litmus test |ˈlɪtməs ˌtɛst| A decisively indicative test.
“You should notice that — or aren’t you a woman?”
So said my wife to me after I missed an everyday sexism scene in a television show. Her words cut me because of the implicit attack upon my womanhood mixed with the bitter irony that she doesn’t want to stay married to me because I’m not a man. She’s biased against me, but her attitude is all too common even among people I haven’t personally pissed off by being trans.
“Here’s a letter I thought you might be interested in reading.”
So said my mother to me as she handed me an editorial from a woman whose husband transitioned. This woman’s story was filled with anger, sorrow, and frustration and her pain was evident as she wrote of the semi-death of her spouse. Encoded within her argument is the all-too-familiar and unspoken belief that it’s easier|better to have a dead spouse than a trans spouse.
Since I live with someone of a similar mindset, I didn’t learn anything new and it just reminded me of the pain and anguish my gender journey is causing to the woman I married.
These two hits along with others to my confidence in the past few weeks have really put me in the mind space of wondering if all this upheaval and daily life friction from transition is worth it and if I’m really what I think I am.
Sadly, there’s no way to win the game of ‘man|woman|trans enough’ because the only way to not play is to not be conscious of my gender and my self-perceived incongruity between my factory equipment, my operating system, and the external expectation that those two things are in alignment.
Looking within, my demons cackle at me, prodding me in soft, tender spots and tell me I’ll never be the woman I want to be and instead be artificial, that I was not so good at being a man, and that being trans takes the shit from both and mixes them together for an unwholesome pie of freak.
“Congratulations, Mrs. Coldstream, you’ve delivered a physically healthy but emotionally scarred for life freakpie.”
Thank Jove there are so many people to tell me what I am based on their criteria, which usually is what they want or expect me to be, otherwise I’d be left to my own devices and sit in a corner with cookies, milk, my laptop, and whiskey while ranting to the Internet.