delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Snappy answers to random questions
delirium happy
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A few weeks ago, I did ye olde "ask me anything" poll. Since I received only a few questions (not unexpectedly), I had intended to use each question as a starting point from which to tangent off and write a longer entry about. Needless to say, the procrastination beast won again so that idea is down the drain. Instead, have relatively short answers.

(There's one question that I've not answered here, since it's private between myself and the person who asked the question. I mean to answer it by email. If I haven't done so within a week or so, person in question, then please prod me to remind me.)

Have you looked at Tales of MU? (I think you might just enjoy it.)

I haven't yet, no. I suck at following links people give to me, especially if they're ones that actually require a bunch of reading to get into rather than just a click, and then look at aq funny picture of a cat. I still have the tab open in my browser though (Tales of MU, if anyone playing along at home wants to join in) so maybe I'll get around to poking at it at some point.

What size hat do you wear?

I haven't the foggiest. I did have my head measured at one point for a proper hat size, when I needed a mortar board when I was at Oxfrod. I think that that's currently sitting in a wardrobe in my old bedroom at my parents' house, though, so I can't check its size. I very rarely wear hats, though, which is sad, because hats are awesome. I must buy more hats.

Are you still doing OU? You haven't mentioned it for a while. That last part isn't really a question.

I'm not. I SNAFUed that one a long while back. There was an assignment, in which I took the questions slowly and carefully, showing much more working, and being much more rigorous than I thought necessary, and it came back covered in red pen saying things like "you haven't followed the procedures rigorously enough" and such like, which rather peeved me. This fell at the same time as an unfun bout of depression, so I found myself lacking in motivation to do the next bit of work, and subsequently started slipping further and further behind and yeah. It just never really happened. Oh well.

This will probably seem ignorant, but you're MtF transgendered. Are you glad to have the experience and knowledge of transitioning or do you wish you'd been born female?

This is probably the most interesting of the questions, and the hardest to answer in brief. I think that the short answer here is "both".

On the one hand, I certainly can't deny that the idea of being born with concave genitalia is appealing. Being TS pretty much sucks in a whole lot of ways. Abuse, surgery, psychiatrists, large medical bills, intense brainfucks; these are all part and parcel of the whole thing, and I think generally I'd be happier without them.

Possibly even more importantly, there's the difference in social and cultural upbringing. Having to learn, as an adult woman, the things that most women learned as girls is tricky. It's something of a truism that MtF trans-folk, while finding their feet, often tend to dress like 12 year old girls with bad dress sense and dreadful makeup. You expect that of 12 year old girls, but not of grow women, but there's really no difference in the amount of learning that the people in question have had a chance to do.

How do you get rid of creepy guys that are coming on to you? How do you put on tights without sticking your toes through them or laddering them? And so on and so forth; there are masses and masses of differences in the cultural upbringing of girls and boys, and I feel quite often as if I missed so much.

On the other hand, it's certainly true that being trans has shaped my life in some positive ways as well. Getting to see both sides of the gender divide is, in some ways, a privilege. Going through the adversity has certainly made me stronger, especially considering the very sheltered upbringing I had. It's given me insight and perspective on things I doubt I'd ever have thought about otherwise, and that's good. What's more, I've met some fabulous people through the trans community and certainly wouldn't want that any other way.

Ultimately though, I think there are two main points here. The first is that without being trans, I would be a completely different person. Go back in time and step on an ant, and oops, suddenly humanity never evolved. I have no clue what my life would be like otherwise. Possibly I'd have ended up following a similar path and would have met some of the same people, but possibly things would have diverged from an early age and I'd be unrecognisable.Either way, I wouldn't be me.

The other thing is that regardless of what I might want, this is the life that I have and wishing won't change it. While I think it's healthy to speculate, and to see some of the benefits and the drawbacks to the cards I've been dealt, I don't think it's something that's good to dwell on. I have the cards that I have, and I'm just going to play them as best as I can.

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Having to learn, as an adult woman, the things that most women learned as girls is tricky. It's something of a truism that MtF trans-folk, while finding their feet, often tend to dress like 12 year old girls with bad dress sense and dreadful makeup. You expect that of 12 year old girls, but not of grow women, but there's really no difference in the amount of learning that the people in question have had a chance to do.

How do you get rid of creepy guys that are coming on to you? How do you put on tights without sticking your toes through them or laddering them? And so on and so forth; there are masses and masses of differences in the cultural upbringing of girls and boys, and I feel quite often as if I missed so much.


I have two thoughts on this.

1. Most modern mothers don't think to teach their daughters any of these things either. I certainly received no aid in the arts of being a woman after my Mémé died, and her advice was somewhat dated to start with, and given that she died before I was 16, she offered me no advice on things meant to help adult women, though I believe I learned a great deal from her critiques thereof that I recalll.

2. Read teenagers' magazines. I know it sounds incredibly stupid, and they're vapid and dumb. But my mother was cognizant enough to recognize that she had a Girl on her hands (a rôle she has rebelled against most of her life, and wears almost exclusively slacks and never heels and has her hair cut to the length of a man's so she need not deal with any of it) and supplied me with a subscription to several teenaged magazines for a couple of years and a few of the books they published, which covered everything from skin-care regimens to giving yourself a decent manicure to placing tampons to repairing tights as they've begun to ladder (a drop of clear nail polish if you didn't know) to hair styling to waxing your own legs.

1. Oh, absolutely. I'm not romanticising a female upbringing (well, OK, maybe I am a little, but I'm mostly aware of when I'm doing it). Interestingly, I still have a browser tab open with your entry from a month ago which I meant to reply to with thoughts from my perspective, but which I never did and am unlikely to now.

Two points, though. There are some really basic things that young girls learn that young boys don't. For instance, how does one sit down in a skirt? This is not something that is difficult, and indeed I am both sitting down and wearing a skirt as I type this, but it is something that had to be learned. Or how to do up buttons on a blouse that are on the opposite side to on a men's shirt. Or how to brush long hair. It's not so much the big things as it is the accumulation of many little things.

Secondly, it's the difference between trying to learn these things as an adult rather than as a child or a teen. For starters, the younger you are, the easier it tends to be to learn new things. Then there's the fact that children, at least, tend to be less inhibited and less afraid of making mistakes (though admittedly, teens are often extremely self conscious). Possibly most important, for girls growing up learning these things, they're surrounded by peers in the same boat, with whom they can talk about things, and learn from each other.

To make an analogy, it's the difference between learning to swim in the shallow end and then swimming out to the deep end, and just being thrown in at the deep end and left to fend for yourself.

2. That is quite probably a good idea, even though I am sure I would feel a complete muppet actually buying the things. I shall have to purchase a couple of computer magazines at the same time to retain my geek-cred and the shreds of my dignity.

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