Reclaiming Femininity: Special Pink Eye Edition

Hey guys, obviously I’m in rough shape right now, I have pink eye in both my eyes. But this eye obviously is taking it a little bit harder, yeah, I don’t know, I wasn’t rubbing animal shit in my eyes, I swear, but I was really sick this week, I spent like tuesday and wednesday just pretty much in bed both days off the flu and then I made the mistake of thinking I was better and I, I swear to you I spent two hours tops on a party bus for St. Patrick’s Day. I left my house at 2, I was back in my house by 5, but that party bus fucked me up. It was a bunch of 21 year olds playing Future, we tried to put some other hip hop on and they were like, get that hippie hip hop off! And it was like, are you kidding me, we’re seriously going to listen to Future for like, all of you white motherfuckers, we’re all gonna listen to Future talk about pills, that’s how I feel about 21 year old St. Patrick’s revelers playing Future.

Anyway, at some point I picked up pinkeye in both my eyes. What can you do? I wanted to make a video of while I had pinkeye in both my eyes because I thought it was pretty appropriate. I saw this question on Reddit from a detransitioner who asked whether it was possible for a detransitioned woman to reclaim femininity. And there was some confusion about what she meant but I think we all kind of interpreted her question to mean can you be viewed as a feminine looking woman once you detransition? And, well that’s a really tricky question, but I think there’s two things to think about. Our appearance is not under our control- I wouldn’t choose this, even though I kind of have a feeling when I’m older like this eye is gonna permanently droop actually, like, it’s weird to be of the age where you know which eye of yours is gonna get droopy, so I think that when I’m an elder and I plan to be an old woman, like I plan to hit a hundred, this is gonna be kind of like a little bit closer to what I look like. But it’s not under my control.

So if you pin your sense of comfort and calm on how other people view you then you’re pinning your comfort and your calm on something that is not really within your control at all. And the other funny thing about how people view you is that it’s …what they’re seeing when they look at your physical form is all interpreted through the lens of their own experience, so like people that they’ve already known, they compare you to this like cast of characters they’ve already met, they compare you to like what tv and magazines says about people who look like you, so how people react to you really, it both isn’t under your control because your physical form is not totally within your control and then for each individual that you’re meeting they’ve got their own rolodex of characters in their head that they’re comparing you to and making judgments about too. I think with my pinkeye in both my eyes I look a little bit like a villain, which I like, so I sort of feel like, especially, like I’ve been going outside wearing aviator shades and I think, I just really like being someone wearing aviator shades for no reason and then I take them off and I look at you like this. Freaky, right? I enjoy that.

So when I first detransitioned I was really hung up on whether I’d ruined myself, that was how I thought of it, now I’m not even really sure how to explain what that means, did I “ruin” myself? I had this like constant idea that people were looking at me all the time, really persistent sense that everyone was noticing me all the time and then everyone was noticing me and then deciding that I looked weird. And that’s actually a developmental phase that people are supposed to go through in teenagerhood, it’s like, it’s right around 13 a lot of people have this persistent sense that they’re always being looked at, and I guess for some reason, you know when we go through tough times a lot of times we regress developmentally, and for me I like regressed back to this 13 year old “everyone’s looking at me, I look weird” thing. Which was also what transition was for me, just hyper-self-conscious, like kind of debilitatingly self-conscious. I really relied on that time, during that time, when I was really freaked out, I was like oh my gosh, everyone can tell that something’s off about me, they can tell I took testosterone, they can tell I tried to transition, which was not…people are not making those connections. First of all people were not even thinking about me that much, but also people were not thinking about me and then adding in all these factors and recreating my life story, they weren’t psychic.

So, how I handled that was that I just went super, super hard on beauty practices. I just like, I learned contouring, I did contouring every day, my contouring is shitty so I probably looked crazy, I probably looked like I had crazy marks all over my face, lined my lips, wore jewelry, wore heels, whole deal. And I felt very calmed by doing that everyday but I was just like a ball of stress otherwise. It wasn’t until, I kind of had to decompress, I had to really focus in on like, what do I have to do everyday to not be a ball of stress. And the stuff I have to do is not gonna be what you have to do, but you know what I have to do is like, I have to work out like intentionally like 4 or 5 times a week really to not be a ball of stress. I know people hate being told to do yoga but like hot yoga has really been a lifesaver for me in terms of the self-consciousness and in terms of like not seeing a monster when I look in the mirror. I love, just love, looking so weird while I’m making this video guys, it’s so funny that I’m so scared of seeing a monster when I look in the mirror but when I actually look a little strange I’m really into it, these desires and these fears are so wrapped up together.

So what I’m going to say is that if you’re in the stage of detransition where you’re really freaked out, where like you just have kind of like come to terms with the fact that transition is not for you, it’s not going to solve your problems, and you’ve got to deal with what the effects of the changes you’ve made to your body are, that’s a super scary time. It’s a super anxious time, it makes sense to be kind of like, hyper-self-conscious, hyper-hung up on your appearance and I think that you have the right to do with your appearance whatever you want to do, I think that this is true of everybody including trans people, anyone, your body is your own, once you’re over 18 you get to make the medical interventions that you want to have happen happen.

But I would just caution you that like our appearance is only one tiny area of life where we have control and one tiny area of our lives where we can make comfort and calm happen. So while you’re working on your appearance you could be doing other things to make comfort and calm happen. You could be meditating, you could be praying, you could be working out, you could be really looking at the people you hang out with and whether they cause you stress or they bring you joy, editing out the stressors, bringing closer the joyful people. You could be really looking at your money and thinking like, man, do I have a lot of ambient stress cause I’m broke and that shit drives me crazy so actually I really need to focus up on getting enough money in my bank account so that I know where my rent is coming from for the next couple of months? Like, that was really important to me and like my mental health and whether I know that I’m ok in terms of rent for the next few months are inextricably linked. And actually I’ve been working too much and I think because I love knowing where my rent is coming from so much that I think that’s part of me having pink eye now, that and the party bus.

I know that it makes a lot of sense to be hung up on your appearance when you detransition, frankly the whole rest of the world is hung up on your appearance, everyone’s looking for clues about who you are as a person based on your appearance, and they’re getting you wrong over and over and over because that’s what people do. It’s just worth it to really develop the skills for like, regardless of how you look to people, can you do the activities, live your daily life in such a way that you can be calm. Can you be calm when you’ve got pink eye, can you be calm when other people are saying all kinds of nasty stuff about your appearance, or all kinds of nasty stuff about your character, or when people are just getting you wrong over and over again? Yeah, what I do is I work out, I pray, sometimes I meditate but I’m pretty bad at that, and I really limit who I interact with so that I’m only interacting with people who like, I really like. So that’s kind of my strategy and it has worked for me, and I keep some rent in the bank, and those factors, it sounds so simple and small, but in my life that stuff is just like so key.

I don’t know if anyone can actually “reclaim femininity.” Femininity like, what constitutes the practices of femininity are always about what’s being sold to us, so it’s not really ever about us being able to own something, it’s about us being sold things. I mean I guess I own the mascara after I buy it, but I didn’t make up that people are expected to wear mascara and it’s not really under my control whether mascara is coded as a thing that women do or a thing that men do. Other people make it up and then I try to play by their rules as best I can to live under their control. I know it sounds fucked up, it’s because it is fucked up. So what I would say is that just like, you’re in an anxious period, it makes sense to be hyper-self-conscious, it makes sense to be hung up on your looks, kind of like, as best you can, view this as an opportunity to create calming practices so that regardless of how you look and appear to people you can feel ok. If we are all lucky enough to hit a hundred probably none of us is gonna look the way we want to look, but we’ll be alive and we’ll be a hundred and it’ll be fun to party with each other at a hundred. (coughes) Ok. (coughes) Alright guys obviously I need to get my ass to the urgent care, take care of yourself (laughs) don’t get pinkeye! Don’t go on any party busses! Be good, bye.

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