Conformity (I): non-conformism

I was intrigued, very early on, by how insistent the gatekeepers to this process are that i should learn to conform to a particular idea of feminity: that i should learn to “pass”, with all the connotations of failure implied in that single word.

Even the good Dr Curtis talked about fitting in and not evoking a “hostile” reaction.  In many ways, i have no issue with that.  i want to fit.  i want to learn about how to nurture my burgeoning feminity.

Still though, i know that  am a long way off.  i’ve left the comfortable point of departure known as maleness in hope of arriving elsewhere in due course.  Along the way i will be neither male nor female: a “freak”; weird; unnatural.  (Yep: I’ve started reading up already on how the religious and how some feminists regard us).

But so what!  To borrow from the wonderful John Bannerman: i am what i am.  If, for a time, i look like a man in a skirt, i don’t care.  i wouldn’t have cared before: it is only this presumption that there is “pass” and not-pass that starts to colour my every action.

For now, i am practising.  i am practising make-up, practising clothes, practising jewellery – and no doubt practising 101 different tricks of speech an mannerisms as well.

i am having fun: and if that gives more offence than the average friday  night office party, all dropped trousers and bums in the air, i am sorry for the persons offended.

I have no intention to give offence: but if you take it, that is your issue, not mine.


(in seriously bolshy mood)


7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    spitzer said,

    Hey, don’t refer to your “friends with faith” as “the religious”! There’s at least three of us who(including yours truly) don’t conform to any easily bandied about notions of intolerance.

    I may be writing out of turn, but I believe that any of the three of us (that I know) are there on the sidelines wishing all of you every good prayer, wish and thought.

    • 2

      janefae said,

      and therefore i owe you an apology – for carelessness, if nothing else.

      i regard religion and feminism alike as very broad churches, containing both the best and worst of human instincts. On the feminist front, i have recently been reading various lesbian tracts on why trans people should be forcibly restored to their proper gender. Utterly, utterly loathsome stuff and, i hope, very minority stuff.

      On religion…i spoke to a friend at my local church last week about this. Yep: i am a practising catholic and whilst i have come out now to people in almost every walk of life…church scares me.

      That, because i have searched various catholic forums on the net and discover that, to many believers, my choice is sinful or worse. According to them, i am defying God’s will by wishing to mutilate what i was given at birth. Of course, i would disagree…but the fear is there.

      At some point soon, i need to talk with the parish priest…because i will start to dress a little when i come to church…and i do not wish to embarrass the congregation by ambushing them. i really do not know what to do about this aspect of coming out, because i would be devastated if they did not accept me, but from what i have read, i have at least a minor fear that they won’t.

      Thank you for your prayers: they are appreciated. I certainly do not include ALL the religious in my comment…only those who have used their faith as a means to front up their intolerance.


      • 3

        spirifer said,

        I’m not sure what official Church policy is – it appears to be “sub secretum”!? Some snippets of information have come to light – this is one of them:

        “An analysis of the moral licitness of “sex-change” operations. It concludes that the procedure could be morally acceptable in certain extreme cases if a medical probability exists that it will “cure” the patient’s internal turmoil.”

        Anyway, in googling around this on the internet, I came across this, written by Peter Kreeft (a Catholic professor of philosophy in the US), from his writing, “Is The Sex In Heaven?”:

        “The first reason would be a reaction against what is wrongly seen as monosexual soul-stereotyping. A wholly male soul, whatever maleness means, or a wholly female soul, sounds unreal and oversimplified. But that is not what sexual souls implies. Rather, in every soul there is—to use Jungian terms—anima and animus, femaleness and maleness; just as in the body, one predominates but the other is also present. If the dominant sex of soul is not the same as that of the body, we have a sexual misfit, a candidate for a sex change operation of body or of soul, earthly or Heavenly. Perhaps Heaven supplies such changes just as it supplies all other needed forms of healing. In any case, the resurrection body perfectly expresses its soul, and since souls are innately sexual, that body will perfectly express its soul’s true sexual identity.”

      • 4

        Jonny Punk said,

        Having just come across your blog, I’m reading it with fascination, so you may get a number of comments on threads that have long since become inactive!

        On this one – whatever your faith, the essence of God is love. God made us as we are. God knows who and what we all are, and loves us in that knowledge. So for what it’s worth, I’d suggest you be yourself in front of God and (in time) in front of your church.

  2. 5

    Wonderer said,

    Hello again Jane. I’d been wondering about whether and how it might be possible for you to express your emerging new self in the RC church.

    I hope there would be those in the church who would be broad minded, tolerant and accepting; I can imagine there would also be those who would find it difficult and might react badly. Sometimes people with seemingly hardened attitudes towards a “phenomenon” can soften when they know, respect, even love the person involved. But for the pioneers it can be difficult.

    As an Anglican, I have seen and shared the painful and faltering progress towards acceptance of gay people (and indeed of women in the clergy) and have a feeling this is another such journey. I do wish you well in it. Perhaps it would help to find others in a similar situation, to alleviate the feelings of going it alone.

  3. 6

    spirifer said,

    Sorry – “Is THERE Sex In Heaven?”

  4. 7

    Dennis said,

    Bolshy femme sister 🙂 you are OK and the world will have to tolerate you.



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