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Blaze working some stuff out
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Post: #1
Blaze working some stuff out
I wasn't sure whether I should put this in the Dreams subforum or here. (It would only be "Dreams" metaphorically, though.) I hope it's OK that I'm using red-orange font...right now I'm speaking as Blaze, so I thought maybe it would be of benefit to color-code things, especially as I may get introjections from elsewhere. Someone else is listening. He'll use this color if he speaks.

It's been a very long time since I openly acknowledged my plurality or spoke from a non-"home" position. In addition it's been quite a long time since I addressed the topic of feeling not-at-home in my body. The posting on dysphoria, though, got me to think about something I've been trying to avoid. In a different sense...I've been recently triggered by stresses. The body has, within the last two weeks, been experiencing something of a relapse of our illness, probably triggered by irregular sleep and irregular trial medication, which has led to some issues at the workplace. (Those issues fairly cleanly tie into my self-concept.) In particular, it looks like I'm predisposed to perceive that others think I'm not working hard enough, though that might not be the case. I do see a counselor this Monday, which should help...I'm just not sure if I'll need more than one hour.

I've, at this point, decided to aim for a vocation of a Web Developer or Designer or Master with an avocation of Jewelry/Beading/Fiber Art. I doubt I'll be able to make enough money working as a jeweler full-time -- unless I go into Fine Jewelry -- to be able to make a comfortable living. And Fine Jewelry training is costly. So are the materials used. And I'm not even going to get into the ethics of gem and metal sourcing. The best training -- or so I've heard -- ranges from $11,000 to over $13,000, for a short-term intensive plus "graduate" work. Plus, the pay after certification doesn't even really seem to be all that great. And that's not the only debt I'd have. I still have debt from undergraduate studies and a good amount of credit card debt which accumulated over the 10+ years I was not working.

What I have now is better than being totally unemployed with no recourse, but still...because of certain things such as the amount of money I could be pulling doing something else which more accurately recognizes and compensates me for my skills -- plus market dynamics which make labor-intensive crafts such as mine, disadvantageous given the cost of living in my area -- it makes things seem that I'd be better off doing something else. As, recently, I've recognized that my current skill set is mismatched to my present job title. I'm working in a front-line service position when I at least tell myself that I dislike dealing with people, and I have the training to do much more. However, I didn't gain this insight until I had the experience.

But this is really an aside. Related is the fact that part of the reason I had decided not to pursue gender transition was that I wanted to be able to continue to wear what I made as jewelry. Most of what I make would not be able to come off as particularly "manly." <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> I had also decided not to pursue transition because I do work on the front lines, and I've been afraid of rejection (or worse) from the public should I gradually start turning manly in front of them. But should I no longer work in this type of environment -- and I've recently experienced a very different type of environment -- the threat of being shoved out of society's good graces is no longer as threatening a factor.

I've seen what some others have gone through...particularly when it comes to those who have been in denial for decades about the gender they wish to live within, and I'm wondering if that's similar to what I'm doing. That is, am I surrounding myself with beads and jewelry and wanting to go into embroidery and sewing because I'm trying to fit in as a feminine person? Or is it just that I am genuinely drawn to fiber art and beading and cloth+needle? Why is it that if I don't work where I do now (which is in a traditionally feminine occupation), I'd want to work at a fabric store (another traditionally feminine occupation, and also a social one, at that)? I realize that I don't want to work in an environment where my presence could be seen as unwanted because of my sex. But I doubt that all non-traditionally-feminine occupations are like this. I do recognize, though, that I like working among women much more than working among men. Clearly.

We had thought that what we experienced as my perspective was sincerely my own, as Blaze. That the core self was actually somewhat separate from this state I am in now, because we can separate it out and not think about it, so long as I'm not here: leaving "Core" undefined and possibly neutral. But when I'm in this state, it does feel very, very real. I'm not sure to what extent this is because I can suspend disbelief, to what extent it is that I can act within character, and to what extent this is actually who I am under everything else.

Given, as I mentioned in the General Discussion subforum, that my body seems to be beginning to transition of its own accord, the question becomes more pressing -- for me at least -- as to what extent I will make an effort to avoid, say, growing in (more) coarse dark facial hair, and to what extent I'll let it happen. Or, even, if I should flow with it and go all the way -- even though I just personally would not be comfortable with injections for the rest of my life, given the risk of infection every time. At this point, I do still think that I look better with a shaven face, but it's basically a given that where my hair is thick and dark, it's visible even after shaving, through the skin. If it spreads too far, it could blow my cover as a genderqueer person attempting to come off as female. Or, rather, it could mark me *as* gender-nonconforming.

At the same time, my chest is now bigger than it's ever really been in my life (
still not that big), due to the birth control that was meant to mitigate my testosterone. And I'm getting some pretty big latissimus dorsi muscles from not even really doing much but lifting at work. So it would seem that I'm gradually growing into this place where my gender -- to a casual observer -- may become uncertain. Especially if I cut my hair off, again. It is kind of nice, though, to be able to have big curls like I do in inner-space. It's just a pain to have to blow-dry and manually thin because the hair is too dense to dry on its own. Plus, I don't know what I'll do when I don't have the option of someone else straightening it for me.

And so what's the problem? you ask. Didn't you want this?

It's different when it's under your control as versus when it isn't under your control. Right now I don't know why my hormones are doing what they're doing, and it's possible that my identity shift is a symptom of the hormones and not the other way around. There's also the problem of a hairline shift, which I have an inkling may have started to happen before I began the birth control. That is, I lost a good amount of the baby-hair fringe at my forehead, and I don't really want it to recess any further.

I do think I'm feeling more solid about a decision on this than I was when I started writing. That basically the beauty thing -- as expressed in crafts -- is really important to me, and beyond my body being feminized, I think I'd actually like it feminized, even if I am psychologically male-by-identity. It's not particularly for any one reason...just more of a recognition that there are things about being partially feminized that I do like, and that that can be as integral to me as my love of color and light, for example.

All right. Feeling better now. I can go to bed. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

One more note: this is clearly tying into my own self-concept as femme, which I've mentioned elsewhere online. Only, I'm a femme male in a female body -- as versus a butch female in a female body. That appears very valid; it's just not the easiest thing to express.

All right, I'll let you go now. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> Thank you for reading, if you got this far!
2014-05-11 5:41
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Post: #2
Re: Blaze working some stuff out
Chordal Wrote:I wasn't sure whether I should put this in the Dreams subforum or here.

Since this was more of an introspective piece about gender identity and male/female roles in society, I've moved this to the general forum.

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2014-05-12 18:36
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