Even though I haven’t breathed a word to my ex in three to six months, he has cyberstalked me, located my blog, and begun a public smear campaign about me on FaceBook. He says I’m an abuser, and that I have “weaponized” his friends against him. Whatever that means. He took information that he knows only by reading my blog and lied to his friends about it, pretending it was reported to him by his friends or relayed directly by me.
I’m sure his making me aware of that fact is meant to intimidate me. Make me wonder who else he’s sending here. Make me think twice or censor myself or shut down or move my blog because he’s here. Make me think about how much seeing posts about himself feeds his narcissism and gets him his jollies.
But here’s the thing. This blog is not for him, and it never was. If it was, I would have given him the URL (and I didn’t). And I probably would have said some things differently. Because despite his recent irrational seething hate-fest, I am in fact allowed to vent anonymously with internet strangers about the bullshit train wreck that was my divorce. He’s doing it in public. I’m doing it in private. But somehow I’m the abusive one.
This blog is for me, first of all. It’s not my fault or my problem that he invested the time and research into finding it. And it’s also for other people. People who are hearing stories from transgender people that they suspect aren’t true (i.e. I’ve known since I was four, it’s not sexual). People who are curious. People who are going through the same thing I am. Other sorts of people.
So with that business dispensed of, I will not be changing my blog URL or my posting habits.
Here’s something that recent events have gotten me thinking about.
Here’s a reality and a fantasy.
- I’m a guy. I have XY chromosomes, a penis, testicles, and the kind of body and face structure that comes from going through puberty as a male. Despite philosophical musings on physical and neurological anomalies I might have, I probably don’t have them.
- It’s ok to be a male. It’s ok to be a male who dresses and behaves unconventionally. It’s ok to be a male who likes men. If someone thinks otherwise, that’s a problem with society. Male privilege is uncomfortable, but I can own it and just do the best I can by the women in my life.
- Though I feel strongly about living as a female, other people don’t always think of me as one. People who care about me, even. They use an established, scientific definition of male and female, and they kind of have the right to do that. Or maybe they’ve just known me for decades, and I don’t read female to them.
- I’m a woman. I look like a woman, if you look at me at the right angle with the right amount of makeup on in the right light and throw away all the selfies that suggest otherwise. After all, sometimes women are tall or large or have big hands or adam’s apples or broad shoulders or narrow hips or penises or testicles or all of those things. If I don’t look like a woman, I’ll use hormones and surgery to get as close as possible. Then I’ll just hope that for the rest of my life neither I nor anyone else ever notices, photographs or mentions any of the parts of me that still look male.
- It’s not ok to be male. Nothing could be worse than being a male who has dysphoria, dresses unconventionally, or likes men. Society’s gender-role policing and homophobia is all well and good. I must change everything to try and avoid the fate of having a male body and a different personality than the one society expects.
- Everyone I know unequivocally thinks everything about me that I want them to think about me. They think I’m a woman and that I’m beautiful and brave and they agree with every word of my ideology. If they don’t agree, they hate me. Disagreeing with me is unacceptable, so if I suspect anyone doesn’t agree, I’ll emotionally blackmail them by telling them to unfriend me or else. If someone doesn’t think I’m a woman or is uncomfortable with my pronouns, I’ll repeat the mantras “trans women are women” and “misgendering is bigotry” and bully them into participating. Then I’ll pretend they’re all participating willingly.
One of these paths just seems like so much more work than the other.
It must be exhausting. No wonder they are cranky.