"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, 16 August 2015

Reflection ~ Conversations and Self-Image

In 2010, three posts called conversations appeared here, in which the male and female sides of my person at that time were given a chance to have their say. 
Over five years worth of change have happened (I almost put the word growth there, but it seems unfair somehow to suggest loss of maleness is so positive), chronicled in these letters to a younger self. 
Looking back, it seems the personalities writing those conversations could not be mine, and yet, I do remember the feeling of having two people, quite separate vying for attention and a life.

One commentator suggested in the third instalment

"I think when these two parts become one you will be one happy bunny"

and she was so right, for to say I am a "happy bunny" is an understatement. Estrogen has not yet had a chance to have much effect, yet I just love knowing my body is finally getting a chance to catch up to my mind and heart. Waking in the morning feeling no inner conflict is an amazing feeling, one that most people take for granted. 

My friend Liz suggested it was probably time for this blog to become a venue for updating how changes are coming along, and I agree. You all know me well enough though to figure out the sort of thing I am not likely to do. So, for instance, no counter telling you how long since I started anti-androgens, and now HRT. I don't even remember when the doctor first prescribed spironolactone for instance. At this point, I can pinpoint the first time I smeared on the estrogen gel...and by the way, the smell (probably alcohol-based to promote evaporation) will very likely always have positive associations for me. 

The commitment to my sweetie to present as a male for her benefit might seem like a terrible setback to some, and yet once I got my head around it, this goes very nicely with my determination to never shout at the world "I AM A WOMAN!". I am not doing this for the sake of getting a label. Rather, labels will be the function of what people see and get from my presence in their life. I will try to keep clothing as neutral as possible, figuring that those who know me already will continue to believe I am presenting as male, and others will see whatever they want to see. I have quite a few woman's slacks and jeans and tops that nobody has seemed to notice so far. Otherwise, activities which have never been gender biased will continue. 

Like a person who has been in a hospital gown for a long time (you know the ones open at the back so the world can see your tush) and has got beyond caring, being self-conscious has become a thing of the past. I know that when people look at me, the first thing they are noticing and now and then commenting upon, is my lengthening and wavy hair. At about the same time, their eyes are wandering south a bit.. let us say the shirts are revealing some new features (you know the ones I mean). I haven't had any visible body hair now for many months, and when I am in shorts, eyes definitely head way south... and that puzzled look furrows a few brows. No comments on hairless chest and legs however. 

There is a very good possibility that at some future point, I will no longer be able to "pass" as male. Won't that be a terrible shame for some who care about the binary so very much. Only one person in my life matters in this regard, and yes it worries me that this slow-motion change will not bring her along fast enough, but she knows me and nothing that has actually happened has scared her. 

If you have the idea that passing as anyone other than myself is unimportant to me, you have read this perfectly. The adventure is now to find that authentic me. 

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. 

e.e. cummings


  1. Your quote by E.E.Cummings is very much to the point. Indeed, it appears to be a major function of human beings to engage in the process of trying to make us all like everyone else. And in that sentence, I suggest, is a fundamental oxymoron. It is what lies behind peer pressure, group mentality, nationalism and all forms of "club" thinking. And this kind of pressure is targeted at all individuals who are deemed to be different. We may be pressured into being spiritually sick, dysfunctional, or to partake of all the other evils to which society is prone, but by heavens we must be "normal." In that normality lies deep-seated fear!

    1. This word, fear, encapsulates the early life of so many of my sisters and brothers. Perhaps this is why so many suggest that we are brave to do the only thing we can.

  2. I am very very glad for you Halle. You are well on your way I see....

  3. "Waking in the morning feeling no inner conflict is an amazing feeling, one that most people take for granted."

    Sums up exactly what we have been seeking our whole lives...

  4. I'm so glad to see you're moving forward, Halle. :)

  5. Thank you all so much for your encouragement.

  6. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, "Normality has been achieved. Anything other people can't deal with is their own problem." Sounds like you're in a good place right now. Happy for you.
    Love and wishes

  7. Wandering eyes. Hmm. People are so visually-oriented. Why don't they attend to voice, for example. What if we were all blind. How different the world would "look" ...

    I admire you. I respect you more and more, dear Halle!

    1. Oh that is so lovely of you to say! Thank you.