Tangled Web

Deceptions of a transgender guy

Man silhouette



B and I sat in the dark and drizzle, watching the homeless wake up where they were sleeping on the sidewalk in corners between shops. Wearing all their clothes against the cold of the winter night, they roll up their ragged coverings into a single bag that contains all their earthly possessions, folding up the cardboard that serves as mattress and start another senseless day.

[Backstory: We were waiting for an intercity bus to drop off a very inconsiderate family member who arrived at an ungodly hour. She knows B suffers from severe anxiety and will have a panic attack if she has to drive in the dark (and I know the panic attack is squared and multiplied by 23 if it rains as well), but still she booked a ticket and expected B to fetch her, without even a, “Would you mind?” So I had to take a day’s leave to play peacemaker. And narcissism is a whole blog post on it’s own.]


Homeless sleeping on the sidewalk. Franco Folini. CC BY-SA 2.0)

Back to the homeless. The scenes we witnessed played on a screen in my mind during the whole day, flashing snippets into view for my full attention while I was busy getting on with life. A part of me is currently chipping away at my fears and insecurity caused by the organization I work for, dragging its feet in giving me an outcome to my request for reasonable accommodation for my hearing impairment.

Another part is being chewed into cud by T Rex, the testosterone dinosaur. Should I, shouldn’t I? Do or don’t I want to start taking T?

The cinema in my mind took me back to scenes from my childhood: acting out James Bond stories, playing agent 007 undercover, infiltration an imaginary KGB  – faceless, incognito.

Then scenes from my young adult days: going to work in drag, wearing heels and hose, dysphoric in women’s clothes, an undercover male acting female while the real me sat crying behind bars, nameless to the world.

Sequences from my midlife – living in fiction, carving out a desired life in words and fantasy, an anonymous character in a fabricated, lost dream.

The current: the person in my mind freed from his entrapment, but still faceless, as the husk lives in the world under a different name, staring out from the eyes of a body not recognized in mirrors, reflections… Birdcage


In a wire mesh cage
flightless with clipped wings
sometimes even fluttered attempted flight
bird seed promises of  the unknown:
pulpy worms


Flashes to the future: a butch sitting on a retirement village veranda, plucking straggly grey hairs from their chin, lost in a movie of could-have-beens-but-not-chosen-to-actualize.

Pandora's box

Pandora trying to close the box she has opened. At left, the evils of the world taunt her as they escape. Engraving, based on a painting by F.S. Church.

What will I gain with T besides the physical? More acceptance? I’m used to being an outcast, a loner. T is not going to change me into a social butterfly, and even if it did, it would not be authentically Kris.

More friends? The few I have now, are genuine.

A life partner who accepts me warts and all? Her I already have.

Being read and passing as male? What will I secure? Inner peace with congruency of the person in my mind and the one I see in the mirror? No guarantees.

I have weighed social acceptance against inner peace and inner peace is tipping the scale. T is just another hormone with its own Pandaro’s box of problems. I have enough of them to cope with, I am already a dragon-slayer. I need to work on inner peace and that I need to do without T.

“Kris locuta est, causa finita est.” Kris has spoken, case is closed.

Faceless I will stay. My web of deceit I will keep on weaving.

 “Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.”
~ Leonard Cohen

May I be free now.


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.

18 thoughts on “Faceless

  1. I have mixed feelings about bodies. We are all trapped in them with varying degrees of comfort or discomfort. Mostly I am kind of Buddhist in believing that Bodies Ain’t Us. If only the rest of the world would agree. I like the idea of a non-T life for those it suits, because it implies that inner life, confidence and belief are prime.


    • I don’t know much about Buddhism, Dar, which I am ashamed to confess as a librarian, but your comment has prompted me to do some reading. I like the “Bodies ain’t us” concept, although it reminds me of the chain store “Toys R Us” – sorry, from the sublime to the ridiculous! Hope things are going well with Link?


      • I am not a real Buddhist but some of the beliefs resound with me. Link has decided to go the T route and is seeing some changes after 2 months. Link identifies as genderqueer and trans-masculine. At 22, they don’t have those decades of experience of being trans internally-only, so maybe there is less of a barrier.


  2. Beautifully written, and I can just be thankful for the opportunities I have in my first world, equal country where acceptance is the norm, and still being young. I feel for you, and would probably have made the same decision in your shoes.


    • Thank you, Fredrik. Had I been 30 years younger, I probably would have made different choices, but I am not and I have to walk in these boots every day. Greetings to all 22 feet in the household.


  3. Beautifully written, Kris! Take care, peace.


  4. I’m still trying out all the tools in the trans toolbox to see if I can get to inner peace without T or at with a minimal dose that doesn’t push me over the passing line (wherever that is). I wish there were more options for us (that were socially acceptable), and more understanding of how transgender but not fully transitioned people live in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My decision to not go for T now is mostly motivated by that very same lack of understanding, the ridicule and scorn Caitlin Jenner has to face right now. And hers is a first world, developed country. Mine is a third world regressive country on the verge of breakdown. How will trans people ever be accepted over here? The answer is: not on your life!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. T is certainly no magic bullet but then again, no drug is. Inner peace is a noble goal and beyond the scope of a hormone. I send you a warm, brotherly hug from afar.