Quelle Blogue!

Quelle Blogue was dedicated to my marriage (2003-2006), Crossdressing, and National League Baseball

A Coney Island of the Mind

One of my preoccupations is the differences between transsexuals and crossdressers. Since I claim to be the latter, it's important to me to understand why I'm not the former. So my posts for the last several weeks have been an exploration of not only my femininity, but my masculinity as well, since I find it an important part of my own happiness.

Transition is an agonizing experience to go through according to every account of it I've read (even Jennifer Finney Boylan's) and I won't try to compare my experience of transness with that road.That said, for me the hard part about being "only" a crossdresser is that my transness will never be "finished" in a binary sense. I can never be a non-trans man, but, it seems, I won't be a woman (not that I necessarily aspire to be one) in any publicly acceptable sense. As a soi-disant writer, I know very well the pressure for narratives to have a conclusion. Transition provides what many people outside of transness find to be a satisfactory conclusion--the fairy tale ending of "and then she lived happily ever after."

Now of course I know that the reality of the situation is completely different than the public perception. Even so, knowing that I won't avail myself of this step, which, for better or worse, certainly ends one aspect of my own internal conflict (i.e., not having a gender conflict by living fulltime as one gender) is painful and depressing.

That, and the fact that my transness will always be subordinate to other people's experience of either womanhood or transhood. Women can look down at me because I'm a "part-time" woman, who dresses in costume and "doesn't know what a real woman's life is like"; transwomen can throw the same criticism at me, with the added vector that my transness can't be serious because it doesn't manifest itself constantly or as urgently as it does for a transsexual.

But it isn't true; I'm trans all the time, and there are a lot of times that I feel trapped in an endless cycle of oscillation between femininity and masculinity with no way to end the cycle.

Sure, compared to transitioning, my problems are the difference between jumping off of a cliff and riding the kiddie roller coaster. But who the hell wants to ride on the kiddie coaster for the rest of their lives?

Ultimately it means that I have to stake out my own ground between the poles of masculinity and femininity and forsake the comfort of the herd on both sides. And there's nothing wrong with it--it's a good thing, a valuable experience, and coming to terms with what I have to do for myself has greatly enriched my life. But blazing trails into the unknown is tiring work.
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