Monday, April 4, 2016
Some thoughts about life as a transgender person.
Sometimes, I have to look back over several years of my life, and I've seen great progress along the path of femininity. For example, I am not afraid of venturing out of my apartment and being seen by my neighbors. If someone doesn't like how I live my life, it's their problem, not mine.
There are many milestones we reach, not all of them in the same order. For example, I will go for a mani-pedi when I can - but only when I don't need to remove/put on hosiery. But I will resist doing so if Lili wants to being her tenant along - simply because nail salons tend to be female only spaces, and I don't want MY femininity in question because of Lili. It's much, much easier for me to shop for female clothes, now that I'm comfortable in my femininity. And I'm not afraid of the random conversation that may happen while in female mode.
No, my presentation is far from perfect. I have a long way to go - my weight/bulk being one of the areas in which I need improvement. But my voice is still my weakest part of my presentation - and I will soon be seeing a speech therapist for assistance in this area. This is another one of those milestones - an ability for my voice to be perceived as female, even when there is no visual cue to help people "see" my femininity.
The key issue here is confidence. How many of us transgender folk really have it? Years ago, one couple I met at Fantasia Fair had to hide the husband's femininity to such an extent because they lived in a rural area of a Mid Atlantic state. That's a damned shame. But I respect them for it, as there are many elements who will cause trouble for us transgender folk. One politically conservative M2F transgender person I've met has had some problems with attending church - in part, because she thought she'd be welcome after breaking an unwritten/unspoken taboo of changing her gender. Yet, she searches for a place that will accept her, instead of retreating from her transgender nature. I have to give her a lot of credit for who she is - even though I disagree with her views in some areas.
Recently, I opened up a conversation with a woman (who I once had a crush on, but the reverse affection wasn't there) after she read that I got a new job. I ended up telling her that I am transgender, knowing that I wasn't going to lose much if she wasn't interested in communicating anymore. She was open to me, but I know that the online friendship we had 20 years ago was something born of two people in grief who didn't have too much else in common in their lives. So I doubt that there will be an opening for a better friendship.
As I said, there are many milestones. Some of them are obvious, and others are not. When we reach them, they are opportunities for growth - if we can act. However, not everyone is in a position to do so. And I hope that can change soon....