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:
- Solving a Rubik’s cube, or
- Winning a chess game against a grand-master, or
- 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.