In Life, Even the Little Things Are Complicated

Nope, no PTSD musings right now. It seems to have settled. Unfortunately all the tea today, apart from this morning’s sublime Lord Bergamot, have been unmemorable.

Nope, instead these are musings about the complicated mess that is gender identity.

For instance, I want to wear tuxes. I think I would cut a fine figure in one that I can afford with the money I have now—of course, all good tailors can make everyone cut a fine figure in a tux.

In my head, where everyone’s little picture of themselves is, I often think of myself as wearing 3-piece European suits, even though I’m currently of the opinion that trousers are dreadfully impractical. But there’s just something formal about legged wear…. Oh yes, and with a monocle, sometimes. Ridiculous; I think Psmith really went to my head.

Many people have an ideal “perfect mate” in terms of looks, rather than personality, and mine would definitely be another person who happened to cut a fine figure in a tux. Man, woman, doesn’t matter; although a woman in a tux will always have an edge, I think.

Note: no, I do not like what I think of as “femtuxes”, where the lady is wearing a tux jacket but hasn’t got a proper vest or cummerbund, or even shirt frankly, instead sporting spandex and fishnet pantyhose underneath. Just a personal prejudice of mine.

I discovered after many months of singing various songs in the car that I likely sing tenor. After years of being upset at not being able to sing soprano/mezzo-soprano broadway songs, I am now content to find songs that I can sing, and I’m even amused that female tenors are expected to wear tuxes. If only I didn’t have severe upper respiratory problems.

Yet somehow it still feels wrong to be happy about having a manly voice while being a woman; it’s an ugly voice for a woman to have. I don’t think I’ll ever stop seeing my voice as ugly, although I can hope for being simply content singing tenor karaoke.

Though I want to wear tuxes and three piece suits, and I (likely) sing tenor, and I’m attracted to women (who look good in tuxes and will wear them), I don’t think of myself as a guy, even though I’ve tried to in order to fit in with “the guys” in college and at work (computer science, engineering; not a lot of girlfriends, you know). I’m a woman, even if I don’t always like that fact. ((Yes, I know. Internalized sexism. And also internalized racism. Really, sometimes I am such a jerk.))

And even though I love to wear skirts in the everyday, and I’m attracted to men with, ah, more than a touch of the feminine in them—really, shouldn’t I be able to choose being one thing or another? Being bisexual surely isn’t a cop-out on the sexual identity crisis, is it? It’s so confusing.

To add to the confusion: there was a time when I would have been fine with a guy’s name, and indeed I’ve gadded about online under male names, but I’m getting lazy—I like my current name very much, in spite of the unfortunate lack of judgement I had in choosing this moniker.

So, in my head, basically… I wear a three-piece suit, cut well for a woman but still a suit, dammit, and have a woman’s name. Kind of not the way I was taught to grow up, you know? But it’s always been there. My parents would definitely have considered me sick (although really, they were too busy with other kinds of abuse to engage in that particular one, and I was too busy trying to survive for too long to worry as much about all this).

It’s nice to have the luxury, so to speak, of worrying about my sexual orientation, or whatever it is, because this all—even in this rather oblique summary—seems more complicated than “do I like men or women”.

This is a tranquil sea in the off time of my PTSD… whatever. Cycle. Something. When I can think that life can be more than just surviving day to day in the best way possible. Or that I could actually be close to somebody, even though I know I’m not ready yet. (Need more healing. Seriously need more healing.)

I can’t draw, but if I could end this with a drawing, it would be the little picture of me I have in my head right now: a three-piece suit, a cup of tea in hand, looking out the portcullis of a ship at pink cloudy skies and an odd lavender-silver ocean beneath.

Most days do not end like this for me. It’s been sweet.

2 thoughts on “In Life, Even the Little Things Are Complicated

  1. Women in tuxes are hot. In all varieties from passing-butch to super femme.

    Also, most of my favorite female singers have tenor (or lower) voices – Michelle Ndege’Ocello, Tracy Chapman, Francine Reed and almost every other blues singer plus half of gospel.

    I guess I don’t really have a point except that I totally agree with you on what’s attractive.

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