I suppose I owe my readers somewhat more information concerning my gender status than an announcement and a string of obscenities, so here goes: last Saturday, I went shopping downtown en femme with my girlfriend. While in Chapters, she saw her boss and immediately hid both of us from her, desiring as she did to preserve my secret. Of course, her boss (a) runs a LGBT advocacy centre, and (b) doesn’t know me from
Adam Eve anyway, so I told her that it wouldn’t have mattered either way. At that point, my girlfriend admitted that she was intensely frustrated with trying to keep track of “living in the margins” in between being a straight couple and being a lesbian couple (as she had been doing since I came-out to her over a year ago), and I agreed that it was not fair to her.
Upon going home, I consulted a transman friend of mine.* As I had mentioned earlier in the day, I felt like I was wanting to come-out publicly, but was overwhelmed by a nigh-insurmountable wall of fear. He told me that if I was asking whether I was ready, it meant that I was as ready as I was ever going to be (i.e, the fear isn’t going to go away no matter what, so I might as well, *ahem*, man-up and get it over with). I realized that of course he knew whereof he spoke in these matters, so half-a-bottle of liquor and six repetitions of Eye of the Tiger later, I posted the following note onto my facebook:
What does it even mean, to be transgendered? I wish I could tell you. I’m not even certain how to quantify these feelings. It’s not a matter of me desiring to engage in stereotypically feminine behaviours; neither do I feel like I am “a woman trapped in a man’s body.” What I do feel is simply no more or less than what I have said; I feel that I am a woman. I identify, and have always identified (although usually in secret), with femininity. In any social situation in which gender has come up, I have felt instantly and inevitably as if I were playing for the wrong team, but even when I am alone (indeed, even if there were no one else left in the entire world), I still desire to be a woman.
These feelings can no longer be ignored. Which is why I am requesting, starting today, that you acknowledge me as female by using the pronouns “she” and “her,” and refer to me henceforth as “Jaime.”
Let me emphasize that I remain the same person that I always was (indeed, if anything, I am even moreso). The only difference, as far as you should be concerned, is a fairly trivial change in pronouns.
That is all. Carry on.
Diligent readers may notice that I blatantly cribbed passages from my earlier post on the subject, but hey, why reinvent the wheel (and why try to reinvent it while you’re nervous and drunk)?
So I got that over with.
As for fallout, there has been surprisingly little so far. Fourteen of my facebook friends liked the message (almost all of them women; I’m not sure what to read into that). No one has deleted me, or even left me a snarky comment. I felt nervous going in to work today, but the nervousness rapidly abated after I went to lunch with my friends. It was awkward at first, but the awkwardness rapidly died down** as they noticed that I was literally the exact same person only in prettier clothes. And amazingly, my office-mate even treated me the exact same way. I had been especially concerned yesterday when I went out to buy some new clothes and have my eyebrows waxed and some degenerate hick had screamed obscenities and “cow calls” at me out of the passenger-side window of a rusty old pick-up truck. but thankfully most people aren’t complete assholes.
As for myself, I now feel very liberated. Now that I’m out, I no longer have any reason to hide my inclinations. I look forward to having my ears pierced and my facial hair removed, and I hope to be on hormones by the end of February (although this is probably an unrealistic hope, owing to some arcane medical regulations).
All that’s left is to tell my parents, which I plan to do by means of a letter. Oh boy.
*I don’t think he reads this blog, but if he does, he knows who he is.
**Although one fellow who I had heard making transphobic comments in the past refused to meet my gaze, but meh. I never liked him anyways.