Sunday, January 31, 2010

Trans longings, regrets and hopes

How peculiar it is to wake up and suddenly realize all those accessories that we hoped and wished for before we transitioned have suddenly drifted to the back of our minds? All those wonder pieces of ‘women’s things that I had longed to get my feet into have somehow morphed into more gentler practical options; instead of the toe pinching 4 inch foot crushing things we call shoes. Those entire wonderful, exciting high heels in all shapes and styles and heel heights are now cute practical 1 inch heels or flats that flatter one’s feet. Some of the one’s I have bought recently actually seem to make my size 11 feet to appear to be smaller than the boats I know them to be. The same things happened to my dresses, they have lengthened and are more comfortable; not the short skirts or tight form fitting dresses that I lusted after. And our collection of bra’s; well they still tend to be of many colors and have inserts and push what we have up and out into the world to see. The same reasons we gave up of wearing gads of jewelry, although, we have come to an understanding of which makeup looks best on us, after years of trials and errors.

It seems that for those of us trans women who had to wait until their later years to transition, the mystic and mysticism of everything satin, or lacy, or made of nylon or silk forged our wicked lusting for anything female. As we were children our fantasy was for the feminine things were very discouraged or forbidden to touch much less wear. If only we were given permission to be who we were, other than what we were, we might not have attached so much special sexual feelings for feminine things.

I have been following two blogs by parents of transgender children, one a wonderful understand mother, and one father trying to come to terms with how to support and love their male to female children. Both children are still of school age and the parents post are filled with emotional angst and hope and lots of love. Both parents have to deal with a steep learning curve for supporting and loving their trans children. I follow their posting quite regularly but feel limited as to my advice or thoughts that I can only share, knowing that both of these parents are living in the trenches of emotional warfare, of hostile combat with children having to live in two worlds to survive against those who do not accept us.

If we were able to open up to our parents as these children have done, and found acceptance and love and support, our lives would not have been filled with shame, or hate, or the fears we faced as we hid our ‘little secrets’ from our parents, our family, from our selves. I am envious of the young children who have found parental support; knowing how different their lives could and should be from ours. But I wish them all the love of heaven and earth, knowing that ‘times are a changin’ and there is much more acceptance for them now than when we grew up so many years ago.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tales of the Lives of the NormalTrans Woman

To Every Reader,

I have been most reticent in adding my comments to this blog. It seems that for the past few weeks when I sit down to write, I get nothing. I can not conjure nor amass enough similar thoughts to string together to compose a paragraph much less some story of interest. My life is much better these days, days of common doings as Kay and I go about our life together living ‘normal lives’.

I can’t possibly realize just how many people know of my past life or that Kay and I are legally married instead of the two ladies people see. But every once in a while I am reminded that people are aware; as last week I saw one of my daughter’s teacher and her family in a local restaurant. As her husband left first, he spoke to me and asked me how I was doing, my daughter’s teacher and her son and friend passed by the table and she gave me a hug, which I didn’t expect, and introduced her son. I told him my name and his mother qualified that they had long conversation with my daughter only last week and said, “You remember J……e, this is her father.” He repeated my name, Sarah, and said it was a pleasure to see me. It really didn’t offend me because I am her father, and will always be known as her father. Although she was very warm and polite in her conversation, and I really did not hear her say the ‘father’ word; Kay only told me after they left what she actually said.

My daughter has returned to my life as she now has a clearer understanding of my choice of life. I will always cherish these times we spend with them and only pray that she will be able to convince her brothers to contact us and renew our relationships with them; but I realize that as of new that appears to have a slim chance of happening. We have had her and her fiancé over for supper several times and have really enjoyed their company and conversation. They are planning on following other education opportunities for her fiancé and will be moving west by next summer. There will always be opportunities for trips and visits in the future.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Just a Woman, if you please!

My journey down the rabbit hole of transition was filled with a great many twists and turns; abrupt turns indeed. At the beginning of my transition was the door of my marriage closing and opening a great many others doors to other rabbit holes. There happened to be one dead end where I discovered my cancer lurking. When I started my journey to be Sarah, I had not found blogs yet, so I wrote my life journal…

April 21 2003

Some catching up to do. Over the last 10 years, I have been slowly changing my behavior and looks. I have come to the realization that I am more than just “john” that there is someone else inside struggling to show herself. I started wearing women’s things, panties and socks were what I could get away with. I started wearing my wife's clothes when I could because they were accessible. After I tore one her good dresses, I decided that I should buy my own clothes. Such a struggle to understand and cope. I have always wanted to be cared for and held. I learned how to be a “hugger” from Linda’s family, especially Melba who I had come to enjoy being with. Such a big heart and laughter. I have realized that she and I didn’t hug anymore; maybe it was both our faults. It had become difficult to know when to get close to my ex. She seemed to never be the starter, always waiting for me.

This was the first Easter or holiday that I have spent without family. My ex and I have agreed that a divorce was necessary due to the fact that Joanna has become emblazoned, quite bold in some of her outings. I have moved to Tall Tree apartments a one bedroom, quite big enough for Joanna. After Church and lunch with the Robinson’s I came back to the apartment, changed into something comfortable Capri and a top and did laundry. After laundry, I changed into a long summer sleeveless dress with a jacket and took a book and a drink and went to the park to read. I was a sunny and warm day, there were several groups of families with kids playing and enjoying themselves. Between reading and watching the kids playing it was very uplifting for me. Last week I spent the Tuesday in Tallahassee and visited the nice people at Merle Norman’s. We started talking and I told her that I wanted to make an appointment for a makeover when ever would be convenient with her. She said lets do one now. She gave me some great tips and that we needed to change the foundation color and to use some different lipstick. Even though my hair wasn’t that great, her changes really looked sooo great on me that I almost started to cry. I was on two steps above cloud Nine. It was really nice just to talk to someone, who was truly interested. I couldn’t have had a nicer gift. That’s what I am calling her magic that afternoon. I almost went to bed without cleaning off my face.

I started my journey without knowing what I was doing; which is to say that one learns by doing. Even if it’s a journey one step at a time. My female cloud walking happened before I started using hormones. To carefully dress and step out one’s door in the light of day was exciting and thrilling rolled together with angst. My success with passing happened almost from the beginning; having someone whistle and make comments about my long legs was exciting and thrilling at the same time. I do not really remember getting ugly comments about me being a man in a dress; just quick glances and smiles from women who I passed on the street or in the mall.

Now, even I forget that I was once that person sometimes as ‘he’ gets lost as I live my life these days. The drama in my life these 5 years revolved around my getting breast cancer and then having reconstruction two years later. The happiness that my wife brings to me every morning I wake up with her next to me is priceless. All the friends and their children we have watched so often; those are the every day thoughts and deeds that occupy our time together as a married couple. Some of the things that occupy our time these days is our quilting, PFLAG, Integrity, music concerts and the opera. Taking that 8 day trip to New England; reading one of the pieces in the Universities' production of the Vagina Monologues, again, those were this years high points for us.

My thinking about the New Year is that I will try to find my poetry writing voice again; I would like to speak to more groups about being a trans woman and doing more political advocacy with trans issues.

I challenge everyone to learn something new about you, to learn to do something new and be a shoulder for someone who is beginning their own journey.