1996, by Chris Wayan
It's hard to live in a boy body, if you've been a girl too many lifetimes.
I constantly dream I'm in various times and places -- and bodies. Did my weak tenancy in this body free my spirit to wander? Or did my shapeshifting sharpen my discontent with my particular skin? Whichever came first, I feel... confined. Often, in dreams, I'm female again. Happier. I draw more of the dream journeys I make as a woman, especially ones where I felt sexy. Not because sex sells--quite the opposite! Sex limits who' ll market my work. But I'm trying to anchor myself in life, not return to the spirit world, and tempting me with sweets like sex and beauty helps (I woo myself with chocolate, too.) I'm not a total trannie candidate--I dream I'm male just as often. But I'm uneasy drawing myself as male... ASHAMED of my boy body!
It pisses me off that I see only women as sexy. Or likable. Or sane! But my mom was an early feminist, and I grew up surrounded by beautiful, Mensa-bright sisters, so for me, girls were the norm, boys were... suspect. My dad was bright, but he seemed an exception--the boys in school seemed subhuman. Understandable, as they averaged 30-40 IQ points behind my sisters, and it showed in every word and deed. Plus they were mean, just as my mom warned.
So I felt wary of my own boy body... ironic, since it's slender, delicate-boned... without dressing in drag, I'm still sometimes mistaken for female!
Feels like passing for white.
When I'm female in dreams, my guilt is gone. I know what I like, I don't take crap, and I'm free to love other delicate unworldly shaman-girls like me. As a male, I'm usually too shy.
When I was six or seven, I had this recurring dream. A mysterious transmogrifier appeared in our schoolyard. If you crawled into the box, you came out a geek, bulbous and fat. No clothes could fit a geek, of course. So, we had to attend school naked. I've never been clear -- was I forced, or did I crawl into geekdom... by choice?
One root is my mom's proto-feminist view of men -- shall I count the ways? Penis geeks are: violent, stupid, dishonest, hairy, insensitive, greedy, oppressive, horny, competitive, complacent slobs. Oh, I still buy it! Infuriating.
But also, I'd heard Bill Cosby's standup bit about how cows walk funny "cuz they got the thing in the middle." So, my "thing" is as funny as a cow udder! And when I was five or so, I'd read that one man with elephantiasis grew a sixty-pound penis he had to carry round in a wheelbarrow. That image haunted me, merged with Cosby's funny udder...
The final root: the IQ testing craze had just begun. I scored 187, and was (1) labeled a prodigy, (2) skipped up a grade or two, (3) resented, laughed at, lied about, spat on, hit, and called a BRAIN. Even my teachers called me a... body part. How did I feel, as a soft naked organ, waddling around school? One guess, you pricks, you cunts, you assholes. Reducing YOU to body parts was a fighting insult. You did it to me routinely, endlesssly, treating it as a simple fact. I wasn't a boy, I wasn't a prick; I wasn't a girl, I wasn't a cunt. I was a brain--a third gender. Gray, convoluted.. neuter.
You cut off my body.
You took my me.
OVER THE YEARS
Over the years, mostly through dreamwork, I reclaimed my penis, regained my sex. But... it's a girl!
Thus men are made.
We've come a long hard way together, from... udder loathing.
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