22 April 2009

Fatigue and Frustration

Today I felt tired and fat and old. Maybe it had something to do with the chill and rain that grayed the air. Or, perhaps, it has to do with the fact that I'm nearing the end of the school term and, almost concurrently, my current life. I feel that I've given all that I could: first, toward being a man, then toward my transition. The former is done, finished, or at least reached its ending a long time ago. The latter is almost at that point. Neither is retrievable now; I could not return to the former or or remain in the latter even if I'd wanted to.

I'd just like to feel young and lively and pretty-and skinny. At times like this, I really wish I'd undergone my transition earlier in my life. But then again, what would my life be like now? I could have lived all of those years as a woman. Or, given the way the world and I were, how many years would I have had?

Most of the people who knew me as Nick are not in my life now. Most people with whom I work and otherwise spend my days know that I lived that part of my life, but they never saw me that way, save in photos I've shown some of them.

I'd really like to go to some place where nobody knows me--or, at least, knows about my past. Yesterday I gave a talk to an honors seminar on the subject of transgender health care, and the ways it parallels the experiences of other women. I'd agreed to do it months ago, but once I got to the class, I wished I weren't doing it. I think the students sensed it; so did the two professors that teach that class.

Part of the reason why I wanted not to give that talk was that two students whom I hoped never to see again were in that class. Fortunately for me, they were never my students. But one of them is the editor of the student newspaper. Ever since she assumed that position, she's wanted to do a story about my gender identity. Not about my teaching, my poetry, my activism or even my cats. She just wanted to write about the fact that the college has a tranny prof. I never trusted her for a number of reasons, and I don't respect the newspaper for the same reason I don't respect the college's student government: They never take on the serious issues that affect students. But there I was, talking about my experiences and she smirked when she wasn't wearing a shit-eating grin.

The other student was a tutor when I was directing the tutoring center last year. She was one of a group of tutors and other student workers who hated me because I was trying to improve the standard of tutoring that was offered, and I refused to sign their time sheets for four-hour shifts when, in fact, they showed up for only one or two. Anyway, this student and the others made spurious, fictitious complaints about me. They claimed that I cursed and made sexual jokes.

I mean, if they had to run me out of there, at least they could have showed a little creativity and originality. Any fool can bring down a tranny or anyone else who experiences bigotry over his or her identity simply by imputing sex, or the threat thereof, to that person. And said fool can get a cowardly paranoid authoritarian to believe it and to rid the workplace of the clear and present danger.

Yes, that student told those lies to my supervisor and the provost (The tutoring center came under the auspices of the office of academic affairs.) and smiled to my face and pretended that she had nothing to do with the troubles I was experiencing.

If I could've had my way, I would have turned around and never gone back when I saw those students. But I promised that prof I would give the talk. And I didn't want to give ammunition to anyone who may still be trying to get me ousted from the college.

Maybe I still can't set foot in the college without thinking about last year. The job I had then was the worst I ever had, and early in that year, I was attacked as I was leaving the campus. My supervisor and the provost told me to keep quiet about it. And, when my attacker was apprehended, he couldn't be expelled from the campus--he was a student--and no one would tell me his name.

Well, at least I know how it feels to be in a place where victimizers have more rights and protections than the victimized. That knowledge will probably come in handy.

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