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Most days, some days

September 12, 2013

ImageMost days, I feel okay about myself, about my physical appearance. I feel okay about my face, about my body.

Other days, all I can do is see the flaws in myself, the things (in that moment, in my mind) that are beyond salvation. My hips. My narrow, narrow hips. Fuck. My shoulders, creating a wide frame. My jaw, large and angular. My face, so impossibly male.

It’s not that the flaws are particularly drastic, but rather that from time to time I feel so broken on the inside that I can’t help but see myself that way on the outside.

I decided to share an extremely personal story online the other day, and honestly, I don’t know if I should have. Maybe that one should have stayed with me, stayed hidden away in my head. There are some things the whole world doesn’t need to know.

Comments on these types of stories are predictably awful, with someone criticizing me for the method of suicide I used when I attempted it (this was the subject of my story) nearly a decade ago. More comments, on another story that had nothing to do with the fact that I’m transgender, were of the generic, “you look like a dude” variety.

I think on some level I agree with the comments, and that’s why my heart aches after reading them. You’re right, internet user, I should have used a razor, and sure, I do look like a dude.

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7 Responses to “Most days, some days”

  1. doubleinvert Says:

    Sometimes the comments people post on such things are beyond comprehension. The level of cruelty is mind-boggling.

    -Connie

  2. micah Says:

    My heart goes out. Thankfully I have not gotten many negative comments, but when I get that ONE, my day spirals downwards and I can’t function.

    It’s important to share our stories of defeat – that eventually led to triumph – so others like past selves can see that we have today is within their reach. But it’s also important to protect yourself. And where that line is, I still don’t know…

  3. Mike Says:

    I was reading some of your work on TC, which led me here.

    I went ahead and checked out your comments section to see exactly what was said. While I can see how you aren’t at all pleased with that comment, and I do think it was harsh, I don’t think the person was telling you that you should have done better (read: succeeded). It was more so questioning the meticulous hoarding of pills. It did sound like you were in prison.

    What has been seen can never be unseen. Regardless of the intent, I hope you are able to shake off the impression it left.

  4. Tristen Says:

    Don’t feel bad. There was a time I knew the lethal dose of all my meds. Just in case. It took me a long time to accept that wasn’t normal.

  5. Brianna Keeper Says:

    Transitioning is wondrous, freighting, enlightening, confusing and a myriad of other things occurring at the same time. IN THE BEGINNING there was this female fighting to get out. As I nurtured this female spirit within myself, she grew stronger. Slowly she began to assert herself and erode the male gender markers that society had placed upon me.

    I could not transition quick enough. Peering into the mirror, I would contemplate my body sans facial hair, adam’s apple, penis, and assorted other physical attributes of my male self. In their stead, I would imagine breast, hair, vagina, etc. All the while saying to myself; “you can’t pass”. I felt pretty but thought I looked otherwise. Eventually I would defer to my feeling and look away from my reflection. Aware of the stares and gawking I received, I would muster through the grocery store, coffee shop, clothing boutique. Correcting the “sir” and relishing the “ma’am”, I began to get comfortable in my skin.

    Still, it bothered me that I felt like I could not pass. Sitting on my balcony, a neighbors nieces kept staring at me giggling. “We know you are not a girl” they laughed. I reflected on this a moment and responded. “okay” I said. “what am I?” “A boy!” they answered in unison. “Alright. Not a girl, like your mommy. I am a boy, like your daddy.” their little faces crinkled at their brows and said “well, no”. It occurred to me that though I may not pass as female, neither do I pass as male. My problem prior was that I never did pass as male. Though I may have changed some of my secondary sex attributes, I am the same person I have always been inside. Now, I am much more loving and accepting of myself.

    Life is always in transition. Breaking stereotype is threatening for some people. I have learned not to assume. Some of those stares could easily be admiration rather than condemnation. When a stranger makes assumptions about my path, I sometimes tell them I was born female and I am transitioning to male. Usually I let them know I am pulling their leg. In the process something changes about how they view gender. Every one of us is an ambassador for change. Including the transition from good, better, best.

    Brianna

  6. Kira Says:

    I too face the same thoughts and feelings. As I have been told more than once, I am my own harshest critic, but knowing it to be true and doing something about it are two different, difficult things.

    As for critical comments… After I had posted a picture of myself and received some very nice comments, one person just had to tell me I have “man arms.” Guess which one I remember most clearly?

    There will always be those who feel the need to tear down others so they can feel better about themselves and we just need to remember, it says more about them than it does us.

    Oh, and just to let you know, you do NOT look like a man in the least. I look at your photo and I see a beautiful woman, which is exactly who and what you are!


  7. You do not look like a man at all. You’re a very attractive woman with those big blue eyes and all.

    And … you’re an amazing writer. Don’t listen to the negative crap anonymous people post on the internet (but do listen to my anonymous compliments.)


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