I grew up in the 1970s with the understanding that every girl wanted to be a boy. It was just a given. We all wanted to be, because we knew men ran the world. A number emulated boys, until puberty hit. Some of us even considered Making the Change as early as 13-14. And then our mothers sat us down for the talk. You're becoming a woman. It's time to grow up, get the hell over your illusions and settle. Only perverts get sex changes, and it doesn't make you a real man, any more than it makes them real women.
So we did, mostly. Some continued acting overtly mannish, to the point that everyone assumed they were lesbians. Some of us continued more subtly, performing femininity when we had to, and never doing it well. Some starved themselves into anorexia to make the periods and secondary changes stop. Some prayed every night to be made boys and wept every morning that they were still girls.
But we grew up, got the hell over ourselves, married men and had children, for the most part. And if we never performed femininity with any degree of grace or style, we found people who didn't hold that against us. Some of us came out bisexual but stayed mostly closeted behind the opposite sex spouse, kids and middle class respectability. But some of us still read and studied and followed the developments, wincing during documentaries as folks took their daily hormone shots.
I fought every thing about my identity. I knew who I was. But the whole world and my own body said I wasn't. I buried myself in the strictest, most sex-stratified, gender-roled religion I could find to force myself to conform. I denied every part of myself that made me unique. I got married. I had more babies than were really healthy, physically or economically. And I tried.
I was miserable and left the faith around 1998. I drifted into paganism in the early 2000s, where the gods didn't hate everything about me. That helped. I experimented with radical feminism online. That helped too.
But there comes a point when you have to admit who and what you really are. Some never do. Some live their lives miserably, hiding their selves for the comfort of others. That's what I was raised to do. I always knew that my wants, my ambitions, my goals were secondary to those of the family I had created.
I was looking at photos last night, pictures of me. And I figured out why, even in pics where I'm all dolled up, I'm unhappy with the pictures. I don't look like a woman. I look like a drag queen. Part of it is my size. I've always been too tall. And adding fat to the mix, that just leaves me looking like a linebacker. (I have an essay on this called "I was never the princess.")
The only pictures where I look at all feminine or comfortable being a woman are when I'm collared and in sub space.
I was a good looking young man.
Not a bad looking middle aged one either
The Drag Queen era
Note the posture: shoulder emphasized instead of boobs and too much glitter.
Again, look at the face. Even with well-applied makeup, the fringe of long hair looks like a weave, the chest is de-emphasized. And I look uncomfortable.
There comes a time to say you're done with drag. And I think it's moving into that time.
I'm giving this a try. Nicholas Rowan Sparrow won't be able to be out in full for a while. My father will not handle this. Oddly, Mudd isn't handling the idea. President of PFLAG and he's uneasy with the idea of being married to a man.
I have to decide how far I want to change. Hormones appeal. I think I could rock a beard. I've wanted a hysterectomy since I was 13, but phalloplasty still doesn't work. Top surgery makes me very hesitant. I like my boobs. But I can live quietly as Nicholas, dressing asexually, and having the mindset.
For years, when asked "who are you," I would toss off the flip response "I'm Han Solo." Maybe it's time to live that truth.