I did a few of these humorous little lists way, way back in the day, like a good month of two ago and then stopped. Many people hated these lists and called them “The trite little scribbling of a madwoman. A puerile attempt to apply troglodyte simplicity and banal humor to a serious and complex issue; far better burned or bum wiped then read.” I then came to my senses and decided to reject my own comment from the approval queue. Besides, I’ve been shoveling out a lot of the heavy stuff lately and I’m really all about having some lowbrow fun while sipping a Lowenbrau. But please, feel free to raise some indignant objections because everyone just loves a big prickly Pete.
1. Decide You Might Be Gay. It’s finally penetrated your brain that none of the dudes you are surrounded by knew how to walk in heels by age 10, and most have never even tried. Clearly, you are some kind of freak. The strong affinity towards femininity leads to only one conclusion. Gay men are kind of like women, so you must be gay. This can be a real conundrum if you are not at all attracted to guys; the tried and true hallmark of gay male culture. Something is not adding up. Either you are atypically gay, or something else all together. The answer eludes you as you practice ballet moves in your room in a pilfered tutu and stuffed bra.
2. Throw Away a Ton of Pretty Shit. There is no problem in the world that can’t be solved with a black Hefty bag stuffed in the bottom of the can on trash day. Well, at least if the garbage men aren’t curious, but as I was to find out later, they are. Now you are whole and complete in your male identity and could die right now without anyone ever knowing that perhaps you were just a little bit fancy. The feeling of heady satisfaction lasts for up to 15 minutes before deep, inconsolable regret begins to settle in. In reality, that pretty shit you tossed and will always miss universally consists of things that you really had no business wearing to begin with unless your preferred look is ‘skanky hooch 60 lbs past her last shopping trip’.
3. Admit the Jig is Up. Incredibly, joining the military, a biker gang, or rebuilding the engine on an AMC Gremlin failed to turn you into a man. If you are smart, you gained clarity of thought there. Chances are though, you got married and maybe had kids. At the very least you found yourself cohabitating with a vicious little terrier with severe gender misogyny. Regardless, now you have to figure out what to do and it’s not going to be pretty. If you opted for path A and checked out, I doubt you are reading this unless you got screwed yet again and sent to the wrong place where I hear this blog is proudly featured. Path B is where we really get started on this list.
4. Make Sure You Got This Right. I started by buying Jenny Boylan’s book and highlighting all the passages I thought were relevant to my life. Four highlighters later, it seemed a safe bet there was more than could be chalked up to coincidence. Some start with a support group and sit there feeling like a big bag of douche for showing up in dude mode surrounded by trans who just seem to have it all. Ha! You are still woefully ignorant at this stage, but it’s probably for the better. All roads lead to a therapist, because the AMA decided they were missing out on a goldmine by ignoring the least employable segment of the population. Once again, you will sit there feeling like a big bag of douche as they hammer you with questions to make sure you didn’t skip step 1 while dredging up everything you have ever been insanely embarrassed about. In the end, it all comes down to one little nugget; you are if you think you are. WTF?
5. Draft a Fricking Plan. Without a plan, there can be no attack, and without an attack, there can be no victory. I remember Booger saying that in some movie where he didn’t play Booger, but someone just like him. What a male way of thinking! It’s still not a bad idea, because this is starting to get complicated. Open a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or fish out a lipstick smeared Arby’s napkin from under the seat and start writing some shit down. This will make you feel better and get the therapist off your back, but reality will in no way conform to this half-assed list.
6. Crap Your Pants. The “I yam what I yam” bit only worked on your diagnosis. If you want medical intervention, you have to start walking the walk. This means venturing out in public as your true self, or more specifically, doing something so terrifying that an adult diaper is required. “True self” at this point is a misnomer. What probably seemed like a kickin’ look down in the basement behind the furnace looks absolutely ridiculous in the light of day. If you are lucky, someone in your household will stop you before you head to the Galleria looking like a Sue Heck/ Krusty the Clown/ Genesee Street Hooker joint effort. If, however, they have a sense of humor or burning resentment, they will just say, “have a nice time!”. Eventually you will realize that a whole bottle of Schmear by Maybelline isn’t a single serving, and that the ass hugging leather micro-mini doesn’t help you blend as much as you thought.
7. Lay Off the Blush For a While. Nothing will make you wish you were gay faster than explaining to people you are transgender. Not only do you have to tell people, but you have to explain what it means to every one of them. Holy shit is this mortifying, tedious, and downright irritating at the exact same time and doesn’t seem to get easier per telling. In person is good, because most people won’t hate you to your face, though some will hate you to your ass as you walk away. Nothing makes you feel like a court mandated reporter of a sex crime conviction than making the rounds, especially since you can expect many of the same looks, even though you did nothing evil. Expect plenty of highly personal questions about your genitalia.
8. Gain Weight. You finally got your hormone letter and waste no time getting some. After so many years of nasty ass testosterone, you are in no way prepared for experiencing the puberty cycle of a 12 year old girl. All of a sudden, all that girl talk about walking by a cupcake and gaining 12 pounds doesn’t seem like such a silly exaggeration anymore. Get acquainted with the salad menu real fast. This is all amplified by your upper body strength tanking along with extremely slow progress in your exercise regime. You also find why women need such huge closets. Having a range of 4 different sizes in there just may save you from wearing shorts in January.
9. Bring On the Pain. There may have been a time you had perverse pride in being able to grow a mountain man beard in less than a week or be mistaken for Chewbacca at the beach. That time is over, and it’s not going to take care of itself. You do have choices. Option 1 is to develop a $50 a week Gillette habit. This just sucks and won’t last long. Option 2 is to slap on lead goggles and experience intensely painful laser blasts to your face and body to eliminate up to 65% of dark colored hairs. Option 3 is to spend up to 200 hours having each one of nasty hairs electrocuted and plucked in a slightly less painful procedure. Option 4 is to join a circus. There are no two ways about it; this is going to suck.
10. Get Banned From Government Offices. You will want to avoid this, but it will be hard. Local, regional, and state governments found a way to save money by having inmates classified as criminally insane draft their name change process and requirements. The bureaucrat you find yourself explaining things to will hold this process so dear, that to suggest any alteration will be like you announced a hit on Santa. “Yeah, ya gotcher forms in triplicate, ID, social security card, and birth certificate, but I don’t see the note from yer mom or an Adelphia cable bill from 1998. Better luck next time, Nancy!” Don’t kick him, he knows not what he does. You can, however, smear a booger on the back of the form as you hand it to him and feel vindicated. In the end, you will no longer get weird looks handing over your ‘Ralph Belly’ drivers license and credit card, unless you are a nincompoop and went with ‘Kelly Belly’.
From this point on, it’s pretty much up to you. Once you log a year in the “real life test” to ensure at least 12 more months of sweet payments to your therapist, you can qualify for a bit of the old ‘snip-snip’. In the mean time you might get some other body work done on your face, breasts or ass, but I can’t speak to that until I decide to go that road. So there you have it, childhood to full time in just 10 steps so easy I’m shocked that everyone doesn’t do it.