8-17-99
At Osento: a self-portrait

Meditating on my reflection in the mirror in the dimmed Quiet Room. I never look at myself for very long; never have. It was a political thing, why should I care if I look smooth and perfect for everyone? As long as there's nothing smudged or crusty, I'm happy. It's just a waste of time.

I think it was also a way to avoid dealing with or incurring low self-esteem. When I was even younger, I can remember staring at myself for hours, deconstructing my whole face and determinedly finding things I loved about it. I was a strangely aware, strangely feminist kid. I knew about girls and society and low self-image and i was combatting that. Maybe that stopped when I began to be harassed at school in fifth grade, or maybe that's when it started.

So now, I'm looking into the mirror.

Good eyes. My favorite feature, cause they're long-lashed and nifty changing hazel colors. Good broad dark eyebrows. Expressive and powerful, which is what I've said forever to consciously defend them from not being feminine or restrained enough. It's a nice face, cool angles and planes and expressions, easily male or female. Maybe, I realize, it's my face that's let me pass as male and my body below it which has betrayed me, and not the other way around. Certainly it took me long enough to realize that people look at the face first, not the breasts or dick.

I usually like my neck next-best but now I wonder if it's not shrinking somehow, because my lats or deltoids or whatever are so big. All that backpack-lugging. I imagine myself as a small sculpted trannyboy, with ripped muscles all down my arms. It kinds scares me to look at that, add a goatee, think of being boi all the time. I wonder, what would I do on days like now when I feel female, when I feel like the male's not right for me? Would I shave all down and slap on some lipstick and a dress? Would I pass? I think of all that with a lowered voice and think that I am afraid of losing my self, because I have made being fiercely female so much a part of my identity.

I remember having the same issue come up when I changed names. If it's still out there, (damn fastfreewebs!), it even says so on my naming page. I threw that aside because I knew that not being called "danica" did not mean I would not be who "danica" was.

Maybe it's partly a result of having read a whole FTM diary page today; there's so much out there from boys who LOVE the changes T wreaks and this one in particular wasn't even happy with a new body, passing, accpeted at work and with his lover - he still had issues about packing. I don't want that or feel like that, and it scared me to get into the head of someone who could not stop and could not accept himself. Maybe it's a bit of the old "allergic to gender" issue too. Too much of any extreme (in myself) sends me screaming. I want to *play,* i want to change *frequently* and *under my own steam*, with my own hands. Deconstruct myself with my fingers.

When I look inside, I see a calmly spaceful person, sort of like a silky grey wall with a flame somewhere unseen lighting me. Then I see a worried, stressing person over that, and then a want to be perceived as a boy, and then a current identity of girl. All this at once. *I think* that what I need most of all is to remember, as a perspective point, that I am all this and it is all I want to be; but also I wonder what I will find when I let go of perspective and see what else is in me that I might now fear to explore. That must be the next step.

I think I've been thinking about that without really realizing I was thinking about it. Thinking that maybe the only way to explore all of this is through *doing* it, taking T and plunging into whatever happens. And then thinking - running into the old place of wanting to transition alone with myself, on some farm, womyn's land type of place except trannyful, perhaps a radical faerie place, etc. And thinking how if I transition now I won't be able to fully live it out while I'm at Mills, or ouwld I? And would I even afterwards, could I transition better or worse afterwards?

What I really want is to take somet ime, like a week, to go out "en homme" every day and see how it feels, see what I experience when I "transition." But would it even feel like that, or would it be more like I am now, genderfluzing wildly and griding against the tug of T like a body-surfer? Oh, gosh. Oh, gosh. And I won't even know until I do it. And there are little things, like wanting to pass well enough to do a play at Mills as a boy without being clocked, or wanting to be able to present as male when I find a job after graduation. But I could probably do some of that without T. Aie. And also thinking that it'd be ultimately fine to transition while in school and that I could pay attention to the journey as I went if I were careful - but also that it'd be a huge deal to add to work and a final semester, and that it would take a while to really show on the other hand. And on the first hand, that I *still need preparation time.*