Friday, October 10, 2008

Musing on my gender issues

One night earlier this week, I was getting out of my car, when a couple happened to stroll by. I really only saw them from behind. The woman was blonde, wearing a black sleeveless dress and wedged shoes, and was on the arm of a guy whose description I didn't particularly note. "Wow," I thought, "I wish I was her."

Now, this isn't all that uncommon a feeling for me. I have talked often about how seeing a particularly attractive woman walk by will provoke in me a reaction I call the Double Whammy: whereas many men might want her, and many women might want to be her, I want both. Nonetheless, this particular incident stood out a bit for me, and it got me thinking a bit.

In the first place, there really wasn't a double-whammy reaction this time. I felt no particular lust for or wish to be with this woman. Second, I think a lot of it had to do with her being on a man's arm. This isn't because I felt a desire to be with the man -- any man in general, or this man in particular. Rather, I think it was just that it looked so, well, feminine. The notion of walking down the street, looking pretty, on a guy's arm, just seems so attractive.

Then, too, there is a bit of "class envy" mixed in. Not that I have any reason to believe this woman was fabulously rich or anything -- but I've been so spectacularly poor lately that I really can't afford to go out anyplace that I would want to take a date. True, the woman might not have been paying -- but even if so, women who date are expected to spend money in other ways: nice clothes, cosmetics, hair styling and so on. (I've needed a haircut for several months but have been too broke to want to spend the money on it.) So sometimes, the fact that I live in a place surrounded by a lot of "night life" does make one rather wistful.

But that was another part of it: frequently when I have that "wish I was her" sensation, it's pretty depressing. That time, it wasn't particularly. Possibly my "envy" capacity is all being used up right now on people who have disposable incomes, are satisfied in their careers, and so on.

Still -- the particular incident does tend to re-affirm for me that my particular condition is more one of what has been called autogynephilia, rather than being more traditionally transgendered. I know that diagnosis is still rather controversial; and in fact, I myself harbor strong doubts that it applies as widely as its proponents claim. But it still seems to sum up my own feelings more closely than anything else I have come across.

What's that say about me? Probably some things that many women will find disturbing. I don't know how I can satisfy their concerns, to be honest. I don't think any of us are entirely responsible for our feelings, only for our actions. My feelings are very genuine and very deep.

What should I actually do about the situation? Well, for the moment, there's damn all I can do. I'm going to miss out dressing up for Halloween again this year, I am nearly certain. If I ever can get out of my current situation and into a real apartment, then I can consider some options. Long-term, though....I don't know. I keep waiting to figure out who I am, or even who I really want to be.


Sebastyen said...

I empathize, EQ.

An. said...

I don't have any advice for you, and I don't know what you are going through. Just sending you some snopester vibes, and letting you know that you just have to do what's right for you. Not anybody else. All of us, to a certain extent, are finding ourselves. It just takes some of us a bit longer.

An. (MichiganGirl)

Anne said...

Envy is such a beast of an emotion, and I think that is true regardless of who/what is being envied. The notion that someone has something you so desperately want, but cannot have for whatever reason, can lead to such hopelessness. I have so totally been there, done that.

And the only advice I have is completely cliched, so I am hesitant to offer it because I don't want it to seem as if I am somehow making light of your emotions, because the suckitude of it is massive.

What I can very happily offer you is a lot of hugs and an open PM box should you ever wish to use it.


Grown Backwards said...

I'm not incredibly familiar with your situation, but in a lot of ways I understand what you say. It's hard to live just a little bit outside of the world shared by the most prominent, well-dressed and graceful people with their fancy things and (at least perceived) feelings of fulfillment. It's especially bad when you feel there's something "different" about you and just don't quite know what it is or who else feels like that. The automatic assumption is that it's a bad thing, but of course it's not. It's just a part of you that you can either try to ignore or embrace. The less you ignore it, the more you understand what's true for you. Just to warn you, chances are it'll be something completely out of left field ;)

I don't really know how much what I'm saying even makes sense or applies to you. I only know you from Snopes, but I see your name and think "now here's a poster I like" and am never disappointed. :)

I think I've cluttered up your comment box with poor sentence structure long enough, so I'm just going to say that I send you my best vibes and remind you that I can be gotten to either on here or Snopes. Not to mention you can say anything to me without fear of judgment and nobody else will ever get to hear it.

-Native Medley