Sorry for the late post! I slept in a bit this morning since I’m getting such little sleep from watching Netflix on work nights, and I went out for a day trip with my family, then shopping by myself after.
Today was a pretty great day. Not for a particularly big thing happening, but more because of a lot of little things. When I was in the pueblo we were visiting, looking through gewgaws, weird knick-knacks, and fairly racist toys (more on that another day), me and my cousin kept being greeted “Bienvenidas!” by the storekeepers of every shop we entered. “Bienvenidas” is the feminine form of “Welcome” in Spanish, and something you would only use with a group made up exclusively of women.
I couldn’t help but smile a bit every time it happened. The same happened when I went shopping by myself in the afternoon; I entered a shop and it was “Bienvenida“, I asked a question and had it answered with a “señorita” or “señora” (miss/ma’am).
I nearly started laughing as I walked the mall, because I could hear my high-heeled boots clickety-clacking on the floor, and could feel my kickass owl earrings hanging on my ears. I just felt so happy when I stopped to think about both things, I could barely contain myself.
When we were having lunch I had to use the bathroom, and had a little giggle as I turned right to enter the women’s rather than the men’s.
As I did, I remembered crying about two years ago, trying to explain to my then-best friend why something as small as going to the bathroom made me feel like absolute shit. Back then I was of course still living in guy mode, and the smallest things, from seeing photos of girls all dressed up and pretty on facebook, to being greeted “hey man!” by friends could set me off.
That’s the thing about gender dysphoria… in general it feels a bit like depression. It dulls you and your emotions, makes every day seem a lot more gray and uninteresting, making life dull and slow, and draining you. However, on some days the tiniest things can suddenly lead to a deep sense of loss; unhappiness, and self-hatred fill you up. It’s awful.
If you’re a guy, try for just one day, maybe tomorrow, to imagine you were actually a girl raised as a guy. To be hyper conscious that you are taller and larger than most or all the women you know; Imagine that every time someone comments on your appearance you feel a pang of loss for something you’ve never had, regardless of whether the comments are positive or negative; every time you go to the bathroom try to feel how wrong it would be to be there, nevermind have anything to do with your genitals.
If you’re a girl, imagine you’re actually a man having to live as a woman. Having to wear makeup and not feeling pretty or boosted by it, but instead drained and empty. Also being aware of how wrong you are every time you go to the bathroom. Feeling like crying every time someone says you look pretty or cute.
Just for 24 hours, try to be aware of all the things you can or can’t do because of the gender you live as. There are a ton, a lot more than you think. If you can, pretend that every single one of those tiny things is a minefield, that any of them could make you feel as sad as breaking up with a partner or close friend. Can you see how emotionally draining that would be?
When you experience gender dysphoria, not only do you feel subdued and dull, have those little moments that bring you to utter lows, but you’re also very likely to just fall into depression. If you’ve ever been depressed, you know how tough it is. Now, here’s the absolute worst thing about dysphoria: it isn’t depression. It’s something else, and if you have both they don’t overlap, or cancel each other out… they combine. Somehow you go from feeling dead inside, to feeling even more empty and alone, with sporadic bursts of sadness.
That’s enough depressing shit for now. I wanted to get that out, and give some background to show why such tiny little things can make me feel so happy. It’s not just that seeing my painted fingernails reminds me I’m finally living as a girl (yay!), but also that I’m free of that horrible time of my life.
Sure, there are some days when someone will misgender me and I’ll feel a little sad, but overall it’s better. Plus now there are days when I feel confident enough to directly and forcefully correct people, or when after noticing someone staring at me I will look them in the eye until I can see them feeling super embarrassed.
Little things 🙂