Some Old Writing From Just Before I First Quit T
Below is an excerpt from an email I sent to a friend back in 2007, right around the first time I stopped t.
“I think I’m going to stop T in the near future. I’ve been rethinking gender over the last few months and am definitely coming to a new understanding of it. I don’t like how much my access to hormones is regulated by doctors and psychiatrists and the larger medical industry. I feel like being a consumer of such an industry is at odds with my attempts to live an autonomous, sustainable life. I’m also starting to question why what type of body I have is so important. Why do I have to change my body and follow certain behavioral and cultural rules in order to been seen as a man? I’m tried of all the assimilationism and worship of normality I see in many transsexual communities. There are so many trans dudes or, excuse me, “men of transsexual experience” who are heteronormative sexist assholes. I read some of these mo-fos arguing online that “real men” have or want to have dicks. So like what, all folks with cunts who id-ed as men prior to when sex-changing technologies were invented weren’t real men, all those people who lived in cultures where gender was determined by what you did instead of what type of body you had were just delusional and backwards? I can’t believe some of the short-sighted, ahistorical views people take, perspectives that completely disregard how social context shape ourselves and our experiences. I feel like a lot of trans guys idealizes “normal” manhood and so they try to make themselves as much like “normal” men as possible and end up creating and following this particular standard of manhood so they can fit into mainstream society, basically recreate themselves as “normal” men and erase themselves as trans or gender variant. I want no part of that. I’ve been reading a lot about how gender and gender variance operates in other cultures and times and different radical feminist critiques about how gender is constructed in this culture. I’m starting to really believe that gender is something people make and do, not something with a core nature or essence, but something always changing and adapting to new environments and circumstances. And I’m starting to think that on a whole both transsexualism and genderqueerness/genderfucking are individual solutions to social problems. Transsexualism turns an individual’s rupture with society’s norms into a disease to be cured or a birth defect to be corrected. A disturbing number of trannies, at least trans dudes, believe they’ve got a medical condition and that transitioning is the cure. That sort of implies that if you don’t transition there’s something wrong with you, either you’re still sick or you’re not real or something. Genderqueerness in contrast professes to be subversive but often ends up stabilizing the categories of man and woman and makes them more normal instead of opening up those categories to new meanings and interpretations. So for example a masculine female ends up id-ing as genderqueer rather than as a woman cuz “real women aren’t masculine”, so “woman” ends up retaining its traditional definition. So yeah, in short fuck changing myself when society’s the sick one. I’m not exactly sure what the fuck to call myself now other than genderfuct. It looks like gender always going to be a trip for me. I admit I transitioned in part to stop dealing with gender but now I realize this is impossible. I’m always going to be a genderfreak in this society and the bullshit’s not going to stop unless I start actively resisting and fuck passing, it’s political suicide, though sometimes you still got to do it to avoid getting your skull cracked. I’m a dude with a cunt, I’ll never be like a non-trans dude and why the hell should I want to be one? Trans people need to start fighting for respect and recognition no matter what sort of body or experience we have.”
(edited to correct spelling and grammatical errors)
I wrote that when I was a very angsty, angry twenty-one year-old. It’s interesting to me what my thoughts were back then, what’s changed and what’s more or less stayed the same. My skepticism regarding transitioning, transsexuality as a medical condition and the subversiveness of genderqueer stretches back pretty far. Obviously I still saw myself as some kind of trans man though I was starting to realize that I wasn’t like other trans men. There’s no mention of seeing myself as female or consideration of going back to being a woman, even though I use the example of a “masculine” female in my critique of genderqueer. I was into fucking with what a man could be rather than rethinking what a woman could be. I’d yet to fully explore the possibility of being some genderfuct dude and become dissatisfied with it as I eventually did.
I mention reading radical feminist theory. I starting reading some specifically lesbian feminist theory not long after that. It’s kind of ironic but transitioning and living as a man drove me to look into those branches of thought. I found it positively fascinating. Much of it made a hell of a lot more sense after seeing the contrast between being treated as a man versus being treated as a dyke and getting an inside view of the boy’s club. I don’t agree with everything I’ve read but I think this type of thought gets unfairly dismissed a lot the time.
Being hooked up to the medical industry was always a concern to me and was among the reasons I decided to quit the last time too. I like to avoid going to doctors and I don’t want to be reliant on pharmaceuticals.
My thoughts have changed a lot over the years. A while after I wrote this, I changed my mind and decided that I did have some sort of biological condition and that transsexuality was biologically based. I want to dig up some of my old journals and see if I can find some of what I wrote at that time in my life. Nowadays, since I’ve found other ways to remedy my discomfort with my body that don’t involve taking t, I don’t think that I have any sort of hormone imbalance or hardwired physical trait that made me trans. I created very strong sensations with my mind that seemed like they were something biologically immutable. So now I’m back to thinking that at least some, maybe all transsexaulism is rooted in the mind and that transitioning is but one way to solve this disconnect between mind and body.