Monday, July 21, 2008

The Passage of Time

Today has been such an emotional one. A near perfect storm that has been building for weeks. I have emailed my therapist twice in July with no response and I'm not sure why. I had to miss last month's meeting with my support group in Lexington because of a family vacation. I've been living my false male existence, with my big false smile on for weeks, while all I have been able to think about are my gender issues, with no real release.

I live with my parents, and they both know about my issues, and probably know where my life is headed. But they aren't ready to cope with it. If they see me crying or I cloister myself in the solitude of my rooms, they never attempt to intrude or to offer me comfort. They pretend everything is fine. Its so hard living with people, when you know that if you were to be yourself they would not tolerate you. Relationships are frustrating and saddening when you know that your acceptance is based on an act that you can't hope to maintain. I feel so stifled here.

I keep thinking back to my best two days out en femme. My first Trans-Kentucky meeting, and attending the Louisville LGBT pride festivities last month. On both of those occasions, when the day was over I changed clothes on a deserted London, Kentucky parking lot on the way home. And I remember those bittersweet moments standing beside my car, with my dress from the day hugged to my chest, my bare feet on the asphalt and the moon casting everything in blue. I stood there both nights, wishing the day did not have to end. That I did not have to go home. I closed my eyes and wrapped myself in the warm memmories of a day of womanhood. All the "miss", "ma'am", "she" and "hers"; all the moments out in public as woman, and the general acceptance I felt, enveloped me like a warm blanket. Was so hard to let it go, fold my dress and get back in to the driver's seat as a male and drive back into my male life.

After Louisville LGBT, I drove home and haven't had a chance to get back out in girl mode since. I've lived every day in this tiring male role. And I've looked in the mirror every day for a glimpse of whatever I found that made me feel so hopeful that I could someday pass, when I was in Louisville. Its been so long since I've had a day to be myself that it all feels like a fairy tale.

And with every day that I can't get further counseling or at least attend a support group meeting again, I feel like time is getting away from me without accomplishing anything to resolve my gender identity. I feel so stressed and isolated. I try to think of how to plan for my eventual transition, but when I think about my disapproving parents, and how to get relocated to a bigger, more open minded place, it all looks impossible to me today. I feel absolutely desperate, and so lonely.

So close yet so far

I've never been sure how to start writing a blog. I'm guessing these probably aren't the best two opening lines though. There are so many things I'd like to say but its not clear to me at all how to start. So I will begin with the basics. My real name is not Shandy. And the "Ms." is debatable. I would say about 99.999999% of the world considers me male. And I don't hold that against them, because most of the evidence does lean that direction. I'm right at 6 feet tall, have the figure of your average scarecrow, can grow a beard in two days. I have facial structure so overbuilt it looks like you could bounce bricks off my brow harmlessly. I have hair every place I shouldn't and am losing it gradually from the top of my head, the one place I would actually like to keep it. I was born physically male and have been raised so. And though I have been lucky in ways, testosterone has definitely had its effects on my body.

But all of my life I have known that despite being male, I'm not a man, and that I can't be. I have never figured out how to explain it in a way that doesn't sound crazy or mystic, but I know that mentally and spiritually I am a woman. I knew it when I was a child. And when the world has subtly stirred me in another direction or made me feel guilty and shameful of it, sometimes I have managed to lose sight of it for months or years at a time. But deep down I have still always known.

I don't have any dramatic proof. I have no especially feminine childhood to point back to and say "See, before people got me all confused, and testosterone messed me up physically I was just a little girl." I wish I did have something like that. Because I'm at a point in my life where I need self affirmation and I'm struggling to make my family understand. But all I know is that I am a woman, and I need the world to see me for what I am instead of what I appear to be. And though I'm off to a slow start, I will fight tooth and nail for it when I ever gather the strength to.

I'm transgender, and my life dream is to have hormone replacement therapy, be able to live full time as a female and eventually have sex reassignment surgery and be able to live as much as possible like a typical woman. Other than that all I care about is being accepted as who I am by those close to me. Everything else is on the periphery.

And so concludes my first blog entry!