As of yesterday, on the 24th, it’s been 6 months since I began my transition journal, and it’s flown by unbelievably fast. My life has been so full since coming to terms with myself, and bringing those around me to be on those terms. So much has changed- mainly, my respect for myself and my own standards. I’ve dropped the practice of hiding behind the wrong gender and pretending to be what I’m not just because it’s easier, or because I was afraid. I’ve gained more friends and more respect for coming out than I would have kept by keeping it all inside. Most importantly, I’ve gained a father who knows me- not just someone who looks like a girl verson of me- and my father has gained the son he didn’t know he had. The richness of life this has brought has made my life an unbelievable dream come true.
Just six months ago, I probably would have still worn makeup and even female garb if the situation called for it. Today, I wouldn’t put those things on if someone told me they would reject be forever if I didn’t. And on top of that, I’m comfortable enough with my gender that, if I wanted to put on a girl costume just for the fun of it, I could probably do that without any serious emotional injuries. The point of all this, as contradictory as it seems, is that I don’t wear what I wear for anyone else’s approval, because of fear, or because I believe that what I am is unacceptable. What I look like in any given situation is now my choice and mine alone- nobody can tell me what to be.
I’ve learned that people in general are very, very stupid. The 95% majority of them are not educated in the least on the problems that people like us have, and the ones who are usually are misninformed, ignorant of the more important subtleties, insensitive, bigoted, or just plain prejudiced. A lot of people will go out of their way to let me know that what I’m doing is wrong, but that they still love me anyway, even though I’m going to burn in Hell. Others will tell me that they’re very sorry that I feel the way I do and that it must be very hard, but as long as I still haven’t had surgery, still sound, smell and look like a girl, I will be a girl in their eyes and there’s nothing they can do about it. Even the people who do accept and support me 100%, put in the effort to educate themselves, and do their very best to make people like me comfortable in a harsh and cruel world… are simply not equipped to deal with something this complex. Most of the people in my life are not college graduate gender theorists, majors in psychology or left-wing social workers. I have to keep in mind that even I have such a hard time sorting everything out, and I’m steeped in this information and situation day in and day out. There is nothing about this that is easy for anyone. I have to be grateful for the people in my life who at least don’t make a big deal of it, and certainly for the ones who don’t want to kill me. There are certainly enough of those in the world.
I’ve also learned that people are very, very different and very unpredictable. There’s no way to know how they’re going to react to my situation until I tell them. Some of the people I thought would reject me, hurt me or try to fix me have turned out to be the people who are most supportive- the ones who try the hardest to get the name and pronouns right. And sometimes, the ones I thought would be behind me 100% all the way turned out to be most resentful of my transition, if for no other reason than I “killed off” the person they thought they knew. I’ve had to learn to accept and work through the feelings of betrayal that some of my friends have had since this started. It can be just as hard for me to understand the way they feel about this as it’s hard for them to understand why my female aspects are abandoning them forever, but we all have to work together if we want to get through this in one piece.
I’ve learned that there are places in this world that are surprisingly accepting of people like us, all evidence to the contrary. I’ve learned there are places that are suprisingly dangerous, all evidence to the contrary. I’ve learned of the unbelievable bigotry and ignorance in the LGBT community, the place I was convinced I could turn, the people who should understand gender issues more than anyone. There’s a big difference between queer and trans- in the eyes of the world, queer people LOVE the wrong gender, and trans people ARE the wrong gender. But we all fall under that same umbrella: the world rejects us because of some relation to the wrong gender, and if we can work together to dispel the gender stigma, then we’d all be better off.
I’ve learned that my own issues run deeper then I thought they did. Since I’ve developed a healthy sense of self respect, I’ve learned there are things I’m not okay with. I’m not okay with being touched in certain places, or used in certain ways. I’m not comfortable with wearing long hair while I still have the soft, round features indicative of the sex my body still is. I’m not comfortable with being dominated most of the time- I’ve learned of the delicacy of the male ego and the paradox that comes with that.
And of course, I’ve learned all the logistical facts and skills, like how to bind in a matter of a few seconds, use an STP, shave my face, walk and talk like a dude. I’ve tasted the victory of being “sirred” in public, being read as male at least until I opened my mouth, and being told by some people that my being male “really does make sense of a lot of things” with me. I’ve been told to put the toilet seat down, to stop being such an insensitive Guy, and to sit with the dudes. I’ve been called by Tommy at least as much as by my legal name these last couple of weeks, and that, I know, is a huge improvement and a sign of respect and of being taken seriously by those who care.
I have a long way to go. I still have to get back on medical insurance so I can get consultations for getting on T, but the paperwork is in the system. I’ve worked out that I will just barely be able to afford testosterone with the paycheck I get now, but I’m prepared to put a lot of other things on hold so I can get my life going in the right direction. I have to quit smoking before I can get on T, but so far I’ve cut so far back that, when the time comes, it will be a piece of cake. I still need to buy a real binder, but I think I’ll have that in the works by the time I get back from San Francisco. I have yet to come out to any of my extended family, but I’m sure they’ll figure it out once I start showing up with facial hair. I still look female, but my genetics dictate that the T will have a nearly catastrophic effect on my body- my father and mother both grow hair prolifically, and both had very male, broad physiques. I’m not exactly built with the most feminine structure as it is. Quite frankly, I can’t wait to get the stuff in my body- it’s going to feel great!
The new year will bring a lot more revelations, to myself and to the world, or so I hope. I would hate to remain static in this state, either physically or mentally. I have a lot still to learn. My opinions on what I may have done surgically, for example, are not the same as they were 6 months ago, and they probably won’t be the same in 2 years. I’m sure that the effect the T has on my mind and body will direct that. But to put it all in one sentence:
I’ve walked further on this path than I thought I had, I’ve got longer to go than I thought I would, and over all, I’m just happy to know that I’m finally on my way home.
Merry Christmas to everyone!