My dysphoria is my freedom and my crutch. Debilitatingly so.
YOU HAVE YOUR WAY. I HAVE MY WAY. AS FOR THE RIGHT WAY, THE CORRECT WAY, AND THE ONLY WAY, IT DOES NOT EXIST
Nietzsche professed that an exemplary human being must determine her/his identity through self-realization, abandoning reliance on anything transcendental, no afterlife. One of his most noted quotes, “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist,” virtually identifies how the transgender community has similar, yet varying and divergent stories.
The sole source of my dysphoria resides on the top of my head. Shackled with the reality that I must wear a wig for the rest of my life depresses me. It is part of who I am. Unfortunately, it is a defining part of who I am. To me. There are times that I sit and cry at what I feel is so unfair.
What more defines a confident woman than a luscious head of hair? Nothing, as goes my personal expression of being female. The ability to express yourself with different styles and colors, to me is the Mt. Olympus of being female. Knowing I’ll never have that destroys my resolve and roots me in my dysphoria.
My story ebbs and flows, with the depth of me facing my hairless reality, on a daily basis. Some days, it is tolerable. Most days, like the days of this past glorious weather weekend —I’m on Long Island— it turned me into Quasimodo. I hide inside and despoiled a leisurely bike ride with my girlfriend, to see the Jones Beach air show.
I FEEL INTO MY DYSPHORIC DEPRESSION AND TOLD HER TO GO WITHOUT ME
Our established tradition was to bike down to see the air show after our respective exercise classes and share a subway sandwich. We usually head out about 11:30/12:00 in time to see the latter planes and the Blue Angels. Our joined love for the Blue Angels’ artistry is apropos of our relationship. When one is feeling down, the other is there unconditionally. Our closeness is unwavering. When we do our separate things, we know we’ll be together again in a short time.
However, this weekend, I feel into my dysphoric depression and told her to go without me. Of course she didn’t and sacrificed something that means a lot to her. All this because I am not able to accept that I have to wear a wig and am self-conscious that people see it and can tell I’m a transfemale.
I spend so much conscious effort to make sure nothing reads “Tranny with a wig…LOOK!” that I lose out in the moments. Moments trying to be the caring, attentive girlfriend, moments training and swimming, moments on the subway, moments reading, moments shopping, walking, having coffee, just moments. It is even worse when in social or “captive audience” situations. Even something as inconsequential as lying down is a thought process.
Nothing hangs my self-confidence and eradicates my self-esteem like contemptuous, judgmental stares. That is how my morning started, on the NYC subway, 6:05a, a week ago, Tuesday. I was feeling really good that morning, until I stepped on the downtown A train. A younger woman and a middle-aged man were STARING. Bolts driven, steel-eyed stares right at the fake hair line. I knew that is where they were looking, and silently concluding what I was. I wished I were a turtle at that moment. I couldn’t wait to get off the train.
My week plummeted from there. Wig bonding kept loosening, strands came out by the bushel. Time spent placing every hair to disguise the wig cap, just to get out of the house on the daily, captured hours out of my week. How I’d love to say, “Yeah, I’d love to go shopping” and grab my bag and out the door. I cannot do that, I first have to factor at least 10 – 30 minutes making sure I wont be tagged wearing a wig, than the inevitable stare, face and neck investigation, to the conclusion that, I used to be a male and will not fit into the fabric of society without judgement, derision and contempt.
I CAN HONESTLY SAY I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY MY PARTNER PUTS UP WITH ME
I can honestly say I don’t understand why my partner puts up with me. There are so many opportunities for her to have a hassle free life, filled with blissful happiness. Yet she actively chooses to have her expectations dashed on those days when my confidence is nonexistent, and I’m in the throes of depressed episodes.
Gender Dysphoria and Depression, are a volatile mixture. Every day I have anxiety in respect to the state of my wig. I hope and wish for a medical breakthrough. Some charlatan pitching a miracle growth serum -sign me up. A scalp transplant? Sure, here’s my medical clearance. I’d even volunteer for an experimental procedure at chromosome splicing to promote hair growth. So what if a side effect is an extra eyeball on my elbow.
mir, irini, peace, amn,
This cathartic, stream-of-consciousness, exposé actualizes my crippling reality of being bald as a female. I cannot accept it, not presently. It is hard. Not challenging. But meteorite hard to see my reflection in the mirror and see a woman. Knowing that my key feminine factor I do not possess(see Nietzsche’s quote above), keeps me seeing the male version of me…the me I was.