Tangled Web

Deceptions of a transgender guy

Man on stairs

The man on the stair


“Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish, he’d go away…”

~ From “Antigonish” by Hughes Mearns

Quite a few of the trans* bloggers I follow, are and have been writing about some aspect of the emotional struggle I am currently experiencing. Four months post top surgery, introspection is still part of my becoming the real me.


1819 Caricature by English caricaturist George Cruikshank. Titled “The Radical’s Arms”, it depicts the infamous guillotine.

For most of my life, I had worn a mask and donned a cloak, concealing an abyss of pain to which I could not put a name. My teenage me was deeply hurt when a neighbour insisted on calling me “missy.” I cried myself to sleep, just knowing the label did not fit. Without really knowing why, I knew I had to hide the inner me from the world, so I hid so deep in the closet, I knew the dust bunnies by name.

Then I turned 50 and – drum-roll – the guillotine fell. The part of me who had been suppressed all my life, stepped to the fore and demanded to take over. I let him. It was a time of growing and revelation which culminated in top surgery on 17 June 2014 and my life changed. It changed me physically – allowed me a chest – and emotionally, with Kris now leading – but nothing much else changed.

Do I want more change in my life? Yes, I would dearly want to be known as Kris, grow a beard, be rid of my Mickey Mouse squeaky voice, take off my shirt and display my Tarzan chest hair.

But I have made the decision not to transition further. Without T, I will always be female in the eyes of my partner, family, friends and colleagues. I will still be ma’med. And it will still hurt like hell.

So, am I happy to continue living in duplicity? No, I’m not. But I’m fairly content.  I have made my decisions and will live with them. I’ll be the man on the stair who isn’t there. And I’m not wishing him away, he is here to stay – if only in my mind.

That does not mean I will stop dreaming – I’ll keep dreaming of sitting on the retirement home patio in my underpants and with a grey, scruffy beard, slugging a beer and scratching my chest hair while ogling the varicose veins of the octogenarian women shuffling past, not remember why I’m leering  – with B glaring at me over her glasses while she crochets, idly wondering why she glares.

Old man cartoon


Author: Kris

Hi! I'm Kris. I live in South Africa with my life partner of 27+ years, whom I call B or Madam in my posts. We have a Pug dog child, Remi, also known as Pooch, who has graced and enriched our lives for the past 12 years.

17 thoughts on “The man on the stair

  1. I’ll bring the milk, I hope you find what you need, now and in the future.


  2. Reading this, I hurt for you and admire you. Both at the same time. You are so strong!


  3. We live in an imperfect world so we all have to decide for ourselves what we can handle and when. As long as you’re at peace and comfortable with your decisions that’s all that matters. I think introspection and heavy thinking is part of this journey. If it isn’t than I’d be concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah, transition is a huge step.. regardless of the extent. Introspection comes with the territory. I mean, not everybody is going to opt for hormones, or surgery, or whatever. For your own reasons you’ve decided this way for now. Good. You’ll know what to do next, if anything,, at the right time. The important thing is, it’s your journey. But you’re not alone, so hang in there.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dropping the mask is the key. Better self acceptance with a DIY transition than doing a fast track T fueled transition if it is not what is best for you and B.
    My vision is Elmer Fudd, but he is not much better than your old scratcher.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a vision!
    My partner claims that the transitional steps which I have taken have only made me more introspective, and full of emotional struggle.
    Probably, she is right.