White Lady Face

Hey folks,

Uh, I’m doing well. I feel real tired. The same thing happened to me after I spoke up in class about being detransitioned. I guess that’s just a thing that happens when you own big parts of your experience.

Some people on twitter asked about my standup. Uh…my standup is not that great. You can see old clips of mine on youtube. Look, when a person does it on and off for a decade, and stays at the level I’ve stayed at, something isn’t clicking there. I know it looks like a lot of fun, but that fun is part of the illusion of it.

It’s funny to put my face out there because one strength about my face is it’s very likable- it’s very expressive, it makes all these weird shapes, both babies and very very out of it alzheimer’s patients love to peer real close at my face. And you know, for most of my life I’ve felt like people can’t see the real me because of my face. I’ve often felt trapped behind my face.

Another recurring thing with my face is that people tend to assume not much has ever happened to me. When I was 26 I worked at a sex toy store, and a lady came in when I was training with my boss and exclaimed, “You look like you’ve never had sex!” I had actually had a fair amount of sex by then. Once I told a woman the story about my college rape and kind of all the additional trauma that piled up with hearing all those rape jokes and getting attacked on the internet and stuff and she said, “Wow, when I met you I thought this white girl has never gone through anything!” Then recently a customer at my work, who I’m also facebook friends with, told me he never would’ve guessed I’d been through all the stuff that….yeah, I’ve been through.

But walking around the world LOOKING like someone who has been through terrible things sounds terrible! Who needs that, having everyone who passes you on the street be like, “Yowza, there but for the grace of God!”

Before transition I was really looking forward to getting out from behind my face. I really, truly thought once I had a beard and stuff people would be able to see Me.

I mean, maybe the real me is my face? Maybe the real me is a happy, young, expressive, innocent kind of white girl? Is it so bad to be that kind of woman?

Ha, innocent. Oh man. White girls and innocence. I’m not anywhere close to smart enough to delve into all of that.

I saw some people talking about how maybe I didn’t understand I could be an interesting, weird girl instead of a boy because maybe I grew up in a rural area. Naw dudes, I grew up on West 54th below Clark in the middle of Cleveland, Ohio. If you drove by the house I was born in you would lock your car doors. I had lead poisoning when I was a little girl. I did take a walk by the house I grew up in the other day, and there were a bunch of young dudes in an SUV who started hollering at me, about “mama you got a boyfriend?” and whatnot, and I got the fuck out of there. I don’t know that everyone’s experience of growing up in urban areas is that there’s looser gender norms.

It’s like how people in California assumed I went to Reed or Oberlin, and had family money, and really I had maxed out my credit card paying for groceries out there. I remember when I worked at the clinic I was always eating lentils for lunch, because lentils are so cheap, and one of my coworkers made fun of me for it. Very few people assume about me that money is the controlling force of my life. I look like someone who has some freedom in that regard. There are so many ways looking that way is a blessing. It’s just weird to have so much of your experience be unbelievable.

(Especially when not having any money is sort of a default human experience? Like, actually most white women from Ohio are scared shitless about money? I guess it’s that my accent and way of speaking really makes it seem like I’m not one of those white women, I’m one of the fancier white women who hasn’t done most of her travelling on Greyhound.)

But like, you have to use it. So I look a certain way, and I give off a certain impression, and a lot of the assumptions that go along with that impression are incorrect, but if the goal is to build an effective therapeutic organization to promote the well-being of people who experience dysphoria then…who cares? Who cares if the whole world reads me correctly? It’s  way better that they don’t. My visuals are much more comforting to people than my biography would be. White lady face is a privilege not a burden.

I feel like an important lesson from transition and detransition for me is where I stop and where other people begin. I don’t have control over whether I’m understood. I do have control over whether I make the effort to understand. I don’t have control over whether I’m loved. I do have control over whether I choose to love.

I guess it’s just getting over yourself is hard process for some of us. (Me. It’s a hard process for me.)

I like that I’ve gotten a ton of love over the past few days, just absolutely flooded with good wishes and praise, and I’m not even taking it in, I’m finding some way to get upset about my face. This is totally over the top neurotic of me. Thank you for the love! Thank you for the kind wishes, and the prayers, and all the kind words! I believe we’re all going to do something very special together! I think people with gender dysphoria are going to feel less lonely and more confident and capable and like they don’t have to spend all their money on doctor’s appointments because of what we end up creating! So woot woot for us!

 

2 thoughts on “White Lady Face”

  1. I think any time we put ourselves out there for public inspection, it’s only natural to end up looking in the mirror a bit. Sort of like analyzing that selfie just after posting it. Or before posting it in some cases. 😉 Glad to hear the response has been more or less positive, though!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I must admit, guilty as charged I was taken in by the face, it’s a good face, it makes people feel safe when they are around you.

    Really brilliant piece of writing. I think it would stand out as good writing outside of trans/detrans and has insights all of us can learn from.

    Liked by 1 person

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