Tuesday, 3 August 2010

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I logged in here, it's like an old home I remembered fondly and kept trying to find the time to come back to. I have a lot of homes like that, work mainly has been keeping me away bags of travel and no time for myself too tried when I get home to find words to put together how I feel and what I'm thinking.

It's been a tough couple of months a lot of questioning, a lot of doubt and a lot of fear. I feel like I have lost my way a little no longer sure of where I am or what I was standing in for some time. I've been hiding out in my skin not confirming nor denying anything about myself paralysed a little by demands of changing my name before my next appointment being made on me. I don't see how I can logistically right now mainly because of travel and needing my passport than from any real reluctance to identify myself as male. I have come out at work and found my colleagues to be overall very supportive which has been helpful, but now I am faced with another dialectic I don't pack or bind but I identify as male and everyone knows I identify as male so which toilet do I use? Seems like a silly question really but I am hypersensitive about having a female body so I don't want to make men uncomfortable by using the mens and I also don't want to do the same by going into the ladies when they all know I consider myself to be male. I of course just use the disabled toilets there but it does bring into stark focus the reality that at some point I will have to consciously start using the mens toilets and changing rooms. There are ways around it for now, but the thought of it is very scary right now indeed mainly the fear of being told to get out cause it's the mens which shouldn't be too strange cause I am told to get out of the ladies all the time but I guess the only difference is that this time I want to be male. Being rejected from the ladies has always felt like a validation and a reassurance where as being rejected from the mens would hurt I want to be male I don't want to be rejected from male areas because in my head that would be more than just a rejection from a toilet or changing room it would be a rejection of my gender and that by far is the one thing that hurts me the most.

All my life I have been told I am not a boy but, a girl or even worse a 'tomboy', a girl pretending to be a boy or butch, a masculine female. All identities I have found some comfort in because they allowed me to be part of what it is I am and I am grateful for them but, now I struggle to be me, the full me, a trans-male. These identities only hinder my development, these identities are shackles tying me to the idea that really I am a woman pretending or wanting to be a man.

The idea or this rips right through the center of me and over the last few months it has become more and more apparent to me that I not only struggle against this notion in other people but also in myself. It is my constant fear that the people around me see me as some from of eccentric or crazy, like the trans-men of my past who were derided and disapproved of by the women who initiated me into the lesbian fold. "Oh that poor whats her name she has some kind of crazy girlfriend who makes her call her a mans name! Oh and I am sure that she/he must be beating her she's always this or doing that blah blah blah". This is my growing up image of a trans-man I didn't for one second associate what was going on in my head with what those women were talking about, but now I have finally started to face what it is I am that image keeps floating in front of me, pointing it's finger at me, accusing me. And this fear of being a 'crazy' is being fed by other things too.

Other trans-males around me are getting their treatments and I have been told that I need to legally change my name before any treatments will be given to me, I've told some people and they are like oh yeah well I can see how they would want to see you show some commitment, but then a friend of mine said hell no they can't tell you how to be trans and for god sake talk to some other trans guys. I am still trying to do this alone, all my life I've done this alone, I've survived alone, stayed safe alone in places where if I had been exposed I am sure it would not of ended well. I don't know anymore, I want some help, I need someone to say it's OK your not crazy your just like I was when I was dealing with this and in fact thinking back every tans-guy I have talked to in the past has said that. I feel like I am getting lost in all the what if's and doubt all over again and I want to get back in the sunshine so very very much...


  1. Hey dude, If you want to talk in person, drop me a line.

    I put off my name change for a really long time for a bunch of reasons, some of which have to do with my passport. It turns out that doing the name change is actually really easy and low stress. If you're planning on renewing your passport, then you're supposed to do it in your new name. But you're not obligated to go change your passport the same day as you change your name. Nobody is going to catch you if you put it off.

    I was really reluctant to change my name for a bunch of reasons, including that it was MY NAME, if you know what I mean. I wasn't entirely pleased with it, but it was mine.

    It's also perfectly aceptable to use the disabled loo. There's a website that lists their locations, even: http://safe2pee.org/ I used gender neutral toilets exclusively for a couple of years at least. I would sometimes nip into the men's, also afraid of being thrown out. Despite having been challenged in the ladies on innumerable locations. I was only told to leave the men's once in my life. It was a train station in The Hague and I was drunk. I was not yet IDing as trans and I wandered into the men's room and then was completely confused as to why the stall doors were all locked. The guy who came in at the same time was looking at me nervously, but the station attendant, a woman, was the one who told me to go to the other side. Men don't seem to care as much. And why would they? Women's fears about men in their loos tend to be based around sexual assault, something that men don't tend to fear from women. When you use the men's, don't make eye contact with anybody. Just go in, do what you need to do, wash your hands and get out. I've never had a man challenge me. But, also, your nervousness makes sense. I sometimes still get nervous in mens' rooms, especially when queuing. I always looked for the disabled until I was really certain I was passing.

    The stuff you're talking about is not crazy! I think a lot of trans men do try to do all of this alone. I did. Back in the old days, if I ever asked for help or admitted to weakness, people seemed to interpret it as weakness or femininity. I needed to never ask for help, never cry, never let on that anything was wrong, never smile, try to talk in a monotone. It kind of sucked. It made me feel crazy, in fact! But then I learned that this is not how men actually act with each other.

    I was just thinking about your blog this morning. Glad to see you writing in it again.

  2. Hey there!

    Thanks so much for your comment it really is so great to hear from you and for you to say those things I really appreciate it. I would really love to meet up and hang out some time I am crazy hectic at the moment and as soon as I get a bit of calm period I shall be seeing if your around :) I have really been missing the company of trans and trans friendly folk, I realize that it was having you guys to talk to and be around that gave me the courage to get as far as I have and having not been around for a while all those fears that constantly wisper at me and tell me I am crazy have been running around in my head and I've not had anyone to talk to and I miss that. Thanks again so much I really do appreciate it so much.