I just started the process of coming out as trans… Ha. I’m still not even sure what that means, for me, exactly. I’ve never been happy as a girl. I mean, I finally, eventually found a place that works (kind of) – living as a butch lesbian. I made it work. I’ve evolved into this person who exists outside of the “norm” and who is comfortable (ish) being “different”. I learned to be content because I thought it was my only option…
It still might be my only option because I’m scared.
I don’t want fear to dictate how I live my life, but let’s be honest – it’s not all that easy to conquer fears. To “man up” and do what’s best for you – in spite of what’s easiest or most comfortable for society or for your family. It’s hard to push the gender envelope – it’s ALREADY hard and I’ve not even started.
The thing is, I’m really not sure how to disappoint the people I love… at least, not intentionally – for my OWN gain. I’ve always had a tendency to put the desires of others before my own, and this whole “living for myself” thing is really kind of new and uncomfortable. I’m still trying to find my footing and figure out how to navigate this climb. I know I can’t really worry about things that are too far ahead, and that it’s best for me to just focus on the immediate step ahead – but still, I get overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed by fear, mainly.
I work in a blue collar, manly-man industry – granted, I’m a creative professional working inside a corporate office, but the industry we represent is… well, industrial. It’s dirty and greasy and gritty and MANLY. The salesmen are at top of the ladder and the women are here in offices, supporting the men out in the field… that’s the way it works. Being different here has always been a struggle, but I’ve finally settled into a place that’s, again, comfortable… (ish)
Of course, I’m not viewed in the same way as the women in my office, but I’m not seen as one of the guys either. I’m something ELSE. I’m… me.
I’m something ELSE – everywhere. I think the only person in this entire world who still sees me as 100% female is my mom. I guess I’ll always be her baby girl, her “sweet pea” and for the life of me I don’t know how, after almost 34 years, I’ll be able to knowingly break her heart.
Part of me would rather just continue to suffer (albeit comfortably… Whatever the hell THAT means?!) in this world that I’ve created for myself. A world where I can ride the line of binary gender without crossing over to the other side… but somehow that’s just not good enough anymore.
I’m growing tired of the assumptions. When people (friends, strangers, coworkers) see me – they assume that I’m female. They also assume that I’m a lesbian. Judging by my masculine appearance and my baby (feminine) face – naturally, what else could they think? I’ve pushed my own, self-created gender as far as I can push it, and it’s still not enough. I’m no longer content with going along with the assumptions because it’s easier than correcting people and because it’s too difficult to explain. I can’t keep pretending to be a lesbian in order to maintain a sense of community. I can’t keep pretending to be female to protect myself, and the comfort of my family and friends.
In all actuality, it really kind of pisses me off that this world – society – forces humans into the boxes that they do. Not ONLY do they force us into boxes; these predetermined, socially acceptable boxes are limited to Male and Female. Gay and Straight. Anyone feeling even a degree of variation from those preset choices are left to navigate the murky waters of gender and sexuality in search of a place that’s “close enough” – it’s like being told that you can only choose extra-small or XXL, but there are absolutely no options in the middle.
I want another option. I NEED another option!
Female is SO far removed from where I am – from WHO I am… I can’t even pretend that I live anywhere near that box anymore. And Male seems so… foreign.
Men have always been my adversaries. My competition. The source of my secret envy and not-so-secret jealousy… I guess that’s what I get for dating straight women as a “lesbian” – yeeeeeah, that never really worked out. Surprise, surprise. 😉
I was never a “man-hater” but I was a man JUDGER, and I always thought I would be a much better MAN than the guys that my high school and college crushes were dating… I only hated them because I wasn’t one, and because they got to have what I always wanted. The attention. The height. The muscles. And eventually, the girl.
I don’t expect to “be a man” after I transition. I won’t suddenly be wrestling grizzly bears and spittin’ and wearing bad t-shirts from Spencers. I think I WILL feel better about the assumptions that people make about me based on how I look. I won’t have to try so hard to be seen the way I want to be seen. I think I’ll feel closer to a box that might not be perfect but maybe “close enough” and I’ll still just be… me.