I just watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I really loved it; it was exactly what I needed tonight, with plenty of laughs, quirk, inspiration, and wanderlust.
I found I related to it on many levels as a transgender person. Well, obviously I watch movies just as a person, but being me also means being trans – in a world between worlds. Movies at the cinema are always semi-religious experiences for me, and Secret Life was no exception. It conjured feelings and realities that go deeper than what I can express in the simple and everyday.
Secret life. Like Walter Mitty, I’ve lived two lives up until now: the life in my head that I want to live, and the external life that duty demands. Like Walter Mitty, I’ve always had a problem with daydreaming. I’ll space off and imagine how things could be different, conversations that haven’t happened, a life in which I am at ease and gliding through the world. I used to spend so much time in this world, and now…. well, as harsh as reality is now that I’m coming out of my long winter of repression, there isn’t as much of a need to hide behind fantasy. Yeah, I’m still living in a male role, but as me on the inside, and some days that’s enough. Granted, I still have a female Dungeons and Dragons character (haha, I mostly play to be ironic, but I won’t say it’s not ridiculously fun). That’s right: Viola of Alastor. She’s a wandering half-elf artist who’s a little too trusting in people and a little too daydreamy. There are differences between her and I, I swear! (I’m not a total nerd, I swear!)
Wanderlust. That thirst for the unknown. I’ve always known that I’d leave home some day, and now I think that day draws closer by the minute. The status quo is fine… but I like to imagine that being trans is being born as a wanderer. We’re born to cross borders and search for answers. We’re born to plumb the unknown for the answers to mysteries of life that everyone has the luxury of taking for granted, mysteries like gender.
I become more and more certain that I’m going to travel after college. Hey, there are advantages to having a male body, #1 being I can travel on my own with less hassle.
Dysphoria & euphoria. I don’t know if this is true for other trans* people too, but for me: I’ve found that life becomes more and more unutterably beautiful the more I allow myself to be trans without hating myself. Life is so mysterious and wonderful! It’s hard, cruel, strange, complicated, and there are whole parts of it that are absorbed, like for Walter Mitty, in the stale rhythm of duty. Then there are those other parts, the moments when life beckons to be lived! Those parts make the whole mess of it more than worthwhile.
I liked The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and it helped remind me how much I like my own secretive life. It can be really rough going and in the strangest ways, but that just makes it an adventure. And boy does this transgirl like a good adventure!