Friday, May 27, 2022

The Pedestal is Slippery

 A few days ago I wrote a post on the subject of transgender "de-transitioning." Shortly after I wrote it I began to worry if  I sounded too flippant about the subject. Even bordering on sounding if I was "being more transgender than you." Of course all of that would be the farthest from the truth.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

My point is everyone's gender transition is different and it is not up to me to decide the level of difficulty, especially when it comes to the drastic move of de-transitioning. 

It's no secret rejection from family and friends plays a huge role in a smooth transition. In my case my parents had long since passed away, so I didn't have to worry about coming out to them. That left me with my only brother and my daughter as the only blood family I had left to reveal my authentic self to. Not many people compared to others I know. 

As most of you may know, my daughter turned out to be one of my biggest fans. She even treated me to a visit to her upscale beauty salon for my birthday when I came out to her. At the same time, my brother and sister in law were totally the opposite. At the time, it was near Thanksgiving which was the only holiday we still celebrated as a family. Out of respect to my brother I gave him the choice of me attending the family get together as my authentic self. After discussion on their part, they told me they preferred I didn't attend. Since then I have not spoken to him. Sadly it has been nearly ten years now. The problem with him is (as I see it) , he chose not to support me because he was afraid of all the negative feedback he would face from all of his right wing Southern Baptist in laws. 

As I look down from my pedestal I have a tendency to forget how incredibly fortunate  I was when my daughter's in laws supported me as did my partner Liz's family. As in any transgender situation it could have gone either way. 

This is an another example of coming out into a larger family. It comes from Connie:

 When I decided I had to transition I had already been living a 90% out-existence. I had only been presenting as the father, grandfather, brother-in-law, and son-in-law at family get-togethers. My wife had come to accept me for who I was, and we each worked on our respective transitions. My mother and brother had passed away a year or so earlier, and then a beloved sister-in-law, to whom I had come out, died from a very painful bout with cancer. I put on the only suit and tie that I had, and I delivered the eulogy at her funeral Mass. The next day, I got rid of all of my men's clothing, and I proceeded to notify everyone in my family that I hereafter would be the woman that I was born to be. There was no way I was going to turn back at that point, and I've never even considered the possibility of doing so.

It was not easy transitioning with family. My wife is one of 13 children, and there are close to 150 extended family members. I think I've been seen by all of them by now, and I am accepted by most of them. After going through all of that, demonstrating my commitment to live as a woman, I would be more embarrassed and guilt-ridden should I detransition than I ever was about being a transgender woman in the first place.

Photo Compliments: Jessie Hart

Physically, I could detransition as fast as it would take me to get undressed and remove my wig to reveal my male pattern baldness. I have had no surgeries or HRT that would have caused changes to my body, so, given a few days to show a stubbly beard, I could easily pass as a man. I just wouldn't be one, though. I guess you could say I would be cross dressing as a man, but I would be doing it under duress (as opposed to when I used to cross dress under a dress).

As is a fear for you, I can't see how I would make it in a care facility. I would be completely exposed, shaving would not be as frequent or thorough as would be necessary, and wigs just don't hold up well when one is bedridden. Still, I would not detransition. I'm pretty sure I would find a way to end it, though. Until then, this girl is going to live it up!"

Speaking of  age, I think my pedestal  was easier to climb because I was older. I was to the point of my life (in my early sixties) when I was tired of  worrying about others thought of me. I can't forget also the world was slowly being educated to what a transgender woman or man was, 

One way or another, we all have our transgender pedestals to climb. The farther up we go the better we can see our futures as our authentic selves. I can only hope your climb is worth it. Mine was!

Connie, maybe we can get adjoining rooms.

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