Written on May 11th, 2012:
I have been mulling over the past few hours how to start this post. The past few days, more or less going on a week, have consisted of me pondering between downtime at work (of which I have had plenty of this week) and my commute between work and home the subtle clues that have led me to now, where I have slowly been coming to terms with and embracing my identity not as a quirky genderqueer-identified female, but as a confident Female to Male transgendered individual.
I'm far from being out to family. In fact, to be honest, the first person I tell family-wise will probably be the cousin who has been the most vocally supportive of me, particularly in recent times. But I will get to my plan of attack later. Right now, I'm sitting here pretty amused that I can trace identifiable behavior patterns back to the point I started watching MMPR and wanted to be the Green Dragon/White Tiger Ranger. xD So, roughly 10-11 years old. Or thereabouts.
I had the standard Black upbringing - homosexuality is a sin and gender stereotypes are pounded into one's head - that was made worse when I came out as a lesbian. Technically, I described pansexuality to my mother when I came out, but still. I passionately argued my case for wanting to wear a tux to prom (and still was made to wear a dress, which I still have). And then NIU happened. NIU brought some amazing discoveries of self even though now I'm bearing the financial repercussions. I wouldn't change any of it, though. Not for the lessons I've learned and the people I've met and networked with over the years.
NIU. My Freshman year at NIU, I got heavily involved with Prism, the LGBT organization on campus. And somehow got persuaded/asked to be the Homecoming Drag King. And I loved it. I learned how to bind, albeit with vet wrap, but still. Sometime during that year, I also started researching various packing devices. I was allowed to explore my gender identity and sexual orientation freely since I didn't have prying eyes, and I did. Well, the best I could at a university, anyways.
Fast forward to 2007. I met Sabrina. At first, I was very interested in her romantically, but that soon fizzled out and we became very good friends. At this point, I consider 'Brina my sister, and when I mention my family, I have to specify which type I mean -- blood, or friend-family. Brina moved in with me at the apartment in Elgin in 2009. What this meant is that I pretty much watched her transition from its start to where she is now.
What this also meant is that I took a closer look at my own gender identity. Brina and I have had countless discussions about gender, sex, and everything in the lexicon between. Brina arguably knows me better than most people do. When I say she is my sister, I mean it. She's someone I would step up to defend in a heartbeat, but who I would also clue-by-four when she needs it. We're a bluntly honest couple of folks. And she was also the best roommate to date who I wasn't romantically involved with.
In 2010, I purchased my first binder. I started off wearing it intermittently because I wanted to test the waters, but now I wear it on a daily basis.
Roughly a month ago, I had my mental breakdown due to unrelated causes, and I sat and figured, you know what, I've gotta rebuild myself after this, anyways. Why not just start from the ground up and start over? And that's what I'm doing. After multiple days of contemplation, I decided to meet with my HR manager and begin the process of transitioning at work. Out in the "Real World", I pass as male without really trying and I've used male pronouns (at least in the BDSM world) for the previous couple of years, so why not?
For a while, the character of Samii Tiger was able to shift gender and shape to reflect me being first genderfluid, then genderqueer. It eventually got to the point that I shifted solely to being "male" as that character and it was comfortable.
So, yeah. This is where I'm at currently:
- I'm from California originally, so I'll be poking at Fyremane at some point to ask her about what I need to do to get my birth certificate changed out there (she's native to Cali, too), and I suspect that the IL Driver's License won't be much of an issue.
- I have yet to come out to my family. I figure that I'll start with my dad's side since they don't have a whole lot of contact with me. I won't say it's "not a big loss" if they stop talking to me because, even though I've never met half of my siblings, they're still my family and the thought of losing them or their support hurts.
- I will not be changing my legal name. For the longest time, I've refrained from using my full middle name on any legal documents and I will continue to do that. I was given my middle name in honor of my grandmother, and I will keep it for that reason. My grandmother was a fantastic artist and a spit fire, and I got some of that personality. My legal first name just fits me too well and I identify with it; I'm just lucky that my mother unknowingly gave me an androgynous name. xD
- Hormones. I'm in the process of doing Insurance Open Enrollment for work. You can bet that I'm moving up to a better grade of insurance, especially since I'll be working with my doctor closely on figuring out where my testosterone levels are at currently and what-not, especially since there may be complications with me taking any hormonal supplements/replacements in conjunction with some of my existing medication. We shall see.
- Surgery. Is at a maybe. Right now, I can bind sufficiently to pass as male, and I look hella good when I do it. I'm also reluctant to do a surgery that is purely for cosmetic purposes.
- Body image. I'm relatively okay where I'm at. I could stand to lose some of my pudge, but as far as physical dysphoria goes, it's at a minimum. Gotta say, though, that it would be nice to not worry about the social taboo of having female breasts exposed, though. Ah, well.
~ ~ ~
For me, it's off to the shower so I can get ready for my day. I found out some news this morning that still has me a bit sad, but I know my friend is doing the best thing for her family. I do love that no matter how long it is between when we talk, my friend and I always pick up where we left off. I suspect that whenever it is that our paths cross again, it'll be the same.