Based on a Conversation Three: Hell
A third essay from the heart about what it means to be transgendered.
I talked with one of my former supervisor at work the other day. I let her know that I soon would be allowed to wear a skirt or a dress at work. This would happen after some meetings that would be occurring after my present supervisor returned from vacation.
I also told her that because I am feeling uncomfortable in the men’s bathroom I would be using the former women’s locker room on the second floor. This is despite the fact that I work on the first floor. I am still not allowed to use the women’s bathroom.
I told her that for me this compromise is temporary. I need to be treated just like every other woman in the place. She said that after a while I might be able to change to the normal use of the women’s bathroom, but I need to have patience because my decision effects others who may not be as tolerant with the situation as she is. I explained that as far as my needs are concerned I need to start using the women’s bathroom now, but I understand that I may be stepping on other people’s toes.
Finally she asked me how long I have felt this way. I told her almost all of my life. I told her that at about five I was with mom in some department store while she was in the lingerie department and I felt like a girl while we were there. I explained that as a child it was difficult for me to cuddle a toy solder because that doll was toting a gun. I explained to her my disappointment when at the age of eleven, instead of getting puffy on my chest my voice was deepening.
I was also scared back then. Afraid of someone finding out. Afraid that someone who did find out would attack me or at least ridicule me. I was also afraid that I would be caught dressed in mom’s clothes. The strangest thing is that the others knew. For example, I came in third for best looking girl in my senior year. The one who won was intersexed or already transitioning.
I was actually attacked at the age of twelve by a boy who goosed me just because he wanted to find out if I was a boy or girl. When he found out he laughed. He laughed as I lay on the ground protecting myself. The physical pain of him grabbing my balls dissipated quickly, but the pain of the humiliation and my feeling violated lasted a long time.
I told my former supervisor about my feelings of the boy who lived next door to me how I played with him until some of my sexual feelings began to come out. He was a year older than me and also an inch or two taller. In my fantasy I needed him to hold me, to love me and cherish me. When he accidentally found out he teased me and told the other kids in the neighborhood. No one let me “defend” myself. The only good part is that it was soon “forgotten.” But I “marked” although I didn’t know it at the time.
With this fear came the anger and my distancing myself from others. The anger got me into trouble a few times. I am ashamed of what I have done. Over time, for the most part, I have learned to dissipate that anger and start to love. Since I’ve been on HRT that anger has been reduced dramatically. Even now in my anger I try to admonish instead of lashing out either physically or verbally.
The result of my fear and anger was that I was a lonely boy. My parents saw that and thought after consulting with others that seeing a psychiatrist might help. I couldn’t tell this grown up anything so in a sense I wasted their money. Now I could tell those shrinks how I feel, but as a kid I couldn’t. I was still afraid.
Part of my fear was that I was the only one who thought that way. In a sense that is true. According to statistics in the Netherlands about one child in eleven thousand births is a male to female transsexual and one child in twelve thousand is a female to male transsexual.
There are other things that bother me. I cannot now or ever give birth. When she was pregnant my now ex-wife told me about how the baby was moving in her. Her description of what she was feeling inside her included a smile on her face that told me of the joy she was experiencing. I was happy for her and happy for me who was becoming that child’s father, but I needed to experience that miracle from her perspective. Unless a miracle happens I will never experience the joy of knowing I am pregnant or feeling that baby kick or giving birth.
My former supervisor told me that what I missed was no big deal, but she had the choice and she gave birth. I never will. No one except a few that are like me that I have given love to and receive love back will ever call me mom. I have given some of them strength. I have given some of them the will to endure. I have given some of them the strength to, as Shakespeare’s Hamlet put it, to be instead of not to be.
Every night I ask G_d to do that miracle and allow them to really be my daughters like they deserve. That miracle would be for them as well as for me. At least G_d did answer my prayers in a way that He could under the rules He created. For in my heart and theirs I am their mother and they are my daughters. I thank Him for that even though we still need that final part.
In addition few will ever call me sis although I have two real life sisters and a few sisters that are in our hearts. I doubt that dad will ever consider me his daughter. Mom never did except near the end of her life when she was a bit “out of it.”
My change has been until recently one small step at a time. In addition to my work situation I recently pierced my ears and wore a skirt in front of my dad. Dad said that wearing a skirt is impractical. But not when the temperatures reach over ninety degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is over ninety percent. He also said I don’t have any fashion sense, but other women have said I look pretty. At least now he knows the basics.
He asked me some tough questions such as “Why now?” All I could answer is that I am tired of the fear and tired of fighting with myself. He asked if I could live as a man. I told him I tried that. I told him that more male hormones would only make me unhappier. I told him that the first time I used female hormone the only resistance was fear including, at that time, fear of ‘homosexuality.” I also explained that I ran out of money then. It was the main reason I stopped at that time.
The next step has been the synagogue. I told the rabbi recently that I am transsexual. He told me some “Catch 22” good news. He told me that the ruling body of the Jewish Conservative movement said that a completely post-op transsexual is considered the new sex. Until then the person is considered the old sex. The “Catch 22” part involves the prohibition of cross-dressing in the Torah. How is a woman who is supposed to live 24/7 in her new sex for at least a year before surgery, as required by medical standards, and still follow Jewish law?
At least I would not be considered a homosexual. If I were considered one I would loose my seat on the synagogue’s board of directors, and formally as ritual chairperson, because a homosexual cannot speak for the Jewish people. I think the board would be better with me on it. I am not sure if loosing my seat would be a blessing in disguise for me.
As there are hundreds of people at work I expect someone to come to me and tell me that what I am doing will send me to Hell. If that is my fait so be it. I’ve already experienced it.
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