Non-transitioning Trans…What? Walking Between Worlds

June 1, 2010 at 11:19 pm (Walking Between Worlds)

Clearly, this post is a follow-up to last week’s post. Not one of my better discussions–or better weeks for that matter. At any rate, there were some things I felt I needed to say if only for myself. I wanted to let you know–the few of you who pop by regularly–that I will be away for a bit.  There is a lot going on and there are a lot of things I need to take care of around here, with Scin, with the doctor, with job-hunting, with…well, you get the picture. Also, however, I have been thinking a lot lately about why I come here, the things I say and or do not say, and what is being served by my being here…I can you know, prattle on in my own head. I’ve been thinking about this so much it has taken me three days of writing and rewriting to get this post done. That never happens. So, I need to take some time to re-evaluate some things for a day or two–or three or more. I’ll poke my head in now and then to see if you all had things to say. And, I’ll let you know what I come up with in all my thinking and rethinking. Have a good week!

Non-transitioning Trans What…?? 

It would seem that some of the finer point in my last post kind of got lost in all the other heavier issues. [Thanks to all of you who have sent love and support. I feel it. And, it is good.] The playfulness and explorative features in the telling of my trip to the doctor and my choosing of language that more clearly describes the male aspects of my nature did not, it appears, come across as well as I had hoped. This happens. A thing works in your head and you put it out there and it doesn’t quite get to the place you want it to go…well…the map is not exactly the territory now, is it? So, I felt it was maybe a good idea to expand the discussion a bit. If only for my own continued clarification.

I have been thinking lately of some things Kate Bornstein says in one of her books, My Gender Workbook. [If you have not read this or Gender Outlaw, I suggest that you do.] Anyway, in My Gender Workbook, Kate discusses her belief that gender is really not the big question, that there may be other things in the human experience that are bigger. She presents us with the idea that gender is more like a play thing. I am inclined to agree with her. And, in many ways, I have definitely played with my gender all of my life. As I have grown, and—I hope—evolved, the levels of playfulness with and understanding of my gender have grown as well.  As has my willingness to play with the language about it all. Until recently, I thought for many years that I had pretty much figured out all I needed to regarding the issues and questions I had once had about my gender, that I had successfully reached a point of comfort, awareness and, yes, playfulness. I now know that this was partially true—I had reached that place. But place changes as we do. And, if we’re on this side of the dirt and still moving, we are changing. 

The changes in myself, of late, are related to awareness—to a more mindful being in my skin and a more mindful interaction with my partner. It is true that when the person we love also loves us in a way that is both understanding and accepting, we begin to feel more free to just be. To simply be as we are, be present, and be seen and experienced by that person. That level of intimacy is a gift. It is in that intimacy—in that being-ness—that Scin and I became very aware of the things in my physical nature that are not the norm for most women. I had spent most of my adult life thinking that my body was not able to respond to or really enjoy certain aspects of sexual behavior. I had, wrongly it appears, assumed that it must be an issue with my body rather than an issue with all of my previous sex partners—of which there had been many. [Interestingly, even in our college days, Scin was the only partner I had who was able to please me in certain ways; it seems only fitting that the new discoveries should occur with her as well.] Almost immediately in my reunion with Scin, it was apparent that there was, indeed, no dysfunction in my genitals. Clearly, there had been some degree of operator error, so to speak, which had in turn resulted in my repeatedly not feeling it was worth exploring ways to create a more satisfying experience. My current experience is satisfying indeed. But, it is also very affirming.

Through our sexual exchange, I [and we] have simply become aware that my body—as well as my psychology—is much more masculine than I had thought. I had always been aware that there were some differences in my body compared to other females; for example, I build muscle and body shape differently from most women. But, by definition, I was still clearly female. I now know that there are real male-like qualities to the body I inhabit—one which I, previously, regarded as truly female. I inhabit a body that is female by definition and form. I had always perceived my maleness as more of a sense of self—an aspect of my personal psychology and spirituality—than a part of my physical being. I now know this is not entirely true. There are many things—things I discussed with my doctor—about my body that are truly more masculine than feminine. It was nice to have my [and Scin’s] perceptions and experiences of my physicality confirmed. It is not all in my head; the butch in me is also present in my body structure and its responses. I am the coming together of many things into one personality that is more male than female. My understanding of my sense of self is deepening. 

I am, as are we all, many things. All of the things that make up the person I am are a mixture of biological predispositions, environmental influences, and experiences. We are all tapestries of nature and nurture. These aspects of self are relatively constant in that they do not vary much from a relative norm that is who I am; but they are also in flux—subject to change within the continuum that is my personhood. What I have been experiencing of late is simply a deepening of that self—a growing understanding of the form and functions of my physical self, my psychology, my intellectual qualities, and my emotional range, in relation to my inner self, to others, and to the world around me. 

I have been playing with language that best captures this deepening of self—this growing and evolving self understanding. I still find the language frustrating. This is because we still discuss gender in a system of binary opposition. The language we use to discuss gender and its variations is limited. Even the task itself is frustrating because I am not separate aspects, qualities, preferences, likes, dislikes, and characteristics any more than anyone else is. We are all so much more than the sum of our parts or the individual qualities and quirks that constitute our selves. However, we live in a world of dualistic thinking and binary codifications.

When I use language such as non-transitioning, transgendered male, or daddy for that matter, I am speaking about a deeper understanding of myself as a person who is, really, more male on the continuum, but who is still a female and living as such. And, doing so happily…more happily all the time. That is the overview. The non-transitioning phrase refers to the fact that I have chosen and still choose to not transition to a physically male gender. When I first, long ago, made the decision to remain female, it was because I did not trust the science. As I moved through my adulthood, it became more about the fact that I had found ways to be accepting of my gender, to find ways to enjoy it, and to play with it and to push and blur the lines. The phrase “transgendered male” refers to the realization that there are many very male attributes to my physicality, that these have always been there [without taking T or any other substances] and that I now understand them better.  It also refers to the very real maleness in my head–that is, in my personality and my personhood.

These terms, used in a playful but serious way, are the results of my search for a common, adequate language—a language for identifying and discussing my growing understanding of and acceptance of my more male attributes. And, I have been pushing at that language—hoping to bend it, test its boundaries, shape and reshape it as I do my own gender being.

The truth is, I realize, that it is not really necessary. I know very well who I am and what I am. And, I like who I am and what I am—now more than ever. I have a lover [soon to be my wife] who understands, accepts, and really enjoys who and what I am. I am enjoying the journey. I am enjoying my sexuality more than ever. And, I am feeling good about this increased understanding of the male existing in my body, not just in my psychology. At the end of the day, whether I find a language for discussing this deepened sense of self knowing that makes sense and is accessible to others really doesn’t matter. What matters is that I know myself a bit better, that I inhabit my skin a bit more firmly, and some of my previous struggles now make more sense to me. I am a little lighter as I walk this world. That is a good thing.

  NOTE:  This work is published here as proprietary and may not be reproduced, distributed, sold, or otherwise utilized outside the posting on this site without the express permission of the author; these works are the sole property of the author writing as Androgynonamous or DreadPirateRobert.

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4 Comments

  1. Blazer said,

    I guess the problem with language and its use in describing gender in a non-binary way is that we, or I, tend to rely on the most common definition of certain words. The most common definition in general usage or in our own experience tends to lead to the missing of nuance. Then there is the problem of terms being used to label gender identities changing seemingly daily. There are those that eschew labels of any sort and those who find them helpful. My opinion on the use of labels seems to change with every new definition. I know this isn’t going to go over well with you, but the language really isn’t important. The key is that you are feeling more firm in your own skin and know yourself better.

    Now, I certainly hope you are not gone long. What will I do with myself without this blog to visit? Be well buddy.

    • androgynonamous said,

      As always, I appreciate your insight. [Sorry, I missed you BTW–apparently, I dropped a call or two…oops.] Also, I am glad–and not surprised–that you move in the direction of the conclusion I came to…and the reason for the post: that it doesn’t matter really what language I do or do not use; what matters is how I feel and process things. The writing it down, of course, is part of the processing. And, your point does go over with me pretty well. I think that it is because I am, by nature, a writer and I am a processer to begin with, that I like to play with language, talk things out, push at the edges of things and, ulitmately, make my own meaning out of them. I am cerebral; what can I say? HA! It is funny to me that I do all this language seeking, making meaning, and then–always–end up deconstructing it at some point and deciding that none of that matters as much as the end result: that being, the me I get to in the end. So, the language fummbling and tossing around is all about the processing, the getting to the me in the meaning. Thanks for hanging in there with me and being part of the making of the meaning–even with the poems; it means a lot.
      By the way, like as not, I will not be gone long. Not sure that I can really stay gone too long…given what I just said, what better place is there?? Love to you buddy and be well too. [hope to chat a bit before I get on the plane…]

  2. Scintillectual said,

    Well, I’d like to take this time to thank God and the Academy for recognizing my extraordinary talent in bed and…*giggle* Sorry, honey, I just needed to lighten my own moment for a bit. 😉

    Truly, I know the struggles you have endured all of your life because you don’t “fit” the gender binary. I wish that there were some sort of official third category with easy pronouns that helped everyone in accepting and allowing that some of these things are not like the others. It makes me, and everyone around you, very happy indeed to see you coming into your own and accepting the uniqueness that is you.

    Might I remind you, darling, that THIS is why you come here. Because you have been given this gift of insight and the talent with which to write about it. You know that you have touched other people’s lives. Some may publicly acknowledge it, some may simply lurk and find a connection that they may have missed elsewhere. Think of it as public service with a personal benefit. You have made some amazing friends, you get to work your shit out in the digital ether, and it makes a difference!

    Darling, I love you…and I can’t wait to get my hands and mouth on your body tomorrow, no matter what it’s form or function.

    I love you,
    Always and in all ways,
    Scin.

    • androgynonamous said,

      Nice award speech, honey…and an award so well deserved! LMAO!
      You do know–and have known–the struggles I have had. And more. You know the joys of greater understanding and personal insight. As you know also, a great deal of that insight is due to our energy and interactions. Your presence with me on the journey is a good, accepting and encouraging thing. I am both grateful and happy that you are walking with me. It is a better walk, now, in so many ways.
      As for why I am here: I appreciate your faith in me and your encouragement. Your belief in me means so much. You are correct. I have made some wonderful friends here and I am hoping they will be with me–and with us–for a very long time. These are relationships that are kinships. I am grateful for them. My life is better for them. I hope their lives are better too. We will, no doubt, see where I fall on the line of whether to blog or not blog…You know me; odds are good that I will continue this public forum for the writing I do anyway. Maybe, I just need to feel as if I mulled it over for a day or two *grin*
      Finally, I do love you too…and I look forward to your hands and mouth on me…as I look forward to my own on you. I am ever yours, ever your baby boi, your butch, your daddy…
      And, baby, daddy is coming home. 24 hours from now, I’ll at Logan…

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