Hi guys. It’s the first day pf my period, I love my period these days because I am very different on my period. I’m way more honest, my capacity for honesty when I’m on my period is like just a lot more extreme than the rest of my cycle and I used to really hate my period, and you know my period used to be a lot worse, I’ve always had really terrible cramps, like migraines that came with my period , the mood swings, what I conceptualized as mood swings were hard for me to deal with, now I just kind of am like, “oh, this is the honest week of my month! The rest of my month I’m probably putting up with a bunch of bullshit so this is the week that I can’t put up with bullshit” and I kind of use it that way, I work with it that way. And I’m really interested in how female people can work with the different reactions and responses that come from the different levels of hormones we’re at. Because really the deal with the week before your period, the week of your period, is you can really feel your testosterone, that’s the dominant hormone in your system at that point and I am glad to not be on testosterone for my full month, but I am also glad to have a week where I can really feel it and where I am not about your bullshit!
Ok, so I wanted to talk about what I like about my body these days, because for me to like things about my body is a huge victory and I just wanted to sit with the victory for awhile. And I do think that what I like about my body , me being able to like things about my body is about me like totally creating a new schema for what my body means in the world.
So when I identified as trans and when I was dysphoric for all those years because I pretty much got dissociative symptoms and body hatred starting when I went through puberty, all those years what I wanted was David Bowie’s body, pretty much. I wanted to be able to pull off David Bowie in The Labyrinth. And I thought that kind of like, straight up and down, let’s be real, people act like David Bowie is somehow like a gender pioneer, but David Bowie has a very male body. He just looks like a white dude, he looks like a skinny white dude, and our society , we react to that by being like, “Oh my gosh androgynous!” It’s like, that’s just a tall white dude that doesn’t work out, I don’t know what to tell you, like, but I really wanted that body. Because I wanted , it seemed to me that kind of body was a body that seemed outside of this gender system where people gotta not act like full human beings. You know you either gotta be brawny and stoic and into tools and totally cool with violence or you gotta be like soft and nurturing and into makeup and self-decoration and home decoration and totally without ambition and those two camps are not camps that I can see myself in.
So I really thought that David Bowie’s body represented not being in those two camps and I really wanted to have a visual of myself in the world that placed me outside of those two camps. Well I’ll tell you what, I can want all kinds of things but my body is about doing it’s own thing and that is something I like about my body. What I like about my body is all the ways that my body resists modern culture, because it does! My body…modern culture has all these crazy ideas for how we should live and female people should cram themselves into fitting into this crazy way we’re living, which you know, is killing the planet pretty quickly and necessitates us being cruel to each other all day long to like, get by and pay our rent. My body doesn’t want to do it! So my body you know, despite what our culture wants, decides that it’s going to have a week every month where it’s not about the bullshit. My body needs me to rest more than this culture wants anybody to be able to rest. And something I really like about my body, now, which I used to hate, I like all the ways that my secondary sexual characteristics are not things that a plastic surgeon could ever give you. Like the thing about my boobs and my thighs is that they’re big, I’m like, I’m a thick girl, but if you took a picture of my boobs to a plastic surgeon and you were like “give me this woman’s boobs” the plastic surgeon would be like, first of all they’d be like, “what? I have women with these boobs coming in all the time telling me to lift them and tighten them and pump them up, like what? you want these?” And then the plastic surgeon would sit with it and be like, “I can’t give you these boobs, like an implant is not going to look like this.” And I love that about my breasts these days. And I never thought I would love my breasts.
And I don’t every day, like I don’t love them when you know, someone just commented on them, which happens to me very often. I don’t love them when like you’re wearing a button up and this button here won’t stay closed, I hate that, god, like the clothes that you can buy are just not really designed for women who are shaped like me. So there’s, I still have moments where I’m like, life would be so much easier if I just had a flat chest. And when I am really stressed out and not really level I’ll still have moments of fantasizing about how I can get pretty much a mastectomy. So it’s still a presence in my life, that gender dysphoria is still a presence that I work with, it’s just that how I react to it is that I don’t indulge it. When I witness myself having a thought like “oh yeah maybe in 10 years like I can get a breast reduction or have a mastectomy or something” when I see myself having that thought I don’t indulge it and mostly I take it as a sign that something’s off in my life, that I’m not level, that I’m not happy enough, that I’m around too many people who are commenting on my body, that I’m like trying to fit myself into clothes that are poorly made and not made for my body, right? I recognize it as a sign that I’m trying to cram myself into a box that I don’t fit into, and it’s not kind to cram myself into boxes. So that’s how I react to those thoughts, I witness them, and I take them as a warning sign, I treat those thoughts like when the check engine light comes on in my car, I’m like “I don’t know what’s wrong but something’s wrong and I need to address this.”
I have thick thighs, people talk about my thighs everyday, if I leave my apartment someone will comment on my thighs, either on the street or my coworkers talk about them, it’s just a thing, the way that my body is shaped people feel very comfortable talking to me about it like it’s a costume that I put on, and that’s hard for me to weather.
And it’s funny because right now, like I live in a very liberal area of Ohio, I work at a restaurant with lots of gay people, lots of trans people, and so pretty much in the part of Ohio I live, everyone is on board with calling people the pronouns they want and calling people the names they want, it’s not even an issue, if I resisted that I would be considered a bigot, which you know, I’m fine with that. I’m fine with calling people the pronouns they want, I feel good about that. But if I were to say to my coworkers like, “hey don’t talk about my thighs” that would be a bigger deal. There is a girl that I work with who dates a trans guy and she knows that I’m detransitioned, she knows that I’m gender dysphoric, she talks about my thighs and my ass, and grabs my ass, all the time. Like, for me to say to her like, “I don’t want you talking about that part of my body, I don’t want you touching that part of my body” would be really weird to her and she knows that I wanted to get them cut off, and she still can’t conceptualize that that might feel really bad to me. I’ve told her like, “Yeah I hate that, I hate how people talk about my body,” it doesn’t make an impact. Which I think is so interesting about manners, that we now have this new rule in our culture like, you call people the pronouns you want, but we don’t have a rule in our culture like, you don’t comment on people’s bodies. Anyway.
So sometimes it can be really hard for me to love my thighs but when I love them what I really love abut them is that you also could not get a plastic surgeon, if you tried to go to a plastic surgeon and be like, “get me this woman’s thighs” the plastic surgeon would be like, “oh well like I could get you her thighs if you’re wearing pants but I can’t get you the skin texture, I can’t get you the cellulite, I can’t get you like the veins” No you can’t motherfucker! No, you can’t order these. You can’t spend money to get my thighs. You either got em or you don’t. And I love that about them.
I love that my body is not, there are so many ways that my body is not a capitalist creation, you know? There are so many ways my body refuses to fit the ideals of what the female body should be and there are so many ways that my body , you just can’t spend money to get it. It’s not a consumer good, and there are all these things about my body that visually say it’s not a consumer good. And you know in our culture the ways that my body broadcasts that it’s not a consumer good- cellulite, veins, sagginess, stretch marks- those are…people see those and, we’re all very shallow these days, a lot of times people see those and think “oh what that means is that you don’t have money to fix those problems” right? Like there’s a strip club in town that’s like the trashy strip club and the jokes that people make about this trashy strip club are like “oh well that’s where you go to see strippers with like cesarean scars and cellulite” and stuff like that, because those are the strippers who aren’t rich enough to fix those problems. I like that because I’m not rich enough to fix these problems and if I were rich enough to fix these problems I still wouldn’t fix these problems. I like that because my body just as it is is a site of resistance.
You know I used to, when I was running around being trans, it was pretty common for people, especially genderqueer people, to say like “I just want to do the thing that makes my body my own.” People would say that about getting top surgery and getting tattoos. When I was running around being trans people were all about body modification in general, so it wasn’t just that you get top surgery you’d get all kinds of piercings and tattoos and all this stuff, to like, mark your body as your own. What I like about my body is that I don’t need to do that, like my body is marked already, my body is marked by the signs that it grew, that it grew quickly, you know, my body you can see the blood running underneath, you know. My body is so unique and it’s own self and if you wanted to put in the time and spend the money to try to look like me, you couldn’t! You can’t go to Ideal Image and be like, put some more hair on my thighs, you can’t do it! You can’t go to a plastic surgeon and be like, make my boobs hang a little lower, you know? You can’t get stretch marks put on. In this capitalist system you cannot give yourself my body and I love that. I think David Bowie’s body, if I had more money than God I could pay a doctor to cut all my fat off and I could pay a doctor to cut my boobs off and I could pay a doctor to like remove all my hair and I couldn’t give myself a dick really but I could starve myself and I could make myself….I could remove my secondary sexual characteristics. And because we really do put personality traits on these secondary sexual characteristics, we really do move around in an illusion as if people choose their bodies at birth to fit their personalities, I could do that and people could read me as “androgynous” or whatever. But that model of androgyny is really looking like David Bowie, who is a male.
And I guess what I like is that my female body just by being how it is exists actually pretty outside of that, you know? You’re never gonna see tits like mine in a magazine, you’re never gonna see thighs like mine in a magazine, I fucking love it. I don’t know, when I love my body and when I give myself the space and time to just kind of revel in what my body wants, and like really honoring like, ok you got three weeks running on estrogen, you got one week running on testosterone.If you ran with that and you really honored what the estrogen wanted you to do and then what the testosterone wanted to do, how would you act? How much would you sleep, what would you choose to do with your days, how would you talk to people? And I try to do that and it works out, it’s like a good balance to like, you have three weeks where you’re like kind of a pushover, you put other people’s needs before your own and you have one week where you’re like, no motherfuckers this is how it is, I sleep eight hours, I don’t put up with your bullshit, don’t touch my ass, like, one week like that, you get it all straightened out, you go back to being you know, chill. I just think that’s, it’s like a really good system. And I like that about my body, I think it’s just a really good system.
I like that I don’t have to go to the doctor much with my body, and I’m sorry if that’s offensive to people who really do have to go to the doctor a lot, but yeah it is currently a blessing in my life that I don’t have to go to the doctor a lot. It’s a temporary blessing, everyone ends up having to go to the doctor a lot. I really do like that I don’t have to I don’t have to shoot myself in the thigh anymore with testosterone and you know I’m coming up on 35, I started testosterone when I was 30, and so what that means is that right now if I had kept on testosterone now is when I’d get my hysterectomy. Because the recommendation is that you get it 5 years in, because really the thing about testosterone is it really does really screw with your uterus, your cervix, your vagina, you know it just like lots of cysts, lots of prolapse, kind of like what women with PCOS deal with and then also what women going through menopause deal with, so they recommend that you get a hysterectomy so that you have less cancer risk and you have to deal with less cysts and stuff like that. Once you get a hysterectomy you do have to go the doctor consistently for the rest of your life for your hormones. And I feel really really happy that I got off of that train because I don’t like going to the doctor for hormones, I don’t like the blood tests, I don’t like doctors being in charge of it, I don’t like, you know the experience of having my liver results come back weird, and the clinic not taking it seriously and making me wait a really long time, like they gave me a scary phone call “hey we need you to call us because your results are weird,” and then made me wait like two months to hear the results, I hated them having that power over me and I’m glad to not be in a situation where a doctor’s office has that power over me now. Ok, so that’s what I like about my body and I’m going to go enjoy having my period. Take care guys, bye.