(27 Dec 16)
‘Sookl Sanr Wanm Bpem Mail’.
Dawn and Wanladda offer this alternate pronunciation: ‘Sahwdee Piee Mai’.
(That’s ‘Happy New Year’ in Thai for those not among the ‘Thai Experience’ community.)
This year 2016 is coming to its conclusion and we shall soon celebrate:
- Happy New Year 2017 (1 Jan 2017),
- the Year of the Chicken (26 Jan 2017 – the next Lunar New Year) – no more monkeying around,
- Songkran (13 Apr 2017 – Thai New Year 2560) – time to get wet colorfully.
Kapung khaf. Thank you, Tess and Joanne, for a great evening, delicious soup, and conversation.
Yes – 40, 50, 60 years – that sliver still hits, still hurts.
Coming home recently that sneaky thought, my life is odd:
- Why couldn’t I have been one or the other?
- Why pieces of both?
- Why pieces of neither?
- Why stuck with these nagging mental remnants of ‘before’?
Not of doubt, an intrusive annoyance.
It is me, my life, my experience:
- both a girl and a boy,
- then a man, now a woman,
- from female to male to female again.
Regrets not doing better, not insisting more, not demanding more since my earliest as kids do today.
A victim, a survivor – of fear, of rejection, of my time and circumstance.
Yet, as you say, a pioneer. How rare indeed my out-going trans behaviour at age 3 (1959) – or sooner? Experts report that trans shows as early as age 6 months, was that me at 6 months?
I answered my question early.
Is family fear and ignorance why they said nothing? Why they reject me?
So few acknowledged trans persons at 1950s: Jorgensen, Morris, a handfull of others making tabloid news.
There was my mom’s younger brother Frank and there I am (two in one family!) with all my feminine protesting tantrums, a ‘boy’ behaving as a girl at age 3 or younger. Rather, a girl forced against her will and nature into a pretence as a ‘boy’.
There was minimal education in those past years, whether in the medical community or in the public.
Allow me to reference you to spirit friend Zinnia Jones and her site ‘Gender Analysis.net’.
Zinnia recently devoted two full blogs debunking (de-bunc-ing) anti trans attitudes – especially specious arguments from a self-proclaimed ‘expert’ who had virtually zero support for trans children who require puberty blockers (see ‘Transgender Youth Fact Check’, 31 Oct 16).
That man asserted that puberty blockers and cross hormones amounts to child abuse.
At least in this trans’ personal past and perspective, I so much yearned for such a possibility during my youth of the 1950s to 1970s.
Puberty blockers were, in fact, available during my time. My parents decided for me to deny them to me. My medical community withheld information from me that they were available. That IS child abuse! That is exactly among the points Zinnia identified that this former trans child can attest as absolutely true and accurate.
The availability of puberty blockers, cross hormones, and supportive family makes a big difference between the dark ages of the 1950s and 1960s when I was a child compared to today’s enlightened community and today’s trans children. We had this in a recent discussion at a Spectrum SOFFA group meeting that brought tears to my eyes and joy in my heart.
No matter what our parents, immediate and extended family, friends, social environment want us to be, we are who we are and we shall come out as who we are. The imperative of one’s identity in all its manifestations is absolute no matter what obstacles come upon us.
Zinnia’s latest is another great analysis of the anti- crowd’s lack of perception; it is timely to the recent ‘National Geographic’ publication and the public responce:
To the instant debate, I again submit to you, Dear Reader, my history as an example to support Jones’ post and refute the opposition’s specious claims. My family, friends, and social environment all opposed my transition from the very beginning. I was consistant and insistent; I persisted against all odds. If you accept the opposition’s position, then I should have willingly, eagerly abandoned my transition rather than sustain and complete it.
Logic succeeded because the opposition’s lack of logic failed. The logic of this 3-years old child perceived beyond the illogic of those adults.
Kapung khaf. Thank you, Zinnia, for well-written, well-produced posts. Your insight is spot on.
Find ‘Different for Girls’ on Youtube.
It is an interesting, heart-warming, heart-wrenching movie. It perhaps touches upon one element of the trans experience not quite discerned in general society.
- Two high school students find friendship – one rescues another from bullying. Years later after separating, they meet suddenly and unexpectedly. The saviour doesn’t recognise that his friend is now changed, but she remembers him. They form a new friendship; for a time she holds back but eventually reveals who she was. They encounter varying complications in their new relationship.
I saw this movie on Youtube earlier this year while using the local Kinko’s free wi-fi over-night. Youtube was in ‘auto play’ and it came up on the queue.
It could be personal real for some of you in the community. I found personal moments in the movie. It is partly kinda real for me.
I could never have sexual intimacy with any male from my past, that’s for sure. But my former ‘friend’ Clint asked me years ago if I had an interest in him. His question put that notion in my mind for the first time. UGH! Sorry, Clint, nothing against you, but NO THANKS.
It would be interesting to form an extended re-acquaintanship with someone who knew me (Nick), but did not recognise me (Sharon). I really want to experience that – but only platonically, not in any way sexual.
Am I weird for wanting to re-acquaint with long-lost friends, even if for one meeting? I figure it is a common trans thought, for better or for worse, or maybe not.
I had these, but my need for absolute stealth overwhelmed my desire; not much came of them due to my primary fear:
- There was the Mormon Temple Square security guard who knew me (Nick) since 1981, but did not connect that it was me (Sharon) at a Christmas event (December 1984) at Temple Square.
- I wrote here at this site about my confrontations with the the proprietors of both a diner and a filling station at the small town where I previously resided (1978 – 1980). They saw me (Nick) every day in our past, but they made no recognition of me (Sharon) when I drove my moving truck through town, ate at their diner, and filled up at their service station (1985).
- Chavy G. was my Forest Service co-worker (Summer 1980); we saw each other every day at work and numerous times socially. We became co-workers again when I was assigned a temp job to the accounting firm where she worked at a city more than 300 miles distant (Spring 1986).
- Duane D. is two years older than me. He and I never met when he and Clint were next-door neighbours and when I house-sat for his parents and cared for their horses and two Great Danes. He was my supervisor when I took another temp assignment for a commissary employer more than 100 miles distant (1986).
- Jeanne S. and I were class-mates at Catholic school (2nd Grade through 8th Grade – 1963 – 1970); she and I knew each other quite well. I saw her at Christmas Midnight Mass (1998) at our home parish. I approached her and her group who were in conversation; I stood less than an elbow’s length from her, wished ‘Merry Christmas’ to her, and remained among her and her group at least for a few minutes. Not once did she do a double-take at me.
They all knew Nick, they met me as Sharon at those later events. But did they really know Sharon was Nick? Were they puzzled at any similar appearance? None ever told me whether or not they knew it was me or had their suspicions. I never shared our past with them to know the answers.
How does someone respond if I could tell them? Four decades on and I still lack an answer to this common predicament.
It is why I have been so scared to attend any high school class re-unions. Until now.
I really want to crash my 9th Grade Jesuit high school re-union – someday – hopefully the next one on my graduating year’s schedule. Thank you, Marsha, for providing your idea to me.
I have not made it yet a higher priority to post something to my Greece high school (Pinewood) or my graduating high school. Colleges, well, not so much since I barely made any memorable friendships. Only one would be the Baptist university where I graduated – Kathy, Gail, Carol, Tom. The university officers may not be so amused to find my presence violated their policy.
I have not seen any relatives since 1994 – quite a drought. All family – immediate and
extended – knew of my trans since the time I was a small child. Few have actually seen me as Sharon. Among the last:
- My Aunt Lena, Uncle Vick, Uncle Artie, Uncle Jack, and Artie’s daughter Amber saw
me only once (1992). The sole exception to the above statement was when Uncle Artie brought me home from the hospital (December 1999); thank you, Artie.
- I recently contacted Amber, but she has not replied. (Up-date 28 Dec 16: It’s good news and a possible beginning. Amber sent a reply to me. Maybe. Thank you, Amber, for remembering me and being good.)
- Carol saw me during Summer 1993 through mid-1994. Her mom (my Aunt Pat) and her younger sister Bev (yes, that Bev) saw me only once or twice during Autumn 1993.
None of them recognised me at first when I arrived to visit them. Would they know it is me nowadays all these years later? Do relatives count in this endeavour? These relatives knew me (and my trans circumstance) all my life whereas school-mates would not know about me until I would tell them at such a meeting.
Of course, there is the reverse.
- What if I remained Nick / male? What would have come of all the people – family and ‘friends’ – who were in my life then but not in it now?
- What if I had not transitioned to Sharon? What of all the people in my life now – particularly those specifically because I am trans?
‘We don’t know what we don’t know.’
I feel the loss at the former and hold the certainty that I would feel that loss at the latter.
This is, of course, mostly a matter of the dilemma of the trans community’s curious speculation and psychological gymnastics.
My friend Alana wants to do her cross-country ‘Alana Tour’ next year. She wants to visit her out-of-state family who have never seen her. They know only of her ‘before’, not her since Alana. She is also planning her Thai experience ‘Alana Tour’ for 2017, but that may be tenuous for now. We need to work to advance her wish into a plan; I shall do what I can to help her see it through its completion.
I should like to do the same excursion to my own family and friends – at least for closure. I reside close where I can find old friends from childhood but must travel elsewhere for high school class-mates.
Some outsiders express to me their impression that I live every moment of my existence in thought of my inter-sex and trans anatomical conditions. Let me persuade you to re-think your perception.
Sure – the thoughts were in my mind when:
- It was a medical endeavour.
- I was forced to think about it while fighting for my employment life twice fired for being trans.
- It becomes apparent when I participate in the various trans support groups. The members welcome me as a senior who can provide the example to others that there is a long-term benefit.
Otherwise, my life is just life:
- I don’t wake up telling myself that I am trans.
- I don’t take my daily shower thinking I am trans.
- I don’t drive my car or ride the city bus thinking that I do so because I am trans.
- I don’t go about my errands and activities thinking that I am trans.
- I don’t take my medicines thinking it is because it treats my trans.
- I don’t do my ‘sessions’ thinking about my trans (that Big ‘O’ is well enough encouragement).
- I don’t shop for groceries and think it is because I am trans.
- I do not cook and eat my meals thinking that I do so because I am trans.
- I do not socialise with friends talking only about trans; people outside my trans-specific life do not know of my situation.
- I don’t go to my physicians and gynecologist thinking I am trans. Yeh, that’s quite true; we discuss trans only when it is a specific health matter, otherwise, we discuss medical concerns likely the same as any other human.
- I don’t watch TV, listen to the radio, read with the thought that I am trans.
- I do not go to sleep thinking that I had a trans day and dream of trans issues during my sleep. Oh, wait, I had ‘morning sickness’ when I first began ERT and that led to pregnancy dreams while I slept at night; I suspect cis females in ‘morning sickness’ have sleep-time dreams of their pregnancy.
Reality goes far more than trans – life is more than trans.
As I have written elsewhere to this web-site, I gave little thought to my trans life between the time of my first firing for being trans (mid-1980s) til the latest time my employer fired me for being trans (late-2000s). Nor do I now obsess on it. I am using various posts to this blog to help the non-trans comprehend the trans experience – the human experience.
I do not know my sister as one should know a sister. Allow me to submit to you, Dearest Kathy (if you are reading this), that there are likely important points of your life, but that you do not dwell on them except for the rare, specific times when they take priority. Otherwise, that matter plays a non-significant notion to your living.
Thank you for reading. Come again.
(Addendum – 5 Jan 17)
More thoughts applicable to this post:
We eventually pass through that stage of conscious obsession; we merely get on with living our daily lives.
We pass being ‘trans’; we become our own self free of that trapping. You are ‘you’; I am ‘me’.
We place our past descriptives to our past. As I am no longer ‘trans’, I also am no longer these of my past:
- Cub Scout,
- Boy Scout,
- Little League Baseball player,
- Forest Service employee,
- community television producer.
Our past yesterdays make us who we are today; what we do with our past today makes us who we will be in our future tomorrows.
We follow our predecessors and lead our successors. I probably knew when I went full-time (June 1985); I realised that I was done, that I had to move on with my life.
I was ‘trans’ only during transition, not for life. That was merely one phase of my life; I completed what I needed and was set to move to my future.
I later observed other trans-persons making their rounds on daytime talk television during the 1980s who professed their similar conclusion – expressing their similar perspective – that it is not reasonable to persist calling them ‘trans’ for something in their past unless their accusers were equally accepting to be labelled according to their past rather than be accepted for their presence.
Kapung khaf – thank you for returning to find these added thoughts.