Transfolk especially seem to consider me lucky because I rarely have to deal with menstruation. I certainly consider myself to be privileged. Today, unfortunately, was not one of my lucky days.
I’m wearing everything I’m suppose to (we’ll leave it at that), plus additional layers for extra protection. Even so, I still have visible spotting on my pants.
My first worry wasn’t about the pants potentially being ruined by the time I get home to stain treat them (still another three to four hours away), despite being the clotheshorse that I am. They’re light colored linen and I don’t want to lose them, but a far greater fear – what still petrifies me enough that I won’t get up to grab my lunch – is that someone in the office will see.
I try so hard to maintain a male enough appearance that despite teh typical high turnover at the non-profit I work for, people might get my pronoun preference right without that uncomfortable first correction (and sometimes repeated corrections after that). Not to say that the LGT advocacy organization that I work for isn’t trans-friendly – they’re the most trans-friendly place I’ve worked. But it’s still strangely difficult to convince some people to treat me as though I’m male or recognize that I’m male-identified given my lack of desire to act and dress “butch” enough. Add in that I haven’t started to medically transition (another thing that seems to completely throw people), and all bets seem to be off without a significant amount of effort on my part or semi-obvious confusion on the part of many others.
Really, if anything in the last few months has had a direct impact on my desire to transition or not transition, today has. I don’t want to worry about stupid things like this anymore. At least not for such ridiculous reasons. I’m tired of trying to convince people, and especially of being so incredibly embarassed by natural functions of my body. Who knew taht something so normal could have such strong implications? Who knew that it could bring something as personal as my identity under question? This level of stress, especially since it can be mitigated to some extent, seems foolish. I feel like I’m cosntantly having to undertake some level of damage control; something always uncovers that I’m really “deceiving” people, and I have to mitigate, answer, defend…
It feels like giving in to the culture’s narrow definitions of gender, but I’m tired of fighting it. If men aren’t allowed to menstruate, maybe it’s time for me to listen (ah, memories of the media circus around the pregnant transman – but that’s a much bigger topic for a different day).
I think it might be time to see about my options for HRT again. What remains to be seen is if I actually go through with any of it this time.