Farewell, My Lovelies

Diane Griffin bids her male genitalia sayonara

We lasted half a century together. You did irreparable damage, but you’re gone, and I’m still here. 

Whoever I was, I am -- and will always be. I’m the kid who was bullied, the kid who agreed with the bullies, the kid who sat across from his aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and teachers, and believed that either they knew who she was, and hated her for it, or else thought, “If you knew who I am, you would hate me.” I hated me. 

I thought it was all in my head., but I couldn’t let it go. Even when I forgot, my discomfort with my gender was always there. I wished I was a girl. I thought I should have been a girl. I’d felt this way since I can remember., and there are family stories that go back to my very beginnings, long before memory. When my mother was pregnant with me, my father believed I would be a girl. He wanted to name me Matilda.

But that was not my name. I figured out my name when I was six years old. I remember sitting under our dining room table, under a white table cloth, the table’s dark wood legs spreading out from a central post, extending in four directions. I realized as I looked at the brass ends of one of the legs/extensions that I could change a single letter of my middle name to make it a girl’s name: my real name, as real as the table I sheltered under. Diane.

Imagine my shock when a girl baby was born to my Aunt Edna and Uncle Merle, and they named her with my name. I was devastated. But how were they to know who I was? My knack for self-preservation kept me quiet. I had a dangerous, and therefore closely-guarded secret. 

I was queer. At the age of six, I already knew that was not a safe thing to be. In the places I lived when I was growing up, queers got smeared. I got smeared once or twice. I came close a time or two more. But I’m still here. 

And my pain was because of you, my dear Penis and Testicles. You were a mistake. You should not have been attached to me; you were the wrong thing, and you made me wrong. I didn’t want you: I’ve never wanted you. I often wished I had been born as I knew myself to be. Other times I wished I hadn’t been born at all.

But as I am still here, I’m happy to be rid of you. You were raucous, boorish companions, as unwelcome as you were constant. You incessantly reminded me that you were there. You loved attention, yet you were disgusting. You got excited at the wrong times and embarrassed me. You stank. You itched. You put a threadbare carpet of hair over my whole body. You disfigured my face. You warped my mind and my emotions; I was always angry when you were around.

Because of you, the doctor who delivered me was fooled into putting “male” on my birth certificate, and the world believed that piece of paper and not me. The world believed you and not me. In effect, you made me invisible.

When I first began to seriously plot your demise, I worried that I’d miss you a little. I don’t. I look for twinges of that post-operative regret that some who don’t believe that I’m real would like me to experience; there’s been no sign of it. 

Were there good things about you? Sure. I could stand up to pee. That was easier, I’ll admit. Ejaculating felt really good, too. But for every brief moment of pleasure or convenience, there was the rest of the time, when you would be dingle-dangling awkwardly between my thighs, slimy with sweat, constantly getting pulled and rubbed against my legs or my lower stomach, against the fabric of my clothing as I walked, ran, or moved in just about any way: demanding attention like a four-year-old boy at a grocery store, yelling “Mommy! Buy me that!” at every piece of candy, every can, bottle and box with a superhero on it or a prize inside. 

I used to pray for you to disappear. I was a lost little girl who believed in all of that God-the-Father and Jesus-the-Son stuff. So much of where I come from is -- and so many of the people I come from are -- focused on that cult I was raised in. I desperately wanted to know God when I was young. The idea of an omnipotent Father, knowing me better than anyone else could and guiding me through life according to some plan that would be revealed to me in time was, on the surface, comforting. I thought God could correct the wrongness of you.

But as my life has unspooled, I discovered, just by the nature of my situation, because of you, P and the Ts, that those people in those places that I come from couldn’t and can’t understand or accept who I am. And as a result, I began to question whether the invisible Father I sought could see me, or if He existed. I couldn’t feel his presence, I felt no justice from him or his teachings, and those who believed in Him needed to define me in ways that I couldn’t agree to. 

Hey, Penis, did you and the Ts ever notice that there’s no feminine aspect to the Trinity? Some people point to the Holy Spirit and say that’s the feminine aspect of God, but I don’t buy it. The Holy Spirit is genderless. Of the various things that Divine genderlessness signifies, the one I especially appreciate is that this means that the Holy Spirit is queer.

But no aspect of the Big Guy in the Sky is female. The cosmology envisioned by the pious and righteous under the influence of the likes of you excludes the very idea of feminine divinity. That’s just arrogance. Even Lucifer, the great rebel, is male. You can’t even envision a female rival. How stupid is that? There’s a reason that some call you “the dumbstick.”

And I call you gone: dead and likely cremated. I feel no grief at your loss. 

Losing you didn’t solve all of my problems: I’ve still got troubles and darkness, believe me. But what I really need when my mood is dark is, often enough, a good cry, or a good meal and a well-made adult beverage: to be in the arms of my sweetheart, or to spend some time in the presence of true human creativity. Those things help me feel better. But I never have cried and never will cry for you. 

Even so, I did think to write you this little note. It may sound angry and bitter, but I assure you, it’s a celebration. So, for one final time: Good fucking riddance.