Saturday, September 25, 2010

Am I Not Being Clear?

Well, that was a good month. I suppose the tension needs a release ever so often no matter what. I won't go into the details, it was Standard Issue Argument. No new points made, except perhaps it's worth noting that I have less and less patience with the repetition. I only mourn the fact that so often THIS argument is provoked by other, unrelated, and perhaps more understandable frustrations.

(one of my biggest complaints over the years was the way in which a justified and specific complaint always seemed to easily morph into a wide ranging discussion of the several dozen ways I'd gone wrong - probably the sort of argumentation she was trained in as a child, given what I've seen of the in-laws)

ANYWAY, I don't really want to rehash all those points again here. but there is one thing that keeps knocking around in my head. And this is not just a manifestation of the argument, but an observation on the whole journey. Mainly here at home but even, occasionally, in the comments made to me by others (and not maliciously made comments, just comments made out of understandable ignorance). But my concern here naturally is the way that this issue plays out in the continuing drama at home, more than it is in the casual misunderstanding of well-meaning but ill-informed acquaintances.

I think I've expressed this pretty clearly, over the months. I don't mean to phrase it harshly or seem aggrieved that I'm being misunderstood. Rather, I worry a great deal that until this point is accepted and processed, nothing can be settled about what comes next. but I'm going to say it here, in writing, as I've said it face to face:

This is NOT going to stop. I am NOT going to change my mind. I will NEVER live my life as a man again. If I have no other choice, I'll die first.

No, that's not a suicide threat, any pain I might cause by transitioning would only hurt the same people worse if I ended my life, BUT if some unforeseeable circumstance - say a medical condition - prevented me from transitioning, I'd have no desire to continue to live. People have been known to just "give up" and die from that and that would be me.

Again, for the sake of crystal clarity - whatever might happen as a result of my transitioning is a price I will just have to pay because I will NEVER GO BACK. If you, any of you, are predicating your thoughts, words, reactions, or behaviors, on the idea that your anger, love, kindness, rudeness, compassion, callousness, or any other reaction will in some way advance the possibility that I will go back - STOP IT. You are wasting your efforts.

I cannot be bribed, bought, blackmailed, or bullied into changing that If you cannot be my friend, acquaintance, or associate under these circumstances, then I accept your resignation - move on. If you wish to remain, you MUST accept that what I have just said is iron clad and then decide for yourself how you are going to deal with that. I will not try to shame you or pressure you or convince you that you should support and accept me, that is not my place. I acknowledge your right to your view, no matter how strongly I might disagree. But your view is not binding upon me and will never change what is happening.

What many of you will never understand is that now, even now before the first hormone or any other modification, now when I look in the mirror I see ME. It's not just that I like what I see, like any other woman I see the things I wish were different. It's deeper and more personal than LIKE, it's CONNECTION. To destroy the woman I see is, in every way that matters to me, the exact same thing as suicide and I WILL NOT DO IT.

I hope that, whatever comes next, we can at least move past the illusion that I have something left to decide. Whatever might be done to slightly modify timing and pace, the journey will go forward. (And don't think for a minute there is anything easy about slowing the pace, either, but that's for another day)

Before I end, let me add an unrelated but, IMO, upbeat note. It has been implied (by more than one, but not many) that there is something wrong with my attempt to look "sexy" in my recent photos. If this proceeds from the assumption that all women everywhere should not be photographed in such a way as to play up their sex appeal, then I respect that. Certainly some aspects of some religion place a high value on modesty and such. But if this complaint arises from the idea that I am somehow not entitled to the privilege afforded "real" women to create that image, then I respectfully but adamantly disagree and reject your complaint.

YOU may see me as not a real woman and not entitled to the privileges thereof, but if so, then the picture is not for you. First and foremost, it's for me. Those might be the first pics I've ever taken in my life that I was proud of. Secondly, they are for anyone who can appreciate them. if that's my good friends who are proud to see me look so happy, great. If that's so a guy who doesn't know me and thinks I'm "hot" (which strikes me as unlikely) then THAT is fine too. if you are out there as you read this feeling deep remorse and concern about my sexuality, you're never going to get any of this or approve anything I do anyway, just write me off and quit stressing so much.
Am I trying to say I'm looking for a man? No. First of all, as long as I live in this house my first responsibility is to the existing relationship. Nothing recreational trumps that. But even beyond that, I simply don't know what the final outcome will be - right now beyond the emotions of the marriage, I don't feel a strong impulse to climb into bed or backseat with ANYone. But that doesn't mean I can't be flattered if a man or a woman either finds that photo attractive in "that" way. given how much of my life I've felt like I was the ugliest thing imaginable, it's a pretty good feeling to think that is even possible.

But just so we are clear, IF the time comes when I find myself single and alone, I reserve the right to make either choice without shame and you will find none. I've saw through the lie that there's anything wrong or sinful about it and I'm not going back there either.

(Besides, if I ever completed the physical transition, you critics would fry your brain circuits trying to figure out whether being with guys or being with girls makes me gay)

All for now!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


One thing I remember as vividly as anything about the days of my youth was the experience of being a girlfriend. To girls, I mean. Now I only had a vague conception of what was really going on at the time, I mean I knew I was a girl inside but I only somewhat grasped that what made it so easy for girls I knew to befriend me and talk to me was the "girlness" about the way I thought and communicated.

In the days before I was so obsessed with beating this thing and being rid of it, I was, looking back, much less skilled at faking "being a guy" on that level. I just assumed that "I thought the way I thought" more so than recognizing a gendercentric "flavoring" to it.

Oh there were guys I was close to, of course. It would have been pretty unthinkable to avoid all male interaction, even for a girl. But they were, as guys tend to be, all very surface and superficial in content. Guys never talk about how they FEEL except under duress. But with my girlfriends it was different, there was a connection. From high school all through my young adult years, there was always at least one girl and often several that - had my plumbing been right - I'd have been doing sleepovers with and painting each others nails.

I've missed that over the time since, though on occasion there revives a taste of it. It's one of the more pleasant aspects of transition - getting back in touch with that part of womanhood. One of the most precious parts of the last year is the several girlfriends I've discovered since I came out. some very old friends from high school, some I only casually knew before and some I only just met in the last year.

If there was anything in life I was ever good at it was being the listening ear, the sympathetic voice, the crying shoulder if need be to girls who were my close friends and now, while sometimes it's me doing the crying, it's wonderful to have those conversations again.

Those of you I count as my girlfriends, please know that you have done more than you can know to help me down this road, just by being that alone - every girl needs her best girlfriends and I'm glad to know I have some.