Well Fathers day was unnecessarily weird. I dislike Mothers and Fathers day anyway because I know too many single parents that are both mum and dad so for me it should be one single Parents Day if there is any need for “a day” at all… which there isn’t.
Also I have to admit that pretty much since I became a dad the unbalance in the relationship has always meant that mothers day was more prepared and thought about than fathers day ever was. I got the full weekend with my children, we ate together around the kitchen table and played together all day and both kids had made me cards which were super sweet. We even had one of those most rare of days – a day without arguing!
But for a few days leading up to it I was feeling like a fraud – when people commented on my feeds on the day itself while I know that the motivation was to help someone they knew was single to feel good, I just felt like I was stringing them along.
When did I disassociate from words like dad and father?
I am not dressing as much as I used to – normally today I would be taking the opportunity of a few hours of peace to be wearing the clothes I would actually choose to wear if I did not have to go out later, but I can’t be bothered.
At the moment I am in a bizarre place where my brain refuses to accept that it is male any more. I am almost but not quite thinking of myself as female, I say not quite because while I can look down and see an instant reminder of everything society deems male and masculine – physically I tick the box- but it does not feel right any more.
When I was younger I never questioned being male, transgender wasn’t a term I knew. In my 20’s I probably spent almost as much time out drunk as I did working or being sober, but as I had a decent group of friends I was the most comfortable that I had ever been. For the first time in my life I did not feel like an outsider.
I worked out when I was 16 that my parents had moved on average at least once every 3 years, so I was used to being an outsider, I always seemed to make a few friends, but I always seemed to make enemies too – this post is not about bullying, but a lot of that never really leaves you.
I became aware of LGB as a term and it was always to do with sexual orientation or preference as it was known back then – I didn’t really get it. Then it became LGBT (GBLT in my brain was easier to remember and possibly my way of playing it down) but I still didn’t get it. I met my first few openly gay, bi or lesbian friends and co-workers and developed more of an understanding that people are just people and all of the boogieman type stories were out of ignorance and fear and that strangely enough being gay did not make one a nymphomaniac or a sexual predator, but I still didn’t really get it because I would never ask a personal question.
The “T” in my brain stood for transvestite which in my ignorance was synonymous with transsexual and I never knew or saw anyone that openly matched to that letter other than the odd one or two people that seemed to be universally picked on by ignorant teen lads. From a distance I felt sorry that they were not left in peace, but not brave enough to say anything out loud and risk having that spotlight turned on me.
A couple of years ago I saw LGBTQIA+ become more main stream and letters have been added and removed but I developed a much better understanding of the letters and what they represented or so I thought. I didn’t get the gay marriage campaign because civil partnerships were legal by now and granted the same legal protections, but I had never had to fight anyone to say that my marriage was sanctified, I was living in a blissful cis-het bubble and probably said more than a few stupid things that make me sound more ignorant than the things I’ve mentioned here.
I never thought of myself as an ally, more simply as a decent human being that was willing to treat others with respect and dignity, and hoping that I could encourage others to do the same, sometimes I am more vocal than others, but that hatred of sticking my head above the parapet has never gone away.
Today I sit looking like a man, but feeling like a woman. When I see my reflection this is what I would rather see instead:
But in order to do that I kind of have to pick a side.
I cannot be both as I have read about others doing, staying male in my day to day life and then just sometimes allowing Dee out to play.
If I accept my thoughts and feelings as female then it follows that I am identifying as female – whatever that is.
Over the past 9 months my understanding of gender has grown exponentially, I do not just think of sex organs as being the deciding factor. My understanding of gender identity and expression is still expanding and I still have little knowledge of all the correct terms and definitions because as soon as I read a blog or an article written by someone I see something else that either contradicts it or chooses to not recognise that definition.
I am not in contact with any groups in real life and other than re-posting the odd thing I am still not vocal about LGBTQ+ issues, more than I used to be for sure, and as Dee I went to a Pride event and loved it. I was free to engage with people as the person I like to be instead of the person I think they are expecting.
I am still an introvert, I still do not want to get noticed, I still do not want to do more harm than good by publicly coming out and then saying or doing something stupid..
That may seem cowardly, especially to anyone who is “out and proud”, but I am still battling years of social conditioning – I haven’t just been hiding my more effeminate reactions and thoughts, I have been actively camouflaging myself so as not to stand out and be noticed. To be noticed is to be picked on, and to be picked on is to get hurt.
If I really want to become Dee across the whole of my life it is not about deciding what clothes to wear, or which films I like to watch or what name to use or how to talk – for me it is about my willingness to stand up and be noticed.
Why does it always come back to fear?