Thank you ObamaCrat
Part of my vocal retraining is to sing along and try and lower my voice to certain songs. This is a selection of them not that I do a good job of singing them but getting there.
Nickelback: Burn It to the Ground
Robbie Williams – Angels
Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back In Town
Luciano Pavarotti – Nessun Dorma
Luciano Pavarotti – O Sole Mio
Love and light
This is the next topic in my articles on issues that affect a Transgendered person.
Predominantly the reason I hid my true self, the man, away from the world is family. How does one tell a parent their only daughter is not a daughter but another son? How does one explain to children their mother is really a man? And so the list grows.
While the boys were children it was a relatively easy choice, growing up in this world is hard enough without throwing a Transgendered parent into the mixing bowl of youth. Now they are grown men themselves they are only concerned with me being happy as I am so telling them that I am Jez was easy – I knew they would be cool about it. In private they still call me Mum but in public it is Jez, yeah with a few slips now and then as is bound to happen.
Telling my parents was the hardest thing I have ever done. I suppose in their eyes I have killed their only daughter but truth is I never was that person. The truth is since I was of teenage years I have put a mask on in front of them so they saw what they wanted to see – a daughter. Even once I had started my transition as I did not know how far I was going to need to go I did not say anything. I withdrew from making family connections and that was something I needed to do. However once the changes in me had become more than little obvious I had to come out the closet once and for all. It has not been easy and still is not easy but I hope in time we will get there.
Siblings and their families is also a difficult issue. As I don’t see them from one year to the next you could say it does not really matter but it does. In the case of my brothers I was very aware that there could come a time we would have to meet and the concept of these two guys expecting to see some chick in a frock and finding a bearded dude in a suit and tie was not a good one. I am very aware that I have left one brother the unenviable task of maybe having to tell his teenagers that Auntie is now Uncle. However I know like my boys his kids are of a different generation when these things are less of a problem.
My grandparents are all in spirit but I believe in spiritual connection so have let them know through the ether. In life I doubt they would have been too willing to understand as they were of a different time when sexuality and gender were set in stone as only being acceptable as heterosexual and binary.
Coming out to family about anything they may not like to hear is never going to be easy. However we can be blinded by how we think someone is going to react. Coming out is very much saying this is how things are – take it or leave it. Trying to predict how someone will react to the news is actually being quite judgemental when we are asking them not to judge us. So instead we hide behind a falseness to keep the truth hidden and that, in its own way, is an imprisonment. Coming out, whether it ended good or bad, liberated me from that prison and has allowed me to learn to be me, to live as me and actually enjoy it instead of hating on myself for the pretense.
Love and light
This is the first in a short series of writes on some of the emotional and/or psychological issues that can face a transgender person. As this is a personal blog I can only write from my own experiences so have left stuff I have not had to deal with until a later date if ever.
Finding a Partner.
Why this is the first issue I do not know but it is so I will go with it. There is someone out there who has heard me say the words I have chosen for the title of this piece, not once but several times. Their answer is I am more than man enough so I cannot and do not argue with that.
If I look back over life before transition I have had a few relationships and all but one of them would not have worked out as I was not connecting fully with the people involved as a significant part of me was deeply buried within my psyche. I regret the fact I have hurt people because I could not be myself, but equally they would not have been part of my life if I had been. I am in no doubt those I did get involved with took what they wanted from me so I do not feel guilt or shame about it anymore. The end of love hurts and we move on.
So what good does looking back actually do? It tells me what I do not want in a partner. In the past I subconsciously or consciously sought out people who did not push too deep into me or try to invade my space. I did not look for someone who wanted me as I did not want me. Love with that sense of self-perspective is somewhat lacking at best. To know love, to give it and receive it one must first love self and I did not love myself, quite the opposite. I am not saying I did not love the people I was with in the past, I did in my own way, the only way I could but it was not enough because I was not man enough to accept myself and value myself.
Now I accept myself for whom and what I am. The fear of rejection is always a problem not just for transgender, but being transgender makes that fear all the more acute. The person I mentioned earlier knows and has known from the beginning of my Trans status and just where I am at in my transitional journey. I am accepted for whom I am and although I still doubt myself at times I know I am man enough.
Love and light
As I have said in previous posts I have lived with gender dysphoria for most of my life. It has been a consistent part of my life since I can remember. It does not go away. So what is this invisible life companion that has been with me for so long?
Gender dysphoria is a basic and fundamental discomfort and dissatisfaction with the biological gender I was born with. It has triggered periods of anxiety, depression, restlessness and suicidal thoughts. It is these feelings that have been the catalyst to making the decision to change both my physical body and my gender expression to be more reflective of what I know my real gender identity to be.
For me gender expression was the beginning of transition, I did not know where or what it was going to lead to. In the past dressing and presenting as male had been enough to calm the urges within myself but it never satisfied them and ultimately dysphoria would return. The need to physically transition just kept getting stronger and it still is getting stronger.
The main problem of living with gender dysphoria is society and its expectations. Essentially everyone expected me to live, act like and be a woman when inside I knew and felt I am a guy.
As children we learn from our parents about what is appropriate and what is not and we take those things inside ourselves. I was expected to do girl things like play with dolls and mix with girls in the playground. Normal everyday things parents expect of their children because it is what society expects too. In reality I longed to play with toy cars and rough and tumble with the boys. As a young kid I learned to bury myself and keep it hidden.
Puberty is always a hard age as the body is changing both physically and chemically. The appearance of breasts when I wanted manly hairs on my chest was abhorrent. The messy menstrual cycle did not help either. As if puberty is not bad enough dealing with gender dysphoria at the same time makes it a whole lot worse and growing up in a time when expressing such would have been at best frowned upon simply continued the burying and hiding of self as it was the better option to having my face pulped for being ‘queer’. I faked an interest in fashion and make-up but really couldn’t get into the desire for shoes.
At the onset of adulthood I was already a parent myself. Being a mother did not make the dysphoria go away in fact it made me very aware I could not change anything and I do not regret for a moment I made the decision to be a mum first. The very idea of transitioning was not a concept I had heard of let alone understood and in many ways I am glad I did not as I have my boys instead.
Now as I approach, rather too rapidly, fifty years of age I am finally transitioning and it is great. I am aware of the pitfalls in doing so later in life. I appreciate my family are having a hard time accepting and understanding what is going on. They have known me as female for most of my life. It is a possibility that the results of any physical changes may not be as convincing as they would have been if they had been done at a younger age. Really that does not matter as transition for me has never been about convincing anyone I am male, it is about feeling comfortable in my body.
Throughout all this gender dysphoria has led to feelings of isolation and needing to hide who I am. I have suffered many periods of deep depression and suicidal ideation. Neither hiding my feelings of being male nor presenting as male have made that any better so transition is the only alternative for me.
Once again my heartfelt thanks to all of you who read me, you are all awesome!!
Love and light