Shmenn knew I was questioning my gender for some time but we avoided it like I’ve avoided calling my old University’s registrar’s office to handle the holds on my account keeping my diploma from me. No seriously, 1 – if you didn’t know, your University will withhold your diploma if you owe them for a $40 parking ticket, EVEN THOUGH you paid them $20k a year in tuition. Additionally calling the registrar’s office is hell on a good day, let alone 3 years after you’ve graduated — no i don’t remember my student ID number! Annnnnnywayyy, she would often call me her boy, use masculine adjectives for me, and she called me our dogs’ dad, stuff like that… but we never touched on why she said those things, or why I liked it so much.
On the nights that she wasn’t sleeping over (which wasn’t very often) I would spend my nights watching transition video after transition video, crying and aching to be as true to myself as these people were. I was obsessed, I had finally found my truth. Also I have a very obsessive personality, I probably watched every single video available. The same way I will buy every single book by an author I’m currently reading, or the way I have watched every single movie starring Kristen Stewart even if it’s Jumper where she merely opens a door and speaks like 3 words. This is why I’ve not dabbled too deeply into drugs, I would be a goner.
I bought a binder, a packer, more masculine clothes. I brought up the use of a strap-on in the bedroom and Shmenn was on board, she had been with men in the past and thought it would be enjoyable for both of us. We picked out the prosthetic together, I insisted on something realistic (It even had balls! You’re welcome for that bit of information! — Courtney is cringing as she edits this.) and I remember the first time I wore it feeling absolutely horrifyingly self conscious but also, whole.
*Theme music and opening credits play*
The first time I spoke the words aloud that I wanted to transition I was black out drunk so I don’t actually remember it. A lot of my stories begin this way… like hey, do you remember that time we blah blah blah, me neither! It was relayed to me the next day that I was crying on the floor (I’m a winner) after Shmenn and I had attempted to have sex and I broke down over being touched a certain way and had closed myself in the bathroom. She came in to comfort me and I apparently told her something along the lines of, “I just want to be a boy, okay?”
Now I know that’s not the right wording, and it’s a very simplistic way to put my feelings, but as a distraught gender-confused masculine-of-center person (say that 5 times fast) that’s the best I could muster in my alcohol-induced state.
The next day Shmenn came to me and asked if I remembered our discussion the night before, I had no idea what she was talking about and she told me what had gone down. I instantly felt guilty. Shmenn had just come to terms with the idea of being a lesbian, and here I was, telling her that I wasn’t a woman.
At first she was so supportive, I couldn’t have asked for someone better. She helped me pick out a new name, switched to he/him pronouns, encouraged me to work out, told me how good I looked in my new clothes, in my new binder, etc. She even played into some very masc/femme roles in the bedroom that boosted my confidence in ways I had never felt in sexual situations.
Naming yourself as an adult is a weird thing to do. You’ve already known yourself as something else for literally your entire life, it’s easy to name a baby, they all look like babies. I mean when someone says “Aw she does look like a Shmemma” they’re lying. Your baby looks like a baby. Your baby also looks like an old man. Your baby looks like a Shmarence if anything.
The thing about choosing a name is you probably have heard every name ever named in your lifetime, so you have some bias attached to that name. I know that’s how it was for me. Like ugh no, I have a cousin named Shmark, there was that boy on that camping trip named Shmike who had a crush on me, and I can think of at least 5 famous Shmarles’ who murdered people.
I toyed around with the name Blaine for a long time, Shmenn really like it for some reason. I had really wanted to stick with a “C” name to keep similar to my birthname, but my brother has a “B” name so it seemed like maybe that would be cool too. The only problem is that to me Blaine was very gay boy, and I know, I know, certain names can’t be GAY, but maybe I had been watching too much glee (don’t scroll back to the beginning of my tumblr, it’s all glee fandom bullshit, I can’t even pretend to deny that, we all have skeletons in our closet).
Eventually I decided on Chris, and we were using that name for me on a daily basis. I wasn’t Chris to anyone but Shmenn but I was happy to have found a name that felt like my own. Like I said, naming yourself is a weird thing, but when you find a name you connect with after a lifetime of disconnect things are suddenly so clear. Everyone else around you probably never disliked their name, unless their name was Sheunice, that’s a terrible name. But you, you’re finally seeing what it’s like to go by what you want/need to go by, and that’s a nice feeling.
At the time I was also living with my “best friend” Shmordan (I know, I slept with a Shmordan, right? I can’t keep up), but we had been best friends for 7 years and roommates for 3 and I thought for sure she would support my desire to transition.
Shmordan told me that I would never be a boy and she would for the rest of time call me by my birthname. Luckily we stopped being friends a few short weeks after that because she’s the literal WORST and I’ve not heard from her since. Just a tip from me to you, even if that’s your best friend of a half your lifetime, you do not deserve that shit, cut them off like the 11th finger that they are. Fun fact, my little sister had 11 fingers — they just tied a string around that shit and it fell right off.
*Next time on Nobody Scissors, Shmenn’s lack of acceptance takes a nosedive*