Thursday, October 25, 2007

Alternative Places to Piss

Tonight I went to my favorite gay bar in The Cities...the Townhouse. The Townhouse is casual, very mixed, and plays consistently fierce music. Tonight I arrived about half an hour after everyone else because I have to bus everywhere...which only emphasizes my usual lateness. My friend P and I are at the bar ordering drinks. A group of men are near by and are obviously cruising us. I inform P of this and he says "yes, i know, one of them grabbed my nipple earlier". We discuss how that is a real turn-off and decide the only appropriate thing to do is ignore them. I, however, cannot ignore them as I see them staring at us and my years as living as a woman have taught me to keep a close eye on anyone staring too intensely. Pretty soon, however, I realize that they are staring not at myself or P but at my crotch which is quite obviously dick-less.

There are two things that let people know I was not born a man.
1) my voice
2) my lack of a cock

I want a deep voice, but I have no desire for a penis. I really enjoy my vagina and with my current partner I no longer feel any ambiguity or dysphoria about being male and having a vagina.* However, if I am to be read as male I need to pack. For me, this borders on going out without binding in that it doesn't represent the body I desire, but rather a body that confirms to societal standards. If I pack and my sweetie and I go out dancing she'll feel my packer all night, something that might occasionally be hot but is undesirable to both of us on a regular basis. Further, if I pack then I only conform to the idea that "real" men have penises, and "real" women have vaginas, an idea that I hold suspect.

Packing is not currently an option because my packer is for drag acts and is too large for club use. I worry that were I to use a smaller packer I'd soon find myself bringing it to clubs in order to be correctly gendered. The one amazing thing about being read as male would be gaining the privilege of using the men's room. The Townhouse places a bouncer at the door of the men's room to check IDs. Naturally, there is no bouncer at the woman's room. cisexual women, transmen, transwomen, and genderqueer folk all use the women's two bathrooms. The two bathroom's of the men's room are reserved for cissexual men and the few transmen who have had their IDs changed. In order to spare myself the humiliation of the women's room I go outside and piss in the alleyway. This is neither sexy nor hygienic. If packing lets me piss in peace then it may very well be worth the forced gender dysphoria.

*I once said "I'm a man without a dick" to her and she immediately corrected me, "no, you're a man with a vagina". I felt all kinds of shame that I would rank my lack of penis above the presence of my vagina, but it felt wonderful to have a partner so affirming of my physical body as well as my chosen sex and gender identity.

1 comment:

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

I still think you should write (more) about that scandalous Townhouse bathroom gender policing drama -- lovely to see your new blog, and do stay in touch!

Love --
mattilda