10.08.2012

Wisdom and Roommates


Roommates can be a nightmare for anyone but finding someone you can trust to share your space can be a real challenge. I opened my home to an FTM guy in the hopes that I would have someone to share my experience with and at the same time give him the opportunity to transition in a safe and supportive space. My expectation of how things might play out were so far off base that I became very resentful ad things fell apart in just a few months.

I met Jason online, chatting about transition and as we got to know each other it seemed that at least on the surface we would be fairly compatible roommates. He likes to cook and clean, has an interest in art and hunting. We had a lot in common and I was looking forward to helping a brother out with his transition.

Just a few weeks after moving in, "Jason" started dating a guy I'll call "Brent" who claimed to be an MTF. At first I was anticipating having the queerest house on the block. I soon realized that Brent was really just a gay queen who was living deep in the back of the closet. Brent started spending all of his time at our place, hiding his clothes and drag with Jason. He began saying things to Jason like he wished Jason would wear dresses, grow out his hair and be more girly.

Jason landed a great job and despite having open-minded co-workers he began to cave to Brent's pressure. Brent threatened to break up with Jason if he went through with his transition because he didn't want people to think he was gay. When I found make up at the house I assumed it belonged to Brent but was dumbfounded when Jason walked through the door in a dress carrying a purse in full make-up.

I have always thought of myself as a pretty open-minded, live-and-let-live kind of guy but at that point I began to feel like I'd been manipulated and I was pissed.

Jason spent so much time trying to make everyone happy he lost himself. I tried talking to him to find out what was going on.  He said he felt like it would just be easier to live as a girl. That it would be easier on everyone else if he just lived as "Jane". Brent was happy that he had quit trying to be Jason, his co-workers were "relieved" that he started "dressing nicer" and his parents who had never been supportive were of course, ecstatic.

At this point I discovered that I was the only one who had been calling him Jason; everyone else in town knew him as Jane. Not only was I really hurt but I felt like he had turned my house into a "closet" not just for himself but for his boyfriend as well. I tried to understand what was going on. Jason said if it didn't matter to anyone else he would transition in a heartbeat. But in the meantime he's gone back to taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds so that he could be better medicated while he lived as a girl.

I was furious at Brent for thrilling to all of the regressions. While he went off to Toronto to experiment with his own gender identity at the gay clubs and drag hotels, Jason was left here to live a lovely medicated lie. I was angry that he couldn't see how he was sacrificing his authenticity for a person who was taking advantage of him. I was also really frustrated because I could see how messed up his situation was and there was nothing I could do to change it. He is going to make his mistakes and hopefully learn from them- just as I had at his age.

I suddenly understood how my family felt when I made poor choices and refused to listen to the wisdom of elders. 
It;s hard to watch someone mess up their life. Even if it's for a little while. Even f you have faith that they will figure it out at some point. Allowing someone the time to screw up, learn and grow up is a really hard thing to do. It's even harder to be supportive of them when you see them being hurt over and over. I am currently failing miserably at that. But I have to worry about my own life and my own relationships. Jason will figure it out. He is still living as Jane and will be moved in with Brent at the end of the month.

I learned a lot about myself and what I believe and what I can tolerate personally and I make no apologies for how I feel. I know what challenges me and discovered soemthing about myself that I want to improve. But this is not a relationship worth saving. After being lied to and used I am ready to move on.

Best of luck to you Jason. I hope you find whatever you are looking for.

1 comment:

Samantha said...

Wow... What an amazing post.

I feel for you.
So whats next? Are you going to ask 'her' to leave, or are you going to invite 'him' to stay?

I certainly wouldnt want a 3rd person coming imto my house making trouble. Hopefully everything resolves itself quickly x