Sunday, May 30, 2010

Biting my tongue

...can be very hard to do!

(warning - random disorganized and only vaguely related thoughts ahead)

Given the fact that the last post is a couple of weeks old now, the few of you who care are probably wondering what happened regarding the aforementioned drama. Well, I've been strongly "asked" to stop airing so much dirty laundry (which, to be fair, is a reasonable request) but I need to at least somewhat resolve the cliffhanger. iI had thought, over the past week, that we were perhaps drawing back from the edge of the cliff a bit - I was actually thinking of writing a post expressing some relief on that point just this morning but . . . let's just say it's been a bad day.

You know, it's often said that true love is most expressed by being willing to lay down one's life for the one you love. All of us would like to think we'd do so without hesitation. But that's what I feel like I'm faced with - pull out the "man clothes" and humiliate myself by submitting to give up myself for the sake of the one I love, or see her hurt because I refuse. To be clear, if it were any other, I wouldn't even hesitate to walk away . . . but this choice I find to be almost life and death. if you see me in the man costume, you are basically looking at a "dead man walking" because I don't think I can call that living.

That last paragraph will probably get me in trouble too. I'm going to have to learn to hold my tongue I suppose.

So, let me bitch about someone else instead!

It has come to my attention that some (all?) of the neighbors have concluded I'm gay. Now, let me be perfectly clear - this doesn't offend me. In my personal opinion if you still think it's an insult to be called gay, or to call someone gay, you need to grow the fuck up because that's a middle school mentality. But I'm assuming here that it's not meant as an insult so much as a judgment (more on that in a sec) but since it's probably a not uncommon conclusion, let me speak to it a bit:

Frankly, I have a hard time imagining anyone going through the personal journey of understanding one's self to be trans without giving quite a bit of thought to the question "Am I gay?" I don't mind telling you that on a few different occasions over my lifespan, I've given a lot of thought and mediation to that question. The process was more complex for me because I have a bit of a "vision"in my mind of the sort of woman I'd like to be, an idealized woman so to speak. And my "ideal" woman is, in fact, attracted to men (there are deeper layers to THAT story as well but I'll save that tangent for another day).

So I spent more than what I figure is the average amount of time being curious about being with guys (as a female, NOT as a male!) and searching my feelings for any positive response. I've spent some time looking at guys in films and on TV and trying to imagine myself being attracted to them sexually. I am not afraid to find those feelings nor am I ashamed to claim them if they are there. To date, I've found none. I don't find any particular distaste for the idea, as any "normal" man would, but just in terms of pure old lust, I still feel that for females, and not at all for males.

Now, I don't know whether that will ever shift, via hormones or experiences or whatever. If it does it does and, other than not wanting such a shift to interfere with the current relationship, I'd be fine with that. but right now, it's not there. Not even a little. So all you ill-informed judgemental types, feel free to educate yourself a little bit. I'll make it simple for you (again) -

Being trans is NOT about who you have sex with, it's about who you ARE. I said, I think, in my first column her and I shall repeat it again: I'd rather spend the next 30 years as a celibate woman than as the most sexually desirable man on the face of the planet. If you are so simple minded you think this is about sex, then it's your mind in the gutter, not mine.

To be sure, I'll freely admit that when one is trying to figure out what to do with one's self (as you emerge from repression and consider transition) there is a bit of a mental "puberty" (as opposed to the one which is provoked by HRT) in which you consider all sort of sexual implications of your gender identity, but that's a phase. You can chase that rabbit, or "grow up" - a choice all of us make as teenagers and young adults. We just have to rethink all that a second time. So if you are going to judge me on sexual inclinations, for now you'll have to be content with judging me for being a lesbian - but then you can't do that unless you admit I'm female which you judgmental types aren't about to do so I guess I'm off that hook too.

Now, about the whole "bad judgment" thing - there IS something new in play here beyond the classic blunder of thinking trans and gay are the same thing: some of these people are apparently under the impression that I'm not only gay but dangerous. It's reported that at least one of them doesn't want me to be alone with either of her kids (not that anyone is ever alone in this house). So, she's moved beyond the confusion of trans and gay and she's thrown pedophile into the hopper as well.

NOW I'm offended.

First of all, I'll just lay aside and quit repeating what a boneheaded idea it is to mistake trans for gay, and move right to the pathetic ignorance of assuming that every gay person is a pedo. Are there some pedo gays? Oh absolutely - I'd go so far as to say there might even be a higher percentage than in the general population. But given that gays are only about 3% of the population, you are FAR more likely to find the person who molested your child is hetro than gay. In fact, statistically most sexually abused children are molested by a family member or close family friend.

In any case, I now find myself with a troubling thought that any number of people in this neighborhood might do something wrong with one of those kids - and there are candidates - and when the SHTF, the finger will be pointed at the local "pervert" regardless. Bet your ass I'm not going to be alone with any of them!

Just another chapter in the saga of "there's no place in this world for a freak like me."

And of course, it's all that much more ammunition for those who argue I should "give it up" - as if anyone is going to just forget who the perv is because I change me clothes.

Can you tell this stuff is getting to me?

And it's not just the drama on the home front, it's not just the ill-informed neighbors (who, to be fair, do let the kids come around and have been nice in face-to-face encounters) but it's the whole attitude of people who see fit to even have an opinion about what other people do that brings no harm to their own lives.

You see, it frustrates me that there are so many in the world who wrap themselves in the smug satisfaction of cataloging the people whom they are better than. This one is a drunk, that one is an adulterer, the other one is a perv. Those people smoke dope and the ones across the street are swingers and the one's next to them? Why they've been known to DANCE!! The only one who is, apparently, NOT sinning is the person who's sitting by the telephone collecting every bit of gossip and dirt they can so they have a complete list of who IS sinning.

Pardon me for having the temerity to ask, but what the hell business is it of yours anyway? When your coworker or you neighbor or your kin say "did you hear...?" what give them the right to tell it or you the right to hear it and pass it on? Is the behavior in question actually wrong? Maybe, maybe not, but if it is, so what? Is it hurting someone? if so then I understand your reasoning. If you hear Mr. X has a meth lab in his house and you know kids live there, well then by all means speak up. But if you hear that Mr. X was at the gay bar last weekend, or that Mrs. X works at the strip club, that's not hurting anyone but (at worst) themselves and it's none of your damned business, either to act on or to gossip about. To say nothing of wondering just exactly how anyone knew what Mr. or Mrs. X were doing anyway.

Here's an original thought - why not talk to God about it, instead of to other people? Let him sort it out.

Yes, my apologies but I've descended to well and truly venting tonight. It's what lets me bite my tongue in polite conversation instead of telling some folks where to get off. I've reached the conclusion that when I die, I don't even want a funeral or a burial. If I still have a family maybe there will be a little reception where you can express your sympathies to those misfortunate enough to have been associated with me, but I'd just as soon donate the body to science - or throw it in a ditch - and wash my hands of the lot of those who'd pretend sympathies they didn't feel. If I've gained nothing else from this last year, I've gained a lot of insight into a lot of the people around me, for good and for bad.

On that note, let me quote for emphasis what I wrote in this space seven weeks ago:

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.

Can't be said often enough.


  1. When are you going to stop killing yourself for a woman who doesn't really love *you*?

    Are you really going to wrap yourself up in a mummy suit and rubber mask to play a parody of "normal couple" for the sake of the neighbors and a woman so shallow, neurotic and selfish she would do anything to attain the mannequin and play pretend for the world stage while the person she supposedly loves dies inside? Do you really believe a parody of lies and teaching your kids to not be true to themselves and others for the sake of show is *good* for them??

    Well, I know your woman,'re a frigging doormat here and you need to stand up and not be abused anymore. Stop being the apologetic little woman who can't say no and be who you are..not who others would bully you into being. Be you...YOU. And people can accept it or get the fuck out of the way.

    Don't just be a hurt little girl anymore, with your nose against the glass and sneaking mommy's lipstick when no one is looking. Be the strong, decisive, independent woman you ARE. Stop letting them tell you it's a choice and help them by playing along and reinforcing their smug bullying.

    Be a woman. Be yourself. The rest is THEIR PROBLEM.

    Much love, Laura. Always.

  2. just a qualifier - there's no sense in which what I end up doing has anything to do with what the neighbors or anyone else thinks.

    The only person with a negative view of my identity who has an opinion I'm concerned about is her.

    One of the things that I note on places like Facebook is that you never ever see anyone make a comment, in general or about their own situation or whatever, which advises "give up your happiness for others" or anything to that effect.

    There are no "old sayings" or "beloved quotes" which give that sort of advice.

    On the other hand, every day someone either speaking from their own life or quoting one of those well-known comments, will say something like "be yourself" or "if somone won't love you for who you are, they don't love you at all" and so forth.

    Whatever it is, if you apply them to our situation (and a lot of them wouldn't say what they just said if they were talking about "freaks" like me) then the advice is always the same - be who you are, do not surrender and do not fake it.

    Intellectually, I know that is true. But that doesn't stop me from having an emotional investment in her happiness. Even when it seems clear there's a limit to how much she's willing to sacrifice for mine.

    And therein lies my indecision - it's very true that if I surrender I give up my happiness for hers (even if she's ignoring the fact that her happiness will be forever built on a lie) but it's also very true that if I ask her to accept me without condition, then I'm asking her to sacrifice her happiness for mine.

    I can't see a distinction between the two. I'm certain that she OUGHT to be open minded enough to "love me anyway" but we all know that we can't just "decide to be happy" - if this transition makes her unhappy (even if that unhappiness derives from incorrect beliefs) then that's just as valid and worthy of consideration as the fact that repression will make me unhappy.

    So, the obvious answer would be to just separate and move on, right?


    But as it stands now, she will be miserable if that happens too. So I find myself - I guess - waiting for a miracle (or as Mal said, "a long wait for a train don't come") for as long as I can.

    In the mean time, I tend to whine about it.

    hopefully, at least, what will be communicated to the kids is that loving relationships shouldn't end lightly, that paying attention to the happiness of your loved ones does have value, and that if when it's all said and done the thing can't hold together, that the end is done respectfully and carefully considered, not just on impulse.

    I've tried to be sure they are in the loop about what's going on and what position each of us are in - I don't believe in the kids having "sides" or being used as tools against your spouse.

    Ultimately, though, yes, they will pick up a message from the ultimate decision. From her point of view, the message would be "his obsession was more important to him than his family"; from my point of view it would be more like "don't build your life on a lie".

    Obviously, neither of us have much sympathy for the other's opinion there.

    Anyway, I digress. the bottom line is, this is not so much about me wanting to be the victim (though I admit that's how it works out) as it is bending over backwards to be sympathetic to her position as well, rather than just being totally absorbed in getting my own way.

  3. For all the people on here who don't think I love GERRY(I said Gerry not Tammy) you or no one else on here knows how I feel or what HELL this is putting our marriage through.
    He should have done this before he had a family if it was that important to him.