Monday, December 11, 2017

Pretty On The Inside

I don't sleep very soundly these days but sometimes I do dream. I dream about being feminine. I dream about being slight and graceful like a Russian dancer. I dream about being shiny and cute and delicate and petite and a million other things I'll never ever be. I dream about being like Natalie Portman or Anna Karina or Chloe Sevigny or a million other people I'll never ever be. In these dreams it's not enough to be simply female. In these dreams I have to be ideal, like a princess from an old Disney cartoon. These dreams never last long. I always wake up and when I do it always hurts.

I wake up to facial hair and chest hair and back hair. I wake up to masculinity and obesity and depression. I wake up to real life and sometimes real life really burns. Truth be told, even if I didn't lack the necessary plumbing to be biologically female, I could never be truly feminine. I just don't have it in me. Call it butch or call it laziness, but I'm simply not equipped for make-up and pretty dresses. I don't even like to shave, let alone wax. And as much as I love Anna Karina, I'll always be more like Janis Joplin with a slacker goth streak. And most of the time that's OK. But I still have those dreams.

The DSM calls this phenomena Gender Dysphoria. They qualify it as a mental illness and on that I actually agree with the little Mengeles of the medical establishment but, contrary to popular mythology, Gender Dysphoria has very little to do with gender identity itself. It's a form of social anxiety caused by the unbearable pressure put on trans and gender variant people by our cis-heterosexist western society to fit into the rigid contours of an outdated gender system. For anyone biologically male who doesn't identify as such, we face a particularly high bar for social acceptance that is sometimes even upheld by the trans community itself. There exists a general attitude that we as a people don't count unless we're more feminine than female.

This pressure is all to often self-regulated, with sisters pushing sisters to hold the Mabeline line so as not to invite more negative attention from the cis-world. The origins of this affliction stem largely from the aforementioned little Mengeles of the medical establishment itself. For decades the only hope for trans people to receive treatment was to go to a handful of state funded cis-male doctors who withheld hormones and surgery from all but the most clownishly feminine T-girls who met their sexist standards for what defines womanhood. These Trans women, forced into becoming chauvinistic parodies of what certain men thought women should be, became unwitting billboards for what a trans person should look like. This became the source of the transphobia within the Women's Movement that came to pervade the Second Wave of western feminism. Cis-gender feminists saw their would-be-sisters aping like Miss America and presumptuously assumed it was a cruel joke at their expense when, in reality, trans women were victims of the same system of male oppression; doing what they had to do to survive.

Medical options have slowly expanded for trans people, albeit with a steep price tag, but old habits die hard. While few people question the rights of women like Tig Notaro and K. D. Lang to identify as female, genderqueer dykes like me still have to fight tooth and nail just to remain visible in the eyes of the straight world and even our own community. I'm too head strong to allow a bunch of breeder cunts and Auntie Caitlyn house queers tell me how to express my gender identity but I remain haunted by dreams of unquestionable femininity and no amount of intellectual rationality seems to be enough to put these dreams to rest. At the end of the day, all I ever really wanted was to feel like one of the girls without having to pay for it with the few authentically masculine aspects of my complicated gender identity.

Is this too much to ask for, dearest motherfuckers? I don't think it is but this fucked up place we call planet earth has never made a hell of a lot of sense to yours truly. Maybe in another life. Then again, maybe in another life the rest of you motherfuckers will grow up and fucking evolve. A girl can dream cant he? Until that day, I guess I'll just have to learn to love being pretty on the inside.

Peace, Love and Empathy- CH

Soundtrack; Songs that influenced this post.

* Piece Of My Heart By Janis Joplin
* Dreams By The Cranberries
* Pretty On The Inside By Hole
* Insomniac By Echobelly
* I'll Be Your Mirror By The Velvet Underground & Nico
* Wild Horses By The Sundays
* Delicate, Petite & Other Things I'll Never Be By Against Me!
* Everything Is Embarrassing By Sky Ferreira


  1. Comrade, I don't know about being pretty. I identify as male but do not even consider myself to be handsome. However, I can speak to the issue of obesity.

    Until I was 24 years old, I never had any problem with being overweight. I was six foot, one inch tall, and weighed 155 lbs. While I was not, technically, underweight in any health sense, I was simply a man who did not possess a powerful musculature. I was quite the wimp in terms of power and strength.

    My ability to maintain a lean physique ended at the age of 24, when I began taking an anti-depressant called Doxepin. It was prescribed for me when I entered the psychiatric ward at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley, CA, because I was suffering from very deep clinical depression which left me unable to keep down any food whatsoever, having dropped to 148 lbs. in weight. A miracle drug in other respects for me, Doxepin had the unwanted side effects of increasing my appetite to unhealthy levels, and suppressing metabolic activity. I gained 13 pounds in a two week period (on hospital food, no less!), and never looked back.

    Within two years, I weighed 249 lbs., and had become borderline diabetic. My personal physician let me know, I either start exercising and losing weight, or I was not going to live a long time.

    I ultimately started working out at 24-Hour Fitness, both cardio and weights. While I am now 60 years old, and live in a town with only 500 people within the city limits (1/3 the size of the mythical Mayberry in "The Andy Griffith Show"), there is actually a well equipped gym here in town, and has the advantage that, if I work out late at night, I am typically the only one there.

    For many years I lost weight slowly, because I did not push myself. But in the last two years, I became fully diabetic, so I made getting in shape a priority. I have lost 12 lbs. in the last eight months, and now am down to 194 lbs. As I am now 36 years older than when my normal weight was 155 lbs., and I have also increased muscle mass from exercising, I am allowing for 20 lbs. over this, and have set my target as 175 lbs. I hope to achieve this by my sixty first birthday. While I still have a little bit of a pot belly, my body looks remarkably good for a man of sixty years.

    The point of this long ramble is that obesity is not, in most cases, inevitable. Perhaps you don't have the money to pay a gym membership fee, or perhaps there are other reasons you would not wish to frequent a public gym (I don't really know if you are uncomfortable showering with men). In any event, you should find a way to work out, and put your heart into it.

    1. Believe it or not, I'm actually OK with my weight, it's society that makes me feel bad about it. I may be heavy but I still walk and I rarely overeat. I have IBS and Lyme Disease so I spend plenty of time at the doctor and my blood pressure and vitals are actually pretty good. Contrary to popular belief, you can actually live a full life with obesity. It's just a little more risky.

      The biggest problem with my weight is the societal stigma attached to it. It's particularly heavy when you identify as female or femme. You're made to believe that femininity and skinny are interchangeable. I know trans people who lost weight exclusively so they could feel thin enough to be pretty enough to come out of the closet. I feel the same pressure but, like I said above, I'm too goddamn headstrong to let it get the best of me. I'm proud of my curves. I'd rather put my heart into that. Nothing personal. I wish you all the luck in the world with your weight loss. It's just not what I require to be happy.

    2. Comrade, when I met my woman she had, what most men would consider, a perfect figure. She was tall, lean but quite curvy, with beautiful, full breasts and hips.

      She has gained considerable weight, both from the effects of psych meds and her own psychological addiction (cause: depression) to food. I will not give you a figure, as I wish to preserve her privacy.

      What is the point I am trying to make? That I still want to fuck the shit out of her every time I see her. She still has breasts and hips that most skinny women would die for, and, for God's sake, I love her to death and am deeply in love with her, and can't hide my lust for her whenever I'm in her presence.

      We are having problems in our relationship now, precisely because she no longer feels attractive. She rarely even lets me kiss her anymore, and we haven't been intimate in six months. I don't know what to do, to get across to her that I think she's absolutely gorgeous, that I think she's intensely feminine, and that I desire her every bit as much as I did when she was thinner.

      Don't focus on what you perceive to be "society's" opinion of your body, think only of trying to impress the people you love.