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At the Lords of Leather Ball last night, between being called "sir" several times and having a friend I hadn't seen in a year do a massive double take at me, I realized that -- in this default-queer setting, anyway -- I was passing completely. Which led to the following conversation later:

ME: I just hope cisgendered people take a moment every now and then to appreciate being seen for what they are -- every day -- without having to think about it. Because it's so great.

GREY: Actually, I disagree. Because I've known a lot of effeminate men who were mistaken for women, and a lot of masculine women who --

ME (affecting great crankiness): GOD, you people JUST CAN'T DO IT, can you? You just can't let a trans person talk about being misgendered without going "WELL WELL WELL, it happens to us TOO!!!"

GREY: But it does happen --

ME (raving): I'm sure it does, but I have NEVER EVER heard a SINGLE INSTANCE of a trans person discussing misgendering without some cis person popping up to say "I got called sir/ma'am one time, so I TOTALLY GET IT!!!"

GREY (affecting smugness): Actually, I don't like the term "cisgendered." I prefer "gender-comfortable."


Which all made me realize anew: I don't know if it's down to testosterone, getting laid on a regular basis, or just having a partner who can effectively puncture my vapors and pomposities, but I am so much less angry than I used to be. That seems like a counterintuitive effect of testosterone, but maybe if my body chemistry is finally getting closer to what it was always supposed to be ... Come to think of it, most of the FTM guys I've met, both in real life and virtually, have seemed pretty easygoing.

I used to be able to write conclusions, but I can't anymore, so I'm just going to leave this here.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 11th, 2013 08:55 pm (UTC)
Once I got over the "YEAH! TESTOSTERONE, BABY!!" phase, I've become much more relaxed and laid-back.

I write it off to feeling that I'm me, not playing some role analogous to wearing someone else's ill-fitting shoes.
Feb. 11th, 2013 08:57 pm (UTC)
testosterone isn't actually a provoker of aggression or pomposity -- that's some pseudoscience left over from the true fact that it increases territoriality in rats; it's patriarchy that turns men into total gits :) being comfortable in your body really does make it easier to be a nicer, better-adjusted person, though. yay for being seen as you oughtta be!
Jessica Gerson
Feb. 11th, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC)
For those of us who are angry much of the time--I include myself in that--it's often easy to miss just how EXHAUSTING anger is. Good on you for discovering that there's less of it boiling just under the surface than there used to be. It's amazing the difference being at peace with yourself can make in your general anger level. I imagine, although I have no basis for knowing, that finally feeling like your outer self more closely matches your inner self is pretty self-peace-inducing.

I think I just created a new phrase. Now I must go spread it. Cheers!

Feb. 11th, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
Heh. Gender-comfortable. That makes me giggle.
Feb. 11th, 2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
I like gender-comfortable actually.
Feb. 12th, 2013 06:54 am (UTC)
I'm entirely comfortable with my gender. I'm not cisgender. The two are very definitely not synonymous.
Feb. 11th, 2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
I realized that -- in this default-queer setting, anyway -- I was passing completely.


I prefer "gender-comfortable."


What I've heard is that T doesn't make you angrier, just makes you feel the anger a bit differently, and you can get rid of it a lot more quickly. I hope it'll work that way for me...you have some idea how angry I get, and as a commenter above pointed out, it is exhausting. And interferes with my enjoyment of some things.
Feb. 11th, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
My only trouble with the term "cisgendered"
Is that I continuously read : "CSIGENDERED" and then the brain argues going "no no - it's about transgendered-" and then the other brain cuts it off and goes "CSI: Transgendered"

that just starts something weird in my head every time.

Feb. 12th, 2013 03:46 am (UTC)
Re: My only trouble with the term "cisgendered"
I once went out with someone who was NCISgendered, but then she aims on becoming a forensic anthropologist. Good thing I don't get squicked by dissection samples in the freezer and such.
Feb. 12th, 2013 12:26 am (UTC)
Off-topic but I thought you'd appreciate the giggle here. I was out to eat nice with a couple of friends, one of whom was clearly female. She has breasts bigger than my head (seriously) and she was heavily pregnant at the time. In fact, I think she gave birth a week after this meal took place. Anyhoo, because J had a shaven head ALL of the wait staff referred to her as sir. Even after she pointed out her (incredibly obvious) pregnancy and took off her jacket to reveal her low cut top. We all found it funny because of the absurdity, but it was a reality check as the other person with us was engaged to (and now married to) a trans person and we saw what is just be like to have people doing that you all the time.

Not that I'm saying that J's experience is equivalent, just that we thought how frustrating it must be to deal with it constantly.
Feb. 12th, 2013 07:02 am (UTC)
It's amazing how gendered hair is. I mean, it's obvious, but also really startling how much it affects people's perceptions.

The first time I got my hair cut short--from mid-back length to a bob--I said, "I want to look like a boy from the back." The stylist laughed and said, "With a behind like yours? I don't think that's possible."

Today I had lunch at a deli with a good friend, and when she was standing behind me in line she thought, "Huh, I wonder whether this dude is in line for the same thing I am, or--oh hey, it's Rose."

I still have the same narrow waist and big rear end; in fact, the rear end is probably bigger than it was when I had that first conversation. But buzzed hair trumps all.
Feb. 12th, 2013 12:39 am (UTC)
I'm cisgendered, and I've never been called the wrong gender (that I recall). But even if I did, I can't even imagine saying to a trans person "I totally understand how you feel. I got called sir once." I just...what? The experiences, though similar words may have been used, seem worlds different to me. Being misgendered this one time seems totally different from having the wrong assigned-at-birth gender. I have a million questions about being trans, but "is it like that time when I got called sir?" isn't one of them.

I don't know how to put this...I've really enjoyed reading about your transition. I get very happy when I read about times like this, that you are seen for who you are. It's also been a real educational experience for me. Thanks for sharing with us.
Feb. 12th, 2013 03:43 am (UTC)
I just hope cisgendered people take a moment every now and then to appreciate being seen for what they are -- every day -- without having to think about it.

I do. Something I've learned to appreciate, as I've learned to understand how misgendering affects my trans friends.
Mara Summers
Feb. 12th, 2013 04:04 am (UTC)
Hi there, I'd hate to be so rude as to leave irrelevant fan-mail ramblings here so I was wondering if you had a specific email that you prefer fans to use to ask you questions about your writing or just to tell you how awesome Exquisite Corpse is. If you don't have a public email address I'll suffice to say that Exquisite Corpse is awesome. Thank you.

Mara Summers
Feb. 12th, 2013 04:06 am (UTC)
Oh, um, and I should probably apologize for unthinkingly leaving such a silly comment on a serious post. I would like to remark however that you are right in wanting cis people like myself to just shut up sometimes and let transgender men and women share their experiences without interruption. Oh the embarrassing irony...

Edited at 2013-02-12 04:07 am (UTC)
Feb. 12th, 2013 04:44 am (UTC)
You're closer to Dudeism, man. I hope it keeps getting easier for you to abide. (For silly reasons, I've had The Big Lebowski on my mind today, and my mind went there.)

And seriously, I do think about that more than I used to -- a needed attitude adjustment you helped me with. Thank you.
Feb. 12th, 2013 03:46 pm (UTC)

(sharing some experiences from 10 years of trans communities or so). That is a pretty common effect of T. While some people go through an angry phase at the beginning, which has probably more to do with the menopausal/puberty effect and the whole hormonal upheaval, in general T makes them calmer. Also, the cycle pms thing is gone. And there are studies that show that women are about as aggressive as men, if not more so. It's just some victorian myth that they aren't.

Feb. 13th, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC)
One of the side effects of low testosterone is crankiness and edginess and "grumpy old man" syndrome. This is effectively completely annihilated by exogenous T.

So, no. It's not counterintuitive that giving you T would make you less angry.
Feb. 18th, 2013 12:29 am (UTC)
Negative experiences don't negate privilege :)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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