as my dear readers know, one of the blogs i watch is daily dose of queer, where i found a link to jay sennett’s blog. he’s looking for bloggers to review a new anthology called “self organizing men” – women transitioning into malehood (or FtM, as it’s often called). good for him to use blogvertising to get this material on the market. (i guess it’s a type of book tour).
i agreed to be one of his guinea pigs, and am i ever glad i did.
first i have to confess that i was not sure what to expect, and was afraid i might stumble into the badly-mumbled outpourings of a confused twenty-year-old.
well, i was wrong. i can’t be male by nick kiddle is very well written. every sentence is clean and clear, so the reader can completely concentrate on the story. as a writer, i want what nick’s got!
the piece traces nick’s travels and travails as he (i’ll refer to nick as a male here, hope that’s okay with you, nick) winds his way through the landscape of gender identity.
unfortunately, not everyone sees it as a landscape.
i guess we should be grateful that we’ve moved out of gender identity being a wasteland of two camps – male or female. at least there is a recognition now that some of us have landed in the wrong camp and need to move, so now we have four camps – female to male, male to female, female, male.
but really, i want my world to consist of more than four camps. i want a landscape with flowers of different hues of colours, many paths to journey along, hidden nooks and crannies to explore.
nick, too, wants freedom around his gender identity. there are moments when he identifies as a man, and others when he finds it useful to be a woman. one of the things that are important to nick is to have children, and children of his own. this is why, for now at least, he decides to stay in a female body.
i can’t wait to hear how other people react when they read nick’s account of meeting a psychiatrist who, instead of assisting nick in building more supportive relationships, cannot tear himself away from a morbid fascination with nick’s diagnosis of gender dysphoria. my first reaction was anger – i just wanted to go and slap that ignorant jerk – and when i got to the point where mr. psychiatrist sits back, smug in his “knowledge” that nick is “really” a woman, i just started crying.
this is not just the story about one of those transgendered people, somewhere off in a far corner of our safely heterosexual world. it’s the story of all of us who need to be free to explore who we are, free to change, free to express ourselves.
thank you, jay, and thank you, nick.
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