3.19.2011

Does being Trans Make me a Liar?

The closer I get to looking like I've always wanted the further away I seem to get from feeling like I can express everything about me. It gets harder and harder to talk to people who don't know me. I find myself editing the past, evading questions or just keeping my mouth shut when it comes to having conversations with people at work or with strangers. I find it difficult to just be myself in the present. The first few months were really hard and even now almost a year in I know that I have at least another year to go before I will probably be comfortable in my new skin. Recovering from surgery, planning a hysterectomy, learning what I have to do to stay healthy while on testosterone, and waiting for my facial hair to grow in are some of the things I have to look forward to in the upcoming year. The last nine months have been really awkward and strange and even surreal sometimes. I think about how much has changed and how much hasn't and there have been both visible and not so visible changes.

I am not ashamed of who I am but I know people can be weird and cruel and while a lot of the time I have been pleasantly surprised by people's reactions, the more people see me as male the more afraid I am of expressing my more feminine side. I imagine that is how a lot of gay men feel or men who pursue careers or have hobbies that don't involve drinking and sports. I am still uncertain as to whether to be out with people or not and I am still feeling my way around that. I haven't told anyone I work with about being transgendered but I am sure there are people who suspect and others who have never questioned what gender I present. Meeting new people is getting easier but I feel more and more like I am being deceptive if I don't tell them....getting used to thinking "that's none of your business" is getting easier. I suppose if I were meeting someone for the first time I wouldn't really have a reason to question their gender identity and even if I did I would feel like it was none of my business to ask unless someone wanted to share that with me. I guess the only time it matters is at the doctor and when filling out forms that need all your identification to match. Renewing my passport should be a fun romp through the bureaucracy of red tape and misunderstanding that is the Feds.

So I wonder if this subtle feeling of guilt is something I am going to have to live with or maybe I just have to learn to keep my own secrets and not feel bad about it. Not everyone needs to know everything about me and I don't know why I feel like I should be telling anyone. The important people all know and I suppose if/when someone new becomes important enough in my life there will come a time when I will feel comfortable telling them about my gender identity. Until that time I am getting a lot of practise holding my tongue...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This all about becoming an adult emotionally. Everyone has secrets they share with no one and they are what makes us a deeper, more empathetic and more tolerant person. As for those people that seem to need to know everything, one responds with "why do you need to know". If they do not have a reasonable answer then change the subject or take your leave of them with no excuse except you have to go.

WH said...

You mention: "the more people see me as male the more afraid I am of expressing my more feminine side"

For cis men, we have been raised to fear showing anything feminine - and even when some of us outgrow that cultural bias, we still have to pick and choose with whom we feel safe being ourselves.
It should not have to be that way - for anyone, cis, trans, or something else.

You'll find a rhythm with all of this in time, it's just that you are having to learn all the rules that cis men grow up with and internalize - and as you learn them, you will have much more freedom than we ever had to choose the ones that fit and reject the ones that don't.

One other thought - you may not need this, but for cis men on T therapy, most need to take an aromatase inhibitor like tamoxafin or Arimidex (they inhibit the conversion of T to Estrogen). Prevents breast tissue growth in cis men.