More Moving On

Thanks to recent sexy times, your thoughtful and empathetic comments and support, and the company of good friends in real life, I’ve been well and I’ve been inspired. This has meant less fuming on my blog and more getting out there and doing stuff.

Of late, my time has been occupied by:

  • Writing a piece for an anthology. Details to follow.
  • Getting a rad new haircut and piercing.
  • Applying for grad school.
  • Joining a women’s bicycling group.
  • Spending time with friends eating pizza, drinking beer, and going for walks. Yay for spring.
  • Joining some volunteer groups and other organizations that put me in contact with the right kinds of single ladies as well as keeping me busy and allowing me to give back to the world.
  • Not ever getting nearly enough sleep, somehow.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say on women’s rights, transgender troubles, and my tumultuous new life as a single person. But for now, I’m enjoying life.

Thank you all, sincerely, for your appreciable contribution to my healing.

 

 

 

Not a proper lady

“I’m an adult human female, and no matter what outfit I have on, or what things I’m interested in, this remains true. If I don’t behave the way society expects women to behave, that’s not because I’m not really a woman, that’s because society’s expectations of women are bullshit. Our personalities are not determined by our sex. Women come with all sorts of personalities, and none of them are wrong… Any personality a woman has is a woman’s personality. ”

Well said, Purple Sage Feminist.

A Bumpy Ride Forward

I had a date with a woman on Saturday night. From the photos on her dating app profile, I expected her to be ok looking. She was drop dead gorgeous. Soft butch, tattooed, pierced, and athletic with an amazing body and a beautiful smile.

We’d been chatting for weeks, so maybe we felt like we knew each other when we went back to her place and I spent the night. I felt so at home. Wanted and wanting for the first time in so long.

I am reminded of a song by Alison Krauss in which she seduces a recently forsaken man into forgetting about “that cowgirl as she’s walkin’ out your door.” I felt so much like I could move on. I felt like I had already moved on.

Two days later I learned that my divorce is final. I was positively nonplussed by the news.

My lady friend is now working late a lot, and may be giving me the cold shoulder. It’s her prerogative; she may not like me as much as I like her. It’s tremendously disappointing if true. But, ironically, she left me with a great deal of hope and confidence and willingness to face the future.

 

 

 

Defining Away Happiness

Two years ago, my ex would have told you that he was extraordinarily happy. And it showed. He adored me and said he couldn’t imagine life without me. He was content, easy-going, had a job he loved, and had tons of hobbies. He spent hours puttering in the garden, picking and canning green beans, playing with his nieces, noodling on his guitar. He’d go on a road trip or vacation at the drop of a hat. He didn’t care if we stayed at a five star resort on the beach or a Motel 6 in Mississippi. He was always laughing. Always striking up conversations with strangers. Always finding something interesting to do.

When he first started crossdressing, he told me that I could set limits on where and how often he dressed, if I wanted to, and he told me that he’d never let it come between us. He had a good time shopping in those early days, walking around the mall in a fringy top and boots, finding a sale on scarves. In those days, he said he was a man, and that he just wanted to express himself more. He was still happy. Maybe even happier than before.

He has a couple dozen extremely smart, loyal friends whom he used to see once or twice a week. Not a single one of them raised an eyebrow when he started to crossdress, and they welcomed him with open arms. Many told him he was brave and beautiful.

He has a large family that gets together for every major and minor holiday and every birthday. They were perplexed by his new behavior, but didn’t let it show. They didn’t talk about it much, but continued to invite him to events and didn’t even ask him not to dress in front of the children, as many families apparently do.

A recipe for happiness, some might say. Supportive wife, supportive friends, supportive family. Strong relationships. Smart, caring people all around. Even after he “came out.”

But somewhere along the way, he decided that he was “literally” a woman and would become suicidal if he thought of himself in any other way. And he started refusing to abide any opinion to the contrary.

It wouldn’t be good enough for his friends to gender him the way he preferred and to refer to him as a woman in public. It wouldn’t be good enough for them to think of him as a gender-nonconforming male and to be completely accepting of that. He required unequivocal compliance with his new definition of woman (one he himself didn’t hold months ago). He required his female friends to redefine themselves to accommodate him. He required everyone to lie to him in private as well as respect his desires in public.

He felt betrayed and devastated to hear that some of his friends did not in fact think of him as a woman. He didn’t respond to this news by giving them the benefit of the doubt, by reaching out to them, by talking to them. Instead, he began to remove himself from situations in which he might hear any opinion he found inconvenient.

Today, he has little contact with his friends and family. He barely speaks to me even when we meet to conduct divorce business. He has no job. He lives impoverished in a tiny apartment with roommates, and seems to have lost his phone and internet access. He’s stopped responding to his mail and bills and has apparently abandoned all hobbies. When he does post on social media, it’s a selfie, a pitch for a transgender rights event, or to say he’s depressed.

So much life, so much love, so much support diminished over definitions.

 

 

 

The Spirit of Marriage

You’ve broken my heart. Your story makes me so sad and so incredibly angry at the same time. The person you were with more or less committed suicide. You were totally abandoned. It goes against the spirit of love.

What happened was your husband willfully destroying his own personality in a mishandling of an existential crisis, just like somebody might get heavily into drugs or enter into an affair with a much younger woman.

The whole reason you enter into a marriage is because you’ve found somebody you admire enough to counsel you through such a crisis. And once the marriage is entered into, it’s “for sickness and for health.” You’ve made a promise to listen. The demands of a shared history and love itself should cause you to at least bend your decisions to the shape of the other’s life – their feelings, their personality, their circumstances – not to totally disregard it.

I love this description of marriage. You’ve found someone whose counsel you trust. You’ve made a promise to listen. You feel obligated to consider your partner and to bend your decisions to the shape of the other’s life. Because of shared history. Because of love.

It’s a beautiful description, and it’s what marriage means to me. It’s heartening to me to know that there are others out there who feel the same way (in lieu of such sentiment from my husband). It’s heartening to me to know that when I date again the investment I make in my partner need not be in vain. That for some people, there isn’t a personal crisis big enough to warrant abandonment of the marriage.

I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the internet friend who wrote this to me, and to all the other internet friends who have saved my life during this crisis with your empathy and your boundless kindness.

A Moment of Clarity on Autogynephilia

Men do not know and cannot know what it feels like to be a woman. Anything they come up with is, by definition, a man’s conception of the alleged feeling and not a woman’s reality.

Women don’t “feel like” women, for one thing.

There have been many times when my ex tried to “prove” that I identify as a woman because I wear eyeliner (infrequently, at that) or have been seen in a dress.

But the way that I “present” is merely in service to getting by in the world. I can assure you that if I lived on a desert island, or even in a commune populated by women only, I would never send a blazer to a dry cleaner again.

Every person dresses to get by in the world, even as one person’s assessment of how to best do that differs from another’s. People wear clothes for reasons, whether those clothes are typical or atypical for their sex.

A woman might wear a suit because she’s on her way to a job interview and wearing a suit is expected to make a good impression on the hiring manager.

A woman might wear a dress because she has a date with a man and she has reason to believe he’ll find it attractive.

A woman might wear jeans and flannel because she values comfort over the attention of others, or because she wants to attract women rather than men, or because it’s cold, or because she’s on her way to work and will be crawling under cars.

What would be the point in dressing in a way other than in service to one’s goals or comfort?

Why wear a space suit on a date? Or a bikini to a welding job? Or cuff links to a mud wrestling match?

What does it mean when a man dresses in a way that actually sabotages his goals?

Why would a man spend precious time applying makeup and prosthetics, when doing so makes him less attractive to the heterosexual women he is attracted to? And less likely to find a job doing something he enjoys? And more likely to be harassed on the street?

That man would be dressing for himself. For his own gaze. For vanity. What else can this be called?

Dressing for one’s own pleasure at steep cost to one’s goals, social standing, comfort and safety is almost literally masturbation.

To do so daily, compulsively, with a sense of importance, and to demand that its importance be recognized by those with no stake in it, is a tremendous indulgence in vanity indeed.

Such a man dresses not because he actually knows what it feels like to be a woman, nor because it confers social advantage, nor because it’s the path of least resistance. What is left?

Autogynephilia. By definition, by tautology.

A man, dressing in a manner that he deems “womanly,” for his own (inescapably male) gaze.

 

 

The Adult Baby Story

My first reblog. This article, from a detransitioner, is too excellent to pass up. Must read.

“You might say, well, but that’s what he needs to do to be happy. There’s some pity in that response, but I don’t think there’s a lot of actual respect in that response…

It’s the difference between respecting someone’s identity and respecting them. Saying “I will play along because you need this to feel ok,” and saying, “Whoa, you’re too valuable to not investigate why you need such a limited life to feel ok, also, are you actually feeling more ok these days? Maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board re: how you try to make yourself feel ok?””

Source: The Adult Baby Story