Oct 2, 2008

Embracing past lives while growing for the future.

Sara made a wonderful point in her last comment. I figured I'd spit out a quick blog on the subject of how we treat our past lives. All to often I hear about Trans people not wanting to have pictures, mention old names or embrace any part of who they were before they fixed themselves. If you've noticed on my blog I've never once ran from or have hidden the fact that my name was Kevin and at times I have even posted old photos.

Not long ago someone asked me what I was going to do about all the pictures throughout my home. Are they too painful for me to look at? Absolutely not, those memories have gotten me to where Karyn is today. Furthermore it would be disrespectful to my daughter and wife to just pretend that part of my life simply never happened. When I look at old photos of myself I usually see a guy who was very unhappy. Occasionally I find a memory that I have a smile and you can tell it was a good day. I look at those photos with fond memories for sure. Without some of those fond memories made with the people I love I can honestly say I wouldn't be here today for those to even be an issue.

I may not have been happy in the gender I was handed but I've never been ashamed of Kevin and Kevin will not disappear from our lives totally. He will be looked at fondly because he gave me the best family a girl could ask for …

Thanks For the inspiration Sara



Lori said...

That was beautiful, Karyn, absolutely beautiful. I feel the same way that you feel about the past and would be heartbroken if I had to 'put it away.' They are memories that I will always cherish and hiding them or ignoring them would be unfair.

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful, Karyn.
To embrace yourself completely: all that you are and all that you were and all that you can be... that, in my opinion, is a great part of the human goal.
How fulfilling that is! It is also very freeing. :o)

Anonymous said...

wow! your Lori friend and I posted that this post is beautiful at exactly the same time. AWESOME!

Lori said...


Great minds think alike!

Véronique said...

I think you have the right idea. It's great that you are comfortable with your past.

I must admit, I'm still working on that. I'm not ashamed of my history. As you say, that's how we got where we are. Music, however, has been a point of difficulty. I've played guitar since I was in high school, and I've sung since I can remember. Now both of those are very much tied into my male past, especially voice. I'm reasonably happy with my speaking voice these days, but of course I can't sing any differently than I ever did, and I wish I could. Even the fact that I sing tenor doesn't help me.

I'm trying to work through it. Singing and playing guitar are too much a part of me to lose.

Thanks as always for your wonderful blog!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say something to Veronique if I could...
Singing and playing guitar is also my occupation. I am female (born female) but I have a deeper singing voice, I sing contralto and tenor.
I have never been able to reach the very high registers (and that's okay with me).
I can barely sing along with most male singers, they sing higher than me. LOL!
Girls can most assuredly have gorgeous deeper voices! I don't know if that helps at all?? I dunno... I don't know how it is for you. I guess I'm just offering a smile, encouragement and support. :o)

Sara said...

Karyn, Thank you for pointing out that a person without a past is not a complete person, as too much has to be excised. Despite whatever changes we make we are who we are inside; our values, the sum of all of our experiences, the love we hold dear. To not celebrate that would be very sad indeed. Thank you, for a healthy and beautiful roadmap to follow.

Véronique said...

Thank you, Emily. For me I think it's that my speaking voice is different, and I'm happy about that, but my singing voice is the same, and that pulls me back into the Before Time in a way I don't like.

I've heard choirs with women singing tenor. Natal female tenor voices don't sound the same as natal male tenor voices. Probably a resonance thing, however that works.

I'll keep working on it. The issue is complicated by the association between music (rock) and substance abuse, mostly drinking.

I'm mainly in a great psychological state. Sometimes I forget that I still have issues. :)

~K~ said...

Wow for a quick off the cuff blog I'm happy to see this stirred things up a bit.

Sara thank you for the comment that shaped this post. You were the inspiration for it.

I think when it comes to the people around us that we hope to have as support, it becomes confusing to them when we try and change literally every part of our lives. Those people end up feeling a deeper sense of loss because they lost that connection to the person they knew, even if the inside really hasn't changed much

Lori/Emmy that was just too weird. the time stamps are identical with the same content in the post .. That is amazing!

Samantha said...

Wow, I'm late to this party.

First, Karyn, as always, awesome post girl! Second I feel exactly the same way. As I've said before in my blog, when my sister was getting noticeably freaked out about this very topic I looked her in the eyes and said:

Our past is what makes us family, what binds us together over time, and grows with us. No way in hell am I going to expect anyone to erase that, it's so much a part of me, of us, that I cannot and will not give it up. You shouldn't either. As to name and pronouns? While obviously I'm very happy with who I am now, it's a gender, not a religion. I've had plumbing changes, not my brain removed. Call me him, her, or whatever you want, just don't call me late for dinner! Call me anything, just keep calling, okay?

For all the years I was her brother, my stock answer was call me anything but late for dinner, I meant it then and still have that line alone as part of our life together. She relaxed like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders and said: "You know, I've got a pretty smart sister."

We've always used humor as part of our relationship, it's special to us, and suddenly becoming over sensitive would have destroyed that. No way that was a cost I wanted to come of this. So while other people were slightly shocked and alarmed when I said to her "You're a better woman than I" she didn't blink and came back with "Well of course I am, I've had more practice than you!"

I loved that moment! And the look on my other sister's face who didn't expect that... One of my favorite moments.

My sister's fears? Totally founded. One of her best friends from college transitioned and totally lost her mind. Put my sister through a living hell. I didn't want to do the same thing or anything close. I love all the women in my life, all the people in my life. Not surprisingly a goodly number of them I've known since they were born or we were both kids. No way I'm giving that up.

Right now however I need some sleep.

Great post Karyn, Sara, and everyone else who stuck their heads in. We are so NOT the Springer generation!!! Thank the God's for that one!