As a genderfluid / two-spirit / 3rd gender person, I sometimes present as female and sometimes present as male. I’ve covered this several times in the past.
Often I see fellow t-girls referring to their girl side in the third person, even going as far as to say things like “Susan wants to come out today, and I can’t stop her”. Frankly talk like this scares me – it is surely inviting split personality. Or perhaps they feel guilt or shame about their transgenderism and it is a way for them to externalise it and compartmentalise it? I don’t know, but I’m certainly not comfortable with the idea.
For me, I prefer to think of it as being different facets on the same diamond, or different views onto the same data if you want to talk in programming terms. This isn’t such a far-fetched idea – it’s quite common to present yourself differently to different people at different times. You will behave differently in a business situation than you will in a social situation. Your demeanour, behaviour, dress code, even mannerisms may differ, but you are still the same person. So it’s not much of a leap to see presenting as male or female at different times doesn’t alter the person you are either. You aren’t different people, unless you are role-playing I suppose, in the same way that an actor will refer to their character in the third person. But that’s a completely different kettle of badgers.
Yes, of course you might behave differently when presenting as male than as female – that’s fairly inevitable and something I notice in myself, but that doesn’t mean that you are different people.
I strongly believe that we should strive to be whole people, and to fully integrate the various facets of our lives into one lovely shining precious diamond. To try to split yourself into different people is not only dangerous, but it also denies you that feeling of wholeness and of being comfortable with yourself. I realise that this sounds a little trite, and is easier said than done, but it’s something that I believe is important.
I had a lovely email via Flickr recently, as I do from time to time, and it particularly struck a chord with regards to the musings on this post as it signed off wishing me enjoyment in my “Joanne time”. And that is my point exactly: this isn’t a persona or a role, it’s who I am. It’s me. It was said completely innocently and I took it in the way it was intended – to enjoy presenting as female (which of course I do) – but it is also a case in point.
So, please, wherever you are in your trans life, if you are of the habit of trying to shut part of yourself away in a box, I urge you not to, and to instead try to be a diamond. And sparkle.