Note: To be perfectly clear, the title is a joke. If you’re not trans, then this won’t actually turn you into a trans person. I’m so sorry about your luck. :’(
But in all sincerity, if you are trans, especially if you’re in denial to yourself about it, then this might, legit, bring up some shit for you. Proceed at own risk — you have been warned.
As far as I’m concerned, you already are what you are. Whether you realize what that is or not is a different story. But I was a girl when I was born; no doubt in my mind on that score. I just happened to have some mis-calibrated body parts….
* * * * *
Experimenting with turning your gender dials: Walking
Tips & Suggestions:
- Take your time. Be alone. Minimize anything that will make you self-conscious. For me, I was on a walking trail in the woods, and then later, on a side road with few cars.
- REALLY take your time. If you just blast into it, make an adjustment or two, and try it for a few seconds, it will probably seem like nothing. But take time. First, stand and slowly adjust your posture in the direction you are deciding to experiment towards. Whether it’s linebacker or belly dancer, spend a few minutes at least, just standing there and feeling into your body, imagining what standing “a little more masculine” or “a little more feminine” would feel like.
- Make MICRO-adjustments. Even though I’ve emphasized the end-points of gorrilla vs. bellydancer, for descriptive purposes, it is doubtful that you are looking to walk like either extreme. We’re not talking big changes here. If you start with your “normal posture”, and then start making adjustments from there (say, turning your hands outwards to be more ‘feminine’ in your motions), I’m NOT talking about rotating your wrists like 45 degrees or something. More like….2 degrees. Then 3. Maybe even 1.
Same with aligning your head, shifting the width of your gait, etc. If you’re adjusting things by inches, you’re forcing your body into weird and unnatural positions that will simply not work for you sustainably. Think more like millimeters (or sixteenths of inches).
Remember, you don’t really have one single “gender dial” when it comes to how you walk. EVERY adjustment is like a dial that you can turn all the way, or nudge just the tiniest bit.
- When you’ve gone over in your mind all the information you know, and you’ve made the micro-adjustments in how you’re standing in your body, then just start walking! Feel into it. Keep turning your dials, however you want. Emphasize the shoulders more, or less. Sway your hips more, or less. Lean your head forward the tiniest bit, or stand more in your core. Etc….
* * * * *
So there I was, on my forest path, standing there with the birds and trees, feeling into the particular way I held my body as I stood. I went through the info in my mind – straightened up a little, activated my core more than my butt, rolled my shoulders back and oriented my soon-to-be-forward movement from my heart rather than my head.
It all felt a little weird. Okay, a lot weird. I was like, “this is dumb; I feel like I don’t even know how to stand anymore….”
Then I turned my hands slightly outwards. No, too much. Back to neutral. Then sliiiiiiightly outwards. 2.1684279 degrees. And not a smidge more.
(For me, interestingly, the hands were the most important part. As soon as my hands shifted, my elbows shifted and….)
And I stepped forward. Immediately, I stumbled. Everything was off, my whole center of gravity was messed. Thankfully, the birds and trees didn’t seem to care much, so…I tried again.
I’ll be honest with you — I make no claim that this will generalize to anyone else — BUT, it took about 4, maybe 5 steps. It was THAT instantaneous. I felt my body MOVE differently. I felt my hips sway like a woman’s hips do. I felt…elegant somehow. And strong, like my feet were really grounded on this planet (lol…puns…), and like I was really grounded in my body.
I couldn’t have articulated all this in that moment, because it wasn’t a bunch of thoughts I was having. It was like my body had been electrified. It was more of a flood of feelings than “a realization”.
I walked probably 50 miles over the next few days, settling into the nuances of what is “natural” and “most enlivening” and “most authentic” for my body. It was glorious. What I discovered, in terms of our gorilla vs. bellydancer dial, is that I had spent my life thus far walking at about 30% gorilla, but after hours of paying close attention to how it FEELS, I have drifted towards about 40% bellydancer.
And it feels incredible. It’s already improved my back pain too, like all this time I had been straining myself into an unnatural posture, and all I really had to do, was realize what was “right”, for me.
This walking experiment — It really was that simple. If a trans awakening is the cracking of your egg, then this was my Humpty Dumpty moment. After those 4 or 5 steps, all the King’s men, and even all the King’s horses, (master egg-fixers that horses tend to be), could never have put my shell back together.
(NOTE: I still did not realize, conceptually, that I was trans at this point. I thought being trans meant something different. I figured I was tapping into my “Inner Girl” or “Feminine Divine”, or something like that…)
But the joy?
Oh my god. This is what trans people refer to as “gender euphoria”.
I literally burst out laughing in the forest. I felt giddy and wild and sexy and astonished, like I was on The Best Vacation Ever. I was high, but not drug-high, more like falling-in-love high. I felt wonderful. I felt like I had just met the girl of my dreams, and…she liked me!