Good Omens

Living a genderqueer life

Month: July, 2013

On holiday

Tomorrow morning, I’ll take my suitcase and my viola and head for the railway station, off to my summer holidays. The first week I’ll spend at a cabin on the seaside in Western Finland, together with my chosen family, just the three of us and the dog. On the second week, I’ve planned to go to my grandparent’s place, to pick the remaining blackcurrants and basically do nothing after that. At the beginning of the third week, I might turn on the phone again.

This is what I’ll try to leave home:

– my master’s thesis and anything to do with studying

– gender worries and saving the world

– most if not all “shoulds”, “oughts” and “coulds”

– perfectionism (which is why I’m taking the viola)

Instead of these, I’ll try to take with me a deep thought expressed in this song. “Jos voisin joskus olla niin kuin hän jota rakastan – – katsoisin järvenselkää ilman kynää ja paperia.”*

Every waking moment doesn’t need to be productive. Every action doesn’t have to lead somewhere. Every choice doesn’t have to affect my whole life. It is like the Preacher says, in the Old Testament: “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” (Ecc. 3:12)

While we live – not before living, longing for a future that always slips from our grasp, and certainly not after we’ve lived. If I keep saving my present time in hope of enjoying its fruit in the future, I’ll end up losing my whole life, making it a chain of pasts left to spoil. 

 

* Rough translation: “If sometime I could be like the one I love, — I’d watch the lake without a pen and paper.”

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A year

A year ago on this day, my life as a man ended.

Today, I mourn that which was and won’t return; rejoice of what is now; and wait for that which will come.

Alien from space

Queuing for lunch at work today, I had a conversation with two children, ages maybe five and six. It went approximately like this – I did a bit of abridging. All the while, imagine me concentrating very hard on not looking at the fifty adults standing in the line too, and not imagining what they are thinking.

Child 1: Look Dad, that man’s got yellow glasses!

Adult (tiredly): Well, indeed.

Me: What makes you think I’m a man?

Child 1: You’ve got hairy legs.

Child 2: So you’re a man.

Me: Actually that’s not true. All people with hairy legs aren’t men.

Child 1: But you look like a man.

Me: But I’m not.

Child 2: Are you a woman then?

Me: Nope.

Child 1 (victoriously): Then you’re a man!

Me: I’m not a man, and I’m not a woman. I’m transgender.

Child 1 & Child 2: What’s that?

Me: There’s other people than men or women.

Child 1 & Child 2: No there aren’t.

Child 1: I’m sure you’re a man. You’re just kidding me.

Me: You can be sure and still be wrong. I’m not kidding you, I’m not a man.

Child 1: What are you then? Are you an alien from space?

Me: That’s okay with me.

Child 1: But you look like a man!

Me: You say I look like a man because you’ve been told that people who look like me are men. That’s not always true.

Child 2: But I know you’re a man!

Me: You can’t know what anybody is until they tell you. It’s not about (insert Finnish child words for genitalia) and it’s not about what you look like.

Child 1:

Child 2:

Child 1: So are you just a human?

Me: Yes, that’s exactly right. I’m just me, and I’m just a human.

Child 1: BUT YOU LOOK LIKE A MAN!

Me: I’m in disguise.

Child 2: In disguise?

Me: Yep.

Child 1 & Child 2: Oh. (They take their food trays & go, glance at me over their shoulders, I smile amusedly, they smile bemusedly.)