Parton Me: This Privilege Is Too Hot! This Privilege Is Too Cold!
Need something capitalism-free to do over Pride Weekend?
Why not join us over at the Free CeCe Contingent at Trans March? We’ll be making signs, chanting (maybe), and I’ll be writing on myself in purple body paint since I look terrible in purple fabric.
It is important that we, at all times, maintain the signal strength of this cataclysmic social injustice. If we are silent for even a moment, the system will tape our mouths shut and sweep it all under the rug.
We must be as the iPod on loop.
Until she is free. Until all are free.
This episode of Parton Me was put on hold so I could get drunk in Oakland and make it rain at Musee Mechanique.
In the hopes of preventing future “oh god so many heavy questions, I don’t want to tackle them all at once” moments, and to give me more room to blog about other stuff as the mood hits me, I’ve decided to make future advice columns single question and posted at my whim.
Black Dahlia Parton,
Do you have any advice for transitioning? How old were you when you transitioned, and how long ago was it?
I transitioned at 22 (I’m 26 now). I couldn’t tell you when “I came out” because I was vocal about my gender dysphoria the whole of my adolescent and adult life. In college I experimented with having a male persona and a female persona, but I found myself carrying little parts of the femme persona with me at all times, like a walking “My Other Car Is A…” bumper sticker. By my senior year I doubled down.
It took some adjusting. The stress caused me to take an incomplete in a couple classes, tacking on another semester to my graduation (though nobody noticed because it was art school). I forfeited friendships, family relationships, and the respect of my peers. I also fell in love with having my picture taken and increased my masturbation output threefold. If my LiveJournal is to be believed.
But enough about me!
Transition at your own pace, nobody else’s. Someone who tells you “they’re not ready to see you dressed like that yet” may never be “ready” if they feel they can stall your transition with that tired excuse. Haters gonna hate. Don’t let the fashion police in your life dictate when and where you express yourself.
You are not expected to know all the answers right away. Do not feel rushed to pick a new name, or see a doctor about hormones. Taking your time and going at a pace you are comfortable with is proof “you are serious about this”.
No what I’m about to say is contextual because I know you IRL, and know you’re transitioning to the trans feminine side of the spectrum, but I think what I’m about to tell you can be translated to any identity:
Let no one, NO ONE, not even me, a respected figure of the community, lord over your womanhood.
I don’t care if you:
decide to keep your birth name
grow a sweet fucking beard
never put a single drop of makeup on your skin
decide against changing your gender marker
never even look into seeing a doctor or therapist
None of that will, in any way, make you less the woman you know yourself to be.
Transition does not have to be an obstacle course. It can, for you, be more like deciding which bowl of porridge is right for you.
Alert the media. Black Dahlia Parton is advocating the displacement of bears!
And look: I can pop off that good shit about not needing to pass because I have passing privilege. If passing is important to you, than go with it. If you’re concerned about safety, do what you feel you have to feel safe, whatever that means. I, with my advice cred and all my community cred, have no right to intervene in your relationship with passing.
All I’m saying, and will continue to say until someone more educated takes my place, is that you and you alone are the ultimate expert on your own gender. Any conference workshop, celebrity memoir or transition journal that aims to educate you on the proper way to transition or express your gender inadvertently aids the patriarchy at best and is predatory cult of personality at worst.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of transition.
You are and never will be alone. We’re in this together, no matter the differences in our experience and expression.
And I don’t care if I never see your face, or hear your voice.
You are and will always be beautiful.
Write me at BlackDahliaParton@gmail.com.