Sooo...am I trans any more? I've been wondering, because I haven't been thinking about it nearly as much as I did before the surgery. My brain is full of work and parenting and the puzzle and gift of the future. My heart has been processing "Goodbye soon, youngest offspring," and "Hey I'm getting older what the fuck?" Meanwhile, I'm a middle-aged woman who helps run a community radio station. I have begun to feel unremarkable in a way I have never felt before, or at least no more remarkable than anyone else. By this age we've all been through some strange trials, and being trans has been one of mine. Has been? Is? Which tense should I use?
The big difference since the surgery is that the dysphoria's gone. The surgery worked. Yes, including in the sense of, now I have workable female genitalia, but that's not the main point. The main point was to get rid of the squirmy outrage every time I stood naked in front of the mirror. Now when I stand naked in front of the mirror I see a body I can work with, a body that fits. Yes. Good. Thank you. At last. And, hey, was that mole there before? I better watch that.
This mirror-relief feels most solid from the neck down. From the neck up is still more complicated. Sometimes I see a face I can work with, and sometimes old man-face pops back in, and I get a jolt of the old squirmy outrage. Only a jolt, though, and it's going to take sustained and violent squirminess to get me under the knife again. We'll see.
The other day at work I was updating my planner and suddenly burst into a laugh. "What?", asked a couple of pledge drive volunteers who happened to be there. "Um, it's private," I said. "But now we'll be wondering," they said, so I read aloud the notation I had forgotten I had made back when I was mapping out the stages of recovery from surgery: "Sex if I want." Yep, I'm cleared for active duty.
So, do I want?
Well, not with any of these guys who send me one-sentence e-mails on OKCupid. The most eye-roll inducing line: "I've never had sex with a tran before." But, sure, I would like to start keeping company with a nice masculine person, if I can find one who would enjoy that too, and fucking could certainly be part of that, even though I'm still not orgasmic post-surgery. I long to be skin-to-skin with someone again. It has been too long, and too seldom all my life long, and never when I was at home in my own body. I badly need some skin time.
"If I can find one." There's the rub. I have joined the great eternal chorus of lonely middle-aged women looking for love, which is tough even when you didn't used to have a penis. So, it could be a long wait.
Perhaps over the years my transness will slowly fade into deep background, become a thing to have slip out accidentally and without import several months into new friendships...oh, yeah, didn't you know? I used to have a male body. Really? Huh. Anyway, as I was saying... I hope so. In the meantime, when I turn out toward the world my transness is still in my mind, and still evidently in the minds of people I interact with. So, yeah, I might be close to done transitioning, but I am still trans.