Thursday, December 17, 2009

Encouragement?

A rare short blog from me!

I think in past blogs I have been pretty unfair to the students. I often put emphasis on the occasional derogatory comments I get here, and how I get a sense that I am running the gauntlet sometimes when I am in the hall. But I have rarely given credit where credit is due, and mentioned than some kids seem ok with me, and even supportive. Or that most seem indifferent and that the kids who are rude are in the minority.

Actually the truth is that several of the kids here will always go out of their way to greet me if they see me in the halls. Mostly girls, but there are even a few guys who don't seem to think there is any kind of stigma attached to saying hi to the prissy computer tech person. For the most part I don't know any of their names, having only met in passing in the halls. But it does make me feel a lot more comfortable here, and for that, I owe them all.

Early this morning I was feeling bad about myself. I had walked to the restroom to check my hair, and I wasn't feeling to great about what the mirror was telling me. Hair was a little frizzy. The button down men's shirt I was wearing was course and bulky, giving me a boxy look. My goal with men's clothing is to look male enough to get by. Looking more male than the bare minimum is a bit irritating for me at this point. My assessment had been that today, I'm looking far more masculine than I need to, and I was not pleased.

Even worse, I knew it was the office Christmas party today, and that I would be in the company of people who make me feel so giant, shapeless and ugly that I wish I could disappear. LOL!

Well, so much for a short blog. I really tried! But now, to the point. All that leads us to the part where I was walking back to the office, feeling bad about myself and wishing I could just go home. (Aren't you glad you have all that backstory stuff? It would have been so confusing if I had just opened this blog with "I was walking down the hall feeling down this morning and..."

Oops! Another false start. Here we go. For real. LOL!

I was walking down the hall feeling down, and I met two high school girls. My first thought was, "Grrr! I wish I could just have the hall to myself. I hate being in public looking this stupid."

But as we met, one of the girls (who often is kind enough to speak to me, says "Hi Shannon!"

Then after a brief moment's hesitation, "You look pretty today."

I'll have to admit, I'm old, and I don't understand modern teenagers all the time. Every generation has its own way to communicate, and an older generation never understands exactly how a newer generation uses sarcasm. Still, I think that she actually meant it. :)

I think she hesitated that split second because she was trying to decide if it was a safe thing to say. I mean, I am presenting as male, and most men would probably take "pretty" as a huge insult. If I weren't trans, and was just some guy who happened to be cultivating an androgynous look, I could have gotten angry and had her sent to the office or anything. So really, it was kind of brave!

Of course, that was not my reaction at all. I was beaming, and of course thanked her. For a moment it felt like maybe a few people here do understand me. Plus, I felt a slight bit better about this outfit and my presentation today. Apparently I didn't look nearly as masculine as I had thought.

The little boost was short lived though. Most of today, I have felt pretty ugly. I'd so love to be about 5'4 and 100 pounds sometimes. Really, I'm happy with my progress on transition, and I feel blessed. Sometimes I am even 100% happy with the way most parts of my body look. Just occasionally, I get up on the wrong side of bed, and look at everything in the most negative possible light.

Tonight my little esteem crisis is over and I'm feeling very good about myself. I'd go as far as to say, I don't feel at all inferior to anyone for the moment. Shorter, curvier, more estrogeny-y looking chicks can have their look. I'm very happy with my look and my limits. I don't feel arrogant for saying it either. I think every woman trans or otherwise has her own brand of beauty. We just each need to find and embrace it. I thank GOD for blessing me with the gifts I have, in regards to both beauty and more important things.

Also, I certainly owe gratitude to that young lady who gave me the little boost I needed to get through the day this morning. :)

9 comments:

ms.shandy said...

Just proof read this thing. Wow, typos, and so stream of thought! Really though, it captures the energy of the moment better that way, so I'm leaving it exactly as is. I think I should email that second to last paragraph . Maybe that little epiphany could help me pull myself together the next time I had an esteem slump. :P

ms.shandy said...

One other note. The kids here call most adults by honorifics at school. Mr and Mrs. Last name basis. Since I am not a teacher, they tend to be slightly less formal. In the past, I've been called S, or Mr. _____, with a fairly even split. It just suddenly occurred to me while I was reading back over this, that it has probably been at least 6 months since a child has called me anything other than my highly androgynous first name.

Often I find myself wondering just how much people know. =)

caroline said...

I was wondering how she called you Shannon so i guess now I know.

We are our own worst critics and should not yearn after GG airbrushed unattainable images but hey you look great and must make many out here jealous.

ERRR should have read "do make many of us out here jealous!"

Caroline XXX

ms.shandy said...

Oops, forget that said Shannon, it was supposed to be S. LOL!

I try to keep my actual name off here for the most part, to be at least slightly harder to find for curious locals. Really thoughy I'm nearly past caring. So yes, I'm Shannon! Hello world! Hehe!

Leslie Ann said...

Great "short" post, Lil Shan. Glad you left it long.

I think that girl's comment was sincere and her hesitation was just what you thought. How sweet! Looks like things are looking up out in the sticks.

Leslie Ann said...

I'm curious. Is there a reason your time stamps are Pacific time? I know, a California girl at heart!

ms.shandy said...

Ah, that explains why I didn't get sleepy until 2 AM last night! In my time zone it was really only 11.

Seriously, I must need to change a setting in blogger somewhere.

Jerica said...

Yay girl! I'm so glad that girl was so nice! You gotta love moments like this, they are something to cherish in these hard times of being in between.

ms.shandy said...

Yeh, the slighetest encouragment really helps me right now. Just any sign that people are starting to see who I actually am, and are able to accept it. Hope you are finding lots of encouragment on your journey too. You seem so cool! :)