Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Life as an Avatar

I don’t go to movies that much any more. It’s so much easier to stay at home and program TIVO for the latest flicks. But when I heard about “Avatar,” I heard that it really needed to be seen on the big screen (and in 3D) to be appreciated. So I dragged a few friends to a screening at the famous Cineramadome in Hollywood. (The Dome has been renovated and I haven’t been there in years. I love old Hollywood, so it’s great to see this old facility completely upgraded and state-of-the-art.)

I don’t want to do a movie review, but I really enjoyed “Avatar.” It’s a non-stop thrill ride through some particularly effective and stunning animation. And the depiction of the new world (Pandora) – and its flora and fauna – is very imaginative. But the part that really got to me was the whole concept of inhabiting another body. Something I’m sure most of us tgirls can identify with. And if you’re already on Second Life, you can definitely relate!

In the film, an injured Marine named Jake takes a new job as an avatar on a strange planet. His human body is inserted into a pod and he takes control of an alien avatar who enters a tribe of Pandora’s residents. Jake’s job is to earn their trust and share secrets with his superiors. The plot is very similar to “Dances with Wolves,” and in the end the Marine comes to admire the natives and their ways. (He also falls head over blue heels in love with the chief’s spirited daughter.)

Any way, like I said, I don’t want to do a movie review. But the avatar concept really got to me. The idea of someone moving between two worlds. The idea of inhabiting a totally different body. The idea of living in someone else’s skin.

All of that appeals to me. Because that’s what I do all the time as a tgirl! And I think the movie – without intending to – captures the exhilaration that occurs during a physical transformation. We see the hero try out his new body… his new capabilities and skills. Sure, he’s not in heels for men or crossdresser lingerie, but he is taller, thinner, stronger and faster. And we get to see him test his new body much as a child does at different stages of development.

Much as I’m doing now. Much as you’re probably doing now. And I’m talking about something a little deeper than learning to walk in heels or sit in a tight corset. I’m talking about inhabiting another life form and expressing that new personality physically. In the way you walk. In the way you gesture. In the way you speak.

And do you feel the power? In the movie, Jake’s avatar is fast and strong. But it goes deeper than that with tgirls. I hate to quote the Spice Girls, but do you feel the Girl Power? Let’s face it, in our society, in our tribe, girls have powers that men just don’t have. And when used effectively, those skills and powers can have an amazing effect on others.

Others might be attracted to us… as friend or lovers… in ways that we never expected. In ways that we never experienced before as males. We might be mythologized (as women often are), idealized into something we’re not. We might find we’re able to get people to do things for us… from buying us drinks to holding doors open… to awful tasks like helping us move or driving us to the airport.

We can even make people fall in love with us.

And that’s where it gets scary. That’s where you really have to do a reality check. The person you’re entering a relationship with might see the relationship as reality. While you, if you’re honest, might see it on a more surreal level. You might just be playing. You might just be trying on the guise of a different personality. But your potential lover is dealing with real life.

And that just isn’t fair.

Like Jake in the movie, you have to learn how to harness and control your new power. Or risk hurting innocent people in the process. And it ain’t easy. This Second Life/Femme Life stuff is pretty intoxicating. It’s easy to get carried away. To get drunk on Girl Power. It gets confusing. In the movie, Jake (in human form) comes to a realization… “Everything is backwards now,” he says. “Like out there is the true world and in here is the dream.”

And that’s the way I’ve been feeling lately. Like I’m in the dream and it’s becoming my reality. Like maybe I’m getting a little carried away with CiCi. It’s like my life has switched over. Where I was once a guy who dressed in crossdresser clothes from time to time, now I feel like a cd who reluctantly has to be in boy mode a lot. Which would be fine if I was thinking of transitioning. But I’m not. I’m happy being a cd. The trouble comes in when I forget that my wife, my extended family, and people like my boss at work are still living in the real world -- while I’m off on Tgirl Pandora. And I don’t have to be dressed to be in CiCi mode any more to feel it. I’m in CiCi mode in my head a lot.

But, again, that’s not fair. Like an avatar, CiCi can’t get hurt in the same way that normal humans can. Because she’s often not emotionally invested in the same way that others are. In the movie, if an avatar gets hurt, the human in the pod merely wakes up and leaves the pod – without a scratch. If you’re just playing at girl mode, it’s probably good to remember that not everyone is in on the game. Not everyone is as invulnerable as you. Not everyone is snuggled in the safety of the pod.

In tgirl world, we talk a lot about being careful. About being safe. It’s a dangerous world out there. But what happens when the most dangerous thing out there – the thing that can cause the most pain, the thing that can do the most damage – is you?

In that old song, “Sunscreen,” the speaker says, ‘Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts.” And I think that’s pretty good advice on any planet.
Take care out there!
Be safe. Be smart. Be sexy!
xoxo,
CiCi

13 comments:

Madeleine_Rose said...

Wow! Very well written and self perceptive. It IS hard sometimes. I'm single, so no family to worry about...but still have obligations to myself and others. Don't want to get so lost that I don't focus on my work, or even just chores that are easier to do when I'm not in high heels and lovely, but delicate, or easily stained fabrics.. It's a shame..
Hope you find that balance that works for you. Just keep BOTH sides real if you can.
ps-just a little reality. I was dressed up nice in these knee high boots, red hair, nice walk. Went to my local 24 hour CVS. Their was hardened snow on the ground, and as I slipped around, I noticed how vulnerable I was vs. a GG who'd be smart enough to be in old jeans and sneakers...or at least boots without spike heels!
The really dangerous part was when I came out of the store. 3am... no one else around...and suddenly I'm hearing whistles and catcalls from (I believe) were maintenance workers with my long red hair just flaming down the back of my leather jacket, long legs and skinny jeans. I'm deaf in one ear, and icouldn't tell where the sounds were coming from. And I'm stumbling, slowly toward my car, fumbling for the keys and suddenly feeling VERY, VERY vulnerable. Finally make it into the car and locked the door and got to reflecton what if someone tried to pick me up, or rape me! and/or beat the living shit out of me! It was a very scary thought. So much for the feel good clothes and feminine attitude if I ended up in the hospital...Sigh, I still probably want to be wearing some delicate silky panties in my hopital bed. Oh, I'm stuck alright. I'll never not be a cd. .
No more late nights out by myself, at least not dressed sexy and make up to the hilt. Being only part way out of the closet and living in an apartment where I don't want to have to explain myself to neighbors, I only generally go out for late night errands, or the occasional shopping trip during the day.
That's part of the dark side of being a woman, much less a CD! Like you, I like being a cd and have no desire to transition, but boy I wish I could be more of a woman much more of the time. And do it without fear.
Thank you CiCi. You opened me up tonight. Good night and good luck.

Jessica Cruz said...

Hello Cici. My name is Jessica. I have been a long time reader and shopper at the website. I am also a vlogger and post videos on youtube discussing my transition and life and general. You can view my page here if youd like. www.youtube.com/TransMissioning

A friend of mine has recently created a website :
(TheWayYouLookAtMe.com)
This website is just starting off and aims at the transcommunity. It has gotten lots of transindividuals to try to work harder on their videos and maintain a better quality of topics and insight for the trans community as a whole. The website is looking for people who are interested in submitting articles or blogs.So far we have one up and are looking for four or so more individuals. As I got your email with your new blog, I thought, how can I not ask you!!!!

I was thinking, as the Managing Editor, I would love for you to take a look at the website and see if you wouldnt mind posting your vlogs up there as well, not just on your site. We do have quite of number of site viewers which are mostly trans individuals and it would mean free advertising for you in return, just to post your blog on the website as well.

The site again is :

TheWayYouLookAtMe.com

You can reach me at jessicacruz6109@yahoo.com

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks always...

Jessica Cruz

CiCi said...

Madaleine,
Thanks so much for your comment! So nice to hear from you. I hope you find some friends to go out with tho, it's always safer (and much more fun) to be out with friends.

but, if you continue your outings alone, and walking in steep heels makes you feel vulnerable, i suggest you check out some of the hot new boots in flat styles. Some are knee high and some are over-the-knee. (And i'm not talking about UGGs -- although i luv my Uggs.) These are much more stylish... and easier to get around in!

best of luck to you, doll!

xoxo,
CiCi

CiCi said...

Jessica,
Thanks for the offer! So sweet of you, babydoll! I'll check out the sites and get back to you soon!
xoxo,
CiCi

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