Tag Archive | Trans woman

The difficulty of finding acceptance

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I took a few days off from work. The reason was so I could come down to DFW to see my friend so we could see Deadpool 2 together. It was a great movie. Glad we went! I’m not much of a superhero/comic book person, but I loved the first movie, and I loved the second one as well. Now I’m waiting for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. I can’t wait!

What I love about heading out of town is being able to exist in my own skin and be me. I don’t have to be drab and pretend anything. I can dress up and remember that I’m more than what my body tells me. I’m more than what my chromosomes made me out to be. I’m what my mind tells me I am.

The long weekend also allowed me to escape from home, to get away from what’s been stressing me out. Ever since my conversation with my parents, then the conversation with my sister, I confess that it got to me. I forget that this is a huge deal. Took me a lifetime to come to terms with it. It’s unfair of me to expect them to just happily accept this. I’m being selfish.

A lot of my friends have been great. They sympathize with me, but they also remind me that this isn’t a minor thing. It’s a monumental shift in my existence. To ask someone to be okay with someone deciding to be a different gender is a lot to ask. For some, it’s too much. That’s the sad reality of being trans.

But for me, though I identify myself under the trans umbrella, I exist as both male a female. I prefer to present myself as female as I feel better of myself as Stefani, but I’m equally secure as Joe. I can’t deny either aspect of my reality.

Which doesn’t mean I haven’t considered hormones. I have, I am, and I will continue to consider it. I would like to feminize myself more even if I don’t completely transition. Not everyone wants to have gender-reassessment surgery. I have thought about it, naturally, and one of my earliest dreams I remember about by identity involves me having a female anatomy.

The struggle for me is that I was born a certain sex. I was born, for better or worse, with a penis. I wish I was born with a vagina instead, or at the very least identifying with the gender I was assigned. That’s the struggle we face. Accepting our assigned gender or accepting that our gender runs counter to what our anatomy tells us.

There’s also a certain amount of God-fear as well. I was born Catholic, and though I’m not practicing, I haven’t abandoned my religion completely. I feel as though I’ve lost my faith at times, but to reject it completely is beyond me. I envy those born without this burden.

I can’t help but wonder why religion makes this so difficult. If someone is born with a defect and there’s a surgery or treatment available, most would agree that the sensible thing to do is to accept said treatment. Heart condition? Surgery. Tumor? Surgery. Transgender? No such thing. God made you that way. You were born female/male. Accept it!

But people are born with heart defects and no one tells them to accept it. “God made you that way.” We amputate limbs, fix other issues, but anything to do with sexuality is taboo. The religious mindset is infuriating!

Sexuality is a natural biological function. Why do we place so much importance on it? Penises are beautiful, so are vaginas. Men are beautiful and so are women. Why is sex considered vulgar? Why does engaging in sex make women whores? Why aren’t men held to that same standard?

But I digress. Gender is more than what our physical bodies tell us. It’s independent of it. For most gender and sex aligns, but some of us it doesn’t. Why can’t I be a woman? Why can’t I change my body to align better with what my mind tells me?

In the end, it’s a battle too many of us have fought, and continue to fight, both with the world without, and with ourselves as well. I’ve come to accept who I am after many year of denial. I’ve come to the revelation after running from it for a lifetime. Now, I’m happier than I have ever been, though it’s not easy for me. I’m secure in my identity. I just hope my family comes around.

And I’m one of the lucky ones. Many are outright disowned. That, more than anything, is why being trans is so hard to our mental health.

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Family drama

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I’ve been seriously stressed out lately. Since telling my parents, I thought things were going okay. I wasn’t making plans on showing up as Stef any time soon, but I thought there was some acceptance there. Even when my sister found out and turned on me, I thought maybe I wouldn’t be so alone. I was wrong.

About a month ago, my mother told me I needed to go home because they needed to talk to me. Nothing gets me more anxious than someone telling me that we need to talk, but I went, needing to get it over with. It was as bad as I feared.

My sister, it seems, has been crying about this to my parents. She claims she fears that I’m going to suddenly show up as Stefani to family events, and is saying she doesn’t think she’s going to a family reunion because of it. The more my parents spoke, the angrier I got.

In the end, my parents said that how I lived my life was my business, but they didn’t want to know. They don’t want me to come around as Stefani, nor do they want to see pictures. If, as they said, I decide to go the Caitlyn Jenner route, they couldn’t support me. They love me, they claimed, but they can’t go against their religious beliefs.

And people wonder why so many in the LGBT community turn our backs on the christian community!

They told me I needed to talk to my sister, and tell my last remaining brother. It took me a week, but I contacted my sister. All it was was an opportunity for my sister to attack me. “What, are you going to date guys now?” or “And you think you’re happy dressing up with dresses and fake boobs and makeup?” She was using her training in social work to put me in a defensive position. I never felt such venom!

It’s been almost two weeks since that conversation, and I’m still on edge. My stress has spiked, I feel as though my heart just wants to beat out of my chest. I go to sleep wondering if I’m going to have a heart attack and die alone in the middle of the night. Part of me welcomes death. I just don’t want to deal with this shit anymore.

But I’m still here, living my life. My sister is not really a part of my life, and never has. I never liked her. The judgment and the hypocrisy she espouses keeps me at bay. She presents herself like a typical Christian, posting religious nonsense, pretending to be holy, but seething with hate. I have enough to deal with.

Part of me wants to be done with my family. I have friends, very good friends, who love me for me. They don’t care if I’m Joe or Stefani. They don’t care if I’m gay or straight. They don’t care about nothing except that I’m being honest about who I am. My family, it seems, doesn’t love me as unconditional as they claim.

So I’m stressed out. I’m wondering about myself, who I am, and where I’m headed. Why does my future hold? Will I transition or not? Do I have the strength to live my life without my family? I put off telling them because I was afraid they would disown me. Turns out, I had every reason to be afraid.

This is what it is to live my life. I feel trapped in limbo, not able to breath, not able to live my life. I don’t have the energy to do anything at this point. Breathing feels like it takes too much out of me, but I have to go about my business, pretending to be okay.

A tale of two wardrobes

I bought jeans this morning. I know that’s not the most exciting news I can come up with, but it is relevant. It’s the first time in over a year that I’ve bought men’s clothing. I had not choice, honestly, as all my jeans I use for work are wearing out. I ripped out the seat of my jeans at work yesterday! The horror!!!!

While I was at it, I threw out all my boxers and bought a couple of packs as well. I threw away all my old jeans as they are thread worn, or are stained with paint, or just plain look grubby. I needed to refresh my wardrobe regardless. It does not do to look that shabby.

What gets me is how expensive it is to maintain your wardrobe, and I’m having to maintain two. I’ve been expanding my feminine wardrobe on a regular basis. I love spending my free time as me, so it makes sense that I would expand my wardrobe. I need to buy a few more jeans and slacks. More skirts would be nice as well. Oh, and I would love a few more jackets, cardigans, shawls, and I could probably keep going.

But I’ve neglected my masculine side for far too long. While I keep living a dual life, I’ll have to make my peace with it. I guess I have, but damn it gets expensive. What’s more, I prefer to buy myself feminine attire. I care more about Stefani than Joe. Maybe I should take that into consideration as I try to decide whether or not to transition.

Loving me

20180304_142016.jpgI escaped the confines of my apartment, drove two hours to Lubbock, all to meet up with a group of writers. So here I am, sitting here in a coffee shop, playing on my laptop. Isn’t this exciting!

I’m working on a novel, which I’ve been working on for years, and I’m still working on it. The rough draft is done. So is the second draft. And the third. I think I’m going crazy chasing perfection. I’ll never get there. I just want to get to adequate. I’ll be happy with that.

So, like I say, I’m here in Lubbock, with a group that met me as Joe. One of the writers here has already met me as Stef, but two more now know. It’s interesting to me to see how people react. So far, I have yet to run into anyone who has an issue with me. At least I think I haven’t. If they do, they haven’t voice it.

Living my life is so much better. I feel happier, more at peace with who I am. It’s amazing how much freer I feel just because I’ve stopped fighting with myself. I no longer waste energy denying who I am. I’ve let go of a lot of anger because I no longer have to hide the essence of me.

I still feel depressed at times, but my anxiety has gone down. I get down, but I’m not as sad as I was even a year ago. Moving out on my own again helped. Finding people who accepted me and pushed me to be me led me out into the open.

So being able to meet with friends is such a joy. Being able to feel the open air is a gift. Knowing that I have family and friends who accept me gives me peace of mind. I no longer fear for my fear is baseless. I only wish I would have had the courage to come out twenty years ago. Coming out in middle age comes with its own set of struggles, but I suppose that’s not unique to my age.

There are people who consider people like me sick, that we have some mental issues. Being transgender does not affect our mental health, but being ostracized does. Being rejected negatively impacts us. Living in fear has a huge impact on anxiety.

Finding love and acceptance has minimized my depression. I no longer want to die. There have been times when I actively thought about my own death, sometimes wishing I had the courage to kill myself. Does that shock you?

Those thoughts aren’t as prevalent anymore. If you feel as though you’re not accepted, find people who do. If you are hated, find people who love. If you can’t be yourself, find a space where you can express yourself without judgement. It’s amazing how much better you will feel.

And if you see people struggling with their gender, or their sexuality, show them respect, give them love. Affirm who they are without comment, without judgement. Be the friend, the family member, they need. It’s a struggle to come to accept yourself when you see yourself as outside of mainstream. It takes a lot of courage to come out and say “I am…!”

I am transgender, and I’m proud of who I am. Yeah, I sometimes wish I was born normal, whatever the hell that means, but being me doesn’t make me abnormal. I love me, and that is such a change of who I used to be.

Found out

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That was a complete disaster. About a week ago, my sister ran across the picture on this post on Instagram. Not my Stefani Instagram, but my Joe account. Naturally, she was shocked by it. My brother was the one who text me and told me I needed to talk to her, which I tried.

I sent her a text seeing if she wanted to talk about it. She didn’t. We exchanged a few texts but it was clear she didn’t want to talk, and frankly she’s so pig-headed that I decided to let it go for the time being, and let my brother know what was going on.

It wasn’t until last night that I wondered why I wasn’t seeing anything of hers on Facebook. I searched for her and discovered she had unfriended me. She also blocked me on Instagram. I couldn’t believe it!

I’ve yet to confront her. I see no point in antagonizing her. She has always been a spoiled, self-centered woman, wrapping herself in an oh-so-Christian attire. Half her posts are about going to this mass or retreats. It’s easy to see why I have an issue with going to church. Nothing but judgment from those who call themselves religious!

I talked to my cousin a bit, and she’s upset. My brother couldn’t believe it either. Haven’t talked to my parents about it yet, but I will eventually. I’m not so irritated. I was telling everyone that I was okay, not really bothered, but I was close to having an anxiety attack over it. I had to concentrate on keeping calm last night until it passed.

I don’t know what to do about it, if anything. Maybe it will pass, but like I said, she’s extremely pig-headed, and I have no intention of apologizing for being who I am. If she doesn’t like it, I don’t need her in my life. She doesn’t contribute a damn thing to my existence. Blood may be blood, but my friends have shown themselves to be my biggest supporters.

Had I worked up the courage to tell her first, maybe she wouldn’t have reacted this way, but I kind of doubt it. She was the one I felt would give me the most trouble about it, having been the only sister with five brothers. I want to just let it go, but I’m honestly fucking angry at her. Truly angry.

And now, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll lose any other siblings to this.

Finding an ally

DFrMul3XkAAy03dLast week I saw this image on a friend’s Facebook timeline. I didn’t think much of it as she’s a liberal person and I thought she was simply being supportive. She didn’t know about me or my journey, having never confided this secret to her. I loved the image and  continued on my way, scrolling down my feed, wasting time.

It wasn’t until later that I started reading her comments, and she stated that she had a transgender son. I was in shock. I had not known that. I suppose most people don’t advertise that fact. It’s dangerous to say so and can put them in an awkward and even a hazardous position. Being out comes with a price, a price I’m only now coming to terms with, and deciding if I’m willing to pay that price.

But my friend’s son decided to come out, to transition. She went from a young woman and accepted herself as a young man. That takes a lot of courage, especially with the amount of bigotry that seems socially acceptable to push onto the transgender community. I’m in awe.

But I will confess that I had a mixture of emotions when I read about her son. On the one hand, seeing her accept her child filled me with a sense of hope. Maybe I could confide in her my own struggles and my own journey to accept myself. On the other, I felt saddened by it. Saddened because it’s such a difficult burden to carry. Many fail. I pray he succeeds.

But it also takes a toll on the family. Who was once a daughter is now their son. How does one process that? I’ve never been in a position to deal with that, and it’s a position that I may be placing my family under should I conclude that I must transition.

At that moment, however, I decided to reach out to my friend, and to tell her about my own journey, my own struggles. To my relief, she accepted me for who I am, referring to me as her, girl, Stefani. It was an amazing experience.

I’m hoping to meet up with her in person at the end of the month. I’m heading back to the DFW area for a mini vacation, just a few days away from work and home, a chance to relax and to recharge. She sounds every bit as excited as I do. Of course I will be going in Stefani mode. There’s no question about that. I now I can’t wait. It’s nice when you discover another member for your support team. Every one helps.

Learning I’m not alone

Alice-in-Genderland-9780595315628Hello everyone! I know it’s been awhile, but life goes on, and sometimes things get put on the back burner. It’s not great to admit it, but there it is, I got sucked into life’s race and forgot who I am.

At the moment, not much has changed in my condition. I’m still looking to strike out on my own again, and learn what it means to live alone. I can’t wait to get in touch with who I am on the inside. I’m tired of hiding who I am. I need to find like minded people, people who can accept me for who I am, and not who I pretend to be.

But enough about that…

I bought a book today. A little back story first. There was a magazine I used to purchase called Transformation. It was part porn, part informational, and part catalog. I enjoyed looking at the transsexual women, but I also longed to buy one of the catalogs they advertised, to buy some breast forms, dresses, etc. There was one item in particular I wanted to buy, but never did. A book by Richard J. Novic, a psychiatrist and a crossdresser, entitled Alice in Genderland: A crossdresser comes of age.

I wanted this book. I needed this book, but money was an issue, and also privacy. I wanted before I got married, and then after, I knew I couldn’t get it. My wife never accepted that her husband was a crossdresser. I’ve often wondered if that led to her infidelity, but I think not. She’s not the faithful kind of woman.

I’ve been single for over two years now, and I recently came across that book again. I’m single, so I have no one to hold me accountable, or to judge me, and I have an e-reader, so buying the book anonymously wouldn’t be a problem. So I bought it. I’ve had it for about an hour, and I’ve already read most of the first chapter. I can tell already that I love this book!

Dr. Novic has already touched on topics that I’m familiar with, ones that I have accepted as normal for me, but that has given me a sense of validation. There’s a brotherhood – or sisterhood; the choice of pronouns can get confusing – that I can relate to this. As such, although I’ve known this for a very long time, I found a measure of peace in knowing that I’m not alone.

I am a man, but I’m also in many ways a woman. I’ve been called a woman many times, sometimes in jest, but I can’t help but wonder if people sense that in me. It could explain some of the disrespect I get. Seems like effeminate men are roundly discriminated against and made fun of. This is a great topic which I may need to revisit another time.

For now, I’m going to continue to read Dr. Novic’s book, and feel secure that I’m not alone. I have a Facebook account, which exists solely to connect with other members of the transgendered community. I would love to get in touch with you all. It may not be possible to meet up in person, but for the moment, a virtual meeting place would be nice. You can find me on Facebook, and on Twitter.