Friday, February 24, 2006

She Says / Memories

She says: "Up until two years ago, when your father died, you never had a female thought. You never wanted to be female, you never thought about it. Now, all you want is to live a different life, since you can't cope with this one. So you picked a life that is as different from this one as possible."

That is the bottom line of her POV, and she can't get past it. She believes that my mind has invented false memories just to support my current decision. I don't know how to react to this.

On the one hand, I have the natural desire to prove her wrong. On the other hand, I have to consider all possibilities, even if I think they're crazy. The memories aren't made up; I could probably even dig up witnesses. The real question (to me) is whether these memories are actually significant, or just the type of things that all little boys go through. And besides, you could pick and choose anyone's memories and use them to prove anything you want, maybe I'm only remembering what I want in order to prove my point.

Otoh, I don't know if my past is important at all, since the important part is how I feel now. To me the proof that I'm transgendered is the simple fact that, while I've spent a lifetime trying to find my identity, the thought of being a woman is the only fantasy that has ever given me real joy. I can think of nothing else I want more out of life. I simply can not imagine living the rest of my life as a male. Even if I'm wrong, I'm going to obsess about it until I know for sure.

But still, my past does help explain my present. So I'm going to sort through some of my memories, and organize them here. I'll probably going to keep adding to this list as I think of things. I dwell a lot on the fact that I played female characters during playtime. Personally I think that it fulfilled the same emotional needs that most transsexuals achieve through cross-dressing.

> I have several memories of my mother telling me not to hold my hands in certain ways, or sit certain ways, etc, because it made me look effeminate. Of course, lots of little boys act effeminate. But to me, the behaviours my mother tried to prevent seemed exceptionally natural.

> Video games. My favorite video games were the ones where you could select your character. I would always pick a female. Some examples include Gauntlet, Quartet, Street Fighter 2, Super Mario Bros 2. My all time favorite video game series is Metroid, which I probably never would have even played if I hadn't heard that the main character was a woman.

> I remember one time when I was a child - I don't remember how old, I was probably still in elementary school - my parents and I were eating dinner at the Golden Dragon. I don't remember what my parents were talking about, because I wasn't really listening, but I remember my dad saying, "I believe that above all else, homosexuality is a sin. If you can't accept who you are..." etc etc, that's all I remember. I didn't yet know the particulars of homosexuality, but I did know what I thought to be the definition: "A homosexual is a guy who wants to be a girl." My Dad's statement really made me angry, but I didn't say anything. At the time, I wasn't completely sure why I was mad. On some level I knew I wanted to be a girl, even though I also thought it was a silly idea. But I sure didn't want my dad insulting my personal feelings that way.

> In elementary school, when all the other boys were shunning the girls, I was their friend. I naturally made female friends more easily than male ones. Probably second grade or so, I remember the boys saying, "Hey, if you keep hanging around the girls, you're going to turn into one!" I replied, "I want to be a girl, because they mature faster."

> Barbie Dolls. Of course I never had them. I sometimes played with them at my cousins' house, and secretly wanted some dolls of my own, but I never did. I did have the Star Wars 12-inch Princess Leia doll, which I loved to dress in different outfits. Which is why all my other 12-inch Star Wars dolls spent all their time naked.

> The first time I specifically remember role-playing a girl (other than just playing around with balloons as breasts as a joke), was in probably third or fourth grade. I was playing GI Joe with a bunch of boys. I wasn't even into GI Joe yet, but the only other thing to do was play an actual sport, and I hated sports. These boys were acting out specific issues of the comic book. In this issue, a female character (the Baroness) is riding in a tank which gets blown up. For the part when they acted out that scene, they had me play her part. They weren't thinking about the gender, they just need a warm body for a couple of minutes. Part of me felt weird that they were asking me to play a girl, but just for a second. I remember trying to get "into character" by trying imagine a female's motivations (I was a bit more into RP than the other kids). After the scene, which was mostly me standing there for a second while my tank exploded, I felt different. For the first time I knew that it was _okay_ to pretend you're a female. It's like the first time you use a curse word, and realize that the ground didn't open up beneath you dropping you straight into Hell.

> I had a next door neighbor, "CB". He was a couple of years younger than me, but we still played together a lot. I remember I gradually started playing female characters more and more often. We played "Voltron" a lot, and sometimes played the princess character. At first I felt embarrassed about it, and would sometimes play the other characters just so he wouldn't think I was weird. But I don't think he had a problem with my playing female. We also sometimes invented our own characters to play, and I would make up females ones there, too. I specifically remember one called "Malta", based on a character from a bad animated movie. My version of Malta was a sci-fi fairy. She had wings and a laser gun, and blue hair. Anyway, Chad moved away shortly after that.

> Other friends & female characters... I couldn't get away with it with all my friends. Either I sensed it made them uncomfortable, or it made me uncomfortable acting that way around them. My friend "SO" didn't even want female action figures around him. He wondered why they even made female figures. After all, he said, GI Joe is for boys, right? Why would any boy play with a female figure? But "SO" was the worst of them. With most of my friends we would each play with three or four figures at a time, and I'd just have one of them be female. If any of them noticed I favored the female figures more, they never said anything. As far as live action playing went, I would force myself to play a male on those occasions.

> Playtime with "JS". My childhood friend "JS"and I often played female characters, both as action figures and as ourselves. Some of the standouts:

- Boushh (Star Wars). Our play was a lot deeper than that of most children. Instead of just running around shooting at each other, our stories would have complicated plots, romances, and so on. It was with "JS" that I started playing the character "Boushh", the bounty hunter Leia disguises herself as in Return of the Jedi. In our version of the Star Wars universe, Boushh was her own character, and Leia had just stolen her outfit when she went to Jabba's Palace. My Boushh was a female bounty hunter in a universe where male hunters were the norm. She wore the disguise to hide her gender, so that she wouldn't lose the respect of other bounty hunters. "JS" would play as Boba Fett, and over the course of play Boba would somehow find out she was really female, and eventually they would fall in love. We played that same scenario over and over, in many different ways.

- Lizard Woman. This was a "Flash Gordon" figure of a reptilian woman. I don't know how this started, but we would pretend she owned a gas station for spaceships, on a backwater planet somewhere (we used the Star Wars Dagobah playset for the station). I loved that action figure, and would often make clothes for her out of balloons.

- Cat Club. Something I made up. It was like GI Joe, except the good guys were cats, and the bad guys were dogs. All our characters were original creations. "JS" and I each had a male character based on ourselves, but we also each had a female character we would sometimes play.

- Diana (V). For a while, our favorite TV show was "V". We especially liked the two evil ladies, Diana and Lydia. I would play Diana, and Jason would play Lydia.

- GI Joe - Several good female characters to choose from here. I especially liked the Baroness, Jinx, and Scarlett. However, remember that these are selective memories. I also spent a lot of time playing Snake-Eyes, who was male. However, what drew me to Snake-Eyes was that he wore a mask and couldn't speak. There was a lot of mystery about his character. He could be anyone under that mask.

- Pathfinder (GoBots). I always loved Transformers and other robots, but it was hard to find a female role in the genre. The GoBots cartoon, despite its stupidity, still attracted me because some of the robots were female. My favorite was Pathfinder, who could change into a UFO. Generally we preferred Transformers to GoBots, but I would still use Pathfinder when we would play with Transformers.

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