With the end of my voice lessons, and the sudden nascent social need that followed, I followed my therapist’s advice and did that local trans Zoom meetup thing. It was… weird, and awkward, but I guess it reached a sort of equilibrium by the end. I don’t know if this sort of a thing is for me. I feel so lost in groups like this. Still I tried it anyway. So: bravery points for Azure! Would she have done this six months ago? No way!
I think I feel kind of weird in organized queer spaces, to be honest. I mean, any social situation is going to be odd, but—like. there are elements here, it’s like the Red-Headed League or something, right? Creating a space based on this sort of thing, it’s like, “Hey, you have Gender too? Amazing! Let’s both sit here and wait for one of us to talk!” That baseline of presumed trauma that underlies the queer experience also makes it, like—saying anything is a potential minefield. So that adds this extra layer of awkward. And I am So Very Inelegant in this regard, despite my efforts. So, whee, what do we do here, right? I’ve a notion I might manage better in spaces that are About Something, which also just happen to attract people who are very probably queer. That makes more sense to me.
It may not help that a third of the conversation was devoted to awkwardly sitting in silence while one of the members, logged in from her phone at a laundromat, yelled at someone else in the laundromat without muting the phone. At one point I had to ask, are we all on the same page? When she rejoined the conversation, she’d just start talking about whatever she felt like regardless of what anyone else was saying, and… often one sentence would bear no relation to the previous one, in a way I found very difficult to follow. She eventually left.
Another thing about all this is—I don’t know how to spin this. So let’s just air my internalized garbage, right. I’ve been doing my transition almost entirely in a bubble here. There’s been the COVID, under which I’ve rocked the medical angle. Before that, I was dealing with too much trauma to go outside or look at or talk to people in any form.
I tend to think of myself as, like… moderate, in my transition goals, right. I’m not a binary woman, but I do want to embrace the femme on my own terms. I’m my own kind of a girl. Likewise I’ve only been at this for so long; I’ve got a long way to go. I don’t really know what I’m doing yet, and I’m only ten months into the body stuff. But sitting there in my lace top and skirt, a face full of carefully if ineptly applied makeup, nodding and listening patiently to these other trans women rant and talk over each other about cars, I have never felt so prissy in my life.
Gender is what you make of it. It’s made up social garbage. Nothing matters but figuring out a version of yourself that you can actually like. Hell, I am extremely non-binary by ideology and just my lack of understanding of, feeling grossed-out by, gender extremes and stereotypes. This isn’t about anyone else, really. It’s just about me, and… like. My trouble feeling like I fit in anywhere. No matter how tailored the space might sound.
I’m accustomed to feeling prissy and overly feminine in male spaces. My parents made it clear what a prissy child I was, and punished me for it. My ex-spouse made me feel extraordinarily prissy in the scope of my marriage, and made it a regular point of abuse. Here, though, I went in expecting, okay, there would be some common ground. Maybe a couple of super-girly femmes to make me feel normal, haha. Just left of androgynous.
Well. Guess not as much.
Again, this is just about me. Other people can do whatever, and it’s all valid. I just, it’s so hard to find a space that makes sense to me. I was so clearly the odd girl out here. as is ever the case. It just felt particularly extreme last night. Which is the last thing I expected, the last place I expected to feel that way. I’d mention some of the things I’ve been doing just for my own sake, to support my ideas about myself, and there’d be this collective shrug. “Yeah, I don’t really see the point of that.”
Then back to, like. Sports.
So, oh well. I need to get it in my head, I guess, that nothing is ever going to be set up for me. None of this is my world. Every little thing I do, I need to put it together myself from first principles or it ain’t gonna work at all and I’m going to come away frustrated, lonely, and miserable.
So when we come out of this pandemic… I guess it’s time to get building.