Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oh psychology, you suck.

Well, this time I'm not ranting on the field of psychology - just the psychology going on in my own head.  Naturally, as I came to the decision (for now) to put my transition in a holding pattern, I've been unable to stop window-shopping fem stuff (clothes, home goods, accessories, music, chick flicks, what-have-you!) online!  Argh!  Totally killing productivity.  Have... to turn... ship.... around....  before.. it's... too... late..... [said in my mind using Shatner-Kirk cadence]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bothersome tv portrayals of mtf trans

This is old news to some people since the show aired about 3 weeks ago, I think.

With the fall television season starting up, I needed to clear out some space on my DVR (my cable company provides a teeny-tiny amount of space in the DVR/HD cable box I have).  So, I watched and deleted the recent ABC Nightline Primetime special "(Extra)Ordinary Family" on transgendered children and teens.  The reporting wasn't too bad, although I have to say that deciding to go with a very over-used "counterpoint" example of the guy who changed and then changed back, was sort of lazy, if you ask me.  Of course it also hits an anti-science pet peeve of mine: why make it seem that one person's experience should carry as much or more weight than studies with many data points?  Why make parents worry that their kid may be "the one" who isn't really trans, instead of the far more likely possibility (after proper diagnosis) that transitioning young is probably the best thing for them?  Why not just talk to a good gender specialist who can talk about how safeguards are in the recommended clinical guidelines to prevent mis-diagnosis, or to allow possible temporary gender confusion to play out before doing anything permanent to one's body?

What killed me though was that the huge majority of camera shots were of the girls putting on makeup!  WTF?!  Way to portray us as not as normal women born with a physical anomaly, but as people who are mostly obsessed with the trappings of femininity, ABC!  These were just background images, so why not just show them doing all the normal things a girl their age does instead of focusing on what is probably a fraction of a percent of their daily lives?  As a side note - and yes this is very judgmental and I of all people should be more open - what parent lets their 10-year-old daughter (in the "Jackie" segment) put on so much makeup to go to school?  That's what, 5th grade?

On the plus side, overall the show provided the general viewing public with some reasonably healthy examples of trans kids, teens, and families.  Even the young woman engaged in sex work (which I have no problem with for consenting adults) was treated with dignity and the love of her family was the main point.  Despite the annoyances, I'm glad ABC News decided to put this on the air.  Let's hope it helps more people understand that we trans-folk aren't all that different from anyone else they pass on the street.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Transitioning in super-slo-mo.

I've followed many other trans-people blog or vlog about their transitions, and I think that is really wonderful for them, and in a perfect world, I would be right with them.  But the fact of the matter is that it's not a perfect world, and I'm one of the least perfect bits of this imperfect place.  All summer, I've been flirting with the idea of finally coming out, maybe not full-on-publicly, but to some family and friends.  But now I think there really isn't any point of that.  If I'm not going to be public about it, then telling my family and friends seems to have no purpose.  In fact, it is even at odds with any intended purpose.  I would even consider it an embarrassingly selfish act, since it requires them to adjust how they think of me, when at the same time I am purposely trying to live in a way that suggests that I don't want anyone to think of me as other than "regular guy" male!

The upside, and again, only for me, not for anyone else, is that I don't have to feel like I'm hiding something from those close to me.  My wife knows, but my kids don't, my parents don't, and what few close friends I have don't know either.  Wouldn't it be confusing and even a little ridiculous to say that I've always been a woman, and I want them to know it, but at the same time keep trying to mask as much of my femininity as possible?

Maybe in a few years when my youngest is out of college, especially if we move someplace new where everyone who sees me just sees female, not "I used to know you as a guy, but not you're not?"  But until then, I think this is the right decision.  I'll keep hiding my breast growth (not that there's much to hide) and panty lines, and keep on waiting until the "right time" comes.  I don't know if that's waiting to gather up enough courage, or just waiting for situations to change until I don't need as much courage, but I know it's not time yet.

That doesn't make the waiting and wanting any easier though.