Time and Space

  • Post last modified:Sunday, February 14th, 2021
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Some fourteen years ago, alone in a dingy studio between long-term relationships, I found myself scrambling to understand who I was. It was the first time I’d lived by myself. In college I had a couple gaps between roommates, but with no real options, on graduation I wound up back at my mother’s house. From there I went straight into a relationship that brought me to my late 20s. Then finally, I was on my own, and it was such a strange thing to experience. No one to hide from, to justify myself toward.

So provided my own space, what was the first thing I wound up doing? I updated my wardrobe—as one does after a breakup. But here, it was mostly feminine clothes: the most stereotypical trans getup i can now imagine, with those thick thick purple and black stripes.

I had no idea why I was doing this. I kept it to myself. A few times I wore arm warmers out-of-doors, mixed in with some more masculine or neutral clothing. I sculpted sort of an androgynous public look. Then the moment I was drafted into a new relationship, knew my life and body were no longer my own, I ditched it all. I sort of forgot.

I had no way at that time of processing my relationship to gender. but given privacy at last, exploring my femininity just felt like the most obvious thing to do. No one to care or question me? This is just… where my brain went. Well of course I’d find a way to be comfortable. It wasn’t a fetish thing. I just, wanted to know what it was like, to feel like that for once.

The point of all this is that my transness, it ain’t new. I mean, of course it isn’t. But even my wrangling with it, this has been going on for a long time. I just didn’t understand what was happening; how to organize or name the thoughts and feelings that had always been there.

So the second time in my life I was cast out on my own, what was the first thing I wound up doing? Actually figuring this out properly, given the space to be myself. It’s like a rubber band. Let loose the pressure, and this is what I have always seemed to revert to. I just didn’t have the words until a few years ago.

Now, this is already the longest I’ve ever lived on my own—and it’s also the longest I’ve been single since the mid-’90s. (Both of these I hope and expect to continue to perpetuity.) There’s no mistake that it’s all been coming out. I just literally never had the space before to figure myself out as a person. To own myself.

Back then I was so naive and frankly weird about it. but everything I am now, it’s really just a matter of finally putting focus on the biggest priority in my life—having the time, having the words, and just… not caring what anyone thought anymore. That old husk, it was done. It couldn’t go any further. My life was over. I had nothing else left but me.

Well, not nothing. I had a few close friends, without whom I might not exist at all—whom I love dearly, but still feel too weird and chickenshit to just say it directly. Which is a skill that I need to work on. It’s just scary, right. our culture, it wants to keep us apart. isolated. Nervous of every little implication. Breaking our fondness down into categories we’re allowed to show and ones we have to pretend don’t really matter.

Anyway. I love me. I love you guys. Things are gonna keep getting better, right. Time makes sense of so much, and underlines so much of what’s really important.

Gonna go cry over some ice cream now.