Quite often it seems our journey across the gender divide is perceived as only being a negative experience. Equally as often, our early coming out experiences add to our overall thoughts about breaking out of our dark gender closets. Every time we are completely rejected by the public, it reinforces the negative ideas we may have had which led to the many purges we went through of all of our feminine possessions.
|Jessie Hart in the Ohio State|
Still we endured as we walked down a lonely path to gender discovery. So much frustration and even tears led us to risk much if not all of our lives. For the fortunate ones, we were blessed with enough gender euphoria to move forward. For each time we were rejected and belittled for showing off our feminine selves, there was another time we were embraced by someone else in the public's eye. The best part was, gender euphoria felt so natural. So much so if I could sing, I would have since I felt that good.
Looking back, I think the first time I felt the benefits of spending time on both sides of the binary gender fence was when cis women began to ask me for advice on how to understand their husbands, Even though I did my best to help them, I still had to explain (regardless what they thought) most all men were not all alike. The majority of their problems came from communication. It wasn't so much that men didn't listen, it was more as if the men just didn't comprehend what women were saying. An important part of my learning process came when I realized women did communicate vastly different than men. I learned the hard way to look for non verbal cues when talking with another woman. Before I was allowed to play in the woman's sandbox I suffered many claw marks and back wounds before I learned how to play.
All in all, my gender wounds were worth it because once I gained access to the sandbox, I didn't ever want to go back. I see the process now as a real benefit in my life. How many other humans can say they experienced such a deep process as living a life experiencing both sides of the gender divide. A recent experience which could have caused me to be mis-gendered at the VA may have been caused by how I answered a question by one of the nurses. She asked me who my driver was after my colonoscopy . I said my wife when maybe a better term to use would have been partner or spouse. I am a believer in how the smallest details can help me get along in the world.
Even though I had to give up so much of a male life I never really wanted, the work of learning the feminine gender was a work of pleasure because mainly I felt so natural. The topic for an entire other blog post.
Now I am happy to say I have made it to a place of gender understanding. However, I think I am far from knowing it all. I don't think I will ever know why I was chosen for this gender journey. Hopefully when I pass on, I will find out the answer.