Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Reading the experience
I find myself often checking out books and scanning websites of transgender politics and experience. I find the stories of the other men living with the same "condition" of myself and sit down to reading them. I can rarely read too far in without my mind wandering, and my feet following, over to the bookshelf, where I reach to pull an album of childhood photos, pre-transition photos, teen girl photos, anything where I might be able to remember if I knew, and how I felt, and how I feel now about feeling that way in that time. What clothes and haircuts I can recall feeling good about, the activities I thrived in, the early experiences of being "misgendered" and how that made me feel. Now when I say "Mis-gendered" I do see the dual potential meanings, and looking back through these photo albums I see both. The times I remember being "misread" as male and the feelings it spurred, and the social conditioning which "misgendered" me into dresses and long blonde french braids. The adult male I am today searches those photos for me, I remember being on the other side of the camera, but it is sometimes hard to correlate Me and Her.