Sequence of Events, and Patience

Once I started transitioning into living as the girl that I fundamentally am, i.e., no longer trying to pretend to myself and others that I’m a guy, I became inspired, exhilarated and impatient. If I could wake up the next morning and be the woman I wanted to be, I’d have been delighted.

However, genetically integrated girls don’t have such magic. Most of them went through a difficult and awkward puberty in which they were self-conscious, often unfairly ridiculed or even subjected to violence. They often felt awkward, emotionally overwhelmed, disempowered, clumsy, etc. … many of the things that a t-girl also experiences when she transitions.

A big benefit to the t-girl is that she gets to choose the timing and pace of many events in her transitioning.  She can be careful and methodical, or not.  She might succeed spectacularly or fail totally. And in this cause, the penalty for failure is too often death. Typical causes range from violence against t-girls to suicide to heart failure or stroke.

I thought of this today especially. I was trying to disassemble one of the front sports seats on a 25+ year old BMW convertible. The seats on these cars are magnificently well-made, durable, convenient, high-quality — and complex. If you don’t value BMW engineering before you take one apart and put it together again, you’ll appreciate it by the time you’re done. It’s all high-quality, logical, wonderful …. much more so than I was, today.

I messed something up by assembling some of the parts in the wrong sequence. My lovely assistant (whose car it is) and I ended up dismantling the seat again and trying to do things better the second time around. We finally succeeded. Right around midnight, after hours and hours of this labor, the seat was in one piece, correctly assembled, its few problems fixed well enough. It functioned well and it looked good.

Before you think we’re dolts, taking several hours to reach this goal: I hasten to add that if you have to bet your life on:

  1. Solving a Rubik’s cube, or
  2. Winning a chess game against a grand-master, or
  3. Assembling the front sports seat on a BMW convertible …

…. it’s a tough choice. These seats are NOT easy to work on. But when you mess up, by doing things in the wrong sequence, then you can undo it. You simply disassemble everything and start over again.

Not so with transitioning as a t-girl. Go on hormones before your social and eating habits are under control and you might end up with a severe health problem. Or, go on hormones without your blood chemistry being under control, and you might end up very dead. Or, go out dressed like a slut in the wrong part of of the wrong town and end up being killed by a homophobe.  

There’s no “doing it better next time” if there is no “next time.”

I shudder when I speak to t-girl friendly people who tell me stories about a t-girl friend who did this or that and now she’s dead, of course and … wait, what?  What’s with the “of course”?  According to the actuarial tables I’m supposed to be around for several more decades. I don’t plan to check out any time soon. If I do, it’s not supposed to be an “of course” thing.  It’s supposed to be an “against all odds” event.

The problem is, in my opinion, that t-girls tend to do some pretty risky high-stakes stuff. Sometimes things pan out and sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, we read about it in the obituary section.

Transitioning well is a challenge that I take it seriously, as if my life depends on it. Because, frankly, it does.

Me at the Hotel Pool

Okay, I’m starting to understand that feeling awkward before functioning well as a girl isn’t reserved for t-girls. Most teenage girls go through feeling awkward.  Their boobs are too small for them, or too large.  Or their legs are too thin. And they don’t move gracefully yet,. Whatever the reason, so many teenage girls just feel awkward.  Some nice adult genetically integrated girls have helped me understand that, finally. Thank you for that.

Coming out as a t-girl has many of those aspects too. And yet as far as can tell, though it’s hard to measure this stuff precisely, how self-conscious a t-girl is about her body is any times more excruciating yet.

So every victory, I relish.  Like, last night I stayed at a hotel in Las Vegas.  And yes, I went to the hotel pool, and their hot tub.  And yes, there were others there but I went anyway.  Here’s what I looked like last night just before I went to the pool.  Getting there … confidence-wise anyway.

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Being Disowned by Family

I have contact with many t-girls who haven’t come out (yet). Many of them are convinced that if they do, those who are close to them will disown them.

In other words, these t-girls are convinced that they’re only loved for the illusions they represent, not their real selves.  I can only imagine how something like that would be devastating to someone’s self-image.and self-confidence.

If you’re in a situation like that, then … remember, you have a female brain structure.  You think with your brain, not your male plumbing. And because you have a female brain, you’ll tend to deal with conflict as most girls naturally do. You’ll avoid it, and try to keep the peace even if it’s at the expense of your own happiness.  It’s a chick thing.  I don’t advocate it but wow, is it common.

I would personally rather be loved for how I am. If that means I lose everyone who loves me only on the condition that I’m a male, so be it. The world has seven billion people in it. Presumably I can find a few who will like me for who I really am.

Ironically, it’s helped me to know that I don’t have a right to be liked or loved. It’s how someone might react. Or they might not. And if someone doesn’t like or love me, I have no right to it.

Certainly, if they check out as part of being unreasonable, my respect for them drops and probably I’ll like or love them less too eventually.

And so, for people who’ve only known me while I was trying to function as a male, I packaged the news gently and I tried to time it well. But, I did announce it.  And then, whatever happened, happened.

Predicatably, some people checked out. And many didn’t.

gIMAG1302Since I’m writing this for Father’s Day, you have probably guessed the connection.

My biological dad was a colorful character and there are some clues that he might have suspected I have female brain wiring. But, this is all conjecture. In a great many ways he was a magnificent father. But, he also did many negative things, including being mean and manipulative, so for me, the bad outweighed the good. I basically checked out of the relationship with my dad many years ago. He passed away some years ago. I wasn’t there when it happened.

I missed having a father figure. And so a platonic friendship with a gentleman who was twenty years my senior, and whose ethics I respected at the time, slowly grew into a surrogate father situation for me. I liked that.  At some point we made it semi-formal, and I’d address him as “Dad” and he’d sign his emails to me “Love, Dad.”  In many ways he acted just like a good father would have. When I needed help, he helped. When I needed support, he was supportive. And when he needed help or support, I was there for him too. As the years went by, we became more and more close.

As people go, I figured he’d be more open-minded than most, as to me realizing I’m a t-girl.

I was mistaken. He basically disowned me. He didn’t break contact but he become emotionally distant. His emails to me ended with “your old friend” … no longer “love” and no longer “dad.” I visited with him in person, and explained the reasoning, the facts, the science behind all this. He listened but at some level it didn’t sink in. He accepted the logic and yet at some deep emotional level it didn’t matter to him.

I kept trying. I invited him to breakfast, lunch, etc. to discuss his concerns until he explained that it’s excruciating for him to be out in public with me.

And, so, I checked out.  Win some, lose some …

gIMAG1313

Walking is Good for You

The negotiation book “Getting to Yes” urges the reader to negotiate from a position of awareness as to her alternatives, so that she doesn’t push unrealistically hard for a deal that is vastly better. That way, if the other party walks away, she’s not all that much worse off anyway. And, she knows not to accept a deal that’s worse than her best alternative.

I have recently had the opportunity to observe that, at close range.  A nice and patient (perhaps overly patient, but if you must have one vice, that’s an endearing one) friend of mine was in a business negotiation where the other party was pushing her for things that were way more than she considered reasonable.  One day, she finally walked away from the negotiating table and in effect said “no deal, there’s no ‘win’ possible for me here.” Good for her.

The other party, as it turns out, had no plan B and was pushing hard — just because. It was an interesting to me how surprised and sad the other party ended up being, and not graciously so. That last twist on the story made me an especially unsympathetic observer as to the anguish of this other party, and I was extra proud of my friend for making the decision to walk away.

Walking away is a skill that’s served me well.  I’ve read “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand many times. Its theme is “integrity.” I love how the hero in the story walks away from deals that might be tempting to those of a superficial mindset, but in a context where integrity is a prerequisite, the hero sees past the distractions and focuses on the essentials. He walks away from unacceptable offers, such as taking on a project that violates his professional integrity as an architect, even though he’s financially so broke that he ends up having to shut down his architect’s office and his next best option is to go work in a quarry, doing hard physical labor to earn a living.

Similarly, as the owner and manager of a small custom software business, I’ve been in situations where my company and I were super-broke and a client was taking an unreasonable stand. I reasoned with the client and when that failed, I walked away even though the financial consequences to my business and I were very dire.  I have yet to ever regret doing so. However, there have been times when the issue wasn’t sufficiently clear to me and I erred on the side of humoring the other party, and as time passed, I typically ended up regretting that. So, nowadays when an issue can go either way, then I’m more inclined to say “see ya.”

2015-06-04 01.11.00My “coming out” as a transsexual girl was in superficial ways a very disempowering experience. From being a generally respected and admired member of social and professional circles, I became an oddity, and although I still don’t buy into the underlying pity-party premise, I now understand what folks mean when they talk about being “disenfranchised.”

I have many years’ experience in the IT business. Until I came out as a t-girl, when I spoke up during professional meetings, the room went quiet and people listened. They tended to be glad they did. But now, as a t-girl, my life is totally different. Even junior and incompetent techs blatantly ignore my input, even when the stakes are high and the tech has a long track record of wreaking havoc in his clueless wake.  If I collected “I told you so” credits, I’d have a lot of them. Certainly I’m seeing how the world looks like to females, yes … but t-girls are often considered to be several rungs lower yet in the social hierarchy, in most folks’ estimation. When a t-girl is just coming out, then that initial period she’s especially vulnerable to being generally disrespected.

I tend to be mellow and reasonable as to t-girl issues and I’m happy to explain things to people who are struggling with the concepts. Heck, I struggled with them personally for many years. It’s hardly fair of me to expect others to fast-track their acceptance of what is a very counter-intuitive premise, that someone with male-shaped plumbing is female. Yes, it makes sense when you’ve learned enough and you have belabored the issues but until then, it’s not something that seems any more reasonable than a Renaissance astronomer announcing “guess what, folks, the earth is actually a ball.”

When I looked more male than female, or I sounded more male than female, then when a stranger guessed the wrong gender pronoun then I could not fault them for that. For all I know they were trying their best to make sense of a weird situation.  They happened to guess wrong as to whether or not I’m female, but probably these were reasonable mistakes and much as I dislike being called “Sir” or being referred to with male pronouns, I see no reasonable alternative to being gracious. I figure that if I want a greater percentage of strangers to classify me as female, I should earn that. I should be more effective at coming across as such. I can’t very well go around looking like Sylvester Stallone in drag and then get irritated when someone calls me “Sir.”

Non-strangers are more problematic if they use the wrong gender pronoun for me. In such cases, I understand that old habits are hard to break and it’s difficult to naturally refer to someone as female if for years that person was referred to as male. Still, I AM basically female and I have gone to enough trouble and have made enough progress to where I now consider it reasonable to request: folks who want to continue enjoying my company should try using female pronouns for me. And when they slip up, then I’m gracious as long as it’s being done in good faith.

Yes, I understand it’s hard to switch to female pronouns as such but there are some people whose lives were changed quite dramatically due to me announcing that fundamentally I’ve been female all along. And they even so, these nice people did a stellar job of getting their heads wrapped around the issue very well.  So, if they could do it, others can, if they choose to put forth the effort. And if creating an awkward situation for me keeps coming naturally to someone and they can’t be bothered to overcome that, then they’ll see less of me … a lot less.

In a totally different category are the people who basically know better but use male pronouns for me just to be mean, or who dismiss the issue as so unimportant to them that they’re not even interested in trying. When I’m unsure, I tend to not presume malice so I gently correct someone. Mostly that goes down well. It’s when someone is clearly resistant that I become less conversationally gentle. Typically that’s a prelude to me exiting and finding nicer people to interact with, but until I can exit the situation I also don’t plan to pretend things are fine when really they’re not.

Today, there was such a situation. It inspired this blog post.

My insurance agency is managed by a married couple of whom I’m very fond. They’ve become my close friends over the last 20+ years. They’ve known me for many years when I thought I was basically male, and it’s been hard for them to get used to my new name and (surprise!) me having been basically a girl all along. But I’m patient and they try hard. They value me as a close friend and it’s mutual.

I’m also their computer fix-it geek, who keeps their business computers operational.

And, I’m also a client of their insurance agency. Over 20 years, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on their agency. I typically have about 3 vehicles insured simultaneously.

And, as of a year and a half ago, I also rent an apartment from them.

My guess is that there are many reasons to be happy about the interaction.

2015-06-04 01.11.18And, there’s more. I live near where their office is, and I know they work so hard that they often forget to eat lunch, so I used to show up and bring them lunch. They always appreciated that. And I’d say “hello” and chat and ask how their computers are doing and whether or not they needed any help with that. It was a nice, warm and fuzzy situation.

They have an employee with whom I’ve gone out of my way to be nice too, personally and professionally. Even so, this lady seemed to always be pretty casual about the gender-pronoun thing with me even after being aware of my formal name change, and after I generally look and sound more female than not. I gently reminded her when she used male pronouns for me, which was often.  It made the situation a lot less pleasant of an environment for me. But, as long as it was all in good faith, I was patient and nice. But, a few weeks ago, when I gently reminded the employee by saying “she — female” yet again when she’d referred to me as “he” in conversation while I was standing there, she dismissively and defensively said she basically has more important things to worry about than that. To me that was a red flag. It showed me that she’s not trying, nor likely to want to. That changed everything, for me. I went to that office there less and less. I didn’t consciously plan to stay away pointedly. I just stayed away more. However, as a consequence, things changed from me being a near-daily visitor in their office to me not being seen there for weeks on end. Certainly if they had needed computer help, they could call or email me, and I would have come over, but their computers were fine and so I just … stayed away. While doing so, I came to realize how unpleasant the situation had been for me, and excising these visits made each such week a happier week, for me.

My insurance needs started accumulating and I kept postponing dealing with them. Finally, I realized how much I’ve been avoiding the place. And today was a deadline in three respects … an unpaid policy was about to cancel today, and I needed to add a new vehicle to my insurance today, and I needed to remove a car from a policy today. So, I went to their office. Normally I prefer not to deal with this employee as I’m trying to avoid an awkward social situation but the principals were both busy so I explained the situation to the employee. She seemed offensively dismissive about my concerns that the policy might cancel and that I’d then have the State of Nevada fine me for two uninsured-yet-registered vehicles, a huge fine. So aside from not having happy memories as to how dismissive she was as to gender pronouns, I also disliked her being casually dismissive about making sure this policy wouldn’t cancel.  The principal (lady owner) walked past, gave me a friendly hello and expressed friendly concern that I’d been so scarce recently. She inquired as to whether everything was fine as to my policies and the employee started explaining my situation, using male pronouns to refer to me.  I gently reminded her “she — female” and since my dress and bra today really accentuate my bustline, I reached up and squeezed my boobs pointedly and said “huge boobs, she, female” as if to cue her that a visual reminder was conveniently nearby if she needed any help remembering that I’m female. This changed her speech from using male pronouns when referring to me from maybe 100% that day to maybe 50%. And each time she used a male pronoun I’d say “she — female.” The situation was quickly becoming more and more awkward and tense.

After learning about the situation, the lady principal was adamant that indeed, this employee should call the insurance agency and make damn sure the payment would post today and that there would be no lapse in coverage for me. I appreciated that.  So, with me standing there, the employee picked up the phone, called the insurance company and explained the situation, referring to me loudly as “he.” Every time I said “she” loudly in the background.  At this point there was no way I could reconcile her actions to anything but petty malice. Anyway, the conversation with the insurance company ended up requiring me to get on the line with them personally and right before handing me the phone, the employee said “here he is” or words to that effect. What a negative start to the imminent conversation that provided!  I continued saying “she” loudly every time when she said “he” and I finally took out my driver’s license, put it down on the counter and asked the employee to take a good look at the gender classification on that official document. She responded defensively. By then it was pretty clear to the insurance company rep who was overhearing all this, what sort of debacle was happening on the other side of the phone line. Feeling awkward and self-conscious and more than a little upset, I nevertheless took the phone and in a nice and girly voice, I spoke with the rep. She was most gracious with me. And there were no male pronouns in that conversation. Better.

After the phone conversation ended, the next order of business was that I needed a proof-of-insurance card to hand to the Department of Motor Vehicles. At that point the company principal lady walked past again and asked if things were now OK. The employee started explaining my proof-of-insurance card requirements and yet again used male pronouns for me. I corrected her a few times and was ignored, and I finally told the lady principal “I need to leave; I’m getting irritated” and I walked out without another word. I went to my place, called the insurance company and they emailed me a proof-of-insurance card. I printed it, took it to the DMV, problem solved.

With the crisis over, I pondered my options. I could choose to tolerate this sort of behavior, or not. If not, then things might get ugly. I understand that the insurance agency is short-handed and they really don’t want this employee to quit so they’ll be inclined to do whatever they can to keep her around. They might need me but they need her more urgently. So, if push came to shove, was I willing to say “no, I’m not willing to put up with that sort of thing from this lady ever again”  even if it cost me the 20-year friendship and a place to stay? I weighed that decision.

This is where it helps to be aware of one’s alternatives. My credit rating happens to be in the toilet, a situation I richly deserve.  So, for me to rent a new place is much more difficult … but I specifically have looked into the options for such situations. I’d typically have to come up with two months’ worth of extra prepaid rent and then all would be well. And that’s something I could do, though my preference would be to not have to pack up and move all my stuff, any time soon. Still, I had options and I knew it. I continued thinking the issues through. What if I did have to go rent a new place? What would the pros and cons be? As it turned out, they weren’t all that bad. And so I felt confident about making a stand. It was nice to know I wouldn’t be homeless and maybe die in some alley behind a dumpster soon after. I liked having options.

After the employee had left for the day, I went back and spoke to both principals. I explained that the awkward situation with their employee had been the reason I’ve been so scarce these last few weeks, and that the situation today had made it worse yet, and I was going to be categorically absent whenever that employee was present. She’s a part-time employee so I asked which days and hours she worked. The principals told me she doesn’t work Mondays or mornings.  So if I have insurance needs or I wanna visit them, I know now that when I can show up at a time when she’s not there. They also reiterated that I’m always welcome there. I replied that I’m categorically not planning to be there when that employee is around. Even when they’re having a computer crisis on a day when that employee is around then they can send her home before I’m willing to walk in their door. And yes, I really am that adamant. When someone is being mean to me, I don’t have to take it. I can, but why would I? I simply choose not to take it.

As it turns out the issue didn’t escalate and the principals were most apologetic and nice. They explained how they’re between a rock and a hard place as to needing this employee. I sympathized. Hugs were exchanged, some tears were shed and nice things were said. The friendship ended up surviving the crisis and arguably is now stronger yet. And I don’t need to start packing up my stuff and moving out.

But it felt good to be willing to do that, if that’s what was needed to make the stand and refuse to be in an environment where someone is pointedly being snide and petty.

Ironically, later in the day, I had cause to ponder the comments of a t-girl friend who recently felt disempowered in a particular situation. That inspired me to think some more about the value that any random t-girl might be adding to be the lives of those around her.

Presumably, there are many who personally cherish her, as family or as a friend. But, let’s move things beyond the hard-to-quantify warm-and-fuzzy stuff, significant as those things nevertheless are. Let’s focus instead on some cold, hard numbers.

Let’s say the average t-girl earns $20K a year in income and that she has another 25 years left in the job market. So, that’s half a million dollars that she’ll earn.

Nobody should hire employees simply to break even. It should ideally be a significant “win” for the employer. What’s the factor? It varies. If she’s a good employee she might be adding value twice that of what she’s being paid (and no, that doesn’t mean she’s being exploited though I understand that’s a popular misconception). Assuming she’s worth double what she’s being paid, that means she’s worth a million dollars to one or more employers. That’s a very big pile of money. So, at the very least there should be one or more employers who are much better off for her being around.

If she pays rent at $500 a month, that’s $6K per year. Over 25 years, that’s $150k. That’s a lot of money too. So, one or more landlords have reason to be happy she’s around and paying rent.

Following that premise, over 25 years she might be spending $100k on groceries. LOTS of reason for local grocery stores to be glad she’s around. The same general premise applies as to places where she will be spending money for clothes, shoes, medicine, movie tickets, airplane tickets, restaurant meals, flowers, etc.

This reminds me of the quip “if you feel like nobody cares whether you’re alive or dead, go ahead and miss a couple of car payments and see what happens.” The premise is that the folks who’ve been accustomed to seeing your incoming checks (in the mail every month) are going to be quite upset if you’re no longer sending these.

So, even if you’re having a bad day emotionally: it’s good to be very self-aware as to the value you can add to those around you.  If you’re not in a situation where someone is being nice to you (or at the very least civil) then perhaps it’s time to go find a place where you will be more appreciated. It certainly beats staying put and tolerating bad behavior.
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Clean, Solid Reasoning

Most professional philosophers nowadays seem to be spreading more confusion than clarity.  Now and then, a few sharp minds manage to clean up the mess. Leonard Peikoff is one such example.

He recognized that a basic problem in philosophy is that all the basic concepts seem to depend on each other, and how do you prove one without relying on another, i.e., how do you avoid circular reasoning?

One of the brilliant things he did, that helped my personal understanding of philosophy a lot, is to figure out what the three basic axioms are, as to thinking about anything and everything.  Axioms are the most basic beginning-blocks of all knowledge. They are the basis of all proof. As such, they themselves can’t be proven, but any attempt to disprove one of these axioms relies on the axiom itself and is thus immediately self-defeating.

In debating transsexual-girl issues with the many hostile folks in today’s culture, it’s important for me to be able to think clearly on the subject of transgender girls, specifically transsexual girls.

The subject is coming more and more into the social forefront. Predictably, clueless people are more and more coming forward and stating their uninformed opinions on the subject.

In my experience, uninformed folks tend to be dismissive (or worse) of what they don’t understand, so the clueless folks tend to be pretty mean in what they have to say about transsexual girls.

I have found it useful to begin a conversation or debate with a good logical foundation to the issue:

  1. Define the key concept cleanly
  2. Refer to facts
  3. Draw an inescapable conclusion that my adversary can’t help but accept

Here’s an example:

A. The definition I use for “transsexual girl” is: Someone who has a female brain and was born with male-shaped plumbing.

B: Facts:

  • Fact 1, proven by autopsies: female and male brain structures are structurally different.
  • Fact 2: proven by autopsies: some individuals were found to have a female brain structure and yet they were born with male plumbing.

C: Conclusion: Transsexual girls exist.

Once the parties on both sides of the debate accept that, yes, such people do exist, the discussion is on much more solid ground.

The next point of discussion might be whether or not the person’s brain structure became female due to drinking too much soy milk, or reading one too many issue of Cosmo, or being cursed by a witch, or blessed by an angel … whatever.  Probably you’ll conclude, as I did, that no proof has as yet been found that someone can get a female brain structure except for being born that way.

From there the next logical conclusion is that transsexual girls are born that way.

From there, the discussion can go in any direction, but this provides at least a nice and solid basis for the rest of the conversation.

I hope this helps you! However:

  • None of this helps when I’m talking with unreasonable people, unless I show them up as such in front of reasonable people.
  • When someone is violent or threatens to be, I stop any discussion that individual.  Some more things are proper for me to do then, but this article isn’t about personal self-defense, it’s about philosophy … so I won’t go into that.

T-Girl Private Parts (Emphasis on “Private”)

It’s so odd to me how so many t-girls (including me) get quizzed about our private parts as soon as the person learns we’re a t-girl and the conversation is even minimally personal.  And the person doing the quizzing is, oddly, almost always male.

It’s as if the guys are gathering data to decide if they consider me worthy of being granted the privilege of being considered a female by them, from then on.  I mean, wow, I don’t see guys quizzing non-t-girls whom they barely know about the shape of their body ‘down there.’  Imagine the reaction they’d get.  But with a t-girl it’s supposedly okay.  Except that really it’s not.  Really not.

  1. It’s rude
  2. It’s none of the guys’ business
  3. The shape of her privates doesn’t make a t-girl any more or less of a girl, fundamentally, using a science-based, non-superficial standard of what makes a girl a girl. Her brain structure remains the same, regardless: female.

I’m getting kinda tired of this sort of quizzing. Being a reasonably decent chess player, I like to anticipate and prevent issues. Ironically, during a chess game today, someone who seems to be preoccupied with my looks (as in, he likes them) went way outside normal polite guy-chess-player and female-chess-player polite conversation and told me there’s something intriguing (in a positive way, for him) about me and he can’t put his finger on it.  Exotic and erotic, is what he called it.  Well, I decided I’d finally give him the additional piece of the puzzle and I told him I’m a t-girl. Here’s how I phrased it::

I’m a t-girl (emphasis on “girl”) and no, this isn’t a license to start quizzing me about the past, present or future shape of my private parts.

I think that’s pretty good word economy, especially for me.  It normally takes me three paragraphs just to say “good morning.”

And here’s how I looked today (and no, I didn’t show this to him).

gg2015-06-09 18.02.06 gg2015-06-09 17.55.00 gg2015-06-09 18.00.39

Spot the Odd One Out at the Whinefest

Which one doesn’t fit?

:-/ 😦 😦 :-/ 😦 😐 😦 🙂 😦

Yep, that second-from-the-right one, that’s me.

A t-girl friend with whom I’ve been swapping emails recently mentioned to me how she’s gradually stopped socializing with the t-girl community. The official nucleus of this community is often community meetings.

If you’ve gone to such a meeting and you had a similar experience and reaction as I did, then maybe reading this will make you realize that maybe, you’re not the problem.

I understand that many t-girls have a hard time. Frankly, my journey was no picnic either. But, we have a choice. We can let the bullies of the world be its metaphysical representatives, or we can relegate them to the sidelines. In plain English, you can think of the world as a mean place, or you can think of the world as a place where some of the people are mean. Me, I’m going with the latter point of view.

Someone insightful, who also knows me well, once pointed out that my emotional state might well imply there’s some self-hatred going on as to my personal make-up (and by that I mean what’s inside my head, not my cosmetics). Unfortunately, she has a habit of being precise and observant. Much as I felt offended at the time, I did ponder her points, and I ended up agreeing with her. At some level I probably did feel self-hatred. I could trot out some pretty impressive explanations of why that’s so, and after you’ve read them you might say “wow, no wonder you were so hard on yourself.” But, regardless of the cause, yes, I did feel that. And maybe some of that is still part of me, even now. Maybe it always will be. Psychological pain tends to resolve itself like layers of an onion coming off; you think you’ve peeled it and then you find out that, oh wait, there’s more. So it’s been with me in the past, and perhaps there’s still some of that in the future.

Even so, I’m basically happy being myself now. Several people have actually observed that, well, golly, I just seem to radiate an “I’m happy” vibe. And yes, that’s really how I feel, deep down. I LOVE being me now. I didn’t always.

Ironically, I’ve always had a thing for tall, statuesque leggy long-haired blondes with round butts and shapely legs. And now I am one!! How cool is that?!  I like that A LOT. Recently when I looked in the mirror, a couple of times I could truly say “wow, I DO like that look.” Not that my looks define me. But it’s nice to be integrated and to look like that too.

Here’s a selfie picture I took this week, of me in a swimsuit.  Yes, it’s from Wal-Mart. That’s all I can afford. And the shoes, I bought used at Plato’s Closet. $14 the pair.

ggIMAG1278

The sort of crisis intercept I’m likely to need is more “wait, Tanya, don’t go flying off to Europe to apply to be a high-class escort, they probably won’t hire you and even if they did, be careful what you wish for” than “please come off the ledge.” Not that I haven’t been on a ledge, or the equivalent of that. But now I’m not. I’m almost giddily happy most of the time.

By contrast, when I go to support meetings and it’s all doom and gloom … my cheerful demeanor seems to irritate rather than inspire. And I don’t wanna lecture people on how they might get to where I am, happiness-wise. If they wanna know, they can ask. And nobody has asked. As to what I contribute, I do have empathy but at some point the little voice in my head says “wow, if my journey had been an easy as the one you’re whining about, I’d be even happier and further along today.” Yes, we’ve all had our hurdles, but geez, people — I wanna listen to a particular lament for only so many minutes and then I wanna move on to the next agenda item.

Sometimes the examples are really jarring. An example is a t-girl whose employer is (relative to the prevailing sub-culture) already leaning over backwards to be transgender-friendly but, in her opinion, not enough. By her way of thinking, that’s sufficient reason to go on and on about that issue right after “hi, how are you.” I don’t even ask her that any more. I really don’t wanna know. And that pretty much sums it up for me.

If you’re having a hard time but you’re getting up after life has knocked you down, I’m totally sympathetic. If you’re just sitting there and whining, then I’m very unsympathetic.

Another popular premise seems to be the premise that t-girls have a right to be accepted, as in: they can go out and demand it. I don’t see it like that. When it comes to nonviolent issues, I’m for winning people over with logic and by being nice. Wow, am I a minority as such.

Another popular premise seems to be the premise that t-girls have a right to other people being forced via tax money to fund their transition from male-looking frumpy girl, to looking like a Miss Nevada contestant. Geez. I’m a free-market girl, so I have an issue with that premise too.

(I also have an issue with a t-girl’s money being taken via taxes to pay for the quadruple bypass surgery of a 300-pound guy who insists on eating three large bacon-cheeseburgers a day — and yes, he did want fries with that … every time).

My attitude is “get off your butt and go earn the money and fund your own surgeries or procedures.” If you’re spending your own money you will tend to spend it much more carefully too. As an example, I hate having facial hair and body hair. But I can’t afford lasering or electrolysis. So I go to Wal-Mart and I buy a $9 container of wax and I heat it up in the microwave, and I smear it on my skin and I rip it off with a piece of paper. Yes, it hurts so much I’ve chipped a tooth grimacing at the pain. But I got over it and I kept doing it until by now my skin is REALLY smooth — and I love it.

With this approach, I saved maybe $200 a session. Or, to be precise, $191. Well worth it, especially since the $9 solution is all that I can afford.

So, yeah. Being a t-girl isn’t easy. Then again, you can view the challenges as the glass being half full, or half empty. If you’re the latter type of person, then good luck with that. I really don’t wanna hear about it.

While you’re sitting there whining, I’ll be over here, practicing my latest stripper moves. Ooh, look how pretty it looks when I arch my back. Mhm. Yay! I’m a girl!! So cool. Happy!!