Back home, I all but finished the newest painting, Study #2 for Yellow. I'm much happier with it than I was with Study #1 for Yellow. I tweeted yesterday, "I am painting a convulsion." This morning, looking at the painting, I see it was an accurate description.
Back to the subject of my doing podcasts, and my discomfort with my voice, and how it follows from being transgendered. Back to being very weary of how so much of the world perceives gender. Back to vocal dysphoria (from Greek δύσφορος [dysphoros], from δυσ-, difficult, and φέρειν, to bear). Day before yesterday, the following was tweeted:
Um...Is Caitlin R. Kiernan a tranny, or just a really deep voiced woman? :/
Yeah, the witty emoticon was part of the post. A few minutes later, there was a second tweet, by the same person:
I'm STILL not sure if Caitlin R. Kiernan was born as a woman with a deep voice, or what. Apparently she's/he's an expert on H.P. Lovecraft.
To which I replied:
What the hell's the difference? Does gender, or birth gender, make one a better scholar or author?
I received this reply (and it's clear that the person asking these question didn't know I was, well, me, the person about whom he seemed so intensely curious...and yes, it's a he...I checked, because clearly gender is germane to all such discussions):
No, not at all! It's just hard for me to react to something my brain can't categorize. It's not a problem with her.
So...he cannot react (which he apparently must do) to something I've said unless he's capable of pegging my gender. Or sex. Or both. And, of course, it's more than that. My birth sex must be pegged, so that he can categorize, then react. A few minutes later, he tweeted:
@greygirlbeast For the record I have no problem with anyone's sexuality--it's just a first reaction to something like that to say 'Huh?".
To say "Huh?" Note, he doesn't say, "it's my reaction," but implies the reaction is universal (and it may well be). Anyway, I suppose I should be relieved. After all the hateful comments people made at YouTube when Frank Woodward posted an outtake from my interview for Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (which I almost didn't do, because I hate my voice), this is kid stuff. The "tweeter," was, by the way, an actual kid. This, of course, excuses nothing.
But it should serve as an illustration to those who simply seem unable to grasp the source of my discomfort. Not because there's actually anything wrong with women having deeper voices, or with being a transsexual. But because it wears me out. It exhausts me. Seeing this shit after all these years. My gender will always be a reason for many people to dismiss me out of hand. Or to hate me. Or to spew transphobic and homophobic vitriol. Or whatever. I know that. I accepted that ages ago. But it still wears me out. I always expect it, and yet it comes when I least expect it. It almost always blindsides me.
That someone must know my gender before he can "react" to my comments. And it hardly matters that there are better, smarter, more tolerant people in the world. It matters not one whit. Sometimes, I get tired of fighting the good fight. I've been fighting it my whole life. But, here I am still fighting, because I don't know how to stop.
I'm talking in circles. I just wanted to put this out there, as a case in point. This is why I dislike my voice, and this is why I am hesitant to do podcasts, or live interviews, or cons, or public readings. I'd like to move through the world being treated no differently than other women, those women who happen to be cisgendered. The lucky women who've never had anyone doubt their identity.
And if I've revealed anything here you didn't already know, well...either you haven't been paying attention, or you're too good and intelligent a person to give a shit. Or both. However, should it make you think less of me, in any way, you can go fuck yourself with a rusty corkscrew. I'll even help, if you can't figure out how that works.