Friday, July 06, 2012

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both."

Hello dear reader,

Well, I have faffed and messed around this evening. Hoping that by the delay, I will be blessed with a visit from the Muse - from a classical sense, not the band - and something interesting would pop into life between my ears.

That hasn't happened. :-) I did toy with the idea of leaving today's post until Saturday night, but I have a feeling that the same thing would happen again. I guess that's how blogs wind down, not with a bang, but a whimper and all that. I should add that I'm not thinking of giving up just yet. When I do get my head around blogging, I do enjoy it. I've met some interesting folk through this collection of ups & downs and made some good friends too.

Yet, this evening, there is no great secret I wish to impart, nor any burning issue I feel I need to share with you.

Hmmm....

Perhaps I have overdone it in the creativity department - as much as this stream of consciousness is creative - in that earlier in the week, I had a two ideas for some short stories. One a steampunk affair, the other something more modern but with a twist to add in a moral dilemma. With both, I had scenes that I wanted to write, but no beginning per say. Indeed, one of them, I had the ending imagined, but no start. I guess that's part of the challenge. I mean, I do like to write, although most of the items aren't that long and while I've tried my hand at the occasional short story competition, I've yet to get anything in return. Still, you keep trying don't you.

Talking of trying, a few of the trans massive have been coming out to their parents (or are in the process of). I will, if I may, share with you where I stand on this. Oh, I should add that this next bit is all about yours truly. Firstly, 'cos I'm a self obsessed trans blogger [/slight irony] but mainly because I feel I can only write about my own feelings, not those of others.

So with that disclaimer out of the way, I'll say this: my folks don't know about my trans status. Yes, I did tell Mum back in the (very distant) past when I was going through a rough patch as a teenager. But then, who doesn't have a tough time being a teenager? Hell, if there's an Elixir of Life, you can stick it unless I can start in my 20s. ;-)

Skip on a few years and I was visiting home midway through University (well, polytechnic in my case) and I had my one and only purge. I hadn't got a lot of clothes (a top or two, some shorts - it was the 90s, don't ask :-) ), so they went to a charity shop and the rest was binned. I thought, perhaps naively, that I could put it all behind me and have a stint of 'going straight'. Straight as in the criminal sense of the phrase. Hmm, that's telling isn't it. :-) What prompted the purge? Oh, me struggling with growing up and - if I can admit it to the Internet - seeing Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. The character was such a monster (and well played by the actor), that I took.... Actually, I'm no longer 100%. I think the idea that BB was so messed up that it tapped into my own feelings of body image and even a fear of self-delusion. Yes, it was fiction and yes, I did know he was a character, yet a little bit of blade cut something deep (if that makes any sense). There I was, long haired grunger with combat boots and obligatory plaid shirt, yet inside.... not quite so macho. Ahh, the masks we wear eh? ;-)

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..."
Skip on to post purge and I remember helping with the washing up with Mum (Ed: ever the good boy eh?). She asked me how things were going. The course wasn't going well and either through a lack of academic ability - or perhaps more accurately, a lack of personal drive / confidence - deep down, I knew I wasn't going to finish the year on a good note. Ahh, failing to prepare equals preparing to fail? Who can say. :-P

Anyhoo, I remember trying to be so matter-of-fact and saying to my Mum that I'd had a chuck out. "Oh? What do you mean?" Cue the nod and the y'know look and she seemed so happy. For a while, so was I, but.... well, we know how this one plays out don't we boys and girls. :-) I think I lasted six months or so, but the feelings didn't go away : just the mechanism to allow myself a little Lynn time (not that I had another name then).

I remember the look of relief on her face and no, I do not hold any grudge against her for that. She had her reasons and because of that, I've not told her (or Dad) otherwise. Lying by omission as a friend said? Yes. Will I tell them? No, I don't think I will. I think if I did, I would worry that they'd start worrying about its [my dressing up / occasional depression ] affect on the relationship the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones share and how it could affect the kids.

Does this mean I think other folks shouldn't tell their parents? No, not in the slightest. What works for me, is (so far) working for me and my life is not your life. Do what you need to do to get through it. If you feel the need to share, good luck to you. I think you're very brave. Likewise, if you decide to keep it all quiet, I can dig that too.

Take care,
Lynn

[ Today's quote is not a lyric, but a line from Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken ]

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing that Lynn - and no need to apologise about making it personal. I'm a nosy cow and its why I love blogging. You get to earwig on people's personal thoughts and feelings. I think people sometimes share things in a deeper way than they ever would to another person even if they got the chance to speak to them. Unless you are like me: verbal diarrhoea and no ability to hide what I'm thinking given half a chance! :o)

    My dad died when I was in my 20s, so never found out. I told my brother, but that didn't go hugely well. I've nearly told my mum a couple of times, but chickened out. She would worry about Mrs A and the kids too. But she will be told at some point. I'm trying hard to stop hiding all the time.

    Plus - please banish any thoughts of stopping. Please, pretty please. What would I do without my weekly fix - I love stopping by here after Friday night and reading your Trans Missive. See what I did there? :o)

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    1. "no need to apologise about making it personal." — No, indeed. This personal stuff is what really counts IMO. When it's marshalled by a writer's skill anyway ;)

      As for telling the parents, I can quite understand where you're coming from on this. Why make a thing of it when you don't need to. I probably wouldn't be even thinking of it if my dad was still alive. But now..... It's not really about honesty for me or anything moral like that; it's entirely selfish; I need to do this. And if we never talk about it again, well...

      Incidentally, talking about your writing, Lynn: Would you be interested in this at all? The next meet is on the 19th July :) . I haven't managed to make it down yet, but I'm going to try and get to this one.

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    2. One of those strange ironies I guess: that we'll outst our inner thoughts to the public interwebs.

      Sorry to hear about your dad and don't worry about me stopping just yet. I'm sure - well, okay, hopeful - that there are plenty of topics of conversation and discussion left yet. :-)

      Ahh "trans missive", is that like an e-mither? :-)

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  2. Jonathan: I think I've messed up on the reply button. Oh well. :-)

    If you need to do it - tell, that is - is that reason enough? Just curious.

    Oh and thanks for the link to the writing group. I saw a link to them previously (did you share that the first time around too?). I thought it would be interesting, although two things hold me back:

    1) Getting there as I don't want to burn up my 'going out' points.

    2) LGBT Writer. Hmmm. Do I consider myself to be T in some way? I suppose so. But do I consider myself to be a trans-writer? Hell, I don't consider myself to be a writer; it's more a hobby, but maybe this is the kick required to get it moving.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

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    1. If you need to do it - tell, that is - is that reason enough? Just curious.

      Yes, I think it is enough. More than enough.

      It's an interesting question though, and it's probably one about where we (TVs) are as a group. Go back 30 years and gay people were where we are now. "Do we tell? What about the consequences, for us and our loved one? Do people really need to know? We're okay as we are, aren't we?" etc, etc. Having gone through all that, the gay community now has a culture of coming out: obviously you're going to come out, because, well, obviously. Okay, not everyone does in reality, but the culture is there. Whereas for us it isn't.

      That doesn't mean I think everyone should come out right now whatever. Because I haven't even done it myself yet. But all the same...

      *chainofthoughtstallsforamoment*

      Have you noticed... there seem to be loads of coming out – or thinking about coming out – stories going around at the moment? Perhaps we are moving towards this as a group after all. Exciting times maybe. Or not. I guess we'll see :)

      On the writing group: "maybe this is the kick required to get it moving" – yes, that's about where I am on it too ;)

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    2. Interesting point you raise about the history of gay folk coming out, I'd really not looked at it from that angle. Hmmm.... There's now so many thoughts fluttering around me head.

      On one hand, my thoughts are 'why the hell not?'. It would kill off the secrecy (surely the most toxic part?) and if enough people did it, maybe we'd get to the magic 'so what?' factor. You come out, people say good for you and we all move on as one big diverse family - but hey, a guy can dream right? ;-)

      The flip side is am I - and I'll talk personally if I may for now - exposing my young family to culture / lifestyle that's less mainstream and therefore setting them up as 'different by proxy'? I have trouble explaining to myself why I do what I do, how can I explain that to the nippers or other people?

      Then again, we had friends round the other day and one of them wheeled out a story about her friend's surprising meeting with her new sister. She didn't do the air quotes thing around the word sister, but the shrug and downward look added them in. "Imagine her difficulty in dealing with that?" she cooed.

      To which I asked: "You talking about the brother having to come to terms with who he was and come out, or do you mean the social sigma of having a trans person in the family?"

      Cue much ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the tough time her friend had had. Yeah, my heart f***ing bleeds, love. ;-)

      On a brighter note, the writing thing.... I'll look into it. AFAIK I don't write from a trans point of view, although as I've written that, I can feel my brain ticking off plot lines and characters that would give a psychologist a field day. ;-)

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  3. You can't quit writing! I just found your blog!

    With parents... well, it's an interesting distinction between them and friends for me. Almost all of my close friends know about Mira, and it has been a benefit to my bonds with them to be able to be so open. But my parents? They'll love me no matter what, but do they really need to know? Would it help them in any way? *shrug* Haven't figured that one out yet.

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    1. There's plenty of old back story if you get bored, Mira. :-) Thanks for the words re not quitting. Don't worry, I think I'll be here a little longer.

      I think I'm with you in your last paragraph about parents. Friends is different. I'm not sure why, but it is a different dynamic.

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