I went to the doctor on Friday.
She wanted to know what felt like my life story. That sucked. Speaking to people about important things is very, very difficult.
I can really only name one friend I've ever had that I felt comfortable telling everything to, and he's the one who treated me like garbage. For the most part I hold people at arm's length because I have a crippling fear of rejection, of being perceived as stupid, or appropriating, or talentless, or whatever. Deep down I don't think I'm good enough for anyone or anything. This behaviour doesn't do me any favours -- it isolates me, and worse, still leaves me open to being hurt. It fails as a defence in absolutely every way.
But it's a compulsive trick of mine that I can never seem to control. When I try to get past it, my jaw locks, my thoughts become disorganized, loud, and overwhelming. I feel like trying to connect to people in a meaningful way -- something I desperately want to do -- is so impossibly terrifying that I may as well not bother.
For the handful of people who've been bearing with my constantly aloof presence for years: a sigh of relief, because yes, I finally am actually getting the therapist you've all been telling me to get. Shut up now. (She said in the friendliest tone of voice she could manage.)
Of course, the primary reason I went to the doctor was not a referral to therapy. It was to be prescribed hormone replacement therapy, because I'm transitioning. On that front, too, I have good news: I'm probably starting on September 20. I have two more appointments, both of which are already scheduled, and the doctor seemed very certain that I could start on the 20th. So that is something I am looking forward to rather a lot.
The days of being afraid to do x arbitrary gender cue in public lest I be perceived as one of Those Things are thankfully behind me. I present female all the time, and apparently I do it pretty successfully because no one has called me male in months (other than certain family members who don't see me often and still have to get used to it). I have accomplished this feat basically just by not trying: I started looking how I wanted just to keep myself comfortable while resigning myself to the idea that people would think I was a super effeminate gay guy, but then everyone started calling me 'she' and I was like, "Oh, I guess I can skip that part? Maybe?" I don't really know how I did it either but it's certainly been a load off my mind...
There's a small but loud-mouthed clique of people on this website who I'm sure have something to say about how I've "self-diagnosed" myself as transgender. I diagnose these people as idiots. Their prescription is to stop talking about stuff they know nothing about.
The pathologizing of transgender identities and gender nonconformity in general would be frankly hilarious if it weren't so damaging. If you do research into this subject, you will go cross-eyed trying to keep track of every researcher's agenda, their bias, their gaping blind spots. You will need to reread passages after figuring out that the writer accidentally started using the words "men" and "women" backwards to how they were using them in a different passage. With cross-gender behaviour, the goalposts get shifted as many times as needed for the majority to be right. This is why transphobes like Roseanne Barr call a trans woman "he" in one tweet and "she" in another one. A few days ago, a friend of mine had someone trying to tell her she was a "woman" but not "female" -- until my friend scanned a letter from her doctor which used the word "female", at which point the transphobe decided that she'd had the words backwards the entire time and was therefore Still Right.
I know this might sound crazy, but would it kill everyone to just fucking stop?
Maybe it's the Evil Gay Agenda talking, but I really just don't understand why people beat the shit out of their kids because they play with the wrong toys. Why people bring their kids to doctors demanding that the kid's preference for one colour over another be cured. And worst of all -- why many doctors actually do this.
You people do know that men and women are the same species, right? The boundary between them is a bit vague, biologically and socially. Trying to enforce gender norms on non-conforming children is provably harmful.1 People who defy societal expectations (more like mandates) about gender do not invariably (or even usually!) grow up to desire transition; half the time they aren't even gay. The entire pissing mess of importance society places on gender is gasoline-soaked . None of it makes a molecule of sense.
If people hadn't have been so damn adamant that I couldn't be feminine when I was young, that would have made my life easier, even more so than for most people since I'm one of the few people who do desire transition. Or did I deserve all the misery I got because of the way I was born? Did I deserve to learn I was inferior because I wasn't boy enough to be the son my father wanted?
Parents who aren't okay with cross-gender behaviour are not parents.
41% of transgender people admit to attempting suicide. This rate amongst the general population in the United States is 1.6%.2 It is beyond time for people to take these things seriously, without stupid agendas getting in the way. And one of those people is going to be me, because I am sick of it. Absolutely fed up.
...But yeah. My life? Generally a lot better! Transitioning so far has been a blast and I'm super excited to start hormones. I kind of went on a rant here and didn't fully cover what is actually a pretty big issue, but this is just a daylog and these are my simple daily thoughts. Sorry about the mess!
1 Roberts, Andrea L. , Margaret Rosario, Heather L. Corliss, Karestan C. Koenen, and Bryn Austin. Childhood Gender Nonconformity: A Risk Indicator for Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress in Youth. Pediatrics Feb 20 2012. American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 20 July 2013 from here.
2 Grant, Jaime M., Lisa A. Mottet, Justin Tanis, Jack Harrison, Jody L. Herman, and Mara Keisling. Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. Washington: National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2011. Page 82. Online copy.