Sunday, December 25, 2016
Monday, December 12, 2016
I keep a photo of myself as my phones wallpaper. The real me, staring back at me each time I open my phone, to remind me that this mask is temporary. I think also it is my way of shouting my independence, like wearing funny socks or underwear under a military uniform. During various times in the last couple of weeks, I have been able to dress how I like but I haven’t gone out. It’s too cold or not enough time to spend putting on cosmetics, of which I need in order to hide the shadow. The process is what gets me down, put on the cosmetics to hide the shadow, put on the hair to hide the other hair, put on the breasts to fill out the form. Sure, I like the end result, but I feel like I am hiding under a lot of fake to bring me out. At home, I am afraid to pull the wig off even if it is giving me a headache, the act itself almost like admitting that this is all somehow an illusion.Appearing foolish is my Achilles heel, not others pointing out my foolishness, my internal feelings of foolishness. I am my own worst enemy.
This weekend, I wanted to wear a nice shirt and leggings. I didn’t want to put on cosmetics, prosthetic breasts or wear a wig. I didn’t want to be made to feel that these things somehow make me more of a woman. I did have to shave, I hate facial hair, hate it. I was comfortable that day, inside my home, just lounging and watching movies with my wife and daughter. I would not have gone out like that, I want hair like my wig, I want actual breasts, I want to be pretty. I want to be seen as I feel on the inside. I also want to be like any other woman, to be a slob once in a while, to put on some loose clothes and just do nothing on a lazy day. This doesn’t stop me from feeling compelled to put everything on. I don’t want to wear any of the add ons, I want to already have long hair and breasts. I think that if I don’t do that, then my kids and my wife will think that I only want to be a woman part time, because they see me only wanting to wear all of this part time. I don’t know if any other MtF feel this way as well.
I really dislike that my wife (and other women) can just get out of bed and be slobs and still look beautiful and sexy. If I did that, I would look like a guy, exactly like a guy wearing an over-sized shirt and panties. It’s something I can typically ignore, compartmentalize, until I start over-thinking it later. Then the need for changing myself, HRT and surgeries, becomes amplified and I start worrying over how to pay for it all and how to be out of work that long, etc. I can seriously freak myself out with even the briefest of thoughts. I still have to lose weight.
Through the process of living my life, on top of being transgender and not knowing how to deal with it, I went through a horrible divorce and custody battle that I lost. I gave up on life, I was at a very low point for almost 10 years I don’t think I lived at all, just existed in the barest fashion. I used books and food as a way to escape. I gained a lot of weight and a fairly large library. So, now I have to learn to eat normally and not give in to it as a comfort. I want to lose weight before I start on HRT, before I start going through surgeries. I’m not looking for supermodel lean, just lean for me. I am afraid that I am using the weight as an excuse though, something I can keep pointing to in order to not start another part of my life. As much as I want to be fully realized as a woman, I have this anger/resignation about not already being genetically female. How dare life hand me this insult, how dare God or fate or random genetic disposition hand me this biological deformity that I have to alter now? It is easy to see the circle of eating/depression that this situation creates. Don’t get me wrong, intellectually I know I have it pretty damn good for my situation, however emotionally it’s not easy to reconcile.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
I have heard this from my wife when we had a serious discussion about coming out, but I had heard it long before that, when it came from my own mouth when I was deep within my mask, years ago. “How can you [they] choose to be women?” My wife’s was in reference to Trump becoming president-elect and our world felt like it was collapsing in. Mine was long ago when I was in deepest denial and trying my best to be as manly as possible. Either way, there was a simple answer, the same one I gave my wife. “I don’t have a choice, any more than you have the choice of not being human.” The choices are not what our gender is; this is decided for us, regardless of the genitals dealt us. The actual choices are in how we deal with who we are.
I am choosing to come out, of that I have an option. Who I am coming out as, there is no option, I am only me. I chose to be me instead of the mask. There are times still when I choose to don the mask, work or family/friends that still don’t know. There will be a time soon when I choose to leave the mask behind entirely; even the memory of it will fade.
When my wife asked me the question in frustration, I was kind of hurt. I also understood that she didn’t mean why did I choose to be a woman, but why would anyone choose to be a woman now, in this political climate. I knew that intellectually she knew that I didn’t make a choice about being female. But it was still there, that question.
Just in case anyone may need a primer on why being transgender isn’t something anyone would choose.
Here are the great things I gain by “choosing” to be a woman: