at ADeeperCountry has me thinking a lot right now. I already wrote a comment here
, but it is starting to gel for me a little what those sites are in my life.
Namely, I don't know what my place in activist spaces (which for me are usually shaped by women, feminist in background, and often feminist-/queer-/disability-/race- focused is as a person who is white, who presents as masculine and doesn't call himself a woman but feels very closely linked to all things woman, is trans, is queer, is mentally ill, believes himself to be non-neurotypical, but NOS, able-bodied but whose body acts up a lot). The contridictions are all up in there, but one I have been thinking about a lot lately is the gender stuff. I haven't taken testosterone since September, which a) probably has a lot to do with why I've been so depressed, b) has feminized my face a lot and firmed-up my chest, c) has made me spot once, possibly twice, d) made me feel very confused about a lot of things (for example, how can I not know if I am spotting? The injustice and pain of this is so incredible I don't know what to do or where to go with it How can I know all these things about other people's bodies and not my own? Is it because it never feels like my own?).
I guess b is the easiest to talk about, because in a way, it has the least to do with me. My voice has cracked several times. I've gotten she'd many times, and purposely not-gendered many more. Part of me feels like I need to stick out in order to have any credience in queer and trans places. Part of me feels like I want people to see mememe and that means knowing how I was raised. A lot of me feels like I want people to stop acting so smug when the clock me. Because they aren't clocking me, they are picking up the signals I am sending out, and also, stop being a dick. I sort of don't give a shit right now about how people are gendering me. "He" is easiest because it's most consistent, but also a sort of amusing surprise some times.
These thoughts all seem barely connected, but I promise, they all are so intertwined.
I think what I really want to express is my desire for new words, new vocabularies, new categories that speak to MY experiences.
So that brings me back to the post that started this train of thought. I wish it were more normal to tell people exactly where you are. I wish it were okay to talk about the places where you had to cover, the times you could not, where you are right now, what it feels like to be there, and what it feels like to be where you are from. I carry around so much trauma simply from all the depression and all the harm I have done to myself, from living such a complicated life in such silence. I think it is that way for most people. It starts to feel like the only way to live honestly is to live with painful visibility (see: this journal) but we cannot be the only ones. The system hurts us all. The colonized cannot undo the work of the colonizer while so many of us continue to replicate these systems not even knowing.
I wish it were okay to tell people what you need. Because maybe then some day you might get to stop looking for it alone.