Month: May 2016

A Woman on the Verge III

Definitely have a case of the jitters. It’s unnerving it can be to make a risky conscious decision that you could theoretically continue to sidestep.

There’s also some concurrent transitioning going on in other ways, probably the biggest is that I’m stepping away from the fundraising group I’ve been involved with for years when my term as a board member is up in September, and I’ve only been nominally involved the past few months aside from being there for board meetings. Partly, I’m just a bit burned out with them overall (drag queen/gay men drama). Partly, it’s one of the board meeting are one few places where I still show in male mode with people I know, and that’s becoming increasingly uncomfortable. (The logistics are a little tough, but I’m probably going to start attending the meetings as a woman.)

Partly it’s cutting ties with (the vast majority of the) people who knew/know me as a man. (While folks in the burly community obviously know I’m male-bodied, with a few exceptions people there have only met me as a woman.) Even if it feels right to choose to back away, there is a sense of loss of community involved.

On the other hand, feeling in control of my approach and timing feels really important despite no shortage of anxiety.

While it might seem like I’m on a relatively fast timetable, I’ve got plenty of time to plot my course, time to maneuver and adjust as needed. (OTOH, it’s not really that quick. I blend well enough that if I wanted to transition well enough I could do so next week — albeit with greater difficulties, in particular my voice, while much improved, isn’t where I’d like to be yet and would definitely be a “tell.”)

Part of it is  lingering insecurities about authenticity and “realness.” Currently I feel like I’m still a bit gender-fluid, but it’s between “woman” and “not man” — if that makes any sense. Or at least stereotypical “man.” I suppose one reason I felt more at home in gay male circles was that there’s a greater latitude of gender expression (not just drag queens). OTOH, there’s other aspects that I just find wearing.
It’s also going to be a little harder for me because unless I want to cut my ties to the burlesque and kink communities there are going to be people who my past. Not that it necessarily will matter to them, but knowing that they know may matter to me.

But one things that’s always helped me with these sorts of anxieties is cutting straight to “what’s the worse that can happen?” — and if I’m OK with that, then I don’t need to spend (too much) timing worrying about the intermediary anxieties. ‘Course it helps to be able to limit the worse case scenario to one that’s reasonably realistic. I.e. things might go sideways at work, but I’m fortunate that I’m in a field that in strong demand, so I’d land on my feet. So I’m trying to keep myself calm.


A Woman on the Verge II

If I weren’t having some anxiety at this point, I’d be worried.

I am different though from some of the other folks I know who’ve transitioned — it’s just not going to be “transition or die” for me. I’ve never had that feeling, nor the feeling that I should’ve been born a girl. So it’s inherently going to be a less clear-cut decision.

I think the pause is occurring naturally, and there’s a bit of time. Facial feminization surgery won’t be until next January, and oddly the surgeon isn’t even asking for a deposit until the end of the summer. Since I’d be transitioning then as well, that also means I’ve got a month or so, before I hit the recommended six-months lead time to tell my employer (and even that isn’t a hard deadline). And honestly, I probably could have FFS and still live a dual-gendered life if it came down to it. I’ve already got a non-masculine face, and while I’d look more feminine, I could still pass for male if I wanted to (given my build and knowing the proper signals to give). Though obviously it would be obvious to those who know me that I had work done, which kind of means outing myself anyway.

It’s telling that I’m extremely reluctant to let my masculine and feminine presentations intersect these days, to the point where I just won’t go I guy-mode to places where I’ve established myself as a woman.

Mostly I think I’m just having the sort of last-minute anxieties one has before a making a major life decisions. I remember freaking out a bit before I bought my first home — “30 years, OMG I’m signing up for 30 years of debt!”

OTOH, the “standard narrative” is so pervasive, there’s that little voice in my head whispering “not trans enough” and “not truly a woman” because I don’t fit into it. Again the rational part of my brain knows that’s bullshit, but lizard brained-Wormtongue still goes to dark places.

Partly I have been pushing hard — not necessarily too fast — but hard, i.e. electrolysis three times a week (I really want this fucking beard gone), speech therapy weekly, and now trying to fit the gender therapy sessions in too. Plus lots of researching and decision making. So with everything else going on in my left, it’s been a bit much.

Partly it’s feeling a bit stressed about how transition has taken over my life — which intellectually I knew was going to happen — but still a bit frustrating when I want to get out and do other stuff and don’t have the energy. Or, like the last two weeks, when I didn’t want to see anyone because I couldn’t wear a wig and my forehead looked like road rash thanks to the hair transplant surgery. So I’ve also been a bit isolated because of that, and that’s not helping. (Doesn’t help that all my friends and my social life are 30 miles to the north in SF and Oakland, which is a separate issue to deal with.)

Partly I just needed to acknowledge those feelings and vent. Some of my posts are more about me talking to me than anyone else.

Waking up this morning, I do have a renewed sense that, yes I do want to transition. Will I continue to have some doubts? Almost certainly, just like I did when I moved to the Bay Area from L.A (and just like I did when I switched careers years ago). It’s a huge life decision and nothing in life is certain.

OTOH, coming out to HR and Mom are probably two of the biggest remaining milestones as far as researching, prepping and worrying — and stress levels. Not to say the rest of the process will be effortless, far from it, but after that it’s less about deciding what I want to do and how to do it, and more about the actual doing. Thankfully being single, no kids, with an employer who likely will be supportive, and essentially being out to friends and acquaintances outside of work means a lot less drama and worries in the run up to Avalanche Day.