Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Post Interrupted…

The problem with being me (sans mask) at home is that it consists of mostly weekends and a few week nights. The weekdays belong to my mask, who works and gets paid to keep our family fed, housed and all the things that come with it. Of those weekends and week nights, I don’t really go out, I like to be at our home and work in the yard or spend family time. The mask I have grown up wearing is an introvert. I have no way of knowing what *I* am, who I am. I like to think that I am nice and a bit of an extrovert, but since I spend no real time with friends or outside of my property, it’s hard to see if I am growing into anything. 

 

It’s not that I don’t want to go out, but I am hampered by my own issues, those of my voice (first and foremost) which is very male and makes me horribly self-conscious. Then there is my weight, about which I have done very little lately, my work out routine is mainly thinking of an excuse in order to not work out. There will always be issues; body image is a huge one since it comes in two forms, the obvious gender dysphoria and being too heavy. I’m my own worst enemy. Who doesn’t want to be pretty?

 

More than this, I’m trying to shed my masks mannerisms, these were used to distract from who I actually am, movements honed into a masculine ideal so that I could not be detected. Of course I am doing the same as all transwomen do in the beginning; I am over-feminizing my movements to where they are more a caricature than reality. I am working on this, everything takes time which is at a premium to those starting late in life.

 

Sorry – I was writing this and I got a twitter alert. Trump has just tweeted this statement, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow..........Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.........victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you,”

 

Alright, most of you know I am a veteran of Desert Storm/Shield. So it should be pretty easy to know how I feel about Trumps statement. We are already serving, we have always served. This is just like the bathroom laws against us. Do you really think we haven’t been around since the start of humanity? That we haven’t used the bathroom? Fought in wars, served with honor, gotten medals and saved lives? Trump, who has never served in the military, gotten deferrments from service, is trying to stop those who are transgender from serving. Yet another thing, one at a time until we are put back into the closet where white cis men in power don’t have to see us. This is the start of the take down of the LGBT community, first the T, then the rest will go down one at a time under this administration.

 

I know one thing about me, one thing that doesn’t change wether I am wearing my mask or not. I shall not go quietly.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Transgender Dominion

I don’t travel in the circles of other transgender. My son is the only other transgender person I have ever met face to face, that I know of. I would love to make friends and hang out if they were good people, I am an introvert and it takes a lot for me to overcome that. I have heard that in a lot of cases, when groups of trans get together that it can get clique-ish. That these cliques can become very judgmental of others for not being transitioned, or transitioned enough, or even passing etc. I admit this causes me some concern, I never feel transitioned enough for myself, no idea what trans-snobs would think of me. I think it is easy to forget how it felt being the newly out person, or to be jaded because they spent so much money transitioning and this new person hasn’t done that yet or doesn’t need to spend that money. It becomes a kind of badge that they probably feel must be earned. Of course, that isn’t how it is in reality. In reality, we all walk our own path, transitioned or not, if you are transgender you just are, regardless of a judgement rendered by your peers.

 

I was recently on Facebook and noticed that someone was in a tirade over a British comedian, Eddie Izzard’s, claim that he is transgender. [Note: I will be using masculine pronouns in reference to Eddie Izzard, because that is how he continues to refer to himself.] The person who ranted didn’t like that Eddie was “pretending” or using a transgender claim as a way to boost his presence. Now, I had known from his comedy specials (Dressed to Kill, Circle, etc) that he identified himself as a transvestite, or an executive transvestite. How much of that was his comedy, or how he actually identified I have no idea, and frankly I didn’t care. I don’t need to know a person’s gender or even sexual orientation for me to enjoy them as an actor or comedian or a dog walker or person sitting on a bench, anything really. 

 

In the Facebook post the person who was ranting had referenced the article (which I of course cannot find the actual post now to give the URL for the article), instead here is a similar article. https://inews.co.uk/essentials/culture/eddie-izzard-people-still-shout-abuse-streets/

 

In both articles he says he came out 32 years ago as transgender. I read the article I cannot find now, and this article and I still cannot actually understand if he came out, then how does he refer to himself as “he” and why still use a male name. But here is the thing I don’t have to understand a thing about him for his being transgender to be real and true. I don’t have to do a thing, don’t have to care, don’t have to shout or shrug. Why other transgender people have this feeling that they alone can judge who is also sufficiently trans has always been a mystery to me. I don’t have to conform to anyone’s idea of trans for me to be a woman. I don’t even like being transgender at all, I mean I support the cause; I want everyone to be treated like a person and not like outcasts or beaten and killed. But the truth of it is, if I could, all transgender would magically be transformed into the gender they are supposed to be, leaving no one to be transgender, just people. Labels are used to control people; labels don’t work in the interests of the minority. So, I don’t care how Eddie Izzard identifies. I don’t care that people see a bloke in a dress because he still uses masculine pronouns and his male name, they were going to do that anyway and it is his life. His being transgender doesn’t detract from me any more than two gay people being married detract from my marriage, which is also a gay marriage. - Do two bisexual people being married constitute gay marriage? No idea. 

 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

All the things

After telling my brother that I was a woman, I waited to see if someone in the family would contact me or make mention of it. However, I suppose he is being tight-lipped about it. I have a suspicion that he is keeping this secret because he thinks I don’t want it out. He probably doesn’t realize that I have come out to both sets of cousins, I am pretty sure that the wheels of gossip are spinning now. One of my cousins was just wonderful about my confession to her. The others have yet to respond, but I’m ok with that. When I sent them the letter through FB messenger, I told them that I don’t expect a response, that I just wanted them to know. I’m perfectly ok with this arrangement. I can’t and won’t please everyone and this has nothing whatever to do with pleasing anyone.

 

Aside from the general tell-everyone thing, I have been feeling lackluster and a bit despondent. The constant intrusion of manly hair dealings, the lack of time to be Beth rather than my mask has allowed darkness into my thoughts. I don’t care for it, but shaking it off isn’t always an option, sometimes you have to ride the darkness until you find the light. My light is often my wife, who will surprisingly include me in “girly” things. Yesterday, she had talked about waxing and how she wanted to try the wax beans and wanted to know if I would be interested in trying it too. It was nice to be included, to know that she is thinking of me. It has helped too that my best friend, Joe, showers me with compliments about how pretty I am. Between the two, it is easy to forget the genetic misfire of this body.

 

Onto other things.. Twitter. I have an account, @bethlocke45 ,which I use to shout my thoughts at people. I have avoided twitter for years, yes I love tech and I am an IT person, but I just don’t like being limited to 140 characters. Twitter always felt trite. I can’t say my views have really changed, but I have embraced twitter without my mask, and that is freeing no matter what venue. I don’t have much of a following, but I like to think I have quality over quantity.  At first I had put I was a “transblogger” on my profile, which I had seen on others and thought it was a cute way to put it. But then every post, no matter the subject was ignored and instead became an attack on my being a “man pretending to be a woman”. So, I tried taking off the transblogger, but I left my blog address on the profile. Miraculously, I was cured! I was no longer a man, but a woman with whom they could disagree. Sure, I still deal with the mansplaining and the assumption that I don’t know what I am talking about, but it doesn’t take over the entire discussion. It’s amazing the change in tone and how less aggressive people are. I don’t like leaving this part of me off, only because I had a few really good conversations about what being transgender means. In fact, one conversation actually brought about the best talk with the best results. Another MtFtransgender person and I were able to have a conversation with a cis woman and explain what transgender meant after she had asked on a political post. She is now an ally and we follow each other on twitter! So I feel like I am losing that part, but I would have to keep arguing the other 99.9% of the time about my not being a man at all. So for now, I have left the transblogger off my profile. I would rather argue about things that we have choices on, like politics, sarcastic poetry and cat gifs. I told you, trite, right?

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Birthday

Another year is down. I typically don’t subscribe to the linear timeline or the various anniversaries established within it. Celebrating my birthday was always something I did with great reluctance and only if approached by others to do so. Otherwise, my birthday didn’t exist. It isn’t that I care about my age or time that has passed. I just didn’t want to celebrate the error of my birth as a biologically male child. Celebrating that anniversary was never something I wanted to do. I was a somber child; you wouldn’t know it because I hid behind jokes or I was just silent and kept to myself. I felt that if I couldn’t distract them with laughter they may look too closely, they may see something wrong with me. I felt wrong, broken. I couldn’t define it, couldn’t express it. I grew into a mostly silent adult, rarely going out of my way to meet people or engage. If they somehow guessed about me, or just rejected me out of hand, it was better to just be hidden. I avoided photos of myself. I look through photos of my life and with exception of a very early age; I can count the number of photos of my mask on one hand. I never ever contemplated a “selfie”, it would just never happen. In the last couple of years, when I am able to be me, I take the occasional selfie and even look myself in the mirror without disgust. So things are improving slowly but surely.

 

As with most transgender, I go through periods of time where I am depressed and experience an increase in my dysphoria. I also feel like I am stuck and not moving forward. In those moments, I want to just stop, go back to pretending to be my mask, grow the stupid hair on my face and be miserable. These feelings happen and I get through them, I rarely mention them because I don’t want these momentary issues to define me, they are not my story. I’m human, so I am far from perfection; I experience doubt and loneliness, fear and jealousy. I live with mostly women, my wife and my daughter;they are both beautiful in their own ways. I have female friends who are beautiful and wonderful. I experience jealousy that they are able to concentrate on being treated equally, to be taken seriously as people. When I come out fully, I will have to contend with not only equality and being taken seriously, but I will have to fight to just be treated as a woman. I won’t ever be able to wake up in the morning and be pretty and with false modesty exclaim how I look terrible. I will forever be fighting this body because I lacked bravery/information at a young age. Testosterone has done so much damage, hardened my mask into the very likeness of a prisonSo, yeah, not all roses here, I have the issues. Not as bad as some, bad enough to be scarred by it. There is nothing to be done but continue the fight, to try to make my life as good as I can. 

 

Since I have come out to the majority of the people in my life, I find that the anniversaries mean more, that many things mean more to me. My birthday, while it is still a contentious subject, I find that I can enjoy it for others. I celebrated this year as me, as Beth. That makes this a pretty good birthday.