Being Seen

It can be sad and frustrating when those closest to you, who you look to for love and support have the hardest time accepting you. When they insist on using dead names and improper pronouns, when they do so seemingly without a thought or care and are unfazed by the obvious distress doing so causes on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.

On the other hand it can be rewarding, confusing, and stressful when strangers actually get it right even when you have all but given up on trying to be seen as who and what you are.

I know this sounds backward, but let me explain. I have family who I have come out to, people who have watched my struggle to become myself. Who have heard my fears, have seen my tears and still insist on using my dead name and the wrong pronouns to the point I have tried to back off transitioning any further or in fact to de-transition completely because it so painful. 

On the other hand, when I am out in public, regardless of how I think I am presenting, I am still seen as female to the point of being directed to the women restroom, being called mam’, miss, and lady. I know I should be happy with this but all it does is leave me feeling sad and unsure of myself…

Too many times I have asked myself and others, “What the hell do I need to do to be seen one way or the other?”

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8 thoughts on “Being Seen

  1. I imagine it’s always going to be harder to convince people who have known you for your whole life as one person that you are a different person. Even though they know logically that you’ve changed, they probably still think of you as the former you. If that made sense.

    Of course, it could also be some passive-agressive refusal to deal with reality on their part. The advice columnists all say to keep correcting them when they get it wrong. I know that may not be realistic advice, but it sounds like a place to start.

  2. **
    Kira:

    If it is your goal to move forward, then please continue moving forward. Yes, it is difficult ignoring those people who ignore you. Your goal is your own self-actualising, not surrendering your self to people who can’t call you by how you wish to be addressed.

    Please do not allow people who can’t address you respectfully to give to you their undue influence. Please do not allow you to find regret later in your life. From my perspective, their behaviour is not worth any pain or regret. Focus on your goal, not their harassment.

    Allow me to write that my father never referred to me as Sharon / female for many years. His redeeming sense was that I understood his personal difficulty and did not push the issue with him because at least we came to a mutual respect.

    On the other hand I have a sister and a few other ‘family’ who do address me as Sharon but their use is derogatory. I would rather they not bother, that they would use my old name if that is their way of respect. Their actions place them at lesser concern in my life.

    Allow me to share this surprise. Cousin Nancy and I have been corresponding on-and-off for 40 years. I tried re-kindling our relationship last year – without results. I tried again this past month; we shared a series of Messenger exchanges, she referred to my past name in an awkward question, I excused myself, and I deferred a reply to her for a few days in a brief text with a simple confirmation of my change. I received a reply text today from Nancy confirming that she did know from family gossip, was not certain how to present the topic to me, was glad I told her directly, and all is well. Nancy is the only one among both immediate and extended family I have who accepts me.

    Stay true to your own self. Yes, transition is painfull; the reward is when You come out successfully at the end of your journey.

    **

  3. I think Kira is who you are. I always have. Honestly, and actually, had I known you previously, I would have thought of you as Kira, as soon as you told me. I may have even pre-understood. Those close to you may be accepting to a point, but are stuck in the unintellectual rut of “old habits die hard”. You are like a winning runner… out in front, and you will always be out in front of many. That makes you a winner. Many hugs to my winner, Kira!

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