Thursday, October 17, 2002

It shouldn't surprise me. I know from back in the shrinking days that I'm totally disconnected from my body. I know all about body dysmorphia, I've done all the tedious cognitive behavior exercises. But, still, I'm always amazed at *how* out of touch I am with my physical self.

While I was running today, I was composing a journal entry my head, and it started with the sentence, "Damn, I'm a slow runner." I plod and I poke and I eventually get to where I'm going, it just takes me forever. Today I felt exceptionally slow and lethargic. But I finished my out and back route, and discovered that I had improved my time by a minute and 19 seconds.

How does that happen? I feel really heavy lately--not "My god, I'm fat" heavy, but my limbs feel like they weigh a gazillion pounds, and they don't take me anywhere very quickly. Except apparently they are. Well, I'm still a slow runner, but I'm faster than I give myself credit for.

In other body dysmorphic bulletins, I could have sworn I was gaining weight. I really do feel exceptionally prone to the pull of gravity lately. I avoid the scale if I can, so I can't be certain, but I would have put money on the fact that I was gaining back some of the weight I'd lost.

[erasure] I walk around with my body all day long, you'd think I would know it a little better than I do.
6:42 PM

I'm looking very femme today. Well....okay. That's an impossibility. I don't know if it's the way I walk, the shoes I wear, or the fact that I carry my wallet in my back pocket, but I couldn't even look femme wearing a dress. However, I'm definitely a step down from high butch today--olive-colored jeans and a khaki-colored linen/cotten blend tunic that falls almost to my knees. It even has sprigs of olive like baby's breath or something. The butch shoes kind of wreck the feminine effect, though.

I even ironed it myself. And in even more in the way of will-the-wonders-ever-cease-sort-of-news, I put the ironing board away when I was done. I'm not such a bad guy!

Ten bucks says someone compliments me on my shirt today. Whenever I wear Catherine's clothes, I always get compliments. No one *ever* compliments me on my ties, though, and I have some pretty fine looking ties in my closet. What could be the reason? Maybe when I look more like a girl, people feel more comfortable invading my personal space and making comments about my appearance. When I look like a boy, they respect the boundaries I've constructed around myself. Or, it could be that a woman in a tie just sends everyone around me into a panic--they don't know what my game is--is she gay? is she stupid? does she know how laughable she looks?

On my more confident days, I find it fascinating how people are absolutely incapable of separating individuals from their clothes. They see a tie, and they automatically think "man." I absolutely *hate* being taken for a man. And I know it's partly my fault, I could dress in drag, nice feminine frilly clothes, but really, is it all my responsibility? Shouldn't people think about fashion a little more critically?

Sometimes it's funny. When I lived in LA, I ate at the same Subway shop every day, and the same people waited on me every day. And invariably, about once a week, the counter guy would glance up and say, "What can I get for you, sir?" And then there would be a pause, and he'd change it to, "'am." And then, "Sir," and back to "Ma'am." And I was usually wearing a t-shirt and shorts, nothing very gender specific. I just really wanted to ask him--why is it that you could figure me out yesterday, but today you can't seem to pin me down?

Last week, as I was leaving McDonald's, I heard a man behind me say, "Was that a woman or was that a man?" And I wanted to turn around and ask him just when was the last time he saw a guy built like the Venus of Willendorf eating fastfood in Bloomington.

Catherine was totally joking when she said I should go talk to one of the counselors at the Kinsey about my gender "issues." They don't do the kind of counseling I would need. I'm not one of those TG people who wake up every morning thinking, "My god, I'm a man trapped in a woman's body." I'm perfectly fine w/my body. I'm female, and I'm fine with that. I's bodies are....ick. Wouldn't want to touch one, wouldn't want to be one.

On the other hand, I'm incredibly bad at being a girl. But, then again, I'm not so good at being a boy, either. I don't get half the stuff my teammates talk about in the locker room--particularly not the two most common topics: wedding receptions & getting pregnant. But I'm also not one of the guys--I've always worked in male-dominated fields, and my best friends have typically been male, but I know they change their behavior when I'm around. Which is a good thing, I don't really want to be sitting around making sexist jokes about my wife. So, I don't know. I'm not a girl, but I'm not a boy. I occupy the interstitial space between the socially-enforced gender binary of girl v. boy, and sometimes that really sucks.

No comments: