Tag Archives: Coming Out

Is it ok to have friends from before you transitioned?

For those who have transitioned I think this is a question we all asked at one point or another. As one grows in to who they are born to be you learn more about those who have been there not only from the beginning, but possibly further back beyond that.

I remember when i started to live full time. Most of the people around me were new to my life and only really knew me as me. There were a few who had been around before. Coming out can harbor feelings on all sides of life. I remember one friend saying he missed the old me. I didn’t really understand this remark. I was still me. Same likes and same attitude. He just saw something I didn’t.

Probably the most eye opening came with my best friend during my coming out. She was a dear friend of mine and helped me overcome a lot of my fears. She was completely supportive. We would go to gay bars together and dance our nights away and have a great time. Something changes though over the few years since my coming out I did not expect.

I decided to go back to school so I enrolled in the local college. This was a pretty big step for me considering it was not only the first place no one would know my old self but it was the first real time I stepped out without my best friend.

The experience was so awakening. I made sure to protect my secret and be who i was at all times. It was probably the happiest I had been in years. I made many friends at school. We would hang out between classes or during assignments we had in common. No one questioned me. Everyone just saw me for who I was. At least it was this way at school.

My best friend on the other hand had become more estranged to me. I was happy to see her and go out like we used to but it had changed. I could see the difference in how she treated me while knowing everything as opposed to those at school who knew me as me. I could tell my best friend still held back with things and had even become condescending with me.

The longer I allowed myself to grow at school the more I realized how bad things were with my best friend. I could go in to various other reasons that things became bad but they aren’t part of this point. The realization she treated me like she did was very disappointing.

Due to many reasons along with this one we parted ways as friends. Something i have seen happen with a lot of those I knew before I transitioned. The ones I have left are probably the oldest of friends I have. One goes back to high school. One was even a girl who had a crush on me in first grade. Which also leads to another funny note.

I am friends with three of my exes from before I transitioned. Every one of them had the same thing to say when I came out to them. They all said I love you but I’m not in to that. Did they think it was supposed to be a way to endear myself to them? lol. I have no clue but it was pretty funny they felt they had to say it.

My answer to is it okay? Yes, I think it is just fine. You will get used to the two different ways people will treat you. There will always be a huge difference between those who knew you before and those who don’t. Much like with those who have to decide if they can take who we are. We will have to decide if how they treat us is good for us. I know this sounds like a bad Disney saying but if they are true then they will be there forever.

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What makes terms like lifestyle good or bad?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a lifestyle as such.

:the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture

In its purest of forms this make people calling how LGBT people live a lifestyle correct. BUT, one thing they are forgetting is that we do not refer to the heterosexual way of life as a lifestyle. We do not refer to it as a choice. It is just what they do. This is why the word has garnered such a bad reputation among the LGBT population.

There are plenty of words that have been used to describe LGBT people. Most of which are no longer acceptable to say despite their more traditional meanings. Calling some one gay in a derogatory manner is frowned upon. Yet no one remembers what its original meaning is. The same is said for the word queer. The word simply meant happy. It still does. No one complained about the film Nightmare Before Christmas when Jack Skelington sang the words ‘how queer”.

The song described Jacks new experiences in Christmas town. Its use of the word queer came from the more traditional definition so the audience had very little to complain about. Now had he said it about another character in the film I am sure it would have taken on a completely different meaning.

On the opposite end of this is the Green Day song American Idiot where the song used the line “maybe I’m the faggot america”. This caused an uproar and forced the song to be censored without even knowing the meaning of the lyrics. The following line in the song is “I’m not a part of the redneck agenda”. A very provocative statement. Especially in this era where the conservative movement has pushed harder to deny LGBT rights.The use of the word was all anyone heard. It was enough for an uproar. At least for those who are incapable of looking at the bigger picture.

The worse use I can remember over the last decade has been in some of my favorite films. I love watching Kevin Smith films. From Clerks all the way to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. These are great classic comedies that talked a lot about the culture at the time and often poked fun at it. Jay and Silent Bob Strike back had one joke though that pointed out a very dark look at his films for me. In it a female bad guy does something that is considered weird or abnormal. Her friend turns to her and simply says “you are so gay”.

As funny as his films are they quite often have very derogatory views on the LGBT community. I do excuse Chasing Amy from this because of the many LGBT issues and messages it gets across, but this only furthers my confusion when I think about it. The earlier films were a voice of their time. The early 90s were full of this kind of talk. By the turn of the decade though things were not so crude. So it made the comment in Jay and Silent Bob very uncomfortable.

Another great point of how those who aren’t labeled by the terms is when actor John Barrowman defended his use of the term tranny. In his opinion the trangendered people of the world should quit whining and be okay with the term. Yet I can only imagine how angry he would feel if he was casually referred to as a faggot and told to accept it because that is what he is to some people. He of anyone should have known better. The power of labels can be hurtful.

So why do I bring all this up you ask? As much as I would like to say I have a simple point I do not.The use of the word lifestyle in our current culture carries one meaning when regarding the LGBT community. It is a way for those who don’t understand LGBT people to understand what they consider to be a choice. This is the only answer I can think of that makes sense and this answer makes the term very unhealthy.

This version of the word has been around for a while. It was further re enforced to me over the weekend when a family member was talking about how she knows gay people and a gay friend was offended when she referred his lifestyle. She felt he was being to sensitive. I even told her as an example what if he was to refer to your religious views as a lifestyle. Yet she pointed out how its not a lifestyle and kept on saying how people are too sensitive.

Like I said earlier. No one refers to heterosexuality as a choice. We don’t refer to being human as a choice. We don’t even refer to ones religion as a lifestyle choice even though people chose which religion they believe in. So why should we hear about our “lifestyle” when it is naturally who we are?

What I personally hear when I hear my life being referred to as a lifestyle is that I have chosen a fetish that I live unhealthily. When I came out my sisters response was “that’s fine just keep it in the bedroom”. Like it was some sort of turn on. This opens up to a much bigger conversation for a later time. For now I want to stick to the issue at hand.

If you feel I missed the mark or see things differently please feel free to comment. I would love to talk about this.

Life has its funny moments

There are always many triggers in our lives that will remind us of the past. Key elements that stick out as either really good or really bad. I have my share of them just as any one else does. I don’t know if I just don’t pay attention anymore or if I am just slowing down. Either way I just found myself smiling at a little bit of the past.

My coming out was pretty much a disaster. While I don’t want to go over a lot of it in this post. I will say it was full of sadness, drinking and all around sense of loss. I had turned to the few friends I thought were close to me for support.

One of the things we found ourselves doing to pass our time and relax was playing video games. They didn’t have many and I had no access to mine at the time. I remember two games specifically that we would play often. It was either that or our aimless travels around the city.

The reason I even write this is because one of the games has come back in to my life. It was a cute and energetic game by the makers of Rock Band. I have had the game in my possession for the last 24 hours. I didn’t even realize what it was till I was cleaning it. I will be going in to more of my coming out experience at a later time. When I realized what it was I remembered many nights we would play it trying to beat each others high scores.

A lot about that particular point in time has been marred by negative events and feelings. That will happen with such events. But that is not what this is about. This is about a happy point in those times. Sure I had lost pretty much all of my normal life and was lucky to have a friend to offer a safe place to stay. We still played the games and had a great time doing so.

Not totally sure what I was getting across with this blog other than the expression of a happy memory. It is too easy to forget the good times and dwell on the bad. Especially in this era. I am glad to have another reminder in my life that even at life’s worst I still had happy moments.

First Time You Passed

Ok. An interesting question that not only reminded me of happy moments. We all have them. The first moments it happened were probably come of the happiest I ever got to experience. I attribute these three as the first and most defining moments for me.

This paragraph is for those who aren’t trans. A little explanation as to why this is such a huge thing. learning to dress yourself and understand make up can be grueling and scary. My sisters had make up and I knew other girls who did as well but I had no experience. Over the years I have learned to look at starting to come out and living full time as yourself as a form of second puberty. Everything is awkward and embarrassing again. After a while we start to understand it and grow with it just as any teenage girl would. We just have to deal with it later. (most of us. so many young trans kids nowadays but that is another topic.)

The first experience was such a simple moment. It wasn’t anything grand but most straight guys out there will understand its significance. When I was attending the local college I had to walk for 40 minutes to get to the closest bus stop. For some reason the walk never got any easier. My generic mp3 player kept me singing and walking happily as I made my way to the bus stop.

The bus stop was located right next to a 7/11. I would go in and get a bottled water to help my body relax from the long walk. On this day I was walking towards the door when a man in front of me saw me coming and stopped while holding the door open. I smiled happy and said thank you as I passed. He nodded and continued on with his shopping. While I am not a huge fan of the gender stereotypical roles I did find this moment quite endearing. A kind gesture was the beginning of my ability to try and relax in a world that scares me.

A second came as a little more embarrassing moment. Embarrassing but still welcome. I was going to the bank to deposit my check. This was right when they had just added in the debit card machines you swipe your card in to access your account as opposed to the old method of writing everything down on paper.

I swiped my card and thought nothing of it. After a moment the teller informed me I had swiped the wrong debit card. I looked at her a moment confused till she replied you swiped your husbands card. I couldn’t help but laugh a little at the misunderstanding. Even if I could feel my cheeks turning red with embarrassment. There was no way I was going to answer her vocally. Instead Held up my hand and rummaged through my purse for a pen.

Taking the pen out I also pulled the envelop I was still carrying that my check came in. On the envelope i simply wrote. This is my card. I am transgender. Her eyes widened as i smiled at the clear surprise in her face. Though it wasn’t a bad surprise. She smiled and went back to processing my check. Once done I gave my customary thank you. She smiled back and said have a great day.

The third was probably not only the funniest but also the most endearing. Right next to the bus stop was also a subway restaurant. I typically try to avoid spending extra money if I can, but this day I had not eaten and had three classes ahead of me. If I had to eat fast food I could imagine far worse than subway. A boy in his late teens stood behind the counter. I smiled and ordered one of the subs I like. When it came to checking out I gave him my debit card. As usual with most debit/credit cards he asked to see my i.d. card. Hesitant I pulled it out realizing this was one of those moments that could have been really rough. Much like with the bank attendant the boy looked at the card and then to me with a bit of a shock on his face.

What followed surely made me blush but not with embarrassment like before. The boy smiled at me and handed me back my card. You look much better now. Is what he said as he returned my card. Now that I think of it I think this was my first ever flattered moment. I could feel my smile go ear to ear as I said thank you. He nodded. I am sure he said more but I honestly cannot remember what it was. lol. I was so blown away by his comment I said thank you and left the store feeling like I had just been declared a beauty queen.

Silly to feel that way I am sure but when you doubt and are scared of the world around you this is the kind of information you need. Not so much the flattery and the reassurance but the acknowledgement that it is no big deal. These moments have helped define me and warm me to the world that I have grown ever so fond of since I decided to live full time.

If anyone would like to share their experience in the comments I would love to hear them. 🙂 After all it is better to share the happy moments. The bad have their place as well but we need to remember to smile and be happy.