Sunday, February 22, 2009

A letter to me: Forget the past...

Forget you started out as male. That's the best advise I can give you, also the hardest to do. All of those years of learning how to fix things, how to build things, what makes things work, that 'man' knowledge? Forget it, you won't and don't want to know that stuff anymore. If you continue to remember it you will surely bring it up in a conversation again, outing yourself by talking about things that only a man usually knows about. You'll be explaining about brakes on your car, give too much of that 'man knowledge', and the light will appear in the persons eyes you are talking to. That, "Man in a dress!" look. You've outed yourself yet again. When in conversation with someone, the first thing you should think is, ...selective intelligence. Be smart, but play dumb!

Stephanie

1 comment:

Samantha said...

You know, it doesn't actually happen that way. I find one of three things happen when I pipe up. Either A: "Oh come on, what do you know, you're a girl!" B: "Really? And how many nails did you break doing it?" or C: "Wow a chic who knows something about cars, cool! Where have you been all my life? How do you feel about football?"

My sister, who I love dearly, at first had some trouble with my decision to transition. After all, one of her close friends from school did, turned into a gender nazi, which wrecked her relationships with pretty much everyone and had my sister worried she'd lose me too. When I told her not to worry about it and she realized I was serious, she said the nicest thing to me.

"You have always been the gold standard for broken things. It you couldn't fix it, or figure out what was wrong, it wasn't worth bothering with. If you keep that magic power of yours, of being able to fix anything fixable, and otherwise explain why it couldn't or shouldn't be fixed, you will be the most powerful and amazing woman on the planet. Don't let guys scare you off, don't feel like you have to hide that gift just because you're a girl. Keep it, own it, it has nothing to do with gender."

It was, and remains to this day, some of the best advice she's ever given me. My brother, who owns several boats, has been asking me for help, and many of the guys at the marina when they found out Sam was a girl were stunned. Never once did any of them ask about my gender, or why a girl would know about such things. Nope, they were more interested in having me help them.

Guys aren't really as bad as you might think, and while a great many can be jerks, for the most part they aren't.