At the moment I can't cope with any of my feminine-coded clothes or accessories. I can't even carry a purse. I can't hack anything coded feminine. Everything I wear, I have to question whether it's coded feminine. Everything I carry, I have to question whether it's coded feminine. My slouch as I walk down the street, my stance as I stand on the BART platform, my body position as I sit watching movies beside a friend: is it coded feminine?
All the time – all the time – I am thinking this, and it's doing my head in. I'm worried that it's a manifestation of internalized misogyny that's making me reject “girl stuff”. I'm frustrated that all the subtle coding in the world won't stop me from being read on first sight as female (until I can get my hands on a binder, anyway). I'm despairing at the knowledge that one big bearded guy wearing a skirt is doing more to shatter the patriarchy than I'm doing with every aspect of this obsession that's consuming my waking life, because “person read as male choosing things that are coded feminine” is a billion times more transgressive than “person read as female choosing things that are coded masculine”.
I hate that gender performativity has us being read as one of two options, when I want to be read as something else. I hate that I can't stop thinking about it, no matter what I'm doing. I hate that “male” and “female” are still seen as important categorical distinctions, even as I find them increasingly arbitrary and irrelevant.
I can't stop overthinking my new friendships. When somebody says or does a certain thing, I find myself thinking: This is what a friend does, right? This person is doing friend stuff with me and considers me a friend. How long until I say something so irreparably stupid that I ruin it forever? Or have I finally got this friendship thing figured out?
Without wanting to speak too soon, I think I have a couple of pretty great new friendships going here in California. I've been here just over two months, and there are definitely a few people who seem to regard me as a full-blown friend. It's weird, though, that, at a time when I'm doing better than I've ever done at the friendship game, my tics and stims and awkwardness in casual interactions have gotten significantly worse.
Like, I went to a burger place where I'd never been before. That should be a simple interaction if ever there was one: you order your food, the cashier tells you how much it costs, you pay, the cashier hands you your food. And yet it was excruciatingly awkward. I just couldn't seem to do it right. When faced with conversational awkwardness, some people start babbling, but I BSOD – just freeze right up and forget how to make words with my mouth.
Like, the other night (we'd been drinking), one of my new friends asked me, “What do you think will happen if you let go of your collar? Do you think you're going to float away?” Like, I was getting funny looks on BART yesterday because I couldn't stop stimming. Like, the other day someone unfamiliar with the guide to not touching jokingly grabbed me by the shirt, and thinking about it still gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Shit, I wish I could just switch off sometimes.