Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Archive for November 14, 2007

Honesty, Perceptions, Safety, Life

I’m not sure how to cram everything I’m thinking into a blog post today, but I do want to try. Sorry, this a wicked “I think too much” post, but I really need one right now.

Let’s start with the fact that I desire a life partner. I want someone that wants to see my face first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I want someone that I can call after a gig at 2:30 AM just to say hi. I want to be someone’s one and only. I want someone to be my one and only.

I’ve always wanted this. I remember when I was little and dreaming about going to prom and getting married. It has always been my first wish I would ask of the genie from the lamp. People say things like “you’ll only find it when you’re not looking for it.” This can’t be true, because I’ve never not been looking for it, and I have found it several times.

Anyway, I’m at a place that’s new in many ways. I’m divorced (final next Monday – finally). I’m a single girl. I have some vague idea of what I need in a relationship (it used to be enough for the other person to love me, whether or not I truly understood whether or not I loved them). I’m a live-in caretaker. I have a cat. I go to church (sort of).

Life is a little different than it used to be. There are many lessons I still have yet to learn as a woman, and many that I never learned at all.

This life is a complicated one.

I never imagined my genitals would become such a topic of discussion. I’m a pretty open person (duh), but having people interested in, and asking about, and knowing whether I have an innie or an outie remains kind of weird and unsettling. I’m a lot more than the contents of my panties, but so often it seems like that’s what matters most.

It gets very tiring sometimes.

Of course there’s baggage I bring to it as well. The fact that I get it now doesn’t mean that I get to just magically wash away thiry-five years of confusion, doubt and self-loathing. One of those lessons I was talking about was that it might just be possible that I am worthy of existence. (I think I still have work to do on the “worthy of love” thing.)

So, that brings us to a few points. I’m a woman. My genitals are ~very~ interesting to people. I bring baggage to my interactions with people, and that baggage is different for people who knew me in the “before time,” and for people who met me more recently but are aware of my non-standard genitals, and for people who only know me and assume that they’re aware of my genitals (whether they are, in fact, right or wrong). And then, of course, are all the variations of people that think they know one thing and whom I think know something else.


I don’t like having skeletons in my closet. I don’t really think of them as skeletons, actually. I guess what I dream for is a way for people to know that I’m a trans woman without that immediately leading to thoughts about my genitals (though, I suppose, what makes me a trans woman besides having been a woman born with the wrong genitals?).


When to disclose. What to disclose. To whom. Why?


And it gets even more interesting. A friend of mine has rightly pointed out that people in relationships can have wildly different perceptions of the relationship at hand. If I’m in a relationship with a woman is it a lesbian relationship? What if I were to use my outie to penetrate her (not that this would likely ~ever~ be an issue, just hypothetically)? Still lesbian (if it ever was)? How about if I’m with a man – is he straight? What if he likes my outie just like it is? Is he gay? Am I? My ex-wife thought she was part of a heterosexual marriage. Was she? Was I?


Labels suck, of course, and are very limited in trying to truly represent any of us as we really are. But most of us use them, at least for the first or second-level sorting of people that we do.

Which brings up the whole issue of safety. Some people hate me just because of how I was born (or maybe even ~because~ I was born). It makes sense to be discreet with those people. Unfortunately, they don’t wear “Bigoted Shithead” on their forehead any more than I wear “Tranny” on mine. Trust is always a judgement call, but when there is something about me that is hidden that will make some people react with extreme violence, the judgement becomes more imperative.

Which brings everything full-circle back to dating and finding people that are potential life-partners. Most people, when polled, say that they would like to know that a potential mate has “unexpected” genitals “up-front.” That’s fine, but there are so many preconceptions that people make based simply on genitals. For instance, men pretty much universally seem to think penis=man (how anyone can think I’m a man with a straight-face is beyond me, but, whatever). So, if they truly were to know “up-front,” most straight men would rule me out because I’m “really a man” (yeah, right!). So when to tell becomes exceedingly important, and confusing as all hell.

All I want is someone to call my own, who calls me their own.

A sort of bitter-sweet reality that is almost convenient is that I don’t know anyone that I’m attracted to at the moment anyway. I’ve certainly gotten much more picky in my old age.

And after all of this, I wonder if stealth might, after all, be the right way for me to go. All the questions, all the assumptions, all the confusion – is that really better than just hiding but living the life I was supposed to live?

[and stealth is ~always~ an option, it just takes effort]


More questions.

No answers.


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