I roll out of bed each morning knowing myself to be a woman. I take steps to ensure that other people know it as well; I conceal (quite literally) the lies that biology writes about me on my face. I take hormonal pills so as to fix nature’s mistakes, and take solace in the knowledge that my body, however gradually, however haultingly, is becoming less and less of a slander against my name.
I go to work each day as a woman. My friends all know and recognize me as such. They have learned to see past the illusions. Sometimes I pretend that I am not a woman, when I am teaching a lab or meeting with my supervisor. I wish I didn’t have to do that–I probably don’t–but I know that I am only playacting; I wear the mask, the mask does not wear me.
I look into ways to further erase the calumnies committed against my person; procedures to remove my hated facial hair once and for all, rather than just hiding it for a few hours. I dress as what I am, and seek out clever ways around the fact that my clothes aren’t really tailored for my body.
I am a woman.
But sometimes when I am out, perhaps spending an otherwise enjoyable evening at my campus pub playing trivia with my friends, I will, for example, go off to use the washroom and have some shit-for-brains dudebro shout abuse at me. And suddenly, I no longer feel like a woman; I feel like a grotesque, ugly deluded creature. And I feel trapped in my own body, and the shame fills me for hours.
But then, I will look at myself in a mirror, and see the face of a woman looking back at me, and know it to be my face. And suddenly I am myself again.
The moral of the story:
Don’t let the bastards get you down.