Saturday, January 15, 2011

What It Means to be a Trans Woman

This was an assignment given to me by my director: to take about 5 minutes to explain what it means to be a trans woman to the rest of the cast. I and Deborah Dean, who is going to do "They Beat the Girl" with me, are to present are own perspectives tomorrow during full cast rehearsal. This, or something close to this is what I am going to say:

What does it mean to be a trans woman? Trans in this case is short for transgender, but in common media, actually means transsexual. Someone who is transgender is someone who gets some comfort in breaking gender norms, sometimes by doing activities that are taboo to their birth-assigned gender because they are associated with the gender which is its polar opposite. Someone who is transsexual feels that their mental image of their sex is at odds with their bodies. From this point on, every transsexual woman is different and her experiences are different. I can only speak for myself.

I am a transsexual woman. I have recently come to the conclusion that I am also intersex, in a non-visible way. A male pseuodo-hermaphrodite.

From a young age, I knew I wasn't a boy, because boys were physically cruel. Even when I avoided them, they sought me out to fight. I was instinctually paranoid of groups of boys. I wasn't sure if I was a girl, because most of the girls I knew tended toward stereotypical behavior and could be just as mentally cruel as they boys were physically. The insistence of everyone that I must be a boy and adopt male behavior drove me away from them.

At 10 years old, I realized I thought like a girl, and even though I couldn't be one, I could be the best man a girl could want, because I knew how girls thought. As I approached adolescence, my penis baffled me. I didn't know it was there unless I physically looked. I had no idea how it could possibly be used for sex. And I felt separated from my friends because they grew bumps on their chest and boys were segregated from girls. School became like a prison to me, and the mean boys still lurked. I watched as a couple of my friends turned into aggressive bullies. And the tomboys I loved to hang around suddenly stopped coming outside.

Meanwhile, I gradually couldn't fully experience orgasms unless I imagined my body as female, when I stopped superimposing my male parts over my intuitive nature.

The church taught me not to trust my own feelings, that they were temptations from Satan, and I learned to keep my mouth shut, and prayed for deliverance. But every so often, I would find something to put on or wear in utter secrecy that reflected the woman I craved to be.

When I finally came out, it was in fear of losing my family, my job, my life. At a minimum, I would be labeled a freak or crazy. But I couldn't repress myself anymore. It was killing me. My blood pressure went through the roof. After seeing a counselor, I decided to be a little more bold in my journey.

At each opportunity, after facing the fear, I gradually found it much easier mentally to live as a woman than a man. It came naturally to me. I was more loving, more outspoken, and surprised to find I was not an introvert after all. I was becoming the person I was meant to be.

And, even though I don't get my new vagina until May, I just recently realized that I am no longer trying to be a woman. I am one.

Hugs and God Bless,

1 comment:

  1. Well said, it made my cast member more at ease when I told them. All the girls who I have known to have been in the monologues have been up front, accepting and an activist in their own right.
    Have a good run for your Monologues.