A while back in my journey of self-discovery, I was wondered how feminine versus masculine am I. At that time I was already fairly sure I was trans, but how trans was I. Was I like 60% female and 40% male, or was I more like 90/10? I wanted to be fair and logical, so I was considering the question, what is the most manly thing I have ever done?
You know the typical “manly” things; hunting, fighting, sports, etc. I never did any of those. But I have been living in a man’s world for decades, there must be some “manly” things I have done. I started examining my life. I considered my past and present activities.
Finally, I realized there was something I have done for a long time that would definitely be considered manly, home improvement. In fact even before I owned a home to improve I liked woodworking. I took woodshop classes in high school and that grew to learn electrical repair and many other HI skills. Yes I know that is not as manly as hunting or sports, but it is manly, isn’t it.
Well for me actually NO. That is because I learned my love of woodworking mostly from my mother who was a home improvement ace long before the term ‘home improvement’ was a thing. I would help her and see all the things you could create if you just learned how to use the tools and I was hooked.
So back to the drawing board, or in my case going down memory lane. I kept thinking there must be something. By this time, I knew I was on the feminine side but I guess I wanted to think I was only partway, I wasn’t quite ready to accept that I was totally a trans woman.
Then I had it CATs. I have always loved CATs, not the furry kind. I am talking about the big yellow ones. More specifically Catapiller Tractor’s earth moving equipment. What could be more manly than loving BIG MANLY earth moving equipment?
As I gloried in my one ‘manly’ trait I started thinking about how long I had been a CAT fan and where did it all start. So I went down memory lane some more and then it all fell apart as I realized this too I got from my mother. When I was a young child she would pick me up from school, we would get a bite to eat, and then we would park and watch the CATs. They were building a new mall and we would sit in our car and watch them move the earth around.
At this point, I had all but given up. Then it came to me. I did have a couple small isolated manly experiences.
When I was in basic training for some reason I was extremely aggressive going through the bayonet course. I yelled and stabbed and ran my buns off. This was so out of character for me that my drill Sargent was astonished. He just stood there with his eye’s bulging and his mouth wide open. He finally said, “What got into you?” The truth is I had no idea at the time and still don’t. It was like I was possessed.
But my other short ‘manly’ experience I do understand. We had a large old dying cherry tree. It was quite clear that if we didn’t do anything about it sooner or later it was going to fall on our house or our neighbor’s house. Since I didn’t have the money to hire a professional, I decided to just do it myself. I had dropped a couple trees before, so I had a general idea of what I was doing.
But this tree was a bit different than those I had dropped before. All of my previous experience had one goal, get the tree down, anywhere would do. This one was a bit more complex. I had to get the tree down without hitting my house, without hitting my shed, without hitting my neighbor’s house, without hitting my motorhome and all of that preferably without any harm to life or limb. And I had about a 5-foot wide target zone to do all of this in.
I got a rope up as high in the tree as I could and gave it to one of my teenage kids. They pulled the tree in the right direction as I cut it with the chainsaw. There was a lot of cutting and yelling and in the end, it went right down exactly where we had wanted it.
I was so very excited. I think that was the only time in my entire life I have ever even come close to understanding sports because I felt like I just made the winning touchdown for the Superbowl. I was so excited, we were both so excited. I wanted to dance I wanted to scream I was so high.
So see I have had a couple manly experiences in my lifetime.
But by these standard Princess Butter Cup was “manly” when she confronted Prince Humperdink in The Princess Bride. And Elle Woods in Legally Blonde was “manly” when she decided to forgo her party lifestyle and go to law school. So was I ever manly?
Maybe not. Maybe I was just a determined woman that wasn’t going to let my drill Sargent pigeon hole who I was. Maybe I was just a lady excited about accomplishing something I had never done before.
Maybe there isn’t a “manly” bone in my body,
but now at this point in my journey,
I am quite happy with that.