Thursday, July 8, 2010

T is not the Middle of the Alphabet

"I said, freeze!" Terry Ryan yelled. But the thief had already made a break for it.
- Matthew Reilly, Contest
I was surprised to see that another online sister, who wrote candidly from her heart about T-issues, tear down her blog and go home. She posted something about "crazed T-girls," firing off an epithet and the snippet I can read ends before I can dig further into her rave. From the snippet of the previous post, not quite 24 hours old, I see that she mentions how, after 5 years, she can no longer blog about transgender issues. That's a long time to dedicate to a single topic. Though I didn't always agree with some of her assumptions, she did make valid points and bring to light many issues that we do need to think about. All of that information is now gone, archived, at least for a while, in Google's search engine archives. For her, and for us, life goes on.

T is not the center of the alphabet. Nor should the concept of being transgender or transsexual overshadow our lives if we transition. If we can't stop worrying and measuring everything from the aspect of shifting genders, we are living in an obsessive compulsive frame.

For our own sanity, especially when we're living as ourselves, we need to step out of the shadow of T and just experience life. There are a number of things to take note of as you live in a new gender, and not everyone experiences manhood, womanhood or androgynity the same way. For example, if you're interacting, living as a woman, just appreciate the intricacies, subtleties and challenges that being a woman provides. The same holds true if your interacting in the male: appreciate the day-to-day challenges of being male. If you can step out of the shadow, you will be able to fully experience yourself.

Think back to when you were a child. Can you remember a time before gender expectations, before you heard of terms like transsexual and transgender, when you were simply you? Maybe you can recapture the experience. Being transgender may be a part of your identity, but it is probably not your whole identity.

When I passed through the drive through on my way home last night, the young gentleman who hadn't waited on me in months, asked me, after taking my credit card, "Did you really change your name?"

"Yes. I did," I replied in my sweet feminine, yet firm, voice. Of course, this was not really an appropriate question to ask in my mind, since it violated my privacy by the implication that he had memorized my name from before. It also confirmed my suspicion from months ago that he "Sir'ed" me because of the name he read.

"Have a good day...Sophia," he tried to say in a suave and debonair wave as he handed my credit card back. As I drove forward to window number 2, he finger-waved me from the counter inside while the next person filled my order.

I registered for the Poetry Contest tomorrow night at the Riverbend Wine Factory. The original 25 dollar registration was waived because the show is going to use audience participation. As Miss Feathewind, I have to deliver one of my memorized pieces for the judges with about 11 other contestants. If I make it pass the first round, I will get to participate in the winner-determining second round, to be voted on by the audience. I selected my best pieces, one for the judges and one for the audience. First prize is 500 dollars with 250 dollars and 50 dollars going to 2nd and 3rd place finishers. There are also hours of photo opportunities, and a publisher will be present. I have a 25% chance of at least placing: pretty good odds I think. But even if I don't place, it will be a great chance to expand my visibility and network.

Tonight, we're doing Balboa lesson #2. Last week, I couldn't quite figure out one of the moves, unlike the first Hustle lesson Tuesday night where everything seemed to come together more easily. (And no, it's not disco hustle. It's more of the Latin Hustle, which involves a partner).

Besides waiting for a photographer to call me back for a headshot sitting, so I can have a shot at a possible booking at the world's largest drag show complex, that's about it.

Hugs and God Bless,


  1. Candid, yes. But saying we're all men in dresses like him and can never be real women, gendering male and coming out with gems like how you can never argue with a woman...not really the blog to have behind you when you go posting on 'Questioning Transphobia' to defend TOTWK.
    Luck with the contest,always a bit of a lottery but you really should do well.

  2. @Sophie: I was going to ask what TOTWK was, but I figured it out (about 3 seconds on Google).

    Her (his?) view is definitely and radically different, but while most of us are not quite as radical as that, it was an interesting thought experiment to see where that thinking took him. Since transition was accidental, and he does seem to be a little disgruntled as a she, not to mention careless if the exploits are true, having the refelections there was a good for people for me to say, "Yeah, but for me it's different."

    In reality, there may have been a bit of self-directed transphobia at play. It helps to learn from other people's mistakes. Unfortunately, people who buy into the autogynephilia theory make harder for those of us who can't.

    I guess what we all need to remember, is that as members of a fringe group, posting in a public space, we represent that group, internal bickering and all, to those who are not members of our fringe group and should show respect in our postings, because people, as you intimated, will get the wrong idea about the rest of us.

    Thanks, Sophie