10 August 2012 @ 03:06 am
sitting in front of my computer holding an ice pack to my mouth because i got my wisdom teeth removed yesterday. it's not like EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL or anything, but it's just constantly noticeable and really distracting, kind of like when you need to pee but not all that much but still just enough that you can't stop noticing that you need to pee, except instead of needing to pee it's ACHING PAIN and you CAN'T PEE IT OUT.

anyway, i am back because i dug up my old marble journal a few days ago while trying to inventory my things so that i can figure out how to pack enough stuff for half a year in denmark while still being under the 20 kg luggage limit WHAT THE HELL THAI AIRLINES. and i looked at it and realized i haven't been writing anything here OR there which is really frustrating because i have been having THOUGHTS A LOT???

so i'm currently experimenting with living in taipei for two months as female. (ALSO I HAVE BEEN IN TAIPEI FOR THE PAST MONTH AND A HALF??? i am so terrible at this aaaaaa) this is sort of in response to my two months in japan last summer as male, which MIGHT HAVE MESSED ME UP A BIT (maybe psychologically but also practically as i may or may not explain at some point later or in another post or something) but also helped me see a lot of things more clearly and work out a lot of stuff so i figured it might be worth trying to try living as female again and see how i take it. [*]

[*] by living as male, i mean that i was read as male by my host family and most of my classmates, i used male facilities and pronouns, and in general attempted to present myself as male (binding, speaking in a lower pitch, using masculine forms of speech when speaking in japanese, etc). i did not explicitly call myself male, but all unofficial documents labeled me as such. by living as female, i mean that most people are unaware that i do not identify as female, i use female facilities and pronouns, i go by my relatively feminine chinese name, and while i've still been wearing the same clothes as always i have not been binding. i have not explicitly called myself female, but all official and unofficial documents label me as such.

during the conversation with my parents mentioned in the previous post, my mom expressed concern that i'd been "tricking" those i'd met in japan by allowing myself to be perceived as male. i sort of tried to explain stealth-shaming and how binary-identified trans* people living as their identified gender are not tricking anybody in the same way that cis people living as their identified gender are not tricking anybody. I JUST WANTED THEM TO UNDERSTAND sdkjflhs but while this doesn't quite apply to me, neither can i actually present as my actual gender because most people aren't even aware that it exists. so no matter what i do, i suppose i'm "tricking" people in some way?

and yeah, that DOES make me uncomfortable, actually. but it's not like i can go up to everyone i meet and be like HI I'M JESSIE AND BY THE WAY I'M NOT A BOY OR A GIRL THANKS FOR ASKING NICE TO MEET YOU.

but to her, "pretending" to be female wouldn't be nearly as bad as "pretending" to be male, because y'know, i have a vagina and all that girlstuff. to her, i wouldn't actually be tricking anyone. i mentioned my discomfort with not being completely honest with my host family last summer, and she perceived that as my "understanding" that there is something wrong with "pretending" to be male. but actually, now that i'm "pretending" to be female, i sort of do feel a bit of the same fakeness, but in a less stressful way?? (THERE ARE SO MANY QUOTATION MARKS IN THIS PARAGRAPH.)

a common image of the deceptive transsexual depicts them as taking a perverse pleasure in tricking people. and to be honest, while i wouldn't quite put it in those terms, i'm probably closer to that right now than i would be if i was presenting as male. as male, my reaction to people is more one of nervousness, that they may realize i'm not maab. as female, i can use the women's restroom and do women things and all that and pretty much nobody will ever realize i'm not a woman unless i tell them. so if it IS trickery, it's more successful trickery, i suppose. which allows me to be a bit more relaxed, and possibly even lets me gloat about the fact that i'm "passing" so well. i'm still constantly aware that i'm not female, but i don't actually feel any dysphoria or anything.

so if i'm able to handle living as female so well, why don't i just do that? while i may not be, it's certainly easier on me legally and socially. if i'm able to access cis privilege by pretending to be cis, should i? do i even want to?

in the beginning i think i basically identified as male for quite some time, but now that i've mulled over genderthings for quite a few years now (seriously, i just want to figure this stuff out and be done with it and move on to thinking about more exciting things augh), i think my identity is becoming increasingly fluid and ambiguous and also more politicized. if i wanted to, i could probably get by living as female without significant distress about being perceived as female. i could probably even choose to identify as female. if i wanted to, i could probably start taking testosterone and physically transition and get by living as male without significant distress about being perceived as male. i could probably even choose to identify as male. but i do need this, in some way. i need people to know i exist, the way i am, and that this is a legitimate existence, and so i choose to identify the way i do.

which is WEIRD because i'm not really that into debating gender or explaining gender theory to people and i've always kind of wished i could be androgynous without people noticing or without drawing attention to my androgyny? BASICALLY I JUST WANT TO BE ME WITHOUT HAVING TO POLITICIZE MY IDENTITY, BUT IN ORDER FOR THAT TO HAPPEN I NEED TO POLITICIZE MY IDENTITY.

kjdsghsdg DOES THAT MAKE SENSE i am figuring out most of this as i write and i will probably look back at it later and realize that it was ALL A LIE.
 
 
location: Taiwan, Taipei
mood: contemplative
 
8 | +
 
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