I have no idea how to calmly address the matter. See, we're having a long conversation together about how I feel with a gaping hole in my body decorated with pretty pink flaps of skin. Those imposing curves and swells of my breasts and the way I walk and how I hate my lips. That's me with my friends, Identity Crisis and Insecurity.

"Do you think I could pass as a guy?"
"Seriously, if I took T and had top surgery and a prosthetic dick."
"No, really. Total metamorphosis"

"Bad! No taking T!"
"No. You'd have to change everything. Mannerisms especially."
"...Are you seriously thinking about becoming a guy? You can tell me anything."

I asked my girlfriend once, while we were lying in a field. She's delicate and beautiful, but she looked at me in that way that tears me to pieces and smiled and said "I like you any way you are" and never understood how that hurt more than a flat out rejection. So I ask her, I inquire, I prod and question and force:

"Want to have sex? Want to have sex right now?" My eyes are hungry, I joke and continue for a long time. She is curious and puzzled by my lewd remarks. She does not take me seriously and I drop the act. Later she is walking with me and she sighs. "You and your little surprises." It is brief, but I am happy the notice, the brush off, of an idiosyncrasy. I feel close to her for a long time after that.

That night I sign in to a chatroom with audio and visual access. I log in and squint, because it makes my large eyes much smaller. I have thick eyeliner around my eyes and supplementing my eyebrows to hide their distinct girly arch. There is harsh makeup on my jaw. It doesn't rub off and it makes me sweat. My skin suffocates as I try vainly on a cam with terrible settings to replicate facial hair. I am passable, and decide to let my long hair down. I look like a badass punk rocker with my scruffy, shadowy appearance. My usual soft smile is a sneer as I look down on the other men.

Some have their dicks out, so I pull out a dildo and pretend like it's the real thing. I don't show it to the camera though. I wait. The ratio is 5:30 women vs. men. I click any vaguely female identifying chatname and request feverishly to speak to them, show them my face, make charismatic jokes and share rare insights women love to hear from men. None reply.

Finally a man messages me. He asks very neutrally "r u a m or a f?"

I digest this and indignantly spit back "A male, you piece of shit", but Identity Crisis points out my voice is too high. I switch to text.

I say: Slim pickin's if you're not a homo.

He says 'yah' and signs off.

My thoughts are heavy, my brow dripping with sweat and my body aching with discomfort. I feel my breasts, hot under my double layering to appear beefier. Mouth in a tight line, lethargic with regret, I leave the laptop and scrub my face in the bathroom sink. I take a good, hard look at myself and try to smile.

I tell Identity Crisis to piss off. I sign back in. The man is back, and he immediately whips out his dick, waiting for me to drool and croon.

He says I am a beautiful woman. It's been 5 minutes, and he does not recognize me.

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