26 January 2009

Flight Fantasies

The idea of going someplace where nobody knows me seemed even more appealing today than it did yesterday.

I've heard of more than a few trans people who've done exactly that. They go to some place where no one knows their histories and live the new lives they'd always wanted. I remember Jennifer, from my first support group, who moved to somewhere near St. Petersberg, Florida because she wanted to start over. She'd waited until her kids had grown up to start her transition, and after she and her wife split up, she wanted to meet new people and see new sights.

Today, a faculty member with whom I have exchanged greetings saw me on the subway and told me he'd heard that I'm transgendered. So he wanted to talk about that, when I just wanted to zone out on the ride home. He actually seems to be a nice person, and I know that my old misanthropic pose doesn't fool anybody. And, honestly, I don't mind talking about my experience with people who are actually interested in me as a person rather than as a specimen of some label they've read about.

But it seems that no matter what else I do, I will always be known by colleagues and others as the tranny. Their token tranny. The one who helps them fill their quotas. So now they have a white friend, a black friend, an Asian, a paraplegic and a butch Filipina bisexual. I complete their collection, which they will redeem for valuable prizes. You know how it works, "Save the whales. Win valuable prizes." Whales, blacks, trannies: Saving them all will get you brownie points.

So the idea of moving to another place, another job, another career, another life after my operation appeals to me now. Also, I'm sick of the cold, gray weather. Dominick has never liked it. (Of course that's why you get a boyfriend: You can blame him any time you follow some half-baked idea!) Leave the college: No more pencils/No more books/No more teachers'/Dirty looks. Wait a minute: I'm the teacher. Dang!

But then again, you probably have an idea of how well the Geographic Cure has worked for me and other people. It usually leads to the "same shit, different city/state/country/life" syndrome. I guess that's better than the "same shit, different syndrome" syndrome.

And, after all, here I do have friends with whom I can talk about other things besides gender. That is because they know me as more or less the person I actually am. And, well, I realize that there are people who want to see me as an example for what they do. Today I got an e-mail from a trans woman who says she is following right behind me in my path and is looking to me. I will write to her; that e-mail made my day.

Then there is the promise I made to myself and my mother that I wouldn't run away again. I made that pledge after finally admitting that so much of what I did before making my transition was just an attempt to escape from myself. All those relationships that didn't work and some of the trips I took: They were about running away. And my transition from being Nick to living as Justine is a repudiation of responding by flight.

So I guess I'll just have to deal with the cold gray weather and the curious (or nosey) people. One thing I've learned is that the point of life is not convenience. Nothing in life happens at our convenience. Sometimes it happens when the time is right, but almost never when it's most convenient.

Besides, I can assume that the young woman who chatted me up while waiting for the bus was just being friendly. I think she's new to town, and was trying to find her way around. And I'll assume that those guys who were looking at my legs weren't wondering which set of apparatus was underneath my skirt. I thought I was Madame Michelin Tire (Is that what the Michelin Tire Man's wife would be called?), the way I was bundled from my waist up. Hmm...Maybe some guys are fantasizing about seeing Madame Michelin Tire with nice legs, or at least in a sexy pair of black leather boots.

These boots were made for walkin'...not for running away.

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