off as crazy. An angry trans person is of COURSE not going to have any credibility, is of COURSE going to be assumed to be having some kind of episode rather than reacting to a legitimate grievance. When I was trans if I got angry about doctor’s appointments being cancelled, being underpaid at work, being disrespected at my home, being creeped on, people would roll their eyes at me immediately. In a weird twist, the one thing I could get angry at and have that anger be treated as legitimate was if someone used “she” for me.
It was such a trip, because even when I was trans I wasn’t delusional about whether I passed (I knew I didn’t) and I didn’t consider being perceived as a woman to be an insult, so when someone “she”-d me, especially if we were meeting for the first time, that really didn’t make me mad. My bosses using the fact that it was much harder for me to get another job because of me being trans to pay me poverty wages made me FURIOUS. Those same bosses using me as a photo op, while they were paying me money I couldn’t live on, made me FURIOUS. But if I complained to people about being so poor, I’d get eye rolls, like, duh, you’re a trans person without an engineering degree and this is San Francisco, you signed up for being poor. Being angry at poverty was silly, being angry at being “she”-d was a-ok.
These days I work a lot a lot a lot at hiding my anger. It’s pretty much why I have to have this blog. As a woman, my anger is already not legitimate, but especially as a woman who has detransitioned I am on thin ice when it comes to the perception of my sanity. It really feels like if I slip and show that I am not actually always a fun, smiley, positive barrel of laughs, the last shreds of credibility as a sane adult will slip from away from me.
But it’s hard because yow-za, when I think about when I was trans I feel very angry. Being dismissed and disrespected and fetishized and condescended to and straight up used in all types of ways- it was some bullshit! It was a time in my life when lots of people showed their asses to me, and when they come around and still want to be friends or want to catch up and hear about my “gender journey” I just want to tell them to fuck the fuck off.
But I don’t. Because then they’ll get to call me crazy. So I just put lots of space between me and them. I need detransitioned people to be a way bigger presence in the national narrative before I’ll be able to real with my “fuck off’s.”
Ugh, people and their traps.