That’s about where I am in my life at this moment.
…But wait, I thought you told us today’s post was going to be about the intersection of womanhood, motherhood, and birth.
Yup! That’s what it’s about.
In order to get from the questionnaire responses to my current euphoria, I have to establish the context a bit.
I have had to fight very hard to claim my womanhood. Given my transgender history, I will likely always have to fight to claim my womanhood. Contemplate, if you will, the insanity of having to do that in perpetuity.
I spent the first thirty years of my life attempting to cobble together a passable male identity by affixing ill-fitting scrap metal bits of the caricatures of men to myself.
I thought men were angry, so I was angry. I thought men were controlling, so I was controlling. I thought men were all sorts of awful things, so I was those things too. I presented a version of masculinity which was very much like nails glued to the outside of a cupcake. There was no substance to back up any of the behaviors I was emulating.
Nobody bought it, and, as a result, I was bullied (Very old posts about that here: https://serialnonconformist.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/myself-laid-bare-originally-posted-nov-23-2010/ and here: https://serialnonconformist.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/it-gets-better-originally-posted-oct-19-2010/ Take them for what they are, my thoughts from a very long three years ago.)
In the years after divorcing my first wife, I began to feel safer about letting the nails fall off, and exposing the cupcake reality. When I decided that I had to and could transition, I tore the remaining nails off right then and there.
This did not, however, leave a fully-formed adult woman standing there. I had to be a girl first, then an adolescent, then a young adult. This is an often repeated, if not universal part of early transition. A person transitioning has to go back and live an abridged version of what their life might have been like if they’d been assigned their true gender at birth.
I definitely feel fully formed now, but in any life, there are holes in a person’s understanding of the world. In my case, those holes are patched over with the mythos of womanhood that I retained from my years worshiping women from the outside. Part of that mythos held that pregnancy and birth are the quintessential aspects of womanhood. Before you judge me too harshly, consider how pervasive the ‘magical motherhood’ narrative is in our culture.
The other thing to keep in mind is that, in some ways I am a thirty-three year old woman, and in other ways I am only a three year old woman. In this case, I hadn’t had time to learn that ‘magical motherhood’ was not a narrative which was broadly subscribed to.
…which brings me to why today is glorious!
I have been able to accept so very many things about myself, and assert that my realness is not inferior to my cisgender sisters. Pregnancy was a hold-out, though.
I know straight, cisgender women who have struggled, and had to choose non-gestational motherhood. I also know other non-gestational lesbian mothers. Each of these people ache over it to some degree. But, at no point do any of them have to defend their right to be seen as female.
I was needing to be told that, with all that’s different about me, my abilities and limitations did not make me an outsider. That was what this project gave me!
Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.
I got to feel like Babykiddo’s mom today.
I doubt that I have to tell you what that’s worth.
I feel REAL
I love you all so very much!