This Bit Right Here:

When we think about behaviors people insist on, the question is, does this behavior substantially limit this person’s contribution to the world? If you had a friend who was a great artist, and they picked up a heroin habit, you’d say, “Hey idiot you’re denying the world great art by this dumb thing you’re doing! And yeah, heroin makes you happy, but you have value to the rest of the world beyond you being happy!”

A lot of my anger at the people who were cheerleaders for my transition is their enthusiasm for all these limits I was placing on my life- the black hole of time and money and energy transitioning is- revealed that they didn’t think I had much value. They didn’t say anything like, “What you could do with that time and money and energy if you directed it towards a goal beyond changing your body is so profound that this pursuit seems like a massive waste of what you are capable of.”

I mean, if they had said that I would’ve called them transphobic. But I still wish they had said it.

via The Adult Baby Story — Words by Maria Catt

I’m currently going through “Oh, where I was last year at this time” and it hasn’t been easy to remember.  On March 28th last year I announced to over a thousand tumblr followers (and a bunch of close friends) that I was an agender aromantic asexual who is going to explore their masculine identity and possibly transition and a new male name is coming soon.  That lead into months of basically spending all my time and energy on thinking about my identity and transition. Nobody ever questioned what I was doing, what I was so obsessed with, why I wasn’t doing anything else.

I got through it quickly enough and started looking for other ways of handling being me in this world, which is still always a big question. But after giving up on the trans identity and the focus on transition and so forth, you know what I did?  I started writing a long overdue novel that is now around 150k words. I started an intensive drawing course that has brought my art to whole new places. I started reconnecting with the gaming/writing community I’d lost touch with online, started interacting with them again. I started living and enjoying life, as scary and uncomfortable as it can sometimes be.

It seems that with these things, people are so focused on individual feelings that they don’t look critically at these identities and decisions. Thank you, Maria Catt, for once again picking it apart for us through your experiences and perceptions. You’re a treasure.

 

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8 thoughts on “This Bit Right Here:

  1. It’s funny, after I felt like I let go of the trans identity thing, finally and definitively, I too developed a direction to my life that was much healthier… I also got more serious about my art, decided to go back to school, and took some big steps in treating my mental health. I might write a post on this. There’s something about the whole identity-world that stunts your growth. I think it’s possible for some people that transition and/or being trans helps them move ahead in life, but for a lot of us it just represents being stuck and hiding and making ourselves smaller.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d love to read your post about that – I keep thinking about this, and the stuck/unstuckness of the topic itself. I’ve struggled all my life with obsessive thoughts, most of the time appearing as hypochondria, and I really think the trans-obsession was the same thing, except it *looked* like a solution instead of a problem, so had me much more fooled for a while.

      I think for some people who find themselves so restricted in their current gender role, yes, transition can be tremendously freeing. But whether those restrictions are deeply rooted internally, or could be dug up and loosened, or are external forces that could be changed/dealt with… it’s like there’s always so much more to look at once you step back from thinking one thing is the answer.

      Plus, more art. =)

      Like

  2. I kind of have the opposite problem – as an always traditional, empathetic (Irish) woman – of being liked too much. Everyone is absolutely crazy about me and desperate to be with me always, but a lot of the time, only because they quickly suss me out as someone who will let me use them, (especially men. I’ve always been a magnet to suffering and victimised men, who are in search of healing). This is actually a huge problem when you actually are fragile and need support and healing from someone yourself – and are okay with that and don’t mind saying it, (if the men of my culture can be fragile and needy, why can’t I?). I have my spirituality to nurture me these days though – without it I wouldn’t be alive. Some people have easy lives at least some of the time ThisSoftSpace – but I think they’re mostly men and increasingly so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think it’s an opposite problem, really – men want women to be what they want them to be. Throughout my life I’ve watched my mother, who is a very traditionally attractive woman, be drained over and over again by needy men. She would be excited about their attention at first (partly because she’s been so conditioned to be) but then after a time would just be looking for a way out of their service. I’m fairly well convinced that men will use women whatever way they can for their own comfort. Not ALL men™, of course, are individually like this, but even in my own experience with male friends, it’s a societal conditioning for them to just lean on women and expect to be taken care of.

      One of the reasons why so few people do question the transgender narrative – or people going through it – is because it continues to serve men in that subtle, societally-conditioned way. Women who don’t want to serve men get erased and assimilated into some kind of “maleness”, while men can appropriate womanhood to hide their lack of self-esteem and get even more attention from women, “as one of them” (I have some writing to do about that soon). And men who hate women get even more targets for their hate, both in female and male bodied people. So no one raises any questions, partly out of fear, I think. Any time men are essentially behind an idea it becomes terrifying to question or resist, but so many people need that questioning, and so many people need the courage to resist – whatever role it is men want us to assume.

      Liked by 1 person

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