I think Alyssa’s thread is very helpful for people who want to know more about trans issues, and have toyed with the idea of starting my own. I don’t want to hijack her thread with my ideas, but have also felt a second thread is somewhat redundant. What pushed me to finally start this is that I recently saw my parents for the first time since realizing that I am trans, and even though they have been supportive, there is a lot that they don’t understand yet. I’m partially looking for a space to process some of my thoughts and think about what I do and don’t feel a need to teach them.
I’ve written elsewhere about what it feels like to be trans, maybe I’ll track that down, clean it up, and add it as a later post here. For now, let me start with a little bit about who I am and where I am in my transition. I admitted to myself that I am trans this past fall, at a relatively late age (almost 50), and figuring that out has made tons of things throughout my life make more sense. I’m late-ish to the game because of how things were when I was younger – I grew up in the midwest, at a time when being a trans woman who is attracted to women was a concept that didn’t really exist in main stream thought. (In fact, the medical establishment back then considered only trans women who were attracted to men as “true” transsexuals, along with other weird gate keeping beliefs that caused many women to either self-medicate or lie to their doctors, but that is something for a separate rant.) Trans awareness is so much better now that I suspect I would have figured it out, or more specifically, accepted it, far sooner had I grown up today. A number of prominent trans women of my generation express the same thought. Unfortunately that greater awareness today comes with the flip side of transphobia being much more open, also perhaps a subject for a later post.
I am out to my family, my immediate work group, and a couple of friends. I’m not yet full time outside of the house, although hope to be over the next few months after some family issues are sorted out. My “boy mode” is rapidly becoming more androgynous / feminine. I don’t currently plan on coming out to clients, although work has said that they would support me doing so. Likewise, I’m using a new id here, even though the majority of posters I knew IRL didn’t make the migration over from the AO. I don’t really have a reason other than fear not to be more public, and I admire Alyssa for what she is doing.
I still don’t have a rational answer for why I want to transition, beyond the fact that I just know it is what I need. When I came out to them, I told my parents that I had decided to love and accept myself for who I am, and that’s still the best way I have found to put it into words. When I do something gender affirming, I can feel my blood pressure go down as if things are naturally falling into place. An analogy I saw recently is that we all accept that quitting a soul draining job is good for one’s mental health, and that’s just 40 hours a week. Trying to live as the wrong gender is draining 24/7. Perhaps that resonated with me because I remember the day I decided to quit my pre-actuarial career, sitting on the porch in the early morning sun, being calm and truly content for the first time in years. I knew then that giving up that career was the unambiguously right thing to do, much as I know now that accepting who I am is what I need. And perhaps have needed for almost my entire life.