I didn't get to do my normal wine Wednesday post this week because I was in the field for work. So at the end of the week I thought I would reflect.
After 15 years of being a professional soldier it's almost as much a part of me as my gender identity. I have led Soldiers, been to Afghanistan 3 times, spent numerous nights like the two this week under the stars. So many of us get caught in the gender binary mindset. We draw lines from things to either the word mascune or feminine. We say that something is girly. As I have embraced my gender identiy I have found that I do like a lot of things that are considered girly. Purple is my favorite color, I love fashion and make up and other stereotypical qualities. But what of the life I've lived? Granted, there are things that I don't like as much as I let on. I never really liked working on my truck (it ruins my nails) and I'm not as keen on fishing as I may have claimed. Still though, there are things I enjoy and other things in good at. Neither my sex or my gender identity have anything to do with my leadership ability or the fact that I love mentoring soldiers. I love to camp, and hike.
I think for many of us, when we commit to transitioning we want to fit into the traditional gender roles of our gender identity that we strive to be stereotypical. I have known female mechanics, punk rockers, and wood workers. Does it make them less womanly because they enjoy those things? Why does my gender identiy have to determine my interests? What if I wanted to be a girl but still wanted to hunt, work on my truck and fish? Would my gender identiy be less genuine? As it happens I do have more stereotypically feminine interests; I like to crochet and sew. I like to cook and I like fashion. I would be no less a woman though if I didn't. If I wanted to transition but never wear make up that would be ok. We put gender I'm a box and it's not fair.
I have known people who were concerned with losing me in a way because of my transition. I can understand that sentiment. What I discovered this week is two fold. First is that the things which really matter are inside and transcend gender identity. Factors like compassion, love, humor. These are not gender binary character traits. Secondly, I was reminded that who we are does not have to be determined by our gender. I could have enjoyed crochet just as much had I identified as a man. And it's ok for me to love camping as a woman. As a woman regardless of cis or trans we all have to break down the gender binary. As a feminist I understand that in order to be equal we have to destroy the concept of girly or masculine.
I had a family member become ill this week. I am prayerful for a return to full health. What the illness reminded me is that our time is fleeting. A friend reminded me that it's the only thing we can't get more of. It's in that light that I have decided after reflection to start hormone therapy.
If you decided to tune in thanks for following along. Sometimes my posts are written to be informative. Other times, like today, they are designed more to get my thoughts out. I hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to like, share and follow my posts, blog, and associated accounts. I'm always happy to have a new friend. Thanks everyone. Talk to you soon.
"Nothing is too girly and nothing is too masculine. But I do love color, and maybe that's a little girly - especially pink." Stacy London