Some days the complexities of my transition crash into me everywhere I turn and I start feeling the anger rising up in me again. Most of the time I live my life in a safe little bubble of familiarity and am immune to how huge this whole gender thing is for me. I try to tell myself it’s really simple but it isn’t. It’s simple if you’re cis-gender and have never had to think about your gender. But for those of us who don’t have coordinated body/gender identities it’s not so simple. In fact, it’s pretty damned complex.
I think a lot when I drive. Sometimes I talk to myself, like there’s another me in the car or some trusted friend. It’s a very stream of consciousness kind of thinking/talking thing and most of the time I’m not even aware I’m doing it. Maybe I should mention this to my therapist. Nah. Sometimes a random person in their car makes me think certain things and gets me going on a mental tangent. Yesterday (and this has happened before), I found myself looking around at people and getting angry and resentful that they haven’t had to deal with something as basic as their fucking gender like I have my entire life. It’s the first thing we’re told when we’re born. You’re a boy! or You’re a girl! And those three little words determine so much about the rest of our lives. It’s such a basic fact about us that most people never give it much thought at all. It makes me so angry that I have to think about it. I’m sick of thinking about it. Joe Blow standing on the side of the road hitching a ride isn’t thinking about his gender. He’s thinking about getting a ride somewhere and whether the person who picks him up is going to be ok or not. The guys riding around in the work truck aren’t thinking about their genders. They’re thinking about going home at the end of the day. The lady on her cell phone next to me at the red light isn’t thinking about her gender. She’s thinking about…. God, I have no idea what she’s thinking about. And then there’s me. I’m thinking about my gender. Always. Constantly.
I’ve been trying to get my prescription for my T syringes filled at the pharmacy this week and every time I go to pick them up they tell me they still don’t have them in stock. I want to blow up at the pharmacy person and act like an asshole. But I don’t. Yesterday the lady called me Mr. LastName. I think that’s a first. And I liked it. But then, 30 minutes later the pharmacy called me to tell me the same thing that the lady at the drive up window had told me and she called me ma’am. Different lady. Different outcome. I wanted to scream at her for calling me with NO NEWS and then punctuating her waste of my time with calling me ma’am. It’s not their fault.
That’s the thing that’s the most infuriating about all of this. It’s no one’s fault. There’s no one for me to scream at or to punch in the face for fucking up my life having to deal with this bullshit. Really, it’s bullshit. Gender is a thing but why does it have to be such a concrete, unchangeable thing? Why is it such a big fucking deal to change genders? So the doctor was wrong the day you were born. So what? Fix it and move on. But no. Your fate is sealed in stone from that moment on. It’s on your birth certificate and all of the announcements your parents sent out to friends and family. From that moment on you either wear a pink ribbon or a blue ribbon in your hair for the whole world to see which gender you are. It’s permanent, unchangeable, unless you want to completely turn your world upside down and freak out everyone you’ve ever known, live as a freak and have people not know what in the hell to call you. Good luck if you go down THAT road.
I just want to be able to stand on the side of the road to hitch a ride and have everyone who passes me by know whether I’m pink or blue. I want to pay for my coffee and not have to wonder or worry about what pronoun/honorific bullshit term they’re going to assign me. I want to use the bathroom without worrying about whether someone will either call management or beat me up or worse. I’m sick of thinking about this shit. And it pisses me off that my whole life something as basic as gender has taken up so much head space. I wonder what I could have accomplished in life and where I’d be today if I hadn’t had to deal with this gender crap. Even if I wasn’t actively thinking or worrying about gender it was always there in the background controlling my destiny. Can’t do this because of that but I can do this instead. But I really want to do that other thing more. No, you really shouldn’t do that because then they’ll expect you to do this thing you can’t stand to do. Or, even worse, you can’t do or have that thing because you’re not supposed to do or have that thing because of the pink ribbon your momma put in your hair all those years ago.
I could have been an astronaut. Or a race car driver. Or a football player. Or a dump truck driver. Or a father. Or a hitchhiker.
None of that matters now and that pisses me off too. It’s too late to be thinking about any of that stuff. Well, I guess I could still be a hitchhiker or a dump truck driver. Ok, I guess I could be a race car driver too. But you get what I’m saying. I’m old. Too old to ever be able to do a lot of the things I used to dream of doing but not old enough for people to ignore me or think it’s cute that I’m eccentric. Whatever. I just want to get up in the morning and know who and what I am and move about my day with ease and confidence and not have to worry or think about any of this gender stuff.
You know, when you start dealing with being transgender they make you go to a therapist to get a “diagnosis”. That pisses me off too. Fuck them. Yes, I suffer from dysphoria and depression and anxiety. Sure, go ahead and put that in my official diagnosis that you will submit to the insurance company or government agency depending on where one lives. Here’s something else you can put in my file. I’m filled with anger, rage and resentment because this is even a THING and it’s such a HUGE THING that it’s totally derailed my life, held me back and kept me from truly living fully. Put that in there too because it’s probably just as important as the fact that I’m depressed. In fact, it’s WHY I’m depressed. I’m angry and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s why I’m anxious too, by the way. All that pent up anger has no where to go. And when you tell the therapist you’re angry she wants to send you to anger management classes or tells you to meditate. This only makes me angrier. The fact that this is classified as a mental disorder pisses me off as well. It’s a medical issue. We should be going to medical doctors. They’re the ones that the therapists refer us to in the end. Why do I have to spend money and time at a therapist’s office just to get “permission” to then go to a doctor? Why does an M.D. need permission from a therapist to treat me? It’s stupid. We have a long way to go.
I really don’t know what to do with all of this anger. I’m angry to my core. And sad. So sad. Life is unfair. Everyone has their crap to deal with. Mine is gender. The lady in the car next to me might be dealing with cancer. I guess it could be worse, right? Maybe I should be thankful that my biggest worry is whether someone will call me sir or ma’am. I’m privileged to be able to concern myself this much with my gender presentation. Intellectually I know this but I’m still angry.
This has been a long winded, self indulgent, childish rant and for that I apologize. But, misery loves company so I figured that there’s probably someone out there who might enjoy joining me in my whining and bitching. Life sucks sometimes and it’s unfair. But, hey, that’s just the way it is so we might as well just keep moving along and keep doing the best we can every day. Today I’m taking a mental health day from my life. I need more rest and a day to recharge. Tomorrow I’ll probably be in a much sunnier disposition. Or not. Now I’m off to go meditate.