‘Leap Year Day’
So went another Leap Year Day – this in ‘The Year of the Monkey’.
To be both inter-sexed and transsexed is both a curse and a blessing. Perhaps my life would have been better if my parents allowed me to transition as a child; there were many points in time when that change would have been seamless. On the other hand, I did get a chance to experience my life as a sex that was not me – and learn from that experience.
Though I transitioned during the 1970s and I endured two operations in the 1980s, my past is as much a part of my present as it will be my future.
We of the ‘baby boom’ era endure people who are less accepting than those of younger generations.
Sadly, many family members will reject you; some to your face, many behind your back when they think you are not looking.
My family experiences were total rejection.
Maybe it was the finality. Maybe they failed. Maybe they perceived me making irrational statements rather than rational commitments. It must be tough for them to reconcile that I have been post-op more than 30 years while they remain in denial of that fact. Last December, I reminded both my sister and one cousin (local to where I currently reside) of my change; they continue refusing to accept reality. Neither will allow me to visit them and neither will allow me to contact their adult children. My sister has denied to me the opportunity to contact her children their entire lives; I have no idea what they know of me.
Both my immediate and extended family accepted me only when I presented my self to them as a lie though they knew the truth at least as long as I remember. Once I presented my truth to them, they abandoned me. So much for family.
All my family knew about:
- my feminine protesting tantrums throughout my childhood and into my teen years,
- my cross-dressing in my sister’s clothes and my experimenting with make-up of my older female cousins since age three,
- my declared female name by age eight, and
- my stated intention to begin transition at the earliest adult age possible (which I did at age 18).
Those were among my list of rational commitments; all kept.
I placed all the signs open and available to my family:
- they either saw the signs and refused to accept them or
- they were blind to what I presented in front of them.
They were in denial.
There was no formal or official ‘coming out’ to a family who already knew my expectations.
The real issue for family were two questions:
- ‘When will it be the last we shall see Nick as a male?’ and
- ‘When will it be the first we shall see Sharon as female?’
My eventual presentations occurred at different times because of family members scattered across the USA; due to geographical proximities, my sister was first, my dad was second, and my mom was last.
Aunts, uncles, cousins, and others saw me (or not) as time went on – all knowing in advance that I changed – and they rejected me.
One cousin, who had been more of a sister than my sister, was a curious bit. She saw me twice since being post-op though I presented as Nick / male to her during my ‘male fail’ era:
- at her home at Colorado (1983) and
- at her wedding at Texas (1984)
I have to know that she knew that I was already post-op female and nearing female full-time forever in every way by those two visits. I felt that I could not present to her at her home because I was invited as Nick / male, not as Sharon / female; it would not have been proper for me in those days. Nor could I have appeared as Sharon / female at her wedding; that was her time, not mine.
This cousin is a member of a far-right-wing Christian Conservative religion; her church publishes anti-transsexual literature. She began sending her church brochures to me during 1986. Perhaps I could take my cousin’s brochures at value and not change from female to male. Fair enough; I followed her demand and stayed female. Nevertheless, she wants nothing to do with me.
I also visited with my mom during those same years – post-op yet still presenting to her as Nick / male. She knew to a great extent where I was along my transition. She knew of my pills since 1979. She saw how I appeared more female than male. She certainly did spread gossip among her side of my family.
I have a curious ‘coming out’ experience to a former girlfriend from the mid-1970s; rather, I have yet to personally come out to her though she knows of my change. She last saw me during my end days of ‘male fail’ (1985). Since then we talked a few times on the telephone with me identifying myself as Sharon, not mentioning my past identification as Nick; they were odd conversations indeed.
My permanent residence is at Bisbee, Arizona, approximately 250 miles from where I temporarily reside at Phoenix. I planned a meeting with her at her home near Bisbee; that was about 20 years ago. My effort mis-fired when she was not home and I spent that time visiting with her mom instead. I did not tell her mom. I’m sure by her expression that she was quite puzzled who I was when I related past events that her daughter shared with Nick, but here I was presenting to her as Sharon.
Otherwise, people who knew me ‘before’ are no longer in my life – they chose to reject me. I have not come out to people who only know me as Sharon / female since my ‘after’. I consider my status as any other private medical concern that is none of their business, this web-site being the exception.
I had two boyfriends and one Lesbian girlfriend in years past; none knew. But then, we never went quite far enough for me to consider disclosing my situation to them.
The lesson here is that standard: YMMV. Every person and every relationship is different. You may experience good results where others experienced failure.