A journey to San Francisco to become no less than Me. (BLOG REBOOT: Former site of Hairy Legs.)

Posts tagged ‘21st birthday’

Severance.

I’d like to say right now that I’ve passed a milestone.  Just a few minutes ago, I had the first female in my life ever to tell me to put the toilet seat down.  Aside from the slight embarrassment (and huge flush of relief that came to realize that she saw it up before her mom did), I felt a sense of… becoming– not quite pride, but accomplishment; the feeling of passing on into being not just a boy, but maybe even a man.

My 21st birthday is in 3 days.

I’ve been thinking about it for about 5 months now, and I’ve finally decided that I am, in contradiction of everything I’ve said before, going to cut my hair.  Yes, I’ve said before that I don’t:

1)  go around wearing what I wear or looking what I look like just to make things easier for everyone else.  I do this for ME.
2)  follow gender stereotypes, because if I think that’s what makes me a man, then I might as well just pack up and go home.
3)  want to go through transition for the sake of being a man, I do it for the sake of being MYSELF.

I still hold to those standards, but the funny thing is, I feel like a completely different person today than I did five months ago.  I feel that short hair would suit me better as I am, that I’m really not trying to live up to that scruffy biker/metalhead image anymore, that I want a softer, shaggy, more boyish cute faggy look as I settle into my male self.  (Plus Hilary Swank looked awfully cute in short hair in Boys Don’t Cry.)  In fact, I could go on listing a thousand reasons I’ve changed my mind- it doesn’t matter.  I will never abandon my resolution to be myself, and if I tried to hold to an image that I was before but not now, just to prove something to anyone else, then I’ve lost sight of that.

This cutting of my hair will also mark the passing of another landmark, no matter how I try to downplay it.  I’ve had long hair for my entire life, as long as I can remember, and losing it will almost be a point of no return.  I may grow my hair long again, in the future when my features have masculinized again, but for now, this is my aggressive visual act of manhood to those around me.  It says, “this isn’t just something I’m saying, or a phase.  I’m serious about this.”  If nothing else, I hope that it will be a constant reminder of what pronoun to use.

So, I’ve decided that, the night before I get it done, I’m going to make almost a ceremonial gesture, an act of severance to the female life behind me.  My friends and I are going to go out for a night on the town, and I’m going in full drag as a female.  There will be nothing questionable about it- I’ll be gussied up in every way possible, from corset to makeup and hairdo, head to toe.  It will be very symbolic as the last time I ever don the female garb, and at the end of the night I’ll remove every piece and say goodbye to the life behind me.

I’m calling it my Severance Ball: my rite of passage from a female body into a male one, and I feel that at the end of that night, I will have no regrets and will never look back.

I came out to my dad last night.

It was unexpected, unplanned, and exactly the way it was supposed to be.

Well, sort of.  It took some weird complications to make it happen, but I think if it weren’t for those, it wouldn’t have gone as well as it did.

See, last weekend my dad and I went up the hill to shoot his shotgun and hit a couple golf balls after I’d had some serious relationship issues (more about HIM later.)  My dad seems to think it’s great therapy to blow off steam by blowing up paint cans, and he couldn’t have been more right.  It was the golfing that got me.

On my last swing, I lost track of my form and swung not just my arms but also my back, throwing something out of alignment.  It wasn’t a HORRIBLE injury, just enough that I was done goofing off.  But all that accumulated in my back seriously giving out on me last night.  I was trying to get the baby in her high chair when my back went SPROING, and all of a sudden I couldn’t move my arms, couldn’t lift my head, and I was completely immobilized and panicked.  Good thing my best friend was there helping me watch her or it would have been me stranded and helpless with a screaming 2-year-old for 2 hours.

Anyway, I tried to get comfortable, took my last two Vicodin from my old knee injury and waited on the ‘rents to get back.  I won’t go into the gory details of those two hours, but let’s just say that 1000 milligrams of hydrocodone should have worked better than they did.  I was in humiliated tears before the night was up.

And when they got home, things just got better.  My stepmom the nurse gave me another 1000 milligram and said that was enough for the night, which did little other than to make me drowsy and nauseous, but hardly touched the pain.  My dad, pious believer that he is, decided to get out the holy anointment oil and try to pray the injury out of me.  He sent everyone else out of the room, and I just sat there, with nothing to say.  When he asked if I was alright, I looked him square in the eye and said, “Do you really think I would still believe in a God who would make me this way?”

Once I started, I couldn’t stop.  Everything just rolled from there, but even in my drugged stupor and excruciating pain (probably the reason I didn’t have any reservations about saying what I said,) it couldn’t have come out better.  Everything I’ve been struggling with figuring out how to say for months flowed out like water, and at the end of it, my dad said he would love me forever, no matter how much I decided to surgically mutilate myself.  Well, it was funny at the time.  You have to get my dad’s sense of humor.

No matter how he put it, I knew he was behind me 100%.

Whole new worlds have opened up to me.  Of course, I’m still stranded here at the house with my back busted and it’s going against my better judgement to even be sitting here at the computer instead of lying down and resting, but I had to share this.  Yesterday, it was 2 weeks until my birthday and I still had the burden of trying to figure out how to tell him before I turned 21.  Last night, all of that went away.  Today, I’m free.  My dad still cares about me, he won’t try to change me or preach at me, and he knows everything there really is to know about me.  I feel like we’re really friends now.

One other thing- as soon as I can afford it, I really want to get on Minoxidil (or Rogaine, see the minoxidil discussion on the Beard Board for details) for my facial hair growth.  I don’t feel nearly so awkward about it now that my dad knows I’m FTM.  Everyone else can just figure it out for themselves, but now that I have my dad’s blessing, I feel free to express my gender and really start the ball rolling towards true transition.

It’s time to start planning my coming out party!

Boys Don’t Cry

So I’m a little late on the uptake for this one.  I tried my damnedest to find some way to watch it on the TGDoR, but nothing really wanted to work out for me on that day, period, and I wound up stranded at my trans-non-sympathetic friend’s house.  He accepts me well enough, but he doesn’t really see that there’s a tragedy going on with these people, thinks the surgery is “cosmetic” and didn’t do more than shrug when I told him what day it was, or the Statistics.  I started thinking, sometimes the ones that don’t care are worse than the ones who damn us.

But then I watched Boys Don’t Cry.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the story front to back, watched the documentary on Youtube, read the blogs and news journals, but they don’t take you into the experience of the story like the movie does.  And I tend to relate very heavily to a given character when I watch a movie, whether I’ve got much in common with him or not.  Brandon was Me in too many ways for me to even feel comfortable with, before we even got to the bad part of the movie.  (Well, except in the juvenile delinquent sort of way.)

Anyway, I got to sit down properly with my boyfriend last night and watch it (until his mom got home, at which point I got to sit down awkwardly and stiffly and watch it.  I don’t think she likes me and she’d like me even less if she knew I was a guy.)  But as awful as it was, it was worth watching.  He gripped my hand tight through the worst of it.  The rape scene WAS the hardest part to watch, but I think most of the horror of it all washed over my head until the end of the movie.  I think I sat there staring blankly at the screen for about five minutes.  And then his mom told us dinner was on the stove and she left the room, and then I got my plate and sat with it and I couldn’t eat, and then I noticed there were tears dripping onto my plate, and I just sat there like a statue until reality snapped back and I had to go to the bathroom to blow my nose.

I’m trying to think of the only other movie that made me cry.  I can’t remember.

(Might have been Wrath of Khan.)

So on one hand it kinda left me feeling scarred for life, and on the other hand it brought home how dangerous it is out there, really sort of made the danger and hurt mine to own and internalize, really sparked a spirit to do something about this in me.  I’m not sure what yet, but it’s brewing.  After all, I’m only 20.

And that brings home another point.  Last night I stared at my boyfriend’s calendar and started shaking when I realized I have no more than three weeks to come out to my dad if I want him to know about this before my 21st birthday.

I don’t know how to cope.

I’m just scared of how things are going to change around here when he knows.  We’re really tight these days; he’s slowly been turning me into a Trekkie by ordering the first season of Star Trek through Netflix.  Whenever we go out to do yardwork or something together, I call him Captain and he calls me Mr. Spock.  It’s really dorky but it’s something we share, and I think he’s somehow slowly coming to understand me by it.  I don’t want it to end, but in that same way, I don’t want our relationship, as good as it is, to be fake in any way.  I don’t want to be whatever he wants me to be just to preserve our friendship.  I have more respect for him than that.

On a happier note, I came up with a name for my… upper region that’s better than “tumors” or even “moobs”.  They are my chestnuts.

wOOt

TG Day of Remembrance.

I’m feeling baffled and lonesome today.  Not only did my car break down so I couldn’t go to any trans sympathetic events today, but all of my friends seem to be busy.  But if I have to light a candle all by myself today in remembrance, I’ll do it.  This day is weighing heavier on me than I thought it would.

I couldn’t sleep this morning.  I got up before 6 and started writing my coming out letter to my dad.  It’s now probably around five or six pages, and from here it’s just paring it down into something he can process.  I needed to start working on it today, even though I’m planning on not coming out until shortly before my 21st birthday next month.  I want to have time to let it sit and ruminate, decide what to share and what to keep.  Even now I feel I’ve left a ridiculous amount out, but I don’t think it’s the kind of thing he can take in one sitting, anyway.  I want to provide him with so much so that he can understand it- I just don’t know how much he can get his head around in one letter, and if he can’t, what the most important thing is to include on his first experience with this, just in case he won’t want to listen to any more of it.  I may post my rough draft next time I post.

I’m on a quest to find other trans people in the county, because I’ve heard rumors through a friend of a friend about a friend or two they may have.  I don’t really have enough information to go on, but I’m pretty good at internet sleuthing, so I feel that if I dig around with just the right nugget of information, I may uncover something.  I just feel like I’m on the coattails of finding someone around here who’s like me.  I don’t find much support in the queer community, that’s for sure- I’m tired of hanging around with people who either need to be educated, or don’t want to hear it.  I need to get to know someone who already knows.

But, of course, there’s the whole problem of said possibly-existant person being the sort who loves their stealth and doesn’t want it uncovered by anyone, even other trans people.  I don’t know how to broach that line.  All I know is, I don’t want to be alone in this anymore.

One of my old friends from high school- one of the first friends I made, in fact, in Math- I just came out to him.  He sort of figured it out on his own.  I was never actually too incredibly close with him, he was just more of a fun guy to be around but not listed among my top friends.  But the funny thing is, he’s taking this trans thing like a regular pro, treating me just like one of the guys- just the way he’s always treated me, really- and trying harder than anyone to get my name right.  It’s great, he’s like a brother.  We got in an arm punching contest yesterday- I think he stopped pulling his punches when I punched his arm with such force that he stumbled back into his porch door.  It was awesome.  Now I have some bruises that feel just great.  No, I mean that.  I’ve never actually been in a fight before, and I don’t count slugging contests either.  I don’t think I have nearly enough battle scars.  It feels good to get some aggression out once in a while and I’m thinking about getting into some kind of combat class, maybe a martial art, maybe boxing.  I know for a FACT I want to start working out at a gym of some sort- I wish I could afford a membership, but I think the community college equipment is available with permission.  But I’m really getting off track here.

It’s just awesome to have a guy friend who I can joke around with and be a guy with- a straight guy friend, no sexual tension, I’d like to emphasize- and one who really knows what I’m about.  I think this is a major uplift in my life right now.

I’d like to do only one thing for sure before the day is over.  I’d like to rent and watch “Boys Don’t Cry.”  I think one of my other friends is coming over to pick me up today, so I was hoping we could stop and grab it at the video rental.  It’s important to be able to watch it today, on this day, if nothing else.  I wish I could spread the word to as many of my friends as possible about the dangers of being trans, but for now all I can do is keep writing, light my candles and watch a movie.

I feel a little… useless today.

More on coming out.

This has been on my mind almost 24-7 lately (when I’m not thinking about what to do about my car, which broke down a day or two ago, and when I’m not trying to figure out how to get to Anime L.A. in January.)  I know that I want this video by one of my favorite trans vloggers on Youtube, Heather, to be part of my coming out presentation, and I encourage any of my fellow transpeople to spread it around:

“Life in a Shreddies Box”

(Though hell if I know what “Muslix” are.  I think it’s a Canadian thing.)
This channel deserves a lot more visibility than it gets.  Heather’s videos are very informative, well worded, to the point, and very powerful in getting to the core of a lot of trans-related issues; I think there’s good for all of us in it to spread the word about the TransInsight youtube channel.

I think my car breaking down is actually doing me a little good.  I was in an area where I was running, running, constantly running around with friends, filling my schedule with almost more than I could take, trying to escape my reality, I guess.  I didn’t give myself any time to sit down and think.  Now that I’m being forced to, I realize how soon I’m going to be an adult and that my identity is slowly escaping me and everyone else.  I remember I had a goal last year, to be on T before I turned 21.  I don’t see that happening, the way I’ve been ignoring my problems, waiting for them to sneak up and bite me in the ass, I guess.  The truth is that the longer I wait, the harder it’s going to be for the hormones to take hold in my body, and I can’t sit around and wait for it to be okay with my family anymore.  I have to do something about this, or I’m going to be waiting around forever.

I think I’d like to be talking to a gender therapist before I’m 21, at least.  I’d like to be on the road to transition, medically, by next month.  I’d like to at least be able to tell my dad that I’ve hashed it over with a gender therapist in more than a consulting session.  I’ve been putting it off, you see, because in this county there’s only one person to go to for gender issues and I met her once, back when I was still having a lot of trouble with my dissociation.  I don’t think she took me seriously- maybe she was in a bad mood, maybe I rubbed her the wrong way, I don’t know, but she seemed so cynical that it was really hard to open up to her about ANYTHING.  The experience left a bad taste in my mouth, and I just feel like the chemistry is all wrong.

But damned if I don’t, cause if she’s the only way for me to get to what I want, then I’ll give her another shot.  I just hope she doesn’t remember me.  All I really remember about how I presented that day was how foggy and burnt out I was, on the ass end of living on the streets for four weeks, and how much effort it took to run through the grocery list again of things that were wrong with me, like someone who has to explain for the forty-fifth time the story of how they wound up with a broken leg in a cast.  It was not my best day, to be sure.  I don’t even think I brushed my hair that day.  But it’s time.  It’s time to go back down that road, and I hope I bring a better presentation this time.

Thinking about coming out.

Once again, I only have a couple moments to post, but this is important.

I was just reading another FtM blog about someone who just came out, and it struck me- I’m turning 21 in a month, and my dad doesn’t know who I am.  I don’t want to pass into my adulthood without coming out to my dad, because- and this barely makes sense, but- because I’d feel sort of “done”, in the cooking sense, as a human being, and I wouldn’t want anybody I respected as a fellow adult to partake of me without knowing what I was.  Did that make sense?  I don’t think so.  Nevermind.

The point here is, I need to come up with some way to come out to my dad- the traditional letter, or should I just have a talk with him, or should I make a big production of it, with videos I found online that I feel make it all make sense of the trans experience, or should I just keep it small, like it’s really no big deal, or what?  I feel like this is going to take a lot more explaining than just “I’m a guy.”  But I also feel like he might not listen to too much of it, and that I should cram some really core concepts into just a few lines to make sure he has something to think about before he makes me stop talking.  Or something.  I don’t know how to make him understand this without breaking his heart first.

The truth is, I know that this is going to hurt, because in his eyes, I’ll be taking his little girl away.  But in the long run, he’ll really just be getting to know the son he’s always had-

-the one who went fishing with him every Saturday when the other women in the family opted to stay home

-the one who went rock climbing and hiking and always wanted more when it was too much for sis

-the one who always wanted to shoot a game of one-on-one hoops with him

-the one who always wanted to go to the ballpark and watch the neighborhood baseball teams with him

-the one who rooted for watching football with him when all the other women in the house groaned

-the one who wanted to learn to shave, just like him, almost when I was too little to remember, and I cut my face

-the one who was determined to tough it out like a man for him when I fell and scraped my knee, even when I was just tiny.

There’s so much childhood there that I realize isn’t a traditional father-daughter relationship.  I was always there to be the son he didn’t have, and he just didn’t know it.  So I can’t see how hard it would be for him to accept it, really.  I just want to show him.

Sorry for all the bitching, guys.

Life is great when you’re starting out on this path, and all of this is internalized and theoretical, and you’re seeing all the changes you’re about to make and how comfortable you’re going to be with yourself and how much easier things will be, at least psychologically, in social terms when you get to the other side.  People seeing the real you and all that.

But the difficulty of this lifestyle really hits home when you start taking it out of writing and out of your head and out of your personal life and putting it on display and then sit back and watch how people gel with it.  Generally, at least at first, and at least in my experience, people DON’T.  Even the ones who say how supportive they’re going to be forget to even make an effort for a long time in the beginning, which really hurts, even when they don’t mean to hurt you.

The point of all this isn’t complaining, not for the 5th post in a row.  The point is saying that the honeymoon with this lifestyle is over for me, my head is out of the clouds and it’s all getting to be real life, down to the nitty gritty.  I can’t honestly post any more philosophical, “I think I’d be this way in this situation” bullshit.  Now I’m seeing what it’s all really like, and it’s harder than I thought it’d be.  Now I’m really going through what all the other FTM’s do, and I kinda just wanted to say, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for being even the slightest bit pretentious and ever thinking I really knew what I was talking about, and I’m sorry for getting all emo on you guys the second it started getting real.  Looking back, it looks like I’m all  enlightened and high and mighty right up until I tried to come out to people and apply what I’ve learned to real life, and then I crumbled and pulled into my turtle shell and did nothing but bitch and moan about how hard it’s been.   It’s really time to man up, in every sense of the word, pull on my big boy pants and get through this with my head held high and my dignity intact.

So I’m gonna get back on the warpath again and start posting about things that really matter.  Like STP’s.  And drag king contests.  And youtube videos.

Ok, maybe those things don’t matter THAT much, but they’re a hell of a lot more fun and interesting to read than “OH GOD WHY ME?!”

And sometimes, I think that’s what it’s all really about, you know?  The articles and videos I’ve seen by my fellow FTM’s that really affected me and made my life better weren’t very often the ones that dragged me down and went on about how HARD something was (unless, of course, we’re talking about a certain anatomical- okay, that was just a cheap shot, sorry).  The ones that helped me along were the ones that made me smile, gave me something to laugh at, and reminded me that, hey, life isn’t really all that bad after all.  I want to be that person, the guy who encourages all the little bro’s along the way and really makes them feel better about themselves and helps them look to the future.  I wanna remind people that things’ll be better some day and we’ll all get through it, together.

(warm melty cheesy ending.  like a Kraft’s commercial.)

OH!  I still need to figure out what I’m doing for my coming out party.  I want to put that in the next post, I guess.  The point is, I wanted to bring a lot of the people in my life together in a light atmosphere and say, hey, guess what, this isn’t a tragedy, it’s even something to celebrate!  Follow me on my journey.  Into a land of magic and wonder, Charlie…  *wanders off to Candy Mountain*  NO! *comes back* I mean, I don’t know.  It seems like a good idea, just something to sort of mark a point of no return and gently show my friends that, yeah, this is it.

Did any of you have a coming out party for your close friends, and what did you do?  I’m looking for do’s and don’ts, even if your own personal advice in the way of “don’ts” is “Don’t have a party!”  I don’t know protocol for this sort of thing or even if there is protocol.  Oh, it’s also going to be around my 21st birthday, so that’s a whole other level to mess with.

I’m off to go look for inspiration on coming out parties!

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