Aidan Nuccitelli
9/27/99
Adv. Cr. Wri. of Fic.
Dictionary Exploration Thingie

Transvestite — one who dresses in garments which (in their society & time) are generally assigned to those of another gender than their own.

I was at this murder-mystery party when I first flashed on any difference in my gender. Kerry and some other girls were painting on goatees, binding their breasts flat, putting on wife-beaters and button-down shirts. I was looking for my slinky leopard print dress and heels, but I really wished I could be one of the boys. I thought I was a crossdresser at first, a drag king, but after sampling a lot of different identities and going through a lot of turmoil, I came to the conclusion that my gender identity changed frequently, like living with a kaleidoscope inside me. This is my own personal origin myth.

Turmoil — A crashing state of confusion; a mind-gnashing state of events in which identity is spun topsy-turvy.

Gender is the core of our identities, supposed to be the center of identity. If your identity isn’t built on what gender you are, you can’t see who you are, and when you work out who you are, nobody else can understand it. It’s like gender's a balloon filled with confetti, and I just burst it, sending sharp-edged colors flying out, blinding everyone in a flurrious storm.

Topsy-turvy — A child’s nonsense word. Higgledy-piggledy. To be upside down or head over heels such that everything familiar has suddenly changed.

Topsy-turviness is a state of joy. I visualize bright orange and purple bubbles painted on a green wall, contrasting and clashing in a new cheerful way like something out of Wonderland. Aidan in Wonderland? Everyone else is mad here, and I just can’t wait for the T party.

T — The nickname for testosterone, which functions in therapeutic doses to change female bodies lowering the voice to a tenor or a baritone, growing more hair, lengthening the clitoris.

I think of testosterone as some kind of fertilizer. And when I’m afraid of what I’m doing with my life, I fear being stuck in some place that I don’t really want to be, frozen into the ground and trapped in one solid form. But then I realize that trees don’t limit themselves by being rooted in the earth: they become part of something bigger and more whole. And I realize that the way to look at it is that I’m like an acorn, and what I’m doing with transitioning and "T" is rooting myself in myself (like the acorns and the earth) to grow into myself, into who I really am. It makes a good mantra. And testosterone is just the fertilizer that helps me do it, but I could do it without the fertilizer — just more slowly and on perhaps a smaller scale.

Tenor — A tone of voice, often described as"light" and/or "pleasant;" covers the higher end of the male vocal range and the lower end of the female vocal range, providing a "pleasant" space for androgynes whose ambiguity may bring them "light" queer-bashings.

We saw Leslie Feinberg speak this weekend. Sie was doing a signing at a bar, and a rally for Mumia, and it was so cool. Apparently my tranny-brother and his frosh friend went to see zir sign, and they couldn't get in cause they're only like 19 years old, and my bro's girlfriend went in and told zir. And sie was all "What? I didn't know they weren't letting underage folks in!" and went out to see them zirself!!
(swoon)
I only talked to zir for a sec cause I'm too shy… just "will you join my book" and "you should see my listserv" and stuff... but it was really inspiring just seeing zir there. It was like sometimes I see "bio-boyz" and I go "oo, I wanna look like him." And sometimes I see trannyboyz and go "ooh, I wanna look and sound like him." Well, when I heard zir speak, I was all "THAT! THAT'S what I want! yay!! I wanna be just like Leslie Feinberg!" Zir voice sounded in-between, more male than female but more "other" than both. It had overtones that seemed to blur my expectations of what one person’s voice could sound like. It reminded me of prairies for some reason. Wide, dry, with waves of amber grain and the whole bit.

Transition — the act of changing from one gender to another. Some people transition from male to female and go on mid-day talk shows to be harassed and jeered at in public. Some people stay in transition forever, exploring gender from the inside out.

It’s a big question, whether to transition, especially if you don’t feel like one gender or the other. Especially if, once you make a decision, doctors tell you that they only help "real transsexuals" and that you’re just confused. It tok me years to figure out what I wanted to do to my body, if anything, because I had so few non-FTM role models. For a long time, I was thinking about how neat it would be to take anti-estrogens and a little testosterone to lower my voice and get more of a goatee. And how I dream about getting to just go somewhere by myself for a while and transition alone, or with other trannies or people who understand, because of the awkwardness of transitioning, and the scariness of shifting around in gender until I find where I want to stand again. And I was thinking how there'd still be days when I identified as female, and I wouldn't want to make any effort to change myself and jam myself into the boy stereotypes that don't fit me just so that I can pass (cause I tend to do that now). I'd want transitioning to *free* me from all that, or else it's really not worth doing - I'd just be trading one cage for another.
And I had this image of myself just flaming away, saying girl things and bi-chick things and feminist things and femme things, and I realized what I'd be doing. I know a lot of transgendered butch women who talk about wanting to redefine and expand the meaning of female to include them and be safe for them - and I want to expand the definition of BOY till it includes me and is safe for me.

want to see the comment my creative writing teacher put at the bottom of my page?

Aidan - I admit the only transexual writing i've read is Kate Bornstein and Sandy Stone - both of whome I found not very stimulating - I'm finding the complexity of what you're doing here much more interesting.
- Dodie
isn't that RAD?!