Transgender Series – Building an Identity
Transgender Series: Inside a Transgender mind, and life. This will be an ongoing series about Transgender issues. The main focus of the series will be to provide an outside audience, a glimpse into the mind and life of a Transgender person. The series will focus on the life and experiences of one Transgender individual. It is important to note: This individual will have experiences commonly shared by the Transgender community, as well as experiences that are unique and independent.
For Part I, please click here.
Welcome back, friend. I am glad you have come to visit me inside my mind, once more. I was worried you would not come back. Come, sit with me. I just made some chamomile tea, would you like a cup? Last time I showed you around, we looked at how I was growing up as transgender and how knowing I was different, it impacted me. Today, I would like to expand off of that but onto a different topic. Today, I’d like to share with you what it is like to create a character to live as.
Here, bring your tea and follow me. Prior to seventeen years old, I was a blend of male and female in regards to my expression. Growing up in a family where gender roles were strict, I was afforded little opportunity to express my feminine self. I found ways though. This was shattered at seventeen. I would never again outwardly express anything feminine; Until I came out as transgender at thirty. I was conditioned early on, that anything girly would get me in trouble. This basically taught me to hide, by using dishonesty in the way of omission. After seventeen; I would hide, by engaging in a direct campaign of dishonesty by deception. Both the omission and deception were ways to survive, ways of protecting myself. Ways of protecting the small, fragile, delicate girl that lived within these confines. Seventeen marked a dramatic shift. It is where the building of “The ultra Alpha Male character” began.
It was my seventeenth birthday. Warm summer night. Beautiful sky. Gentle cool breeze blowing. There was a gathering of family and friends for my birthday. There was food, alcohol, music… It was a very lively party. I had on tight jeans and a silk button up shirt. This shirt has always been one of my favorites in my entire life. It was dark green, with a shiny exterior, and a super soft feel against the skin. At 17, I was very feminine for a male. I spoke in a higher range, my body was not “manly” at all, I grew little facial hair. Later in the night I was pretty drunk (my first time really drinking). I was called outside, by a much older and larger male family member. I was being accused of being to much of a sissy (because my manner and the fact I had made no attempt to bed any of the girls my age at the party.). It happened fast. The car door next to me was flung open. I was flung in on the back seat. Before my weight had even settled, he was on top of me. I’ve been through a lot of violence in life; This was one of the most vicious attacks I’ve ever known. Fists flying; punches landing in my face, lip splits wide open. Chokes to hold me still while punches landed. Knees in my thighs/abdomen to keep me pinned in the back seat of the car. Clawing, ripping, slapping, punching… It seemed to go on forever. I was crying, badly. Screaming and begging for them to stop. They did not hear my pleas. Finally they stopped. They got up off me and left me laying there.
I don’t know how long I lay there, crying. Finally I got up. My face swollen and bleeding, welts, cuts, scrapes, bruises were all over me. My favorite green silk button up shirt? Gone, it literally hung from my tattered body in shreds. I went inside again. The party kind of came to a screeching halt at the sight of me. Quickly this family member that attacked me justified his actions; before I could even be asked what happened. He explained to everyone that I was to much of a sissy, that I needed to be toughened up. His present to me for my 17th birthday? Was to make a Man out me. This would be the last time until I was 30, where any of my actual self was apparent at the surface.
With my high aptitude, I set to work to learn. What was I teaching myself? How to build the ultimate Male character. The ultimate disguise for the soft, sensitive girl who wanted to protect Herself. I started with books and movies; looking for characteristics and traits that I wanted to incorporate into my Male character. Certain traits seemed to appeal. I would be noble, doing really awful things for only the rightest of reasons. I would develop a persona that was the “likable asshole”. I knew being an asshole would be an important component, for protection reasons; I did not want to go full out asshole though. I started absorbing like the sponge I am. Started pulling inspiration from everything around me. I then started training myself in the aspects I chose. Martial arts, woodsman-ship, weapon training… I also started other ventures to enhance my character. I started working out, constantly to build size, mass and strength. I start bull-riding in the rodeo. My theory was if I could take a beating from a 2000 pound animal, there was nothing a 300 pound human being could do to hurt me. I began to hunt and stalk. I began to treat women as trophies, a way to display “my heterosexuality”. Much of what my character did and said was completely counter intuitive to me as a female. There were dual aspects to every action in my life. What I truly felt inside and what I had to do to maintain my character. By nature, I am empathetic and compassionate. Traits that for the most part did not lend themselves to my character. So when placed in situations that called for empathy; I would repress what I felt inside and determine logically what was the most ass-holish way I could deal with current situation.
This would go on from 17 until 21 years old. By 21, I was the ultimate alpha male. I had money, fame, women, anything a guy could want. I had a life at 21 years old, most Men could only dream of. I had a reputation I was not to be fucked with. My voice had gone from high pitched to the deepest damn brassiest bark you have ever heard. I usually spoke softly, low and said very little. But when I roared, it was absolutely terrifying. At 21 I would be attacked by the same family member who attacked me when I was 17. It was over in seconds, and never again would they have the nerve to challenge me. They had wanted to make a Man of me? What they made was a monster. It was at 21, I realized I had become my abuser. From my 17th birthday when I took that beating in the back of car; I idolized that person. I wanted to be just like them, so no one would ever do that to me again. But at 21, I saw in the mirror what I had become. I made the decision that year that I wanted to be nothing like that person, I wanted to be the complete opposite. Now I had to modify my character to keep it the same, yet rid it of the negative aspects. There was another problem though… It’s a problem that is best explained by a Hollywood occurrence. Many actors have the misfortune of being typecast. There is a lesser known drawback to type casting; When you play a character long enough, you begin to become the character. This was happening to me. I was losing who I really was inside. I started to literally become the monster I had created. I always maintained a tether to my true self. So no matter how far I had to drift or distance myself, I could always find my way back.
This created some really unique intersections, between who I truly was and my created character. Sometimes they could be quite funny. Walk with me to a different part of my mind; I will show you a memory of one of these funny intersections: It was bright in the arena, my hat pulled low to shade my eyes from the beaming overhead lights. I was standing over my chute, looking at my draw. It was the biggest bull, but be damned if he didn’t have a huge attitude. This was the bull to match my character; Pure Asshole. In the chute it was a fight, the entire time. Thrashing, jumping around, rearing up, trying to crush my legs between itself and the steel chute. It was mad and I was madder. Punching it in the back of its thick skull and cussing it to high heavens. I finally managed to get my rope on and my hand bound. I set myself as fast as I could and nodded for the gate. We both hear the latch, we both tense and explode. His first jump, he fouls me into the gate on my left side. He then moves a jump or two into the arena. Looks up and sees the fronts of the steel bucking chutes, he runs me right into them. He literally runs down the front of the chutes grinding his left side into them. My left side gets grind-ed up. We hit the fence and he spins around.
Now he grinds the same way down the entire length of chutes, only on my right side. We hit the end, he turns out into the arena and spins. Whistle blows and I dismount. I get a score and because of all the fouls I am offered a re-ride. That’s hardly what I remember. During all the grinding into the chute, the bull had completely destroyed my jeans. They were gone. I was standing in the middle of a brightly lit arena, in front of tens of thousands of people; Pants less. There was a roar of laughter from the crowd. It took me a second to realize why. There I was, big tough bad-ass bull-rider… Standing in the middle of the arena in a pair of red satin panties, shaved legs and painted toenails. Luckily the toenails could not be seen, the boots never came off. My face become thrushed with red. I was so embarrassed. I thought I was outed. Everybody seemed to think I had planned it intentionally as a joke; So I just went with it. I’m not sure what it was about a bull rider in panties with shaved legs; But I never had more date offers in one night than I did that night. Not exactly sure how that works in a culture that is so homophobic/trans-phobic.
At 25, I started living a dual life. In public I would play my character, in private I would be my female, transgender self. The more I got to be myself; the less my true self wanted to be denied. From 25 to 30, I found myself less and less willing to play my character to protect my true self. My true self wanted out, damn the consequences. I probably would have come out as transgender before 30, had it not been for being in military service. While this was a character I had created, it truly became a part of me. Even to this day, it is almost if I have split personality disorder. I can seem like two very different people from time to time. I am aware it is not split personality. One personality is my authentic self, the other is a created character. But I conditioned myself to play the role; Every now and then that conditioning shows up unexpectedly. Yet another price I pay, for the way I was handled by society for being a transgender person. The price of having to protect myself. It hurts me. Even many of the good memories, because they were not mine. Years of my life spent watching, rather than living it. Relationships were impossible; because people fell in love with the character, and not myself. They would never even see me in their blind lust for fictional being. I was lonely, lost and hurt. This was to be the beginning of the end. Or the end of the beginning, if you see it from my eyes.
Thank you for coming back. I honestly did not expect to see you here again. I hope you enjoyed the tour today.
I am assuming you will be back. I hope so at least. I am already preparing the next tour of my mind. It will be a tour of the early catalysts, that led up to my coming out. I can promise this is a tour you will not want to miss. Please take care, my friend. Until we see each other again, love and light. heart emoticon
Gabrielle Langmoore ~ November 20, 2015 © 2015 Gabrielle Langmoore. All rights reserved. Exclusive permissions granted to www.azureperspective.com for use and reproduction.