One year

Someone wrote…

I have so many things that others don’t and I still feel unhappy. How is it that a year ago I didn’t care that people called me by my birth name but now I cringe each time? I want to be out at work but don’t know how…

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on July 18th, 2012 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 3 comments »

3 Responses to “One year”

  1. Mym

    My old name now feels like it was the name of the Act I put up to protect myself… for a while I was out socially, but not at work – hearing it socially hurt, because it just put me back into the Act that I was finally escaping. At work I was wrapped in the Act again, and it didn’t hurt while I was there; what hurt was pulling the Act back on before I went in.


  2. Brett Blatchley

    Yes, I feel this tension too…

    …Though I bite-back the hurt of not fully transitioning by remembering that “Brett” started-out as a female name and is now unisex. I may yet change my middle name to “Lana” (though such would irritate my spouse)…

    In the past couple few months, I’ve become increasing sensitive to being called “sir” when it’s VERY OBVIOUS that I’m not presenting as male, even if it’s also apparent that I wasn’t born female. It’s happening less and less frequently as hormones change and soften my (already in-between) appearance. When I get “sir-ed” I’ve been trying to overlook it…however…

    Yesterday, I’ve decided that henceforth I’ll ignore people’s if they “sir” me to get my attention.

    For people who consistently “sir” me, I gently tell them that I’m a transgender person and that it would really bless me if they would not use “sir” with me, and I offer them my first name instead. Each time I’ve done this, it has been a positive experience and I’ve reassured the person involved that I wasn’t really offended, just that I would help me if they addressed me a different way. This has become easier each time I’ve done it…

    …Of course, I’m ecstatic when I’m addressed in the feminine (or referred that way)!!! For example, I was addressed as one of the “ladies” by someone who wanted to demonstrate a hair curler to another woman and myself at the mall last night. As it happens, I was only two feet from the person who addressed us: it made my trip to the mall! :-)

    On the other hand, a dear, intimately close cis-female friend is having difficulties with my increased gender-reference sensitivity: she wants to honor this (and she senses this tension I feel), but she has her own tension with this: She views my soul as VERY FEMALE to her and we relate mostly as close, even “twin” sisters, but she also knows (and supports) my vow to my wife to remain nominally male for her, not fully transitioning, not having SRS. [I remain in my role as husband and father even though I look and behave increasingly as the woman I am inside. Part of the practical outworking of my vow is to keep my genitalia in male form, not insist on female pronouns and references in our family interactions and relationships.] Also, she (my “twin sister”) met me knowing that I was a male-bodied person, and I was (at first) like a brother to her, but she soon realized that I was really predominately female inside, and, through the years of our relationship, I’ve become more relaxed about my identity as a woman. So she uses male references for me mostly, with more and more female references when those are appropriate too. It’s a bit uncomfortable for both of us, though we have such trust as to know we each mean the best and we’re trying to navigate the Transgender Pronoun References Minefield ™…she does it very, very well, and as I’ve said many times before: desensitization is a GOOD THING!!!

    So, I think it’s worth going slowly but steadily forward, giving everyone time and room to adjust, expecting that things will gradually get better and we will gradually become more congruent, and that we will learn much along the journey we otherwise might not if we rushed the process…be gentle with yourself and others!


  3. J.D.

    I was asking myself that just the other day – I haven’t changed as a person, so why has my chosen name become so much more of an issue to me now? The only thing I could think was that as I become more comfortable with finally being myself and being okay with who/what/etc. that is, I become more and more dissociated with my birth name.

    I started slowly getting my family and friends used to the idea and had a few long talks about what being trans* entails. I finally realized I had to get them on board after my own Grandmother called me by my birth name and I didn’t answer her because I forgot it was “me”. Tomorrow I turn 20, and to celebrate two decades on this earth my family has agreed to support my transition and make my chosen name the one they use in reference to me. It’s taken me three years of very small baby steps, but the end result – a family and friend network that is supportive and trying to understand – is worth it.

    So I guess, as far as being out at work, take it slowly, be patient, and know that you are you no matter what they call you. And I’m willing to bet you are a wonderful human being.


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