Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Archive for October, 2007

Living the Deceptive Life

“She deceived him.”

So was the reaction of one of my friends to the story from Fark that I blogged about the other day. And I kind of freaked when she said that. It is very unusual for me to stop a conversation in the middle and say, “We shouldn’t talk about this.” That’s just what I did, though. I could not continue with that line of conversation without becoming completely irrational.

I guess my problem could be as much with the specific word as it is with the concept that this person was trying to communicate; that a tranny that doesn’t identify her genital status verbally before any one gets to see said genitals is not being completely forthcoming.

I worry that it is the prevailing wisdom. Worse, I worry that the reason it is seen as deceptive is because, as much as people “get it,” on some fundamental level there is the sneaking suspicion that I’m just a man that decided to be a woman and no amount of living as a woman, or hormones, or surgery will ever make me anything but a deluded man.


I am becoming the humorless tranny. I get offended and hurt and pissed and wounded and grumpy far too easily. Another friend yesterday asked me if something had offended me in such a way that I inferred that she was suggesting that I become offended with great regularity. I’ve been accused of making people walk on eggshells more than once.

I don’t try to be so high-maintenance, I just get frustarted that so often I feel like I have to defend my identity even to people that I feel should be safer than they turn out to be.

Maybe I am just hyper-sensitive. Maybe everyone does get it. Maybe I should just chill.

But then, right when I’m feeling especially vulnerable, a friend says that the trans woman that got stabbed had deceived her attacker. I guess the word “deceived” really pushes a hot-button for me. It pushes me right back into the dilemma that I love so much: either brand a scarlett T on my forehead or I will be accused of deceiving people. Am I deceiving people when I use the ladies room? Am I deceiving people when they address me with female pronouns? Am I deceiving a suitor that takes me out to dinner? Am I deceiving someone if I make-out with them without disclosing the particulars of my panties? Am I deceiving someone if we engage in heavy-petting without first having a heart-to-heart about what my genitals look like? (and I guess the [to me implied] question: Am I deceiving myself by thinking I’m a woman). [my answer, btw, is an emphatic “no”]

I suppose I can only see the word “deception” being appropriate is if the person in question isn’t really a woman; she’s deceiving someone into thinking she’s a woman, but she isn’t really.

People get involved with other people all the time and don’t disclose important details (marital status; STD status; having kids; what religion they are; medical history; etc…). Those people are rarely stabbed for their lack of disclosure. Being transgendered seems to be a special case. I love being special.


I’m sure the stuff that’s gone down with my ex lately hasn’t helped. Being over my “practice-crush” phase isn’t helping. The article on Fark really didn’t help.

Feeling like I’ll always have to carry a bull-horn announcing the fact that I’m a tranny (even post-surgery) to ward-off claims of “deception” just makes me feel so tired.

Having a discussion with a close male friend who I feel would have had a similar reaction as the stabber in the Fark article (I don’t think he would have stabbed her, but he may have become violent {you know, like a slap or something – no big deal, right?}, and I totally believe would have felt deceived and embarressed) makes me feel hopeless.

Not having had a single date since my ex left makes me feel completely undesirable. And I’m completely undesirable equally with people who know and people who don’t know. I’m equal-opportunity hideous.

It’s funny, because a lot of the time I feel generally “happy,” but I’m also so damn tired and worn-out by life.

I’m just lonely.

I’m so famous

So, googling myself, as we should all do from time to time, I was surprised to find a link to the blog entry I wrote after seeing Titus Andronicus. I’m in the “extra reading” section of a podcast called “Entertaining Violence,” which is also linked here.

It’s interesting what a small world the internet is.

More girl stuff

Just a couple stories of more things that I’m getting used to, and that made me smile, and even think about stuff (I’m shocked!  ).

First, yet another “students make me giddy” story. One of my younger students (I think he’s ten) was asking about how people play bigger drum sets (you know, like double bass drum sets and such). I decided to show him a picture from my website to give him an example of a big drum set. The picture I showed him was a pre-gig picture from 2002. I am sitting behind the drum set. As soon as I brought the picture up, I thought “oh crap, he’s going to ask about why I look so different.”

He did ask me a question, but not the one I expected.

He asked, “Is that your boyfriend?”

{uh-oh, think fast rabbit}

So I answered him with the only thing that came to my mind: “Yes. A long time ago.”

Ah, the balancing act that is selective disclosure. It’s a lie, but it’s not a malicious lie. It’s a lie to minimize my own complications in living my life (and, really minimize his complications as well – he sees me for drum lessons, not lessons in gender identity). I don’t know if that makes me not a good tranny activist soldier, but I never wanted to be one of those. I just want to live a happy life, so if my past gets a little blurry in situations where it doesn’t matter, so be it.

The other amazing thing, of course, is that I look different enough that I can’t even be recognized as my former self. That is just wild.

The other story is just from the animal shelter yesterday. I was sitting in the enclosure where Lisette was, playing with her. There were some kids out in the walkway. The man that had let me into the enclosure I was in was talking to the girls, and he said, “…for example, that lady is going to take that pretty cat home…” I didn’t really hear anything else, but my ears perked up at that exact moment.

Obviously, this isn’t a non-event yet, because I still do feel both joy and relief when I am seen as I am. It is getting pretty darn routine, though.

One last thing about the animal shelter. On the application, they asked for info about past pets. I listed Mitzy, who was the American Eskimo Dog that Jayme got for Christmas 2005. One of the questions asked is when and why you got rid of the pet. I put “divorce (spouse kept)” as the reason. And I realized that if it comes down to it I will say that my “ex-husband” kept the dog (I try to stay with “ex,” but sometimes that just sounds too awkward). It’s again about making my life easier. I don’t owe people a whole outing of myself as a bisexual transsexual just to adopt a cat.

It is interesting to find a level of disclosure & honesty that I feel comfortable with in casual intereactions with people. I’m finding that I’m less aggressively honest than I thought I would be. {Obviously, as reading my blog will attest to, I’m not hiding, I’m just trying float through the world without complications when they’re not necessary.}

More over-thinking.

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