I’m tired of my own angst.
I went to a wedding yesterday. And weddings are so stupid. Just so long and awkward and corny. The couple was happy and that’s the important part. It’s their money, their time, their relationship, they should do what they want. But DAMN I hate a wedding.
And you know what creates angst? Trying to like shit you don’t like.
It’s this mistake I make again and again. I think, well I don’t like that, but other people sure seem to like it a lot, and other people sure seem to dislike what I like, so other people must have a clue I don’t.
But no. Other people just like shit I don’t. Most of what I don’t like there are literally millions of people loving.
I used to really, really like that preppy style so many trans-guys like. I liked bow ties, I liked short-sleeved patterned shirts, I liked suspenders, I liked polished leather shoes, I liked walking around looking like a cast member of Dead Poets Society. (Makes sense since I watched that movie repeatedly when I was going through puberty and having my erotic awakening and whatnot.)
I can’t stand that shit now. Now it is NOT that I think I’m better than that shit. I look like warmed over cat crap most days, I have no discernible style happening beyond “sloppy” and “agitated.” I just also hate that shit now. Reminds me of nasty times with nasty people.
Now just like the wedding, other people should like what they like. Me not getting joy from something doesn’t mean their joy isn’t real and valuable.
But what’s been hard, especially trying really hard this year to be a good person, is I’ve had a serious lack of joy. A lot of what used to give me serious joy got turned into a reminder of nasty times when I transitioned, I just don’t have the joy go-tos I used to have. I remember once I met someone who went on and on and on about queer two-step and how much joy it brought her. I’m sitting there listening trying not to scowl because one of the reasons I moved to the Bay was queer two-step, and then like literally all things in the Bay, queer two-step turned into a nasty experience. I had this femme lady yell at me for not being able to lead, while my twinky-looking passing ex was the belle of the ball with all the older gay dudes. So fuck queer two-step. But again, are people not supposed to talk about what they like just because it reminds me my capacity for joy has been seriously diminished?
But honest to Christ, fuck queer two-step and fuck how pushy femme women get about the experiences they want. At least I wasn’t naked with that one.
Bitterness is not a lovable trait. On the other hand I used to be full of light and joy and hope and evidently I wasn’t very lovable back then because people took every chance to let me know I was not living up to what they felt entitled to demand I be. Whether I wasn’t woke enough, wasn’t toppy enough, wasn’t popular enough, wasn’t a gym rat enough, wasn’t passing enough, wasn’t kinky enough, wasn’t poly enough, wasn’t happy enough, wasn’t not crying enough.
Yesterday at the wedding they did have this really extensive appetizer spread. All these meats and olives and cheeses and spreads and little squares of pizza. I went so hard on the cheese and salami. A little hot salami, oily artichoke, a nice Muenster cheese all on a nice soft squishy italian white bread.
My friend, who’s a very good Italian girl, could’ve been a porcelain doll of bride, she was so lovely in her white lace. When the dancing started it was all group Italian dancing, like in inner and outer circles. I think she’ll have a very good marriage. (She’s another marriage and family therapist so she’s got that skill set and she and her husband look cute together, you don’t need much more than that.)
Once in one of the detrans groups, there was this one girl who every time I’d make a post would find something problematic about it. So I messaged her all, “Yo, what’s up, this happens every time I post, what do you need to say to me?” And she told me since I wasn’t on tumblr I had made it hard for people to hold me accountable.
Which is obviously the EXACT reason this is not a tumblr blog. Because I’ve done all kinds of activism, both somewhat effective and totally ineffective, and what gets called “accountability” on tumblr is just bullying, by people whose bodies are too small to experience being threatening in real life. She had some theory I was trying to work with Ken Zucker to co-opt the detrans movement, which is hilarious because I’ve met Ken Zucker exactly once, for about 10 minutes, and he didn’t actually roll his eyes at me but it was like his whole demeanor was one big, overarching eye roll. Like if an eye roll was a wind tunnel I stepped into.
I don’t ever want to go back to being in some scene where there’s competitive wokeness, or where discourse is the most valuable activity to excel in. I know from experience I’m bad at wokeness and discourse. But also they don’t do anything for me, I don’t find any fun in those things, I like problematic people, I like when people say weird shit and believe in dumb conspiracies and are super fucking sure of their super incredibly incorrect opinion.
Besides the appetizer spread at this wedding the last thing to bring me joy was my friend’s husband told the story of his fucked up bachelor party which happened at Nelson Ledges, which is where NEO hippie kids go to take lots of drugs and meet narcs. His bachelor party was 3 days long and he managed to get cold-cocked by his oldest friend during an elaborate frisbee game that involved garbage cans with slots in them. His wife/my friend said when she picked him he was covered in dirt and his knees were all scabbed and the way she told it she asked him, “Are you…….ok? None of you seem ok.”
I wish there was clothing that brought me joy, because it is special when you can put something on that makes you happy. But no, nothing besides sweat pants. I wish there was a subculture that brought me joy, like if I could get back into bikes. But bike guys are the so hard to take. Seeing the Old 97’s reminded me how much I used to like alt-country when I was in college, but then I went to see an alt-country act someone recommended and this lady in dramatic lipstick was yodeling way off pitch and I felt very 36. At this point the sources of joy have narrowed down to very strong coffee, and my dog, and I would be psyched to go shoot guns again and I do like conspiracy theory podcasts.
I know someone needs to be the girl who has her shit together on this detrans stuff and works with the people in WPATH even though they’re largely boundary-less weirdos and fuck it, trying to be that girl this year sucked me fucking dry. That effort does not bring me any joy nor do I think it’s helpful to detransitioners, because I just straight up don’t think we should enter into therapeutic relationships with people in WPATH. They don’t need our money and they do need other people’s money and I think our wellbeing and other people’s money are competing interests. And I’m tired of watching what I say, and I’m tired of not writing about things as they actually happen, and I’m tired of trying to be good and ending up angsty.
This detrans stuff is the result of a bunch of ideologues deciding the informed consent model was the only non-transphobic choice, and those ideologues can work this shit out without me. I don’t need to be a good girl anymore, it’s not like it made anyone more pleased with me anyway. I’m just going to write my bullshit and try to re-find some of that joy that went missing.