How to Be an All-Inclusive Gender Thread

Hi Ryoko. I think your name is lovely, by the way. I'm an ally cis female. If you can handle Toddland (especially after the Sparkle Ponies) you can handle anything we can dish out. And if we do put a value to strDumb, just let us know. That part of the point of this thread - we're getting educated too.

I love watching Clocky and Hyp get all dolled up and feeling beautiful. I love watching people grow and become. I hope to be what help a crazy old lady with a listening ear can be. And this thread has been an education for me, too. Not just about dressing - I have a cousin who used to do an incredible Marilyn Monroe before he settled down with his partner to raise their family. But this thread has been a personal journey for me.

I don't know if this is the right place or time, but I'm going to wing it here. Even though I am a woman, I've spent more than half of my life as someone's mom. Several someones, actually. As iconically female as being a mom is, one of it's most defining features is a loss of self and a relabeling. When I got pregnant with my son, I stopped being "me" and started being "mom". Moms aren't women, they're moms. When I got divorced, it got even worse because I lost the "wife" identity too. I've spent 20+ years so busy being someone's mom I didn't even recognize the problem.

So welcome to this crazy part of the Internet. We're glad to have you.

Plus I work in the tech industry. Dressing up is a huge professional down-check for me, and being feminine doubly so. It's like they mentally subtract 10 IQ points for every button on my shirt.

This thread has made me look at it. Look at what I am as a woman, and what I want to be. Ironically, due to having to have surgery earlier this year, if something doesn't straighten itself out here in the next six months or so I may have to start taking hormones, too. I'll be asking for advice in here on that, to be sure.

My transition is in a weird place right now.

I came out to my mom on the phone about a month ago. It was a very weird, awkward conversation, and I didn't feel like it ended well. She shut down on my about half-way through. A week later she called to read me a letter she'd written in response. At the time, it sounded like a very hurtful letter: she said that I was confused and acting out because of some emotional trauma earlier in the year, and that I'd just found the most extreme thing I could think of to get people's attention. She also expressed concern that I'd neglect my disabled son while I transitioned.

The whole thing threw me into a bit of a funk. Partly, it was the first negative reaction I'd gotten to coming out, and it really sunk in that I was going to lose friends and family over this. Partly, I couldn't come up with a response to her that really expressed how her letter made me feel, and I had a hard time going forward while that was unresolved.

Ironically, I re-read her letter the other night, and I'm not sure that my initial negative reaction to it was entirely accurate. So now I'm back to square one with her response, trying to figure out how to respond to it.

But the biggest thing right now is that my transition has been more or less completely side-lined by major problems in my marriage. I don't really want to go into details, but the short version is that earlier this year I hurt my wife very, very badly. She's still supportive of my transition, but this other issue has completely consumed our lives. Things are hard right now, and I don't have the time or emotional energy to do much or even think much about transition.

If I seem to have largely disappeared from this thread, that's why.

Lots of virtual hugs for you, Clocky. I figured that something must be getting you down, and that sounds like kind of a lot.

Your mom's position sounds at least kind of similar to what my mom said, once I got her to really share what she was thinking. I think she probably would have been more up-front, except for worrying about my dad overhearing while she was on the phone. A little bit of being weirded out. A lot of being scared about the implications. A whole pile of confusion. A great deal of worry about what I'm getting myself into. I've just tried to do the best I can to reassure her, to explain to her that no this isn't a recent thing, although recent events may have lead me to think about it more. To talk about how dealing with this has improved my life. That while there are dangers and things to worry about, I really have thought about them, and I'm going to keep thinking about them. And for now, I've really decided that it's worth the risks to pursue something very important to me.

I've also made sure she understands that there's really no time for quite a while where there's a "point of no return". I think that's been reassuring mainly from the point of view of "but what if you realize too late that this isn't really something you want to do?" And probably part of it is a secret hope on her part that it's actually going to happen. Anyway, that's been my approach. My sister hasn't really been okay talking about things, so... I don't know what I'm doing there. I really hope it's easier to talk when I'm visiting.

On the marriage front... It's crushingly clear from everything you've said now and in the past just how much you love her. That doesn't make the bad things go away, but... I'm a romantic. I like to believe that it takes work, but love wins out in the end. And I'm glad that you're focusing on that, because... yeah... you do love her that much.

Even though I don't know much about her, just based on the little bit I've heard about how you care about each other... she has to be pretty darned awesome. So, I really hope things heal between you so you can get back to being awesome together all the time with less stress. *hug* (For all of you.)

sparkle ponies?

m0nk3yboy, that's your cue.

RyokoKleiger wrote:

sparkle ponies?

This might be a good place to start answering that one, but be warned, the rabbit hole goes deep...

And in the interests of sharing information, can you guys explain to me the "ally cis" stuff is. I googled, but I'm not sure of the information I'm receiving due to it's apparent newness. #learningnewstuffisfun

RyokoKleiger wrote:

sparkle ponies?

Oh, he didn't do that to your class? He was threatening to make his design class play Secret of the Magic Crystals and comment on the design of the game.

http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/1...

Actually that whole thread is pretty funny, and I suggest you read it.

m0nk3yboy wrote:
RyokoKleiger wrote:

sparkle ponies?

This might be a good place to start answering that one, but be warned, the rabbit hole goes deep...

And in the interests of sharing information, can you guys explain to me the "ally cis" stuff is. I googled, but I'm not sure of the information I'm receiving due to it's apparent newness. #learningnewstuffisfun

Ally - used to refer to someone who isn't themselves part of the GLBT community, but supports our rights, ect.

Cis - opposite of transgender

m0nk3yboy wrote:
RyokoKleiger wrote:

sparkle ponies?

This might be a good place to start answering that one, but be warned, the rabbit hole goes deep...

And in the interests of sharing information, can you guys explain to me the "ally cis" stuff is. I googled, but I'm not sure of the information I'm receiving due to it's apparent newness. #learningnewstuffisfun

Cis = baby, I was born this way (hardware-wise)

momgamer wrote:
RyokoKleiger wrote:

sparkle ponies?

Oh, he didn't do that to your class? He was threatening to make his design class play Secret of the Magic Crystals and comment on the design of the game.

http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/1...

Actually that whole thread is pretty funny, and I suggest you read it. ;)

And now is when we get to explain "being Tannhausered". (that's when you post something that was just posted above you - probably while you were typing.)

Yeah, major Internet hugs from me as well, Clocky. I'm sorry you're having to deal with all this stuff right now

As for me, gay cis male (stereotypical Bear, if you're familiar with that part of the gay community) who pops in now and again to keep apprised of how things are going for Hypatian and Clocky. Welcome to the forums, Ryoko!

RoughneckGeek wrote:

Ally - used to refer to someone who isn't themselves part of the GLBT community, but supports our rights, etc.

Cis - opposite of transgender

In that case, I would be an ally cis male.

We're also challenging gender stereotypes with me being a stay at home Dad, while my wife is the primary income in the house.

We have two very small and impressionable girls (aged 3 and 4.5) who have the most amazing guardians/non-god parents in their lives (who just happen to be gay and lesbian). One out, and very comfortable with herself, the other only out recently to friends and still struggling with how far to share that knowledge (workplace acceptance, etc).

My wife is also doing her Masters in Human Rights, and works in the Disability Sector of Local Government.

I was raised by very closed minded English parents who saw 'difference as bad'. It is for that reason alone that I am so glad that diversity is not a stranger in my daughters' lives.

I love this community for it's openness, it's honesty, and it's heart. This thread is just one example of why the term Goodjer is synonymous with awesome IMHO.

Clocky, sorry to hear about your troubles, for what it's worth, (((((hugs)))))

Heh, I haven't told Hypatian this because I haven't thought to do so, but I think she'll get a kick out of it. Hyp is a co-worker and we live in the same neighborhood, so she's an occasional dinner guest and Rock Band lead guitarist. My 8-year-old daughter has seen her dressing male and female, and as with many things in life, she's still taking in this whole transgender thing. (She's had friends with two mommies since pre-school and the guys in the house behind us give out the best candy on Halloween; gay people are just part of the landscape for her.)

We went to Goodwill together the other day to drop off some stuff. There was a relatively androgynous person handling donations. As we were getting back in the car, my daughter said "I think that person is...that thing Hypatian is." (Turns out "transgender" isn't a word that 8-year-olds just throw around.) I told her that she may be right (that was my reading), but she also ought to be more discreet about talking about people when they could hear her. That led to a more general discussion about respecting how people choose to present themselves, and how people want to be recognized differently in different situations. (Like: When you're handling donations at Goodwill, your gender is irrelevant. Also, most trans-women would rather just be considered women most of the time, but other times maybe not.)

Still: it was pretty cool seeing her recognize that possibility, and watching the wheels turn. Growing up, I was never even aware of gay people in my life until high school, let alone transgendered people. For her -- as I said, it's all part of the landscape. I love seeing her experience things that challenge our more unfair social preconceptions, especially gender norms. Trying to think about how I want to present the world to her has helped me recognize some of my own biases and think things through myself. I'm lucky to have her perspective in my life. And we're both lucky, for many reasons,* to have Hypatian in our lives.

* I mean, ignore the whole transgender thing, she got me the Orange Box.

That is pretty awesome.

Lots of hugs and support from me too, Clocky - I'm so sorry you and your wife are having difficulties. I agree with Hyp though, from the things you say here about your wife, it's clear that you love her very much (and she really does sounds pretty awesome and supportive), so I hope that love wins out and you are able to work through everything and be happy.

If I/we can do anything to help, just ask.

pgroce wrote:

awesomest 8 year old ever :)

Seriously, your daughter sounds pretty great, and your own openness about everything is a huge contributing factor, so...yay!

m0nk3yboy wrote:

And in the interests of sharing information, can you guys explain to me the "ally cis" stuff is. I googled, but I'm not sure of the information I'm receiving due to it's apparent newness. #learningnewstuffisfun

I'm still learning this too! And I love that this thread is so great about explaining everything so nicely.

Mimble wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:

And in the interests of sharing information, can you guys explain to me the "ally cis" stuff is. I googled, but I'm not sure of the information I'm receiving due to it's apparent newness. #learningnewstuffisfun

I'm still learning this too! And I love that this thread is so great about explaining everything so nicely. :D

I've used what I've learned here to answer some questions my wife had about how to address an acquaintance of hers that's recently fully transitioned to being a woman. Edit - At least I think that's the right way to phrase it. It does seem kind of wrong though, like it's implying she wasn't really a woman until she had the surgeries.

Swap out "being" for "living as" and that usually does the trick of not implying she wasn't "really" a woman before.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Swap out "being" for "living as" and that usually does the trick of not implying she wasn't "really" a woman before. :)

Gotcha, thanks!

I'm the cis male Canadian version of Clocky.

The ally thing is, I don't know, it's weird to me that it's something that needs to be said. It should be assumed. We're all allies, if we're decent human beings to begin with. I guess I just think it's unfortunate that it at times, in the 21st f*cking century, still needs to be made explicit. Hell, in times and places it probably still needs to be recognized that I'm ally white, ally citizen-by-birth... suffice to say I'm a liberal humanist Canuckistani.

I hope everything works out for you and your wife, Clock. From all I've read by you here, I've faith in the strength of you two and that it will.

Well, that explains being called an ally by some of my students. For clarity, I run 8 departments, so it's rare that the students get me as an instructor. That said, I may force Ryoko to play sparkle ponies as a way to introduce the rest of the community. Ryoko has already had to put up with a lot from me. It's what I do.

You're a class act, Todd

Gravey wrote:

The ally thing is, I don't know, it's weird to me that it's something that needs to be said. It should be assumed. We're all allies, if we're decent human beings to begin with. I guess I just think it's unfortunate that it at times, in the 21st f*cking century, still needs to be made explicit. Hell, in times and places it probably still needs to be recognized that I'm ally white, ally citizen-by-birth... suffice to say I'm a liberal humanist Canuckistani.

Decent human beings have been in the minority until very recently. So "ally" gets applied to straight people on our side of the equal rights battle to distinguish them from the rest of the population we still have to be guarded around.

I'm in agreement that I wish the distinction wasn't needed, but for the time being it still serves a purpose.

*laugh*

I just psyched myself up to call and make a doctor's appointment... but the clinic closes early on Fridays, so I just got a message. So I'll try again on Monday.

Clocky, that's sad to hear about your mother. Following this thread, I though about how brave you guys are and how terrified I would be to go out in a dress, etc due to public perception. (I'm cis male but was trying to put myself in clocky and hyp's shoes...er...heels.) I thought how silly people were to say people do it for attention!

Hope it works over time for both of you! (and any others that start using this thread for its intended purpose!)

Welcome Ryoko! We don't bite. Much.

Hyp, keep on keeping on. I'm excited that things continue to move forward for you. Strength +4 for sure.

Clocky, sh*t. Well, glad you found some positivity from that letter, it sounds like something my mother would write. A lot, in fact. Very grounding. Not fun to hear though.

Welcome, Ryoko.

Hypatian, I forgot to mention it the other night in L4D2, but you're doing great with the voice.

im being roomed with a really big guy who i guess is gonna transition but its freaking me out cause hes all dude right now...

RyokoKleiger wrote:

im being roomed with a really big guy who i guess is gonna transition but its freaking me out cause hes all dude right now...

Perhaps suggest that your room be a judgement free practice zone. Then they can practice unfamiliar (female behaviors) and you can have the freedom to point out when they seem over to top.

RedJen, fem cis ally

Hugs to you and extra ones for Hyp & Clocky.

Aiigh. Called to arrange an appointment, and the doctor doesn't have any openings for new patients until [em]March[/em]. I said I'd take the appointment then, but... Wow. *sigh* I did not expect it to be so far away. I guess I'll see if my therapist can suggest any other options, although this doctor sounds like a really great person, and the office is very convenient.

*stress*

Hiya gang, long time gwjer, long time fem cis ally. Other than emotional, the only other support I can offer is that you can feel free to tap me for tips on makeup and hair care. I'd love to help with fashion, but to be completely honest with you, the only times I'm ever dressed really well, is when other people do my shopping. I would wear sweatpants, ballet flats and t-shirts with the collars cut off ALL the time, left to my own devices.

As to estrogen; as I'm beginning the lovely, warm, sweaty, screaming trip into menopause, I tell ya, I wish I could take estrogen supplements with you guys. This more testosterone than estrogen thing kinda sucks. The sex drive part; I love that part...but the chin hair...I could live without that. That said; I'm developing some techniques for hiding and repairing the inflammation and whatnot from plucking (that doesn't involve 14 layers of makeup), if anyone is interested, I'll report back if I figure out a good method.