No More Excuses

butches are not the only fruitL’shana tova. May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.

For Rosh Hashanah, I am resolving to stop making excuses for my behavior and tell the truth. I spent a lot of years lying outright, and then I spent a lot of years avoiding and omitting details. This is a list of excuses that I have used. I have actually said all of these things during the past year. Each is true, but not the truth. You can figure it out.

Backpacks are more sensible than purses. They leave your hands free and are better for your posture. It is hard to walk briskly with a purse.

I keep a Leatherman pocket tool in my backpack because  you never know when you are going to need a corkscrew, a bottle opener, pliers, or a saw.

I can get by with just my wallet, my iPhone, and my keys. Who needs to carry all that stuff and rummage around for your credit cards?

I wear men’s sneakers because I have wide feet.

I only wear comfortable and sturdy shoes because I walk six to eight miles a day. Keen, Merrell, and Timberland are hard to wear out. I am rough on shoes.

I wear a sports bra instead of a regular bra because I walk a lot and I don’t want to bounce.

If I was trying to bind I’d wear a real binder not a sports bra.

I don’t shave my legs or my arm pits because it is barbaric. Who decided that women should shave there?  Just one more useless thing to occupy your time.

I don’t use any make-up, perfume, or hair “products” because I don’t like the scent.

I don’t bleach, shave, or pluck my “mustache” because hiding it would bring more attention to it. Chin hairs are natural. So are eyebrows. They are staying on my face.

Short hair is practical. I like to get up, shower, wash my hair, towel dry, and go.

I don’t dye my hair because all those chemicals are bad for you. The gray is distinguished.

I like men’s jeans and pants because they have better pockets (see wallet above). Women’s jeans have dorky short front pockets; most women’s slacks don’t even have back pockets.

I prefer men’s jackets (GORE-TEX, fleece, or insulated) because they have more/secured pockets. I like jackets that have an inside zipper chest pocket. For my wallet.

I wear plain cotton hipster briefs because they are breathable and comfortable (I omitted saying that I also wear cotton/spandex striped or flowered guy’s boxer briefs for which even I will admit there is no excuse except that they are fun and make me feel good).

I wear blue jeans because everything goes with blue jeans.

I don’t look good in pastels. I am not an Easter Egg. Although I used to only wear navy, black, pine green, and maroon, I now also wear pink, red, and orange under the right circumstances.

Rimless glasses do not interfere with my range of vision. I don’t like seeing the world through plastic frames.

I drive a Subaru Outback because it is practical. You never know when you are going to need all wheel drive. My Subaru carries more stuff than most SUV’s and gets better mileage.

I lift weights because I want to be stronger.

I like the taste of beer.

I changed my name because my birth name didn’t fit me (too suburban 1950’s).

18 thoughts on “No More Excuses

  1. RonaFraser

    Thanks for making me think, as usual. I do this all the time — I come up with the excuse I think will be the easiest accepted by others, but then it becomes accepted by me as well, and though it fits, it is not the real reason. I shall be contemplating this all day. Thanks… I think 😉

    Happy Rosh Hashanah!

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    1. Jamie Ray Post author

      I always liked the 10 days of contemplation between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is a rich tradition of examining what you have done, what you said, what your motives were, how honest you are. It is a good holiday for an eccentric; plus lots of good food.

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    1. Jamie Ray Post author

      Thank you for re-blogging. The last time I used my Leatherman, it was to open up a bottle of beer for a teenager on the subway (NYC) on a Saturday night. The boy was impressed and very happy, but it is not exactly a survival story.

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      1. Alex

        Lol, well, for him it was maybe. I wanted to reply to y post by the way and not reblog , but the iphone wordpress app is not so practical and I reblogged by accident 🙂

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    1. Jamie Ray Post author

      I know. I am determined not to look to cisgendered people (straight or gay) for affirmation of my eccentricities, butchness, queerness, or transness. I might just throw it back at them – “Well why do you think I do it?” and see what they say.

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  2. Sonja

    I have used most of these comments myself over the years, in part because I got tired of trying to explain who I am to people, and in part because it is easier. But I do wonder though if i am just being lazy when I make these excuses, which inevitable leaves me wondering why, if I can accept myself for who I am, then why can’t others? Why do they look at the exterior and make comments like “why can’t you be more feminine?, or “you have such a beautiful face so why not use a bit of make-up?” Sigh! Sometimes I just want to scream, “Look at me, see me for the wonderful person I am, accept me, and don’t judge me”.
    BTW, backpacks and a leatherman are essential accessories, much more useful than a hairbrush or lipstick! 🙂

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    1. Jamie Ray Post author

      Hi and thanks for reading and commenting. It is really hard to own who we are- and to defend ourselves without shame to other people (straight or not). Particularly to those who don’t get it or are made uncomfortable by it. Gender non-conforming people have to deflect a constant barrage of messages from friends, family, co-workers, and strangers that question and/or criticize our gender presentation. I am what I am.

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  3. urbanmythcafe

    I rid myself of all excuses several years ago. What was surprising to me is how people actually believed my explanations for my behavior for all of those years.

    I think that my partner misses being able to explain me away so easily. She fears being pressed to tell some version of the whole truth.

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    1. Jamie Ray Post author

      When I first started talking about being transgender Donna flipped out and told all her friends; she wasn’t sure she could tolerate it if I transitioned or stopped identifying as female. She has gotten past her shame, and will admit that she was always attracted to that part of me. In a way, her spilling the beans was good, because I didn’t have to do much explaining when I changed my name etc. When someone asks her a personal question about my choices (e.g. am I transitioning, what esle am I going to do), she tells them to ask me directly.

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    1. Jamie Ray Post author

      More of a cultural and culinary Jew than an observant one, but I like the HIgh Holidays and Passover because they allow me to reflect on things. Donna and I celebrate with a group of friends; last year I started letting people know I was changing my name when we broke the fast on Yom Kippur.

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    1. Jamie Ray Post author

      No, nothing wrong with it, I just need to claim it and not try to make excuses for it. I do question if beer was considered a “girlie drink” like an Apple Cosmopolitan or Sex on the Beach whether I would be a beer geek or not.

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