Sunday, July 25, 2010

A momentous July

I wrote a bit ago, while on vacation.  Maybe some of you read it before I deleted it, but in the end I decided it was just to long, and a little over dramatic. :P

So now I'm back to cover vacation and the time since really quickly.

First the vacation.  We drove to main with a truck and fifth wheel trailer to stay 6 nights by the ocean.  3 days driving each way, with 4 adults and a macaw inside a quad cab pickup sounds pretty hectic probably -  especially considering all the friction of a liberal semi-closeted pre-operative transexual traveling with conservatives.  Really things were mostly smooth though.

I had a minor break down finally from the tension on the day of arrival, and locked myself in the RV's master bedroom for a lot of the day.  Dad and I conversed by text and I got over a bit of the tension.  Dad said in that end, to just present however I felt the need to for now and not worry about the awkwardness, that everyone could handle it basically.  

Dad also said that though he doesn't understand my gender issues, that he does appreciate my love of adventure and the outdoors, photography, hiking and such, and that he hoped we could focus on the things we agree on.  We did manage to have a great time too!

Social interaction was interesting, outside my travel party.  It was the most masculine I had presented for a while.  All men's clothes from head to toe, though I don't layer shirts anymore.  Its just too hot!  Also, no makeup and very fluffy hair from the humidity.  

Still, it seems most days, people readily accepted me as female in stores and such.  At our first campground, the camp store worker called me a she in front of Mom and Dad.  That was the last time it ever happened in front of Mom and Dad, but I was ma'amed and addressed with correct pronouns frequently on the trip.  While occasionally I would meet someone who seemed uncertain of my gender who would avoid pronouns and titles all together, just as often people got it right despite the clothes.  In the entire 12 days I was never addressed as he or sir.

Since my return, things have been stressful.  Lots of work to do before summer ends, and very little time remaining to get things ready.  Plus we have went from four 17-24 year old male summer workers, to nine.  Of the original four, at least two seemed not to like me very much, and I've really hated having to deal with that all the time.  With the additional 5, its even worse.

Last Friday has a couple of examples of how awkward it has become. In the morning, I went to help one of the older, more professional acting workers.  We ended up at the same desk within a few feet of each other to look at a computer that needed redone, and suddenly he was getting all shaky and jittery.  I think if it had been an option, he would have ran away.  Its really hard to feel normal when people are that frightened of you.

Later the same day, the other tech, all the summer help and I were going to go to lunch in the next town over.  I was working in a different building for a while and returned to find everyone had already left.  When he came back after lunch the other tech told me he sent one of the workers to tell me they were leaving, and that he claimed to have done so.  So it seems he actually lied just to keep me out of the lunch gathering.

Last Monday I had another round of laser on my face.  I'm recovering well and I think it will prove effective.  As for now, the shedding hair is extra prominent, adding to my insecurities at work.  By the end of the week it should be getting better though.  I'm happy and doing well right now, though, just a little uneasy about my job situation.  All temporary though. :)


Stace said...

I think that was a great message from your dad. I don't think you can ever make someone understand, you can only try, but to say what he said is, I think, wonderful.

Shame about your colleagues - hope the situation improves for you.


PS I hope this is readable - too early in the morning with not nearly enough coffee due to a power cut at home...

Rachel said...

I hope I can have the same type of realtionship with my father. Concentrating our shared interests and not letting gender issues affect these.

Perhaps your summer help was "shaky and jittery" because he found you attractive. That is exactly how I get when a pretty girl sits next to me :-)


Melissa said...

What your dad said, sounds encouraging. Give him time. Eventually it will be a non-issue for him.

As for the young guys at work, they are just acting like young guys often do. Stupid. Young males are often very insecure about their sexuality. One of their biggest fears, is being perceived as gay, and being in close proximity to some of ambiguous sexuality can trigger that fear. Those guys have a lot of growing up to do. Their daily interaction with you, is exactly what they need, to overcome their fear. Try to remain confident and good natured. Eventually your humanity will become more prominent, than your physical presence to them.

Melissa XX

Syl said...

Hi Shandy!

I'm glad you had a decent trip, but you never said how Kupo did!?!?!?! LOL. I agree with Melissa, I think your summer students found you cute and couldn't handle it. ~:> =))

StarCraft II, I can't wait, and yet I probably can't play it either. Not sure my computer can take it, it's getting too old. :P Then again, I'm probably getting too old too! I have nightmares about living in a nursing home when I'm like 90ish and playing Donkey Kong! ROFL

Like I've said many a times, girl, you can't fool anyone anymore into thinking you're a guy. o:) I think it's basically over. :p

And good for you too!

Chat ya soon!

Leslie Ann said...

Your father sounds like a great guy with his priorities straight. It's good you had someone with you to have your back.

The summer help, to put it delicately, are pricks. Like Melissa said, be kind to the idiots and your humanity will win over some of them.

ms.shandy said...

@ Leslie I think I made the summer workers sound worse than they are. I really haven't had much evidence from most of them that they have a problem with me. A few are cold, a few are nervous, and some are actually fairly nice, or maybe indifferent.

Some of them actually seem to be very nice. I'm just such an odd presence right now.

@Sylvia Thanks! I have finally started to realize that most of the time, I'm not really passing as a guy and that I'm essentially out. Its been hard for me to see it, but the evidence keeps coming in. I feel like I'm getting so close to where I need to be!

@Melissa You are very right about Dad I think. We're going to get along just fine in the long run. And actually, I'm inclined to agree about the summer workers too. Some of them are okay with me now I think, and many of the others have gotten more comfortable as they have gotten to know me.

@Rachel I love your interpretation of the jitteriness. Let's go with that! So much more flattering.

I hope things work out well with your Dad too. :)

@Stace Very true, that you can't make someone understand. That is something I learn more and more, and I find that acceptance and tolerance is enough for me. :)