I’ve arrived at a place in my life where my transness is no longer a problem. In that sense, I consider my transition complete, though my body is still slowly changing, I still have to tell my brother, and I am planning top surgery for this summer. Unlike when I began this blog, I do not spend a lot of mental energy thinking about being trans. When I began this blog, writing was a form of therapy, a way to find community, and the only way I knew to figure out who I was or how I should proceed. Now I no longer feel the need to write, though I continue to experience subtle shifts and movements in how I experience my body, my gender, and my sexuality. This is, no doubt, a good thing, and should fill you, my trans readers, with hope. Transitioning has not cost me family, and, in fact, I think that being truthful about who I am will allow me to be more intimate with both sides of my extended family. I am still not allowed in my mother’s house (due to her husband), but I welcome the way in which this prohibition renders concrete the subjective distance between them and I. My Pops and I are closer than ever, and, for the first time, I am beginning to understand some of her objections to trans politics. She is helping me think the emergence of contemporary North American trans and genderqueer politics within a broader historical and political frame – a project which I think is critical and necessary.
I live in a new city now, where I have many trans and genderqueer friends. Surprisingly, I still experience recognition and solidarity from certain older academic butches. I’ve been enjoying my regular gay cis male casual sex partners, and I have a long-distance trans fag lover as well. At my new faculty position, my transness is an open secret. Some are in the know, others aren’t, and others may suspect, and these levels of understanding calibrate my rapport with different colleagues and students. This is exactly as I like it.
When I think about the fact that I once looked different than I do now, that people once thought me to be female, that once I was a “boi” in my imagination only, and that this affected my entire relationship with my social world, it is hard to believe. I wonder who I would have been if I had somehow decided to remain a boi called “she.” Or if I had somehow managed to convey that I preferred to be called “he” but that all pronouns were fine and really meant it. I don’t think these alternative futures would have been impossible. But something would have had to be different – my commitment to feminism, or to inhabiting a genderqueer space, or to being beautifully androgynous. Undoubtedly, I took what, for me, was the easiest path. Sometimes, when I stop to think about it, I feel the loss of those other paths. But on an everyday basis, what I experience is the satisfaction of an appropriate embodiment, of a form that conveys the particular mix of independence, aggressiveness, and determination, on the one hand, and sweetness, faggy receptivity, and fabulousness, on the other, that make up who I am. Certainly, before, I embodied iconoclasm and a sense of alternatively gendered possibility, and I miss that, but I wouldn’t want to give up the seriousness and authority that my current form lends me. If it were possible to inhabit a genuine third-gender space – one which was not a version of female – I would take it up in a heartbeat. For, now that I am a man, I no longer idealize men, even gay men, or masculinity. Maleness and masculinity have done a lot of damage in the world, and I feel almost as alienated from them as I did before from femaleness and femininity. I find binary gender to be a sick and soul-destroying construction. It is inconceivable that I should be a woman, but it is disappointing that instead, I must be a man. And yet, I don’t want to go off T, don’t want to go unbound, don’t want to wear women’s clothes or do the other things that genderqueer folks do to mark their distance from men. We all have limits to what we can and cannot express with our bodies, not always out of fear, but out of our dispositions and corporeal schemas. At any rate, I feel sexy and stylish and at ease with how I move through the world.
Certain men – trans and non-trans – give me hope. They make me hope that I can give an entirely different meaning to what it is to inhabit a male body, of what this might mean in terms of my relation to others, my relation to women, my relation to my body, and my relation to knowledge. They make me remember that, in my youth, it was not only butches that gave me hope and made me feel that liberation was possible, it was also a certain type of gay man – feminist, compassionate, and passionately engaging. I still feel like I could be something beautiful.
Certainly, I do like my body – lean and elegant, with a hint of virile sinews and veins and just the right shape. I feel that this is a hot body to offer to my lovers and an attractive body to display at the gay bar. Of course, it doesn’t please those who prefer whiteness and gym-bodied or straight-acting masculinity (surely the majority), but I have no problem disagreeing with their tastes.
At this point, this blog becomes an archive. I will no longer post about my transition, and I am closing the comment sections on my posts. But, for now at least, I am leaving this blog up for folks just going through their transitions to find and to read. I hope readers see my silence as proof that, for some at least, a kind of gendered peace can be found, despite continuing transformations and a persistent sense of being in-between genders. Simply put, the pressing and interesting questions in my life no longer have to do with my gender…