feelings: re-imagined

from now on, i pledge to write at least three times a week in this blog. i got such an overwhelmingly positive response from posting my blog to my facebook and it really warmed my heart. even if  you aren’t commenting, dear readers, your presence means the world to me.

that said, it’s blogtime.

as i rushed home from class to use my safe, non-gendered bathroom today, i was struck with some news that elicited what many recognize to be sadness. the news itself is inconsequential; my response inspired the post.

“aw, that sucks!” i exclaimed as morale decreased slightly. as i sat with my disappointment my fresh man-brain kicked in with “whatever. it doesn’t matter. you’re not sad.” i thank my experience of being an only child in time like these that allow me to step outside myself to examine the ridiculousness of this situation.

“you! that’s enough!” check.

coming into my own as a young man with no man training has been, and probably always will be, an interesting experience. i’ve always been aware of male social roles and functions (if not just out of jealousy) but now i’ve been studying them with my nerd hat on since i started college. i clearly remember having a conversation with my first girlfriend about wanting a more masculine gait. much to her chagrin, i studied the men with whom we interacted and came up with a fitting saunter that minimized the wide load i carry. that same year, i was criticized for how ‘overly-confident’ i was becoming and my study, which grew to extend beyond a manly walk, was shelved until it was safe. leave it to the gays to police themselves…

fast forward through break ups, break downs, and one pair of bermuda shorts later, i find myself here: policing emotions that society has told me shows weakness. perhaps my study has gone too far.

why is it that i have picked up stereotypically masculine behaviors? why is emotion so undesirable and crying so hard? i might as well be chest-bumping my friends and scratching my crotch (which i, admittedly, do. 0-1). i have beautiful role models in my life who embody healthy, successful transitions. i look to them in my journey but i am also paying attention to the status quo. now that i think about it, gender may be the only arena in which the status quo means anything to me…

these behaviors that i study are those i believe will help other people read me as male. i love being trans and am seen as such fairly consistently. i get thrills out of passing though – even a cautionary ‘hey buddy, watch it!’ leaves me beaming for hours. so i keep studying these behaviors. i pick and choose. i may decide to walk with my shoulders back and my chest out but i would never buy a hummer. recently though, i caught myself talking over a female friend of mine and i had a serious sit-down with myself later on about the behaviors i’ve adopted. my intention is to live and be seen as a confident transgender male: not a dick.

one of my best friends just brought me a sticker from mexico that, in translation, reads “machismo kills”. destructive masculinity is a systemic problem that certainly does not need to be perpetuated by gender minorities.

consider this my half-baked call to de-construct the gender binary.
let no gender stereotype be the goal of any person.
we cannot afford for any person to condone the gendered ghettos society and the news media advocate for our lives.

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