I have the excellent good fortune to be friends with a really diverse group of people. I was discussing the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge with my friend CM and came up with the idea for my “G” post to be entitled “Girl-Reimagined”. CM kindly consented to help me with this post.
When you think of “Girl” and “Woman” any number of things come to mind. After years of contemplation, wondering, exploring and self-reflection, CM came to a conclusion – to be true to her authentic self, she would need to Transition. (CM is a MTF Trans Girl)
MsDarkstar: When you think of the word “Girl” what comes to mind?
CM: Many things. Sometimes it’s people I know who are girls, sometimes it’s me, sometimes it’s just a faceless figurine of a person who just happens to be female.
MsDarkstar: What do you think will be the easiest part of the transition?
CM: The physical aspects, I think. Softening of the skin, development of breast tissue, all those things. I look forward to seeing how estrogen changes me. I want to look like… well, like a girl. Like the drawing I put up on Tumblr recently. Not just a boy with breasts, but an actual girl. I want to be recognized as such, and the physical changes are the most obvious way of getting there.
MsDarkstar: What do you think will be the most difficult part of the transition?
CM: The societal aspects. Dealing with family first of all, and then society at large. I am lucky enough to go to a school where a person can be trans and for the most part be okay, but I know that when I step out into the wider world, people will judge me because I happen to be a woman with larger hands and an Adam’s apple. My family, immediate and extended, have known me as a boy my whole life, and some people in that group will be more receptive than others. I am scared of what might happen if they don’t accept me, and what I might have to do to lead a happier life.
MsDarkstar: Are there experiences you feel you will miss not having grown up as a girl? Positive or Negative?
CM: It’s hard to say, since you can’t miss what you never had. Menstruation comes to mind, and pregnancy, because being born male means those particular aspects of girl life will never be a part of mine. Bra shopping is another experience I missed out on. And wearing makeup.
MsDarkstar: What does being a girl mean to you?
CM: It means a lot of things. It means I get to glimpse and live in a part of society that most males tend to take advantage of for their own gain, and become part of a group that has been marginalized in society for centuries. In doing so I will do my part to help my fellow women, both cis and trans, live happier lives.
Furthermore, I feel that males are restricted in what emotions they are allowed to show, or what activities they are allowed to enjoy for fear of seeming weak. Becoming female and occupying a different role in society will allow me to escape those restrictions, and embrace my own femininity without fear. But most of all? It means I get to live as the person I’ve come to identify as. I am a girl. I was not born that way, but I am one now.
MsDarkstar: How do you imagine you will embrace (or not embrace) some of the roles that are stereotypically female?
CM: I do not think I am stereotypically feminine. I am a bit messy, I can barely cook, I don’t plan things ahead well, and I’m prone to doing really stupid things without considering the consequences. All those things have to be taught, they are not instinctual.
I am not sure if I would want to be a housewife or not, because I am also not sure if I would want to have a family. If I were to get married, it would be to another girl, preferably another trans girl, but I would date cis girls too, if they were accepting.
MsDarkstar: What do you feel are the biggest societal misconceptions about girls (you should be thin, you should be pretty, you should be in the kitchen and not the boardroom)?
CM: I have never understood why people think women belong in the kitchen and not in the office, or why they think men are somehow better suited for office tasks than women are. Furthermore, Western society these days places too much emphasis on the “importance” of being thin. Granted, I am a naturally slender girl, but I still wish society was not prone to body-shaming larger people. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would also like to say that it’s time the stereotype of women being weak be put to rest once and for all.
MsDarkstar: Who are your role models when you envision the sort of girl/woman you want to become?
CM: Verity Lambert springs immediately to mind, she entered a male-dominated field (Sixties British television) and broke the glass ceiling with a police call box. That’s pretty badass! I would like to do much the same with the male-dominated realm of audio engineering. Because who says a girl can’t mix as well as a boy?
Socially, I can’t help but admire Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, Laura Jane Grace… They’ve all done a lot to show that transgender women can function in normal society, and I want to do that too. Just the other day I imagined myself on the cover of Rolling Stone as the first trans audio engineer to win a Grammy!
(Much thanks to CM for her willingness to answer my questions and for being an awesome friend!)