Here’s the Thing…
I don’t come with an on/off switch. How convenient would that be? To be able to shut off my feelings and close down my brain when I need to be me. Right… which me are we discussing again? That is always going to be the issue. I was standing next to one of my golfing buddies the other day and I noticed how soft his lips looked. Kissable lips, I thought. What? I gruffly swore under my breath and tried puffing out my chest as I took an extra hard swing at the ball. I’ve had many such happenings throughout my life; those moments when my brain has a mind of its own…
I had the brief pleasure recently to communicate with a member’s SO and being privy to some of her thoughts. She made me think; I hope I caused her to do so as well. It’s much more than Heart or Mind, male or female, even whether one is gay or straight. It is simply indoctrination. I am a product of my rational thoughts, my emotions, and my environment. My DNA has much to say about my traits, and the older I become, the more my life experiences dictate what might be.
Let me explain…
Imagine a scenario where we are basically raised in a vacuum. No outside influences whatsoever. Everything is vanilla plain. Expanding it to include six boys and six girls growing up together, wearing the same outfits, same hair, sleeping in the same beds, eating the same foods, and being subjected to the same stimuli. The caretakers also are purposely androgynous, looking the same and indistinguishable between male or female. They live this way until age 11 as the onset of puberty begins. They are escorted into the “Room” one by one. In this room are magnificent clothes, fabrics, shoes, accessories, magazines, scents, colors, foods, toys, books, art, a menagerie of what the world is. They live in this room for a month and then walk out as them.
Yeah…bliss! Isn’t this what we struggle with? The impossibilities that others have burdened us with. “NO! you can’t wear that; you can’t do that!” I simply ask, “Why not?” It isn’t about being male or female, but about being human, which is a collective of individuals and not genetic clones. It’s our presence and our essence that makes us unique. It is also what draws us to others and they to us.
I fight every day to break out of the stigmatism of being who and what I am. I like dresses and nylons, long hair, and nails, I like to camp and fish, golf, and read, and watch all genres of movies. I hate chauvinism and pettiness. I dislike labels and politics. I would live authentically me if I could. And I can’t… or truthfully…won’t. Because… I am part coward, part selfish, and part a pragmatic realist. I don’t want to endure the fight…not while I still have a father to take care of. He is my last excuse. I will admit that if I were 20 years younger and felt the way I do now, I would be more forthcoming, especially in the reality of these times. Let me be 20 again, and my life would be shaped much differently than the path I followed. That’s all good and well, but it doesn’t solve me. The me that must find a balance between their lies and their truth.
We can speculate and debate until the sun comes up, but it still comes down to survival. How to walk in this world without the fear of physical and mental anguish. Isn’t that what keeps many of us buried so deep in the closet, the lights off, and the cracks stuffed with towels as we huddle against the abundance of anxiety at being found out to be something that others won’t allow us to be?
Brina is more of me with every passing day. Not just in the crossdressing sense, but in her mannerisms and reflections. The clothing, wigs, jewelry, perfume, etc. help ease my anxieties and allow me to put on the male costume and survive the day, but she is ever-present in my thoughts…kissable lips… I no longer think in male or female. I have trouble discerning what is the right way to sit, speak, walk…think. I wonder what I would have chosen had I been the experiment; would I have walked out in a dress carrying a fishing pole?
I wonder what the world would be like if tolerance wasn’t something we prayed for and wished for and just was. I can’t put myself perfectly in anyone else’s shoes, nor can they wear mine. What is happening today is but a taste of what is coming…it will get worse. Whether I like to wear a dress may not matter as much as if I will accept the label that comes with it. And that is a shame.
A baby boy and his sister; without color or style specific clothes which one is the boy? The girl? The elderly couple in their later years. when prejudices have fallen away, wear the same comfortable clothes and look more alike than not. The expectations of meeting societal norms no longer matter. Life and living should be about love and compassion, kindness and exploration, and not judgment and indictment.
My gift to you is a moment of imagination. Strip away all the expectations and walk into the “Room.” When you walk out, who would you see in the mirror? I ask because sometimes we feel the need to be either-or. If I like this, then I have to forgo that. Why? Wear you, be you, discover you.
May love carry you through.
Be safe, be reflective, and be passionate.
Until next time,