Friday, September 30, 2016

Well. That went pretty good, I think...

Today I took my child on a whole-school field trip to the nearby 'big city' science museum. We do independent study with our oldest, a sort of district-led homeschooling with only some classes on campus. About 120 or so similar families attended, along with a teacher or two and their spouses. It was an enjoyable if somewhat exhausting and overstimulating day. We met up with everyone in front of the doors to get organized and talked with my daughter's ex-skating coach (their oldest child is part of the same program). Said "hi" to a few other parents that I talk with every week while we're dropping off or waiting to pick up, then we all went inside. We wandered around for three hours or so, got chatted up by the same docent several times, and then my daughter and I left and had a picnic. After, we returned to walk the few exhibits and hidden corners we'd not yet seen. As we were leaving we talked & joked with another family and our teacher-advisor for a few minutes and let her know we were calling it a day.  She & her husband know I'm trans and have an older teen that identifies as genderfluid.

Did I mention that a) I now only present as male on work days, b) I went as myself rather than as the male presentation that the school crowd knows me by, and c) I was really comfortable and confident with my appearance and demeanor?

 It was amazing and wonderful and simply felt so...good. Like I actually belonged in the same world as everyone else for once. I was living those moments, not just moving forward through time, waiting for each moment to be over so it would stop hurting.

Until I spoke, that is. My voice is not bad. It's actually good enough to get by in places like stores where it is quiet without people clocking me. This place was not quiet, at all. I would even call it loud. Very loud. So to even be heard, I kept speaking "lower" in my head/throat to get enough volume. And nearby heads would turn in confusion. Grrrrrr.

So: Wonderful, delicious, comfortable first day out among people who know me as an acquaintance or better.

And, I need to work on my voice in different situations and environments. It's just really difficult when I can only continuously use it two and a half days a week, you know?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Filling the Gaps

I made the mistake of looking at surgery pictures last night. I need to stop doing so. Inevitably the next day I lose all hope that someday that could be me.

My apologies to Henry Drummond for that title, by the way.

Almost nine years ago I had my "gender crash" (an old term for that day someone's defenses and mental blocks they slowly built to protect themselves from pain and harm come crashing down). Since then I've watched countless trans people start their transition, work through it, structure their real life and then just disappear. They aren't in hiding. Rather, their live stops being focused on being trans. They reach a day when they realize they used to post a diary of sorts, be it on facebook, a forum, a blog, a photo or video journal. And they haven't done so in a while because they are simply living their life. It typically seems to take about five years to get to that point, more or less. The very practical aspects of transition take around two years, and it seems around five for hormones, social learning and therapy to do the rest. The find themselves living a life where people simply accept them as the same gender they identify as - a new sensation for us trans people. And then they simply "move on". I thought I was going to take that path, at one point.

One thing I've noticed after watching so many others is that for every one of them that was successful, two things were needed. One was either lucky genetics (plus dieting and the ability to learn and shed old behaviors) or the ability to compensate with surgery or makeup or whatever. The other though, was that every one of them had someone, one person, they could trust. Someone who was an unflinching, dedicated ally willing to believe in them during those times when they couldn't believe in themselves.

I don't have such a person. Every time I start to have doubts because my folks have stopped acknowledging me as anyone other than their son (male name), every time my spouse not-overtly won't use the name I've requested, every time I have to dress for work and be called (male name) all day...I stop believing that I can someday move on. I get depressed and realize that my transition only fits in the thin, tenuous spaces that I call my life, but even that only exists in the spaces left between the influence of everyone else's lives. They won't grant me any more space because it would mean they would have to change, too, and I don't believe in myself enough (or maybe it's just who I am) to push for it. Or maybe I've just done this for too long and I'm tired and discourage, again. I just don't care right now (and no, I'm not suicidal. If I were, I wouldn't be in this mess).