I wrote a few weeks back about springtime being the time of new beginnings for me. I've been thinking since then about what that means for me, this spring, one year after my universe exploded. It's not the second big bang (or third, or whatever) this time around. But as the new leaves have unfolded and the bees have started cruising around the neighborhood, and the flowers have been blooming and the MacCool household has been sneezing, I've felt a certain subtle shift, or set of shifts.
One shift is about gender. (Oh, I sense the shock. Try to contain yourselves.) When I started accepting & claiming masculinity last year I wondered what exactly that meant, when I'd want to get off the ride, as it were. If I just kept opening the next door, would I transition, in other words? And somehow, over the last few months, that's just been fading for me, and being replaced by the sense that, nope, that's not where I'm heading, at least not until or unless something pretty major changes for me. I've been thinking about this partly because of my good buddy Jess, who's being incredibly brave in sharing his own process in this connection. But also it's related to experiences and people in my non-bloggy life.
One thing I've heard from Jess & others is the sense of profound bodily wrongness. Jess mentioned looking in the mirror and not recognizing himself. And heaven knows I know that feeling. I spent years feeling that way. I was so out of touch I couldn't even picture myself in my head. But I don't feel that way now. There's plenty of things I'd like to change and I'm not trying to deny that there's some real body dysphoria going on at times, but mostly when I see myself, I look like myself. I feel like myself.
My point isn't really about not transitioning, but about settling into this person that I've become. I was trying this morning to explain to FG the feeling I've been having, of walking up the street, say, or buying a quart of milk, and just feeling... like myself. Like just another guy going about the daily business of living. I don't know. Maybe that's how most people always feel? Anyway it's new to me.
Another aspect of this is related to style. When I was trying to be a (good) girl, and yet not go completely bonkers, I developed a style centered on two themes: androgyny and invisibility. Plain jeans, not too tight. Endless black shoes of one boring variety or another. Button-up shirts from the Gap, from the women's side, but again, not too tight. Hair back in a plain ponytail (at the neck, like a boy). Brown wire-rim glasses. Little tweed or velvet blazers. Yep, I think that's it.
And now of course I can buy the clothes and shoes and glasses that I want, and it's slowly dawning on me that I don't have to opt for plain conservatism any more. (LL Cool Joe, I know, I'm a slow learner.) I went shopping with a friend recently and started to wonder, what do I really like, in the most superficial and entertaining of senses, now that I've gotten past the simple point of insisting that I shop on the men's side and not the women's? I think I'm going to have some fun figuring this one out.