Friday, October 21, 2016

Behind the mask

Most of us live in two worlds. One is of privilege and employment; we are given respect and jobs often times based only upon the cut of our jibs. I know that I have enjoyed what I like to call “Implied Authority”. The other world is one of uncertainty and fear of unemployment 

 

I unknowingly used privilege at work for years, in the corporation that I worked. It goes like this, I found a job I wanted to pursue and then I would speak to the head of that department (manufacturing). I don’t ask him for a position; I tell him what I am doing for his department. I tell him, because it is often “him”, that I am going to increase his area’s efficiency and find any bottlenecks in the production process (or repair process, depending on the area of the company I decided to work in.) Of course, since I am a man and I am telling them what I am doing, not asking permission, it must be ok. I do increase their productivity and streamline their process. I am actually good at process engineering, though I have no degree and was never hired to do this. I was a firefighter in my company for over 15 years; I went to different areas and fixed them, only reporting to the General ManagerI didn’t realize the privilege I was using. I just thought that if you were really good at something, you can pretty much do what you want, how you want. Having privilege means you don’t have to worry about privilege.

 

I used this in my personal relationships. In hiding behind my mask, in using my male body, I became the problem. Even being who I was on the inside, I assumed that the women I wanted also wanted to be with me, I just had to figure out how to convince them. Implied authority. I was such an ass. I convinced myself that every time was me being in “love”, that wanting a woman was the same as loving them. I would cajole and sweet talk and create situations in which I thought they would feel obligated. I called women bitches for not being interested in me; I called them crazy when we didn’t get along, or hysterical when they were genuinely upset. I used women, having sex with them and often never looking back, never calling back. I loved women, but I hated them a little too. I hated them for being able to be them. I managed to be the worst kind of man, I was a child. I was attracted to men as well, wanted to be with them as well. But that would have drawn attention to the mask, which I was convinced would fail upon close inspection. I pushed that part of me away, so deeply behind my mask that I disappeared. 

 

I have heard the word “privilege” thrown around in the last few years. I didn’t really listen to what was said around the word, the sentences in which the word was used. Having privilege means you don’t have to worry about privilege. But recently, in the last couple of months, as I come out more and more, I am facing life without privilege. I am facing life in small amounts as a woman dominated and afraid of the men around me. In the end, I can take off the makeup, I could remove my wig, I could use my mask. So in the end, I could gain my privilege back almost instantly. I would happily trade privilege for my womanhood, then fight for equality instead.

 

I don’t understand how women, other women do it. They are so strong, so unbelievably brave; to live and thrive in a world dominated by men. They shouldn’t have to be, they should be held to the same privilege, as a human being. I didn’t really understand how strong my grandmother and mom had to have been to be the matriarchs of our family, and they were. Neither ever put up with men dominating them. This isn’t to say they weren’t punished for presuming to be equals. I know my mother was beaten by my father, I was beaten as well. My father had anger issues and felt trapped in a family. So at an early age, I learned to hide. I hid within my head, quietly existing so as to not draw attention, to not be beaten. My mother, she didn’t hide. She said what she wanted to say, defied him, though he would punish her. She stood up to him but didn’t have the physical strength, but mostly she didn’t have the privilege to not be punished for presuming to be equal. One day, he hit her for thelast time, and I stood in front of my mother who was lying on the ground. I stood there, shaking like crazy with fear, but standing. I told him that he wasn’t going to hit her again, that I hated him and that I wanted him to leave. It was the first time I spoke as me, as Beth, though I didn’t know my name then. I wasn’t speaking as a boy with privilege. I was speaking as a girl who was going to be equal despite the punishment I thought was coming. My first words to my father as me were the worst things I can remember having to say. I shouldn’t have had to do it, Mom shouldn’t have been punished, Dad shouldn’t have presumed that punishment to an equal is something he had a right to hand out. So, almost like father, I grew up with anger issues, with confusion. I never raised my hand to another woman. I never wanted to see another’s eyes looking back at me like my mother’s looked at my father during those times. I struck back at myself, wanting to die, holding my breath, not as a defiant child. Holding my breath, wishing to just go, so that I wouldn’t wake up again, like a child that was tired and broken. It was a child’s wish, almost like going blind for some children, to “show them”. It was over-dramatic and without purpose but to emotionally punish.

 

The mask, the privilege it allowed me, was so much worse than the cost of just being me. I didn’t see that then, I didn’t realize that in hiding me, I was causing myself so much harm. 

 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Upon Waking

Just before my eyes open, I register that I am here. My brain just a lightning quick check, all body parts accounted for. I open my eyes, not really registering anything, but secondary thought guides me into the bathroom, time to empty the bladder. As I go into the hallway, my brain starts registering detail. This is the worst part.

I enter the bathroom, I turn on the wrong light, the one with the exhaust fan. I turn it off and turn on the other one, the lights over the mirror. I look into the mirror and for a moment, fleeting as snow on the tongue, I am me. But the moment passes and it's just the guy standing there. I turn away and go to the toilet. Sometimes, it's standing, sometimes it's sitting, it depends on how awake I am. Either way, penis is there, needing to be aimed. I ponder it, wondering what I did in another life to be punished in this way. I must have been a horrible person to be inside this body, to be holding this penis. Don't get me wrong I like penises, I like the thought of them anyway. If one was attached to someone I am attracted to, then I like them a lot. I don't like them attached to me.

I finish my business and wash my hands, sometimes. I turn out the light and go into the living room. If it is a work day, I take a moment to check my work phone for IT issues from work. Then I go back into the bedroom, get a pair of panties and socks. Then go back into the bathroom to take a shower. Again, the penis. Sometimes I masturbate then shower, sometimes I just shower. The masturbating is about tension release, it's about more sometimes. I love the feeling of soapy water on my skin. My shaved legs are slippery and I feel so feminine.

I get out of the shower, I dry off, and shave my face. Every single day, shave the face. It hurts, it's raw and I do it. I hate the feeling of stubble. I look into the mirror and focus on the eyes, I'm in there. I dry off and put on a nightgown and light cardigan I use as a robe. Sometimes, I will wear a wig, if I have time. Wigs leave marks on my forehead, and I have to re-wet my real hair and brush it so I have to have time. Sometimes I go out to the mailbox or walk the dog. I am almost daring cars going by to have a problem with me this damn early in the morning. Trans waking, please go on about your business.

I keep track of the time, minutes tick by. I will have to stop being me soon, sooner, done. I have to be him now, the mask, the guy. I go into the bedroom and turn on the light. My wife is usually up while I am walking the dog or checking mail. So she is on the couch. I look through my closet, part of it has pretty dresses, a few tunic shirts and some racy outfits for if I ever lose weight. I then look over at the other half and listlessly grab a mens button down shirt. I take off my nightgown and put on the shirt and a pair of womens jeans, so that I am not completely de-feminized. And I am out the door to work.

If it is the weekend, on Friday after work, I paint my nails. So the same thing, except when I get up and get out of the bathroom, I bemoan my nails with their sheet marks on them. Shrug and go about my business. I will get some tea made, then I take my shower. It takes much longer on the weekends, but I am ok with that. This is makeup time. I take a long shower, I don't usually masturbate. I just want to feel feminine and not touching my own penis helps. I get out and start my makeup routine. I go back and forth from the bathroom to the bedroom, to get the bra that I forgot, or the right blouse. I finish, and put on my wig. I look into the mirror and this time, the guy is in the back just visible, and I am mostly there. Not all the way there, but enough to where I can squint my eyes and almost see me.

My days are numbered, I count them down.
I'm not me, but inside me.
The mask is my prison ground.
I didn't want this, I wanted to be.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dawning Revelations

My wife and I were talking about the current presidential race this morning, before I left for work. Mostly, it was about Trump, about whom neither of us are supporters. We agree on the politics, but it soon became apparent that we were heading into a different discussion. We both, support women’s rights and equality. And we cannot understand women or minorities who support a person so opposed to both. But where we differ is in what is happening at home. She understands logically that I am a woman, but as she says it sticks in her head that I am choosing to be a woman. That in this political climate it makes sense to be a man, she says she hates being a woman treated by men as if she is second class.

 

I can tell her that I am not choosing this, but it’s not about her knowing it’s about acceptance. It is taking some time for her to accept me or our son. Martin is FtM and my wife is still using the wrong pronouns and name, despite my using the correct ones. I think we are giving her time, I think we are trying not to rush her. But I can’t help but think she is holding on to the masks we wore (and I am forced to continue to wear 5 days a week) instead of the core of who we are. I have always been the sensitive, emotional and touchy-feely one in the relationship. This hasn’t changed, what has changed is that now when I hug her there are two pairs of breasts in the way and I smell lightly of flowers. When we kiss, I put my lipstick on her lips. That is what has changed between us so far. Eventually there will be changes in the sex. 

 

What can change is her acceptance. She is good with homosexual, she herself is Bisexual. She is good with Drag queens and alternative lifestyles. But she is having trouble with her son and me. I know it is a lot, I understand that it’s double the coping because there are two of us. But Martin came out two years ago, and I told her a year and a half ago. I just want her to be ok with it, because I love her; I have loved her since we first met. 

 

I know it’s up to her to be ok, I can’t make it happen. Doesn’t make it hurt any less to think that she doesn’t care for the real me, that she probably loves the mask more than me. Everyone wants to be loved for who they are, not for what everyone else sees. It’s unfair to her; I have these very high expectations of people, it’s something I am working on with therapy. I can’t do anything but wait I suppose, hope for the best. I am trying to normalize who I am, but things interrupt that. For instance, this weekend workers in a pickup were in the field next to our property. I wanted to go out and check on what they were doing. I hadn’t shaved my face, it was Sunday and I was feeling a bit depressed. I was dressed in an obviously woman’s shirt and pants. So, before going out, I changed those clothes with a man’s t-shirt and pants. This was, to me, an act of self-preservation (not getting beaten to death by the burly workmen) and to my wife, I suppose an act of putting on male privilege. So, perhaps my wife sees me as being a hypocrite or as not really wanting to be a woman. But women normally don’t have to shave their faces every single day, nor do they have to put on 5 pounds of makeup and a wig to look feminine. They don’t have to train their voices to fit their presentation. So when I did that, it was for me, self-preservation and not making my question to the workmen about me, but about what they were doing in the field.

I am guessing at her reactions on this, I don’t know how to read people. I am guessing that she feels I can just not be a woman. But I know what she tells me, that she still has the thoughts of why I would choose to be female. I can answer this way, though it’s not a choice, being female isn’t my problem; it’s that my body is male. I don’t have a choice on who I am.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Being after Nothingness

I have only been me for minutes at a time in my life. 5 or 10 minutes there, an hour or two here. I would steal my stepsisters or step mothers clothes and put them on and feel perfectly at home. I did go outside, but only within our property which was kind of isolated from other homes but had a lot of car traffic. So I had to be careful, but I got to be me. The clothes were either too small (stepsister) or too big (stepmother) I never looked good in them, but I felt good.

This weekend, I put on clothes that I had ordered from Amazon, clothes that fit me and felt wonderful. I went with fall colors, browns and drab greens. I also got breast forms and a soft bra! I got C cups (Thanks Avril) and they fit me perfectly. Not too large, just to fill out my form, and I felt more like me than I ever had. Amazon is a wonderful tool for Trans, I believe. I can't imagine going to a public store in order to get clothes dressed as a man. The bravery that takes is beyond my comprehension.

We were out of milk, so I decided to go to the store to pick some up. I was feeling good about how I looked and felt. I asked R if she wanted to go, but she was tired and didn't want to get dressed. I still wanted to go, I thought that it may be better for me to go solo. I can't keep using R as a crutch. So, I got my things, wallet (front pocket wallet) and my keys and phone. I need a clutch very badly, I felt stupid trying to keep everything together in my hands.

I drove my wife's car to the store, and stopped for petrol. The hurricane was in SC at the time, but the winds were getting high here, so we had gusts at 25 mph. Not conducive to wearing a wig. While I was filling the car with petrol, my hair was going crazy, I don't know how women keep it manageable during these times. So I was pumping gas,rednecks on either side of me filling up their giant 4X4 trucks and I am trying to keep my hair down so as not to reveal my wig base and not look like a crazy lady. I was flustered.

I left there, according to my wife, leaving the gas cover open (the cap was on). And I parked in the store parking lot which is in the same area. I took a moment to gather my thoughts. I left the car and tried to get into the store casually, but then WHAM. The wind hit me in the back of the head full force, my wig stayed on but my hair went completely over my head into my face. I got in the store, frantically trying to put my hair right, while people walked on either side of me.

I ducked into a deserted aisle, which was ironically, the hair car aisle. Used my phones front facing camera to fix my hair and then calmed down, took some breaths and tried to just forget these issues. I don't do well in crowds, I never have doesn't matter how I am dressed. I took a moment, adjusted my clothes and went shopping. I got the milk, but I didn't stop at milk. I went shopping for a few more items. I didn't want to leave there feeling like I was dashing in for milk dressed in womens clothes on a dare. I wanted to shop as me. And when I went up to the self-checkout (my voice is not trained yet) I felt like me, I was just me shopping and paying for my items. I walked out of the store confident and unworried. It was a good weekend, eventually I hope to have good weeks. I am planning my transition with intent to not overthink.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

How to save a life



Step one, you say we need to talk...


You are humming the song in your head now.


So I went to the therapist today. She was very nice and jumped right into it with very little worry about paperwork before hand. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised when it was almost just like on the telly and in movies. There was a small couch, not for laying on. I really enjoyed our session, I got to talk about my life and how I felt. It was very cathartic. I'm not going into any details, but I was exhausted after only an hour and I spoke more about me in that hour than I had spoken about me in months to anyone.



I am going back next week. I think this will help me to understand me. I am how I thought, like a deep undercover detective who has spent about 46 years as a drug dealer. Eventually I started thinking like how I thought a man would think. I don't really know me very well. Am I an introvert, or is "the guy" an introvert because I am hiding and don't want to draw attention? Who am us, anyhow?


I came out with more questions, but on the right path. I have a good feeling about this and about where I am headed. I am getting to be me more and more, getting therapy and being positive about things. Wow, it's been a busy year.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Out in the World

My daughter asked if we could go shopping this morning. I usually am dressed and have on makeup during the weekend, but I've never gone out during the day and certainly not into a crowded public area. So, asked her if she would mind if I went as myself this time. She looked at me to see if I was serious and said "yes that is fine with me". So she went to get dressed and I went to touch up and I finally got to wear my slouch boots!

I don't have breasts yet, I am waiting for them to come in from amazon. I have small breasts, but they won't pass, so I made sure to cover up so it wouldn't be so noticeable. I was trying not to scrutinize every single thing or I would never make it out of the house. So we left the house and drove to the department store. This was a first in two ways, my first daylight drive and my first time walking into a public store. We parked and got out to go into the store, first thing a man walked by and looked me dead in the eyes. He had no reaction, just kept going. Whew.

We made it into the store, where my daughter said an older woman stopped on her way past us, turned around and then turned back to continue out of the store. Close one.
We shopped, going everywhere in the store. I was at a heightened state, but I was calm. Honestly I thought I would be more excited. After a few minutes I even forgot that I don't have a feminine voice and had to remind myself to speak softly to my daughter. It was the best feeling in the world, forgetting to be afraid or that I'm in a male body. I was just a woman shopping with her daughter. I'd say the best feeling in the world.

We left the store, only being clocked by the one woman, that we noticed. Then R decided that she wanted to do something else, so we tried for riskier and more crowded. Starbucks inside a grocery store after churches let out. We got there, and it was super busy. R ordered from a trainee who took a very long time, with people behind us getting testy. I was starting to panic, not really because I got the look from a guy who kept staring at me and one of the women working behind the counter who gave me the "go girl" smile, I was starting to panic because I have never done well with crowds of people. It was warm in the store, and I was wearing a long cardigan so with my beginning panic I could feel beads of sweat starting on my upper lip. Luckily the lady who had smiled at me earlier helped the trainee and gave us the drinks so we could be on our way. Not a great time in starbucks, but more because of my tight crowds issue.

Over all, the day was very liberating and I was glad that R felt comfortable with me and unworried. We had worked out a plan if anything happened, to walk with dignity straight to our car and leave if there were any issues. We weren't going to scamper off or cause a scene, but we would not put up with my being called out. Luckily, this didn't happen and it was a really good day. I have more confidence and a greater understanding of what I need to do in the future.

Pride Day in Asheville NC

It was pride day in Asheville, North Carolina yesterday. I didn't go, I have conflicted feelings on this. Not the day itself, I think it is great that everyone comes together to get recognition. That is kind of the problem, and one of the reasons why being Trans doesn't fit the LGB community. 

We are the shadow fringe of this community. You cannot get attention for something you are actively trying to hide. For the most part the Trans community is trying to pass, to go unnoticed so we can live our lives. Unlike the LGB part, the pride comes mostly from being mistaken on the outside for who we are on the inside. It's like trying to highlight a chameleon among peacocks. A pretty (or manly if FtM) chameleon, but all in all still invisible.

I am conflicted because I want to support LGBT, (I bought a tshirt) but I also just want to be a girl. I am Trans, but I'm not really proud of it. It's a mistake of biology that I have a male body. I'm proud of those who go out and support LGBT interests, and yes I want to help so I do what I can, vote for the right people etc. But ultimately, I just want to be a normal woman with normal issues. I think a lot of us feel that way, can't really say, I do.

There are those who are shouting their membership to the skies and hold up large signs. They have embraced being Trans as a way of life that I don't understand. I think it is great, I just don't understand it. There is a reason to be part of LGBT, to make sure we have protection and assurance of our rights.But honestly, LGBT shouldn't even be a thing. We are people and all people deserve protection and basic human rights. I should be protected by laws and by the constitution, without the need for legislation for being trans-human. I am saddened by this and fear of how I will be treated is why I have hidden as a male in the first place.

This is deeper than I intended to go, I support LGBT because it is necessary. Pity a world that needs it.