Sunday, November 28, 2010

day off?

just finished a 'successful' preview weekend and am now moving into the week before we actually open (thursday night). tomorrow, we are dark. we dont have any rehearsal or work to do in the space. but its not a day off for me. ill be scoring tests for 6hrs tomorrow. gotta work the job that pays me a decent hourly wage too...
luckily, it will be tons easier and almost half as much time as ive been putting in on the show. but im not thinking about tomorrow yet.
right now im thinking about thursday night, thanksgiving night, when after i had dinner with my family i went over to a friends house where everyone was finished eating and should have been finished drinking since they had started at noon, but werent by a long shot and within a short time i had done three shots with everyone (a whiskey, a tequila, and a gin) and was on my way to the local bar. it was one of those experiences where the person i was with (my dear friend janet) either didnt use a pronoun or used a male one for me and the those meeting me saw me as a dude. we drank at the bar for a while, talking with the fellas that were there, one of whom is quite attractive. he (of course) is the married one, but the point is: these men referred to, and interacted with me as a man.
it might seem funny to you that i bring this up as something to blog about, given it seems to be the natural order of what i prefer in life. but im realizing it feels kinda weird when people use 'he' for me without the (what i feel as necessary) understanding of the subversion of the use of that word by referring to me with it. when people just say 'hey man,' cuz they think i am a man, i feel a little uncomfortable. cuz i dont really wanna have to act more like a dude in order to keep that moment from happening when i giggle or smile real big or whatever it is that shifts someone's view of me and they feel like they have to change their way of interacting and referring to me. its not that i want to 'pass' or dont want to 'pass' its that the idea of 'passing' is the whole problem, cuz there isnt a thing im trying to look like, except myself. i really dont want there to be a moment of 'this is a man' shifting into 'this is a woman' because the existence of the shift shows off the fact that 1) the person perceiving me doesnt see that there are more than two options and 2) that i dont really fit into either of the original perceptions. so here i am, a firloy just hanging out, being myself, and having people say things i would want them to say if they understood what they were saying, but because they dont seem to quite understand, i feel funny hearing them say these things. 'he' out of janet's mouth, and 'he' out of random good looking doorman's mouth, seem really different and only one is actually comfortable for me to hear.
i guess its cuz one has only love and understanding of me in it, and the other sets up expectations that i know i cant deliver on and have no desire to feel nervous around failing at.
my technical director said to me last week, 'can you help me with this sir, or ma'am, whichever it is today?' and i laughed and said, 'it changes all the time.' to which he replied, 'and i think thats totally fecking awesome. now come help.'
everyone in the production uses 'she', but sometimes anne says 'sir' or 'gentleman' or something else thats not a pronoun but somewhat gendered, but thats cuz she is awesome and one day just sat down next to me and asked if i was transitioning. if its on your radar, you are in. you are the kind of person i will feel good about being in conversation with. if not, i dont know how to interact with you until you pick a gender that you are comfortable with using to refer to me, which, no matter what you choose, will make me feel uncomfortable in my interactions with you.
and there isnt really anything i can do about this, its just how i feel right now. and it just so happens im around a lot of people right now who dont get the idea of life being multi-gendered and it gets pretty exhausting either trying to conform to their preconceived notions of me, or breaking them down.
and being in the place where i spent so much of my young life as feminine in gender, and running into people who knew me then and have them see me now, makes me kinda crazy. cuz unless i care about actually being in conversation with them, and might converse again in the future, im not gonna explain.
except here.


Anonymous said...

one the best things i learned in one of my many gender studies classes is that preoccupation with gender comes from the people that have nothing else that guides their mind's eye to develop a "persona" other than pink is for girl and blue is for boy. it's the beginning label for a lifetime of labels. some say that they don't have the guts to do something outside of the social standards that were created by the world of males. i think there are [many] people that lack the actually capability of expanding their thoughts and worlds. which then leaves everyone that travels the path less taken between a rock and a hard place as they say. :) -heather p.s. i have no idea if my rant applies but you inspired me!

rayvanfox said...

no, im glad you posted. that is exactly what im talking about. that everyone is given a coin to flip and they flip it all the time and talk about the results, but never think about how many people dont fit in that either/or, or even how they themselves might not fit. then there are the people who say, 'wow, this coin doesnt work for me, i need something more like a spectrum.' if only everyone was given a spectrum, there would be a lot less homo/transphobia because there would be more people realizing they fit outside the coin. ack. wasnt looking to go into a rant of my own, but thanks for bringing it out, z.