Two Years

My sweetie pie gay boy co-worker took a vakay to San Francisco and now is going to move there.  He’s roommates with the bisexual, recently raped, very femme- presenting, identifying as a trans boy person. Who has a beautiful singing voice they are about to wreck with T.

At least the mistakes I’ve made are very popular mistakes to make. I have a knack for making the mistakes everyone else is going to make 2 years later. I got into standup ahead of the boom, I threw myself on the rape joke protest pyre ahead of everyone writing a think piece about that, and now I’m over the trans thing a couple of years ahead of everyone else too.

So the question is, since all this harm is being done, and since in about two years a lot of young people are going to face up to lots of regrets about permanent changes they’ve made to their bodies and a whole lot of additional trauma they’ve taken on in that community, what do we have to build to keep them alive two years from now?

I think the big thing is building spaces where they can be believed. Because one of the most crazy-making parts of detransition is that people won’t let you out of being trans. At that clinic when I asked people to start calling me “she” they all called me “they.” Coming back to my hometown I had to assert over and over that no I wasn’t a different kind of trans, no I wasn’t gender-fluid or gender-queer or a queer femme, I was Done with the Trans Thing. People didn’t really understand why I was so assertive about being Done with the Trans Thing. It’s because my experience with the trans thing was that it brought me into all these really toxic relationships and social groups. When all these people want Out in 2 years we need spaces where they’re allowed to just be Out and Done.

That’s just the beginning. They’re going to need spaces where they can be Done with the Trans Thing, and then what’s next in their lives? What are the practices and treatments that are actually going to address their dysphoria? I think anti-anxiety medication can potentially do a lot in this arena. Trauma therapies can do a lot. There’s a lot of life re-design that ends up needing to happen- you need a lot of deep, quality relationships to be able to walk through the world feeling seen. That’s the promise of the Trans Thing- just take these hormones and get this surgery and then the world will be able to see the Real You. But the deal with the human condition is that you can’t do anything that will let strangers see the Real You. The Real You is only seen by people who care so much about you they’re willing to observe and invest in you for years. I think in American culture at the moment we aren’t very skilled at building those kind of deep relationships. We’re very scared of being deeply invested in the people around us. It’s more attractive and less scary to us to pack up and move to California.

I feel some ambivalence about building the infrastructure that will catch the coming ex-trans wave and doing my own healing. I’ve relied on a performed femininity to get through this past year, and I think it’s been a good financial and social investment to get caught up on how to do that femininity. But ideally I really want to build a life where I’m not performing so much. Where I’m in my body and reacting to other people and the world from that embodied place and I have a lot of opportunities to react authentically without catching a bunch of flak for it.

Ha, I think the not catching flak dream might be just that, a beautiful dream. I think authentic people just catch lots of flak whenever they venture out from a tight, deeply invested community. I just need to make sure I have that tight community holding me before I make moves that will catch me all that flak. I was super isolated, like all by myself in a new city, all new friends, had just given up my beloved puppy even, when I caught all the flak for speaking up against rape jokes. I think I made that lesson “don’t speak up,” but I think the better lesson is make sure you have a really good crew and community before you speak up.

Two years. I really, really think that’s the timeline when we’ll have a big ex-trans wave crash into the medical establishment. Two years to figure out some initial non-transition approaches to dysphoria. Two years to make some spaces where people can be Done and Out. Two years to make something new. 2018 here we come.

 

9 thoughts on “Two Years”

  1. Do you believe transition is wrong for every AFAB? Is it a bikini vs burqa deal? Is there really no out for coming into this world as a cunted, titted, assed laughingstock and victim waiting to happen, particularly if lesbianism doesn’t appeal, even if being some guy’s trophy hole doesn’t appeal either? What about the stealth trans guys post phallo, who may be happy having escaped the execresence of girl existence? Why do only cutie gay boys who are AMAB get to live as humans who like men? Why does an AFAB have to be a lesbian in a lesbian community to be treated as human (as long as she stays in her commune). How does slapping on makeup and trying to find a straight dude give you more authenticity than shooting T as a trans man?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whoa there is so much to unpack in this comment. And I’m reticent to because it seems like you’re maybe going through a lot. But there’s so much to unpack that I have to thank you for it. Lots of good questions. I believe you have just inspired a lot of posts.

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  2. We must see ourselves primarily as human and realise all gender is a performance. Make up, steroids, lingerie and sovereign rings are just costumes, we are poised on the brink of an era that could smash apart the centuries of segregation and prejudice. Let us see anyone who identifies as trans as someone who is more ready than most to deconstruct gender in society. That is the most important point- the problem lies with society, whether you choose to conform to classical stereotypes, post modern variations or switch to the opposite stereotype you have not dealt with the root cause of your disphoria. Gender disphoria is a healthy response to the unnecessary unquestioned expectations of others.

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  3. Hi Maria,

    I discovered your blog a couple of days ago and have been bingeing on your posts 😉

    “I think authentic people just catch lots of flak whenever they venture out from a tight, deeply invested community.” Bingo! Being authentic (or even making any move in that direction) is always seen as a threat to the culture’s social order. Conformity is Job One for a Happy America!

    Working towards being your authentic self is a revolutionary act, and I don’t think it is something that is ever finished. Life will send us plenty of situations to make sure that we are never quite “there.” I totally agree that the community we can find (or create) is absolutely critical to surviving & thriving in the maelstrom—feeling like there are people that have our backs, and for whom we can stand up for when they need us. This is also a revolutionary act, and mainstream society will do everything it can to destroy an authentic and loving human community.

    I’m 55 years old, had strong dysphoria (both sexual and gender-al) as a child and adolescent, and am now, (thanks to my own inner work and a great therapist ) finding the thread that hopefully leads to the root of my dysphoria: basically, a shitload of trauma and undiagnosed ADD. It is criminal that the trend is to “treat” adolescents with puberty blockers & hormones, and not look deeply for signs of trauma & abuse, learning disabilities, etc. I think you are absolutely right that we will soon reap the consequences of this insanity.

    I never transitioned, mostly because in the 70’s the option simply didn’t exist for ordinary people. (I’m one of those hetero AFABs, FWIW) I’ve suffered crushing social anxiety my whole life & made some bad decisions, but I’ve always had friends I could count on, people who could love me for who I am. I have friends now who help me every day on my journey, just by being in my life.

    So, YES to Community; and YES to exploring myriad ways to discover and treat dysphoria. Thank you.

    Blessings and Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a great comment! I’m so glad you found a great therapist. There’s some kind of connection between adhd and dysphoria I think- there seem to be a lot of us dysphorics with both. So nice to internet-meet you and thank you for reading and sharing your experience!

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  4. I totally relate to your 2-years-too-early feeling. Just a thought, not sure if it’ll help or is the right direction, but when I was researching how to help with my crippling anxiety (c-ptsd with some types of mild OCD) coming from and childhood trauma, I came across Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz and his work with OCD sufferers (OCD being an anxiety disorder, as is BDD – body dysmorphic disorder). Our brains are plastic and can be rewired, and he’s come up with a 4-step CBT process that has helped a number of OCD patients. Maybe a mix of his technique, and mindfulness meditation to help catch the “thoughts” that are triggering the anxiety might help? It’s helped me. It’s slow, that’s for sure, but I’m treating it like my daily “zen practice”. And luckily it’s free. I usually end up bawling my eyes out, but there’s much relief after that – behind the fear is sadness. Cheers to you, thanks for writing.
    http://discovermagazine.com/2013/nov/14-defense-free-will
    http://jeffreymschwartz.com/

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