I’ve written recently about my intentions to increase substantially in ‘male shagginess’ in 2020, and much as I might like to confine myself to general beard updates (coming in slowly, patchily, looks worse on camera than in the mirror, etc), I can’t help but notice that every attempt to describe/apologize for/point out the defects of beard growth sounds like the pluckiest of all tomboy heroines who grew up to be right pretty, that eternal thorn in every transmasculine side, Anne of Green Gables (Anne with a “He”).
I attempt to describe my beard and I hope I sound engaged, interested, neither too fussy nor too lackadaisical, nicely committed to my own certain style, nonchalant, unrushed, confident, un-anxiously vain, sexually 5’9, et cetera, but I fear that what I actually sound like when I describe my beard is this:
“I do think a beard looks awfully nice, yes even a patchy one, so long as you know the patches are going to fill in, because there’s nothing so dreadful as a patched patch, a patch with a really permanently patched quality to it, that’s going to stay a patch forever and not fill into something handsome. I’ve never seen a finished beard, but I do hope that someday I shall have one. That is my highest ideal of earthly bliss. I just love beards that fill in all the way. And I’ve never had cohesive facial hair that I can remember — but of course it’s all the more to look forward to, isn’t it? And then I can imagine that I’m styled gorgeously. This morning when I left the apartment I felt so ashamed because I had to wear this horrid old wincey pair of jogger sweatpants, because T redistributes your body fat, which isn’t to say I have either more or less of it than I did three years ago, simply that it’s all been redistributed and I don’t know how to redistribute my waistbands and inseams accordingly. A lot of people give their old joggers to trans men. Some people say it’s because they can’t sell them, but I’d rather believe that it’s out of the kindness of their hearts, wouldn’t you? When I got to the street I felt as if everybody must be looking at me and pitying me. But I just went right on and imagined that I had on the most beautiful pale blue silk trousers—because when you are imagining you might as well imagine something worth while—and Hessian boots that my boot-man has blacked with champagne, and a riding-watch, and kid gloves. I felt cheered up right away and I enjoyed my trip to the island with all my might. I wasn’t a bit sick coming over in the boat. And I wanted to see everything that was to be seen on that boat, because I didn’t know whether I’d ever have another opportunity. Oh, there are a lot more cherry-trees all in bloom! This island is the bloomiest place, and I’m blooming, in a manner of speaking, there’s nothing like transition to start a bloom, or to take the bloom off the rose, as my mother said. I just love it already, and I’m so glad I’m going to live here. I’ve always heard that Prince Edward Island was the prettiest place in the world, and I used to imagine I was living here, but I never really expected I would. It’s delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it? But those red roads are so funny. When we got into the train at Charlottetown and the red roads began to flash past I asked Mrs. Spencer what made them red and she said she didn’t know and for pity’s sake not to ask her any more questions. She said I must have asked her a thousand already. I suppose I had, too, but how you going to find out about things if you don’t ask questions?And what does make my beard red, instead of auburn?”
“Well, now, I dunno,” said Matthew, which is of course the only answer.