Life is profoundly interesting regardless of your situation in life. It is important to take the strengths of who you are wherever you go. Self-loathing is an awful thing, and it must be crushed by something which can exert more force. The energy and spirit of each person, when unlocked is more than is ever needed against mere conditioned negative psychological malaise. It’s not so easy, accepting incredible difficulty and pain is part of the both the healing and the suffering. I believe in Silver Lining Theory, there is almost always a lesson to be learned or a positive to be taken from even the bleakest of situations.
Self-loathing needs to stop. Internalized transphobia it’s called, and the false belief that as the well-rounded, well-adjusted, strongly disciplined and principled person I am that I ought not to remain so. In terms of being oneself, even if you took that transgender label away, I would still want to be doing what I am doing, because it is part of who I am. Bad habits can be formed easily, ‘what are people thinking about me?’, ‘how do people see me?’, ‘Oh god they know, how can I cope?’ Instead, bring forth that true energy, with it comes strength, and a habit of self-belief. Perhaps choose to be more determined than scared.
So, through a very public meltdown at work and finally a session with a gender specialist there is greater clarity, a nice cold bucket of water over my head. She talked about ‘grinding’, where two opposing sets of thought create disharmony within a person. I am not in sync, very good to know. She drew the diagram;
and asked me where I felt I was at that moment. Apparently a good number of burgeoning transsexuals will drop in with fluster, proclaiming their total gender-oppositeness, demanding full transition rights without going through the psychological process. The good people with knives won’t be coming for a long time, only the bad, ask a Jamaican gully queen. I’m physically male and conditioned to be, so I’m not past that obvious and unfortunate biological fact.
The psychological process has to come, regardless of any amount of self-assurance. She’s going to break me down into layers and build me back up. Be malleable but wise to the process, be honest with yourself, or the lie your life has been could become another lie. She asked simply – ‘What is your goal with this?’ I’ve said it here many times, I just want to get on with my life, female/male, I don’t care, so long as I can function. Right now, I am clearly male presented, no point denying it, though neither do I deny I am female.
I found out a friend outed me to a few other known people yesterday. Mistakes will always be made. The only people who could have said denied it, and I’ll have to set those people straight. As a trans person, I will reiterate what has been said so many times: I’m not trying to be self-absorbed or arrogant, but the simple fact is, you do not get to make my, or anyone else’s life decisions, we make them ourselves. I can understand why some people can’t socially legitimise trans-folk for who they are, but very thankfully it is not up to them.
I have learned from this too, because I spoke of a trans friend I have online, when I should have simply introduced her as my friend. It is ok that it is a bit of a tricky area, but to be respectful, it is imperative to allow the person to make the choice. A trans-person still can’t out another trans-person, even if they are support, because she didn’t say I could. So I’m very sorry.
This is a good lesson, be not disheartened! The circle can close knowing who I can really really trust and share with, while others may just have to accept (or not) the facts of who I come to present to be. I imagine folks will make their own opinions regardless of what I say, so, just gotta deal with it. Forgive, but be careful with that trust, it is like beautiful porcelain.
For anyone who gives a cock-eyed stare or asks ignorant questions, for all those who just see a crazy nut, I see as clearly as I ever have. I can see through you better than you can see the seams of my man suit. They are the deer in the headlights, I’m driving the truck. For these decisions are made so lightly with no regard to physical realities, right? Like all gay men should really love the kitten, and all lesbians secretly want the snake. It’s just a different kind of ignorance, and it is again mutually exclusive from any amount of education.
I’ve been ‘presenting’, as best I can for now, let’s say ‘for fun’ or as an ‘experiment’ (but not really). Still not gone to a shop or anything, just hanging with friends. Neither an eyelid is battered, nor a question asked. For no-one to care and accept me is a goal, just an assurance that you are cool with it helps a lot with the…you know….debilitating fear. It’s just good to know how people feel, right? If I had a broken leg you’d ask about it. Still, that’s my job too! Responsibility, yay!
I am more in tune with the seriousness and importance of the vocal thing. I said before that it was a scary thought of losing identity by changing my voice, but it’s actually creating a truer self-identity, as horrifyingly embarrassing and difficult it is. I can dress up ok, but I can hardly keep quiet, or feel so uneasy whenever this Amy chick sounds like she smokes 200 a day.
More admissions contrary to what I have said before. I like shopping. Online for now, yes, but I’ve never enjoyed looking for clothes more, trying to think of what would match and look good with what, what certain styles say or represent, I get how it could become addictive. I can’t deny I enjoyed the make-up I got, so many soft bristles on the face, so much potential for expression. I also curled my hair, which just looked amazing. A Saturday night all dressed up with nowhere to go, 3 hours of getting ready as such wonderful fun.
‘En femme’, I am liberated, my mind opens and you know what I think about? Playing guitar, finishing the last chapter of my story, hanging with friends, partying, normal thoughts! The fog lifts and I can do other stuff instead of thinking about being female. As male, not so much. I don’t know how that works but that’s how it is right now.
I’ve felt for a long time an affinity of how Western women’s cultural and social issues affect their lives, simply, cis- or not the restraints are put on your gender, the expectations, peer pressure, conditioning, interactions with the opposing gender which is constrained by the same systems. As male, I’m only too aware of the invisible expectations I’m supposed to suppress into. It seems simple: empathy. Women have a different set of invisible expectations, and I would expect most, regardless of gender, to act in the same way if they were forced into it. However, I am wrong!
For the near constant squeeze of dysphoria, I’m finding it important to celebrate each small victory. It is not standing still, nor is it dashing forward. There is no set way on how this whole thing is done. Such freedom entails great risk; this is how greatness is borne, and how failure comes mourned. The dysphoria will come back, it always does, though I hope to suffocate it with each success until the time where important decisions may have to be made.
Many bad things are happening around me, a family member with cancer, my closest friends battling alcoholism, folks unable to get over bereavement, relationship problems and so on. There are wars, plagues, people missing limbs, and with various cruel impairments. By comparison, being trans is positively amazing. It is the opening of a cocoon for so many caterpillars, a beautiful transformation of truth through self-discovery and acceptance.
Free your heart; accept the voice that cannot lie in your mind. I am not an authority on anything, but I know how it feels to live. There is not enough time in life to be thankful for everything, so why waste time not trying to be at your best. I mean this so very generally. Being trans is hard, and I haven’t even scratched the surface yet, but no matter what, life is better than adversity.
Metal in your glass,