Womanhood: Earning Your Tigress Stripes
Of course as a writer, I had a lot of things on my mind. Since I was in pain for much of the end part of my time off, I couldn't help but think of something.
But that is not the issue I want to talk about. It's what was said.
"I feel like I am living a lie," 30-year-old Matthew "Chelsea" Attonley told the Mirror. "I have always longed to be a woman, but no amount of surgery can give me an actual female body."
"It is exhausting putting on make-up and wearing heels all the time. Even then I don't feel I look like a proper woman," he complained, adding that "I suffered from depression and anxiety as a result of the [female] hormones, too. I can't work at the moment because I am too upset after what I have been through. I have realized it would be easier to stop fighting the way I look naturally and accept that I was born a man physically," he said.
Now, as a transgender advocate, I must say that this person was not truly a transgender woman. But why do some transgender women feel the need to exaggerate their femininity to prove that they're now a "real" woman? I remember a transgender friend of mine asked, "Hey Deb, would you mind if I just came over in jeans and no makeup?" I'll never forget that question. I mean -- doesn't every single woman out there love to just go casual once in a while? So I said, "Umm, would I mind? Isn't that what every girl does when she's hanging out with her friends? Who cares?" Do they feel they would be less feminine -- less "woman-like" if they went all natural once in a while? And I believe that's the fear -- to possibly appear as a "man".
I stopped working conventional types of jobs because no company would ever allow a woman to take off 2-3 days a month. I am debilitated for the length of 2-3 days -- cannot. function. at. all. I am doubled over rocking back and forth in pain, sometimes crying, sometimes screaming. My doctor has diagnosed me with dysmenorrhea with an "overactive uterus". So now, at the age of 41, I have chosen to remove my uterus and Fallopian tubes. All sorts of mental destress goes into this big decision because it crushes my dreams to ever have a biological baby of my own, even though I would probably adopt anyway. It's the concept of having a choice -- having that option of "I can" if I ever wanted to. Now that has been taken away from me and as a woman, that wreaks havoc on the female brain -- it destroys those little girl dreams of being a mama one day. It really (for a lack of better words) fucks with your head.
|And you thought I was crazy now...|
Do you want to know what it feels like being me?
You're lucky I can't go into the details of child bearing, because I have never had an opportunity to have a child of my own. But I'm sure that's a whole other can-o-beans to endure.
So, to any transgender female thinking about being a full-time woman -- it has little to do with hair and makeup. It hardly identifies you in a flowery dress or nice jewelry. But you do get to experience the emotional ups and downs as a woman with the hormonal therapy. That estrogen can be a real kick in the ass, and if you can stand it -- then you are indeed, quite the woman. You don't need to have gone through the extreme pain that I have endured all my life, because some women never experience that level of intense agony. The hard part isn't about the the makeup, the hair, the nails or dress -- it's about what womanhood penalizes you with emotionally and sometimes physically, so that you can earn your stripes of being a woman and hearing yourself roar.
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!