My masks FB page is now deleted. This was a lot harder to do than I thought, not mentally, but in physically deleting the page, as the deletion selection is hard to find and it takes 14 days after that for the deletion to be permanent. Before this, I had sent a FB messenger to several people, those I felt might want to move over to my actual FB page. I let them know that if they wanted I would invite them to my actual page, otherwise no hard feelings and they can go on with their lives. Of the ten messages I sent out, one did not respond, not a bad ratio. I have sent out two FB requests from my real FB page to both of my brothers, I’ll see later if they respond. The rest of the people on FB that were my “friends” were classmates from high school or people from my hometown, most of them I knew all my life. But their attitudes are of that kind of pragmatic, no-nonsense types that is really all about them being non-accepting and bigoted while seeming to be “salt of the earth”. I didn’t give them the option to join my actual page. Logically, I can assume that most of them if not all would be transphobic in the extreme. Perhaps I am not giving them credit, perhaps I am being unfair to judge them, but since we aren’t close to begin with, it hardly matters. And if I wanted negativity in my life I would still be living in the mask that they spurred me to hide behind in the first place. They won’t miss “him”, don’t know me at all and I won’t miss them.
Ok, so I did invite one of my old classmates, he is conservative and has a tendency towards conspiracy theories, so I am not sure how long this will last. But he was my best friend from kindergarten and after high school. We grew apart, different lives and all. I sent him a FB messenger a couple of days ago, he was supportive, seemed to be sincere and very nice about it. I think that he doesn’t agree with who I am, but in his words, “I wouldn’t turn you away before, I’m not going to do so now.” That is probably the best I could hope for and not the worst response ever. I did see a reply he made to another group on FB talking about Caitlyn Jenner, in which he responded, “Bruce Jenner”. So, he may not believe I am a woman, and he may never call me by my name or use the right pronouns, I don’t know. But I’m giving him a chance and if it doesn’t work out then I know that I did all I could. It’s a little upsetting because he is the one I was in love with as a child, my first love really.
Ok, I need to amend something, my famous inability to read people, to understand them, has reared up yet again. I was wrong and I will own it gladly. Turns out, Eric is more open minded than I gave him credit for. I tend to underestimate people, it’s a flaw I have and means that perhaps I am not as open-minded as I would like to think. With his permission, I would like to relate a bit of our conversation.
Eric’s eldest (FTM) son is transgender, he has been trying to deal with this as best he can. He has the traditional issues of a parent of transgender children. He doesn’t want to lose his “daughter”, and I told him that I understood. There is a sense of loss and you grab on hoping to keep that person there. But that person still is there, the experiences you have had were all real the only single thing that has changed is that you have information you didn’t have before. That is not a girl, it’s a boy. Once you get it in your head that what you see before you doesn’t dictate gender, then you can move on.
He said his daughter (son) at one time was crying in the shower, and that she (he) was worried about coming out to the family, what they would think of her (him). I have known Eric and his family all my life, his mom was my second mother and always looked after me. Being a child I didn’t have a sense of her politics, she was a mom. I think she saw a little boy who was afraid to go home and a little afraid of everything and went into mom-mode. So even if she is conservative politically, she was kind and I don’t think that will change even after all this time. I suggested to Eric that he could use me to break the ice, him telling her that I was transgender could lead to a dialogue about his son.
It was really nice that he trusted me with the info and wanted my advice on how to handle it with his very conservative family. So, while Eric is conservative, he isn’t close-minded, that is all anyone can ask for really. And good on him for being concerned for his son and looking out for him instead of what a lot of parents of transgender children do, force them to be something other than themselves or disown them or never know the source of their child’s anguish.
Another tidbit today. I went to talk to the HR manager at work, I went over a few things about IT she needed to know and we talked about a few other things. She is easy to talk to and very sweet so we have been close workplace associates for a while now. I was going over my job transition (I am moving from IT which is going nowhere, to Logistics management which is expanding) and timelines. I also told her that my moving into a singular role instead of two jobs (doing 50/50) would help me in a lot of ways. I told her that soon, within the year, things would be happening that would put my job in jeopardy. She was concerned, so I continued, I told her that I am transgender, that I have been out everywhere else but at work for three years now. I told her my concerns with a few of the upper management and engineers, she reflected that concern but thinks we can work through it. I told her that I am starting HRT this summer and explained that my hair getting “shaggy” is me growing my hair out so I don’t have to wear a wig. I am heartened that she is so positive about my coming out. Perhaps, if I am very, very lucky I will be able to keep my job and still be me.
My wife is on my FB page now, which is awesome. We are keeping the “married” tag but not tagging each other right now because she has some of my work friends who still don’t know about me on her page. In fact, because my blog updates go out on my FB page, this will probably be the first time she has seen the contents if she decides to read them. She knows about the blog, but I have never told her where it is or what, other than the basics, I write about. This is to prevent me from using it to talk to her, using my blog in place of face to face conversation. I think now that this is alright, that the things she reads in here are now about what we go through together and not what I had been going through alone.
She went to a college honor society function this last weekend. She was elected VP of the Carolinas regional chapter, which was awesome! For me, the truly awesome moment was when she texted me to tell me that she told her friends and chapter fellows about me. These are her only friends in the area so it means a lot to me that she is open with others about me.
A short thing, but a great, jump for joy thing… Rose, our youngest, told me that on her phone, Michelle is “Mom.” And I am “Mom..” I have put in a request that I be labeled as “Mom 2: Electric Boogaloo”.
I’m in a good place with my family so far. I know where I stand even if I am not 100% accepted by every member. I am at 99% accepted and that is great for my family, even if you aren’t transgender! Nothing to complain about, friends and family are just awesome sometimes, they really make me take a second look at my jaded assumptions about people. I wish, oh how I wish I had come out so much sooner in life. The time wasted, the very little time any of us has should not be squandered due to fear. I am a fool, have been a fool for so many years believing I needed to be fixed, repaired, or just to die. Joining the military wasn’t just about appearing “manly”, a part of me wished for it to end. I’m glad I didn’t, I’m glad that I gave myself a chance. Not everything is perfect, but I don’t need it to be, I just need to be able to be in this life as me and not suffocating behind a mask to please others.
I have been listening at work, to some of those who are upper management. I am constantly disheartened with what I hear, their talk of liberals and women and “sissies”. I’m still planning on coming out, but I must be fully prepared to be bullied and taunted, or set up for failure so that they can let me go with cause. I have a terrific HR person, I love that woman, but she will have little influence when it comes down to others accepting me or just letting me do my job. So, I am looking for jobs now but I’m unsure how much I should disclose. Surprisingly, being transgender is an issue with employers, though why they would care what is and is not between anyone’s legs is a mystery to me. I have been at this company for 18 years now, just frustrating that I will have to leave it because of a few bigots in key positions.