"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 - -

Saturday, 18 October 2014

What Sort of Woman?

For the past two years my doctor and I have been experimenting with my body using incremental doses of spironolactone, a diuretic with anti-androgenic effects. Its benefits have made it possible for me to live without the surgery that would realign my body and allow me to be thought of and live as a woman. In the near future I am determined there will be further alterations to my chemistry to provide this same benefit in a more permanent way. Slowly I will find ways to extend my reach into womanhood while allowing the world to see me as male. People see what they expect to see. If at some point in the future I can end the deception, so much the better, but, I won't ever try to be someone else's idea of a woman. I will be the very best and strongest person I can without any sort of shame.

I'm going to confess to feeling a bit of shame because mine is the best of both worlds from a woman's point of view. There are no restrictions on my work and involvement in the arts and activities I love and would continue to love as a woman, but I still hold a free ticket to the privileged life of a male in our society. I can walk down the street without fear. Nobody challenges my expertise on any subject. Even if I ask for help with something, there is an assumption that a quick explanation will do. Nobody dumbs down their reply just because of my appearance. Men are given respect just because they are men. So unfair.

When you are a woman, you are expected to act as a woman, but what exactly does that mean? I know a lot of women who I have never seen in high-heeled shoes, or even a dress. It is quite likely they have only shaved their legs when getting out shorts or a bathing suit in the summer and yet, nobody questions their womanhood. I know other women who absolutely never wear makeup; never.
Nobody questions their sex and while not models of femininity, they shine, and are attractive because of other things. They are clever and well respected. Theirs is a subtle beauty.

My favourite females, fictional and otherwise have always been smart and strong mentally and physically. Not too long ago I passed along a suggestion to Ruby to read the "In Death" novels of J.D. Robb. The main character is one kick-ass cop named Eve Dallas. Nobody messes with her without regretting it. In a post a few weeks back I mentioned my friend M. She is a strong, smart, kick-ass woman too. And no, she still doesn't know about me...  yet.

I am convinced that others will see me as a woman some time in the future, because in so very many ways I just am already. There is a lot to fix on this body, and fix it I will over time. I will see myself fixed long before others notice and you can bet on this, I will be my own sort of person for the rest of my life.


  1. Hi Halle
    When I talk to someone these days the question of gender doesn’t really enter my head as it is the subject matter that is of interest. But it wasn’t always that way- when I was growing up the distinction could not be starker. So there were things you say and things you don’t days in front of women and so forth. That was part of society then, but things have thankfully moved on so that more and more people will converse or solve problems together in a collaborative manner that deal with the issues regardless of our gender. But it is also that diversity that can provide the imaginative approaches needed to build a better more empathetic world. I am sure people will continue to see you as interesting person with a lot to contribute.
    Best wishes

    1. The way women are treated is so much better in general than when I was a youth. Now much depends on the company you keep and the situation you are in.

  2. As usual, a thoughtful, and thought-provoking, post, Halle. Thank you again for allowing us to share in your ongoing journey.


  3. When I read your posts, particularly one like this, I can only shake my head - almost in disbelief - that anyone can summon up the courage to do what you are doing. I wish you well and hope your treatment experiments bear positive fruits. You do truly amaze me.

    1. You might be surprised how many of us there are, doing the best we can in a mismatched body.
      Thank you always for your kindness and support Tom.

  4. Hi Halle,
    In relation to your previous post/comment that the ABC has not extended rights to Canada to play that programme I am reliably informed by the Q& A programme director you can still view the programme or any others by simply clicking on home on the link home I am providing. That is because Q&A have their own separate website to the ABC. Home
    Click on the second menu item on the left hand side, e.g. Under programmes and then scroll down to the one featuring Catherine McGregor.
    Let me know if you have any further technical difficulties but you should be okay with that link.
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      Your instructions worked perfectly, and the link was very useful even including a further menu on the right of the video that allowed the viewer to go to the particular topic thread they wanted to hear. Catherine's account of 'coming out' to her superior officer certainly gives one a taste of the feelings that one has at such a time. We hold everything in for so very long and even after we know what is needed, it is so hard to make it all work. She obviously has done that and more.
      Thank you for making the technical difficulties go away!

      All the Best