Sunday, 24 July 2016

dying of embarrassment

Embarrassment over being transgender can be the kiss of death.

You can get stuck in a loop where you try to change because you are so mortified that this happened to you but then nothing you do works. So your life becomes an exercise in distraction where you try to think of anything that will take your mind off this pull you can't eliminate.

It is very common to see us go through a hyper masculine phase where we think that if we try hard enough to be a man's man the thoughts will go away. Sometimes we are even sure that we have succeeded but then it all floods back in like the tide.

I remember being on that Europe trip in 1986 and having a dysphoria panic attack where I almost wanted to get on the next plane and go home. My female expression was land locked for 2 whole months and my only tool to curb my dysphoria was gone.

I was able to be more successful at managing when I was younger but now there is nothing to talk myself out of. I have gender dysphoria and it requires management - end of story. Along with that resolute knowledge has come the evaporation of the embarrassment and the all-consuming feeling that I was letting someone down by succumbing to its treatment.

Truth be told even if were 100% certain I had to transition, I am afraid not to be able to support my children financially and have to face all those people who've known me as a slightly different person. But just because I don't have plans to transition doesn't mean I don't support your own decisions to forge ahead. Anyone who does so has gone through a deep reflection and knows in their bones it was the right thing. For some of you it has meant the difference between living and dying.

This is why its maddening sometimes when we see some people refer to this as a lifestyle choice. It just makes me think: I'd love to see you try this on for size. They call this the transgender fad not understanding that this new environment is more condusive to us coming out. Most are driven by their own deep-seated prejudices.

Gender dysphoria is not for the faint of heart so in order to find an answer you need to have your full wits about you. In that regard, dropping the shame, embarassment and guilt becomes a prerequisite.

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