A Eunuch's Love Life

The more personally intimate blog of the love life of an androgynous but not sexless eunuch in this post-modern world

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Changing Stories

I started the year with a nervous breakdown, telling myself a very unhappy story, losing faith that I could be happy as an androgyne, combining an eccy comedown with an unflattering look back on my love life, and agreeing to take hormones to fit into a gender-binarised mating market. Seeing my glass half empty, I was prescribed anti-depressant medication. Four months later, waking up after a parasuicidal episode, I decided to change the story I was telling myself, and quit both the sex-normalising and mood-normalising drugs.

I had been telling myself I was unlovable, or that no one but me saw my body as attractive. I decided to change the story, and instead of seeking attention while feeling deprived of it, simply pay attention to my surroundings. I became more relaxed in social situations, taking things as they are, instead of projecting my anxieties. I became more relaxed with and accepting of who I am, as a human being with a strong sexual and sensual nature. I wiggled my hips without running an inner monologue denouncing me as a hussy. I came to appreciate that movement and clothing are both languages. I claimed my being, and managed to build a happier picture of how I fit into the sexuality of my species. I’m not a universally desired supermodel, but neither am I unfuckable. Like most people, enough people will find me interesting to keep life interesting, IF I’d rather believe that story, than construct some epic drama with me as central victim.

The epic drama was very engaging, my brain loved thinking thoughts that made it the centre of attention, and there was so much rationale for me being the star victim, neither man, woman or glamorous transsexual, separated from my species by their faith in the gender divide, but it didn’t have a good outcome.

The truth is that I don’t have to be limited by other people’s ideas, and in this post-modern world, I can find enough people whose ideas are inclusive of my reality, or at least, who accept me and themselves without strict observance of polarised gender (that is, who can relate to me without having to fix me as either the same or the opposite sex). And besides, those who can step outside of rigid gendered expectations are much more interesting as intelligent beings than those who can’t. Being considered too weird by people I’d consider too boring is a blessing for both parties.

Diversity abounds in nature, and the loonies at either end of the distribution curve are as much a necessary part of the whole mix as the bulk in the mainstream. Without the leaven, the loaf is flat. Without the bulk of the bread, that is, the flour, there is no loaf. Both the mass and the marginal are necessary for this loaf that is life.

The more I was relaxed about my being and allowed its own peculiar expression, the more people whose being complemented my own featured in my life. The more I told myself the story about me being happy and loved and loving as I am, the more I experienced this.

A man is what he thinks about all day long. Ralph Waldo Emerson

I became more consciously disciplined about this, and whenever I caught myself thinking a victim thought, redressed it, for the truth is that my experience of life is heavily influenced by the stories I am telling myself, and, as I’ve said, as rewarding for the ego as victimhood is, the life quality results are not good. It doesn’t matter if many or even most people reject me as an unsexed neuter. Some people see I’m sexy, and they’re generally much sexier people than the masses.

Of course, it’s all a matter of perspective, and for someone whose priority in a relationship is making babies, any fertile person of the complementary gender will be more attractive than me. But I have an appeal for those interested in the unique, in the androgynous, or in the essentially human, stripped of imposed gender. Or maybe someone will just think my love of Dr Who makes me irresistible. Whatever, it’s important for me to tell myself stories where I am attractive and lovable in my world.

Many of my peers from when I was twenty or thirty despaired about aging, and often said they wanted to die young and beautiful, but I am glad I rejected their ageism, for now I am middle aged, and much better looking than the corpses they left. And I have found people who don’t buy the lie sold to us by the corporations that we have to look as if we are in the peak age range for fertility, and hide all signs of our actual age. Those people are of better value to me, for they are interested in engaging with me as a human being, not as an object to manipulate in the games of one-upmanship that seem to dominate mainstream culture.

I’ve held out against the delusions of the mainstream, for they never seemed consistent, logical, useful or sustainable to me, and I’ve joined those agitating for recognizing the intrinsic value of each person, and for more loving and humane ways of interacting that are aimed at increasing the common well being, rather than a fight to the top of a pyramid made of the beaten or the exploited. I had a glitch at the start of the year, but my non-mainstream nature has reasserted itself, and I have awoken to find myself surrounded by loving freaks, a whole social scene of people accepting of people per se, free from the mainstream consumerist or competitive or conformist cultures.

It is almost as if I was a young idealist who stuck to their ideals despite the isolation this once meant, and lived long enough to see enough people share my progressive ideals that I can actually be this odd AND have a full social life.

“You have to fit in” is a story the mainstream tell, and it is soul destroying to those of us on in the pointy ends of the distribution curve.

“You belong just as you are” is a much more loving story.

Which is true for you is pretty much dependent on which story you choose to tell yourself.

In an interconnected universe, every part is part of the perfect functioning of the whole. In this story, my being is supported both visibly and invisibly, rationally and irrationally, by the whole universe, and I don’t have to worry about maintaining any particular state, for all is in flux, and I am happier going with the flow (and yes, the cosmic flow is usually somewhat different to the mainstream consensus of one particular kind of primate on one planet at one time in the vast history of everything).

I never expected to be where I am, but I’d rather appreciate it on its own terms, than compare it to my expectations.

I’m not employed currently, but I don’t base my sense of self on a contractual survival arrangement, that is, I am not my job, and what I do for a living primarily is… breathe.
{Although, since first drafting this, I have scored a good lead on what seems like a dream job…A lot can happen in a few hours if you pay attention and respond mindfully..)

I have such a rich social life with free thinking people, the In-Crowd, the It Scene, the writhing creative folk that the mainstream only sees in a copy of a copy made for the masses, that is, I am part of the real scene faintly reflected in Rocky Horror or Priscilla. I enjoy seeing my friends present gobsmacking avant-garde entertainment, and they are kind enough to welcome my less outré offerings, giving me a spot to sing at the queer anarchist party this weekend. My sex life has been regular enough and quality enough to keep me happy and healthy, and I appreciate other less sexual but also important intimacies such as sharing pheromones with my species. I enjoy doing the cartoon for the local independent newspaper, and being part of the supportive group behind this paper, including the small but committed congregation of my local Uniting Church (yeah, I certainly never saw that coming after reading the homicidal injunctions in Deuteronomy and rejecting religious authority as an intelligent teenager.. but luckily my church and my Jesus are not into imposing authority). My best friend (truly, his friendship is proof of divine intervention) is overseas, but I am enjoying missing him, after so many years of isolated independence. I no longer experience my differences as isolating, as I have friendship with a wide group of non-mainstream individually expressive loving people who believe in promoting the wellbeing of all humanity, that is, from the mainstream point of view, I am but a freak among freaks, and loving it!

Last night at the Chess Club in an anarchist warehouse space epitomised my happiness when I was awarded a hand-made medal, a badge decorated with chess pieces, and announced as Chess Club Warrior, followed by winning two very exciting games of chess with an utterly beautiful boy who is on the front lines at pro-environmental and social justice demos, which frankly made my vulva pulse.

This is the story I am telling myself, that my life is good, that I am a loved and valued part of the universe and of the whole interconnected human family.

What stories do you tell yourself?