After my three day experiment of trying to live out (my term for pass) as a man last week I was exhausted and mentally drained. I have spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about the experience and what I’m going to do next. I’ve come to the conclusion that the thing that exhausted me the most was binding. I had built up in my mind that binding was going to give me some special golden ticket into the men’s club and it clearly didn’t. That was disappointing especially how uncomfortable it made me. Binding actually causes dysphoria in me in a way that a bra doesn’t. I don’t think I’ll ever wear a binder again until I have to for top surgery. There’s something about having all of that pressure around my chest and being so aware of it that pushes my anxiety over the top and I just can’t keep doing that to myself.
I’m not doing this to make myself feel worse. This is supposed to be a freeing and liberating experience and that’s what I intend to make it. Binding sucks so I’m not doing it anymore. I’ll either wear a bra or a compression shirt or nothing under my other clothes. The other thing I realized is that I’m pissed off about my last haircut. I’ve been going to the same person for a long time at her house and I’ve asked her a few times about getting a clipper cut. She always tells me to go to a barber for that. Last time I saw her we talked about it again and she said she would do a clipper cut on me like she does for her nephews and brother but when I went to get my haircut this time she had “forgotten” to bring her clippers home with her so she did my hair pretty much like she always does but a bit shorter. It’s an ok cut but I really had my heart set on getting my first real man’s haircut and I’m disappointed. More disappointed than I thought. So I think I’m going to go to a barber this week and get the cut I really want.
So I’ve decided to stop putting so much pressure on myself and just do the things I want to do and set myself free from worrying about passing and being seen as a man. I want to be seen as myself so the first step is to be myself not some stereotypical resemblance of a man. I want to get that haircut, not because it’ll make me look more masculine, though it undoubtedly will, but because I want it. I’m going to wear the clothes I want to wear whether they make me look more like a man or not. I’m sick of worrying all of the time about what people see. It makes no more sense to start trying to look like a man than it did to pretend to be a woman. I’m who and what I am now and that will continue to evolve as time goes on.
My confidence has been at an all time low lately too and that certainly doesn’t help me feel good about myself. People can sense that lack of confidence and it makes all of us uneasy. I need to just go be myself whatever that is and stop all the fretting over whether they see me as male or female. It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I just need to be confident in who I am. That’s what matters. If I’m comfortable then others will be more at ease with me too.
As for the bathroom, I think that’s going to continue to be a challenge but eventually it’ll work itself out. I just can’t afford to push myself to the point of a nervous breakdown over where to pee. I’ll pee where I think I should pee wherever that may be. I have an F on my driver’s license so legally I have a right to be in the women’s room. And I do think I look masculine enough most days to go into the men’s without too much notice as well. So I can use whichever one I feel good about going into that day.
Pressure is off. I can’t handle it anymore. Three days of it was enough to push me nearly to a mental breaking point. All of this thinking about gender and fretting about passing is taking any enjoyment out of transitioning for me. Between the pressure I put on myself and what I’ve felt from other people I’ve not really enjoyed this process and it’s taken a toll on me. So now, from here out I’m not pressing myself to do anything I’m not ready for and that won’t make me happy. I want my transition to be a joyous experience. I’ve waited 50 years to finally be able to express myself as I really am and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone, including myself, ruin it and make it a living hell. If it doesn’t make me smile I’m not doing it.