Well. Here we are.
If you are local and see me out from time to time, you will probably be (more) confused by what you see in the coming weeks. For almost six months now I have, as much as it's within the limits of my physical form, been presenting myself to the world as a female full time. I consider myself to be a woman and ask those who deal with me to accept me on that basis. I understand this can sometimes be awkward but that comes with the territory.
I took it as an obligation, for the sake of consistency and credibility, that I had my hair and makeup done well, my outfit was coordinated, I had a bra properly padded, and so forth. Not that there are not a great many genetic girls who think little or nothing of going to town without makeup or whatever, some of them without a bra I guess. But they don't have years of testosterone to compensate for and I do.
It seemed to me that if I was going to ask the world to take "Laura" seriously, it was my obligation to be serious and consistant about the presentation. It was and is a source of some frustration at home that I would not willingly "run to the store" without making sure my presentation was consistent, but I think a lot of my credibility depends on that.
Sadly, now, I'm in a situation where I probably will be giving back whatever credibility I may have gained, but it can't be helped. Beginning today, and continuing for potentially as many as three years, you won't see most of that stuff. There will possibly be the occasional exception, and certainly what you see won't be very masculine (if I can help it!) but it won't be fully female either, unless circumstances at home permit.
But if this must be done, it will not be done without my explaining what has led to this unfortunate (in my opinion) circumstance. I have little regard for what people think of me, but I do have considerable concern for the message I send about my brothers and sisters who are struggling as I am with this condition. That being the case, I want to be crystal clear about why I do what I do and if that requires me to "talk out of school" a bit you'll have to forgive me. I don't see a way around it and if I have to do this I'm determined to speak my peace.
First - background and reasoning:
It is a fact that in terms of my own personal inner feelings, the last six months has been a string of absolutely unbroken joy, save for one major factor. Oh sure, there are a couple of things I'd like to have had happen differently - I'd like to have heard fewer (or no) "sirs", I'd like to have not gotten the bum's rush out of that one ladies room, I'd like it if my dad had a different attitude but none of these were unexpected and none of them really disturbed my joy much at all. On the other hand, I've had so much happen that thrilled my soul that words fail to express it.
But that one thing, happens to be a very important thing. The simple fact of the matter is this - my wife cannot and will not accept me as a woman. In all this time there's been no sign of progress or growth, or a willingness to grow, towards some sort of tolerance. the knee-jerk solution is to just split up, but as much as some people would like to see her put my crazy ass out, the reality is that she's not ready, practically or emotionally, to be without me. As much as I'd love to preserve the relationship, I have to honestly say that if she's not going to love me (not necessarily sexually or romantically, but more than "friendship" too) as a woman, than I really wish she was. She's an amazing woman and she deserves a man to be a man to her and treat her right.
But she insists she doesn't want that and it's apparent to anyone who looks she's not ready to be a single parent either. In fact, the emotional blow might be so severe that it goes beyond not "making the trains run on time." And as if that wasn't enough, such a breakdown would obviously have a drastic impact on our kids.
Now, do I THINK this would happen? No. My opinion is that if she threw me out or I left it would be very hard for a short while, as any divorce is for the injured party, and she would recover, find a (hopefully) good man and have a much better life. But I don't KNOW that it would work out that way and the cost of being wrong is far too high for me to be comfortable with.
So here I am - I can't in good conscious just leave, and I can't make the kids live with the conflict that arises from trying to force her to accept me as a woman.
So beginning today, I'm packing away the dangly earrings and the skirts and the bras - for now. I won't lie, it feels like cutting off a leg. I will have to go out and ask for a job as "him" and the thought of that kills me. I'll have to see the same people who've seen me try to transition every day for six months and they will naturally think "what the hell is up with this guy?" (and I can't stop and explain my very practical reasons to each of them). But it's the price that must be paid.
One can argue, I assume, that I should have simply waited until the kids were grown in the first place, that I went too fast or shouldn't have done it in my hometown or whatever. Okay, fine, argue whatever you want on those points. It's not like there's a rule book for this sort of thing. If I'm guilty of anything, it's that I assumed that all the pablum about "love conquers all" was true. Well excuse me for busting up your fairy tales but it doesn't. There are, in my experience (and a lot of other people's too, if we are honest) situations in which it simply doesn't. I believed that, as hard as it would be, in the end she would love me enough that we'd get through it. Maybe I assumed too much.
But then, to be clear, we still might. As I write this she offers that it may well be that if I go back and take the transition more slowly, perhaps we can find our way through this. It would certainly be the best outcome as far as I'm concerned. But even should that happy outcome ensue, I still believe that for all the pain and anguish, I did it right to this point, and I'll tell you why.
There are two reasons - first, one of the things she said about this is that before I went full time, she "didn't take it seriously" that I ever would. whatever drama has resulted, this much we everyone now knows - I am serious. If I had continued to "take it slow" there would never have been the occasion to "move the question" so that she and I could see where she would come down on the point.
Secondly, a slow gradual transition that takes years to accomplish (I did in fact move gradually to prepare for going full time and took 14 months to get to that point) provokes much confusion, speculation, and gossip among the public. As I said before, I care little for what people think of me but in this community, I'm the most visible (but not the only, chew on that) representative of the phenomena of trannsexualism. It IS important to me be try to present as "clean" an understanding of what is involved as possible. It is in fact the driving motivation behind the existence of this blog.
Whatever might be lost because I "dial back," at least in the coming days if I'm wearing women's jeans or whatever, there won't be any confusion about why. I know for a fact that during the year before I went full time, there were those who passed their time speculating what it meant that, for instance, I was shaving my legs. That sort of speculation would have only increased if there hadn't been a "coming out" effected by going full time.
So even though it might not have gone smoothly at home, I don't think I need to apologize for the fact that I went full time when I did, it was a necessary obstacle to overcome.
Second - clearing up confusion:
As much as some folks out there would love to gloat and claim victory, as much as some people would like to say I'm simply crazy as hell and don't know what I want, as much as some people would love to say that this just proves that all people who claim to be trans are simply mentally unstable people who go around making a spectacle of themselves for no good reason - I reject all that nonsense.
What I do here I do specifically for the purpose of protecting the welfare of three people I love more than anyone else. I do it temporarily (it can't be short enough to make me happy but it will under no circumstance be longer than three years since that is when my youngest son is on his way to being 17). I specifically declare and insist that this says NOTHING about how I identify myself, or what I believe myself to be, or what my future is. This is, at worst, the price which must be paid for taking 25 years to accept myself.
But be very clear, whether you like it or not or approve or not, I am LAURA, I am NOT Gerry in my heart and soul. Don't make the mistake of assuming I suffer any confusion on that point. What I do to spare the feelings of those I love doesn't constitute an admission on that point that I was wrong or unclear.
Oh, and by the way, those of you who couldn't have anything to do with me when I had a bra or makeup on? Don't come around trying to "reward me for good behavior" now. I have an obligation to bend, for now, in order to try to create a happy outcome for the woman I love (whether that's with me or without) but I have no such obligation to anyone else. If you don't like, approve of, or feel comfortable with Laura, then you don't feel comfortable with ME, there is no one else here.
Hopefully, this too shall pass, and pass quickly) and I can go back to making progress, for there are many many miles left on this road. In the mean time, I'm sorry for the appearance of confusion and I'm very grateful for the support of those who've shown there love to me in the past few months.
I will continue to write about my journey here, for this too is a part of it, and hopefully I'll say something that matters.