Apr 2, 2007

Long Traveled Roads

Sometimes I look back at the road I’ve already traveled and realize how long of a path that has been. The problem is when I look forward I could swear I am standing right in front of Mount Everest. What a long hill there is yet to climb and on some days I honestly wonder if I am up to the task.

This weekend we got together for breakfast with Dee’s family at a local diner. We had a pretty nice time and the food was ok. The bottom line is that it was fun to be around everyone and it was a light atmosphere, which is far different from days gone by for me. Past days would often have me in some kind of funk with a black cloud resting over my head.

Being in the presence of family members can be an out of balance type of feeling for me because only a few know of my story and the others don’t yet. With the changes that have gone on to this point and summer fast approaching that will need to change as I won’t be able to layer clothing anymore when I am around family and friends who don’t know yet.

I guess you could call this my Mount Everest now, or at least the first tier of the climb to the heavens. The 2nd part of the tier is that I still find myself to be a little off balance in public, which is giving me a hard time psychologically. I know I will get over this but I am no different than anyone else I simply have my own insecurities to overcome.

It’s hard going from being labeled a boy visually to being labeled girl because as natural a feeling that it is when it happens, there is a certain amount of reprogramming your brain needs to wrap itself around in the grand scheme as you are used to being treated a certain way and reacting in just.

Friday night we went out to our local watering hole called Margaritas. This is a local Mexican restaurant that both Diane and I love. Upon entering the bar area where we usually sit we took a booth at the windows. Next to the restaurant is the Merrimack River and we often like to sit and watch the water billow over the falls and churn about as we eat.

As the waiter approached us he greeted us with a happy good afternoon ladies. May I get you a drink? It has gotten to the point that even just being dressed in my usual boy T-shirt and jeans that this now happens quite often and it is a quite natural and peaceful feeling when it happens.

What always strikes me funny is the fact that I’ve done nothing to alter my voice yet. I guess I have a mid range tonal quality to my voice that could slightly overlap the female range so it doesn’t seem to change that greeting once assigned. It is a truly wondrous thing for me.

Lately what I’ve been unable to do is make that jump from the male clothing to female and go out in public. At the point I am at with the hormonal changes it seems like a necessity simply because those clothes will just fit me better now. Dee keeps asking me why I can’t do that and while I know who I am on the inside I am still having a hard time figuring out how others view me. I am so afraid of being viewed as a male in female clothing that my brain simply hasn’t made the jump yet.

It’s funny how these things seem to work when you break them down into simple terms. For a crossdresser or a transvestite clothing is a very big part of their identity whereas someone who has G.I.D, clothing is really a very small thing. It isn’t that they don’t want e to look nice or be passable as much as they need to have a sense of congruency within their own mind and body. I guess I’m no different as clothing, makeup and jewelry isn’t a huge part of who I am. I still enjoy having nice things but it certainly doesn’t define me.

The other thing that is keeping me slightly off balance is Diane’s treatment of me in public. We are just so used to being a couple she does things that couples do out of habit. She will reach over and touch me affectionately or hold my hand. Say things she would normally say to a spouse. While it is nice to have such a loving relationship it becomes another hurdle to overcome as other people may being seeing two woman being publicly affectionate.

While I shouldn’t care what other people think it becomes an emotional challenge for me because it compounds where my mind is at every time I have to step into a public setting, again this is something that makes me wonder how I’m being perceived in public places. I don’t necessarily want it to change but at times it is just way to much to worry about and violates my small steps approach to things. I often wonder how I can easily play guitar in front of thousands of people when the need arises but I'm self conscious just waking through pubic places at times.

Lastly, is it me or have transgendered issues just exploded in the media as well as on television over the last year? I often liken it as buying a new car and suddenly noticing the same car everywhere you go. From television shows educating, to a soap opera detailing a TG issue, to current news event it just seems to be everywhere. Maybe the day of tolerance is upon us and bigotry will no longer be defined as acceptable behavior.

Case in point is the Susan "Steve" Stanton issue that has developed in Largo Fl. Steve did everything possible to do things in a respectable manner and the deeds of one selfish person destroyed this woman’s life by releasing the info prematurely to the press. After many people coming forward to state that Steve did a good job and received good merit reviews, that suddenly "Susan" is unable to be as competent. .

This case was the worst case of discrimination I have seen in a long time and I certainly hope she stands up for herself and sues the city for wrongful termination. On the positive side of things I for one am very proud of how she handled herself with dignity in such a tough set of circumstances. This case will be a defining moment for anyone who considers themselves to be gender gifted.

Please note that I use the name Steve but refer to both Steve and Susan as "She" Pronouns are a funny thing and even I at times can have a hard time and be a bit forgetful. When a transgendered person has come out and identified their need to change or become congruent within their mind the proper pronoun should be that of the internal gender. So if you know someone who is dealing with this you will now understand why these labels are applied so freely and maybe make them feel a bit better about where they stand.

Anyway I’ve ranted enough for now … maybe I’ll write more later..

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