Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Social Media and the Casual Out

Social media, interactive journals, the internet, when used properly can give you an outlet, provide help or the ability to help others. Used improperly, it can cause stress and anxiety for you and the people who read it. For example, my wife and her sister are having an argument on Facebook over the election. This has caused issues for both of them and for her parents who are reading the posts and now upset. My wife is now upset and feels ganged up on by the family. I’m not saying she should hold back on her thoughts, but if you post something on social media, others are going to read it and they have the option of reacting. 

 

I’ve said this several times on my blog, this is a place for me to vent or to just talk it out to the world without necessarily expecting a reply back. I liken it to the virtual version of yelling over a cliff and listening for the echoes. There are those who respond, I am glad of that, giving advice or condolences or congratulations. My immediate family knows that I have a blog; they don’t know what it is called, where to find it or what I talk about in it. I don’t share this with them because I don’t want it to passively take the place of my talking to them directly about issues or problems or good things in my life. I’m not sharing my issues here, then waiting, hopeful that my family will read these posts and then suddenly understand me or my issues or come around and fix any of the problems I may have with them or others.  

 

This isn’t the place where I am coming out to the world. I am coming out, little by little to the world on my terms and in person. I believe that writing letters can help you define your feelings and what you want to say to those you come out to. But I also believe that you should be present when they read the letter. 

 

That said, in a way I am outing myself on Facebook. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but I was looking at my facebookpage and realized I did very little to hide who I am and where I am. For one, I posted my photos on facebook, photos of me as me, and there are a couple of photos of my mask, of “him”. A photo of my face is indeed my profile photo, so even with the wig and the makeup it would not be hard for the casual observer to notice the mask that they know. I didn’t really think about my mom, who is on facebook all the time and well everyone else, friends, acquaintances, or enemies. They can all see this photo, as part of the Facebook algorithm that defines “People you may know”. I hadn’t really thought about this as an issue, considering I don’t have any ties to this facebook and my masks facebook. However, this is not the case, I can see me from my masks facebook page and I know that others will see it too. I’m not going to change the photo though, unless I find a prettier photo of myself. I call it the “casual out”, where no effort was really put into hiding something that would out me, to friends, employers or family. I don’t think it’s the right way to come out; I am actually against this type of outing. However, it wasn’t my initial intent, I’m just not going to go back and hide it now. I’m not a perfect person, I have flaws.

 

I’m ready to come out, but the circumstances are not. I won’t lie though, if I am asked or if I am outed, I will freely admit who I am. I can’t control the world or how it reacts to truths that come to light. I can only control how I deal with them if they do.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Outed Introvert

I told you before, dear readers, about how my eldest son had stumbled upon me being, well me. He was taken aback, we talked and he took it really well. I knew that there could be consequences, not for him knowing, but for his knowing AND continued childishness and selfish nature. These sound harsh, but I was hopeful that he would grow out of this, he may still. 

He has a drinking problem, which can be attributed to being 22 or truly has a problem with drinking. He was drunk with his friends, and his aunt (who is the same age as he). During this drinking binge he decided to out me to his aunt, who is still living with my in-laws. She told them about me and they are trying to find out if it’s true from my wife. My in-laws, I love them, but they are hard right republicans and I don’t think they would do well having this information. My wife has been frantically attempting to spin this into our sons drunken BS. I am resigned to them knowing. I don’t care if they know; I’m so tired of lying to cover things like this. I’m not happy about being outed. I think it’s a terrible thing to do to someone, especially family. I would think that my son would respect me enough to keep this to himself, even in his drunken state. But perhaps I am expecting too much from people again. Too much from a son with loose lips, too much from a wife that shouldn’t be so concerned about how this makes her look. This is how I feel, regardless of the way they may see it.

 

I’m trying very hard to be positive, to use this as a way to build on who I am. But I am feeling hurt and the more I think about this the more it makes me feel unimportant and like somehow I am the punchline in a joke. Being a fool isn’t something I have ever enjoyed, and I feel as if this is how I am viewed while I am not around. 

Even if my in-laws are uncomfortable, I would rather my wife had just said yes, she is trans. This would have ended things;they would have questions and would have had an awkward Thanksgiving this week. But I think it would have been better. Instead, my wife is lying, asking my son to lie to cover for his faux pas. Spinning these lies only makes it harder later on. It makes this an issue, when it could have just ended. I feel like I have people making excuses for me, I don’t know when in my life I have ever needed someone to do that. 


This isn’t a pity post. Don’t feel bad for me; just put this into your memory. When these things come up, they should be dealt with. You aren’t guaranteed a good result, just one you can live with. So now I have to find a way to tell them the truth without causing my wife issues. I didn’t want this, none of this. I came into the world, how I came in with no more control than anyone else. And I’m cursed with the consequences every single day. Frustration doesn’t seem like a strong enough word.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Two Items of Interest



This election, specifically how it is going to affect me and the people that I care about, has sidetracked me from some things I have been wanting to post on here. So, I am going to put them together in one post, this isn’t to diminish their contributions, but more from my lack of initiative, I apologize. (I am not compensated in any way, this is for your information only)

Juno Medical, a german company that specializes in setting up overseas surgeries, including the transportation and accommodations. While they have done Dentistry and other medical surgeries, they are now offering SRS options.
Please take a look at the SRS Guide, see if it will help you. To me this sounds like a pretty awesome service, if they can deliver on what they say at a reasonable price. Understanding that most Transgender are scraping every last penny together in order to get these surgeries would go a long way to this company being able to help us.

The Pearl of Africa , (taken from the website) “is a story about Cleopatra Kambugu, a 28 year old Ugandan transgender girl. Biologically born male, but against all odds, transitioning into the woman she knows she was born to be. An intimate fight for love, in one of the most transphobic places in the world. Forced to leave her country and loving boyfriend behind. She sets out to fight for her right to love, and against all odds, to become the first accepted trans person in Uganda.”
I watched the trailer on youtube and it’s something I think many of us can relate to. Love is universal, no matter who you are.
The Pearl of Africa was screening at IDFA, on Nov 17th, in which both Cleo and Nelson attended. There was an extended Q&A at the event.


Again, I want to apologize to Tim, who is on the Business Development at Juno Medical. And to Louise EK, who brought The Pearl of Africa to my attention.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Aftermath

It seems like we are besieged on all sides, like we are regressing, going back in time to a less tolerant world. That is kind of the problem, tolerance. We (and other races, religions, etc) were tolerated, which to me is like saying ‘we allow you to exist’. I don’t want to be tolerated, I want to be accepted as worthy of life, of happiness and of love. We are people, not jokes or objects to be hated. We are not here to walk cis through their emotions, or to convince them that because we exist their existence isn’t somehow diminished. That is their problem; I don’t doubt my life because of their existence. I’m not in doubt of my gender because my body isn’t the correct gender, I’m not confused by my sexuality because others don’t share the same sexual desire.

 

A lot of people are asking, “What now?” What now, is you live your life pretty much like you already have. Is it more dangerous? Yes, it is. The people that are a danger to you were always there, but they were held back from fear of reprisal. This reprisal is a lot less now that there are people in office who support it, not so secretly. I know our president-elect said, “Stop it.” Instead of a plea to all those hate groups, to end what they are doing, to denounce them doing these things in his name. “Stop it” Two words that don’t end a 2 years olds tantrums, much less an angry mob mentality. So we have to account for his lack of care about what happens to us, and his running mates agenda which is to get rid of us entirely, shock treatments or lobotomies. Not sure what he has planned, at the very least he will try to pray the gay (or the trans) away, good luck on that.

 

It’s more dangerous for us. It’s more dangerous if we hide, if we let them have an inch of ground. Hate will not get us through, that is their tool. Anger is useful, tempered with love. We will have to stand up to be counted, to give LGBT a strong support. I know in the past I have said that LGB doesn’t have much T in it, that we are often left high and dry. This hasn’t changed, We still have issues within our own group, but it’s time to set that aside for now, to stand together. What now? Same as always, fight to be recognized as real people with real feelings. This is a battle we lost, but there are many battles to end the war, so we have to bolster ourselves and continue fighting. There are battles ahead that need to be fought and won.

 

I don’t want this, I want to just be a woman, but then I would be fighting misogyny. We all have battles, this is ours. Own it and deal with it, it’s all we can do.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Trump Presidency or: How I stopped worrying and started being Me.

It was shocking, truly shocking like when you opened the door to your parents room and suddenly you were aware that they weren't wrestling nude with porn playing in the background. Trump, through no fault of his own, became the president-elect of the United fucking States of god damn America. I say no fault of his own, because he has literally done everything he could think of to botch this election, even said that he could do anything and still get elected and managed to do just that. Face-palm.

My first thought was, "Oh shit, mad man in the white house, this must be a joke." Then my second and third and every thought after that for two days was the same exact thing. But the news kept reporting this like it was real, like they weren't playing the long game - joke on us all. Fuckers.

After all this came the anger, denial, etc. I was grieving. I was grieving for a country that so entirely lost it's way that it voted into office, our highest office, an idiot, braggart, racist, misogynist, lying, horrible human being. I am still trying to come to terms with this. We have all had these feelings I am sure. Had to endure a lot of cis, white men (and oddly women) telling us to calm down that it isn't that bad. Anyone else getting the WW2 vibe from this? I am. We don't have to be calm, we don't need to be calm. I will not be told by the people who benefit from privilege to be calm.

During this time, I had an appointment with my therapist (thankfully), and I was going as me, as Beth. I wasn't going to not be me just because Trump being elected gave what they feel is validity to bigotry and transphobia and every other bad thing that people have decided is alright. Though, I have to say, as much as I hate the idea, if a guy grabbed my pussy, for one instant I would laugh at his shock right before they beat me to death. It would be the one single time I would be glad to have a penis.

Anyway, I went to my therapist on Thursday as me. I enjoyed the day as me, truly free of my mask for the entire day. I was supposed to meet a friend, a trans-woman who I met online and seems like a really put together person, who is out at work which is what I want to be. Unfortunately, she was sick that day and had to cancel. I am still hoping to meet up with her and others. I want to get more involved, I want to make friends in the community. My mask is an introvert and a loner, but *I* may not actually be, I don't really know me that well since I have spent so much time pretending to be someone else. I hope that I can make friends with some people in the area, they don't have to be trans, just people who are accepting of me really.

I decided on Thursday, after pondering if I should hide again in light of the Trump thing, that I am not going to go back. I am not going to hide in my mask again. I am still trying to work out my employment, but I am going to continue my progress and not step back into the shadows. I'm tired of having to worry that other people won't like who I am or what I am. I am tired of it all. Trump is a tiny man who really wants to be more than he is, shades of Hitler here. I am not going to let fear of the anti-LGBTQ, race and female culture Trump is encouraging stop me from being me.

Thank you, Obama for all the things you have done for us, for the good that you have done, regardless of what happens and how this next president may undo your good works. You are a good man and a great president. You will be missed as President, but hopefully not missed as the first gentleman after the next presidential election. Please run for President, Michelle Obama.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Emergence

I have to wear the mask about 70% of the time now. This is an improvement from the 99.9%, but it could be better. I hate having to wear it while I am home. I try my best not to resort to being “him” at all, but when people come to our home I have to. I’m not ready to come out fully, mentally I am, but there are a lot of moving parts to life and I don’t actually get to choose when I come out. I can just throw caution to the wind; hope my mother isn’t too ill at that point to deal with my issues, that my job will still be there the next day. I don’t actually get to choose when to come out. But it’s getting closer and I am ready mentally.

 

I am going to my therapist next week, without my mask. I am excited and looking forward to not just my session, but being able to be me for almost four days. (I’m taking two days off and I get the weekend) Then I will return to the mask, my breath stifled by it, my vision limited, no longer able to look in the mirror and see myself. The brief respites, my times without the mask, are precious and few. I get depressed about the prospect of returning to the mask, but those times are getting fewer and eventually I will be free of the mask. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think my life is worse than others. We all have our troubles.

 

We are starting our annual Christmas gift baskets for family. I am making beef jerky, a small amount is made with Carolina Reapers, some of the hottest peppers on the planet. The peppers come courtesy of my brother S who mailed them to me last week. I’m making a small amount so that everyone doesn’t send themselves to hospital. The rest is made up of a chipotle marinade, which is my favorite. My wife and I are also baking and making Christmas candies for the baskets. It’s probably my favorite time of year, the making of the baskets, even more so than Christmas day itself.

 

I worry that my two brothers and my stepfather, who have put up with so much from me in the past won’t be able to deal with who I am. I think that my little brother P would be ok after a while, but I don’t know if S will be able to deal. I am probably not giving them enough credit, I tend to do that. Perhaps they will be shocked, I don’t know, once the shock is gone, will they think of me as their sister? That would be nice. If they look back and really think about our lives they should have noticed something was different about me. I remember once that we were playing a game of truth or dare, and during that game I was dared to wear our (then) stepmother’s clothes. I’m honestly not sure if I nudged the game that way or if they had come up with it on their own. Of course, I took that to mean her bra and underwear and dress, along with high heels. They were a bit shocked that I didn’t just wear one of her shirts or something. It was my first time allowing my brothers to see a small part of me. It was fleeting and gone, I’m sure lost in a maze of memories they have made since then. Obviously, I hope for the best, but I am prepared to lose them if I must. It will break my heart even though we aren’t really that close anymore. I have to stop assuming I know how they will react, I’m already making myself sad over the thought of it.

 

My biggest problem is employment. I can deal with loss of friends and family, but losing the ability to pay for food, to provide for my wife and children would be a very big issue. This will be my final hurdle, employment. I have started searching for trans friendly work in the area, I think I might pass about 60% of the time so I can’t just get a job and hope they never ask or find remnants of my life before. I don’t like the idea of announcing that I am trans to anyone. The prospect of interviewing with an employer and using the entire time explaining what sex I am or who I am, frankly makes my stomach turn. Trans friendly would be optimal, but trans tolerant is worth considering. I hate that what I am, what I wear will overshadow what I can do or what skills I have. I don’t want to move, so my prospects are limited to the length of commute I am willing to travel each day. Of course, with fuel costs, that can enter into a scenario of diminishing returns. In the end, it won’t be the people I know and love turning from me that will delay my removing the mask for good, it will be my current of future employers. That can’t be right, can it?