Happy Rebirthday to Me!!!
I have reached what to me is a first of many milestones to come in my life. I have officially been on HRT for one year as of Good Friday (appropriate day to start huh!). I can say that my experiences so far, though occasionally bittersweet, have been positive ones. Being a transsexual woman in Saskatchewan is an adventure to say the least.
I have been full time living as a female for about 5-6 months and have had what can only be described as a comedic ride thus far (my sense of humor is slightly warped). Since coming out I have felt at total ease with myself with who I am and have developed a sense of pride in being true to myself. Initially the reactions I got kind of bothered me. I don't know how well prepared I was to be stared at by everyone (having green hair in high school helped). I admit over time I have become more accustomed to the attention and have changed my perspective. I think I'm doing a good job of rattling the sensibilities of this old fashioned town and every grimace and sideways glance is a lesson taught in human behavior.
I guess the way I have been feeling about my transition is distinctly opposite to how I felt before it began. I used to be depressed, suicidal, and was ashamed of how I felt. I was unable to understand my emotions or why I identified myself as a female (there is no singular or general reason why we do). I hated myself for my inability to suppress or accept my need to express my femininity and hatred for the rest of the world for making it so easy to feel ashamed of being me. I think I draw a lot of strength from my family and friends for not judging me and that alone has helped me have a better outlook on life. However, I acknowledge a degree of spite with which I inflict my right to exist on the people I encounter. I'm past needing the acceptance of everyone else and accept myself.
Now before I keep going tooting my own horn about how far I've come i will share some of my frustrations. Ironically I notice I get called "sir" even more often than I did before I starting wearing make-up and women’s clothes (I have taken to replying by calling them the wrong gender in return). I suppose it bothers me a little less when it's a drive thru employee in comparison to a nurse (you'd think she would know better but then this is Saskatchewan). I still get afraid to go out a lot but mostly in respect to going to new places or when I am alone.
Sometimes I opt out of leaving the house unless it's necessary, the nagging feeling that I am putting myself in danger real or perceived has kept me safe so far. I can't decide where on the spectrum of cowardice and common sense I land but I am taking over the city in spurts of reckless abandon so I won't be too hard on myself. By that I mean there are places I can go and not feel unsafe or threatened and the number of places is increasing as I progress. I am single and since moving into a place by myself I sense loneliness trying to embed itself in my psyche. I am trying not to let solitude get to me but if there is one thing that I need, it's a little human contact from time to time. I don't mean sex and I don't mean a pat on the back, but if I hug you unexpectedly for no apparent reason, well....that's the reason.
I have noticed the initial shock wearing off my coworkers, although some regard me with a healthy and oftentimes slightly insensitive curiosity. I am no stranger to the testing of relationship boundaries and the way that a lot of my personal life seems open territory for conversation is the side affect of having to wear my life on my sleeve. I am of the mind that people shouldn't ask questions they don't want to know the answers to because I am more than happy to tell someone something that will keep them up at night (like they really need to wonder if I pee sitting down or wear a thong or if I plan on bronzing my testes). I may have mentioned I used to be a bouncer in a bar, hence I have the skills needed to deal with most difficult situations, my sense of humor and patience have served me very well. Although it's perhaps less sophisticated of an approach, I always keep in mind that I might just have to choke someone out if I run out of options.
I have had many different encounters ranging from drunken females trying to see what my bra is stuffed with (which happens to be my breasts) to being scrutinized by a clerk trying to authenticate my identification as I buy cigarettes. I have been asked by children if I am male or female and asked why I talk like a boy (shouldn't you be in school?), I have spent entire evenings with people and found out later that they were unaware I was anything other than a regular female (yay!). I have been told I make people want to throw up and been told I have made people question their sexuality. I have been called bold and told my bravery inspires people and I have been told I am a freak of nature. At the end of the day when I look at myself in the mirror I might be all or none of those things but I see a woman who is finding peace with herself. I would endure far worse for that gift. I guess you could say I'm starting to feel like my new self for a change, Ha!
The point of what I wrote here is simply to share some of my personal experiences. I have managed to survive my first year of transitioning with my sanity and my sense of humor intact. I know I have many challenges ahead of me but I welcome them, they are well worth it to me in the end.