I read an article recently called “The raging battle over transgender kids.” Trigger warning if it wasn’t obvious.
In it there is a quote that states “The trans lobby has got us on the run,”
Why does there have to be running? This is indicative of my problem with the article as a whole, not only are we represented as being hostile, essentially every argument it makes presumes being transgender is inherently negative, that heteronormative is the preferred. Take for example this fairly overt contradiction,
“They never tried to force my son into something he wasn’t,” one mother told me. Her son had been a hyper-anxious child since birth. In kindergarten he became obsessed with dressing like a girl. The CAMH therapists determined that anxiety, not gender, was the key issue, and advised the parents to discourage their son’s obsession with girls’ clothing.
So not forced, but merely discouraged. The article goes on to describe the subject as now being a “well-adjusted young adult with a girlfriend and no interest in women’s clothes.”
Sigh. This speaks to my personal experience all too closely. I never had the nerve to stand up in the first place. When I was a child I found negative opinions towards gender non conformity to be palpable. No one had to discourage me from wearing women’s cloths, I discouraged myself. Given the reaction from my family when I came out it seems I did a pretty good job of presenting myself as a so called ‘well adjusted young adult.’ As if having a girlfriend and no interest in women’s clothing was the goal.
Anyway enough politics, let’s move on to more interesting things. That is of course if you consider the trivialities of my day to day life to be interesting, which I personally do. I am perhaps becoming a little vain.
Monday evening I had tea with my mother, we had a lovely conversation and I really feel like she’s growing a lot more comfortable with my transition. Tuesday night I had had nice long talk with my cousin over the phone. She’s had her own challenges growing up and has become an incredible woman. Her support means the world to me.
Wednesday I had a meeting with my counselor. They were glad to see that I was staying socially active. Working from home has certainly made transition a lot easier but it also runs a serious risk of isolation. Another significant aspect of working from home is that I rarely come face to face with the people I work with. Rarely.
Yesterday I went into the office for a day of training. My previous training session was a small class consisting entirely of people on my team, which I’ve come out to via email. Thursday’s training was more general, which meant a large class of people I work with, but none of whom knew I was trans, this included our teacher.
I was presenting full female, and looking pretty good if I do say so myself. Actually a lot of people said so, including the teacher. So yes it seems I am somewhat vain. Anyway when I first arrived the teacher had no idea, then it came time to write our names down. On big pieces of paper that are taped to the back of our monitors.
I’ve been with the company for seven years, and this teacher was the one who oversaw my initial training. I was actually a member of the first class they taught for the company. So they remember me, and there was a moment of absolute confusion when they looked at my name, then up at me, then back at the name and proceeded to stare at it for several seconds. I smiled sheepishly and said hi.
On break they approached me and admitted to not recognizing me, which I took as a compliment 🙂 They used the word beautiful, I may have blushed. Definitely vain. As I’ve said in the past I work for a pretty great company, and very much appreciate how lucky I am.
Last night I had dinner with my aunt and things went wonderfully. I feel she was very receptive of what I had to say about being trans. The food was good and the conversation was deep and cathartic. We parted with great big hug, and since then I’ve felt the best I have in a long time 🙂
I’m more than a little surprised at how smoothly things seem to be going for me. Easy is not a word I would use but my recent experience goes to show that a supportive community makes a world of difference. I’m going to pull another quote from the above article,
‘But Dr. Bradley cautions that transition is a radical step – involving surgery and a lifetime regime of hormone therapy – and that the road, under the best of circumstances, is rocky. “The child is going to find himself in a really difficult situation,” she points out. “You can argue that it’s society that should change. But despite all the in-betweens that are emerging, we are a two-gender society.”
The problems faced by the LGBTQIA(etc…) community are entirely systemic, when people are accepting and kind there doesn’t seem to be any problem at all.