Mar 10, 2008

New Week (GMA and more)

New workweek, the sun is shining bright and the flu that I had is on the mend. About all I’m left with at this point is an annoying cough and a tiny bit of feeling weak. I’ll take that 10 fold over how I felt last week. On Friday Dee and I had an appointment for our hair and eyebrows which needed to be taken care of badly. The funny thing for me is that this has become something I’ve grown to look forward too now and I’m much more focused on feeling off when I go a week or two over our usual 6 week interval.

Something slightly different came out of this appointment this time. The girl who cuts my hair is a trained hair and makeup specialist who is also a very good friend of my daughter. She’s a sweet girl who was very open to helping me through this whole journey. One thing we hadn’t discussed as of yet was how I would be addressed by her. Generally being a people pleaser I tend not to complain about how I’m addressed even if it bothers me, I simply hate making other people feel uncomfortable and I’m always very mindful of their feelings. (I’ve been told this is a very female driven trait)

When it was my turn I had been bent over in the sink as she washed and conditioned my hair for a few minutes when she leaned in and asked me "Do you want me to refer to you as he or she". My heart welled up a bit when I heard this as it is one of the most accepting feelings we can get from people . She admitted that she was going to refer to me in female pronouns but she didn’t know if it would make me uncomfortable. I myself had been trying to figure out how to breech the subject because I cringe whenever I am referred to as He, Him , the Men or anything even slightly male. .. Courtney, you’re a sweetheart.

This past week saw several different Trans stories hit the media. One that seems to be hitting main stream America more and now is on the cusp of Massachusetts politics. Gender Identity protections were discussed and a bill is being presented to protect people of Gender Variance. Like other states it has its share of opposing views claiming we don’t belong in the ladies room. This bill has the strong backing of all of the Massachusett heavy hitting politicians. What works out good for me is that originally being from the bay state and still working there these protections will be extended to me while I am in state. While my employer is progressive on this front additional protections cant hurt

Next up, on Nightline and Good Morning America last week there was a profiled story about a girl named Megan Wallent who works for Microsoft and transitioned on the job. Megan is married to a wonderfully supportive wife and has 3 children. I love seeing positive stories like this to show that we are not only down to earth everyday people, but this path doesn’t have to leave devastation behind us. With that said I did become very troubled by some of the comments on the GMA website by people claiming that Megan was being selfish by doing this to her family and if she knew this why did she ever get married.

This seems to be a common word thrown at us constantly by people who either do not understand gender identity disorder or even then need for transition. Let look at the definition of selfish for a moment and discuss this.

self·ish / Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[sel-fish] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –adjective
Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
Characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives.

I do suppose by the barest definition of the word this act could be construed as selfish but wouldn’t this have to work in reverse as well? Wouldn’t the people who were preventing transition be considered selfish for not wanting someone to live their life true to themselves? Generally people who have GID that transition do so out of the need for survival, the need to feel right about themselves. All too often because of societies inability to either accept or even treat issues such as this without negative judgement forces Trans people to feel the only way out is suicide. Suicide as I’ve heard from so many people is in itself a selfish act because it robs people of loved ones.

So which is more important? Be selfish and take care of ourselves or kill ourselves and be selfish? Honestly I’d rather learn to be a bit selfish and be here to see my grandchildren grow than to take my life and have people wonder why.

The bottom line in marriage and transition is that the only people who can determine the selfish act is the spouse. People throw stones wondering why we marry is we know that we have the issues. Back when I was young there wasn’t much information available to even understand GID let alone the lack of societies acceptance on the matter. So we try to live with the cards we are dealt all the while living in self hatred over how we feel. A common feeling among most of us is that love will cure us, heck I thought it was all I needed. How wrong I turned out being ..

Times have changed, GID is not only becoming more studied but educated information is readily available and in this our children if truly allowed to deal with it young will not being the baggage into relationships. The key is education and treatment at it earliest stages. Once this is achieved we can focus on making people feel right and lead more satisfying lives.

I’ve been following Megan’s story and I have to admit, it’s kind of cool. She's married like me with an incredibly supportive family and friends and she is originally form Boston making her a Red Sox fan. She can’t be all bad ..

If you want to read more about Megan her blog addy is

Her GMA/Nightline story is here

Hope your week starts of kick ass .. mine is for sure …

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