Saturday, 1 September 2012

On the edge

    There has been something missing here of late.  Regular readers might have noticed their reading material has strayed into the mundanity of rural life and random political rants. This is a transgender  person's blog, so where's the tranny content, damnit!
    The answer's a bit complex. On a simple level I do not wish to simply churn out an endless transition diary or scorecard of the glamorous and exciting transgender lifestyle, whatever that is. In my view the best offerings from this sphere are those from bloggers who happen to be transgender, rather than those from transgender bloggers which can get rather stale.
    But on a more complex level there are issues that need to be confronted, yet that it is difficult to talk about. Things that involve my wife, for example. I feel that while I can talk about myself in specific terms it is unfair on her to talk about her in the same way in a forum on which she can not speak for herself.
    So what can I talk about. Guilt, I guess. All the walls, roadblocks and barriers behind which I've spent most of my life hiding have now fallen away. My wife has made it pretty clear that we'd both be better off were I to move forward. I can do it too, I'm confident in the world presenting as female. I shock myself with how well I manage at it. I don't have to deal with wigs or trowel on the makeup, I have an employer with whom I could transition tomorrow and nobody would bat an eyelid and I live in a place that's about as good as it gets to be transgender.
    Yet I'm hanging back from the edge of the abyss, scared even to peer over it.I've really tried these last few years to hang in there, to manage this condition and find a way to be the husband she deserves, and to move forward would be a betrayal, a failure and a waste of all that emotional investment.
    Some people write endless screeds justifying why they should transition. Maybe they need to convince themselves it's the right thing for them to do. I guess I've known for years it was the right thing to do and I've done the opposite, trying to convince myself that it's the wrong thing for me to do. That was a big waste of time, wasn't it.
    In January, I'll be seeing my specialist at the GIC again. By May I'll have been with them for a couple of years and they'll discharge me if there's nothing more they can do for me. So I have a few months in which I have to make up my mind. If I want to transition under their care then January is the time at which I have to start. Not the end of the world, for theirs is not the only path through this mess, but a pretty stark choice nevertheless.
    You see, if you are going to transition it has to be for the right reasons. I've seen enough people doing it for all the wrong reasons, caught up in the pink cloud, and I have no wish to emulate them. The pink cloud has long ago departed for me, but I need to have better justification than avoidance of a delay in the medical pathway. There is more at stake than just my path here.
    So there we go. I'm standing on the edge. I don't need pushing from either direction and surprisingly thanks to the help of my counselor and others things are pretty good all round, but I can no longer dodge the decision. I'm beginning to think it'll probably be a yes, but that's by no means certain.
    Strangely enough, that admission in itself brings a feeling of relief. Unexpected, that.


  1. Jenny,
    I think its nice when we write about things other than transgender subjects. It shows that there is more to us and that we are rounded individuals.

    I use my blog to write about my journey but every so often I will write about something that is not related to my transition but is important to me.

    One thing I have done recently is to create a new blog so that I can write about my running and triathlon training. Unless my gender comes up in such away that I feel I have to post something on that blog then I'm going to keep it purely to training and racing and things. Everything else can stay on my main blog.

  2. Some while ago now I too stood on the brink. Full of fear and self loathing and growing disgust at having lived, no existed n the wrong form for decades. Only the fear that it would upset my partner and her career if I stepped out into the light had really been holding me back for many years.

    Perhaps I was lucky and our partnership survived much as before only now she has a life with someone who is no longer morose and our marvellous circle of friends have stayed with us for the ride.

    I try not to dwell on regret but we lost a decade or more happy time together by my standing miserable on the brink.

    The fear of the unknown is worse than actually dealing with it so I hope if you finally choose to move forward that your partner also finds happiness with the new you...

  3. I am not a transgender person, I am a person who is transgendered, we have a life beyond gender, or indeed clothes or odd sallys out into the world wearing a dress.. If we are interested in a person we need to be interested in all of a person, so well done in choosing to show us something of other aspects of your life.

    I you make the decisions you need to make and that you are all happy with what that decision is.

  4. Couple of sensible replies there Jenny. I almost never talk about my transition on my blog either. It is all history and has nothing to do with leading and living my life. Probably the worse fear anyone in our position has is related to the consequences of our actions and not the actual transition itself. It appears though that you are already aware of what will happen and it all looks good, and it appears you have a parachute to bring you down safely should you take that step over the edge.

    Shirley Anne x

  5. I was in the same position about 12 months ago, the help from the gender clinic was, by their own admission, not that great. They concentrated on whether I had GID or not, and not with the help you need to make the decision. Their recommendation that I see a therapist was one of the most helpful things that they could have said.

    Good luck, whichever way your decision goes.


  6. I could have written every word of this piece, Jenny, for that's how I feel right now.

    Calie xxx

  7. Its tough being on the edge.
    You have come a long way and have thought through all the pros and cons of transition multiple times.
    You have seen people do it succesfully and some not so.
    You have seen what can work and what sometimes does not.
    You have watched people move on and live happily and also people who have continued to struggle.
    That is not a bad position to be in.
    It means you can take an informed decision and are not deluding yourself.
    Despite the risks of which you are well aware you can also see the benefits.
    Only you can make the decision and I dont want to influence you but I will say that do not let fear hold you back.
    I know I tried to picture what my life would have been like 10 years ahead and how those around me may feel after 10 more years of struggling. It was not a pretty picture.
    Sometimes things have to change.

  8. Strikes a chord with my partner and I. We wish you both well.

  9. I could have written something similar to this 18 months ago. When my wife and I made the decision that I needed to transition, my immediate emotional response was guilt and a feeling of failure - there was no way around that, it was just something I had to work through - no matter how much my wife said she was at ease. Time was a healer in that regard, but it was a process to go through, I guess akin to grieving.

    I guess, I'm saying give it time, accept the emotions that are there, in due course they will settle and the paths become clearer? Just 'cos there is no pink fog, doesn't mean there's no fog...

  10. It seems you have choices. What are they? What are their consequence?

  11. Having decided to transition, sometimes we really do need a push on the timing of when to do it. In my case it was buying a new house following separation from my wife. I am so glad that I had that push rather than drifting on thinking about the best time. My advice based on my own experience is that if you don't have that trigger then make a firm decision on the timing and stick to it whether it is next week or next year. Good luck with whatever choice you make!

  12. Thanks all for your kind and supportive words. I hope I give as good as I receive.

    I suspect in a few years I'll read this piece and look back and wonder what all the fuss was about.