That’s me in the corner. That’s me in the spotlight, losing my repression.
Gender is very possibly one of those things you never notice until something jolts you, and then, like the karaoke singer who suddenly realizes she can’t really hold a tune, you become very, very conscious of gender — your gender, more specifically. Me, having sung the entire Beatles repertoire off-key for the past 18 months, am beginning to realize how badly I was singing and am now finding that I’m beginning to sing right again, thoughtlessly, without worries. I’m really looking forward to a time when I go days or weeks without thinking about gender at all.
I feel as if I am being radically transformed from the inside out, losing my repression and morphing in my body and my mind. Back in December, I wrote about cognition in hormone therapy, and all of what I felt 4 months ago still applies, but just amplified.
Take memory. I don’t think I’m remembering facts, dates, scholarly facts, and those types of things anything better or worse than I used to. But I really think differently — the way I process things and contextualize the past and the way I see the present is very, very different. My memories seem to be modified, even while my memory function (broadly speaking) seems to remain about the same as before. For example, I feel (and find myself saying and thinking) that I have always enjoyed things like long, slow kisses or snuggling. When I actually say such things, Mary Jo looks at me and we burst out laughing together because no, I did NOT always enjoy those things, and I even seem to remember that I didn’t do those things, yet I feel deeply that these things have always been part of me.
I don’t know if it’s a problem of the brain, cognition, memory, or psychology. I don’t even know that it’s a problem. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t think it’s a sign that I’m constructing a fake past, but I honestly feel certain things that are probably not true. To keep from sounding so obviously mistaken, I’ve learned to say “I love to kiss for hours” instead of “I have always loved to kiss for hours,” which, semantically at least, gets around the problem.
However I’ve arrived at this point, I think it all points to a shift in some of my deep core processes, memories, beliefs. Maybe it has to to with finally coming to terms with my authentic self, and all of these cognitive changes are psychological; or maybe they’re all attributable to the hormones. Frankly, the reason for these feelings isn’t really important because the indisputable fact is that I absolutely love where I am, mentally, emotionally, socially, and physically. There is no amount of enticement on this earth that would make me give this up or go backwards into my former misery. I feel more connected to life and to people, more physically embodied, and more whole to myself than ever before.
So if this is a brain problem, then give me more of it. It’s the end of the world as I’ve known it, and I feel fine.