by Reb and Lexa, 7/26/01
A week or two ago, Ariel attended a brief discussion online at
a talker over the issues of ftms, aka 'female-to-male.' And why
shouldn't he? The boy's stuck in a female body and most of us now
on the Council are actually male as well--why not at least listen
to a discussion of those with similar difficulties in passing for
their preferred gender in society? This talker was one he had been
invited to and which claimed open-mindedness for all--a sort of
haven for those who wished to duck the prejudices of common society.
It went over classically well in the leaden sense; this anonymous
Guest was tolerated for a bit before one person netted him down
with questions. What are you? Are you female or male? Male, Ariel
wanted to answer--but yet the words caught in his throat. Was it
more appropriately ftm? But that would mean he was originally female
and thought he should be male, or did it mean he was a female who
identified himself more as a boy? All these terms were ones he wasn't
familiar with the pitfalls of, and stumbling over them meant that
he next caught lines of being asked how certain he was about his
own gender. I'm just a guy in a female's body, he wanted to pipe
up cheerfully. But even that wasn't quite the truth either. So what
I'm a boy in a girl's body who currently shares it with mostly
men up front, so I guess you could call us all ftm right now but
give us a few months and that might change.
No. That didn't get said. What did were the three letters of female-to-male,
which granted Ariel next the question of, Have you started changing
over yet? Taken hormones? When did you realize you were this way?
How serious are you?
All perfectly normal questions, yes. And ones which Ariel was completely
unable to answer. If he wanted to speak the truth.
Truth is *entirely* conditional--a painful lesson most multiples
learn early on, and learn it well. For us personally, we know it
to be a weapon that strikes at us as nothing else does. We know
that it is more accurate if someone else says it, not if we see
it with our own eyes. Our own memory is one that we can never trust
nor count upon. We can protest until we are blue in the face and
still, *still* the truth is dispensed out as whatever the other
person feels like. And *that* is reality. Not our own.
We're told by our therapists that the people keeping company with
us in our heads are fairy-tales; they're wishes and dreams of what
we always *wanted* to be, secretly, without a doubt. The worlds
in our minds are faulty at heart, for they are not real. Our very
selves are exercises in self-deception. We are lies. We will
always be lies. What we are is told to us and we must accept
it, and we will have no defenses against it save to submit.
The very nature of a multiple group is to include contraries--and
those are what gives all the individuals in it, at times, the stigma
of the hoaxer. Kyth in particular has this happen to him all the
time, for he runs into continual sneers for how honest he might
want to be thought of as; compiled with the facts of the rest of
us, and you have a picture of a person insisting that they are completely
sincere on one side of the fence as the other. What you have is
an image of a person who has no opinions of their own, save to possibly
manipulate with--or even better, so blinded by their own egos of
what they'd like to think are their virtues or flaws that they don't
realize how false their own natures are. Not exactly worth respect
in the modern style of thought.
We are two-timing if we are interested in anyone other than a single
mate; how can we do this if some of us prefer strictly women, some
men, some neither? When there are those of us who extend our interests
forth, we can never allow them to be serious. We must become playful
by default, always easier to be thought of as insincere if only
to be understood by society's predispositions. We are always untrue
whenever we claim to care. It makes it simpler to believe that we're
decievers eternal, rather than accept both sides of a coin whose
very metal may be in question.
We are never really suffering. Are we? Our external friends wonder
sometimes why we don't recover from certain stresses quickly when
we seem otherwise so content, or why we can break down in fits of
frustrated tears one hour and the next be bouncing on the couch
in demands to play a video game. How could we do that, if we didn't
*really* feel distraught? Ah, they think, we must be coping by just
pushing it all away, and so trying to talk to us about it or otherwise
help us would be unnecessary.
We are lying if we want help. If we're supposed to be a stable
and healthy multiple group, we must be self-contained, mustn't we?
It's a lie if we are perfect because doctors would have us delusional
with no cure save for them, and it's a lie if we are not perfect,
for here we are, breathing and healthy. We are going to go to the
special place in the afterlife reserved for the indecisive. We are
all paying the price for the existences of each other.
A person must be one thing or the other, for else they are insincere
and therefore useless. Purity can't exist with sin by nature--can
it? We have here Kyth, who suffers if he sees an ant stepped upon
and has more than once refused to crush a cockroach or let anyone
else do it. Next to him we have Judith, who would see the world
burn; we have Merrin, who torments her twin sister, and Morgan,
who hisses lines that would make any Klux member proud. Because
they stand next to one another, they are all bound up in a bit of
tape and tossed away, labeled so neatly as automatically a part
of one another and therefore impure whether it be in love or in
hatred. We are lying to even claim we are honest to begin with.
Recently Kyth had himself caught up in a huge mess wherein the
purportedly bi-interested girl he had been speaking to over the
Net had found out about the genetics of his body. The result? Months
of accusations being thrown in his direction of how he had deceived
her--although she had told him right at the beginning of when they
were speaking that she didn't mind either way--and scorn entire
for his very nature itself. Because he somehow couldn't spend every
moment of his life with her, he was false in his care. Because he
had to share his body with the rest of us and our concerns, he was
doomed to fail from the start.
We don't like people plowing down Kyth. We don't like letting
him endure it either. But our frail sage stuck in there, insisting
that he be the one to take the blame for it all, to suffer through
that girl-child's insults and taunts while the rest of us paced
behind and raged silent. Take that, all ye who claim that multiplicity
is nothing more than running away from one's problems.
Yet it's true that Kyth was lying when he implied he was male.
And he was also telling the truth, the only and absolute truth
about him. He *is* male. He is definitely and completely masculine,
even though he is not stereotypically so, and is certainly uncomfortable
when forced into the mold of the female. That is his truth. To the
brat-girl who has our eternal emnity--save for Kyth's compassion--the
idea of him as a forked-tongued woman is also truth.
Recently again has Souji finally admitted in an oblique way that
he is physically female to another roleplayer whom he has spent
many a laughing night with and has been consistently friendly towards.
He didn't want to say it. He didn't want to be thought of as female,
but it was better this than what happened to Kyth--right?
There's been a noted silence from her ever since.
As we lock down the hatches for another cut of rejection and distance
from this one, we stop and wonder to ourselves. Is it the drawing-back
of this other person whom we enjoy being friends with that hurts?
Is it not being able to possibly flirt with her in the non-serious
manner they have continued on? Whatever it is, it stands right alongside
the resentment, cool and ever-present, of having to be thought of
as something we are not lest we are burned for what they think is
duplicity. It *is* the truth. It just isn't one that's in palatable
form to them. So why should we be the ones thrown upon the rack?
We have no salvation save to cloak our realities in stories, or
accept a false dictation upon ourselves. We dance the lines between
getting caught at the truth-thought-wrong and bridling in quiet
distaste at being pushed into an arbitrary image in the online world
which should theoretically grant us the freedom we have always wanted.
In order to be honest, we must take on illusions. If we dare be
accurate, we lose so much more.
If it's to anyone's curiosity, Ariel was found by the person who
took him to the meeting and told that the one who had questioned
him had done so in a needlessly harsh manner. He was told that it
wouldn't be so hard again if he returned.
But still... he would just be lying if he went back.