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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Everyday Lies and Heroic Revelations"
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ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 22nd, 2014 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Reflections

>> I like this a lot, <<


>> though I feel that as Calliope's feelings about gender are uncertain, the poem could be stronger if it reflected that somehow, such as swapping the pronoun in a few places. <<

Calliope isn't there quite yet. One thing that differs from typical trans experience (if such a thing exists) is that this transition was sudden and unexpected. In our world, people usually engage an emotional shift before they turn that outward in presentation. That way, the pronouns have time to catch up with the evolving self-image. In this case, the physical manifestation leaps ahead, destabilizing the psychological adaptation. Calvin has spent years training himself to act and think like a man (which is not rare for transfolk to do) and it's hard to shake off quickly, even recognizing Calliope as the reality.

>> As I understand it, many trans folk find that once they understand that they aren't what they were born as and begin making peace (and/or attempting to transition), all the wrong things begin to feel right again. <<

If I get more ideas or requests for this character, it's something I'd like to explore. In time, the pronouns are likely to adapt into Calvin/masculine and Calliope/feminine, the way transvestites often distinguish between their en homme and en femme modalities. Being Calvin is safe and familiar, even if it also feels wrong. Being Calliope feels right, but unfamiliar and therefore kind of scary. It will take a while to adjust.

>> I know my gender is... interesting, but I haven't found that place for myself yet because so many other things are making me uncomfortable with myself and my place in this world. But I know what is mine, and what is not, and I've been clinging to it internally for a while now. <<

I'm glad that you're making discoveries. Try to be patient with yourself working through things. It's hard to focus on something as subtle as gender while juggling more obtrusive challenges elsewhere. I hope it works out for you.
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