I often wonder whether or not I am doing the right thing
The realisation and acceptance that I am trans and living and moving in the wrong social circles has stopped a lot of the huge feelings of self doubt and uncertainty that I have lived with for most of my life.
I know that transitioning for me is not because I could not continue to live the way I am now. I have always found a way to keep on placing one foot in front of the other and could no doubt trudge along for another 5-10 years unhappily existing; but really it is because I know that the way that I live now is just not genuine and to me that fakeness is just more damaging to me.
I am living a half life and not actually embracing myself to the fullest.
The slumps and unrecognised periods of depression, the worries about being less than everyone around me, that feeling of being the cuckoo in the nest, my sense of disgust with who I am, all stem in some way from the fact that I have been living as a man, when everything internally screams to be recognised as a woman.
My niece and one of my Canadian friends both wished me a happy Trans Day of Visibility. Yet I still feel totally invisible.
Other than my two Canadian friends it is only the people I know through forums and bloging that call me by my preferred name. Even my sisters who have known for ages still use my male name when they text me in our family group chat. Only one has ever bought me presents for DeeDee, but the rest still use Uncle & brother cards and as I talk about the counselling to move towards hormones they seem to get increasingly worried about what is going to happen with me, it comes from a place of concern but feels like a negative. Most of the time conversations around gender just do not come up because I don’t want to overload them, especially when so little is actually happening.
For me it feels like I have done nothing to transition with my life in any meaningful way so far, on my bad days I just see myself as no different to the person I have always been, some sad man crossdressing at home and not doing anything else (intellectually I have no issue with anyone expressing themselves and their gender but emotionally I use my internalised transphobia as a stick some days to beat myself up) – as much as I desperately want to tell my mum I am transgender and will be changing my presentation so that the outside matches how I feel on the inside – I haven’t. Logically I know it is just because it is best to do it in person and everyone has plans that have had to go on hold, emotionally it took me so long to build up the courage to say something that the longer I don’t say anything the more of a fraud that I feel.
I desperately want to tell my children so that I can stop hiding in front of them, my daughter will be moving soon with her mum and my son knows I intend to move in the future too so they have both been talking a lot about where I may end up and all I can tell them is that I will move when I am ready to move and the time is right – I know that I will not move before I have started hormones because if I did I would drop back down to the waiting list of whichever healthboard I move into. Once I am on hormones they cannot take me off them without doctors and GP’s getting involved, and other waiting lists for GRS are a national issue because of the limitation of options. My daughter was in my room two days ago cleaning up a present that one of the dogs had left in protest after I had gone out without them and I realised afterwards that because I hadn’t put away my clean washing pile there were hosiery and knickers and ladies PJ’s very obviously mixed in with the pile. She never said a word but I went and put my clean clothes away the very next morning!
I know my kids will need time to adjust but they should not have to carry around the burden of not being able to talk to anyone about me just because I haven’t told enpugh people yet. They are teenagers and will either be embraced or mocked by their peers (because teens can be brutal) and they are both diagnosed with ASD which makes social cues and awareness a different experience for both of them. I do believe that when they need to know is after I have come out to my friends so they have adults they can trust to talk to if they need it, by then an accidental comment to the wrong person will not be the end of the world for me.
My canadian friends have actively done a lot of work and it is becoming easier and easier to feel myself engaging with them as DeeDee and not their male friend. The fact that they are actively using my name and are subtley changing their way of talking and joking with me gives me a real boost that really helps me to feel grounded when I cannot dress or look the way I want to.
I want to have that same process start with my other friends, I want to be able to have the conversation with them and let them start the process of working through in their minds whether or not they can accept me, becoming “one of the girls” will take a lot longer, but I already have way more access to that space with regards to chat groups and invites and planning get togethers then the men in our friend group (as in, there are literally no men other than me in them) so I think the no man’s land (pun intended) won’t take me quite so long to cross. That mental adjustment will take longer than seeing the physical adjustment, which will happen organically when it can.
By the end of this summer I know that I will have told my mum, and my friends and hopefully will have spent at least one or two days or nights as myself in company.
By the end of this year I want to have started the conversation with my work and be looking seriously at how and where I can move to continue doing what I know I am good at, but in a place that lets me make that new start.
I know who I am in far greater detail now because it has taken a few years of thinking about nothing else to get to this stage.
So much relies on the other dominoes falling into place, I don’t think I will be able to change out my wardrobe and wear androgynous or female gendered clothing before I fully come out, I visualise it more as just increasing the times I can be DeeDee in front of others until I just don’t go back to the male costume which I think of more and more in terms of stealth.
When I am socialising as a man I view myself as being hidden in plain sight, when I get to be DeeDee I am no longer hiding. If I have to do that and shave everything 2-3 times a week (daily for my face) then so be it, but I cannot wait for hormones to do all the work anymore than I can wait until I lose the weight that makes me a UK size 18 so I can wear size 14 clothes and feel pretty.
I just have to be realistic and work with what I have, that is how I move from invisibile to visible, maybe I should just pcik a date and go for it. As the Dr Pepper ad states, what’s the worst that could happen?