Friday, September 11, 2015

A chance to be you

Hey,

Not just something that sounds good for horses, apparently. Also good for bad puns and an opening when you're wondering what to blog about. :-)

Despite Saturday's gift of a morning to myself and plenty of time to pack, I changed my mind at the last minute (Ed: Not that this mind works better than the old one.), and swapped to what you might call a transitional dress. Something that's either summer or winter, depending how you wear it.

I have, thanks to some gentle cutting down on snacks, lost a little bit of weight. Not a huge amount, but enough to let my old clothes fit better and I was very happy to be able to wear my favourite blue ditzy print dress again.... even if I didn't bring it this time.

While I was getting changed, Sarah and Alison popped up to say hello and - as per - we got chatting. I mentioned that a recent video on social media, had asked trans people, what they took the word passing to be. Some started with one word answers, and then moved on to expand on their initial comments. One said prison, which may sound strong, but you don't know her back story. Did she feel trapped because of how people had treated her, or was she - so to speak - in a cage of her own making?

I used to feel it was important to pass, but that was many years ago. I guess it was a bit like trying to wish yourself thin. It ain't gonna happen. Likewise, for me, and a few others, passing is something that's not going to happen. I'm tall, got blokey shoulders and a jaw you can clear snow off the drive with. They all stack up to provide evidence that I'm not genetically female..... but, I don't care. Not any more, indeed, not for a long time. It was something I'll never do and I realised that aiming for this goal, was just bringing me down. Instead, I just aim to be content with how I look. If all goes to plan, well turned out too. That's all I can manage and on good days - like last night - all did go well. I looked in the mirror and thought: yeah, you'll do. :-)

Alison - who is now, shall we say, no longer in the boys club :-) - asked how do I identify. This was something that came up in the video too. She said that she knows I pick the label transgender and, possibly as I've said here before, it's because the word trans, at least to me, feels inclusive. Sure, I'm very part time; being a bloke/dad/husband all month, bar two evenings, or maybe a few hours once in a blue moon. That said, I don't feel different when dressed up. I might watch my language a little more, but that may more be able manners. (Ed: that or Lynn feels blokes are ruder, so she does that to fit in. The jury's still out.).

Someone asked: do I pretend. Yeah, I pretend to be a regular bloke :-) Flippancy aside, there's a truth in that joke. I do watch what I say and how I act. If someone I know is talking jewellery design, or the dilemma with what to wear to a work's do; I know to keep my trap shut. Much that I'd like to join in, I'm wary I'd either a) give myself away, or b) weird them out in some way. Then there's dodgy the question, when someone asks why do you have both ears pierced? I usually say I just wanted the variety, which isn't 100% wrong. :-)

That's probably the old bit about being in the closet I don't like. Having to old back. At Chams, and as I said to Sarah & Alison, I don't have to self-censor. Here, I can be me, regardless of bloke or lady appearance; I can talk about any subject (Ed: often at great length). Maybe that's the best thing about the social group: friends who you can just be yourself with. No masks, no lies, just you.

Take care,
Lynn

[ PS: I had a telephone interview today and I've a formal interview next week. Fingers crossed! ]

12 comments:

  1. Hi Lynn! You're too hard on yourself. You look great!

    Nice post and I featured on T-Central.

    One of these days, I'll just have to hop a plane, jump across the pond and talk how we identify over a pint.

    Calie xx

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    1. Hi Calie. Thanks for the kind words. I don't feel I'm being overly harsh on myself. I just try to be honest. I'm conscious that others are kind enough to read this little blog of mine, and I don't like to be over-the-top, or thought of as faking it. Ironic, given I'm dressing up, but let's move on. :-)

      Larks! A second post featured on T-Central? Wow, you've officially made my weekend. Oh, and a pint would be nice. I can think of a few good pubs in Nottm for us to wet our whistles. :-)

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  2. Hi Lynn,

    Stop giving yourself such a hard time.

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    1. Hi Anon. Apologies for any miscommunication. I'm quite happy (at the mo), with who I am and how things are. Sure, a little more freedom in the lack of Wookie-legs would be nice, but you can't have it all, can you? :-) I'm not trying to paint a harsh picture, just aiming for honesty.

      Thanks for commenting.

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  3. Like you, the key change was when I stopped being concerned whether I passed. It is how people interact with me that concerns me, and the key to success there is putting them at their ease.

    D xx

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    1. Yes, both of those. So long as people treat me as they would anyone else, I'm fine with that. Just happy to get on with my day. I suppose for some, it might be the first time they've (knowingly) met a trans person.

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  4. Actually Lynne, "Yeah, I pretend to be a regular bloke" is not such a flippant comment. I'm very (self) conscious that I've been doing this in group social situations for most of my life, pretending to be 'one of the regular guys' when I feel anything but. Sometimes I amuse myself by wondering how many others in the group are doing the same thing, and whether the whole group male facade is one big screen one which everyone is projecting an image.

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    1. Hmmm. Not thought of it like that, Susie. It's an interesting way to think about that. Maybe there's a lot more pretence that first thought. I did smile when on Late Night Woman's Hour, they talked about secrets & lies, and how that fitted into social culture.

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  5. I've never really tried to pass myself, although very occasionally I'll get people mistaking me for a woman (or at the very least, confessing to finding my gender ambiguous), which can be nice (funnily enough, it usually happens when I least expect it!). As a general rule, though, I'm happy to muddle through life as a fairly androgynous bloke - it probably helps that people often say I look good in the more girly stuff I wear.

    Re how I interact with others, I don't really try to hide that side of myself, although I probably "self-censor" more than I like to think I do. For a long time, I was blessed with a lot of guy friends I could be completely open with, about pretty much anything, although unfortunately a lot of those friendships have fallen by the wayside for one reason or another. I really miss them sometimes. :(

    Then there's dodgy the question, when someone asks why do you have both ears pierced? I usually say I just wanted the variety, which isn't 100% wrong. :-)

    I used to get the same question a lot myself, and would answer it by either saying I preferred the symmetry of having both ears pierced, or saying that I didn't want to be like every other guy, and just have the one pierced (I believe there was a silly rule that it was only the left earlobe you were "allowed" to have pierced too, though this is going back to the early '90s). And, now that I think about it, those pretty much were the reasons I decided to get both ears done!

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    1. Muddling through doesn't seem a bad place to start :-) Sorry to hear about the slow loss of your guy friend posse. Such is life, I'm afraid. People get busy with families, or work and they slowly drift away.

      Ah, the 'single ear piercing' question. Yes, if you have the [blah] one done, you're straight and if you have the other one done, you're gay. Wow, if only we'd known that earlier! People could've picked their sexuality, simply by having the correct ear pierced. Who knew! :-P

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  6. Hello Lynne,
    You look fabulous don't put yourself down hunnie. I love reading your stories hugs xx

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