F@ck Dysphoria, the Sequel

Photo by Karina Carvalho

After several months, an old nemesis reappears; making a transgender person question everything.

When I sat down to start writing my next article for Transgender Universe, I struggled greatly in figuring out a topic. For a while, I wrote the ongoing saga of my transition and how it was affecting my life, and more importantly, my marriage. As weeks passed, I realized that my story was being told at a much greater pace then I could live it; and suddenly, there wasn't much left to share. My transition is on hold while Kat and I go through the process of IVF, and that's a slow process that doesn’t leave much room for frequent updates.

I started looking at old articles, hoping something from the past might spark something new; and it didn't take long. My very first article, simply titled, Fuck Dysphoria, focused on my first real attempt at going out as Crystal, an attempt that turned into a total disaster and sent me spiraling into a, thankfully short, bout of depression. As fate would have it, that event was actually exactly one year ago; and the recent announcement of this year's Halloween party with my local Trans Support Group has got me thinking less of costumes, and more of getting out of my comfort zones. The problem is, I'm not sure how to do that.

> "..I'VE BEEN REEXAMINING THINGS ABOUT MYSELF, AND I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT I BELONGED ON THE NON-BINARY SPECTRUM."

Over the last few months, as my frequent readers know, I've been reexamining things about myself, and I came to the conclusion that I belonged on the Non-Binary spectrum. About two months ago, a friend, Erin, took me shopping and I was able to find some really nice feminine clothes. Being about 120lbs thinner than my last attempt at going shopping offline certainly made the mission much easier. Regardless, I felt very awkward wondering through JCPenney, and limited myself to just one pair of pants and a couple of t-shirts. I couldn’t put my finger on why I felt that way, and I didn’t even express the feeling to Kat or Erin.

I quickly forgot about the odd feelings, until a few days later when I had a mishap with an electric hair trimmer. I usually cut my own hair, keeping the sides down with a #2 guide (about a quarter of an inch in length) and the top to #8 (about one inch.) At these lengths, it keeps everything easy to style and short enough for comfort when I wear my wig. On this day however, I must not have clicked the guide all the way into place, and as I went to start, it popped right off, bringing the sides of my hair right down to the scalp. After this, I ended up putting the buzzer away and going to a barber, who cleaned me up and was able to give me a nice faded look with a decent amount of length on top.

After we returned home, Kat asked me if I was ok with my hair being so short. I told her that it was fine, because Crystal could only wear a wig anyway. This answer was 100% true, but it got me wondering as to why it didn’t bother me more. I felt like having my hair so short, after a year of taking biotin and trying to get my hair to thicken, should feel devastating to me. In fact, my feeling was so positive, that when my next trim became due, I decided to buzz everything down. Since the last cut, I had upgraded to a much more reliable buzzer, and on this cut, I buzzed the sides all the way down, with a short #2 on the top. Kat was shocked, and once again asked if I was definitely ok with the length, and with a smile, I told her that I definitely was fine.

> "THIS WHOLE THING HAS BEEN HEAVILY WEIGHING DOWN ON ME; I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD BE MORE EAGER TO EXPRESS MY FEMININE SIDE; AND MUCH LESS COMFORTABLE SHOWING MASCULINE TRAITS."

This whole thing has been heavily weighing down on me; I feel like I should be more eager to express my feminine side; and much less comfortable showing masculine traits. Due to sheer laziness, it's become pretty standard lately for me to go nearly a week or more without shaving, leaving me with a healthy growth on my face. I finally get the urge to pick up the razor only when I start to notice all the gray and straggly hairs on the underside of my chin and neck, where I previously had laser removal performed. Worse still, when I was cutting my hair that most recent time, I followed up with a shave and almost trimmed myself down to a goatee, a look I haven’t kept in almost 2 years, but was a frequent style, and a favorite of Kat’s.

Am I pulling back more towards my masculinity? I'm eager to start taking hormones again once the fertility matters are finished, so obviously Crystal is still there, but why isn’t she a more vocal part of my subconscious? Is my male side trying to fight back and regain control? Like a twisted Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, fighting for control of my identity? Why is it whenever I stare in the mirror, I feel like I have to squint in order to see the actual person, instead of some blurry image, like a vampire trying to see his reflection. Maybe I do have a Halloween costume after all, a shape-shifting, gender confused vampire… how's that for frightening?

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