Sunday, August 30, 2009

Turnabout

Last night as I was attempting (and failing) to sleep, I had a moment of intuition. I've been feeling weird lately about seeing and meeting new people, even if our meeting has nothing to do with my gender stuff. My body is no longer "standard" male, and though I still present that way most of the time, I'm not sure how well I can pass in that role anymore. And more to the point, I'm not sure how much I want to pass in that role anymore. But of course, there are physical parts of me that aren't quite ready to make the full-time switch, and a whole lot of emotional parts that aren't ready either.

Quite the conundrum, though I don't think there's actually anything to "figure out". I'll just have to keep having courage, and moving in a good direction, and just take it day by day.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Party!

You say it's your birthday!
It's my birthday too, yeah!
They say it's your birthday!
We're gonna have a good time!
I'm glad it's your birthday!
Happy birthday to you!

— The Beatles


It's that time again... time to get older! Wait, no, that's not quite it. It's birthday time, so it's time to have fun and celebrate. Yes, that's better.

Last year, I had a whole bunch of people over, and that was fun, but not quite what I wanted this time. Instead, I was hoping for something a little simpler, just dinner with some friends. So I invited C & E, and K & L, and the other K. And of course since it's my birthday, I also wanted to make something exotic for dinner. This is me we're talking about, after all.

Everything went fine, with the typical dramatic moments. My dish, a beef wellington... I've done better. I was actually thrown out of my kitchen for part of it, because I was having trouble with the pastry, and starting to get upset. But it was edible, and everyone enjoyed everything, so it was fun.

It was also K's first time to see me in femme-mode. Both he and L missed pronouns a time or two, but they spend very little time around me in girl mode, so I just corrected and moved on. I have no illusions that it will take some people a while to get used to the new words; K has known me for longer than anybody else, with the exception of my family, so he's got a whole lot of history to unlearn. C and E have a whole lot of head start on everyone, and even they slip every once in a while.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One step forward, and something else entirely

Today was quite the emotional rollercoaster. Huge amounts of stress, with a stress chaser, followed by a pretty nice evening.

My aunt is in town this weekend, which is pretty awesome in general. She came to town to see if she could help with my dad and his drinking. We plotted a little, and decided that we were going to have an intervention for him on Saturday morning. That was almost as stressful as when I came out to my mom. When the time came, we all stalled a bit, but once we got started, we all said the things we wanted to say. It went about as well as I had expected it to go, which is to say it didn't seem to make an immediate dent. I guess that can be as much a process as anything I've been dealing with lately. Patience, I guess, is the word here.

After all the morning fireworks, my aunt and I had plans to have lunch, and do some food shopping. We had traded a few emails a few weeks ago, and in that exchange I had told her that I had something I needed to talk about (the coming-out talk, of course), and that we could do that while she was here. Unfortunately there's no way that I've found to make that not sound ominous, so I think she was a little concerned. As we drove to lunch, we had a good talk about what's going on with me, and where I'm headed, and the discussion continued as we ate. We talked about not just me and my path, but a lot of the family stuff that's going on.

So after that, we went down to the Central Market, since I had to do some shopping for tomorrow night's dinner; some friends are coming over for my birthday, and I'm going to make a beef wellington. We had a super fun time, and I got some really nice food. Once we got back and put away all the groceries, we talked a little more, and I showed her photos and some of the things I've been doing over the past several months, and played my drums for her a little bit. Then we headed back over to my folks' and had dinner and birthday cake and presents. So it ended up being a nice and relaxed evening, after all the excitement of earlier in the day.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It's "Beat up on Trinity" time again

I have this terrible habit of beating up on myself. It usually happens whenever there is a new hurdle in my path, and I'm having a hard time even jumping, let alone getting over it. And new hurdles usually coincide with something coming up that I need to work on, that makes me feel less-than-complete.

The current hurdle is my dumb facial hair, which has returned. My course of laser treatment is done, and though I could go back and have them treat the area again, it's probable that there would be very little ultimate change to the areas that remain. The only result is that the completion of getting rid of it would be delayed. So that isn't much of an option.

The only other option - and I knew this would come up eventually - is to find an electrologist, and start a course of electrology treatments. It will be painful, and it will be time-consuming and costly, and all that... but in the end, my goal will be reached, and I will not have to think about it any more. So why don't I just do what I need to do?

Because I'm afraid.

I don't know what is making me so afraid, though. I've been doing various other things with various other professionals: laser hair removal, voice therapy, psychotherapy. I've been out into the wide world, with people who didn't know me at all. I've driven across the country and been my girl-self with a bunch of people I'd never met in the flesh before; more than a couple of them commented how settled I seemed in the girl role. In all honesty, I do feel settled when I don't have to think about all the stuff I have to do. I guess it's when I start thinking about it, is when the trouble starts. Like now.

A friend recently asked if there was something she could do to help. Actually, others have offered the same thing in the past, when I had other difficult steps to take. It would certainly be easy to simply have someone else make the initial call, but how would that really benefit me? I'm not pushing my boundaries, I'm not growing, I'm not improving. It seems like each one of these hurdles is another opportunity for me to break out of the prison of fear that still lives in my heart, even for just a little while.

It seems like every time I write about this, I end up with just as many questions as when I started. I'll figure this out one of these days.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Trinity gets political!

I have long held mixed opinions about people who are strongly involved in the political process. On one hand, I admire them for having the courage to follow through with their convictions. Political change can often take years, or even generations, and one might never reap the benefits of changes that they started in their own lifetimes. It can be a very selfless act, sacrificing one's time for positive change, which they may never see, but is truly necessary.

On the other hand, I wonder why anyone would beat their head against the wall of no-progress and tyranny of the majority. Regime changes can often interrupt positive change, and set activists back, possibly to the very beginning of their process. Also, many politicians are not in the game to make positive contributions, but rather to thwart any progress by "the other side", simply because it is the opposition. And that's not to mention the corrupt politicians who sell themselves to the highest bidder, and make it impossible for ordinary citizens to be honestly represented in the government.

Earlier this week, the United States Senate introduced a new bill, S.1584, which is more popularly known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It provides protection for employees from being fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is something for which activists have been lobbying for many years now, but for a variety of reasons, it hasn't done well. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed a version of ENDA, H.R. 3017, which finally included protections for trans people. The Senate version takes the similarly bold and necessary step of including all groups. I'm not sure when the Senate might vote on the measure.

This afternoon, I sent messages to Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, who represent the state of Texas, urging them to support this new resolution. I got an automated response from Senator Cornyn, and nothing yet from Senator Hutchison. But this is the first issue about which I've ever felt strongly enough to take the time and effort to contact people who represent me, to ask them to support me by supporting the legislation. I don't know if my efforts will come to anything, but I can say that I put forth some effort and used my voice to make a statement.