Monday, May 25, 2009

Some thoughts for monday.

I have to wonder sometimes how people can be so ignorant and bigoted in their daily life. It makes me wonder if they are just miserable and have to find some way to make some else feel worse than they do. For example, I have a sister in-law that happens to have seen me many times in the house as Michelle (for the ones who are new to this blog, I’m not fulltime yet). Any every time she has made some rude comment or gesture toward me. One evening a few months back I happen to be watching Sex Change Hospital and enjoying my quite time when she came in from work. As soon as she realized what I was watching, she remained in the kitchen and made very rude comments toward the patients and Dr. Bowers. She even laughed at a patient as she described the pain and heartache she has been through in her life dealing with being a transsexual. She then began to sing above the volume of the TV some type of prayer hem. So I turned the volume up so that I could hear the TV. I’ll just say, it is not very pleasant when she is around. Know my other sister in-laws have treated me with at least respect since my wife and I got back together over a year ago, although they have not really seen me in person as Michelle. In the future that might change, I don’t know. To be fair, my niece told me one time that she was just not happy with the way that my wife and I separated a few years ago. But the way she has treated me has gone a LOT deeper than just that. Even my wife is tired of it. She stood up to her for the first time, a few month ago and reassured her that she was happy and has moved on. She also told her to leave if she can’t deal with it. For me, this was a defining moment for her. She is a quite person (as I am) and not crazy about conflict, and for her to stand up to her sister showed me the love that she has for me. It also gave me hope that our marriage will survive my transition.

I have been lucky that my brothers and mother (before she passed) was accepting, but I also feel for the many other brothers and sisters out there that are not so lucky to have a supportive family, The ones that would rather write off their family members, just because they are TLGB. Rather than deal with their prejudices and fears, they are willing to lose a precious part of their family. Yes precious! It saddens me deeply that people are so scared of what they don’t understand; they would throw out a member of their own family like a bag of garbage. To them, I’d say that they should look at themselves and take a very close look at why they are so shallow to allow society to dictate how you live your life. We see so much of this shallowness in the debate against gender identity and same gender marriage. The definition of marriage can’t change, because it tradition they’ll say. Just because it’s a tradition does not make it right. This country used to have a tradition called slavery. Was it right and just? NO! Things and attitudes change, and they are still changing. My hope is that things will change for the better for everyone within the TLGB community in the near future. There is so much false information out there that we need to stand firm and correct that information when we see it. If we don’t, who will? We all need to stand up and voice our opinions, if we don’t, then they win. And for the sake of our brothers and sisters, we can’t afford that to happen anymore.

Another false accusation against our community is that, if transgender people are allowed to use the restroom of there chosen gender. We will rape there women and children. Yet 99% (if not 100%) of all rapes of children and done by heterosexuals. Please explain this to me. I have NEVER heard or seen any valid story of a transgender person taking advantage of a women or child in the restroom. Darn, all we want to do is pee, is that so wrong. It’s as if they would rather shift the blame to someone else and ignore where the real problem is. They are more than happy to spread false rumors and outright lies to see their views passed as law. I’ve seen so many examples of this in the last 10 years it just makes me sick. I pray every day that people will see through all the lies and that one day we all can live in peace with one another. Is that such a bad thing to pray for?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coming Out, Why?

This was a question that was posed to me the other day. Why do you feel the need to come out? So I’d like to pose the same question to you all who have come out to others either in your family or at work.

The question for me was mainly associated with work. I first came out to my family (mom and brothers) about 15 years ago. At the time I told them that I was not sure where this journey was going to take me. I also told them that I would have to take some time to figure all these feeling out within myself to really know what the future would hold for me. About the same time I came out to my wife with very mixed emotions about do so. The GID had finally gotten to a point that I felt I could not hold it from her anymore. All those years of knowing I was a women, at the same time feeling I had hide it from everyone because of the body I was given at birth. For the next 10 years or so I kept it within the family.
I guess at the time I hid it well, because she didn’t expect those words to come out of my mouth, I’m transgender.

Well, to say it went over well would be a lie. It didn’t go over well at all. We soon began to have problems within the relationship (she couldn’t separate her religion from the fact I was transsexual), and to make a long story short we separated for about 7 years. She thought the devil got a hold of me. I knew that was not the case. She thought I could just forget about it all and we could go on living the life we were living. I couldn’t do it anymore. I thought many times to myself, “was it worth it to come out to her?”. When I would ask myself that question, many times I would answer, No! I thought I lost the one person that knew me better than anyone else in this world. The only problem was she didn’t know me completely. She just got to know the shell of the person that I let out. It was nowhere near the full person I was. And that went for everyone else also. No one really knew what made me tick. What my true passions in life really were. They only knew one side of me.

During the time we were separated we had many one on one talks with each other. Many focused on what I was feeling and why I felt the way I did. During this time I also had time to discover what it really meant to me to be trans for me. As I came to accept myself for who I was, I slowly saw my wife change also. She began to ease up on the religious beliefs (No, she is not walking away from her religion, she is still a strong Catholic). I believe she finally believed that this was a condition I was born with and came to accept it. Well, a little over a year ago we decided to get back together (knowing my desire to transition) and we have been doing pretty good.

To answer the question, Was it worth coming out to her? Yes and No. It was terribly hard to miss out on the 7 years that we missed out on the time we were separated. But without this time, I truly don’t think that we would have gotten as close as we are today. And I also feel that she would not have gotten the time to think it out for herself. I do wish things could have been different, but it all worked out in the end for both of us. Who knows what the future has in store for us.

Ok, Michelle. What’s the point of the story? For one, it showed me that minds can change with the right. What do all this have to do with the title of this blog? Well, I was asked by a co-work this same question. She was the first one I came out to. She began to question my motives for coming out to people at work, stating “If I get pregnant, I’m not going to go telling the everyone at work, it’s my business and no one else’s.” She also tells me that she know these people, and a lot will not take it well. Sure, I don’t want to loose my job. At the same time, I have not been fired and I started coming out over a year ago. Yes, One person I came out to lost her mind and began to spread false rumors that I was suicidal (she claimed to have done a suicidal assessment of me without my knowledge), and even took it to the owner of the business and I’m still here. Does this mean I won’t be fired down the road as I get closer to gong fulltime. Who knows. They have hired two other trans people I know of (never met them though) and one still works there, the other quit. The point is, I’m so tired of playing this she raid. I’m not ashamed of who I am either. I can finally honestly say that and it feels good.

My co-worker questioned why I felt compelled to tell people that I’m transsexual. Is it for acceptance? Well, If it was only for acceptance I think I could possibly get more acceptance by not telling anyone and going on with my life the way it was before. This has not worked for me at all. All it made me was a bitter person. Bitter for letting others control my life. Bitter at others for allowing there predigests control my fears. Bitterness toward myself for allowing all the above. I spent ALL my life to this point looking for acceptance from others. Doing everything I could to be accepted somewhere in society. From putting up masked to hide the true person I was so that no one would laugh at me. Hiding the fact I felt like a women, just to fit in some were. It never worked. Ok sure, I found places to fit in, but the point is I was not being authentic to my true self. They accepted the facade, nothing else because they knew of nothing else. I didn’t feel whole. I was always on guard that I would slip and let it out and everything I built up around me would come crashing down. Not a happy place to be at all.

So Why? Because I’m tired of hiding. I’m tired of not being true to myself. I want to be authentic to my soul and live my life authentically. Is that so bad? Going full time will not happen for at least another year, but in the mean time I can be true to myself. If people can’t accept that, then they will not be friends of mine. If they do, then more power to them. At least we can build a friendship on honesty and trust that will go a lot longer than one in lies. Is that so bad? I also know that without coming out, no one will learn anything new about our community. I have been trying my best to educate someone new, one person at a time. Maybe, just maybe, that will make the transition to full time that much easier for everyone involved and maybe the next person that steps in our doors.