Monday, February 15, 2010

Body trust

Last week I referred to going on T as the most anticlimactic life-changing event I’ll ever experience. Moments of impatience accentuate my reverence—that one can change so completely, that this body can become almost anything I am willing to make it, that the very constraints of possibility can be pushed to their limits. A half wall of mirrors entices me to examine these curves for traces of overnight body alchemy

T has changed the way I relate to my body. What has long been a no man’s land riddled with insecurity and mild contempt has been renewed by curiosity. My body has become the site of progress, of new potential, of possibility. It is as if, after being estranged for so long, I am considering reconciliation. I withhold judgment, studying it, trying to see it anew. I let it reveal itself to me. It is as if I am learning to trust—both myself with my body and my body with myself.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Letter

It’s been months since I resumed therapy. In past years talk about relationships dominate the 50 minutes of gaping awkwardness. I had shared a sustained suspicion of therapy as practice, but I wasn’t about to insult what she did. I returned from my summer internship with an agenda. Our eyes lock during session. “Why do you come?,” she prods me

“because I have to.”


“Because mid-century, a well-meaning and well-respected physician decided that you get to decide that I want what I want.”

“You don’t see the advantage? You know… not everyone thinks through things as much as you do.”

“I talk to trans people everyday. It’s not something people take lightly. Every time you tell someone, they ask you if you’re fucking sure. They practically beg you not be.”

She was sympathetic. A sympathetic professional whose career is built on the assumption that people can’t solve their own problems. I built my life on the conviction that I was the only one who could change anything that mattered in my own life. We spent months grappling for common ground. I demanded a letter, and eventually refused to return. I graduated and moved half way across the country. A week later I got my letter in the mail.