Sunday, 31 July 2011

Is passing actually necessary?

This is not necessarily an original thought, but I had my thinking challenged today on the subject and I wondered whether I was alone in this revelation.    Being a tall (5’11) fat (don’t ask) girl, I have resisted going out and it’s been an achievement when I have.   The resistance to going out has always been that I don’t pass and that I would attract too much negative attention by doing it.  People would stare at me and I would feel uncomfortable.  What I thought instead was that if I could lose weight and become thin, I would be less obvious, maybe even pretty and then I would be able to go about my business unnoticed and gain the acceptance as a woman that I really crave.

I’ve been reading the book, “The Emancipated Crossdresser” again today.  Apart from the idea of carrying a handgun around in your handbag (it’s a UK thing!), I think that the author makes some really insightful points.  She has clearly been on a fascinating journey to feel as free as she does now.

But the idea of passing is one that she addresses head-on fairly early in the book.  The point she makes is that she is quite an attractive woman.  There are photos – she is not just saying it, she really is a nice looking lady.  But she says that even though that is the case, she still gets read.  She is that little bit too tall, her hands are too wide, her chin is too square, and her forehead too broad.  All the calamities us t-girls have to contend with.  But that she still goes out and presents as a woman anyway.  Her experience is that most people aren’t bothered to even notice her and don’t say anything and that if she goes to a restaurant that they are more interested in her cash than what she is wearing.

On reflection, I think I feel the same.  Don’t get me wrong, I still want to look as good as I possibly can, but the reality is that I’m never going to pass.  Even if I lost loads of weight, I still would get clocked.  I have rounded, soft feminine features, but would still be read.  So given that there will never be a point where I’ll pass, why not just put up with the looks and go for it anyway.

Aside from the fact that I’ve given up the girl, if I hadn’t I would now be considering that I’m wasting my life away waiting to be the right size and to have the right look.

So my question is for those who do go out.  Should one just go for it and go out in public anyway?  Whether it is in t-girl company or “normal people” company, it doesn't matter, but we should just put up with the resultant issues in the unlikely event that they arise.   The book does give great advice on handling difficult situations by the way too!  Or is the book only to be applied in America and that here in the UK you would just get beaten up, hassled and abused.

Like many of you I’m sure, I watched the programme  “Jamie: Drag Queen at 16” recently on television.  The reaction to him was very positive and that’s not surprising I guess.  Would people really reveal themselves as being horrible on camera?  Probably not.  But the interesting thing is that if you Google that documentary and go onto normal, straight people forums and chat rooms many people have been talking very positively and kindly about the programme and the boy.  It makes we wonder whether acceptance of us is getting there or whether we still have a long way to go.

And if the acceptance is getting there, can I go out regardless?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I may be a drama queen after all

This little episode has got me accused of all sorts (thanks Sarah!).  Not least that I have achieved new levels of drama queenery (is that a word?).  At the weekend, despite the best-laid plans to be incredibly cheerful, I was not feeling very well.  I don’t get ill that often, and when I do I always exaggerate my symptoms.  I am one of those recklessly foolish people who ALWAYS take the…I’m searching for a word that would make me not seem so stupid…but I can’t find one, so imbecilic will have to do.  I made the imbecilic decision to Google my symptoms.

After a half an hour of searching I realised to my horror that my illness was likely to result in having one or both of my feet amputated.  I kid you not.  I am normally a very rational, sensible person who is quite intelligent and relatively articulate, but I was genuinely fearful.  I spent the weekend under the fug of fear, worrying.

Anyway, despite the fever pitch I had got myself into by Monday, I forced myself to ring the doctor.  If I was going down, I was going to go down as a big girl’s blouse – quite literally.  So I booked and went to the morning emergency appointment.  After about 5 minutes of time with the Doctor, I realised two things.  Firstly, that I may have a problem with overreaction.  Secondly that he was about 1% as concerned as I was and that there really was nothing that abnormal.  Blood tests – why do they always send me for blood tests – needed to be done, but apart from that, no need to worry to these hysterical levels.

Instead of walking out relieved, I started thinking – ooh, he’s very young.  Does he really know what he’s doing?  He could be mistaken.  Google is well known for its medical expertise.  Maybe I should get a second opinion.  I didn’t.  I went back to my first realisation – i.e. that I may have a slight tendency towards overreaction.   I’m sure he knows what he’s doing and despite everything, I might be ok for another week or two rather than imminently facing destruction.

But what’s the point of all of this?  Its simple really.  When I got my Google diagnosis, as even more stupid and facile as this sounds, the big thought that crossed my mind is that I might never wear heels again.  For someone who is trying not to be the girl anymore, don’t you think that’s an odd thing to think?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Happiness Manifesto

I spent some time reading through my blogs yesterday and realised that over the last 6 months, I have become seriously miserable!  Those with a longer span of blogs will be able to see the trends in their moods even further.  But my trend is from hopeful wonderer to grumpy cow.  This is a trend that I intend to reverse, whatever happens.

Whether I am presenting as a girl or not isn't the issue.  I need to work on me.  The question is what happened to that person who until recently was actually happy and moving forward with their life?  I’m a lucky person - I have two great jobs, a wonderful family and people who care about me.  Surely that’s enough?

In the words of Captain my Captain from The Dead Poet’s Society, “Sucking the marrow out of life doesn't mean choking on the bone.”  *coughs up a big bit of bone*

So today, right now, the rot stops.  The experience of the last 6 months has led me to put on even more weight.  I really am a heifer now and would look terrible in my favourite LBD, even if I was wearing it at the moment.  I’m about as unfit as I have ever been. I’ve been quaffing more wine than I ever have before (ok, some bits aren’t as bad!).

But I want to get more out of my life.  I’d love to be healthier.  I need bit by bit to let more of Rhiannon back into my life.  Missing her makes me cranky.  I just want to enjoy myself again.  I want to laugh and I want joy to be the default setting.  I look at the world with such excitement at its many possibilities.  I have so much, why do I obsess about what I don’t have?  Its all a matter of times and seasons.

Many wise people on here have said that I can’t get rid of the girl and they are, I have found, completely right.  But I’m going to relax about it and just bit by bit work out how some of her can be there and bleed through so that I’m not a miserable wreck and that the people around me will still be around me.

I don’t know what’s brought this on, but I am filled with hope and optimism this morning.  Long may it stay.  Hope you have a great weekend...

Friday, 22 July 2011

Numbness - with the odd reprieve

When I thought about how I was feeling at the moment, several words sprang to mind.  Detached was one of them.  Like I’m looking at myself from the outside, an out of body experience if you will.  Nothing seems really real.

And then like piano falling from the sky came the word numbness and I knew that was what it was.  Numbness is a partial or total lack of sensation in a part of the body.   It’s the summation of where I think I am in my life.  I can see things wandering up to me and touching me, I can see people smiling, laughing or even being sad and unhappy, but its like its not real and I certainly can’t feel it.  Its like watching a movie in slow motion where the words are slurred and you know that its just being played for you and that you are not actually part of it.

I have some work colleagues who sometimes can draw me out of this preoccupation.  This morning was the funniest half an hour of telephone conference call I have had in a very long time.  Mostly the jokes were at my expense of course.  But both the other people on the call know about the girl in my life, are incredibly cool with it.   Some of the best comments from both them (and me) headed in Rhiannon’s direction.  Rhiannon liked that a lot.

And despite everything and being supposed to be stopping, I told another friend about me.  She was, as I expected, lovely.  One day I’ll also have the confidence to tell her that I think that she is the best-dressed woman I’ve ever seen.  She would disagree, but her taste in how to look feminine is perfect.  She really knows how to put outfits together and to play to her considerable strengths.  I’m glad she knows - I’ve wanted to tell her for a while.

So today was a day of reprieve, but I expect the numbness to return and in some ways that protective shield isn’t a bad thing.  It helps me get through the days and gets me to the moments when family and friends can take it away for a while and bring me back to life again.  Some will see that as a bad thing and perhaps they are right, but either way, I focus on the happiness of the people who get to have the boy in their life.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Odd decision

For someone doing their best not to be the girl anymore, I made a very odd decision. I told someone else about Rhiannon - and showed them a photo. Why did I do that?

I'm starting to suspect something that is probably blindingly obvious to everyone who reads this: I'm actually not doing very well at this giving up malarky. Yes, I've stopped wearing her clothes, but I still think like her and she is still there inside me. I still have no spatial awareness and can't tell my left from my right. Actually, I'm not sure that point is significant.

But the point that is important is what happened today. I've been at a conference for a few days. It is a conference that is attended by a lot of women and today they really let loose. There were pretty dresses, gorgeous shoes, great make up and more. I was supposed to feel in control and together. Instead, something shifted in me and my heart was so desperately sad. I knew that in reality I would never be one of them and I definitely wouldn't be thin and dainty, but I could have felt a skirt swishing around my knees, been wearing nice tights and enjoying walking around in heels. I just wanted to cry. And I wanted to be a confident, happy woman.

What on earth I'm going to do, I really don't know. I feel like I'm in a worse position than even where I was at square one. I hope against hope even now, but the experiment is starting to derail. The thought of giving up what I've recaptured again is just painful. But I can't block who I am anymore. It hurts too much to pretend.

I was driving tonight just willing myself not to go on a shopping spree so I could just be her again. If only for one night. But it's also probably not the answer.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Overwhelmed

Sometimes, the whole thing is overwhelming.  Exchanging my Rhiannon time for work time is starting to take its toll.   The question becomes whether it is realistic and sustainable to maintain this kind of pace indefinitely.  The answer is obvious; it’s a total “No”.  But easier said than done.  I enjoy both of the roles I’m doing, I have a favourite, but it’s the one that at the moment is not enough to pay the bills.

On a different note, I was cursing this blog the other day.  When you stop to blog, you stop to think.  Stopping to think turned out to be quite painful.  I’ve never wanted to be Rhiannon more in my life than I did in the hours following my last blog.  I didn’t do it in the end – mainly because I was too busy and as I noted before, I’m at least 100 miles from my wardrobe!    

It was an odd experience bordering on grief with sadness and loneliness mixed in – very strange.  Maybe ditching the girl isn’t going to be quite so easy after all?