Showing posts with label toxicity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label toxicity. Show all posts

Friday, April 19, 2024

A Toxic Male?

Image from Jurien Huggins
on UnSplash.

As I transitioned from a male to a feminine life, I often looked back at my life as a guy to determine if indeed I was a toxic male in any way. 

Of course I immediately mentally recoiled when I thought I could be toxic towards women in any way. After all I had spent a considerable amount of time worshipping the women around me, wondering how it would be to experience just for an instance being a girl. How come I couldn't wear the pretty clothes and be the gender who was so admired by the other. The problem with me was, I went way past just admiring a girl sexually, all the way to wanting to be a girl physically.  

Did any of it make me a toxic male? No, I don't think it did. In fact, I think the opposite happened as I put women up on some sort of an impossible pedestal. By doing so, and adding the fact I was extremely shy, I never had much of a chance to interact with girls or women growing up at all. From my perspective, the feminine grass always looked so much greener. 

Since I was forced into the male camp, I needed to learn to exist and had to put up with sexist comments directed towards women from many of the guys I grew up with all the way to adult hood. Mixed in too were the bullies I needed to somehow co-exist with. I learned to bluster my way around the bullies without jeopardizing my inner transgender self to ridicule or worse. In order to do so, I participated in as many of the male activities of the day as I could such as sports and cars. It worked and I was left alone for the most part and I even dated a few girls along the way. Since it is prom season around here, I am always reminded of the two proms I went to in high school. Even though I was the perfect gentleman at the proms, I wonder if my dates thought perhaps I was a little too timid and took it personally. I will never know because one of my dates and first serious girlfriend before college later in life committed suicide years later when her husband left her. What a shame. 

As I started college and started to date more regularly, I really began to see the results of toxic males around me. Especially in the fraternity setting I was briefly in. Certain fraternities were expected to co-mingle and party with certain women and sororities only where I went to college. I found out very quickly I did not fit in with the frats social system. Which was a forerunner to me not fitting in with the strict layers I encountered at the first cross dresser - transvestite mixers I went to. I felt so out of place and the only toxic people I saw were the "A" listers who were doing their best mean girls high school impressions. Maybe their male toxicity was bleeding through. 

I completely learned how not to be a toxic male when I settled into a career in the restaurant business. Along the way, as I progressed into higher management positions, I needed to coexist increasingly with women. Both crew members and managers. I learned quickly female crew members had the tendency to build cliques (not teams like the men) to be successful and the women managers I knew had to be tough but fair to survive. I on the other hand needed to be on their side when it came to battling any toxic males at all. Looking back, I think male toxicity was the prime reason for letting someone go. Which included sexual harassment which is a topic for another blog post.

My only regret was I wasn't a more vocal advocate for women my entire life as a man. I could have certainly spoken up when another guy joked about a woman. My only excuse is I was so intent on hiding my interior feminine self, I was afraid to do more. Transgender women and trans men speak of the importance of allies speaking up for us. I feel the same way about standing up for women before I transitioned. 

Monday, March 11, 2024

Sexuality .The Great Divide

Image from Jack Lucas Smith
on UnSplash

 It is no big secret men are more insecure in their sexuality than women. Many to the point of being toxic in their approach. I think the toxicity is the reason for the uptick in violence against all women, transgender or not. 

When I transitioned out of my old unwanted male world into a new scary exciting feminine universe, I wondered if my sexuality would or have to change. For me, it meant giving up on my long held belief I was NOT a gay male. God forbid if I wasn't . Somehow I never the connection of dressing up as a girl with wanting to be with a man sexually. Even to the point when I finally understood I wanted to do more than just look like a woman, I wanted to be one. To be honest, the sexuality scared me more than anything else about my MtF gender transition. Could I have been wrong my entire life about my attraction to women? 

Very early in my transition I was "coached" by friends such as Amy on how to practice being with a man by using a banana. While I appreciated the advice, I never really decided to think about a banana the same way again. Plus, since I was living a whole new lifestyle, who was to say I needed to live it a certain way. After all, there were many lesbians I knew who would disagree with me or anyone about  needing a man to validate their existence. Since so many had told me I shouldn't or couldn't change my gender, what was one more idea to shatter. 

Still, I wasn't sure on how to proceed when I decided to leave the fragile world of men who were secretly struggling with their own sexuality and build a new one for myself. It meant entering a time of experimentation for myself. First I searched high and low on dating sites for a man who happened to live close by and wanted to try to date me. To put it mildly, I failed miserably when I was completely upfront about being transgender. Almost all of them saw me as only a fetish sexual object. They wanted to skip the dating aspect of meeting me in a public venue and go straight to a motel room. When I refused, most all of them would have nothing to do with me.

On the other hand I discovered women did not feel the same way about me. Curiosity I believe led most of the women I met to find out more about me when I went out to many different venues. It all made my life fun and exciting again. Of all people, I found many accepting lesbians who I could socialize with. As I always say, they taught me so much about being a woman who could stand on her own. Once again, my sexuality became secure again without having to make any drastic changes.  No bananas for me except to add to my ice cream sundaes. When I was with my close knit group of lesbian friends, I could watch the fragile world of men from afar as I relied on my  previous experience as a guy to let me in on what they were feeling. Which was probably the biggest reason men didn't trust me. I knew too much. 

By living a transgender lifestyle, I was able to observe the sexuality of both of the primary binary genders. I came away knowing I made the right decision. Destiny led me the right direction. I obviously nothing against the male gay community but it just wasn't for me. I was correct in believing women were the most secure gender when it came to accepting any variations in their sexuality and men are the most fragile.

Friday, January 26, 2024

A Toxic Relationship

 

Image from Jurien Huggins
on UnSplash

One of the problems I faced when I went down the gender transition route I chose was facing a huge toxic relationship. 

 More than likely, many of you regulars assume I am writing about my second wife, who I was married to for twenty five years until she unexpectedly passed away at the age of fifty from a massive heart attack. In reality, the toxicity I am referring to was within myself. I wouldn't wish the ripping and tearing I went through from my battling binary genders on anyone. In other words, my old male self was fighting the best he could against me learning and living a feminine life. Deep down I feel he knew he was fighting a losing battle, which made everything so much worse. 

What happened was, following the brief moments of gender euphoria I experienced along my journey, I really resented having to go back to my male world. When I did, I took my frustration out on whomever was closest to me. In doing so, I was trying to lose relationships and jobs I had in the meantime. Somehow, through all my gender toxic tendencies, my wife and I managed to stay together. Jobs, were a different story as I lost several due to my foul temperament. I was lucky in that I was in a rapidly expanding industry at the time and had acquired a strong network of acquaintances who helped me obtain new employment. Finding all those jobs however just enabled me to be even more spoiled and toxic.

Speaking of being spoiled, along the way, I was perfecting my knowledge of women's fashion and makeup so I was able to cross dress myself better than ever before. Then, I started to go public more often in what would turn out to be the earliest stages of realizing I was a transgender woman and not a very serious cross dresser. A huge difference when it came to understanding why I was so toxic. The more time I spent trying to maintain my old unwanted male lifestyle, seemed to be a waste of time when all I did was daydream about being a woman. Mainly because all of a sudden, it seemed possible I could. If I went on my appearance only. Which of course I leaned later was just a small part of crossing the gender border to arrive at where I wanted to be.  

Through it all, my wife managed to stick it out with me, even though she was completely against me beginning gender affirming hormones and transitioning any further. In many ways I was completely torn. On one side, I loved her completely but on the other resented her for being the woman I always wanted to be. It would have been interesting if she would have lived if we could ever worked out the biggest puzzle I had. Which of course was my transgender inner woman who increasingly was struggling to live her own life. The end result was one night I could take the stress no longer and I tried suicide as an end to my torment. Happily now, I was a failure and can share my feelings with others who assume my path to get here was so smooth. Destiny and good genetics were on myside as I was able to work my way through the lonely days of my life and live long enough to come out of the other side. 

So, ironically, the biggest toxic relationship I had in my life was with myself. When I was able to understand the reason behind all of my torment, the fog went away and I was able to understand where I needed to go to live a better life.     

Monday, March 8, 2021

Toxicity

 Connie (below) responded to the Cyrsti's Condo recent post concerning me connecting with one of my previous employees, or more precisely...she contacted me. 

Here is the comment:

"Even in this very left-leaning city of Seattle, there are pockets of toxicity. One needs only to drive a few miles out of town to find it, as well. I've had my share of "Dude Looks Like a Lady" and "Lola" experiences, myself. Nobody needed to tell me that my business would have suffered, had I come out, as I depended on the patronage of building contractors (not always the most liberal-thinking people). My own dysphoria ended up sabotaging my business, so that (I thought) I could move forward with my transition. Ironically, this caused a great hindrance for me to have the finances with which to do so.

 Securing any kind of employment as a woman became more difficult, not only because I was trans, but I couldn't even provide references without outing myself to past, present and future business associates in the process. There exists a passive toxicity, in that most employers will consider the possibility of drama that could accompany the hiring of a trans woman - especially for a management position. Basically, I've only been able to find low-paying jobs with no opportunity for advancement. In fact, the only thing advanced about me is my age, and that just makes the whole thing worse.

 I changed my name and gender, legally, in 2015, when I was 63-years-old. I had thought about delaying the changes in order to secure employment, as my male self, with a company that I knew would have accommodated my transition later. I know people who have done this successfully, yet I just felt it to be wrong for me. It felt, to me, like going through the back door, rather than being the honest and straightforward person (woman) I wanted to be. After all, I had been living a lie for so many years, and I was just plain tired playing that game of deception. The game itself is toxic - and of my own creation. Just as transphobia can be internalized, so can the toxicity. Sometimes, I think, moving away from toxicity involves more than finding a new location. It can also mean that we have to let go of those internal demons that keep us from moving forward - not only with transitioning, but with life."

Thanks for the comment! To be sure, you are right, the transgender journey we have pursued is by nature full of toxicity. 

I was fortunate in that when I decided to do my MTF gender transition, I had the resources (barely) to just retire and go on to change my life. Then again, along the way, I considered the feasibility of joining a new company and then transitioning. But at that time the restaurant business I was part of was a very conservative patriarchal industry. So, starting over in a new profession as I transitioned was even more daunting. 

The toxicity levels I was about to face were tremendous. I took the easy way out and didn't face them at all.
 

 

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