“Maybe these things are in the driver’s seat more days than I am, and that is a reality I fear confronting.”
I am writing this in response to the comment by Cara on my last previous post.
First let me say it was not your comment per se which upset me, it was much more the point it showed me how careless and thoughtless I was being. Far too often I get so caught up in my own little pity party I forget all the noise might upset the neighbors. For this I am sorry, I need to be aware how words, my words may be taken by someone who is not a mind reader. As a writer it is my responsibility to choose my words in a way to avoid such misunderstanding. Clearly I have a long way to go in that department.
Second, I want to thank you for asking the questions you did, as you noted being forced to think about these things so as to give a proper response has forced me to think deeper and search for a more articulate way to express what my thoughts are. I hope this will make thing clearer, both for those reading and for myself.
For your first question:
It has been an issue with not having a body which corresponds to how I understand who I am. More than once I have seen the mantra “Some women have a penis, some men have a vagina” and this is something I have difficulty wrapping my mind around. For me, not having had any surgeries or medical interventions has left me feeling like I am an other. A Neither/Nor. If I try to be seen as male, as I did for decades, it’s a farce at best. As I mentioned before, I could wear the trappings but it never felt comfortable or real. It was nothing more than a poorly made costume which did little to convince anyone. Here’s a little story to make the point; When I was in the NAVY I went with some guys from my department to a local Go-Go club for good, old fashioned male bonding. At one point during the night a petty officer turned to me and said, “I guess the rumor isn’t true.” and I asked what rumor? He responded “That your gay.” I was stunned. I never would have guessed people thought that about me. Looking back I suppose I had convinced myself I was acting my part properly and everyone thought I was just one of the guys… Clearly I was mistaken. I wasn’t as good of an actor as I thought I was. As a side note, one thing which changed his mind was the fact I knew all of the girls who danced in that club. I had worked the door there for awhile and I came in almost every day to have dinner… the owner made one of the best tuna sandwiches I had the honor of tasting and the price was right. I made quite a few friends there and the girls all felt safe with me. I didn’t bother to explain this to him, though. I just hoped he would speed the word so the rumor would be put to rest.
Now I should have been in the perfect spot to pass for a straight male, after all, I had all the right things in the right places, the right name, the right birth certificate, the right gender markers and I still failed.
To say this shakes a persons confidence, which was pretty low to begin with, is an understatement and now here I am trying to convince people, even though I have none of those things, I still want them to accept me. Is it any wonder I’m not very confident?
Speaking of the “right things”… well I don’t have them do I? Without surgery I cannot afford, or hormones I never will.
Next is medical transition. I absolutely feel these things would go a long way toward seeing and feeling myself to be who and what I say I am. Is it a perfect solution? Of course not, but it’s a damn sight better than where I am now. With the correct appearance it wouldn’t feel like a costume or as a part I’m trying to play. Having my mind and body more closely aligned would free me to simply be without constantly second guessing myself.
As for how I think things would work out in the long run? Well I’m already older than I like and I know I am never going to be on the cover of a magazine and honestly I never wanted to be. I simply wish to look presentable and I want to be comfortable in both my clothes and my skin. Being able to look in the mirror without cringing would be a plus!
Now, for a last bit of information. For awhile now I have been gendered as both male and female when I am out and doing nothing to be seen as female. I have been told by more than one person I’m more androgynous than I realize yet I continue to beat myself up over it because deep down I don’t believe it. I simply cannot understand how people could see me as anything other than male.
I hope this helps in some small way.
I’m going to share this before I checked out and delete it… A picture a la natural as it were.
This is what I see every day in the mirror, in reflections… how I know the world has seen me for far too long. I decided to take and share this as a reference point as I move forward. Hopefully there will come a day when the proper hormones will course through my body and this image will be nothing more than distant memory.
BTW, my hair is pulled back into a pony tale, today was wet and windy so it was a bit of a mess.
Today was a better day, I hope things continue upward.
I can give a longer, more detailed explanation later, but for now I will simply say I am caught in loop. Dysphoria, anxiety, depression… rinse and repeat.
“The Endocrine Society, an international organization of medical experts and biological researchers, has released a new set of guidelines for caring for transgender patients. Along with the guidelines, the organization has issued a position statement calling on federal and private insurers to cover the costs of all medical interventions a physician might prescribe for a transgender patient, including hormone replacement therapies and surgeries.”