Thursday, 27 October 2016

Praise for another ally

I know that there are some people in the world - many people in fact, who just hate the trans community.  I get that, but today, I think we should celebrate once more, our friends and allies who, frankly, are just so awesome, kind and who take acceptance to a whole new level.  I have many of those people in my life and I am so thankful for it.  This week, I added another.  As I have mentioned in recent posts, I have just joined a diet-group-slash-slimming-class-slash-fat-club (delete as applicable).  It is going well so far - 22.5lbs lost - clothes that were tight are miraculously fitting again.  My favourite dress still eludes me, but I’m nearly there with it.

Anyway.  I have an issue with slimming club leaders and Doctors for that matter.  When I say I have an issue with them, let me rephrase that, I have an issue with them not knowing something I never told them.  After all, surely they should be mind readers?  I don’t tell them I’m trans.  I know that you might roll your eyes at this, so I apologise, but part of the reason I’m large of body is that my trans-ness makes me desperately sad sometimes and I comfort eat (and drink) to overcome it.   Its a bad coping mechanism, I know.  The best one (full time as Rhiannon) is a work in progress.   So I am choosing to go somewhere to get help.  The issue I have is that when I go, I’m presenting male and so that’s how I’m treated - I’m a man losing weight to become all buff and handsome.  Having my motives for losing weight misunderstood, is a really painful thing for me that makes me very unhappy.  I want to be understood as Rhiannon and for the people who support me to know why they are doing that and what I’m really trying to get from their help.

Recently the diet-group-slash-slimming-class-slash-fat-club have run this thing where you set your short-term goal of what you want to try to achieve by Christmas.  I’m still in the ‘lots to lose’ category, so I realise that I’m not so much interested in my promise to myself for this Christmas, but that my goal is for the next one - 2017.  By then, I want to be comfortably fitting into a size UK14 dress.  Its a big ask as i’d need to lose about 5 dress sizes, but I’ve already lost 1 and I think it is do-able.

The leader of our group is such a supportive lady and we recently connected on Facebook.  Our group members regularly and spontaneously stand up to sing her praises as to how she has helped them and made a difference to their lives and I’m really not surprised.  She is total bundle of positive energy.   So I figured in for a penny, in for a pound, I’ll tell her.  So tentatively, with a terrible opening message along the lines of, “Hello. Ok. So. Support. I'm nervous. Scared more like. I've sought help on my slimming before, but to my regret, I've never told any of my previous people why I'm slimming which is actually the most important bit really.  Not sure how you'd take it and whether I'm about to make a mistake that will alienate you forever...this is really not something I'm sure about.  Can I confess the secret only selected friends and family know...? If this is already TMI, honestly, I won't say, but clearly, it already sounds too interesting I suspect…”

She gave me to ok to go ahead, and so I did: “The target by this Christmas is interesting, but my target by the following Christmas is more revealing.  I want to be a size 14.  I’m transgender.”  Way to blurt it out.

Following my shaky start what unfolded was probably one of the most instantly supportive, accepting and enthused conversations I’ve ever had.   One of the opening lines from her was that she had suspected something.  Clearly this just confirms that they are mind readers after all - I’ll never have to out myself again! :o)  It continued through her saying it is awesome and exciting.  I showed her my Flickr page and this blog. She responded that I look beautiful.  I told her about the medical reasons for losing weight to help get prescribed with hormones etc and she offered her absolute support with helping me to achieve my goal and my dreams.  Her recognition, from her own past, that people can be judgemental and ignorant really helped.  Her perceptive responses really amazed me, the genuine depth of understanding is really unusual.  It left me happy, elated and reassured and was really lovely.

All of this happened on FB messanger and I’m not at group this week as I’m away on holiday, but I am nervous about the next group session.  I’m always a little more shy in person about this stuff.  My work persona, for example, is different - I have to present confident and accomplished - but secretly I’m shy and a little bit (or a lot) insecure and lacking in self esteem.  But I’ve been bowled over so far by her response and, who knows, one day, I might be able to go to the group as Rhiannon and be welcomed by the other slimmers.  Certainly that dream feels a step closer and I know that I have another amazing fierce strong woman helping me in my corner.  I’m very grateful.

13 comments:

  1. Great story. I think that confiding your secret with her will really help you reach your goal. You feel "happy, elated and reassured" and now you both are "committed" to the truth and your goal. I'm sure everything is going to be good at your next meeting, and i'm confident you're going to look beautiful in that size 14 dress!

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    1. Thank you so much Tess, I really appreciate it. Going to do my upmost to reach that goal. The response was beyond what I could have expected and has given me a complete boost! It is so great knowing that I understood there and that when I achieve my interim goals, she gets why I'm doing it, what it means and won't talk to me like any other male attendee which is how it works at the moment. Still nervous of the next group though! :o) x

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  2. Some can read your mind. I was sent to a voice therapist because acid reflux had burned my vocal cords. The first time Allie saw me she said that she could help meBUT said I think I can help you more and there and then booked in extra sessions to improve my voice feminising! So supportive!

    I have given you a head start with the weight loss but I have no hope of ever being a 14... Congratulations BTW.

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    1. I'm still in two minds about whether I think its a good thing or freaky and scary! Does it happen increasingly as you get nearer the point of full time as you have started the process rolling and begun to make physical changes.

      I lost weight a few years ago and got to 16, but I'm determined to go further this time and to maintain. Off now, off forever. x

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  3. Good for you Rhiannon...one step at a time!

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    1. Thank you Joanna, I'm starting to think about a timeline, but it is not a quick one, it is slow and deliberately so - I think you are spot on about taking this one carefully with kid gloves and making sure that you are sure at each stage...

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    2. I think you will feel far more sure footed this way and not second guess once there. I have been moving at a snail pace for a long time but hey that's the way I'm wired LOL

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    3. I find that I push myself quickly and then feel like I've overstretched myself and pull back sharply before I move forward again. I need to get more consistent at moving forward at an even pace. In conversation with a friend recently, I've realised that actually probably my issue is that I constantly look for the low hanging fruit, the easier things to do first and avoid the 'difficult' decisions and actions. I'll probably blog more on it, but it made me realise that I need to stop shying away from challenging myself a little harder...

      Thank you for your continued input too - I don't regularly comment on your blog, but I read each one - your pondering style helps raise lots of questions which I, in turn, take time to consider. It is really appreciated.

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  4. Hi Rhiannon,

    This is certainly great news. It's so nice to have a cis-woman (or man for that matter) who gets it. I know the feeling and it's wonderful to be accepted by those other than our own.

    I do wonder, however, how she would react if it were her husband or boyfriend making this confession. Not trying to be negative, but just wondering. There does seem to be a double standard among those who accept trans friends but not their own siblings, spouses, etc.

    Calie

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    1. We must have equal levels of either cynicism or mischievousness - its usually the question / point I too put to my cis friends. Most do have the good grace to either admit they'd struggle with it personally or a brow crinkle ensues with a good deal of contemplation because they'd not considered it before. This lady? I didn't ask, it would be interesting to know, but probably she is higher on the list of people I would say would respond in the positive. I'll ask when I get the chance!

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    2. So the lovely lady herself read your and my comments and she messaged me to say how she'd react! I was going to paraphrase it, but actually her words are so lovely and powerful, so (hoping she doesn't mind and sure she won't:

      "If this was [my husband] disclosing this to me as you have done I would be devastated. Devastated that he was born and was potentially trapped into the wrong body.

      It would break my heart to lose my husband but I would whole heartedly 10000000% support his choices. I would still love him all the same as I fell in love with the kind hearted human being he is.

      Would I be losing my "husband" though? What's a label? Not sure - plus I would be jealous his legs look nicer in a dress too!"

      Such a shame that blogger doesn't do proper emojis - they added even more the message! :)

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  5. Brilliant news! And so nice to hear!

    Congrats on the weight loss and dropping a dress size!

    All of the exclamation marks!!!!

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    1. Definitely nothing wrong with an exclamation fest!!! :) Thank you for the encouragement. x

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