(11 Mar 18)
Let’s get right to beeswax.
I am a misfit in today’s world of Trans, Transsexual, Inter-sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, anatomical ambiguity.
I shall express what might be taken by some as harsh words, others will comprehend my direct honesty. Please accept that we are all in the same boat – a lifeboat – and that we need to work together to paddle to shore right there in view, not allow others who are paddling their own direction take us further out to sea.
I think that I shall also post the essence of this composition to my Facebook page where members of my ‘Friend’ list include members of support groups where they are likely to see this essay but who otherwise don’t read this web-site. The explanation of that statement will become clear.
TDOR is a gathering for people from various support elements who pay a vague homage to dead strangers from far away cities, towns, states, countries – like Native Americans of the USA recognising Columbus Day.
Though I doubt that I heard of it til 2015, TDOR is reality to me. My mother’s younger brother Frank was Transsexual. My family had him and his wife murdered and made to appear as double-suicide. Local police were not interested investigating the death – any death, any cause – of a ‘Tranny’ in 1970; if his wife was dead, so much the better to clean the slate.
I really appreciate all that is done with this TDOR effort of awareness.
I had no ‘coming out’ to family. I was already ‘out’ among them my entire life since the beginning of my memory – in this reality, since at least age 3.
As a child, I was openly putting on my teen cousins’ make-up when we visited their home throughout the week.
- ‘Oh, Nickie, what a cute little girl!’
Eventually, my father was beating me for wearing my sister’s clothes during my childhood and teen years. He probably expected to beat it out of me. Some success he was, eh.
I told barely a few people from my circle of friends by the time I went female full-time forever (June 1985); the few whom I told were disaster because all whom I told dumpt me – eventually – like the plague warmed over. I merely disappeared from the rest of them.
Lisa, my apologies; we are one odd circumstance – our relationship / friendship remains a mystery to me. I didn’t tell you; I have not told you directly, so far. Instead, I realised the apparent possibility that my dad told you. Or maybe you figured it out when last we met in person (May 1985) – you previously saw me in 1978 while my appearance was still reasonably ambiguous female, you never saw my male interlude, my 1985 appearance was post-Transition post-op female. By the cues during our conversation when last we talked on the telephone (April 1989), you seemingly had long known; you addressed me as Sharon right from the start, not Nick. I am the one left puzzled not knowing whether you still accept me.
That light that brings hope from other past friends arrived when Brad (‘Dasahori Kids’) invited me into his realm – he accepts me. I held my breath about others of that Dasahori past – they accept me. Then the makings of an idea. I extended my efforts to others of my Pinewood years. Those who responded accept me – my Efharisto to you who know who you are. I must allow the realisation that those who don’t reply are the ones who don’t accept me – you who know who you are, for sure.
I came from a long ago generation in the universe of Transsexualism.
Neither proven nor disproven is my tentative Christine Jorgensen connection through my father. I do know that, according to my father’s DD-214, both he and then-George served at the same military base at the same time; I am missing documentation that they ever met, or knew each other, or inter-acted in any way. I found a handwritten note in a small wooden box with news article clippings – a box that my dad left to me at his death. That handwritten note was the name ‘Jorgensen’ with a New York City address and telephone number. There were likely dozens of Jorgensens at New York City during the time when my dad wrote that note – when my dad was a police officer during the 1950s. My father made frequent disparaging remarks about someone named ‘George’ while I was growing up – his responce to my feminine protesting tantrums; I knew little, if anything, about Jorgensen during my childhood. I found someone who claimed to know the Jorgensen family (2015); I asked for her assessment, but her enquiry was inconclusive. I’m stuck calling this a set of questions that remain for which I seek the answers.
I suppose that I could declare that I began my Transition at age 3. Instead, I mark the official beginning my Transition when I became the age of legal majority in 1974 – the year when I turned age 18. There were few of us who were out / semi-out / quasi-out / closeted child Transsexuals who Transitioned upon reaching age 18 during the 1970s – there were less than 1000 medically-reported cases of Transsexualism in the USA when I began in 1974 (with all my due respect to countless others: brave people on the streets, those Transitioning ‘under the table’, anyone doing whatever they could outside that damned ‘gatekeeper’ suppression). I made the Stanford University Medical Center’s ‘Gender Dysphoria Program’ in 1977.
I led an otherwise unassuming life of stealth.
I am now in my 60s. Our numbers – we of early first- and second-decade generation from the 1950s to 1970s – are thinning at this time of our life, at this time in our contemporary Transsexual history.
I have been doing much soul-searching. A support group Board member ‘asked’ me, with the entire group assembled, to leave the SOFFA session of a recent support group meeting (I perceive it as being evicted).
The support group’s President led the concurrent Trans-female sessions that day, had plenty of time between sessions, had plenty of time after sessions, yet took no effort to explain why this happened to me when I tried to get her attention – her nose firmly planted in her computer screen.
I shall talk to one of the SOFFAs – both a Board member and a Facilitator – in private either before or after a future meeting and hope that she will give a straight answer to me; an explanation in private from someone in charge of that SOFFA meeting seems the least of a courteous option for them to do. Another option for me is to make a formal point of personal privilege at a future Board meeting. Any evasion, denial, refusal will be its own answer.
I perceive of myself an anachronistic misfit outcast of current support groups on multiple points – all beyond my control – all a curious circumstance that violates the very concept of these support groups.
- #1: I had at least one family member who was / is Transsexual
- #2: my current age (62)
- #3: that I was an out Transsexual child all my young years since at least age 3
- #4: when I began Transition (1974)
- #5: the age that I use when I define when I began Transition (age 18 – the age of one’s individual legal consent)
- #6: that I am genetically and biologically cis-female (Inter-sex), unlike the others whom I humorously, respectfully term ‘vanilla’ Trans (genetic cis-male whose self-identity is female).
One support group dissolved more than a year ago. I doubt that I would have bothered staying active with one current support group had I not made friends with someone who attended that support group, but she no longer attends that group herself for reasons that I am now finding true.
Is this ostracism among local support groups?
I participate with two remaining Trans support groups but feel as that misfit outsider because of my facts as I presented them (above).
Few, if any, other people in these support groups began their Transition more than a decade ago – so I don’t fit with them. They don’t welcome me.
Others may be in my older age group, but they are NB – newbies – in Transition. They don’t welcome me.
I meet with the SOFFAs (Significant Other, Family, Friends, Allies) because I feel the better possibility to help them rather than the Trans members who seem to prefer to clique among their own; but that doesn’t do well because those SOFFA people are there for someone newly in Transition. Now they don’t welcome me.
No support group participants socialise with me with any regularity – either during the meetings or outside in our private lives – because of my misfit circumstance. They don’t welcome me.
I participate in an LGBT support group. Their focus is more on the L,G, and B, though there are a few of we T and I. Same as the Trans support groups – I don’t fit. I do identify as Lesbian, but I lack a partner to join with me at the meetings. Few cis-female Lesbians seem to hold an interest for this cis-female Inter-sex Transsexual Lesbian. They don’t welcome me.
Another mark against me is being Inter-sex: I am genetically and biologically cis-female; it was my exhibited anatomy, my external ambiguous genetalia at birth. Doctors assigned me male at birth (AMAB), my family forced me to live and present male as a child and teen (either ignorantly or deliberately). There are other Inter-sex people among the support groups – they are F-M; I sense that they don’t accept me because I’m F-M-F (or whatever!). Instead, they are teaching me about caste bigotry among the Inter-sex. Apparently my Inter-sex is not as good as theirs – they are biological parents, my anatomy rendered me absent the capacity of reproduction as either female or male. Or maybe they are enjoying the fruits of their new-found ‘male privilege’? They don’t welcome me.
I also sense that being Inter-sex – a genetic cis-female – outcasts me from M-F Trans circles whose participants are that ‘vanilla’ Cis-Male to Female Transsexual. Allow this attempt at a bit of literary licence mixed with a touch of inoffensive insider humour to present an otherwise clinical description. Any or all may apply in varying degrees:
- M-F ‘vanilla’ Transsexuals are genetic cis-male phenotype,
- their gender identity is female,
- they have / had functionally-working cis-male anatomy,
- they enjoy(ed) using their cis-male anatomy despite their dysphoria about it,
- some experience ‘pain’ or dysphoria toward their female genitalia after undergoing SRS / GCS,
- some told me that they quit ‘duty’ because that experience – the intimately cis-female vaginal experience – is ‘pain’ to them.
Some post-op M-F told me directly, others post to their cyber presence, that they enjoyed masturbating as cis-male on the morning of their bottom surgery. Could they be ‘Pseudo-Transsexual’? ‘Vanilla’ M-F Transsexuals do not welcome me.
About that recent Trans support group meeting. I entered the room for the SOFFA family group. Someone whom I thought was a ‘friend’ abruptly ‘asked’ me to leave this SOFFA session – she curtly told me to go the Trans-female session, she told me that I was not welcomed to participate in this SOFFA session. She provided no explanation.
I am a Board member of this support group, I am a trained and active Facilitator for this support group’s meetings, this status grants every authority to me to attend any meeting as I determine for the good of the organisation and for the membership while fullfilling my duties; no one told me that I was a detriment to the SOFFA meeting – either before, after, or since. Disregarding those points and according to the expressly declared policy of this support group, I also have the right to attend any session of my choosing while a member in good standing; not once has anyone ever told me that I am otherwise not a member in good stead. Nevertheless, I raised no fuss or objection as perhaps I should have or could have; I participated in the two sessions with the Trans-female group and I said nothing of this rejection during either.
Why was I evicted from that SOFFA ‘family’ meeting? Okay, I know of no current ‘family’ member attending this support group or experiencing their Transition. I am a ‘friend’ and an ‘ally’ to this support group and to the local Trans community. Hey, I am also a long-time member of the greater Trans community: I’ve been alive longer than most other members, my Transition began and ended long before most other members have been alive, I’ve been post-op longer than most other members have been alive, I did a ‘revision’ surgery long before others did their original bottom surgery, I’ve endured discrimination and bigotry more than most will ever comprehend. Am I not good enough? Isn’t the whole point of our Trans support groups to learn from others’ experiences, to accept the Trans (and Inter-sex) person into family, friends, society, not render them as outcast?
There were people of this support group who originally perceived me as cis-female only until I introduced myself as the trifecta: cis-female, Inter-sex, and Transsexual. Why would these same people deny my participation in this same group now that they know me as such?
How will the people in that room demonstrate the decency to explain to the general membership what they did to initiate my departure if I come to decide to not attend future support group meetings?
Maybe it is as I submit – people come to these groups until they got what they needed and then they moved on.
Maybe that is as it should be – we get what we need and move on to life beyond the support groups.
Maybe it’s my time to move beyond these support groups if I am no longer a welcomed participant?
I did not need these support groups for my own self, but rather I sought to contribute my decades of insight to the groups. One Board member told me that I am ‘irrelevant’, that my presence is no longer welcomed. So be it.
Steve Dain warned way back in the early 1980s that there are many in the Trans community who assert themselves as a self-elect group. Seems we have enough of that nowadays with Jenner and all these wannabe celebrities crawling out of their woodwork. Where were they 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago when they could have been contributing for our common support? Those who are old enough were hiding, were enjoying their ‘male privilege’, while we fought their battles. Those who are young today are standing on our shoulders and taking credit as if they did it all on their own.
I am making efforts to improve my life, not remain bogged down by weights.
Dear Reader, allow me to spend my time outside on my patio enjoying the warm Spring weather, the fresh air, hearing the birds chirping and cooing. I would like to socialise with the human species, but I find it difficult among those who consider me that misfit outcast.
This is the ‘Year of the Dog’, this has been my ‘something to bark about’.
Thank you for visiting today. Please return for another essay. Meanwhile, enjoy the other compositions.
Update (20 Mar 18):
I found a post to a Facebook page in my Facebook ‘feed’ promoting ‘Laverne Cox IS Barbie’ – a ‘pioneer’.
I made the ‘comment’ that Christine Jorgensen IS one true ‘pioneer’. Another post supports my position.
Unfortunately, two opposing comments re-state the lines of that originating article:
- that no one cares about we old or dead forebears,
- that they don’t perceive the existence of old or dead people as ‘pioneer’ for today,
- that their today community wants some celebrity of today, not an actual ‘pioneer’,
- that this person of today is their ‘pioneer’ – ignoring that their ‘pioneer’ would be nowhere without we the old and dead forebears who actually ‘pioneered’ every step in the path these new-comers walk.
With all due respect, ‘Laverne Cox IS’ Ken.
Thank you, Dear Reader, for bearing with this essay.
Please return for whatever comes next.