Friday, February 24, 2012
Groaning and Toning
these times can be dark ones. I won't lie and say that the adjustment to living in a new place, a rural place, a place where I know very few people, have very little structure and am facing mental health problems that I have been attempting to hide, be too busy for and run away from head on in some pretty intense ways is easy. It's not. I've been watching a lot of downloaded movies and TV, catching up on entire series that I had otherwise missed out on for what ever reason. Including Harry Potter, Star War, Skins (the british show), Weeds, and United States of Tara. Most recently I have watched 4 x-men movies. I quite enjoyed them, I liked the superhero meets mutants take on civil rights and overcoming oppression, but I found myself particularly fond of the character Beast. The story presented in the movies I have seen is about a mutant boy genius who can make super cool inventions and can run really fast and hang upside down with his 2nd hands on his feet. In "first class" he attempts to make a cure for the visible parts of the mutations that both him and Mystique face attempting to exist and blend in in the human world. It back fires, targeting and enhancing instead of decreasing the effects of mutation. He becomes blue, hairy and super ripped. His attempts to hide, change himself in a way that would make him invisible instead made him so super visible that in some ways he is tasked with being an advocate and leading the cause for mutant rights. This morning I took a call from an organization that is hosting a conference I am interested in attending. I called them after attempting to apply, when I got to the second question that was a drop down menu requiring me to choose M or F to be able to submit the form. I became an advisor to their application process and gender related policies as well as an applicant. I feel, at times, I have little choice declaring my transness, as it is something that I feel is visible all the time. This is what feels honest to me, this is what feels genuine. Beard and pearls, deep voice and long hair, skirts and work boots. This is who I am and I cannot pretend to blend in. I think this will be especially true if I become pregnant, which is a desire of mine. I think in some ways seeing the story line of Beast and his injected attempt to "fix" how visible he was instead made it impossible for him to ever hide again is the closest I have ever seen my relationship to Testosterone represented in film. I feel stronger, and more truly me living with the legacy of having injected t, but I cannot expect to ever be cisgendered, even as a femme with a cunt in a dress, my transness is always going to be a part of that. As beast comes to terms with being a mutant, a visible one, a strong, fast, hairy one, so do I. I feel really lucky to have a beautiful hall to go to a couple times a month to explore voice and sound with. A facilitator leads different activities in our bodies, our voices, our emotions, some interacting with each other, cooperating in creating a resonant truth in the space, and other times just being totally honest with our own. It is the type of thing that to an outsider walking in it would look like a whole bunch of crazies (and I say that as one) writhing on the floor and laughing hysterically, chasing each other around like cartoon villains, and sitting in circles for extended live vocal looping. Its beautiful, and magical and at times challenging, but it is one of those times where my facing my transness, if only for myself, is unavoidable. The effect of 3 years of T on my voice is that of extended range, occasional cracking and a general state of not knowing what might come out or for how long. I haven't done much singing out of the shower since I was a young kid singing in church, so exploring what my voice can do, its range, its growing strength and comfort in itself is empowering. Through the squeeks and cracks, through the growls and snarls, I am coming into myself. Mutant and proud, Trans and proud. Knowing that I have something, that living between genders is a super power, that it is useful and powerful in the world. To be a superhero I must train, know my powers, know their limits and control them so they don't control me.