Sunday, July 24, 2011

Innocent Bystanders

Without actual data to back up the assertion, I am still fairly confident in thinking that most trans folks, and even people close to us, understand the many many doubts and concerns we have about our selves, our ability to live normally, perhaps our ability to live period, how much we could lose, how much we might gain, and even how real is any of this?  I mean, I've considered myself a transsexual for several decades now, my erstwhile therapist (whom my current insurance no longer covers) agreed with me.  And yet, I have moments of doubt.  Am I fooling myself?  Have I held onto the idea that I'm trans for so long that I would believe it even if it's not true?  Why can't I bring myself to just go ahead and transition, consequences be damned, if my core being is at odds with my physical and social presentation?  Maybe I'm not really transsexual after all, and I'm just someone who wanted my younger sister's life way back when I first thought I was trans, wanted a life without the constant pressure of being an asian eldest son.  Oh, if I could convince myself of this, my life would be so much simpler.  Heck, if I could convince myself (and my wife) that I'm not transsexual, but a male who likes to crossdress on occasion, that would make my life easier too - I could be more easily satisfied and she could be free of the worry of losing her husband.  But that's not how it is.

No, when I dig through the morass of conflicting needs and desires, what comes out is both refreshingly and infuriatingly simple.  I'm a girl in my heart and head, even if my body and 99.9% of the world say otherwise. Unfortunately, equally simple and incontrovertible is that the relationships that truly define me in this world - as a spouse and as a parent - would be irreversibly changed by my transition.  Maybe not for the worse.  But I'm too invested and needful of the relationships as they are to risk them.  Or so I have been telling myself.  I wonder, though.

I was watching the trans documentary Red Without Blue yesterday.  The subjects came across as rather whiny and angsty, but that's probably how I would come across too if I was asked to talk about trans-ness.  It was kind of interesting to see the mother eventually come around, but hard to watch it take so long.  But what hit me, especially right now as I'm again in a period of seriously pondering a public transition sooner than later, was the transgirl's mother talking about how her old friends were shunning her, turning around in grocery store aisles, booting her out of her women's club, etc, not for being trans herself, but just for being related to such a "freak".  The idea that my transition would cause me to lose some friends and relationships is hard but not insurmountable - the most valuable ones should remain.  But the idea that it would cost my family some of their friends and relationships is much worse, almost irresponsible in my book.

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