In the heat of the moment they ask the question ‘what are you’, looking at you like you are the most exotic thing they have ever encountered. That look, to the answer you give, bursting with anticipated questions of the ‘what’, leads down a path of a multitude of answers which, while freely given, never really allow me to go back to the pre-’what’ image you had in your head of me. For me, giving you the what I am, that I am a transsexual, a woman made manifest by the surgeons hands, is as easy as a laugh or a shrug. For you, that either comes with a quiet nod of ‘I thought so’, or that multitude of questions you will want to ask, and for me to answer with all the grace I have always given. It is simple. It is easy. And it never gets old for me to give you the answers to your piqued curiosity.
Yet, and this is the point of this post, it is the wrong question to ask. What I am is one small part of my whole. Who I am is far more interesting and intriguing. I am a woman of my own demesne, a creature of many skins, flitting from one scene to the next, blending seamlessly with whichever set I mingle with. I am complex, free spirited, ethereal, and above all I am effortlessly me. Who I am is the woman who is there for my friends no matter what. Who I am is the blue sky thinker who never lets reality get in the way of a good day dream. Ultimately who I am transcends far beyond what I am by orders of magnitude. Yes, gender is blended into who I am, but is is a fraction of my whole.
In this world of who’s and what’s, ask not what I am, unless you really want to scratch an itch; but rather ask me who I am, for you might just be surprised by the answer.