Monday, January 22, 2018

What Does It Mean?

I wondered what a "support group" meeting means to the average person reading Cyrsti's Condo.

By definition (of course) the group exists to support one another. Along the way, it's interesting to note some do need support, some not so much and some never will. I have written about them. If you remember the person with the phantom sexual realignment surgery claim I met.

On the other end of the spectrum, are the people who are really checking out different scenarios. Are they really cross dressers, or, on a deeper level transgender women or trans men. Through these groups, I have seen deeply troubled people all the way to thoroughly self  assured individuals.

You may ask, why do I go? Even though I may seem to be on the level of the self assured peeps (since I live full time), I am definitely not totally self assured. Plus, I try to tell all who care or ask, what a long strange troubled trip it has been for me to get here.

Also, I'm always impressed with the number of young people who show up for these meetings. Of course at my age (68) most people are younger! Almost all the younger people are struggling.

Some meetings I say a lot, some I say almost nothing. Most of the time, I wait for the conversation to come to me.

Plus, my path to coming out as a transgender woman, usually is so different than the rest of the room, there is very little connection.

I came out almost totally beside myself in almost totally non gay venues. Even though way early in the process, I did go out with a group of cross dressers, I just didn't feel apart of the group and more of a loner. Later, as I began to understand the difference between cross dressers and transgender women, I understood why I felt so different.

Basically, most of them wanted to look like cis-women, while I wanted to be one. There also more than a couple instances of drunken male behavior in a dress which really turned me off. So it was simpler for me to go my own way. On my own.

So far, I think I have been able to lend some understanding to trans lives from the perspective from one who lived in the closet for years. If I help one person, it is worth it!

That's what it means.


2 comments:

  1. My own group, which I often describe as a "support group" offers "Mutual social Support", we meet in a local family pub, so basically it's a chance to share a few drinks with some friends.

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  2. I, like you, pretty much navigated my way through finding myself without the support of others. These days, I may belong in a support hose group with a bunch of old ladies, but not necessarily transgender ones. I'm just hoping for a few more years of not needing the support of a cane or walker. :-)

    As has been discussed here in your condo many times, trans women of our age are possibly considered to be dinosaurs by the younger crowd. We may receive some admiration for all of the crap we had to go through in "the olden days," but much of that is irrelevant to younger people's issues today. I think it's funny that, since the first time I went out in public, I had never hesitated to use a ladies room until doing so became politicized. The few support group meetings I have attended included some discussion about restrooms, however. One young (19 y/o) trans woman, who had already undergone GRS, was homeless, spending most of her daytime hours in the public library. She had been banned from using the ladies room at the library, though, and was forced to go across the street to a fast food spot with a unisex restroom. She went on and on about how this was such an interference to her transition, until she then switched to how men were rejecting her sexually. I think she said that she identified as gender queer, but I could only sit there thinking that, if she made the effort to be more feminine in appearance, neither of those problems would be so serious. I did not express my thoughts, though, as I'm sure that they would have done more harm than good. She definitely needed professional help, and much more than a support group could provide. In fact, I mostly just sat there looking pretty - which wasn't hard to do considering the appearance of the dozen or so others in the room. I was the only one who could not declare the amount of time I had been on HRT, yet I felt like I had transitioned far beyond this group. I really did feel out of place, more like a mother who had accompanied one of the young trans kids. I could empathize, but I found it difficult to relate on their level.

    I don't know if my presence helped anyone in that group, but I never returned to find out.

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