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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

A while ago, someone made the following comment on this blog.  It is not a nice comment, so be warned: It may upset you to read it.

It didn’t upset me, however, and here’s why.  I am fully cognizant of the fact that some people see what we (the transgender or crossdressers) are or do as unnatural. I expect some comments like these.  I welcomed this one, because I saw it as a chance to refute some of the commenter’s claims.  I emailed the person back, asking him (I assume it is a “he”, only because natal males seem to have more of a problem with trans folk than natal females by a large degree) to explain his several comments.

To date, he has not answered me.

I leave his comment here intact, as he wrote it–spelling errors and all–so that I can not be accused of editing it to fit my desires.  Such is propaganda, and that’s not my point here.  My point in making this available is so that *I* can address his various opinions from my own perspective.

Here is what he posted to me. Again, what he says is offensive to many, so please read no further if you are easily upset.

“Transgendered people need help. There is something wrong with them. They need to see a doctor. Gay people are sick also. They are not normal. Don’t get into the semantics of what is mormal you know what I mean. Being transgendered or gay ruins people’s lives. Even their own. So do us all a favor and get fixed!”

He put many words here, but he doesn’t actually *say* anything with them. There is “something wrong” with us…okay, what exactly do you mean by that, sir?  There IS something wrong with us. It’s called “lacking acceptance”.  It’s called “feeling forced to hide ourselves away”.  What’s wrong with us, in a nutshell, is people like you, sir. It is not a thing within us that is wrong.  “Out of place” may a better term for the thing within us. “Mis-matched” is so much more descriptive and accurate. It is a dichotomy between how we feel inside and how we appear outside.

I asked him what he thought the “something wrong” was with us.  No reply.

He says we should have a doctor fix us.  But we often do, sir!  There is a term for it: Gender Reassignment Surgery. Another term applies: Hormone Replacement. Yet another term fits: Gender Identity Therapy.  There are many more terms. In effect. they all work toward helping us become the person we are meant to be–physically, mentally, emotionally, even spiritually. They help us bridge the gap between who we are inside and who we appear to be outside. They help us cope when people around us call us names, or say we are not welcome in their restaurants, or refuse to acknowledge our humanity.

Oh, wait, I get it…you meant that you wish a doctor would remove the thing within us which makes you uncomfortable.  Would you also change the skin color of the person with whom you are conversing? Would you shorten the hair of the gentleman playing the guitar over there? Would you remove that which allows your mother to speak her mind or enables her to move to another room besides the kitchen? In short, sir, would you make all people into those of your own choosing? My guess is that you would. How disappointed you must be with these annoying people constantly intruding on your life! Why can’t they all just disappear and leave you alone?

I feel so sorry for you. You must be in constant and neverending misery.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but we cannot be fixed that way any more than colored skin can, or the guitar player can, or any woman or man can.

“Gay people are sick also. They are not normal. Don’t get into the semantics of what is mormal you know what I mean.”  (Well, I had to take a guess at “mormal”, but I believe I was able to pull the meaning of the word out of the context of the sentence.)

Why yes, gay people *are* often sick. They catch colds and contract the flu just like you do. They suffer from illness and disease, because–and I realize this may be a shock to you and you will have a hard time understanding the words–because they are human.

It’s okay, sir…breathe.  The confusion and nausea will pass if you relax and open your mind.

Yes, Gay people are human. Lesbian women are human. Transgender people are–as bizarre as you may find this–human. Just like you.

Welllll…perhaps not *just* like you. The overwhelming majority of trans, gay, lesbian or bi people I know are more open-minded and accepting than you are. For that reason–yes, I’m saying this–they are better than you.  Healthier, anyway. Hmmm…perhaps the sick ones are not we, but you, sir?

I know! You should see a doctor! Have her fix you!

“Being transgendered or gay ruins people’s lives. Even their own.”  I specifically wanted to know what sir meant by this statement. I admit it perplexes me.  In my experience and based on the stories I’ve read and heard, it is the other way around. Family members, supposed “friends”, complete strangers…many of these cause problems for those of us who identify with one or more of the letters in “LGBT”. Many who purport to love us instead reject us…do you know the pain that can cause? Oh that’s right…you’ve never been rejected, have you? You’ve never walked down a street and been taunted or sword at–or attacked and brutally beaten or even killed–because of who you are. No, because you’re perfect, I forgot. Nobody has anything bad to say about you.

For just a moment, I want you to call to mind the person you love most in the world–besides yourself, if you can.  Picture their face, feel the warmth of their smile as they caress your cheek. Now imagine them telling you you’re worthless, that they wish they’d never met you, that they want you to have never been born. In short, picture them ripping your heart apart with their words.

You *begin* to know that through which we sometimes have to go.

We ruin people’s lives? No. More often, the ones who reject us usually go on living their lives in peace, while we are forced to pick up the shattered remains of our souls and *try* to live our own lives.

We live in pain, too often, and for too long. We shed tears over lost loved ones–who are still alive, but with whom we can never again be. *Our* lives are ruined far more often and in far more permanent ways than those with whom we interact, and it is not we who are ruining them.

If I am ruining your life just by being, sir, it speaks volumes about the fragility of your existence.

Ruining our own lives? Sir, we are trying to simply live those lives. We are trying to heal from being broken by people around us. Often we are doing this alone, because we cannot ask for your help. We help each other. We strengthen our sisters, heal our brothers, because you will not. And no matter how hard you try to keep breaking us, you never will. We are stronger than you, sir. We are healthier than you. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that even in our oft-time misery, we are nonetheless happier than you.

Your last comment is the most disturbing. You tell us to “get fixed”, and I sincerely hope you do not mean that in the veterinary sense. Because that would be indicative of a very sick mind. It borders on a threat to our lives–to my life–which is an offense to both sensibility and law. So I will assume you mean it in the medical sense…which I have addressed above.

Sir, I gave you a chance to explain your words, to make your case. I offered to post your comments and explanations here on my site, to give voice to your ideas. I invited you to do so. You ignored my invitation to dialogue. Are you so unsure of your own mind that you are afraid I might sway it with mere words?

You should know that we are strong–stronger than you realize. You should know that your words do not sting us as you wish they would. We have heard them before, we have processed them, we have found ways to draw upon them for our strength. In short, sir, your words make us stronger. We know ourselves, sir…or we are learning who we are, and it is a wonderful journey!  In discovering ourselves, we see the good in those around us, and we build and encourage and strengthen that good! We polish it, make it shine, turn it into a mirror to reflect God’s light into dark corners like yours. It burns, that Light, does it not? But it only burns because you have wrapped the cold darkness around you like a cloak.

You should know that cloak is thin and weak–its threads will fray and unravel under the onslaught of the Light. It will be easier on you if you open your mind to it, and allow it in. Oh I know, sweetie! It is so hard to do that! You are so afraid of the Light, but the Light WILL NOT HURT YOU! The pain comes from the darkness, and your vice-grip on it. Once you let go of it, the pain will disappear. How can I prove that to you?  I can’t. You must take a leap of faith before you can feel it. You must trust that it will happen.

Yes, transgender people need help. We need need it desperately and constantly and fully.  We need acceptance, we need employment, we need insurance. We need love. We need life.

But we *have* help. We help each other, we accept each other, we support each other, we love each other and we allow each other to live. Non-trans people give us those things, too, sir, believe it or not–many, many of them. And more are accepting us every day. Your corner is getting smaller, I’m afraid.

We have life, we have acceptance, we have love, we have support.  And your words, sir, can never change that.

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My wife has always been unpredictable. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, mind you.

The other day, for instance, she blew me out of the water with a few words.

She has finally started coming around to accepting that I am a crossdresser, and that I need to express this. She gets that I need the acceptance of my peers—which in my case means getting out to Sisters Family meetings.

She has agreed to me going to meetings once a month. For now, I’ll take it. It’s once a month more than I ever thought she’d accept.

She gets how important it is for me to go out on March 26th, dressed for the first time out ever. The other day she asked if I had something to wear that night. I assured her I had. She didn’t want to know the details, but wanted to make sure A) I hadn’t spent too much (no, I hadn’t) and B) that it was at least a neat, attractive outfit. “You want to make us proud,” she said. “You don’t want to look trashy or anything.”

Us, she said.

I told her I thought it would be fine. She allowed that I “do know how to put together an outfit”—payoff for all the times I went shopping with her, for her.

Later on, she said that maybe I could have some of the things in her closet that she no longer wears. I was stunned, because I had been hoping for something like this for a long, long time. She does have several items that she no longer wears, some of which I can adapt for me (I can find my way around a sewing machine, yes)—one of which I’ve really wanted for some time.

I told her I don’t know what I’m allowed to take, she said she wasn’t sure she’s quite ready for this yet anyway, so I said I’d leave the timing up to her. When and if she’s ready to hand over the clothes to me, I’ll accept them.

And there’s a third acceptance. She also said the other day that maybe someday she’d be willing to go with me to a Sisters meeting and meet my “girlfriends”. Yes, she used that word, jokingly, but she said it nonetheless. I told her I wasn’t ready for that yet—I haven’t even been out dressed yet–but that when and if we were both ready, the Sisters would make her instantly welcome.

Big, BIG steps from where we were six months ago.

But this acceptance comes at a price, and it’s a potentially high one.

She has said all along that the only way she could accept my crossdressing was if she were merely my best friend, not my wife. I’ve mentioned here before that she’s on her own life-exploration, and at the moment that journey is taking her away from me and potentially toward someone else.

It hurts, but not as much as it could. We’d been drifting apart some for a few years now, and at the moment we both have things we’re discovering and want to explore about ourselves. I have already accepted her need. She’s slowly accepting mine.

We are separated, but still living in the same house for the sake of the kids and the family unit. We still love each other very much. She is still the best friend I have ever had and will ever have, and vice-versa. We still want to be in each other’s life. So we’re separated, but in some ways we’re closer now than we’ve ever been. With some of the pressure of being husband-0and-wife off, we’re able to be more open and talk about things more. Yes, that’s how it should have been all along, but circumstances in each of our lives—and our life together—made it difficult to communicate properly.

So closer and farther apart at the same time. Do I miss the intimacy? Some, but I was never a strong lover anyway…my libido is usually miles below hers—or below “normal”, for that matter. And really, that’s the only thing missing from our relationship.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the woman I’m finding inside me. She’s still balanced against the man I am, even if that balance does often lean more toward female. My wife is enjoying some new friendships, and I haven’t seen her happy like this for a long time. I still have to hide more than she does (lesbianism is still far more socially accepted than transgenderism), but with the support of my new friends and family, and the love of my God, I make it through every day.

It’s been a long and painful journey, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Peace,

-Dianna Rose

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Things are moving along these past couple weeks.  There has been some pain, but there has been much more joy.

On Friday, March 5, 2010, I went to my first meeting of a local New England TG group, Sisters Family.  I went in drab, because that’s how I needed to go in order to establish my personal comfort level with this new situation and with these new people, a few of whom I had only hitherto met on-line.  The others I had not met at all.

Originally, I had planned this for the Friday before, but late on the preceding Thursday a massive wind storm slammed into New England, bowling over trees which snapped power lines, crushed cars, damaged houses.  Thankfully, blessedly, there were very few injuries.

One of the results of that, though, was that my wife and daughter would have been left alone in the house for several hours that night.  My wife doesn’t know how to run the generator, so she would have been lost in the event of it’s running out of gas. My daughter has occasional night fears anyway, and her daddy leaving her in the middle of what for her was already a scary situation would have fed those fears.

So I postponed my getaway for the following week.  In doing so, I missed meeting two of my good on-line friends–one of whom I would have met for the first time, and with whom I had been planning a surprise for the founder of Sisters Family.

Ah well…such is life.

Yes, I was disappointed, but it was all made up the next Friday, when I did get to the meeting.

Was I welcomed?  Instantly!

Was I made comfortable with my new friends?  In five seconds!

Will I find the acceptance I need from them?  Without any shred of doubt!

Sisters Family is a wonderful, supportive group of people, who accepted and included me despite my drab (and I really was drab…t-shirt and jeans).  Several of them even asked if I wanted to accompany them to a local restaurant for live music after the meeting, but I had promised my wife I’d be back right after, so I politely (but regretfully) declined.

The next day, my wife said I should have gone, but keeping my promise to her was important and I know she appreciated it.

There’s more news…I know this is already a long post, so if you need a break, take one.  Grab a cup of coffee or tea, but come back for the rest of this.  🙂

My next big event is going out, dressed, for the first time ever. I had planned this for Friday, March 19th, but again, God’s plans overrule mine.

That same Friday, my wife’s uncle and his family have planned a dinner at a local restaurant–one not ten minutes from where the Sisters Meeting takes place.  This is the only day they could get all the family members together for this event.  My wife knows how important it is for me to get out with the Sisters, so she said she’d go to the dinner and make my excuses to them for not being there.

I thought long and hard on this, because the 19th was to be another big night.  One of my friends was to be there for what might be the last time in a long time, due to her work schedule.  Another friend was also going to be out dressed for the first time that night–she’ a FtM crossdresser, exactly opposite what I am.

But genetic family comes first, especially my kids, to whom I didn’t relish the thought of disappointing by not being there at a big family dinner.  So I pushed my bit Outing back one week. My friend worked her schedule around to get that night off, so she’ll be there to support me in my time of nerves. 🙂

Despite her saying I could go anyway, she really appreciated that I changed my plans for her and the kids.  It went a long way toward building her trust in me back up.

My other friend is still making his big appearance on the 19th.  I’m sad and disappointed to miss it, but if my dinner breaks up in time I will show at the Sisters meeting late so I can still say Hi.  And on the 26th, he’ll be there again to escort me and my friend in.

This is a tremendous leap from where I was six months ago.  It’s taken a lot–and I mean a LOT–of patience, understanding, compassion and sheer blind faith to get here, but God kept His promise and brought me through the fire.  Will there be other fires?  Undoubtedly, but I trust Him to bring me through those, too.  Am I at the end of my journey?  Not by a long shot!  🙂

In faith,

-Dianna Rose

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