A lot is happening in my life, emotionally and physically. This is probably typical of most us who are transitioning. I wanted to touch on my emotions and thoughts, because I was looking at some of my early posts to this blog and realized that I didn’t really know, only a few years ago, what I wanted or where I was going.
I wasn’t planning on transitioning. In fact, my blog was aimed at being transgender and not transitioning. In my mind at the time, I was afraid that my marriage might fall apart and that I would lose friends and family. These are all the reasons that I built a mask in the first place to keep from being left entirely alone in life. So, my reasoning was that admitting I was transgender could be enough and rather than risk loss, I would again compromise my needs. Well, luckily, this didn’t stick and my plan evolved on its own. I am now on track to get laser hair removal (LHR), hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and an orchiectomy. This is a long way from where I thought I would be when I started this blog, and I am open to the plan evolving further, so definitive statements in the past, be damned. I want to make it clear that being transgender in no way requires that you do anything at all. You don’t have to transition, existing puts you in the group, take it easy on yourself. I will never judge you for who you are and what you choose to do with your life, you shouldn’t either.
I have touched several times on depression, something a lot of people are afflicted with. It’s not indicative of being transgender, but I have noticed a good amount of us have it. My situation or my actions to improve my life are not a cure for depression. I have recently learned that I can carry happiness with me, that it doesn’t have to be a momentary feeling. This doesn’t mean that somehow, I have defeated depression. You can be happy and still depressed, you can be kicking life’s ass and making it your bitch and still be depressed. Imagine that you are holding a glass filled with water, that glass is holding your happiness. The wind that keeps messing up your hair, that is depression. You can learn to live with it, but it won’t stop it from messing up your hair, you just keep styling it after the wind rushes through. Transition will not “fix” you, it will not make your depression go away. Seek help, learn to style your hair, don’t go it alone. Your life is worth fighting for, fight for it.
The inevitable part of life is that you will encounter loss. Being transgender, being out and transgender can mean you lose more than those who die, but also those who can’t get past the mask you presented for protection. Those who may have known you best may not be able to cope, to understand. They may not want to understand, be violently against who you are. In my case, I have likely lost two brothers, a few friends and some workplace associates. I’m not happy about losing anyone, I expect more from them, it’s disappointing that those who should know me best didn’t know me at all. But I cannot control their thoughts or actions, so I must let go. I plan on losing more as my transition continues and more people are aware of who I am. You cannot control the death of others, nor can you control those who choose not to accept you. You can only give them the truth and they will have to deal with it in their own way. Be prepared for loss, be happy when you are wrong. Rejoice in those who love and care no matter what. I have friends and family who love me, that I am transgender is new to some of them, but it’s not a factor in their love, not a condition for them at all.
The Activism Paradox
The world has changed since I started writing my blog. A new administration has gained power and it is not kind to those who are not “normal”, the definition being anyone who is not “them”. Activism has taken on new meaning and it’s my fault for thinking that the world would not regress. Of course, you can fully transition and hide who you were, fade into the background and never put yourself on the front line. That is any transgender prerogative, to just live who we are without interruption. But I cannot, not after seeing what becomes of our rights even when others are fighting for them. Even if I were to fully transition, I will have to own the label “transgender”. Not for me but to fight for those who come after me. The fight is not just with the political administration, but those who believe that we are the sex they assigned to us and that is all there is. The misguided belief that there is only DNA (that XX or XY is all there is), or that your brain has nothing to do with identity. The fight is for our rights as human beings. So, my misguided belief that I could fade into womanhood after I transitioned, it cannot be this way. I am honor-bound to do the right thing and proclaim my womanhood while also wearing the mantle of “Transgender”.
Sex and Sexuality
I think that like our taste in food, we redefine our attractions as we grow. Or at least, I think we should. I have presented as hetero-male for a very long time, despite being attracted to men, women, gender-fluid, etc. This has a way of seeping into your psyche, to make you start to believe it. Only with introspection and honest reflection, did I start remembering all those crushes I had on males as well as women. My first love was a boy, we were best friends and I was always jealous of the girls he dated, but also attracted to them as well. I had a very confusing childhood and awakening of my sexuality. Being transgender has nothing to do at all with sexual preference. Transgender is your state of being, sexual preference is a state of attraction. I love my wife, and I’m not polyamorous, so I am loyal and dedicated to my wife. This doesn’t make me a lesbian, I am pansexual, since preference is based on attraction not on your sexual practices. I have found that those outside the transgender community have trouble understanding the differences or the nuances of sex and sexuality. I believe because of our position within the spectrum, transgender people have a better grasp, after a lifetime of learning, of sex and sexuality.
If you’ve never had a migraine then you probably believe the person suffering from it is having a headache. In the same fashion, dysphoria is something that only holds meaning to those that suffer from it. You don’t have to be transgender to encounter (gender) dysphoria, nor do you have to suffer from dysphoria to be transgender. However, transgender people do tend to suffer from dysphoria more than others in the form of gender dysphoria. I suffer from gender dysphoria, but it doesn’t make me “more” transgender than the transgender person who doesn’t suffer from it. It’s a condition, not a symptom. Emotionally and physically my mind is telling me the male parts and aspects that are there should not be there. My dysphoria is mild and can ramp up from emotional issues, I grieve for those with serious cases. I dread waking up, because I will have to go to the bathroom and I will have to look down, I will see them there, these things that don’t belong to me. The dread increases or decreases, I’m not sure why, but probably due to my emotional state at the time. It’s not a word to throw around casually or to explain who you are, it’s a condition not a symptom.
This topic has nothing, whatever, to do with being transgender. But religion is something people tend to have, so let’s go over it. First, being transgender doesn’t mean you can’t be religious and vice versa. I know plenty of people who follow one religion or another and are transgender, if your god/goddess/entity/fiery lizard demon doesn’t approve of your being transgender, then I suggest reapplying whatever omniscience they are purported to have to then approve of it. I don’t have a religion, I believe in science and magic, ducks and tiny rocks. None of those things disapproves of my life choices, sexual preferences or give one bit of damn about my being transgender. But most of all, because of my belief in science and magic, ducks and tiny rocks, I will not attack, kill, ostracize, crusade or debase anyone for being anything at all, that includes being religious. To believe that an entity can be all knowing yet not know the heart of everyone regardless of the face you present to others is ridiculous, it already knows who you are and what you plan on doing and how you treat others. Judgement was handed down before you were born. Tiny rocks are very forgiving, ducks are the warriors. Look, believe in what or whomever you wish, belief is a good thing. But you don’t have to be Christian to believe in God, and your version of Christianity doesn’t have to base itself on hate or dismissal of others. Just be a good person, be kind to others and be generous with your time, emotions, food and water. You will get into whatever heaven or level of ascension you are aiming for.
Having intelligence doesn’t mean you have wisdom. I know more now than when I started this blog, I have more information and I have tried to apply that information or at the least to learn from it. We all find information where we can and the internet has certainly helped to bring a lot of us together. But mis-information presented as facts, outright lies and propaganda are also abundant on the internet. Wisdom is being able to sort through the false and find the truth. Have the wisdom to know that despite whatever you may know, you can always learn. Have the wisdom to know that in the scheme of things, you know very little. Most of all, have the wisdom to seek understanding and guidance.
Of all the things I have learned about myself by writing this blog, it’s that I first was honest with myself, then I lied to myself because I wanted to be accepted, then I suppressed who I was to continue being accepted by others, then I became honest with myself years later and found that I was still accepted. Have the wisdom that I lacked, accept yourself, let you be your true you and not the mask that you think others want to see. If I had a wish, one single wish, it would be that everyone just be honest with themselves, because that is where it starts and ends.