I'M GETTING USED TO THE NEW WATER

I realized something when a pal slid into my DM’s this afternoon.

(Yes, I know all the cool kids like @Lizzobeeating use “slid into my DM’s” to talk about sexy times, flirty talk, but I’m a 34 year old Dad of 5, I use it when talking about my pal Charlie. Deal with It!)

Anyway Charlie and I were talking about Cis White Dudes being all CIS White Dudey, and Charlie knows ‘cause he is one. A really nice, funny one with good hair and a very fetching beard by the way.

I digress, the important part is when Charlie said:

“There’s an addiction to being right when you’re instantly afforded and feeling entitled to power”

And just like that I realized that I don’t notice it anymore.

Not like I used too.

I DON’T NOTICE

  • The thrill of saying something, and not being asked to back it up with numbers, facts, or any sort of proof.

  • The power of speaking, and people automatically just listening.

  • Everyone assuming I’m paying for and make more money than my boss of a wife.

  • Given more space, larger servings, or just the better of something because I’m a man.

  • Getting over-the-top praise for doing the same shit moms do day in, and day out.

All of these things blew my mind when I first started consistently “passing” about 6 months after starting testosterone.

How could the whole world treat me, the exact same person, entirely differently?

How could I be fundamentally better by being read as male?

For Katherine the realization of this fact was thrilling.

“See!! I fucking knew it!” she would say. “I knew I wasn’t crazy! Finally someone is confirming what the rest of us have been feeling for centuries!”

And so: women out there, let me be perfectly clear.

IMAGE BY LAUREN GUILFORD

IMAGE BY LAUREN GUILFORD

As someone who spent the first 31 years of my life being read, gendered and raised in girl mode,

THE RULES ARE DIFFERENT.
YOU AREN’T CRAZY

It’s not your imagination. It really is as shitty as you secretly suspect it is.

it should be impossible to forget.

And yet sometimes, now that I live in this new world. (The one where I don’t talk to little kids too long for fear of looking like a creeper. The one where I stand next to other men looking out at something, talking about the specifics of that thing, rather than feelings and making eye contact and such because men it seems don’t do that. We observe things together and make observations. The one where I spend so much energy trying to be enough.)

Sometimes in this new world I’m so steeped in this water that I forget what it was like to be seen and not heard, to “smile darling”, or to just let “boys be boys.”

And then I remember.

I promise to keep remembering.

For all of us.