There will be no ‘April Fools’ joke.
Instead, let’s look inside a mixed bag of fruits, nuts, and bolts.
‘The Woman Who Was Trans Before Her Time’
Thank you, Alana, for this great article.
Many of us followed in her life of anonymity. It has come to be labelled as ‘stealth’ in current parlance.
Experiencing the medical community has been mixed.
My first transsexual counselling contact was to be easy – they were a husband and wife team who specialised in sexual issues. We never did begin counselling; I moved again before I was to have started with them. Three moves within six months – each exceeding 750 miles – frustrated my transition.
Making appointments for my first physicians took effort. I resided at a very small New Mexico town tucked along the Continental Divide just West of El Morro. My first general examination was a 60 miles drive to Gallup, New Mexico; my primary care physician received me well. My second appointment when I resided at a small town in Northern Arizona also went well. I consulted the town’s lone physician; he referred me to my first internist whose practice was 45 miles away at Flagstaff, Arizona. My internist was quite supportive; he led me to my first long-term counselling that became a positive experience.
The toughest counselling situation was when I resided at Utah (1980 – 1985). I eventually found a counsellor who brought me into his group therapy but with the caveat that I should not discuss my transsexual situation with the other members who may not take well to it. My counsellor and I discussed my issues only during occasional one-on-one sessions. He also told me that I was the only transsexual in the state at that time; if anyone knows of someone else who resided at Utah during that same time, we might start a new club.
Experiencing the documentary and legal community has been crushing me.
I have already described how two different employers fired me specifically because of my situation. The first time was by the USDA Forest Service (1983); I fought that for two years until I resigned in 1985 and received vindication through Unemployment Insurance when they determined that the federal agency engaged in a hostile work environment for more than six years. The second time was by the State of Arizona (2008); I fought that for two years, won my case, the agency still refused to restore me to duty as directed, and I realised that I was better not returning to that job due to their similar hostile work environment.
In both cases, my employers mis-used Social Security Administration data to harass me, out me, and fire me. My claims at Unemployment Insurance vindicated me. Not one manager – all admitting they violated my protected privacy and all admitting to violating the laws – was ever prosecuted. One manager bragged during his open court testimony of committing three additional specific federal felonies against me, the court failed to hold him accountable, yet that manager fired me because he declared me ‘mentally unfit’ to be an employee of the State of Arizona.
Yes, sadly we are the ones punished when others assault and assail us into victim-hood.
Stealth allows us to determine friend versus foe. I, too, spent most of my life in stealth. Stealth may not be enough cover from people who are determined to dig and pry into your personal privacy and destroy your employability. Stealth does allow a measure of safety, especially as you begin to find your bearings.
I read of many favourable accounts of people now experiencing great acceptance at their workplace.
I sense excitement as novitiates enter each new phase along their very bright path leading to a better world of the future. You will know that you are making the best decision for yourself when each step along your path brings comfort to your well-being. Your up-coming medical appointments and your date with the court for legal changes will become major milestones you will cherish.
There can be days, weeks, months, even years that pass when I had barely a thought about my circumstance. Then there are times when my situation is an all-consuming obsession in a one-track mind that surely makes people around me think that I am of only one dimension. How can I find, develop, make, and hold friendships when I present to others while my obsession hinders me?
Many of us of the elder generation – I am in this group – ponder that we shall never find romance. We seem stuck among:
- people we know of our contemporary age who reject us
- prospective partners who tell us they would have nothing to do with us because of our status.
I know of no one beyond my transsexual support groups who would have me as a partner – including those who actually claim they avow support.
Religious people who tell me that I am a ‘mistake’ use their religion to tell me that their god ‘does not make mistakes’. If there is a god, then my god made me exactly who I am, my god surely does not make ‘mistakes’. Scripture of the culture in which I was raised tells me that my god declared all creation was made in my god’s ‘image and likeness’ and that all creation is ‘good’; thus, I am in the ‘image’ of my god and my god tells me that I am ‘good’.
My physical anatomy is forever neither male nor female. I did not have functioning male anatomy despite my birth room doctor’s confused declaration; no matter if I stayed faux ‘male’, I could never have experienced ‘male’ sexuality. Yet my physical limitations also effect my status as female. I am medically, biologically, legally female; despite having female anatomy that was resolved to the extent contemporary medical science can prevail, I lack the capacity to bear children.
I know that I always have held my self-identity as female for as far as I have memory (to age three); yet no matter that I began transition at legal adulthood (age 18), gradually moved from living part-time to full-time as female during my transition, and have been living fully female more than 30 years, there seems to remain that slightest minute sliver of mind that wants to impose its doubts when I look at my self in the mirror. AGH!
Yes, I am ‘bitter’ for my losses. Yet after living a life of ‘stealth’ for 30-some years, I find myself teetering on the verge of freedom by learning to be open when the situation permits itself. This web-site has been a working experience. Some people who found this site later found me on a personal level. Thank you.
My best wishes to you – one and all.
Take care – Enjoy! – Huggss – Repeat.
The key word for you on the journey of ‘dee-li-shun’ is ‘Relax’.
Stay tuned; there is plenty more life to come.
There be no practical jokes for tomorrow.