Another Buddy monologue, a bit from the novel-in-progress:
I had become unsure of my place in the world. Â Was I a woman who looked like a man and felt like one sometimes? Â Was I a man trapped in a womanâ€™s body? Â Was I a lesbian if I found myself sometimes lusting after some of the trans men and gay boys I saw at the clubs? Â Was I a faggot if I enjoyed pussy?
This was an acute internal turmoil that brushed up against the outside world all too often. Â Iâ€™d startle when someone called me â€˜maâ€™amâ€™. Â Iâ€™d see notices about womenâ€™s events and feel envy, because it looked like it would be fun, but not feeling like I belonged at those gatherings anymore. Â I found myself drawn to gay men even when I was sure they wouldnâ€™t have a clue what to do with me. Â I didnâ€™t have a clue what to do with me.
I felt much more aware of my â€˜othernessâ€™ then those around me, that was pretty clear. Â My friends continued to invite me to womenâ€™s events. Â When I tried to explain why I was hesitant, they screwed up their eyebrows and shook their heads. Â â€œYouâ€™re still femaleâ€ theyâ€™d say but after a while I wondered if they were trying to reassure me, or convince me.
For my part, I wasnâ€™t convinced of anything anymore. Â Not my gender, not my sexuality, not my place in the community. Â I wasnâ€™t straight, that at least I was pretty sure of, even if my female bits wanted to interface with some bio-boy bits on occasion. Â There were times when I felt paralyzed by this confusion, by my inability to choose. Â Felt like a damned fool, like I was standing in the middle of the interstate with traffic whooshing by me. Â Most folks around me seemed more than happy to let me choose, but when Iâ€™d consider having to land squarely on one side or another of these lines everyone was drawing, it got me all mixed up and angry inside.
I remembered, years before, being really put off by people who were androgynous, well put off and turned on, kind of equally. Â It felt like they were taking liberties, like their self-appointed freedom to not choose to be one thing or the other was an affront to the rest of us. Â Well, to me. Â It bothered me that they were so confusing to figure out and that they didnâ€™t seem to care. Â Now I found myself in a similar place. Â Were people looking at me, wondering what the heck I was, feeling confused and angry because I wouldnâ€™t sort out into one of their neat mental piles? Â Maybe the solution to my confusion and frustration over all this was to just not care. Â What if I just went into the world and said â€œThis is who I am. Â I understand you might not know what I am, but I donâ€™t care, because I do. Â I am me.â€
This wasnâ€™t the kind of transition I could make overnight, it took a long while to settle into that feeling of empowerment, the idea that I didnâ€™t have to ask permission, that I didnâ€™t need a consensus in order to be myself. Â It took some time and I still catch myself doing that math, the math that describes the distance I am from anything the people around me understand. Â On my good days, I donâ€™t care. Â On my bad days… well, luckily that doesnâ€™t happen all that often anymore.
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