Undisclosed Locations, Unfinished Business

I got my period.

Man, did I ever get my period. I was bleeding through the super-burrito-size tampons by the hour. I ruined every single pair of boy briefs. My physicians advised me that I might have a revanchist uterus for the first few months, so I was afraid I’d be re-enacting the first plague in my underpants. But the cataract eased off after a couple of days, and I ended up having a cycle indistinguishable from the ones I used to have. That’s a good sign. Part of me wishes that my body were feeling as reactive as I am right now, but normal is good.

So, why am I menstruating again for the first time in nearly two and a half years?

Well, I stopped taking testosterone about two and a half months ago, which means that I’ve been “on” estrogen for a little less time than that. What is pretty predictable, but when varies from person to person. It was understood that I would start bleeding again within a few months, and that I would return to normal within a year, but that’s about it. One normal menstrual cycle is no guarantee that the next few will be, either.

So, why did I stop taking testosterone about two and a half months ago?

Well, I’ve decided that I don’t actually want to be a man. I’m not comfortable living as one or passing as one, and I’m not comfortable having a male body. Round about mid-December, I started having some bad bad feelings about all of this. Basically, the last shreds of future-life were becoming present-life: the chest surgery results had finally gelled, I was going forward with legal transition (which meant obtaining a letter from my therapist which stated that I could not pass as female), I was getting ready to quit this whole transition-phase of my life, my parents had finally started introducing me around as their son and using male pronouns without stuttering, and so on.

And it felt wrong, wrong, wrong–it was more and more painful as it became more and more immediate.

It’s a little late, unfortunately, to be turning back, but not too late. People who are much more objective than I am right now assure me that I’ll be just fine.

I took testosterone for a little more than two and a half years. It masculinized the hell outta me. I got muscles and hair all over the place, my face squared off, my body fat drew itself onto my belly, and my voice dropped into a male range. I stopped being allowed in the women’s room–in a city that might have the highest butch-saturation levels on the planet–more than two years ago. I passed completely and continue to pass. I’ve been ma’amed a few times since stopping–especially on a vacation I’ll have to write about–but otherwise it’s been all boy all the time.

I also had chest surgery, that is, liposuction which my surgeon described as “aggressive” to masculinize my chest. I had a male chest for several months. Now I have really small breasts and softening pecs. It’s anyone’s guess as to what my chest will look like down the road.

Right now I am feminizing, at a pace that is as reassuring as it is unsettling. My face has softened. My skin has softened. My muscles are shrinking and going soft, and my body fat is being redistributed. I’m “smaller”–I don’t have the same visual mass in my back or shoulders. My hair is growing out (this makes no difference; it looks like the coif-child of Patrick Bateman and Phil Spector, and will for some time). My face is temporarily hairless, although that’s the result of laser hair removal (extremely painful, extremely patriarchal) rather than estrogen. All of that will continue. Passing as male is already becoming more a matter of presentation and preconception and less a matter of my body.

I took a couple of months for the sake of my sanity. Right up through late December, I fully intended to live as a man for the rest of my life. Whatever doubts I had, whatever signs, I didn’t entertain any of them. I am sorry that I wasn’t brave enough to come out to all of you immediately. And I’m sorry it’s kept me off of blogging.

More later, obviously.

115 comments for “Undisclosed Locations, Unfinished Business

  1. Myca
    March 20, 2007 at 12:41 am

    I’m so sorry that all of this is so difficult, and I wish very much for you to be able to be and present as whatever and whomever you feel is most true.

    Any anything you share with us is your choice. My opinion is that you don’t owe us apologies for not sharing more or not sharing it earlier or whatever.

  2. March 20, 2007 at 1:06 am

    If you are happy with what you want to do, then who are any of us not to be?

    I wish you is the best of luck with your choices. I appreciate your sharing with us your journey, and hope you continue to. And if you needed time to process your own decisions on something literally life-altering before you felt you could share with us–well, for heavens’ sake, that shows you’re pretty sane.

    Good luck, and I hope at the end of the road you’re happy. Given that you do not appear to be living an unexamined life, I think the odds are in your favor.

  3. March 20, 2007 at 1:07 am

    I agree with Myca that you don’t owe us any apologies, certainly not for not having explained all of this to us earlier or for not having written about that Snickers ad or whatever while you were making these decisions. Best wishes in coming to terms with all of this.

  4. March 20, 2007 at 1:08 am

    Do what you gotta do. No apologies are owed any of us here.

  5. Cecily
    March 20, 2007 at 1:11 am

    I’m with Myca. Telling us any of this, any of it at all, is more bravery than many of us are ever called upon to display.

    Wherever you’re going and however you get there, I wish you both strength and luck.

  6. Z. M. Davis
    March 20, 2007 at 1:23 am

    Delurking to wish you the best in this ordeal.

  7. March 20, 2007 at 1:39 am

    I’m just happy you’re back. Any form of piny’s a welcome one. You’ve taught me too much (and I know I am not the only one) to apologize for anything.

  8. March 20, 2007 at 1:44 am

    Just chiming in to say that whatever you share, whenever you share it, is a privilege to me.

    All the best.

  9. b-
    March 20, 2007 at 1:52 am

    best of luck with your journey, wherever it takes you…

  10. March 20, 2007 at 3:41 am

    I am sorry that I wasn’t brave enough to come out to all of you immediately.

    You don’t owe us internets anything, least of all any of your offline life. That said, you’ve been missed, so welcome back.
    And there’s nothing about this post that isn’t brave.

  11. Em
    March 20, 2007 at 3:53 am

    Piny, can I email you somehow? I have a resource you may be interested in but I’d rather not post here in case trolls got ahold of it..

  12. subgrrl8
    March 20, 2007 at 5:59 am

    totally brave, totally new world, totally you. that’s all you gotta be piny. and it’s amazing, whatever you decide to be.

    good luck with your (what to call it? re-transition?) current life events. sending you good thoughts and vibes, as my BUSTie friends would say.

  13. March 20, 2007 at 6:15 am

    Delurking to lend my support. As people have said, you have nothing at all to apologise for. There are plenty of people on the ‘nets, me included, who admire you hugely and will continue to do so, regardless of what’s happening in your life.

  14. March 20, 2007 at 6:28 am

    Welcome back, piny. You’ve been missed but as many other commenters have said, no apology is necessary. Thank you for sharing your struggle with us now, and I hope you can find support and encouragement on the rough days and shared joy on the good days from this site.

  15. March 20, 2007 at 6:40 am

    What ilyka said, basically. Whatever the state of your body, your brilliant mind remains, and that’s why I (and many others) read you. Rock on.

  16. Jasmine
    March 20, 2007 at 7:06 am

    Wow. I almost never comment on here, but I just wanted to say that I really admire you for sharing something so personal in this public forum. I’ve met people who simply flat-out deny that anybody ever changes their mind once they start transitioning, and I just think it’s been tremendously brave to share so much of yourself through your whole journey, and now maybe this may be more brave than ever.

    Best of luck with it all. And I agree with the folks above who said you don’t need to apologize for not sharing this decision with the Internets till you were damn good and ready.

  17. little cabbage
    March 20, 2007 at 7:08 am

    You don’t owe anyone shit. You owe it to yourself to be exactly who you feel you need to be. And you are brave for standing up for your right to do so.

    Glad you’re back.

  18. March 20, 2007 at 7:28 am

    You don’t owe anybody any explanations. Your piece about reclaiming sexist words made me rethink my position on it, so I owe you. You’re more than a collection of body parts.

  19. March 20, 2007 at 7:33 am

    Seconding everyone else – you don’t owe us anything, and thank you very much for telling us. You have been missed, and if there is any way we can help or support you, don’t hesitate to tell us.

  20. March 20, 2007 at 7:34 am

    piny, I’m just glad to see you again.

  21. mustelid
    March 20, 2007 at 7:37 am

    I’m with everyone above. Whatever is right for you is what matters. No apologies needed.

  22. March 20, 2007 at 7:38 am

    just glad you’re back. you’re in my thoughts. I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for you.

  23. March 20, 2007 at 7:52 am

    Oh, wow. (cyberhug) Over here in the cheap seats I can only imagine the stress. Be well! No apology necessary!

  24. zuzu
    March 20, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Glad to have you back, piny.

    Who else is going to start blogwars around here?

  25. March 20, 2007 at 8:00 am

    No apologies necessary (apologies?!?).

    Just glad you’re doing what you feel you need to do. As silly as it sounds (as I generally lurk) I feel a huge sense of pride in seeing you go for what you want and what you feel is best. I can’t help but appreciate it every time humans think for themselves.

  26. lilcollegegirl
    March 20, 2007 at 8:01 am

    I’m glad you’re back.

  27. March 20, 2007 at 8:16 am

    Welcome back! Your bravery is so not in question. Especially given the difficult decisions you’ve faced and made, let alone discussed at all in a public forum.

  28. Holly
    March 20, 2007 at 8:17 am

    I’m glad you’re back too, piny. Damn, that must have been hard to write. There’s more shame and silence than most people realize around, well, what some people call re-transitioning, but you should be able to choose your own words for. I am really impressed that you are talking about it and impressed that you are going down hard road after hard road to find a gender that feels like home. I hope you find that place and that it feels good and that you have all the support you need from all the people you want to be in your life. Including this blog! Where I am also really happy to see and be part of dozens of supportive comments for you, piny :) I’m glad that you have people close to you telling you that it’s going to be fine. I know more than one person who’s been through a similar experience, and a couple years down their roads, they’re doing fine too.

    For what it’s worth, and I don’t even know if thoughts or comments from yourself or others have gone along these lines at all, I don’t believe there are any mistakes or wrong choices where stuff like this is concerned. Just different paths that we all have to take, differently. Some of us have to fight harder to get a gender that works for us than others, even if that path might have some loops and circles. And I think that’s worthy of respect. How many people can say they’ve had chest reconstruction and laser? I hope you & your body get to be good friends again, despite any scars. (Laser hair removal sucks, I know.)

    Are you using different pronouns now? Maybe that’s the subject of another post. No need to rush, no need to apologize for taking a break. Welcome back :)

  29. j0lt
    March 20, 2007 at 8:26 am

    Glad you’re back piny.

  30. Holly
    March 20, 2007 at 8:29 am

    p.s. Your post reminded me to stick a needle full of estrogen in my leg, so I just did it and said “this one’s for piny!”

    p.s. I didn’t like living or passing as a man either, it sucked! Totally with you on that one, fuck that!

    p.p.s. To whom it may concern, the above statement is not meant as any kind of endorsement of the idea that men are directly oppressed by sexism.

  31. March 20, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Wow. Good luck. I hope things are going smoothly for you. No need to apologize or explain. Speaking as just one reader, I will always support you, whereever your life leads you. We have to trust that any decision we make is the right choice when we make it, and we can all change our minds.

    I look forward to your continued posting.

  32. EJ
    March 20, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Delurking to lend my support to you, Piny. i admire the hell out of you, and have learned so much from reading your posts. Thanks for sharing what you have shared, with no obligations to do more than what you want. It takes a lot of guts to share so much of your personal experiences. thank you.

  33. Hestia
    March 20, 2007 at 9:23 am

    More good luck from a sometime commenter. This is your life, and no matter what you decide to do with it, I wish you happiness.

  34. Kristen from MA
    March 20, 2007 at 9:33 am

    No apologies necessary, Piny. Just be well.

  35. March 20, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Bravery deserves applause.

    I stand for you :)

  36. Kas
    March 20, 2007 at 9:43 am

    You are amazing, Piny. To have the courage to begin transitioning, and the strength to realize that it’s not right for you… I don’t have the words to express how beautiful and truly awesome that is.

    Best wishes and hope everything goes well.

  37. March 20, 2007 at 9:45 am

    I wish you well with all the transitions your life is likely going through right now.

  38. Penny
    March 20, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Dear Piny, it’s so good to hear you’re back. I sure love your writing, but I love more your taking whatever time you need.

  39. March 20, 2007 at 9:53 am

    No apologies necessary. My heart goes out to you for how hard all this must be. Please take care of yourself.

  40. Frumious B
    March 20, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Piny! So glad you are back. I’ve been wondering how you are.

  41. Dennis
    March 20, 2007 at 10:22 am

    Good luck with your re-transition, piny. I’ve been through a radical personality change in my life (though, not one that transgresses the comfort level of my friends and family, so I’m lucky in that regard), and I know how hard it is.

    Perhaps I can offer a bit of advice, and you can take it or leave it: sometimes it’s easiest just not to reconcile what you are now with what you were then. You were that person, and now you’re this one. You don’t owe us, or the person you were, anything.

  42. a second kate
    March 20, 2007 at 10:27 am

    You deseve as much time to yourself to make your choice and and settle into it as you need. You particularly don’t need to apologise to a lurker like me!

  43. Caja
    March 20, 2007 at 10:36 am

    Wow. I thought perhaps the RSI you mentioned some time back was the cause of your absence – and like everyone else has said, no apologies necessary for taking time to take care of yourself. This sounds really rough. Major life realizations/decisions are bad enough when they don’t involve bodily functions. I hope you are doing well.

  44. March 20, 2007 at 10:39 am

    I’m glad you’re back, and you don’t owe anyone any apologies. (Not for this, at least.) Wow, what a heck of a lot to deal with. How tremendously hard.

  45. Jules
    March 20, 2007 at 10:46 am

    What they said.

  46. March 20, 2007 at 10:49 am

    piny, you’ve got chutzpah and honesty and that is so admirable. My sympathy during this very difficult time. Thank you for the incredible bravery in sharing this.

    I know someone else who retransitioned back to being female, and she did it decades after the first transition. Imagine the silent pain! I am glad you were able to go through this self-discovery process sooner than that.

    Be well.

  47. Magis
    March 20, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Both acts are acts of courage. Be well.

  48. March 20, 2007 at 11:01 am

    I don’t have anything to say that everyone else hasn’t said, so I’ll just add to the echo. You don’t have to apologise for a damn thing.

    Best Wishes,

  49. ekf
    March 20, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Piny, I wish you peace, strength and the best of every type of health as you continue on your journeys.

  50. March 20, 2007 at 11:05 am

    So glad to see you back! I was thinking just yesterday that it’d been yonks since we’d heard aught from you, and how I missed you. Of course you don’t need to apologise to the interwebs.

    Keep on keeping on, and I hope clarity ensues.

  51. everstar
    March 20, 2007 at 11:07 am

    As Mr. Rogers used to say (or sing), “It’s you I like, every part of you, your skin, your eyes, your feelings, whether old or new.”

    I’m just glad piny’s back.

  52. March 20, 2007 at 11:09 am

    Yes Piny, be well. You’re an amazing person and I’m happy to see you’re back.

  53. March 20, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Delurking to say I’ve missed your fabulous posts! It’s great to have you back, and my heart goes out to you in support.

  54. March 20, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Better you do what you feel ias best for you, rather than going along a path (especially an irrevesible one) because it’s “expected.”

    Good luck on staying on an even keel.

  55. March 20, 2007 at 11:29 am

    I’m glad to see you back, Piny, though my heart aches for you – it’s always difficult to reverse yourself, and the more personal the issue, the harder it is.

    All the best in everything.

  56. sara
    March 20, 2007 at 11:35 am

    No words, but just thoughts and prayers for comfort, strength and happiness. We’re all thinking about you.

  57. Anacas
    March 20, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Congratulations on your having been able to take the steps you needed to take to feel more comfortable, and good luck!

    I missed your writing–“revanchist uterus” is my new favorite phrase ever.

  58. jenn
    March 20, 2007 at 11:55 am

    I’m struck by your honesty and courage, piny. You are amazing. Please be well.

  59. March 20, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    “It’s you I like, every part of you, your skin, your eyes, your feelings, whether old or new.”

    Zackly. And we hope that you’ll remember, every time you’re feeling blue.

  60. Betsy
    March 20, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Good wishes and best of luck to you!

  61. Rilee Morgan
    March 20, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    My best wishes. I know how rough this kind of thing can be. Whatever you do, just be safe, keep your head, and things will be O.K..

    I’m sure you know that, but, well, just in case you wanted to hear an internet stranger say it.

  62. Catherine Martell
    March 20, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    You’re brave and amazing. Gender is a complex and confusing labyrinth: you’re exploring it further than most of us will ever dare to. The very best of luck.

    Whenever you feel like blogging again, I really look forward to reading whatever you have to say (about anything). You’re a deeply insightful, thoughtful and articulate human being, whatever body you’re wearing.

  63. March 20, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    It’s most important for you to do what you need to work best. If you do not work for yourself, you can’t advocate for others.

  64. March 20, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Egads, Piny. Sounds like a hellish process. I wish you the best through such a trying time.

  65. Jennifer
    March 20, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Piny, I am so glad to see you posting again. You are always welcome in my head, the form you take matters not.

  66. March 20, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    I usually lurk, but I’ve been a big fan of your writing for some time, Piny. As a genderqueer person who is not well defined toward any particular end of any gender spectrum, and who is also very much a theory-head, I especially like when you do such personal writing about your experiences in these territories of identity. Fwiw, you have my gratitude, support and best wishes, however ethereal.

  67. March 20, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    You are very brave, and you owe no apologies to anyone. Good luck.

  68. Mnemosyne
    March 20, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Wow — I can’t even imagine how hard this is for you. Good luck with wherever you settle on the spectrum.

  69. CLD
    March 20, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    You’re probably one of the bravest folks around. Just be.

  70. blucas!
    March 20, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you for being so open in a public space. Best of luck.

  71. March 20, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Piny, I’m glad you’re back–I missed you! Please don’t be sorry. Do what’s best for you.

  72. HRBarrister
    March 20, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    what they said.

  73. cd
    March 20, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    You are a very brave, strong person. Take care of yourself.

  74. Ledasmom
    March 20, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Good gad, Piny, you’ve no obligation to tell us nosy little piglets anything but what you choose to, though it’s very interesting when you do. Be well, stay well.

  75. March 20, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Best to you, Piny.
    Blessings on this part of your journey.

  76. Djiril
    March 20, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Wow! I can’t even imagine what that expreience must be like. I hope it goes well for you!

  77. David K
    March 20, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Part of me wishes that my body were feeling as reactive as I am right now, but normal is good.

    Piny, you are a gifted writer and thinker; you have certainly raised my awareness and given me an even greater appreciation for the wonderful diversities around and within me. But I find myself thinking of how words can only go so far and often have the effect of compressing real meanings. Considering the range between reactiveness and normality that you feel between yourself and your body, I’m trying to imagine how that relates, metaphorically, to the depth of emotion and struggle that escaped your description of this journey. Wow. I am inspired by your courage and honesty in seeking and living your truth. May this unique path you are on lead you to insights and joys beyond your wildest imagination.

  78. Ron O
    March 20, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Piny, you are a brave soul. It is tough to un-do a big decision. You do not owe us an apology. We owe you thanks for sharing.

  79. Linnaeus
    March 20, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    I’ve always been impressed by everything you’ve written here, piny. Do what you need to do, and without apology.

  80. Cyan
    March 20, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    I’m late to the party, I see. Be well, Piny.

  81. March 20, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Hi, piny. I don’t think you need to apologize either! Good luck.

  82. Sina
    March 20, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    I’m glad to see you’re back as well, piny. I’ve missed your voice here. Your head and your heart live very close to each other and that is something I’ve always respected about you. I wish only the best for you in this process.

  83. prairielily
    March 20, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Just do whatever feels right. It’s your life, not any of ours.

  84. MrSoul
    March 20, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    No crime to contradict yourself. I do it all the time. Any thinking person does.

    You are large, you contain multitudes. :)

  85. March 20, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Hey there you are!

    Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus. Life is a weird journey and sometimes we end up in unexpected places. But we’ve all got your back.

  86. Thomas
    March 20, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Piny, you don’t owe us anything. What you’ve written in the time you’ve been blogging here stands up in thoughfulness and quality with any feminist blogger. Any one. You’re a treasure, a resource and a conscience.

  87. Jo
    March 20, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Another mostly-lurker here. Piny, apologize to noone for what you’re doing, the time you’re taking, and the way you’re doing it. It’s a hell of a thing to feel forced to choose between man and woman, and you’ve walked it beautifully.

    The way you’ll walk the road between those two forced and false choices will be equally beautiful. Be well.

  88. twf
    March 20, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    I really admire you for the strength to tell us your story, even when you’re smack in the middle of it. I hope you take good care of yourself, whatever decisions you make.

  89. Tessa
    March 20, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    I admire your courage – rock on!

  90. Jodie
    March 20, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Follow your heart — only you can know what it is that you need.

  91. March 20, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Interestingly, no one else has noted one definte plus of stopping at this point: your risk of breast cancer may be as close to zero as it is for most men.

    Hope that helps.

  92. March 20, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    sending happy vibes…

  93. Laurie
    March 20, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    I’ve always enjoyed reading your work here (and elsewhere) — you make me think and you open my horizons up. So, do what you need to do to be YOU, whatever that means. I’m glad you had the courage to stop the process at an awkward point because you felt it was necessary. Good on you for understanding yourself so well and so deeply! You owe us *nothing* — not a single word of explanation. That you chose to tell us what has been going on with you is a gift to us. Thank you.

    Glad to see you back, even if it’s only briefly for now. Take care of you first — we’ll be here. *grin*

  94. evil fizz
    March 20, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    piny! I’m so glad to hear from you again. I hope you’re in the sort of place where this all works out for you. Lots of good thoughts headed your way, regardless of location.

  95. March 21, 2007 at 12:21 am

    I’m so happy to see you posting! Best of luck with these new changes. You know you’ve got all of our support and good thoughts and best wishes with you. Take care of yourself in whatever way feels best. *hugs*

  96. March 21, 2007 at 12:39 am

    congratulations on feeling self-certain enough to make such a difficult choice. (two choices, even.) regardless of what you do with your body, I still want to hug you due to your immense awesomeness.

    I will admit that I am inappropriately fascinated by your experience, and therefore hope you will someday decide to share more about how this whole process felt for you. Either way, though, keep up the good fight, and I’m glad you’re back and, y’know, not dead or anything – I was starting to worry!

  97. March 21, 2007 at 8:10 am

    Normally I hesitate to repeat what nearly a hundred people have already said, but in this case I’m eager to join the chorus…. Welcome back, Piny. You don’t owe anyone apologies for what you do with your own body, and for whatever it’s worth I’m wishing you well.

  98. March 21, 2007 at 8:31 am

    unlurking to wish you all the best…

    as an m2f (and lesbian, which means I’m all the time associated by people with a higher “risk of going back” and “not mature enough to know what I want”) this gave me a day or so of depression, I don’t yet have a good reason why.

    And then it struck me that the fluidity of gender expression is just that. An f2m going female isn’t “going back”. Instead, it’s progressing forward. It’s as valid a “move” or “choice” as anything else, and for your given value of “woman” that you want to be, you *are* that woman.

    For me it feels like this: You cross a certain threshold of “gender immutability” and then you don’t believe in it anymore. And then you see before you a world of possibilities… Femme lesbian as I am now, it feels right… But, hmm, being a butch str8 woman sounds nice… But what if I were to be a feminist gay man?
    And then you know you can be any of these, but what if you pick the wrong one?

    And then who gets to decide what the “wrong one” is, and isn’t it secretly oppressive that we’ve been led to believe there is no more than one “right one”?

    Forget about gender expression and looks. The least reversible thing is people’s attitudes, but you’ve been through it once and you know it’s not that irreversible… Please be OK. And thank you for every bit of your sensitive, perceptive and mind-opening writing.

  99. March 21, 2007 at 9:53 am

    If the day ever comes that the average educated person realizes that we don’t come in just two flavors, straight male and straight female.
    Our plumbing is at best only indirectly connected to our wring and the blueprints of each come from disinct categories of genes that nature can play mix-n-match with
    We come in more than the two orientations “responds to naked women”, “responds to naked men”…we come in many flavors and we respond to many stimuli
    we have role preferences that are not yet well accounted for regarding how active or passive we are in sex

    When that day comes, maybe everyone can relax bit, and the only pressures to deal with will be that we each need to discover who we are. At least you are looking.

  100. Sally
    March 21, 2007 at 9:56 am

    I’m glad you’re back! And you don’t need to apologize for your blog vacation. Nowhere is it written in the great book of feminist blogging etiquette that you have to do all your processing in public.

    I have complete faith that wherever life takes you, you will face it with courage and strength and fierce intelligence.

  101. car
    March 21, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Yep to everyone. Do whatever you need to do, and rest assured that you have support no matter what.

  102. C
    March 21, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    Another lurker saying welcome back and good luck. Your writing is fabulous. Thank you for sharing.

  103. Erin M
    March 21, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    I’ve not been around for a while, but seriously, piny, kudos for knowing yourself well enough to know what you have to do for yourself. Be well.

  104. March 21, 2007 at 6:07 pm


  105. March 21, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    i wish you goodwill and good luck, no matter what.

  106. bbrugger
    March 21, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Rock on with your bad self, piny.

    It’s YOUR self. You don’t owe any of us a damn thing, and certainly not apologies.

    You’ve been open and brave and thought provoking, and sometimes it’s hard to work the appropriate thank-you into the ongoing blog conversations. But, since you’ve inadvertently given me the opening-

    Thank you.

  107. March 22, 2007 at 8:26 am

    I don’t have anything to say that others haven’t already said, but welcome back, piny. It’s good to hear from you again, and my thoughts are with you.

  108. March 22, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Wow, more power to you for your courage to be yourself!

    I’m just visiting from Shakespeare’s Sister. I’m ftm–transitioned 13 years ago and still feel it was the right thing for me. My identity is complex–to intimate friends, I’m a queer-identified trans man and a proud mom, but to the general public I’m simply a (feminist bisexual) man because society doesn’t offer the category of “trans man.”

    I admire you for doing what you need to do for yourself–keep it up! And you don’t owe anyone an apology! And for what it’s worth, I believe Leslie Feinberg, who I hugely admire, went forward with transition to a point, then stopped testosterone. You’re not alone.

  109. Q Grrl
    March 22, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    Hey you! Hugs, hugs, and more hugs.

  110. March 23, 2007 at 1:54 pm


    as far as I’m concerned–though God knows my two cents aren’t worth much–whatever you do to make you feel good about being in the body you have, is just fine. Just when I think I can’t admire your bravery any more than I do, you go and show the world that you are more courageous than any of us could even imagine!


  111. March 23, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    ”revanchist uterus” is my new favorite phrase ever.

    it’s now my new favorite phrase ever too. thanks. and it matters not [to me] what form you decide your body should take; the mind that spits out coif-child of Patrick Bateman and Phil Spector is a treasure.

    you’ve demonstrated a great deal of both courage and generosity, sharing your experience here, and for that too i thank you.

  112. Denise
    March 24, 2007 at 12:24 am

    I hope you’re finding a comfortable way to be yourself, and wish you best of luck in this change of course. *hugs*

  113. StacyM
    March 25, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Piny, you are brave and please don’t think otherwise. The sheer fact that you have been willing to share so much with us over the past few years shows how brave you have been. Being so open and so public about your life and your experiences takes strength.

    You have to do what feels right to you… what feels right in your heart. It takes a lot of willpower to accomplish this. No matter what direction a person is heading in, society lays down expectations and demands conformity. There is always a degree of social resistance—especially with issues like gender—and it takes a lot of perseverance to overcome this resistance. You’ve lived as a guy for a while now and no doubt, there are now heavy social pressures to remain as you are.

    I have confidence in you piny. I’ve read your words for over a year now. You’re a kick-ass person. :) Take care of yourself and live your life in a way that makes the most sense to you. I know you can do it.

    Hugs and best wishes!

  114. StacyM
    March 25, 2007 at 10:14 am

    And it felt wrong, wrong, wrong–it was more and more painful as it became more and more immediate.

    To echo Holly, further upthread, I’m sure that many transwomen can empathize with this sentiment. I can too. I acknowledge that there are many differences between what you’ve experienced and what many transwomen have experienced, but I still empathize with you. I tried living as a man, too. It felt awful.

    What I’m trying to say piny, is that you’re not alone. Please remember that.

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