Sunday, September 11, 2011

The River Takes Me

Transition is hard.  No one, especially those who swim this river, will argue that fact.  Making the journey requires a strength that could only come from the deepest of needs.  Along the way we face hardship, judgment, discrimination, violence; the challenges are many.  Sometimes I wonder if I am truly strong enough to make it.  And then there are days like some I have had this week… days when I realize that my strength is on the other side beckoning me forward.  My strength is not pushing me to move, but pulling me toward my eventual arrival.

I feel this most strongly during the painful journey back to the weekday.  I have a family – these days I think of them more as “the gene pool,” more on that another time – who does not acknowledge me for who I am (when they acknowledge me at all).  Work life has been difficult.  People who used to look up to me (to my face anyway) now ridicule me and try to marginalize me.  I get ugly stares from old women in bars and at the grocery store.  I get surreptitious glances from people who are slightly less rude than the typical old woman.  I face a lot through the course of a “normal” week, but I am okay with that.  I will not pretend that I like these parts of transition, but they are not my greatest hardship.

I should explain that, due to some "complexities" in my work life, I am still working as a male.  This means that there are long periods of my life when I cannot be myself.  The hardest part of my transition right now is making that change back.  Every time I have to do it – to go back to playing the male role – I become more aware of the reality that there is nothing for me in that world, and that I am, in fact, not even welcome there.  The tide has truly turned for me; the flow toward womanhood is a lazy float along a meandering stream.  My upstream swim is back to boy.  Transition is hard.  Pretending to be a boy is hell.

I have a family – a real one, other than the gene pool – who I love and adore, and who love and support me.  I have wonderful friends whose company my wife and I deeply enjoy and who care for us and think of us.  We had a wonderful evening with a large group of them last night, in fact.  I can love openly, I can cry… I can laugh.  Yes, there are times when people look at me funny, there are times when I feel the awkwardness that others try to thrust upon me; but despite the difficulties, I am in the world and living as my true self.  There is no greater sense of freedom than that.

When I have to step back into the male role, it is like pushing the pause button on all that is good in my life.  I will never turn back.  I know where my journey leads – I am going home.  So, play that funky music, home girl!

Let's Dance!

Oh, I just have to show you my new hairstyle.  Rockin' a new do!
My wife and I enjoying a night out with friends at a local restaurant


  1. You've so accurately described what I experienced during that part of transition for me. I will say that as you move further along, the stares, the ugly gestures, and the ridicule diminishes, and it might even go away completely depending on how your confidence takes you beyond looking male any longer. (Notice I said confidence and not "passing" - when you're comfortable in your skin people will see your authentic you.)

    Stay inspired, keep hope alive. That woman next to you seems pretty amazing. Just awesome.

  2. Thanks, Lori D. I appreciate your encouragement! Yes, that woman next to me rocks. The funniest part of the picture, though, is that guy behind us who is probably on America's Most Wanted or something. :)

  3. LOL! I totally saw that guy behind you and his creepy stare! My wife's so good at Photoshop she'd have him replaced with a solitary chair in no time! :))

  4. I think he was just checking out my ass, and got caught! :)


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