As a rabid procrastinator by nature (I know, I resolved to discontinue this practice in my New Year’s resolutions along with that other stuff I haven’t touched yet. Go on, throw it in my face. I’m not afraid to cry you know. Jerk.), I applied my philosophy that tomorrow doesn’t really exist to recognizing my gender identity. It’s not such an easy thing to do, but one does find ways when truly motivated walk in circles around an issue that is much better once confronted. Be that as it may. Today’s list is therefore dedicated to ways one employs to avoid admitting they are trans and doing something about it. Some apply to me, and some don’t, and remember, I only do these little lists when I’m in a tongue in cheek mood, so reader beware. And so…
1. Join the Scouts: A great way to surround yourself with wholesome young men with nary a hint of homosexuality around is to join the scouts. Well, so the handbook indicates with the Rockwell painting of strong boys and men in the wilderness in crisp ironed uniforms and not a minority even on the horizon. Yeah, even at 11 I thought that was weird, but signed up anyway. Aside from learning knots only useful for hardcore bondage enthusiasts, I also learned what it looks like when you cross ‘Lord of the Flies’ with ‘The Hunger Games’. It was pretty clear, I was just never going to get boy culture.
2. Join the Team: Nothing in the world so manly as running around with a bunch of other boys, getting good and sweaty with a lot of ass slapping camaraderie, showering together, and whipping each other with towels to make one appreciate having testicles. I suppose if I had been a latent homosexual man, this would have been super, but I’m reasonably sure any woman, cis or trans, would find this deplorable, as did I. Plus it didn’t help that I generally warmed the bleachers next to the cheerleaders, and had season record of total points scored of 2.
3. Grow a Beard: Any latent ideas that you might be just a tiny bit feminine seem easily conquered simply by putting down the old razor for a while. Looking in the mirror each morning it’s easy to see yourself transformed by the various stages of beard-dom: recently unemployed, rescued hostage, terrorist, Uncle Jesse, and finally mountain man. The added bonus to growing a beard is that you have zero temptation to dress how you would really like because nothing is more ridiculous than a person with a douche-bag beard in a dress. Eventually, however, the Gillette ads get the better of you and the heartbreaking shaving routine begins again.
4. Join the Marines: If anyone can make a real man out of you, it’s definitely the Marines. Semper Fi and all that jazz (they never add that last part, but should). How on earth can being sent to Parris Island to be broken down, built back up, have a second penis installed (the one for fighting, not for fun), and be put on a ship with men in white sailor suits to compare yourself against fail to make a no-shit man out of you? Actually I don’t know, possibly very well, but I joined the Air Force and that failed miserably, but at least I didn’t end up with a neck the size of a Sam’s Club size jar of mayo as a result.
5. Join a Biker Gang: I never tried this myself, but a good friend did, and never a more feminine woman trans woman have I met. While wearing more dead cow than a leather daddy and scooting around with a big hot machine between your legs intimidating people has its charm, it may not be right for you if you find yourself constantly resisting the urge to paint it pink to match your nails. Where we all live in fear of discovery, it somehow seems much worse to have to fret about your little secret coming out in a dingy bar surrounded by angry, beer guzzling Haystacks Muldoon look-a-likes. She said they were much sweeter than one might think, but still.
6. Be a Stud-Muffin: Yes, I did resurrect that term from the late 80’s. I’ll be perfectly honest; this was never going to happen for me. Some latent trans women are able to capitalize on what they were born with and parlay that into an endless stream of promiscuity that allowed society to label them as real studs instead of the usual labels for their true gender such as ‘slut’ and ‘whore’. Unfortunately constant contact with body parts one secretly envies for themselves in no way alleviates this condition in the slightest and leaves former partners wondering if they had a faux-mosexual experience or not.
7. Get Married: “Son, there is nothing like the love of a good woman to set you straight.” Wonderful advice if you have a son instead of a secret daughter. Anyway, we buy it hook, line, and sinker. Whatever feelings I may have had in past were nothing more than the idle musings of a lonely soul and will be burned away forever in the fire of endless love, companionship, and perhaps even fatherhood. Oh, it works for a while, but before long you realize that the itch of wrongness is back beneath your skin, but now with someone essentially up your ass 24/7. Any attempt to utilize ‘Freaky Friday’ type methodology such as wishing on stars, seeking out bottle trapped genies, or futzing around with creepy old electromechanical coin operated wizards will not only fail, but likely initiate the mother of all fights.
8. Develop Wacky Distractions: Nothing you do may ever make you feel like a man for more than a few months, so the in-between time needs to be filled. Personally, I went with somewhat manufactured obsessions. Comic book collecting, obsessive eBaying, time capsule construction and internment, finding new and useless ways to categorize my digital library of 8000 songs, finding and reading books about Siberia, and blogging (not this one, my old blog). Having a good obsession is an excellent tool for procrastinating what appears to be an exceedingly unpleasant task.
9. Chow Down/ Go Diet Crazy: If you aren’t comfortable in your body, it seems like a good idea to start playing around with what you have and see if you can’t make your accommodations more bearable. I started with food and lots of it. Very hard to feel too bad while in the process of cramming a huge cheese steak hoagie with a side of loaded fries down your gullet every night. Close to 100 lbs later, it finally dawned on me that I was actually more uncomfortable arriving out of breath and soaked with sweat just walking up a flight of stairs to my bosses office. I went in the wrong direction! So, I focused everything I had (see obsession) into taking it off by meticulously calculating everything I stuck in my mouth. I got in the best shape I’ve ever been in, with a growing sense of unease that I was still totally uncomfortable.
10. Hit the Gym: Many manly men like to affirm their masculinity by donning tank tops and way too tight bike shorts and pumping iron at the local gym or California beaches. After all, what says ‘dude’ like ripped biceps and lycra covered bulges, right? It’s natural to lack confidence in this area, so setting up an expensive home gym to avoid the recurring cost of a gym membership seems like a good idea. You may even end up utilizing it until you look in the mirror and realize that bulging upper body musculature is totally, totally not you. Eventually this expensive equipment will be sold at a fraction of the value on Craigslist, but not before it takes up much needed space because your significant other likes the never to be exercised options it presents.
11. Go To Therapy: If anyone can get to the bottom of this general malaise, dysphoria, and body issue downward spiral you found yourself in, it’s a good therapist. You quickly discover that avoiding your gender identity becomes increasingly, ridiculously complicated when you are subjecting yourself answering deep, introspective questions that all seem to land in areas you have made every effort to avoid. Game over chica.