Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sink or Swim?

In a recent post we discussed a forlorn transgender woman at one of my support group meetings. Sadly, I know she is far from being alone. Gender dysphoria is cruel to say the least. The only simple thing it does is to cause you to build an un- penetrable very dark and lonely closet  to hide in.

As Connie points out, too quickly it becomes a "sink or swim" situation:

"I think I was about eight-years-old when my mother sent me to the community pool for swimming lessons. My grandfather was over for a visit when I came home, and he told me how his father had taught him to swim - "He just threw me in the lake, and I figured how not to drown."

Figuring out how not to drown and learning how to swim are not the same thing. Figuring out how to not let gender dysphoria drown you, likewise, is not the same as learning how to live with gender non-congruence. I call it "survive or thrive." I hope your friend learns how to survive long enough to find herself thriving."
Thanks for the comment!
Perhaps the saddest part of the trans woman's existence (in question) is her seeming total lack of regard for how she looks. Most of us learn early and often how much work it takes to perfect a feminine presence. At the least, a quick shave and a touch of makeup may do wonders for her. In other words, she is setting herself up for failure. 
Maybe if she keeps coming to the meetings, someone can help her with it and relieve some of her pressure. I think sometime in the near future, makeup and hair experts are returning to do free makeovers. Instead of going for the "naturals" in the group, maybe she could get some help. 
Even if someone has to tell her to shave. 


  1. When I first ventured out of the house with a feminine presence (eleven years ago) it was to a monthly cross dresser meeting (it was the first time I'd gone out and interacted with another human, anyway, as my numerous previous drives "enfemme" don't really count). A quick survey of the room showed me that I was far more ready to be out than were many in that group. Because I have always been something of a perfectionist, I just couldn't understand how someone could expose themselves without, seemingly, trying to make the best presentation possible. As I continued to attend the monthly meetings and participating in other social events with this group, I learned a couple of things: I was not a cross dresser and there are people who may have the same seed of gender identity as mine, but that is our only similarity. From that, I discovered that some of those people were happy just to put on a dress, and I developed an admiration for them and their lack of dysphoria.

    The person you refer to does not seem to be happy in her current situation. I would expect, though, that only she will ever know what would make her happy. I have seen people, after getting a professional "glam" makeover, find a whole new hope. I have also seen others who didn't really care for the new look and showed up next time looking just like their "before" pic. This goes for both trans and cis, by the way.

    There were many reasons that led me to stop attending meetings and social events with that particular group. As I said, I had learned that I was not a cross dresser, and so I did not need to find acceptance and affirmation the way, it seemed, most of them did. The thing that really made me want to leave, though, was the way they treated one member in particular. This cross dresser did nothing more to make a change in appearance than to wear a fancy ball gown. Although being allowed to attend the closed-door meetings, this person had been banned by the officers from going out in public with the rest of the group. Efforts had been made to "help", but I believe they were made for the benefit of the group - not to her (or him). Even at the meetings, though, she/he was ostracized most of the time, not unlike the school kid who eats lunch alone in the cafeteria. I did sit down with her/him one time, and learned so much about myself in the process. We were both unhappy being in the group, but for entirely different reasons. I learned through the grapevine, later, that we both quit attending meetings after that encounter, and I've often wondered if she/he ended up being as happy as I have become with myself. I do have the feeling that many in that group would say they're happy that the weirdo is gone, and that bitch, Connie, too.

    *I have referred to this person with both pronouns because she/he did not, at the time, know for sure which applied.

  2. I have been trying to figure out how to give the person some "tough love" about her presentation. But have come to the conclusion it is not really any of my business.