Sunday, May 25, 2008

So what is it...?

What is it about some people, that they can't even try to accept others? Is it insecurity? Or is it just that they don't take the time to figure out what's inside them, so they certainly wouldn't take the time to figure out what's inside somebody else? Perish the thought.

I was out to dinner with some people last night, and at the restaurant where we were eating, there is a rather effeminate man who works behind the counter. He's worked there for quite a while, and most times people just kind of go about their business, and don't (apparently) think too much about him. Last night, one guy started going off on some thing about "oh, don't go in the bathroom while he's in there, he might attack you, make sure you cover up your ass." So ok, here's this guy, and he's not a man's man. He could be a transperson, he could be a gay man, or he may even be a straight man, who happens to be rather femme. A few others joined in on trashing this guy, and I sat there stunned, and had no idea what to say. All I could eventually manage was "grow up."

When I finally woke up this morning, the things I should have said were swirling around in my head. After all, they were trashing me too - I'm "different". How many girls do they know who go around attacking people? How many gay men do they know who attack others? I'd wager heavily that most of the time it's just the opposite - women and gay men being attacked, because they're weaker, or "different", or for some other unknown (and equally irrational and invalid) reason. Being a man does not mean that, because you may have power over somebody else, that you need to demonstrate that power to destroy somebody else, to rape, beat, or kill them. It means, rather, that with the power you have, simply because of the way western society works, you have to use that power to help the unempowered. Power is a lot like love; there's a whole bunch of it to go around, and giving up some of it doesn't mean that you have less. Giving someone else a little of your own power does not necessarily diminish the giver, but rather it means that everyone can be uplifted.

I'd also wager that none of them have spent even a second trying to think what it must be like for somebody else. I was so angry; I wanted to rage at them, and make them feel stupid, since they apparently like to wallow in their ignorance. I wanted them to realize just how difficult being "different" is, to make them understand what it means to, say, spend a year of your life trying to decide whether or not to kill yourself. What situation in anyone's life would make them desperate enough to think that ending it would be the best option? Dear reader, I hope you can think about that for a little while.

The world is a big place, and there are a lot of people who are different, some are just different from you, others are different from a lot of other people. Is it so difficult to enlarge one's worldview to encompass what exists in reality?

I'm real. I'm here. I exist. I'm not going away any time soon.

I'm just getting started.

We
are just getting started.

Friday, May 23, 2008

One of those days

It's one of those kinds of days when everything is just wrong; I feel trapped, I can't even relate to myself, I just want to crawl under the covers and spend the day crying. These are the kinds of days that make the thoughts of suicide creep back in. I've already decided that it's not any kind of possibility, but that doesn't keep those thoughts away. I have no idea why these days happen, and no idea when they'll happen, they just do. All I can do is weather the storm, and hope the next day is better.

I'm looking forward to the long weekend, since it's about to be Memorial Day here in the US. That should at least be a little bit of a respite from the stress of work. I hope it will be some amount of a respite from the shadow that's chasing me, but there's no way to tell.

There's a Ronski Speed song that's getting some rotation on Area 33 these days called "Love All The Pain Away". I wish it were that easy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Are we there yet?

I went to see my therapist yesterday evening, and I was so exhausted when I got home, I just vegged out in front of some Netflix I had (discs 2 and 3 of Joan of Arcadia, season 1).

We talked a little bit about why I might be so tired all the time these days. I suggested maybe it was just work stress, and that I wasn't sleeping well because of it. She had some very good suggestions, and I tried a couple of the simpler ones last night. I slept pretty well, so yaaay! I think things will improve greatly once I can get out of my current job, and into something that challenges me and makes me feel like I'm actually contributing to something worthwhile.

This waiting for a good job offer to come along feels something like what I've been feeling over the past several years regarding my gender - I just feel frozen, not progressing, not moving anywhere. It's frustrating. I'm getting good leads, but just nothing is coming through. I need to stay as positive about the whole thing as I can, otherwise I'm going to be stuck where I am for a long time, I fear.

My therapist is on vacation for the next couple weeks, so I decided to set myself a couple of tasks to complete while she's gone. The first is to start with a hair removal program; there's a place near my house, which I'm going to try calling later this week. That shouldn't be a huge difficulty, I hope. They're a business, and they want me to be a customer and give them money, so I'm sure they will be professional and non-judgemental.

The second task is going to be much harder: come out to one of my family. I know it has to happen sometime, and putting it off won't make it any easier. I had originally wanted to come out to my sister first, since she's probably the most likely to be accepting and supportive about it, but having a face-to-face conversation with her is a bit difficult these days. She's most of the way across the state, and her husband, I'm a little concerned about what his reaction might be. So I think I'm going to try coming out to my mom, maybe this weekend or maybe next. I wrote a letter, and was intending to read it to her, because the whole passive-aggressive "send a letter to your parents" thing just seems, I don't know, passive-aggressive. I'm not going to win any sympathy points by being pathetic. But of course now I'm playing the second-guessing game with myself. Is that the best idea? Is she going to freak out? I'm just not sure.

I've got to make every one of these steps, and some are going to be really hard. But I've got to do them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Here we are!

Well well. So I've talked to J about doing this project, and what my goals are, and he suggested setting up a blog, so that people could follow along. Sounded like a good idea, so here we are.

By way of introduction, I'm Trinity, and I'm a transgendered woman. That means that physically and genetically, I'm a male, but in my heart and soul, I'm a woman. The most effective treatment for such a condition is to transition the physical body to match the internal gender identity. I could spout the usual catchphrases, such as "I'm a woman trapped in a man's body", but I think that's an oversimplification of just what's going on inside me. Suffice it to say, my feelings are complicated, and probably pretty hard for a lot of people to understand. My therapist seems to understand pretty well, and though I've only been to see her a couple of times, I know that I'm finally starting down the right road. It'll take some time, and there will probably be some bumps along the way, but this is the right thing for me to do.

Most people who know about such things, have seen about half a zillion blogs covering a lot of the gamut of the transgender experience, though I don't think I've yet seen one which documents, in any rigorous way, the actual physical changes which take place throughout the transition process. Maybe there are a couple before pictures, and maybe a couple during, and some after, and a lot of qualitative description. The actual differences are sometimes hard to detect, because the pictures are usually so different: time, place, composition, etc. And of course with text, that's so open to personal bias and interpretation, well, we won't even go there. So my goal here is to treat the process in much more of a documentary way. I plan to take a picture of myself every day, with consistent lighting and composition, at a consistent time of day; any individual picture probably won't have much interest, but taken together as a short film, which is the ultimate goal of this project, we'll be able to see the changes happen in a much compressed timeline, and we'll be able to really tell just what happens.

I'm still a little bit off from starting any kind of physical changes, so it'll be easy to get a baseline. For the time being, I'll just be doing still photos, though I might move into a little bit of video at a later time. I probably won't even post the pictures every day, or even every week. I will try to keep this up to date with any goings-on related to my transition, and even occasionally post my thoughts and feelings on various topics.

So that's it. Time to get going!