The Right to Remain Silent

I-want-a-butch-to-rub-my-belly

Gracie asks for what she wants. When she wants to come up on the bed or couch, she grunts a little low “urg” to get my attention, and waits for an invitation. When she wants her belly rubbed, she rolls over and taps her tail. When I have ignored chow time she lies down in my sight line and stares at me. When she is ready to go out she goes to the door. When she is bored she goes to her toy box and throws everything that is in it onto the floor. When there is an “urgency” she noses me and dances around. There is no confusing or mistaking any of these signals. Gracie is confident. Gracie is a good girl.

I-don't-think-a-transgender-or-non-binary-butch-would-live-hereI find it difficult to ask for anything. I learned to suppress my desires. I learned to stop saying what I wanted because I wanted to be a boy. What game do you want to play? What do you want to dress up as for Halloween? What do you want to do when you grow up? Do you want to play house? What do you want for your birthday?

The message was clear. If I told the truth, I got in trouble. If I lied, I betrayed myself and ended up with a Barbie Dreamhouse. Either way, I was not getting the hockey skates.  The safest thing was to say nothing, but you can’t stay silent forever. I know, I tried, it doesn’t work.

Donna wonders why, after all of our time together, am I still so secretive? Why can’t I just tell her what I am thinking? Why is it so difficult for me to talk about my feelings? Why can’t I tell her what I want? Why do I hesitate? Why don’t I trust her?

I still feel like the eight year old who yearns for hockey skates but is afraid to ask for them. I hope that refusing to suppress my trans*-ness, my boy-ness, and my more than vanilla butch-ness, will eventually let me loosen my tongue. I would like to answer Donna’s questions honestly, without fear, and without squirming in my seat. I would like to be as confident as Gracie. I would like to be a good boy.

2 thoughts on “The Right to Remain Silent

  1. middleagebutch

    I really liked your post. Funny how animals have no problem asking for what they need. Not so for us humans. I wonder now if my communication problems stem from the same thing. I did ask for certain things. I wanted to wear boys clothes and to play the drums instead of the flute but was always told no. Maybe being rejected and shut down so many times as a child stopped me from asking when I got older.

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    1. Jamie Ray Post author

      Donna used to think that it was just some masculine-butch thing. That I was channeling John Wayne or some other strong silent type. All I know is that it is hard to re-learn how to ask for things, and difficult to keep both the request and the response in perspective.

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