Well, another therapy appointment.
This one went about the same. I feel like I’m having to teach her about non-binary genders and substantiate my identity through argument. Which is not what I signed up for. She has my best interest in mind, but I think she has been influenced by the whole “Gender role = gender” (second-wave feminism?) construct and I keep telling her that I have no interest in gender roles. Even in, especially in, romantic relationships. Ugh.
But she’s helping me, and has helped me, with my longer-term goals like agoraphobia and stuff, so that’s good. I honestly thought when we were talking that I might need to see another counselor who’s more up with gender identity and genderqueer things for the genderqueer on T (or maybe not?) issues. But that could get really complicated because their perspectives would probably be worlds apart (she’s a behaviorist, which I really like and need, but I just want to stop arguing.)
I think I had the upper hand, though. Which I shouldn’t think about in a therpay session, but that’s how it goes. I told her that I never had an interest in gender roles (thanks in part to who I am mentally, and thanks in part to my dad and mom who eschewed them pretty much all the time, especially my dad) from the start. And that makes me independent of all of the gendered bullshit that I have to consider about transitioning. This doesn’t sound quite right, but I’ll go with it since it’s early.
She said that my gender presentation is pretty in the middle, reflects my non-binary identity, but at the same time, I a) don’t know what that means (should have asked her but I was trying to counter something she said) and b) I’m unhappy with my appearance at this point because by body appears way too feminine and I feel like I’m “passing” as female. But that could have been different from what she was thinking.
One point that she made that I need to think more about is whether I’ve internalized at some level the negative images of female masculinity. I was talking about Hedwig and the Angry Inch movie’s Wig in a Box and the shot where after Hedwig has transformed herself into these fabulous people, and then looks in the cut mirror, and is like, “Wtf? Who the hell am I?” I’ve always thought that was a brilliantly empathic piece of understanding by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask etc. to understand how some trans people feel – go to great ends to make themselves up into something that they can accept, nay, celebrate!, and then look at themselves from a new angle in the mirror and they’re still, in my case, female, and so, wtf.
I felt good about being a kind of gender shape-shifter, read as male a lot but not all the time, when I was skinnier. I reminded someone of his dad who had passed, and I took that as a *huge* compliment. But have I internalized some piece of societal crap that says “women” (etc.) shouldn’t “do those things?” I don’t know. I worked through that when coming out b/c of who I was, and had a lot of pride in my appearance, and thought changing both by my own means and surgical/biochemical means was reasonable and maybe in the works, if I wanted/needed it at the time. Optimisitic is what I would say about my take on my body. Even though I’ve always had a little bit of shame about being chubbier in the thighs and stuff than I thought I should be. Still, general positivity.
So that’s what happened at therapy regarding T. She’s done a lot of medical research on the side effects of T, and called it T in her email to me, both of which I really feel appreciative about. Like she’s meeting me on my level. I haven’t picked up the Genderqueer: Beyond the Sexual Binary book yet from my dad’s house, so I haven’t sent her that essay that I want her to read (with a disclaimer, of course, to mention that I’m not trying to tell her that she’s policing my decision (although kind of is) the way that the doctors policed the writer’s decision while they/he/she/ze was trying to go on T.
She’s an excellent therapist, but there’s a learning curve here.
What I still feel is that I need a change. In the gender arena, or otherwise. I know that’s vague, but that’s how I feel. More understanding to come.