A personal announcement, emphatic thank-you, and cheers to Fedora.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

I miss Hyperbole and a Half.

Yeah, it really went downhill after Charlie Sheen left.

Chiggie Von Richthofen wrote:

I read the first page and the last page. I'll keep my response vague as to seem thoughtful but topical.

Congratulations. Things like this are good. You should be proud. I look forward to more.

How'd I do?

No, but seriously, a person can only hold so many secrets inside of them before they eat away at their core. I'm happy for you and hope you feel accepted by everyone that matters.

Yeah. It's been interesting to watch the entire arc. Very happy for you guys. Life is far too short to not live your life unhindered. I wish you both the best.

IMAGE(http://i1094.photobucket.com/albums/i453/czpv/sbt.jpg)

Congrats!

So who's the dragon and who is the car? Wait...on second thought, nevermind.

NSMike wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

Still worth it, I'm sure.

Doubtless.

FedoraMcQuaid wrote:

We actually live ~8 hours apart...

*cough* I managed 7... *cough*

I was reading that fast to catch up on all the posts that I missed the 'hours' part and thought Mike was bragging (the cough either side didn't help).

Congrats to you both, over these 33 pages you've shared with us, and everything that follows!

Nevin73 wrote:

Congrats!

So who's the dragon and who is the car? Wait...on second thought, nevermind.

What an hysterical, Goodjerish way to ask a totally inappropriate question! I lolled, guiltily, and hoped it was okay to do so.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

Congrats!

So who's the dragon and who is the car? Wait...on second thought, nevermind.

What an hysterical, Goodjerish way to ask a totally inappropriate question! I lolled, guiltily, and hoped it was okay to do so.

You don't have to be so cautious, Fed. As it is, there is no answer to this question... Yet.

NSMike wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

Congrats!

So who's the dragon and who is the car? Wait...on second thought, nevermind.

What an hysterical, Goodjerish way to ask a totally inappropriate question! I lolled, guiltily, and hoped it was okay to do so.

You don't have to be so cautious, Fed. As it is, there is no answer to this question... Yet.

Custom made costumes still haven't arrived then?

I'm going to go ahead and end this conversation now before it gets out of hand...

FedoraMcQuaid wrote:

I'm going to go ahead and end this conversation now before it gets out of hand...

See, Fedora and I have more in common than our names and unbridled lust boundless affection for Mike!

Fedaykin98 wrote:
FedoraMcQuaid wrote:

I'm going to go ahead and end this conversation now before it gets out of hand...

See, Fedora and I have more in common than our names and unbridled lust boundless affection for Mike!

I agree, this situation needs to stay firmly in hand

Fedora is a bit squeamish about any... untoward implications, so I think we should nip this in the buttd.

I agree. This is unbecoming to the quality of GWJ discussion. Let's let them settle this over a nice dinner of sausage.

(The following has been written in a few distinct chunks of time, so I apologize in advance if it's disjointed.)

I looked around and thought for a long while about where I wanted to post this. I didn't feel like I should make a new thread, but I didn't want to keep being off-topic where I'd said things before. I ended up deciding that this thread is best. Maybe I'm hoping some of the awesome will rub off on me.

I think mostly I just don't have any idea where to put things.

So... some context. I don't really have a new "announcement" to make. Just some updates about things I've shared in a few places around the forums, and a giant "thank you".

How would you feel if everyone could quickly change their sex at will?: The first time on this forum when I said anything about this at all. Mostly this is notable because... yeah, being TG is a really private scary thing to tell people about. Even in a light off-hand sort of way.

The Federal Prop. 8 Trial / Gay Marriage Catch-All: This is the second time. SallyNasty had wondered why "trans" was under the umbrella of "LGBTQ", and I decided to share some more about my personal feelings and experience to try to explain. A couple of follow-up posts from me replying to questions: 1, 2.

I think that's all the relevant context.

--

Anyway... So, yeah, that stuff I said before about how "I just live the best life I can with what I have, and it's mostly good enough."?

I was [em]totally, totally wrong[/em].

Talking about things here might have uncorked things, or it could be pressure was just building up and that release of pressure finished the job, or... I don't know. But since that last posting, I've been thinking about things more and more, and finally stuff kind of overflowed.

In any case: I feel both better and worse than what I was describing. On the down side, I'm kind of crying all over everything a lot lately. So.... that kind of sucks. But on the plus side, it feels... good? Even when I'm crying over stuff, I feel like I'm being more true to myself than I have been in a long time.

I've been doing a ton of thinking about how I feel. And a lot of reading. I came across [em]Wandering Son[/em] in both anime (on Crunchyroll) and manga (three volumes available from Fantagraphics) last week, and oh my god I cried my eyes out watching and reading it. (It's a good thing I didn't have any ice cream in the apartment or I would have eaten tubs of it.)

The truth: I'm [em]not[/em] okay with being a guy. Not even a little bit. Not at all. I hate it. If there was realistically anything at all I could do to fix it, I would totally do it. It hurts so very much to be so far from being able to have people see [em]me[/em] when I interact with them. It hurts even more to be so far from being able to see [em]myself[/em] when I look into a mirror.

But it really feels better to be living with the truth of that than it felt when I had just put those feelings "away". Because they weren't really away. Even though it seemed like I "had things under control" (for like [em]ten years![/em]), there was always a tension. Like a cramping muscle in the back of my mind holding everything up all the time, every day. Keeping me from seeing myself enough to be hurt. But, of course, the concealment was itself a kind of hurt. And the strain spread all over and now that it's released... yeah.

All the tender places are aching. It hurts. I don't know what to think, or what to feel. And I cry a lot. But I have this feeling that the storm's just about to clear and the sun's going to come out and it's going to be the most awesome sunset [em]ever[/em].

(Listening to Le Tigre right now as I write this. [em]I'll make some coffee, put on some eye-liner. I think I'll find that things are fine and they're gonna get much finer![/em])

--

I wanted to share this because I've already shared some things with people here, and I wanted you all to know "the story since then". I hate stories that end in the middle where you don't know what happens next.

And if anybody else out there who is trans stumbles across these various writings, I want them to know more of the truth about what it's like for me. It's easier when you know you're not the only one.

That's too important to let the parts that aren't true stick around without saying anything, even when it was me deceiving myself. It might be possible for some people to get to a state like I described where they're like "I'm TG, but it's okay, I don't need to think about that." But clearly, it's not possible for me, even though I thought it was. So if you're trying to figure your own thing out privately: good luck. Be who you are, not who you think you have to be.

And finally: Thank you to everyone in the GWJ community. If this place wasn't such an awesome, loving, friendly place I don't think I'd ever have said the first thing here. Much less the second or third thing. And if I didn't do that, I don't know... I might still be all clenched up inside hiding from myself.

You people are awesome.

If I have more things to say in the future, I'll share them here, if NSMike and Fedora don't mind. (If you do, I'm totally okay with finding another spot.)

I don't know any more what I'm going to be like a little while down the road... but I'm really glad I'm [em]on[/em] the road again. And I'm glad I feel safe talking about it.

(((hugs)))

We're here for you

Tanglebones wrote:

(((hugs)))

We're here for you

Group hug! Thanks for sharing that Hypatian. All too often, emotions like those are bottled up. I lost someone very close to me because of that hidden emotion.

Hypatian wrote:

If I have more things to say in the future, I'll share them here, if NSMike and Fedora don't mind. (If you do, I'm totally okay with finding another spot.)

This community belongs to all of us. This may be the thread where I made my announcement, as well as Fedora, but we don't own the space, and this certainly is not off topic. You are as welcome here as anywhere on GWJ. I am honored you feel compelled to share with us.

If I recall correctly, you're a Western PA resident, unless you've recently moved. First off, you should be joining us at PenguinCon.

Secondly, I know the region is not the easiest place for people who identify as LGBT to live. What comes with that strong Western PA work ethic is usually a hefty dash of Eastern European heritage, which usually includes an unhealthy dose of Roman Catholicism, with no small amount of other Christian faiths tossed in there. While the region is traditionally moderate, some ideas are old, and hard to give up. I don't know how packed the Chik-Fil-A at Robinson was a few weeks ago, but I'll bet it was busy, all the same.

There's someone I work with who recently came out to the office as MtF trans. She is actively transitioning, and came out to the office to stem the tide of questions and odd looks. She was diagnosed and I believe her health insurance is covering the HRT. If you have any kind of health insurance, you should see about getting a diagnosis and transitioning, if this is really becoming that difficult for you.

I still have my own challenges to face, but coming out and living the life I was dealt honestly has been a tremendous help. I wish you the best as you continue your journey.

Hypatian wrote:

I don't know any more what I'm going to be like a little while down the road... but I'm really glad I'm [em]on[/em] the road again. And I'm glad I feel safe talking about it.

Fantastic. I missed your posts in the other threads, but I'm glad you made them and I'm glad this thread exists for you to speak your truth.

Also, did you see this? So stoked for that to come out.

Hypatian wrote:

The truth: I'm [em]not[/em] okay with being a guy. Not even a little bit. Not at all. I hate it. If there was realistically anything at all I could do to fix it, I would totally do it. It hurts so very much to be so far from being able to have people see [em]me[/em] when I interact with them. It hurts even more to be so far from being able to see [em]myself[/em] when I look into a mirror.

I hope I'm not overstepping bounds but why do you feel there is nothing you can do to fix it?

Edit: Also thank you for posting these posts.

Well, goddamn...y'all...how did I miss all this, then?

So...yay for coming out!

Yay for finding love!

Yay for Gweejers.

(Did I miss anything? If so, Yay in general.)

Seriously; love you guys...just happy that you guys are happy. *smooches*!

Hypatian wrote:

...a bunch of awesome stuff....

I've had two friends go through transition; and they both started at about where you are now. I took part in a therapy group for a while, until one friend was comfortable going alone, and I cannot tell you enough how valuable I think a transition group can be. Counseling is really important; whether or not you decided to go through the metamorphosis or not. It's important for you to hear the stories of peers who have made the journey, or chosen not to. To talk about it with people who are where you are...or have been where you are.

I think the hardest thing is the sheer weight of gender identification. It's the first thing they announce about a baby; and thus are certain pathways assumed long before the germination of conscious autonomy. And stepping out of those paths is dangerous and frightening. We assume *other people's* expectations as yokes of *our* responsibility; and so throwing them off can feel like a betrayal of not only ourselves, but of those around us. It's hard to break free of the chains we ourselves conspired to weave.

But you don't have to do anything alone. There are support groups, there are therapists who specialize in gender issues, there are your friends; and I hope you count we gweejers in that group of friends who are willing to listen, without judgement, and give you space to say what you feel.

Metamorphosis can be tricky, and it can be scary, but it doesn't have to be a solo activity.

Big hugs!

Yay! I'm helping!

Congrats, Hypatian. I'm proud of you.

I'm in Pittsburgh proper, near the universities, so the social pressure thing isn't a big deal to me. At the very least, it's not something I worry about. If I was in some smaller community, it might be different--but in the city, well, I barely even know my neighbors.

As far as transitioning... I really don't know about that right now. I'm a little less scared of the idea than I was, but it's still a kind of out there thing. I guess the best comparison I could make is "up-sized dwarf". My body shape and hair distribution is totally male, and it's really really hard to imagine how that could change. Not totally impossible. But still pretty hard.

But!

I realized that this doesn't mean that I have to be all "I must pass perfectly as a normal straight man, and accept that as my lot in life". Some of that came from [em]Wandering Son[/em] making me think about all the dimensions of sexual attraction, expression, gender roles, etc. which I posted a little about over in P&C and which Bonus_Eruptus posted a reply to talking about the "genderbread person".

And since thinking about that, I've started thinking "Oh! I'm... me! I'm a woman in here. I've got a guy's body, sure. But that doesn't mean I [em]have[/em] to pretend to be a guy." And... I don't know. I've been moving differently since then. There's a spring in my step. I'm smiling. I suddenly remembered that back during my freshman year at college a guy I knew described me as "the flamingest" person he knew. (I hadn't the heart to explain to him that I wasn't actually gay. It was easier to let that pass, since it was in the context of him getting through his own prejudices that he formed while growing up in a small town in Texas.) Despite his gaydar's lack of accuracy, my body language at that time clearly had something in it that wasn't typically masculine.

And that's why I felt like I needed to post. Sure it hurts, and sure I'm crying... but it makes me so [em]happy[/em]! I'm remembering who I am, and it's kind of weird and scary, but it's a better place to be.

Maybe I'll some day go through transition. I can't say now--I'm just kind of doing this one day at a time and learning what my heart looks like again. After that's done growing back into shape, I'll take stock and see what I want for the future. In the meantime... I can only say that I'm already happier than any time I can really remember.

Thanks for the support, everybody.

SixteenBlue wrote:

I hope I'm not overstepping bounds but why do you feel there is nothing you can do to fix it?

Not at all. Like I mentioned above, I look like an extra-big dwarf. I'm not even a little androgynous. I am super hairy, except where I'm totally not. So it's hard to imagine [em]any[/em] amount of hormones and surgery taking me to a point where I can pass as a natural woman. The question is: where could I end up, and would I be happier there or unhappier? That's really hard to say.

garion333 wrote:

Fantastic. I missed your posts in the other threads, but I'm glad you made them and I'm glad this thread exists for you to speak your truth.

Also, did you see this? So stoked for that to come out.

That's another part of why I wanted to post something new--to get the bulk of it out of P&C (since a lot of people don't want to go there for obv reasons.)

And no, I hadn't seen that! That's awesome!

I just want to say thank you to Hypatian. Her(That is appropriate, right?)response to my question completely changed my thoughts on transgender.

You have friends and support here!

Set up a twitter account. Quite a lot of trans discussion there. There's also a magazine called META for trans people. Never read it, but one of my twittter contacts quotes it now and then.

If you haven't done it yet, I think you should find a lgbt group where you can hang out and be seen afor who you are rather than what you look like.

SallyNasty wrote:

I just want to say thank you to Hypatian. Her(That is appropriate, right?)response to my question completely changed my thoughts on transgender.

You have friends and support here!

I'm glad you posted this. I was going to say something like "I know for a fact that you're making a difference with these posts" but I didn't want to speak for you.

And this is going to sound quite odd - and I don't mean it as a positive thing necessarily - but I imagine that having such a profound realisation of who you are is something that most of us won't experience.

Yah, it really made an impact on me and I have discussed it in irc.

Always good to hear when people find out the truths about themselves, are okay with it, and find people who care.

Hypatian, first of all, congratulations on taking that very first step to living authentically. I think it's always pretty tear-filled, so you're not alone there.

Secondly, I know you're saying that you're concerned about how your current physicality affects your ability to view yourself in the right body, but I don't think that matters. I really feel that you need to do whatever it is that's going to make you feel better for you. Whether that be publicly transitioning from the get-go, going to a transition group as Deva suggested, or living your hours at home as a woman and your hours in public behind the male mask... don't worry about the rest of the world just yet. Get your world inside aligned with who you are, however you need to do so.

The rest of the world can wait. And when you're ready, knock 'em dead.

In the meanwhile, cry your eyes out if you need to. And as Deva said, talk with your friends. You have a lot of people cheering you on here, and I'd bet you've got meat-space friends who'll do the same.

Regardless, big *HUGS* from me, and congratulations again!