Feb 19, 2009

Taking a look around, re-evaluation

I guess you could say I've been on a bit of a sabbatical recently, a self imposed one at that. I kind of felt like it was time for a reevaluation after some minor things got into my head. For some it would simply meaning turning the corner and moving on to the next phases of my life and for others it would be assumed that I'm distancing myself. I can assure that isn't the case.

After some soul searching recently I realized that beyond the economy, layoffs, etc that there was something else gnawing at my soul. I've been wearing the "trans" sign a little too much and not learning to just be Karyn. This became apparent to me several weeks ago after a minor difference in point of view with a friend and some talking with another one to get things into perspective. For trans people, I am simply one of them and should be proud of who I am, no doubt I am but I'm learning that I'm not proud because I'm part of a community like that; I'm proud because I'm a good person and people like me for who I am, not what I'm defined as.

Over the last 3 years there had been a blurring of lines for me Male/Female/Transgender and I was allowing the final part to not only identify me, it was creating havoc with me emotionally. I had lost the feeling of being female for a movement or to break it down, I lost my own unique identity in lieu of being unified under a label.

In doing this, my fear every time I stepped out of the house was that someone would "figure" me out or guess my secret. The reality is that I needed to step out of the house just being Karyn. To some degree I had started to step backward. I've since learned that I need to focus more on the things I have in common with the people in my life and less on the things that label what I'm going through. That's the key, what I'm going through, not who I am. Lately since this has sunk in I am getting back to that sense of peace that I had felt like I was starting to lose again. As a whole, I'll have more conversations about things like music, clothes, guitars, makeup, shoes etc and a lot less about being "trans"

One of the things that have been irking Diane and I is the idea that I need to thank my lucky stars I have her because most women wouldn't stay. To some degree I understand this point of view but honestly, I'm not as lucky as people think. It's sad that people need to put boundaries on things like love. Isn't it possible that not only am I lucky to be loved by Diane but she by me? Don't I bring a lot to the table that makes her want to be with me? At what point did our relationship become so one sided that I needed to be "grateful" that she didn't dump me. Honestly, the more we hear this comment, the more insulted we are becoming by it. For the 2 of us, love is love and it isn't defined by what's between our legs. Sex is great but lets face it, it's a fraction of our lives together and I've not gotten a lobotomy people, smarten up, it is insulting to infer that she is in love with my penis, no wonder lesbians actually "get it" …

Things at work and with friends personally have been going well but I am starting to get frustrated with people not making the change over. There have been a few instances these past few weeks that really stick out.

A friend of mine here keeps calling me "Kev" and "he, him" etc. I am trying to be patient with him because he's just getting up to speed and he says he supports me but here's the kicker. When it comes time to make a joke "He'll put his hand up in the air over something I've said and say ..sheesh, women" . Why is it he can get the pronouns correct in jest?

Out to dinner with friends recently (Who are supportive) my friends wife referred to me as "He" several times. I could see Diane cringe when it happened. Right after she had done this, the waitress came over to take our orders and when she turned to Diane and I she simply asked "And what can I get you ladies"

YES! Vindication! Hopefully she picked up on it!

This week I had a hair appointment for a haircut, root touch up and I finally loosened up a bit to have a little fun. I needed to get some of the old "rock and roll" me back so I had a few blond patches added in my hair. I'm thinking it looks pretty cool and matches a little more of what my personality was like before I started transition.
In the local news recently a few big issues have come up that are noteworthy

Massachusetts has loosened up its policy on driver's licenses and now you can have your gender marker changed to reflect your gender identity provided you have proper documentation that you are being treated for GID. Kind of makes me wish I were living back in Mass now for just that privilege.

Mass and NH are now in process of debating and trying to get Gender Identity protections against discrimination. I was asked to speak at the NH statehouse in regards to this but I couldn't take the time off from work right now. I did however hear that the bill had no opposition in attendance! Woot, maybe we are finally going to be on equal footing!

Other than those life just kind of sails along and I'm just trying to be. The next thing I'm hoping for is the end of winter and the demise of snow .. just sayin ..

Hope you're well



Samantha said...

Have I told you lately that I love you? Damn, what an awesome post! Rock on girl and thank you. Thank you for being another voice of reason. Thank you for saying, thinking, and feeling things that I can relate to that have always put me at a distance from the community. Thank you for being another voice of reality.

I am not now, nor have I ever been a TransWoman. I'm a woman, grow from a girl who survived a life no-one should have to. I have neither the energy, nor patience to spend lots of time in the "poor tortured trans" camp. I cannot relate to the poor pitiful wretch how has accepted Transwoman" as a consolation prize in a life of pain.

When I was three I was pretty sure I was a girl, when I was five I was CERTAIN beyond any doubt. I wanted to grow up to be like my Mom, not that horrible torture creature that wore a "Dad" suit. I never once dreamed of growing up to be a "Trans" anything, I didn't even know such things existed when I was a child. But dreaming of growing up to be a girl/woman/wife and mother, now that's where my heart, mind, body and soul wanted to go.

Yes, I transitioned. Past tense. I'm now cisgendered, but I have respect, admiration and understanding of women fighting the good fight to take back thier lives. Like you my dear.

You and Dee have something wonderful and beautiful that maybe one couple in 500 manages to find. Love. True Love. Love outside time/space/labels and other peoples investment in your lives. Brava! I think it's awesome!

I'm proud to consider you a friend, a girl friend. Way to go Girl!

VĂ©ronique said...

It seems like many of us, maybe most of us, reach this point. We need to live our lives, as ourselves, our authentic selves, regardless of a shift in hormones or even surgery. We have real lives, and they go on. In your case, and mine too, we have a great relationship at the heart of our lives. There is so much about us that has nothing to do with "trans."

Unlike Sam, however, I don't eschew the label. I was born with XY chromosomes and male genitalia, and I was brought up as a boy. My brain was female, but those other things matter, or else I would not now be changing them. And maybe more than most trans people, I was successful in that semi-male life. Rock and roll helped. So did theatre. Anything creative seems to. Well, so did drinking and substances, and those weren't the good part. Still, there was a lot of good in that life.

I still write about my own transition, and I write about trans issues. I'm interested in them, and although I don't have quite the passion for the struggle for full civil rights that some do, I'm glad they do, and I support them.

But I don't feel part of a community. I have friends who are trans, both women and men. I have friends who are lesbians and gay men. I have friends who are heterosexual and cissexual. If there is such a thing as a trans community, it's too small for me.

I'm glad you're being Karyn, the unique you. We love that woman! (Although we should probably never talk politics. ^.^) Hopefully, other people understand that you are you.

Glad you both are thriving! Yes, let's have some spring.

Samantha said...

I wouldn't say I eschew the label so much as the connotation and the emphasis. Yes, it's a fact of my life that I transitioned, and frankly I feel really good about that. But I am part of a bigger community than some of the folks I meet or talk to. I'm a woman, just like both of you. Yes, I'm interested in being around, being accessible for women just starting out, or really anyone. But my scope is way beyond terms and labels. I'm not a label, and I don't really think it's all that healthy for anyone else either.

Veronique you every bit as much as Karyn are a wonderful lady and you have made so much progress and are well on your way to a much better life that one upon a time. That's awesome. C----- is still part of your life and that's so wonderful too. Yes, on your blog you talk about trans stuff, but like Karyn and I it's not to the exclusion of everything, or everyone else. This is just one of the many reasons you are both so awesome!

You, like Karyn and I, and many other women I've met bloggin in the last year or so, are inherently social creatures, and we don't lose sight of what's important or wallow in our "transness" like some folks do. This is the heart of success in this journey in my opinion, but something so many folks lose sight of.

As to Spring, I'm so there! So ready for it! But alas I think here in Oh10 we have one more big storm waiting in the wings. Then, ah the joys and wonders of spring!!! I'm so ready!

I'm glad your are both well too!