Static in the Attic


This weekend will be the first time in six months that I won’t be living en femme (since I’ll be down at my mother’s for Thanksgiving).

Unexpectedly, the prospect of doing so doesn’t freak me out. A little sad perhaps, but it’s not a big deal. Probably because it’s really just one day, since I’m flying back Saturday night.

I still feel like I’m occupying a place on both sides of a threshold I don’t quite understand; at that place of transition, waiting, and not knowing.

Though I sure seem to be meandering towards transition. I’ve started electrolysis, I want to do voice work when time and money permit. Hormones are something I’m thinking of trying after I finish up electrolysis. I sent my photos off to the medical artist who does the Virtual FFS stuff.

All of which has caught me by surprise. I never really expected to be in this place. I never prayed to wake up as a girl when I was young. I’ve always been fairly comfortable with Teh Tranz, even when I knew society wasn’t. So it’s not like I’m sloughing off years of self-denial and self-hatred.

And yet…

As I try to work on one of my other “not happy with the current state of affairs” issues (the lack of a social life that’s not up in SF) I ask myself whether I want to build up a local social circle as a man or a woman, and the answer is pretty clear — I want new people I meet to know me as a woman.

I’m becoming increasingly less comfortable (for the most part) being in places where people see me switching genders. To the point where I won’t go out to certain restaurants on a weeknight because I usually go there en femme on the weekends. (Burly is a bit different, in part because when the clothes come off it’s pretty obviously I’m not your standard-issue woman.)

I’m leaking gender at work. I’ve been wearing (a nice neutral) nail polish to work for the past couple months. I wear stud earrings. The past two weeks I’ve worn a woman’s sweater to work — albeit the gendering of the sweater, buttons along the sleeves, was pretty subtle so no one probably noticed. (And the irony is that I worn it many because the weather turned cold and I can’t find the box of men’s sweaters I put away last spring.) There’s two fashionista co-workers who I haven’t explicitly come out to — that it’s more than just for the stage — but I’ve talked with them about needing to put together a fall wardrobe, so it’s probably not too hard for them to read between the lines. As far as I know this hasn’t caused any issues — one advantage to having a good number of people there knowing that I perform.

And yet…

I don’t hear the siren call of transition. Much as the Pink Express is problematic, there is something to be said for certainty. In my case, I’m finding I’m more comfortable as a woman, and I don’t hate being a man, even if at times it’s feeling more like a part I play. I don’t have a horror at the thought of dying as a man. It’s more like…. done the guy thing for 50 years, been there, done that; maybe it’s time to try something different.

Will it work to have a life working as a man and living as a woman outside of work (perhaps with some chemical enhancements)? Quite possibly. Quite possibility not. As said, in another thread, the tipping point often seems to be when people reach a discomfort level that they can’t take anymore. Maybe I’m the boiling frog, but it doesn’t seem like I’m close to that yet.

I do have serious — if probably somewhat unfounded — worries about the impact transitioning would have on my career, especially in light of a friend’s comment that she traded her career for transition. Especially since I’m at an age where age discrimination in Silicon Valley becomes a definite thing. Which, when I am support myself is a bit scary, even if I do have far more financial reserves than most people who transition. Because the Bay Area is so fucking expensive, but there’s very few other places I’d want to live.

I do have a lot more churn in my head related to Teh Tranz these days. Mostly because I still feel like I’ve moved out of one stable place and don’t really know where I’m headed. Because I’m thinking through various possible scenarios (hey it’s what do for work). Maybe that static in the attic will calm down as I get more used to this true “dual living,” or as I work through the issues I’m wrestling with, or as I take more small steps. Or maybe that noise will be the precipitating event to transition.

Or who knows, I may end up rivaling another friend for the world’s slowest transition.