Skip to main content

him or her?

Yesterday N and I were chatting before dinner and the name Joanna Cassidy came up in the context of one of us mentionning "Six Feet Under". You might recall her as a character on the critically acclaimed HBO show.

Then suddenly she asks me if I feel like I am more (insert my male name) or more Joanna. I had to think about it for a second but having to answer that on the spot is actually quite complex. I alluded to that challenge in my response although I can't repeat verbatum how I answered. I thought about it again this morning and thought I would respond more fully here because I know she sometimes reads my blog.

The male and female me are not characters I play but more like gender presentations that reflect my mood while still reflecting the same internal essence. I don't know why this dichotomy exists in me but at this point it doesn't matter because I am happy. Even if the vast majority of the world's population has no such need, there are those like me that do. I have tried to repatriate Joanna and the male side but have realized thar this is not what my psyche desires; I seem to need those two entities to live separately.

I am not looking to express androginy but instead femaleness even if the source of this requirement is beyond my own understanding.

So my response is to say I have no iron clad answer other than to say that I am a unique being with my own needs and desires and I will continue to embrace that uniqueness by not rejecting any aspect of that reality.

Who do I prefer? I prefer both.



Comments

  1. Hi Joanna!
    I’ve just read your post and had to say something as it has to do wuth the discussion I’m having with myself at the moment. Since I’ve come to realise that my feminine side is now appearing and interacting actively with the world and not just sitting back and longingly looking on, I have tried to go into myself to see if there is really two of us cooped up in here (“Book” representing my male attributes and “Abigale” the feminine) or just the one multifaceted me who enjoys the ever shifting conventional male and female aspects of our world. I’m not really clear at the moment who and how many I am or becoming (sounds eerie doesn’t it). I know that I’m unique (who isn’t) and I don’t see myself as totally “pigeoholeable” from others and with all due respect I don’t see why I should be. Social conventions and acceptability will change over time, each of us will to some extent be influenced by this, but our top directive is to be true to ourselves and we can only hope we know ourselves well enough to know what that is.. ..err.. sorry I think I just lost myself there.
    I have many roles when I interact with the world, some happy, some sad, some gendered; some not and they are all written by me. I’m Book and Abigale, sometimes one shines through, sometimes the other...
    Now we will go off and try to understand what we have written… Love
    Abigale

    ReplyDelete
  2. I thank you abigale for this very heartfelt admission. Knowing yourself and understanding what that implies may have to trump social convention and maybe that's just fine. In the end we need to be happy even if others are made uncomfortable by it. You go girl!.......joanna

    ReplyDelete
  3. There are things we do, ways we act. These can be rehearsed, or seemingly innate and can often seem male or female, especially the extremes.
    It seems to me that when we move into the realm of what is in our heart this changes. I can only say that in my own case one person resides here now.

    Sometimes finding a way to seem to be the man while being true to that inner singular person is challenging.

    As Abigale says, time to go off and try to understand what that means.

    ReplyDelete
  4. well maybe you don't need to seem to be the man when you don't want to Halle. I don't know how you manifest that but is there a way that you can find that allows you to be who you are inside even for some of the time? I know not everyone who is dysphoric cross dresses but that is only one way among others.....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Inside, who I am is constant. Can't say how it seems to the observer, but when I'm worried about someone noticing an incongruence I get quiet. Mostly people see what they expect to see, so in this case clothes do make the man.

    ReplyDelete
  6. people do see what they want to see and when I am Joanna I want them to see a woman and that helps dictate how I want them to treat me which only further encourages a feminine comportment I am not normally permitted to show when I present as male. I wished I understood it more but I don't and that's okay. Sometimes I get read and that is the same thing as people finding an incongruence but instead of finding that terrible I now enjoy watching how the rest of the interaction ensues. I just no longer care whether they like it or not; it simply is what it is.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

another coming out

Recently I had lunch with one of the young estimators who occasionally works with me here in Toronto. We were chatting about work and our respective lives when she queried about my love life:

“So how is it going on that front. Meet anyone interesting lately?”

I reflected for a moment and then said:

“My situation is a little particular and if you don’t mind I can share something about myself”

She leaned in a bit and told me to please go ahead.

“I am trans” I said matter of factly.

She looked at me and smiled and said:

“Really? That’s so neat”

She is 35 years old and a lovely person which is why I knew I could confide in her. I then added that I had been reflecting on whether I would switch companies and begin working as Joanna and although she is totally open she also knows how conservative our business can be. So I told her that if I did decide to it would definitely be under a different umbrella.

Then yesterday I was coming back to my place and the lady who rents it to me, who is abo…

feeling sexy

Here are the results of a recent survey of genetic women:

“A new hairdo, walking in heels and a glowing tan are among the things that make a woman feel sexy. Freshly applied lipstick, newly-shaved legs and a little black dress also have a positive effect on the psyche”

Are you surprised? I’m not because it is exactly the same list that makes transgender women feel sexy.

For a long time the idea was pandered about that transsexualism was rooted exclusively in aberrant sexuality. But of course you cannot separate the sexuality from the individual because that forms part of their overall makeup and the fact that genetic and transsexual women overlap here surprises no one.

We should also add here that women aren't always thinking about sex and neither are transgender women.

Pre transition transsexuals would not readily admit they found these things sexy because they were afraid to be seen as perverted men in front of gatekeepers who understood nothing about their condition.

Today we kn…

the risks of downplaying dysphoria

Kati’s comment on my post called “Doubting you are trans” got me thinking about the validity of our feelings and the importance of not downplaying them.

Make no mistake: gender dysphoria is real and you are not delusional and by trying to downplay our emotional need to express ourselves we are making a mistake.

At the same time, I am very realistic about what I am doing to treat my dysphoria and understand that I was not born physically female. However, the idea that gender identity is established exclusively through birth genitalia has been pretty convincingly debunked which means that gender and its expression should be left up to the individual and not to society. But unfortunately, we live in a world where disobeying the rules leads to suffering through persecution.

Transition is one way to treat your “gender expression deprivation anxiety” (thank you Anne Vitale for that wonderful term) but it is not the sole method. However, denying that the feelings are real is a recipe for dep…