Taming the Beasts to put a bounce in my step

Cerberus - woodcut 33 x 27 by Donald Axelroad see http://donaldaxleroad.com

A parcel from T-Kingdom in Taiwan arrived earlier last week. It was like my birthday all over again!!!! My first binder had arrived and it was time to tame the two Beasts on my chest. Whoopeeeeee!!! Rubi looked at me smiling as I bounced around grinning from ear to ear before everso carefully snipping the brilliantly minimal packaging so I can save it for my memory box.

I take it out. It’s a white XXL 801 binder and I’d read good reviews on FTM pages in all my research so I’m confident I’ve ordered a good one to start. Is it the right size? Am I going to be able to breathe comfortably? Is the material going to exacerbate my already ezcema-inflammed skin? This is a big issue for me as the ezcema has only just healed on my right nipple after 8 months of seriously uncomfortable and painful soreness. Will the binder put me back to square one? I’m excited, deliriously excited, but I’m also anxious. It feels like there’s a lot at stake with this essential item of undergarment for me.

I put it on as you would a waistcoat…one that’s several sizes too small for you….and then there’s a discrete front zip to pull up. The first time I tried to zip it up I was afraid I was going to tear it as I tried desperately to wrestle the Beasts in at the same time as pulling up the fastener. It was a peculiar feeling as the Beasts fought and struggled to pop their noses out under the bottom of the binder. With Rubi’s help we managed to get some semblance of order though and in next to no time I had my T-shirt back on over my new BFF (well BF til the Beasts are slain anyway!).

Oh myyyyyyy…..don’t I look like I’ve got big pecs??!!

Ooops….I move and suddenly I have a giant monoboob instead. It’s not the look I’m going for and suddenly I panic it’s all going to go wrong. The Beasts can NEVER be tamed!! It’s all fantasy…. Now I’ll have to wait for ages to get another one….blah-blah-blah the spiralling negative thought patterns whizzed round my head. But Rubi is patient and kind and we jiggle things around again. I soon develop a knack of reaching in from the top and grabbing each Beast by the nose and positioning carefully so I don’t end up looking like I’ve got nipples that are either 4cm apart or where one is up by my armpit and the other is looking for my kidney.

You can’t imagine the feeling of liberation I felt when we went out shopping later that day. With my jacket on you’d never tell the Beasts were there. I became acutely conscious I wasn’t packing a bulge in the right place but I’ve taken to wearing baggy combats at the moment so that’s sort of covered until I’ve done my research properly for packing tools. It was great to be feeling that sense of passing again like I used to when I was younger and the Beasts were meer whippersnappers of pups and were content to stick close to my chest and blend in more with the rest of how I felt – publically male.

The next thing I became acutely conscious of was my voice tone. Rubi has mentioned before my tendency to slip into ‘girly pitch’ if I call the dogs back when I’m anxious about something. I probably do it if I’m getting all excited at times too. I make a mental note to research vocal training techniques for FTM transitioning….actors must have to do this sometimes so before I start taking the testosterone I can get into practice deepening my voice and re-hardwiring my synaptic connections toward lower male vocal tones.

I am feeling myself begin to change from the inside out. My Stag is emerging publically now and I feel a new sense of self-confidence that I haven’t felt in a long time. My libido is high. I am DOING again. I feel an energy rising from my core that is driving me to do things I have been unable to do for a very long time. I am learning to use this energy wisely, resisting the temptation to explode into hyper-activity, but to use it in a focused way. Getting back to work in small steps. Contacting my tutor in order to complete my counselling diploma. Looking after myself. Writing. I feel like the Fire in my head is burning brightly but that whereas before I’ve always let the Fire rage hard and then burn out, I realise now that I have the skills to kindle and stoke the Fire myself. I can at last, after 43 years, be in control of my own destiny and it really has just struck me, while I am writing, quite how profound my gender conflict has been in my life. In essence I am a bigendered man and not a bigendered woman. If it sounds confusing to you dear reader, imagine internally wrestling with that all your life. I have now stopped fighting with myself and have no choice but to become who I am and take control of my destiny.

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About Sam Feeney

I am a counsellor, trainer and LGBTQI community activist. I write about my journey through life as a someone who lives and breathes gender and sexual difference and who cares passionately about creating powerful and sustainable radical social and political change.
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