I came out in 1984ish at 25, a little later than some, sooner than many. I’ve lived as a lesbian since then, an identity that I valued, and a community I’ve enjoyed.
Being a lesbian has been a safe haven for me – I’ve been able to be gender non-conforming in ways that are not only tolerated, but celebrated. I’ve watched the community grow and change, and in many ways, assimilate into society, while still maintaining some sense of identity as a community.
But as I transition to male, I kick myself out of that community, which seems both appropriate and unfortunate. Yes, it means I become part of the trans community, part of the larger LGBTQQIAA umbrella. And frankly, the “T” has been in a somewhat uneasy alliance withe the “L” and “G” (as has the “B” and the “I”, and both “A”s – frankly all of the letters can be a little uneasy together.)
I’ll miss being a lesbian, frankly, just as there are a few ways that I’ll miss being a woman. I want to find a way to embrace what’s been great for me from that experience as I move into this new phase of my life.
This has been a very interesting step-by-step process, in a way, but it all sort of came to a head a few days ago, and I think I’m finally caught up with myself.
That is, I’ve made the decision to partake of most of the menu I mentioned. I had a date for top surgery for a few weeks now (Feb 6th.) And now, after a lot of consideration and spiritual exploration, I’ve decided to do testosterone, socially transition, and change my legal name and gender markers.
Some people I know aren’t surprised, but somehow, it surprises me. I’m not quite yet used to it.
But it feels totally right – and also fucking scary. The fear isn’t a surprise, really – but it’s something I know I need to companion as I move through this process.
It’s funny – I had another one of those experiences where some guy called me “sir” and then saw me more fully and felt bad – and I almost said “no, you’re right,” but I said what I usually say, which is, “no worries.”
Not so long ago, if you considered yourself trans, there was a transition process you were basically had to go through: first therapy, then hormones, then surgery, and somewhere in there legal process of changing names, gender, etc.
Now, it’s more like a menu. You can pick and choose what you might want to do. Some do surgery only, some do just hormones, some do the entire package.
So far, I’ve only chosen one item on the menu: top surgery. I don’t know whether I’ll choose other items on the menu – I don’t know whether I’ll take testosterone yet. I don’t know whether I want to change my legal name and/or gender. I’m just not sure. I’m taking it one step at a time – letting it all sink in, because each menu item has it’s own set of ramifications for my life.
And that feels OK, mostly, but here’s what Maxwell has to say:
I’m impatient. I’ve been in the background for years, and I want to be front and center. I want to learn what kind of man I might become. I want to experience the world from male eyes.
Sometimes, it feels like I have a bit of a split personality. And that’s OK – I’m learning to live with that.