"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Balancing The Presentation

Trying to find balance is not easy for anyone, and we all need to do it. In our case, nothing about 'life gone trans' is easy, is it?

Diana, over at Salad Bingo has a very positive post reflecting on her new life, four months into her 'real life test'. One paragraph from that post stands out for me, as I attempt (in vain at times) to wean myself from the façade to the outward presentation of an authentic version of who I really am; a genetic male with lots of 'female' working in the background.

I don’t believe I’m exaggerating by saying I wouldn’t know how to present myself that way.. (as a man) any more. Most who knew me before have a hard time understanding this, but it never came naturally. I maintained it by rigid adherence to a set of habits. Don’t use your hands this way. Don’t walk that way. Don’t use that word. When you’re uncertain how you’re being perceived, do this. Stand like this. Pretend to be interested in those things. Ignore these other things. Feign distaste for that. Act aloof. Pretend not to notice emotions. Pretend not to care. Etc. etc. ad infinitum.

Since the beginning of the holiday season, let's say mid-December, I have allowed one of my old phony personalities back into action. It happened first by accident. I noticed it, and hated myself for it, but 'he' got me through a difficult afternoon and evening, so I let him back in. He has been back several times since.

It is like having an 'out-of-body' experience I would guess (never having actually experienced such a thing). I watch myself talk, and use my hands that way, and walk that way, and so on... and I hate it, but I do it, because the alternative is not working well yet; not well enough to be sustained in a crowd that has known me for a long time.

I hate this; it is like not really existing. But what can I do? Being a man by relying on my 'cloned males' is what I have done for so long, and being a woman is not really an option. Being someone in-between is a work in progress. What if .... let's not go there, for now.


  1. Halle,
    I don't think there's much you can do about "being" a woman...I believe you will always carry that around no matter what you present to the world. It's obvious how much you dislike presenting a man, and how much you would rather present a woman. Your efforts to present the latter will increase your happiness and sense of being. I think the knowledge of how it will make you happier is still something that acts as an anchor to you, at least to some degree. You don't need to perfect your feminine presentation before you allow it to be seen. The perfection we so often expect of ourselves is really not something those around us expect. The same could be said of your male presentation. You don't need to fake it just because you don't come across as a lumberjack or something. What I see is a wonderful person with dual needs. Try not to make the demands for your male presentation become a source of depression. If it helps, be a feminine acting man. Everyone already knows you're married. what's the worst they could think?..."that's a feminine acting man"? I hope you can get some serious Halle time soon...it's good for the heart. :)Suzi

  2. Thanks Suzi. It is not easy to convey the façade feeling compared to just being myself. I have never been a lumberjack (but I'm ok, lol), yet as I let myself be 'me' at home, more and more, dressed or not, I am no 'girly-girl' either, even when dressed. Take away the clothes, and the only thing wrong is anatomical. Between the ears, more and more, I feel comfortable.

    It will take time to become confident enough to realize that the rest of world really isn't going to notice how I act. They are only interested in how I dress, and for some strange reason, so am I.

  3. I spent decades in the life you describe though in my case I was stuck as neither male or female except for one small thing, facial hair. Every time someone treated me as male I froze and wanted the earth to swallow me up.

    Over time I pushed the softer feminine side and nobody really noticed, finally I went totally to women's clothing and still nobody noticed for the decade or more before I finally started transition.

    You could easily add a little bit of Halle into your everyday life and you would be amazed how easily it would be accepted.

  4. I hope you can relax and cut yourself some slack. Don't worry about façade dude. He's bound to pop out sometimes, but probably less and less over time. You'll find the right balance.

    Sometimes the whole façade thing puzzles me. I read Diana's post too. Was I just lucky? I had no idea whether I acted in a stereotypically masculine or feminine way, nor did I care. I don't quite understand why so many people seem to think that men have to act a certain way and women have to act another way. The range is huge!

  5. Strangely, my façade dudes were not necessarily ultra male. They were just successful, and obviously not female; that was enough for me.

    I am learning how wide the range is. My observation skills have improved immensely in the last year; part of the real person I guess. :)