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My "Gender Tale" in (and Against) the Narrative of Trans

There is, still to this day, a standard Narrative Story in the gender community of how Trans happens. I do not believe I can put it better than Miss Cassi Bell, a good friend of Transsexual dot Website and an avid TG/TS herself, wrote in her recent essay “The Roadway to Gender”:

Popular culture has basically decided that there’s only one transfeminine story worth telling. It’s the story of a young trans girl who figures out her identity at a very young age. Even in childhood, she gravitates toward dolls and tea parties. She tries on her older sister’s dresses and begs her mom to buy her make-up and jewelry. She basically always looks like a girl, too — feminine facial features, short stature, thin and androgynous. If she doesn’t transition in childhood or adolescence, then she’ll still somehow makes it to adulthood still looking more or less like a woman. She cross-dresses all the time, and might even be a drag queen. She is also probably attracted to men, and might have worked a spell as a sex worker.

The problem with this narrative is not that it does not fit a small handful of Transes in this wonderful community we call Online. It is that it is said to fit Everyone, and yet it does not.

It does not, for example, fit me (Lily (Web Master)).

My story of discovering Gender has some things in common with the Universal Public Narrative. I did know that I was blessed with the Spirit-Gift of Transsexual from the age of six, I tried on the Rich White Person Box Dresses of my mother at aged ten, my brain despite my protestations aims much of its attraction toward the rocky and foul-scented shores of Men, and in Height Discourse I must always sit out because I am not a Tall. In many ways, I fit the “Text Book Example” the Harry Benjamin Association and its international affiliates call for.

Yet these similarities mask a deeper difference: I knew I was Genderfull, and yet I told No One. In the Standard Story Narrative, the Transchild is constantly telling her loved ones (parent, crossing guard) that she is an Inside-the-Brain Girl, and she never learns to feel shame or fear about this desire. Even as my childhood playmate chums were of the Girl persuasion, I was full of Terror that anyone would realize my true gender feelings. I stayed away from Barbara dolls and make-up in favor of Pocket Monster videogames and Reading, pursuits that kept me from having to spend time with the dreaded Boy but did not reveal my girlnature. By the time I reached Pubertal, my teachers remarked that I was “afraid of Girls,” and I was, because I knew that if they saw me for who I was there would be Bad Consequences and I worried they could tell I was not a Boy.

As I grew older, I found ways to hide inside Masculinity the way a mouse hides inside a Radiator. I became renowned as an Independent Music Enthusiast even though my tastes in songcraft leaned toward relatively Main Stream bands like “Dying Cab” or “Neutral Milk Hotel” because being an “indy boy” was a type of manhood I could fake my way through. It was a place where I did not have to enjoy the masculine pursuits of Beer or Fighting, but could still have a plausible claim on being truly of the Male sort. I never, ever “Cross Dressed,” because I feared it would awake the Girl Beast, who would then tear her way through the dense forest of My Relationships With My Friends and Loved Ones. Until late in college, I took every pain not to appear Feminine, even as I could not bear to look very male.

I do not fit the Narrative because I hid from my love of Gender, something the fable story’s “True Trans” would never do. Every TransFriend I have, likewise, has some thing like this that keeps them from fitting the Typical Story, some thing that kept them for some time from believing they could be “really TransSexual.” I do not believe that there is a single transperson out there who is truly one with the Narrative. And it is designed to hold us back: the Harry Benjamin Association designed this Story because it believed at one time that Trans was a horrible thing to be, and that Transing should be reserved for only “True TransGendered Cases.” How ironic that something designed to decide who is a Validated Trans and who is Just A Subhuman Fetish Person could become, in the wrong hands, Trans Phobic!

My imploration to you is, then, to smash the Narrative! Destroy it into small pieces! Do this by living your life as you truly are, and by telling the stories you refuse to tell because you worry they will make you seem Not TransSexual/TransGendered Enough. You may also do this by yelling. I am confident that, as more Gender Enthusiasts “come out of a closet,” we will finally begin to break the hold this Narrative Story has had on our Community for the last sixty yars.

- Lily