With the lockdown restrictions finally starting to ease this last week or two has seen a sudden flurry of activity. Two of my sisters both popped up to visit seperately as day trips now that they could, and my son has gone back to school in person for the first time since before Christmas.
During the conversation with my sister we talked quite a bit about privilege and the whole “#allmen #notallmen” debacle and I mentioned that it is just ridiculous but I spent most of my life being in the “notallmen” camp even though every woman I know has several horror stories about being talked to or touched completely inappropriately. I have had similar experiences, especially when wearing a kilt out and about, but it is never at the forefront of my mind when I go out in my male costume.
My sister was asking if I am ready to lose the privilege I have, obviously I think I am because I never really wanted it, but I will not fully experience it until I have totally socially transitioned, I explained that I have frequent odd moments already where people ignore or talk over me, and am actually mansplained at a lot, but I also know that I have deliberately lowered my voice to make it more commanding for years to give me my platform, and I am aware of the basic advantages I have had over my sisters and friends. For me knowing I have privilege and abusing that privilege are two different things, the important part is not trying to silence someone who has never experienced it.
I did talk about wondering what things would have been like if I had been brave and aware enough to transition in my early 20’s (I was still bald but it would have impacted my career and self awareness with my friends for sure). I spent a while talking about some of the mysoginistic crap that I used to spout and we wondered where it comes from, my son has been guilty of it and I have absolutely brought him up to respect others regardless of gender. When I think of the times I told my sister to shut up or I would give her a slap thinking I was being a man, if I had tried it she would have beaten the snot out of me, but it really does make me cringe – my dad’s tins of beer used to have pin up girls on them and page 3 girls were totally normal until 2015 by which time I was used to seeing tata’s on the coffee table at work, but I was mean and disparaging to women on a regular basis as I fitted in and found my place as a man in the world.
Honestly even thinking about it makes me so embarrassed now. We genuinely thought it was okay and even funny to call someone “Tesco” because she was open 24 hrs, when she was no worse than some of the guys we knew about jumping from one partner to the next, we still called the men slappers but the stigma just wasn’t there for them.
I know now that I was such an idiot because I was trying so hard to overcompensate but it shows how ingrained it is in society through books and television that as someone who was brought up in a predominantly female environment and taught to be respectful that I still managed to embrace the “lad” stereotypes of the day. Just look at the popular mid-late 90’s TV shows and that’s where my influences came from. The attitudes have not aged well!
We also talked about marriage and I realised that the things I miss and day dream about in a partner were never realy my reality in my previous marriage, that closesness of someone to share cuddles with on the couch while we watch geeky trash on the TV, someone to hold hands and walk the dog with or who will ask about my day and support me when it has been really shitty, all of these are dreams or things I have pined for because I have seen other people have them, but in reality I never did. I am definitely cautious about the prospect of dating – it fills me with a Cthulhu eldritch like horror! But I have had enough drastic changes in my life to never say never. The difference is that this time the person would need to know and love the real me for who I am, and while that is probably unlikely, it is not completely impossible.
I have had a good conversation with my counsellor about how I have been feeling about nmy Sandyford appointment and I was so pleased that she agrees with my assessment that regardless of what happens I have made the best timeline for myself to keep moving forwards, there are so many overlapping areas in my life that once I have gotten past the choke point of coming out to my mum I will be able to really start making progress, and that is legally possible to do this coming week, but the family is so large I will wait to see who she chooses to visit first lol, I will only jump the gun and say I need her to visit so I can talk to her if she seems to be waiting too long to come and see me, but the conversation will be stressful enough without her worrying for the 7hr drive all the way to mine!
I am feeling optimistic about my future prospects but still frustrated that circumstances are holding me back.
Anyway wherever you are take care!
If you have a chance and don’t mind a bit of swearing but enjoy a good laugh go and check out Cassie Workman on YouTube, I found her very recently and her skit about whether she misses being a man is simply brilliant.