Where does the good go?

I feel like I’ve come to a weird crossroads in my life, which is an odd feeling at 37 when I thought I had everything all figured out. I’ve been with my wife for over ten years (we’ve been married since 2011), I have a job that I like, in a city that I like enough to stay in for awhile longer. No kids but I’d like one. 

Everything was fine. And then, for whatever reason, a series of events occurred that made me question my gender identity. After a scary revelation, months of secret contemplation and then months of therapy, the most I can say at this point is that I’m not cis. Transmasculine feels close, and so does neutrois. I don’t know that trans man fits, because I don’t identify as a “man” and don’t know that I ever will. So far the only thing that’s changed about me is that I usually wear a binder if I go out in public and have short hair. I haven’t taken hormones or had surgery, or any other steps to actually transition. I think about gender more, and talk about it more, but that’s about it. I’ve thought about taking T for a while now, but I have other health issues that make me feel like it’s not a great idea for me right now. That may change. Nothing is for certain, I suppose. 

Anyway, here I am at 37 and the person I’ve loved for ten years suddenly doesn’t seem to want to be with me anymore, because I’ve changed too much. Or something. I’m still not sure of the reasons, only that she’s really unhappy and won’t get into specifics right now. I’m not sure if we’re staying together or not, though I said I’d like to go to a couples therapist to see if we can work it out. Something in the way she looks at me is telling me that her mind is made up even though she doesn’t want to say it out loud yet. Also, our dog (who is 17 and has had a long and happy life) is dying of heart failure. She’s on medications that are making a difference, but we’re only prolonging the inevitable. 

I’m profoundly sad. Everything is changing and I just want to scream, “No, I didn’t want any of this!” I just keep thinking, if I’d only known what a Pandora’s Box all of this gender stuff was going to be, I never would have opened it in the first place. This is why so many trans people never come out, because they don’t want their lives blown to bits. I wish I could take it back, forget it ever happened, but I can’t. Understanding this part of myself has changed me. I feel less angry, less frustrated, less restless and depressed for  reasons I never understood. I wish I’d known this about myself 20 years ago, but the world was a different place then, and I had no concept of trans. 

I hope my wife realizes I’m still me. Maybe she won’t, maybe I’m just not what she wants anymore…and I hope if that’s true that I’ll be okay with it. I guess I’ll have to be. But for now, dealing with all this uncertainty is making me anxious, paranoid, angry and sad. I’m just trying to wrap my brain around possibly starting over at 37, and I can’t quite do it. 

Advertisements

Talking heads

I’ve never liked the sound of my voice. I don’t think that’s particular to trans people, but voice dysphoria turns a “sort of dislike” into its own special kind of misery. And, of course, now that I’m unpacking the gender box (worst present ever btw), I have a job that requires me to speak on the phone for roughly half of my shift. I’ve tried speaking in a lower register but that requires so much focus that I forget what people are saying, and that’s just not going to work. 

I can’t ask not to be on phones, since that’s just an unfortunate part of the job description. I’m keeping my eyes open for job openings on other teams that don’t have phone interaction. I mean, I’ve been working customer service in some capacity or another for half of my life now. I wouldn’t mind not dealing with people at all. 

My voice is naturally high enough that there’s not much I can do to lower it without either taking hormones or getting a vocal coach (is that what you call it?). I have a feeling that I’d probably end up needing both. I’ve often wondered why guys who transition younger (like early 20s or younger) tend to have such deeper voices than guys who transition over 30. Now that I think about it some more, I wonder if it’s that people are over 30 are more fixed in using their voices in a particular way, not that their vocal cords don’t lengthen out. I have no proof of this, of course. 

So I went to a genderqueer support group

And it was not awesome. It was a small meeting and I got there a couple of minutes late (literally, because the meeting started at 7 and I walked in at 7:02) so I immediately felt awkward. An older trans woman stared at me (with like laser beams) for way too long, and I just felt myself shrinking in my seat. I wanted to like the meeting. I wanted to meet people like me, and I was happy when I saw two genderqueer transmasculine folks sitting near me. Read More

Feeling like a fraud; or, Am I really trans?

I’ve noticed that in the days leading up to (and during) shark week, I get overwhelmed by self-doubt and fear. And rather than find a way to combat these feelings, I wallow in them. I read negative articles about trans people, or transphobic blogs written by TERFs (you know the one). This month it was articles and blogs by other trans people about so-called “transtrenders”. I read enough to start to wonder, “Is that me?”  Read More