as I walk

the journey to becoming me

3am Summer

Prologue

I have a tendency to write early in the morning – like 3am.  It has taken a few different forms.  It started off as journaling when I couldn’t sleep.  It evolved into prayer journaling, blogging, and most recently, emailing.  Probably about 90% of the emails I sent at this time (I have no idea where I come up with my statistics other than hyperbole polls) were to one particular recipient – “M”.
I suppose that because of the combination of our crazy work schedules and that we met on match.com, emailing seemed like a natural form of communication, especially to my 3am brain.  When I’d wake up I was at my most honest, open, vulnerable, and intimate state.  The day hadn’t yet weighed down on me, I was in quiet and solitude, and usually she was the first thing on my mind (sometimes I’d even write before getting up to pee).  Sometimes it would be a somewhat bashful “I’m thinking about you” type of email.  Other times it would be in direct response to the last conversation we had.  But always, the motive (whether I realized it or not at the time is debatable) was to move the relationship forward.  I’d write a minimum of 3 or 4 paragraphs (usually a couple of pages worth) and I’d get back just a few sentences if I was lucky.  Don’t even get me started on her most common text “k”.  Really?  “k”?  She could have at least said “sure” “yes” “alrighty” or “busy now – will respond later” or “I’m totally selfish, by the way, you’ll find out I’m racist too so let’s just not do this”.  It wasn’t all bad though, I mean, she did say she loved reading my emails…
Oh my, I’ve digressed.  My point is that writing at 3am is a hard habit to break.  Part of me misses “M” if only so I could have an avenue to be vulnerable.  This morning several hours into my shift, right around 3am I got that urge.  Rather than whip out my phone and send a text I KNOW I’d regret, I grabbed some paper and started to write.  I wrote it in bullet form as it was a springboard of ideas and will write it out for you just as I wrote it out for myself.  This my friends is what’s truly on my heart.

——–

– I still don’t know exactly what my “type” is.  I don’t know why it even matters, but it feels like it should.  When I close my eyes and try to picture who it will be that I’ll wind up with, I can’t see a blasted thing.  Not even what kind of shoes.  I’ve been trying to figure it out for close to 2 decades now.  I’m not any closer than I was when I was 14.  Human.  Okay, that’s a start.  Do I even need a “type”?  I mean… can’t I just be attracted to a person and have it not matter if they’re butch, femme, or somewhere in between?  For that matter… guy or chick?

– Which brings me to another thought.  Do I have to assign myself to a specific sexuality?  Am I actually gay?  Sure, there are some guys that I’m attracted to, such as Wolverine (I’ve mentioned him before).  However, is that more of a he’s ungettable so it doesn’t really matter kind of an attraction (very similar but in reverse to only liking the gay guys when I was in high school)?  Why is this even a big deal?  Why can’t I just be attracted to who I can connect with and fall in love with them?  I helped a transgender woman tonight named Summer.  This chick was awesome.  We started chatting and she was really open about who she was.  I’ll admit, I had a little crush on her and gave her a nicer car than I should have.  Why should it matter that she was born a man?  Why should it matter that Summer chooses to live her life in the way she feels comfortable – as a woman?  I don’t think it should.

– A month or so ago I had a feeling drop into my heart – to work with the transgender community.  I felt this desire to find a way to minister to them.  The odd thing is that up until tonight, I had never met one (well, that I know of).  Sure, I’ve met lots of cross dressers… but that’s different (which I’m not going to get into here).   Connecting with Summer re-sparked that desire to connect with others.  Yesterday I was thinking about contacting the Marin Foundation to try to find a church that could be a good fit for me.  Today, I’m thinking that maybe I should see what I can do to be involved with building the bridge between Christians and trans folk.  I don’t have some delusion that what I do will be of any great help to “them”.  It just feels like it’s something I need to do.  I’ll probably get more out of it than anyone else.  I’m sure I’ll learn love, grace, and true vulnerability just to name a few things.

– There are definitely bits and pieces that I can identify with, or at least understand.  I am a chick.  I’m a girl who happens to only feel comfortable wearing guy’s clothing (including boxer briefs – bet ya didn’t know that huh?).  But, I want to be cute.  I may not wear make up, but I do my hair, I take care of myself, I try to smell good, and if it weren’t for Starbucks, I’d also be wearing nail polish.  I’m a chick… I just like to wear guy’s clothes.
But when I was little, I wanted to be a boy.  I remember praying that God would make me a boy when I’d wake up the next morning.  It’s not because I felt I was born in the wrong body, it’s that everything I was interested in or wanted to do, or even wanted to be when I grew up, everything, was classified as “for boys”.  I wanted to be a pastor, a mechanic, a cop, a race car driver, a fireman, a mail man, a professional thief… I was told that only boys could do those things (and that no one should be a thief – which I agree with).  I wanted to play with trucks and GI Joes.  I wanted to climb trees and ride my bike down crazy hills (I’m kind of surprised I didn’t die).  Then I found out that girls get periods.  Dude, that was enough to make me beg and plead for God to change my gender.  When I got older, somewhere around 11, I realized that my gender was set and to start praying differently “God, please let the rapture come before I get my period.”
Spoiler Alert: After a few years that prayer was rendered useless.  So then my prayer changed to “God, please make me straight and normal when I wake up.”  I finally stopped praying that one in February of this year.  My point though, is that I realized that my wanting to be a boy wasn’t something physiological in me – it was more about the traditional gender roles that my parents and society (okay fine, just my mom) were thrusting on me.  I was able to reconcile my core identity and my gender.  I don’t feel disconnected.  I don’t feel that my body isn’t my own.  I’m very comfortable with who I am, but for most of my youth I felt like a freak.
I think that is the reason that I’m drawn to the transgender community.  Even though, I’m not part of them, I might have a bit of a glimpse into what they’ve had to go through.

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2 thoughts on “3am Summer

  1. Pingback: two words « baconsjourney

  2. Jeremy on said:

    Marissa,

    I want to say thank you.

    In recent years, a large part thanks to you, I’ve seen how the traditional Christian culture (aka legalism & religion) has caused/contributed to the hurt and alienation of many people: Christians, would-be Christians, and others, off all people groups. I am guilty of being a homophobe and judge of people I never met or took the time to understand. I have repented and am working to change my mindset 100%. Sometimes it’s a battle over what I know is right and what I’ve believed for years.

    I thank you for putting up with me and still breing my best friend. I am sorry for how I judge you, even when I didnt know I was. I ask your forgiveness; I wronged my best friend and I’m sure caused u pain.

    But I am proud of you for digging into who you are and allowing Jesus to live you! I love you and miss you a LOT!!!

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