Ooo, just checked the last time I posted and, err, I’m not dead. I promise. I’ve just been going through the same old rinse/repeat cycle of guilt and shame and love and yearning and guilt and shame and love and yearning and you get the picture.
Having been in and around Westminster last Wednesday, which wasn’t the best day to be in a government building, it struck me, while we were waiting for the lock-down to be lifted and getting many conflicting messages on just what was going, on just how short a life we get on this little ball of dust. And yes, it’s a cliche, and yes, it’s completely true. And I found myself taking stock of what I’d become in the last year or so, since Sarah was forced out into the light due to the accidental opening of a parcel by my other half.
And it struck me that, even when I look at the change in my circumstances, the way I look, the way I feel, the way the photos of me, and yes I’m now adjusted enough to refer to me as me and not as ‘Sarah’, I haven’t learnt anything in my perceived freedom.
And it got me thinking of what makes the thrill I get from being her. Is it the pretend, taking on a role that has been disallowed to me because of the dangly bits? Is it the tight feeling of the undergarments and clothes as they squeeze my hormone shaped body in ways it has never been shaped? Or was it the secrecy that did it for me, the fact I could talk to anyone in the world and giggle quietly in my mind at the shock of their reaction if they knew I had probably worn stockings more often than their wives?
None of them. The thrill is something else, something deeper, something darker but warmer. Even the idea, the thought of wrapping myself in Sarah fills me with a delicious feeling that I just cannot describe or put my finger on. I’ve never felt that way in any other part of my life, it’s a muted sexual excitement.
And as I travelled home, after the lock-down was lifted, through a London that had a bad vibe, it came to me that I can’t explain this. I can’t rationalise it away. I am Sarah, and she is a very fun, lively girl. I’m also drab-me, who goes out of his way not to enjoy anything. They are flip-sides, yin and yang, black and white, but both me.
The mad thing is this – I know this. I understand this. Yet the hormonal tide within that comes in and goes out, from days when the urge to slap on some makeup is almost unbearable, to the days when I stare in the mirror at the stubble and beard and tell myself I’ll never shave it again, this ride is part of the process and something that we transgender people have to live with.
So what has changed in the last year?
For a start I no longer pretend to be 100% in the bloke camp. It was a difficult lie to begin with – I’m thoughtful, I cook, I clean, I’m not sexist (other than in my fantasies towards Sarah/me). I’m a renaissance man, which is funny in and of it itself. But I’ve always been that way – in the last year I’ve started to let go of those hard held mannerisms in public that identify the alpha-ish male. I’ve softened around the edges.
I no longer see my love of feminine attire as a failure. And that’s a big one. Clothes maketh the man, which always amuses me when I’m buying retro-frocks from Lindy Bop or hastily changing webpage when I’m surfing Amazon in public and it suggests a nice set of black high heels based on previous purchases (bad Amazon!). I’ve become more accepting of my occasional random girlie thoughts when out in public (basically I get a little obsessed with the adverts in the Tube stations for the latest season’s fashions. In fact I bought a dress from M&S because it was featured on one of those said adverts and I thought ‘Sarah would look *fabulous* in that frock, sitting outside a pub, sipping a Pimms and Lemonade and laughing with her date’.
Those thoughts don’t frighten or offend the baboon-within anymore.
Other side of the coin is I’ve caught myself being overtly feminine on occasions. The wrist goes just a little too limp, the stance favours the hips. Only for an instant, and in the past I would have been appalled. Now it just makes me happy and a little excited. Read into that what you will, I see it as acceptance of my inner and potentially outer feminine side.
So all well and good, right?
Not quite. In standard drama-queen fashion my inner-baboon gets his revenge by throwing a little guilt on me when I’m not expecting it. I’ll wake up flat, that feeling when everything is just a little muted. And Sarah/me gets the brunt of it, it *has* to be my femininity that is making me glum.
What I always forget is that I’ve always been that way. In fact, my dark patches and way fewer now that Sarah has a voice. But still, that age-old programming, a mix of good old English ‘we’re not here to be happy’ and internal sexist ‘you’ve failed as a man’, always comes to the forefront.
So that’s why I’ve been quiet. I’ve been bouncing the darkness around, taking solace in bright moments with thoughts of what frocks and situations Sarah will find herself in in the near future, and then sinking into a numbness that is seasonal.
And then you find yourself in the middle of death. Where the scumbag drove along the bridge is a piece of pavement I have walked *hundreds* of times, coming out of the Tube station and walking around the corner to various government buildings. I like to tell myself that I’m tuned into my surroundings, that I could have jumped over the speeding car, but I couldn’t have. That’s fate. One day you can be fine, worrying about council-tax rises and when Lindy Bop are going to come out with some serious cute 40s looks (soon please), the next *poof*, you’re gone.
And that’s not a depressing thought. It has to be a positive thought – this isn’t a rehearsal. Personally I’m at a point in my life when I can take advantage of working my arse off for years and start to have some fun. Start to be *me*, and me is a gender confused girl with an obsession on the frilly.
Anyway, enough self-flagellation. What I’m trying to say is don’t wait for the bad days to make you want to do the fun things. Live your life the way you want to live it – it’s yours, it’s got a best-by date and you never know what is coming tomorrow.
Well I do. A pair of pink silk pyjamas and some new bottles of nail glue. From Amazon. Prime.
Stay beautiful and happy, you lovely creatures.