Winter is finally over. I am shedding my winter layers. I am molting like a snake. Any day now it will be warm enough to walk around in jeans and a T-shirt. The pear trees are flowering. I got caught in a sudden rain shower that cleared as fast as it started. Afterwards, I smelled the warm wet sidewalk. It is a summer smell. I am not ready for summer.
It is impossible to accurately explain body dysphoria to someone who never had it. Each time I catch a glimpse of myself I expect to see someone else. My dysphoria is visual. My dysphoria is dissociative. I’ve learned I can manage it by keeping my hair short, wearing masculine clothes, de-emphasizing my breasts, and avoiding mirrors and reflective surfaces. I’ve learned I can manage it by avoiding bathrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, gendered spaces. I have expended a lot of energy manging my dysphoria, but it won’t go away. Continue reading