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my line in the sand

I spent many years telling myself that a gender transition would be an absolute last resort and only happen if my mental health were being severely threatened. Except that recently that thinking has begun to change and, while I am not saying that I definitely will transition, the door is no longer as firmly closed to the idea as it once was.

As time goes on and the reasons for saying no slowly dissipate (I am alone with grown children who know I am trans and approaching the end of my career) there is less weight behind holding steadfast to this previous line in the sand. The fact is, that I like my life as Joanna and the more I have delved into its benefits the more I don’t think living full time would be so absurd.

Fear is a huge factor here of course and after living for 55 years in a male role it’s not like flicking a switch and yet I know have been complicating things in my mind and finding excuses why it wouldn’t work instead of why it would. My living part time has been highly successful and many fears have dissipated with my experiences to date. What is left now is to decide how much further along the road I might want to travel or whether I stop here.

I never planned to end up where I am today but feel like I have been carried along like a bottle floating in the ocean ending up on a foreign shore and, an idea which was utterly preposterous as recently as a few years ago, suddenly carries some merit for reflection. Hence, I am seeing an endocrinologist in May for a consultation session regarding the merits and risks of HRT and it may lead nowhere but at least I am no longer afraid to hold things up to the light and examine them more closely. One possible advantage to transition could be to allow myself to attain a permanent fusion of both animas rather than compartmentalize my life into two halves which Helene Cote wondered how I have been able to do for so long; she is right that it is not easy and many trans people do not opt for it. It can also at times feel a little dishonest.

No matter what I do going forward it will be with blinders off and misconceptions out of the way and if you have read this blog for any length of time you know how much I reflect on things.

I was at my doctor's office recently and Carolin his receptionist told me I would make a striking woman. That thought stayed with me for a day as I asked myself what exactly is holding me back. Is it fear or is it something else?

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  1. I hear ya. Follow your best judgment as you travel down the path of life. Nobody can really predict the future.

    Also, if you don't mind me saying this, our freedom to be ourselves is often seriously affected by the state of the external world. If that changes (and it does), our comfort in making changes (to our gender presentation and other public behavior) will increase or decrease -- and this factor is, by definition, beyond our control.

    1. I agree with this assessment completely Ally but what happens is that we get tired of trying to live for others and stop caring about what they think. This has been happening more and more as I age.

  2. “I never planned to end up where I am today but feel like I have been carried along like a bottle floating in the ocean ending up on a foreign shore”

    If I may, however much it feels that way, you’ve been at the helm of the ship. Your writings reflect someone far
    too contemplative to be merely swept along helplessly by a current.

    Please do not mistake my contradicting you for criticism. I only mean to reinforce that you are the one steering, and you are navigating choppy, potentially hostile waters with extreme aplomb. You’re not a millennial with the option of easily opening up to an increasingly open world. You were literally born in a whole different century - as in getting in the Delorean and time traveling back there would be like going to an alien planet. You have considered the health and well being of your partners and children throughout everything you have navigated, which only speaks to your upstanding character.

    I don’t know you, of course, but I’m not sure anything is “holding you back.” You just don’t seem to act impulsively, and instead tread carefully. That’s a sign of wisdom. However, if you are beginning to feel like something is holding you back, perhaps it is time to do the one thing often the most difficult for those of us who think through every move: stop thinking and just start feeling.

    You are at that anxiety-ridden, but enviable point where you can now ask yourself simply, “What do I WANT? What would make me FEEL BEST?” Of course that’s scary. Far from having drifted in a bottle to where you are, you’ve carefully steered yourself to where you are, and only now have the chance to let go, and get into the floating bottle that is just your feelings and desires, trusting the current to take you to a better place.

    Naturally, I don’t mean you should stop thinking/steering altogether. You won’t. You can’t. But cutting the cord of discursive thought for longer periods of time than you are used to and just feeling who you are and what you want is profound. Having the faith in yourself just to let those feelings take the wheel is as important a step as any on this journey.

    You, of course, will decide what’s best for you. As you’ve always done. I’m just an observer of your mind from afar through the words you let me read. Take mine for what they are worth, and best of luck as you move ever forward.

    1. well you have exactly hit the nail on the head Caryn because you are only too observant. I am at that stage where I am indeed asking what I want. Instead of over thinking everything I want to start feeling a little more. It is scary indeed and you are right I wont stop analyzing but it does feel good to think in this vein for a change...

    2. and as usual thanks for your spot on commentary :):)

  3. I was told "you can start HRT and you will be the only one who knows." That has proven to be largely true even as I approach the two year mark. You will have time to discern whether HRT is right for you. As the changes occur, I am certain Carolin's admonition will be true-you will become an even more striking woman than you already are. Godspeed!

    1. Thank you so much Marcia. No guarantee I will do it but exploring the option is something I need to do 😁

  4. And I wondered what we might talk about this time ...


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