You people drive me crazy. I’ve been trying to talk about my identity in a thousand different ways, and I think I’m just going to fucking say it so that people stop pathologizing me.
I am a transman. I have always been a boy. I’ve spent ages trying to figure out how to articulate it though, because I have decided against hormones, for various reasons, some having to do with side effects like anger issues and high cancer rates. I also don’t want to shave. I’m just fussy like that. I like having a female body, strangely enough. It works fine for me, it does all the stuff I want it to do. Being a bottom probably helps!
I’ve been wrestling with Sarain’s life because I do know I was him, but also because if I had been born with male genitalia that would have been my name. I was okay with Thirza for a while because it was a weird name, but it’s still a girls name and it doesn’t correlate with who I am. I’ve tried to talk with various people around me about being trans, but only other trans people seem to be able to spot me. Aside from that I’m just some boy-girl.
I tried a shot of testosterone off some friends back in Vancouver, I wanted to see what would happen. And stuff did happen, and it was interesting, and I really liked getting a bigger clit just because I’m a show off. But I didn’t want to go through the hardcore transition, I wasn’t interested in having to bind and schedule surgery and save up money to chop myself up and spend all that money on a little vial of fluid. I wasn’t happy with the medical options for my gender. I know tons of guys go and do the whole transition thing, and I’m happy for them. But I don’t want to get trapped in one pole. I like having some blended gender characteristics in this body. And I like that I’m just naturally a flamey boy. I think ideas of masculinity are so fucked these days, and that seems to be what my identity gets judged by.
I’ve seen transmen go through the misogyny phase and it’s sick. I think it’s gross to suddenly hate all lesbians or punch each other out for fun or try to prove ones masculinity. Men come in all forms, and I’m one of them. And I’m a funny guy because I’m a screaming queen, and I like being a queeny boy. It’s ridiculously fun.
I don’t know what would have happened if transmen and women hadn’t started noticing me and helping me along. I remember in high school I was at the Fringe and David Harrison was putting on his one man show about his transition. And he saw me hanging around with my friend Laurel and just smiled at me and gave me an ad for his show. And I went, and it was really good, especially because he talked about liking parts of his female body but still feeling like a man.
Later on in first year at Emily Carr some friends abducted me from my art history class and took me to see Kate Bornstein talk, who I had already read. She was great, and she pointed me out again! I got so ridiculously shy. I think I had blue and yellow hair at the time. And then Ben asked if she liked Julie Andrews, but that’s a side note. She does, by the way. But she seemed really taken with who ever I was, and I didn’t even have a fixed name for it yet. And I felt encouraged again. And she mentioned Ma Vie En Rose, which I watched and loved.
Later on in the art scene I met people like Del la Grace Volcano, who was great fun to hang out with and said some really cool things about remaining part of the lesbian community while also being trans. When I went to the Two Spirited conference in Seattle in 1996 I also met Mike and Sky, who were looking like they were having tons of fun and were pretty upfront about being what is really Two Spirited. I met some intersexed people too, and that broadened my mind, especially when you get into there actually being like five to seven different genders. I knew this boy/girl thing was so limited, especially for me.
My last official girlfriend demanded to know if I was a boy once. I denied it, mostly because she was kind of aggressive about asking, and I didn’t feel comfortable with that. I think she was sick of boys and I had no idea of letting her know I wasn’t a macho pig. So that didn’t work.
Stone Butch Blues was the first book that ever spoke to me. I know some transmen get pissy because Leslie Feinberg didn’t stay in the male category and started blending it again. But I got it. It was my story. People always wanted to know what I was, not who I was, WHAT I was. And being a what is a lot different from being a who.
I don’t think people ever realize how much abuse is heaped on gender variant children. Growing up was hell. I hated children, except for a few. I hung out with boys because that’s where I belonged, but then they grew up and stopped being my friends. And then I was stuck with girls, who I couldn’t comprehend at all because I wasn’t one. They were super cute though, which is why it was kind of fun to hang out with them. And I did get an advantage in learning about women’s lives. But then whenever I tried to step out of being a woman, they would freak and put me back.
I get frustrated in the aboriginal community, because it seems like gender variance is still misunderstood. Aiyanna Maracle was fun to hang out with though, because she was just out there, and doing stuff, and respected. And she’s in Montreal now, that’s the last place I saw her. Mirha Soleil Ross is great fun, because she’s got this amazing showmanship about her gender and she even rejects the queer label because she doesn’t feel it suits her, since she dates straight men. And I think that is wicked, although I know it confuses some of us who like to feel kinship with her. But it is her decision because she knows her identity the best.
I guess I would like to bulk up really, I want more musculature. I want some alterations but not all. I don’t care for a penis, but I have dreams about having one and that is good enough for me. I mean, whatever works man.
I think in our community we forgot about the ability of certain people to choose alternate genders and live them fully. It drives me crazy to not be able to do mens ceremonies, to the point where I just don’t bother with my culture anymore. It has frozen me out. I like spending time with women, because they are pretty fucking cool. But I also like having the space to be recognized as a man, even a swishy little man. I don’t want to have to get an anchor tattoo like all the other boys! Sorry guys. And being male does have a funny bearing on my sexuality, and that’s fine by me. I don’t know, it’s a curious thing.
I seem to have a bad habit of falling for women who want men, and then they never clue in that I am a guy and tra la la off. I date bisexual women because they seem to get it, sometimes, although often not at all! Sorry ladies. But really! This is just silly. I thought you guys were more open to gender.
I will never wear a dress again unless I am doing drag, which I do sometimes. But I don’t care to pretend to be a girl, or even try to be one. I think this whole traditionalist wear skirts thing is assinine.
And there are some gay men in my life I want to have sex with, and I know some of them want to too, but we’re all being super shy with each other.
I went to this gay mens leather bar with some friends once and we got hassled at the door for our gender identity. I tried to talk with a friend about it and she just kind of dismissed it, she didn’t see why I would care about being excluded from male space. It was frustrating, and I remember it upset all of us who got hassled, and some of the guys I was with were passing really well.
I dunno, I will miss women only space, but it’s not mine anymore. It was fun, but I need to go spend time in more fully inclusive venues. Amber Dawn was fun to date just because she was creating a pan sexual open space for persons of all genders to romp and watch someone get fucked by a chair leg. I mean, that was super fun, so I thank her for starting File This and all it’s ongoing incarnations. I went to a lesbian leather party once and I felt so weird, so not my scene. I liked pansexual leather events better, it made more sense to me.
I think lesbians are cool though, because they do have the butch femme thing going on, some of them. And I did like hanging out with them, and I probably always will because they were some of my earliest friends. But gay men were also the ones who really supported me when I was an isolated openly queer teenager, and so I have an affinity for them. I like gay mens space, and gay men are fun to make out with and don’t mind being scandalous, and that’s kind of my speed. So if people wondered why I never wanted to date lesbians, it’s because my identity shuts me out from them. It doesn’t work and I know that because I dated a closet lesbian once and it got stupid.
But I don’t want to go through the medical route of being “treated” for my gender identity. I don’t want to have to access myself through the mental health system, and that’s where I would have to go to be assessed on the merits of my manhood. And I hate the mental health system, honestly!
I dunno though, I kind of think people are going to have a hard time using male pronouns for someone who stays in a very female body. I won’t be pissed if you still accidentally call me she, because I know it takes like, forever and a day to get used to alternate genders. And I know you might still call me Thirza, because you’re used to that too.
But my name is Sarain and I am a he. And it would be nice if people could start learning to respect that.