“Nobody Wants to be Trans”

Someone said this to me yesterday. I won’t name names, I’m a real lady like that. But it is something that I know I struggle with, and I think it’s a sentiment that is pretty common. Nobody wants to be trans. it comes from a simple enough place. Being trans can be tough, given the choice people would choose the easier path.

I wouldn’t be the same person I am now if I wasn’t trans. I can’t imagine a path my life could have taken if I wasn’t trans that would have been similar. Gender identity isn’t the core of your being, but it’s not many layers up. It subtly and un-subtly touches every part of your life. So to say that I would rather not be trans… well I can’t agree with that.

Even professionally I’m good at what I do. I don’t think I’d be nearly as good as I am if I weren’t trans. There’s a whole depth of character and experience that I can draw on to round out my practice.

I’ve noticed it most acutely when coming out to people that when thinking about trans people, non trans folk can’t seem to wrap their mind around. In my case they focus on how my wife feels or has dealt with ti, because they can imagine her perspective better then mine. It’s understandable, but I’m also not an alien. I’m not some non-human entity. I’ve just got a difference that sets me apart from a lot of other people.

Which is why I think people think being trans is bad, because it’s different, its separate. Often times its lonely, its uncomfortable. But for me at least it has harboured great virtues. I have incredible patience because I’ve had to. I have a desire for safety and security that has pushed me further then ambition ever could. I have great inner strength and harmony because I’ve had to deal with my demons.

Being trans has forced me to know myself. That is a gift, I live my life with peace, most of the time, because I have had to spend the time unpacking my baggage, understanding each element of it. Then put it back together to be a functioning human being.

So would I rather not be trans? No, would I rather being trans be easier? hell yes.

 

 

I’m still around

Hello Lovelies,

I just got back from a hectic couple of weeks, I was visiting Toronto for work. I’ve learned a few things about that, and spent my time this week catching back up. I’m going to start working on a few things, I got a lot of ideas, and interesting perspectives while I was away and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you all!

Also my wife drew a picture of eyebrows and it kind of resonated with me, so now I have a profile picture. It’s kind of weird but I’m digging it.

Fun fact. Eye brows are one of the few types of hair on your body not determined by your hormones. The eyebrows you get are the eyebrows you get.

On blogging

I’ve been at this for a few months now and I wanted to talk about one of the more interesting facets of this.

I’ve never been one to write in a journal or writing in a diary, I have a pretty good memory. I don’t even usually bother taking pictures when I’m on vacation. I can remember well enough the experience.

So this whole blogging thing, and I mean honest to goodness blogging (I used to have a tumblr I pretentiously posted on) is kind of new.

I have a hard time expressing myself at times, I tend to hold things in a keep them tight to the chest. This has been refreshing in that I just throw things out into the air and if people can identify or find use with it then that’s great, if not that’s also great.

Which makes it all the more interesting to go back and read what I’ve already written. It’s interesting to see the framing of each post. Sometimes they’re angrier then I feel at the time and seem overwhelming. Down the road I’m sure this post will seem like pretentious drivel.

I guess what matters is that sometimes the hardest person to communicate with is the person looking back at you in the mirror and blogging has helped me start that conversation.

Voice matters

I’ve been doing a lot of work for my wife lately, she’s in the process of starting her own business. As I’m a business person I’ve been helping her a lot on the back end, writing, planning, designing etc.

One of the most satisfying things, has been the writing. I am an investment professional mostly, I work in finance. Finance is meant to be boring… it isn’t and that’s what I like, but especially when writing there’s a tendency to present it as dull because it can be very mathematical and technical, again it doesn’t have to be, but unfortunately a lot of boring people tend to unsurprisingly write in a very boring way.

Writing for my wife’s business has been one of the most pleasant experiences with writing I’ve ever had, it’s still professional, it’s still business. Yet the levity and the excitement pour out of me while writing things even as simple as job ads.

Getting to experience writing in this way has quickly changed my opinion on writing and given me a whole new avenue to express myself, professionally and if the quality of this blog improves, then personally too.

Often business can be stodgy, a lot of people can feel suffocated by an office. hierarchy and tradition can be a huge weight on your soul. Getting to experience the whole start-up/different industry/actually fun thing is something I recommend to any professional. Even if you’re not trans, yeah you heard me, even the cis folks should get outside of their comfort zone and spend some time finding their voice, nay I insist cis folk do it. In talking to a lot of cisgender people I often hear that they don’t understand being trans, well, for me at least a huge part of that is self discovery, discomfort, and yet ultimately joy and reward at the end. So Cis folk, take a chance and write with a different voice, do something outside of your comfort zone, experience life in a different way.

If I can get excited over writing memos you can at the very least live your life a little differently today!

The only people without

The only people who fell never near

The only people without fear

Living softly, hollow, shell cracking

The only people lacking

Turned and twisted, reduced with mud

Souls heavy steps, shallow thud.

Sun has broken, clouds subdue

In heart of hearts, hope does renew

The only people without fear

Sing silently their story’s near.

Finding Strength

I’ve been pretty damn negative lately, so nows about the time I talk about something positive. Finding inner strength is hard. Whether its passion or conviction or stubbornness or something else, everyone everyday needs a reason to be awesome. Because frankly, not every day is awesome.

I’ve tried hard to find a reason to be awesome over the years, The honest truth for me for a long time was that I didn’t think that I was worth experiencing that. IF you don’t have any self value then being awesome for the sake of being you is pretty difficult. Yet I had to continue on, and did so.

For a long time I don’t think I really had a vision or idea of what I wanted, All I could hold on to was that at some future time i wanted to be happy. I didn’t know what that meant, but that didn’t matter. It was about becoming happy, because I didn’t know how to be happy as things were. There was no settling for me.

Eventually I became a flurry of activity, some people would say I still am. I’m a busy person because I crave stress because then I know I’m working towards something. When my wife and I have too little to do we usually make decisions that will add stress, sometimes permanently to our lives.

So where does inner strength come from? It’s about going back to the original premise of, what makes me happy? If I can answer that question then I can move towards it. Well I never found an answer but I did find some philosophy. I started reading into stoicism. The idea of working towards virtue and accepting what you can’t control and changing what you can. Knowing the very limits of your mind and harnessing it to your will. This was a great source of strength. I’ll start talking about this in other posts. There’s a few tenants and ideals that I rely on when life gets me down.

I haven’t figured out how to be happy yet, but I have found a way to be content with who I am. More then hormones or authenticity, strength of character and conviction give me the motivation I need to push towards that most elusive goal.

Being Happy.

 

 

Coming out to my mother part 2

Part 1

When I was a kid I always knew something was wrong. I had ideas that I knew weren’t normal. My great grandfather used to call me a solemn child when I was only a toddler. He’d never seen a kid with the self restraint and demeanor I had even as young as 2 or 3. He’d been a teacher for nearly fifty years. He’d seen his share of kids.

I can’t say I know what I was thinking back then. but I know some of my earliest memories were around stress about gender and identity. I knew the way I felt about myself was not how everyone felt about me. I made the rational decision to hide and suppress who I was at an incredibly young age. A decision that had far reaching consequences.

One of the things that happens when you suppress who you are is eventually you forget yourself. You become nothing, I’ve talked about this before:

Baring your soul: dealing with dehumanizing elements of Transition

What I’m going to talk about is how my relationship specifically with my mother developed. My coping mechanism was to reflect expectations, I would form to meet whatever people thought I was. In High School it made me reasonably well known, if you never challenge anyone’s ideas of who you are you’re very comfortable to deal with. but I digress.

My mother doesn’t have the ability to form deep relationships, and she doesn’t form particularly strong ideas of people. So when she was around I had no outlet to discuss anything serious. because my mother never expects anyone to have a serious conversation with her. It isn’t done. I used to contrive stories of minor issues and drama so that I could have “real” conversations with my mother and let her feel like she was parenting me. I couldn’t tell her anything serious that was going on because she couldn’t handle it.

I want to tell a story that will explain how that turn of events happened. There are two separate events. Both occurred when I was ten or eleven. The first was I attempted to kill myself. I’d taken a knife to bed with me and had woken up in the middle of the night. The only thing that kept me alive was the knowledge that in seven or eight years I could be out of there. I was so emotionally void that  with a knife digging into my flesh the only thing that pulled me out of the tailspin was the only thing that could make me happy, leaving my parents behind and getting out of their house. To say I hated my parents would have been an understatement. My parents never knew this happened.

What came out of this event was the thought that I had to get away. A couple months later once the weather was warm enough I packed up a bag of food and some clothes, as well as some basic camping supplies. I was going to run away, I think my goal was a cousin who lived a couple hours away (by car) I’d made it pretty far for a kid. When it occurred to me that I hadn’t brought water. So after a couple hours of progress I turned around and made my way home, realizing that I wasn’t in a position to execute on the plan I’d created.

My mother came down that morning to find me outside my house, I’d been polite enough to lock the door on my way out and hadn’t brought keys with me. She let me inside, screamed at me for a few minutes about how ridiculous and stupid I was, then how late I had made her. Then went to work. We never spoke of it again.

The only kindness my mother has ever shown me was her absence. In the quiet I was not judged or manipulated, or lied to. I was not screamed at when she wasn’t present. When she was, I knew only anger either vocalized or silent.

As I’m writing this I’m understanding better that I should have expected her reaction. Like most people I think I was hoping for a better resolution. My mother has always claimed to be a progressive and enlightened person. I guess I believed the hype instead of remembering that anger is as anger does.