Do you wear women’s clothing now and are those real?? X-mas family get together should be interesting and got an amazing article about it.
Time flies when you are having fun. It’s been over 10 months since I popped the first little blue pill that has really changed my life and in a very positive way. Also, my health card has arrived recently which turned out OK, even though Ontario has recently decided to drop the gender marker from it all together.
Really a lot has changed in the past 10 months aside from the physical changes, especially the way I see myself and how I look at certain things. I said before that we are all different and we experience our sex and gender and associated discomfort differently, but things have shifted a bit in my head recently and I’m not sure whether it’s hormonal.
I used to tell people I am trans, because it’s easy to understand, very binary which everyone like, and it really is current. My image of me in my head was not so simple tho. I’ve known of others calling themselves trans, who really feel like they were either X or Y, and identified as either Y or X and simply putting their condition down to a birth defect. I am perfectly OK with that, but I never really felt that way. I knew that I wanted to be female in the worst possible way but not sure I ever felt like one. I just knew that once I looked and behaved like one, and was perceived by society as one, I’ll be infinitely happier. This really has come through. Things have somewhat shifted in my head recently and I’m no longer convinced that I don’t fall into the category I firs described. I used to think that I am either gender-queer, non-binary or non-gender conforming, but now I’ve reached a stage in my life where I started questioning many things, including my own image I my very own head and I am really beginning to believe that yes I am female, and I had to live as male up until now, due to a birth defect. Well it’s really not that simple and we might never know what exactly causes a person to be trans, but I really feel like a member of the group I’ve first mentioned….
Interestingly, I have heard stuff about and old “friend” I’ve known to be a jerk for a long time as well. I’ve known him for about 15 years but we had a melt-down 10 years ago about some racial slurs he had the need to utter and I’ve never talked to him again, just heard stuff about him. Through a common friend, him and his wife found out about me pretty much all hell broke loose. I love their first question. “Does he wear women’s clothes now”? WTF is wrong with him? OMG can’t imagine what he look like.
I love how the first question was about what I wear. Most uneducated people seem to get stuck on that one. Secondly, they can only imagine an MTF trans person, as a dude wearing a dress. This is something I’ve experienced a few time with my business partner. Early on, he had the need to give people the heads up about my arrival, making sure he points out to them that I am trans and be nice…… I knew something was up because the majority of the time, I had people pull me aside and ask if I was really trans, which I will take as a compliment and feel rather flattered by it. The only reason I wanted to bring this up is because I am glad I’m surrounded by great people. If the majority of one’s friends are like my “friend”, transitioning can be a more complicated and daunting adventure and trust me, it’s already both of those as it is.
Christmas is around the corner now which should be interesting because believe it or not, my in-laws don’t know about me still but they will surely find out. My SO didn’t go out of her way to tell them because her father always hated my guts as it is and called me names, and just to make it more tasteful, he’s a full blown functioning (barely) alcoholic which really is the cause of most of the animosity between us. All of this is about to get a million times worse now because they will find out about me. As I was contemplating this, Google Now recommended this article to me by Jen Durbent, which hit so close to home:
I Am Done Hiding: An Open Letter From A Trans Daughter-In-Law
I have been out for two days to you. As I write this, that’s less than 48 hours. You have been kind and jovial and accepting thus far. I appreciate this and it means a lot to me that you would promise to support your child’s spouse through a gender transition. It’s a rather unusual circumstance, even I would admit.
I heard you had concerns about Thanksgiving. You are having guests you normally do not have this year, a pair of older Southern Baptist ladies. I also heard you do not want to tell them about me and that you would want me to come as my “male” “self”.
I think this is unwise. Let me explain. This idea has three main problems.
It Underestimates Your Guests
Not long ago, I attended the wedding of a friend; one of the people present was a lady far older than your guests. She talked about her church a lot. Then she took out a tablet and showed everyone a picture.
“This is my grandson. I was happy when I had a granddaughter and now I have a grandson and that’s ok. There’s a lot of people talking about bathrooms. But does he look like belongs in a woman’s room? No no no. That’s not right.”
I bring this up not to praise this woman, but to show a person’s faith and age do not define an outlook on trans people. We do not know that for certain, and they may have never even met someone like me (at least that they know of). They could meet me and we could talk and they might understand. It’s not impossible. I have met one of them before.
Even if that were wrong and the statistically likely attitudes prevailed and they would be unable to accept someone like me, your idea presumes that they will not be able to hold their tongue. Are you concerned they will not be able to adjust to the rules of decorum that passes for normal in a Midwestern Thanksgiving? That they will not be able to contain their offense and would be liable to start voicing their opinions about people like me around children? The general public? And, even if so, what is the cost there? That their bigotry is laid bare? I can handle that, I think.
I think they are better than that. And even if they are not, I know I am.
It Insults Me
Your idea presumes that I am willing to subsume my identity, which I have struggled with for years, for the theoretical comfort of two people who may or may not despise my real self?
Your idea and solution to the theoretical conflict is to deny who I am, again, and the skin I live in every day for their comfort, tells me that my well-being and acceptance is less important than a dinner.
It Teaches Kids The Wrong Message: Shame and Bigotry Are Acceptable
I could handle donning the yellow cardigan that I got a few months ago over a polo shirt for a couple hours, I know it won’t damage me permanently. However, it would teach my kids a lesson I do not think I can unteach: that bigotry is to be tolerated, even coddled, merely because the bigots are old. And not just my kids, but also the nieces and nephews who also know who I am.
(As an aside, do we want to show them it is OK to lie about ourselves? Or that love and acceptance is conditional on the convenience of the persons involved?)
This is not situational awareness. This is not a surprise de-escalation of some threat. Your guests do not offer any potential physical harm; there is no reason to dress in guy-mode other than to make them comfortable.
No. Bigotry must be fought. Unfortunately, by proposing that I do this, you show that being good allies—no, fuck that—being loving and decent people can be put on the back burner when it is not convenient.
If I were to acquiesce, I would be complicit in that. I do not know if I can handle that.
But I Have A Solution
I propose a solution: Go ahead and out me to your guests. Tell them ahead of time what to expect—that your new-to-them daughter-in-law will be in attendance. Give them my new name. Use my pronouns. Be the example I know you can be.
Ultimately it is your holiday, host-wise. We’ve had 20 Thanksgiving meals together. I suppose me missing one is not a tragedy, even if missing out on your pie would be terrible. But even missing that pie is not as bad as allowing transphobic bigotry (and you know how much I like pie).
If this is your will, I respect it. However, I will then not attend Thanksgiving this year. I will not play that role any longer. Even then, me being trans may come up anyway. By not coming, my absence will be felt by those who know why I am not there because that will not be a secret.
Also, if you insist on this charade, you do not fully support me. I know you can be better, and so I forgive you, already, for this suggestion. As I said, this situation is very new to both of us—as in days for you—and we’ll both learn a lot.
I am not mad; I am disappointed. It’s OK. You can do better. You will do better. I believe in you and I love you.
With love, your daughter-in-law,
This piece was originally featured on Medium.
The other thing I have the need to point out is that I got bangs. Very crucial news indeed.
This is what I sued to look like without my bangs with a hair band because I hated how my hair looked hanging down, but pulling it back showing off my gargantuan forehead was not much better so I found a solution. Get bangs.
I really don’t have anything else exciting to add, other than some marital issues which aren’t really related to me being trans but still there and will have to be dealt with.
That’s for another entry tho. I feel like a total letdown, I really don’t have anything too exciting to add. I feel pretty lucky about how my transitioning is going and I really love every moment. I am filled with joy getting up in the morning because I get to be me. I no longer have a problem looking into the mirror which really makes everyday life so much more enjoyable.
Till next time.