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Writings : Essays

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 was he?

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.