It’s at times like these last few days, when I took a short break away from home, that the problems with gender are put firmly in perspective. I sat there in the piano shop gently playing a soft piece on the shop floor. A short trip up a grand stair case with banisters carved from stone and delicate daylight falling a little through the diamond leaded windows I became sealed away from the noise of the city in a bustling back street classical building. At a time when I was sent on a high from the music, with the sound and the texture of the strings drifting thoughtfully from the top of the piano, I thought of nothing else but the moment I was in. It was only broken when, from the corner of my eye, I was aware I had a small audience of two and that moment change to one of ‘Don’t fuck it up now.’.
I glided away from the shop with a gleaming smile on my face and a small purchase that would at least remind me of that moment enough that one day I may return and put a signature on an order form, whether that signature was Hannah really didn’t matter one bit. As you are probably aware music means quite a bit to me, as much as writing though for different reasons. I wouldn’t think about my gender issues much for the rest of the day, may be not until a short stint in the swimming pool in which I would be quite aware of how I would rather be presenting in this fantastic spa location.
When I returned home after my trip though things would be slightly different. Returning to my house in the countryside with very much the silence of Easter Monday to amplify my thoughts I was in a mixed state of emotions. Some that would make me happy about my recent trip, some sad, being not quite sure what do to with myself but one loud thought that put my gender issues firmly into a small comfortable arm chair where I would demand they stay in a relaxed state. How can I put it. Gender issues on the one hand rule my life. It’s my biggest issue that has always been there and has yet to be fully resolved and yet at the same time it is less important than things that make me happy. People, music, the ability to make music, to be creative. In fact I go as far to say that I am actually fortunate to be transgendered.
There are times when I really appreciate who I am and who I have been. The thing is, I am just me and it’s not particularly a case of ‘experiencing what it’s like to be a woman’, because I’ve just experienced being me. That’s not entirely true of course because when being accepted as a woman then there are external differences. Men are extremely different. Some become touchy-feely. They talk differently, black-cab drivers beep horns, so it is definitely different but these are external things, internally I have realised that I am really just me, always have been and probably always will be and all that has happened really is I’ve become more honest with myself and also have grown as a person. This in itself puts the gender thing into perspective. It normalises the problem. It just becomes a thing. A little thing that I’m dealing with, something that I can treasure but also just live with.
With my holiday over I returned with a renewed growth for my music. The important thing, the gender thing, is just there. Just something that I carry with me like my house keys or my toes. Gender is the thing that just happens to be with me when I’m playing that piano in the shop and I should be proud of that. Is it all as easy as that? No, of course not but it helps to frame my mind in that way to keep a positive outlook and to focus on the direction I want to take. The funny thing is, since viewing things this way, I no longer see an operation as a goal or even an outcome, much the same as transition. It’s just another option that I may consider when the time comes.
Sometimes it’s just as comfortable and enjoyable to sit down and read a good book in the grass as it is to put on my favourite skirt, and of course doing both in the summer is pretty much just about what my life should be like. Gender is just becoming part of me and living with it rather than being in fear of it.
Until next time. x