I follow a number of blogs by other trans people, it helps to read the thoughts of others who are in different places in becoming there true selves. Of course, as with anything so personal, there are things said which I understand and some I do not, there are opinions spoken I agree with or not, but in all things, it makes me think.
Ali Finds Herself is one such blog. She is thoughtful, insightful, and often funny and I find her posts to be interesting and often thought provoking. She recently wrote a post called Transgender vs. Crossdresser which I have been thinking about ever since I first read it a few days ago. I’m not going to recap the whole thing, you really should read it for yourself, but I will paste the last paragraph here because it so important to what I want to say;
“The answer I gave Nancy was this: “I think the line between crossdressing and transgender is when it stops being an event and just starts being normal.” And if I’m being honest with myself, I’m just not there yet. And cue the depressed sigh …”
I was bothered quite deeply by this post. It is thoughtful and thought provoking and in many ways spoke to my own struggles in defining myself… it carried the ring of truth on several levels, yet there was something about it and Ali’s conclusion which bothered me for another reason.
Transitioning is a multifaceted aspect of being Transgender, yet it alone cannot define what it is to be Transgender. It goes beyond Gender Expression, (though it is part of it). It is not just a physical but mental as well. It must, and does include all of the ways a person changes in how they see themselves and the world about them.
Being Transgender is as shallow as your skin and as deep as your heart.
In many ways I understand the confusion and doubts created when you cannot be yourself full time, when you must parcel out yourself in different packages for different occasions. Just as Ali does, I must maintain a male presence at work and for my children. I must think about everything I do and how it is being seen by those around me and sometimes it gets to be too much. Just as she wishes to be Ali all the time, I too wish I could let the world see Kira all the time, yet I know this just isn’t workable at the moment. The difference between us is how we view ourselves irrespective of outer appearance.
I am Kira full time now. Maybe not in how I walk down the street, but where it real matters in my day to day life… Inside. There isn’t a “him mode” and a “Kira mode”… there is only me behind my eyes. In my thoughts and dreams, in my emotions and opinions, in every way which truly matters to me as a person, I am Kira.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be seen as I truly am all of the time, but you know what? In the end it is the same; the world will only ever see the outside, not what’s inside. Not what makes me a human being and not just a body taking up space.
I guess what bothered me so deeply about what I read was the impression I require an external measure of who and what I am… That by making a big deal out of getting dressed up, putting on makeup and a wig; by seeing doing so as a personal adventure to be savored and enjoyed, I am then making a production out of it, turning what should be a normal, everyday event, not requiring any serious thought, into something separate and special, that I am in someway not being true to the “Transgender Ideal.”
I simply cannot agree with this. Not for myself. Maybe getting “fancied up” is something special for when I have the time and energy, but I am at all times Kira.
To me, this is what separates me from Crossdressers, they put on a persona. An almost separate identity from themselves, becoming something else while presenting as the opposite gender, yet inside, in their heart of hearts, they are the same person in a different costume.
For them it as much about the presentation as anything. For myself it is only a outward expression of my inner truth. I do not “become” Kira; I am Kira, and this is just one of the ways I express myself.