Being Male is Like Being High

I think I’ve always had male days. From the time I was very young, there were days I envied men their Adam’s apples, their furry faces and deep belly laughs, being the husband and the father, not needing to wear dresses and pantie hose to mass. I would watch my father shave, poke at his throat curiously to feel the lump that deepened his voice and defined this

And there were days I swore to grow my hair longer than anyone else, to be beautiful and curvaceous, that I’d wear makeup and be just a total knockout- though I didn’t know the words at the time. Those goals were more attainable, encouraged, even, and I remember playing with my mother’s makeup and jewelry, consigning my longing for an Adam’s apple and to shave my face to could-have-beens and dreams to be pushed away.

I remember the day a transwoman was on Larry King Live. I couldn’t have been more than four or five, and I remember watching her talk to King about having her penis removed, about her children calling her Mandy- a mix of Mommy and Daddy- and tried to figure out how solid gender could really be, if a man could become a woman, could be a mommy instead of a daddy. Even then, I didn’t believe that it made much difference, one way or another- I’d seen little boys at preschool naked while they changed for water play, and compared to me, there was only one difference- a penis. Boys even had nipples, I figured, so why would there be any difference at all?

After that, every time I saw an article or even a mention of transgender people, I would hoard close to my heart, unable to understand why. I read an article- in Time or Newsweek, I can’t remember- when I was nine or ten, discussing trans* culture, and then I had a name. Then I could do research. Still, I pushed it aside for years, because so often being a girl and being a boy meant the same thing. I was told I could be and do anything, same as boys, and it didn’t matter to me.

Until fashion mattered. Until people began to comment on my breasts, because they preceded me, and asked generalized questions about girls, and I couldn’t try out for football, because guess what- you’re a girl!

Then it became unbearable. Sports bras, always. Crossed arms, glaring at anyone whose eyes wandered lower than my neckline.

And then my binder came a few days ago. I bound my breasts as best I could, even on Christmas day, and walked around with pecs instead of breasts. I definitely looked like I had bigger pecs than most men… but I could pass. No purse, hair tied back, breasts bound, and I looked like a chunky dude.

Being male is intoxicating, it’s like being high for me. I might someday get top surgery to remove these breasts I will never use, and testosterone patches to brow a beard, an Adam’s apple in my throat, to finally be able to drop the bass.

It’s not that I hate my female body. I don’t, I really don’t, and in a different, less-sexualized world, I think I would be fine with it.

But this is the world I live in, and in this world, I will only ever be truly myself when my male body is seen, my male personality and gender.

I suppose, in a way, it’s good that I’ll be forever alone. I’ll never have to explain to a partner why my outside doesn’t match my inside.



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