I is for Instead…


This post is (almost) part of the Pagan Blog Project (PBP). It’s (not really) the second one for the letter I.

At first I thought I’d be able to do “I is for Interview” with someone I find interview-worthy. But that quickly turned impossible due to time constraints. Then I thought I’d skip the whole second “I” week altogether. Today I finally decided I would do a post about what I would have posted about if I hadn’t been so set on finding something that started with “I” to write about.

My brilliant friend M. just programmed a digital version of a cardboard oracle I once made her. It’s entirely text-based and consists of nothing but bits and pieces of Depeche Mode lyrics. Her digital version also comes in beautiful shades of red (including oranges and purples) and a range of different fonts. I’m not sure she’d be okay with me linking to this oracle (I will ask, though), so all you get today is a little glimpse of one of the results.

I asked about the post I would have written for last week if I had found an approach to make it fit any word starting with “I.” This is what I got:

What to say

My mind is in a state of confusion
But I can’t deny the way I feel

I would have told you about my feelings concerning my partner’s transition from sort-of-female to sort-of-male, which is now nearing an end with the surgery he’s had earlier this week. I would also have told you that my thoughts often were rather confused, so that I often didn’t even know why I was feeling the way I was feeling. Why all those tears? Did the last 2.5 years catch up with me and presented me with this opportunity to cry some more about things I may not have cried about enough (all those more or less transition-related and not entirely cheerful changes that came as side effects of my repeated decision to continue sharing my life with this wonderful human being)? Or was this mainly the immense relief that a) my partner is alive and well after the surgery, and b) the whole official transitioning process is finally coming to an “end”? I still don’t know. I just know that I apparently had some crying and grieving to do.

Why to say it

Only you exist here

Because it’s my blog and I can post whatever the damn I want. And if it doesn’t fit the frame of the Pagan Blog Project and its alphabetical order, then it doesn’t fit the frame, but I can still post it.

How to say it

Things on your chest
You need to confess

I would have dug deep into the heavy things on my heart. The worries that my Beloved might die during surgery, that he might hate the result, that he might realize that this wasn’t what he needed after all. The tense moments between us when emotions were raw and tender on both sides. The way I couldn’t share much of why I was grieving with other people (especially at work where they expected me to still function). The guilt I felt about describing him with terms he wouldn’t have chosen himself (at least not in this or that situation) because I was so full of other people’s stories.

Not to mention all the different stories I tell about this, depending on who I’m talking to. Some get the picture-book story of the “transsexual,” others get the slightly more complicated version of “he doesn’t identify as either male or female, but still found the parts of the world with the little ‘man’ sign the better fit for him,” yet others also get the information that he hasn’t stopped identifying as queer and butch and never actually identified as a transman. And then there’s my role to explain. There is the noticeably feminine supportive partner who emphasizes his masculinity/maleness when it seems necessary. Then there is the partner who doesn’t even care much anymore how her sexual preferences are called anymore because every term (except queer, which has no German equivalent) is wrong. And then there is the lesbian-to-queer femme who supports her individual partner and his choices (plus several friends and theirs) but still is critical of many things she sees in the trans* world. And the one who gets pissed off that most people consider her the “normally gendered” one compared to her partner. To name just a few of the people we’ve been in this or that context during the last 2.5 years.

All in all, it would have  shown you how messy all of this trans* stuff is for me and us, how inadequate the official terms and concepts are to describe our lived experience, and how ambiguous many of my feelings about trans*ness and physical transitions still are. Which has nothing to do with how much I support my partner in creating his own path through transition land and in a world that mostly operates on binary gender.

So, this is what I would have said. In a lot more words.


2 responses »

  1. (((hugs))) to both of you for braving the process. I can’t begin to imagine the decisions that must be yes or no, when many times we can’t chose what deck or shoes for the day… all the very best.
    Did you see where our President has taken and open stand that gay marriage is a good thing!! I’m so proud of him, so few political beins will ever take a stand on anything at all.

  2. Thanks for wishing us well!

    Yes, I saw the interview Obama gave where he said that we was for gay marriage, and I sure appreciate it (I also still remember being very touched that he explicitly mentioned gay people in his victory speech back in 2008). I have to admit, though, that I don’t believe that gay marriage really is what LGBTQ people need most. But I’m afraid my stance on this is a bit too complex to explain here. Let me just say that I personally have no desire to marry anyone.

    However, the whole marriage issue becomes completely absurd when you know that I can still only have a “lesbian civil union” (which is only for same-sex couples in Germany) with my partner despite having a passport that says I am female and him having one that states he is male. To be able to marry as a woman and man he’d have to also have the gender on his birth certificate changed (which he could, but what for?). And if he did have his birth certificate changed and we did then marry, we would end up as a thoroughly queer-identified, heterosexually-married couple. I’m almost tempted to propose now… ;)

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