Monday, September 15, 2008

This Just In...

I've got to add a couple of addenda to the posting I just addressed to Abby:

1. I don't want anyone thinking that my awe of them is any less than my awe for Abby. I've got plenty here for everybody.


2. The above goes for me too. A quick story:

I was out to dinner (no, I don't go out every night) with my dear friend Melody, who thinks it's pretty damn cool that I yam what I yam. We had a wonderful Vietnamese meal and I paid for it with my alter ego's debit card, saying in so many words that I didn't give a fig what the waiter thought. (What the heck. I'm sure I was clocked the minute we stepped into the joint.) Later she told me that she was very proud of me, that I am a two-spirit.

I looked my best (as I always try to do) and was treated with respect (as I always am). I fully acknowledged who and what I was (which I'm still getting used to). I like to think that little things like this continue to add to the general respect for our community. I guess I'm a little awesome too.


Abby said...

You are more than just a little awesome, Gillian, that much is clear from all I have read of your writings.

Your experience fits with mine. I never expected it before I transitioned (in fact, I expected just the opposite), but I have since found that I am much more comfortable around those who know the path I have followed to who and where I am today. As you've found, being confident in who we are makes all the difference in the world in how others treat us. People instinctively return respect to those who are respectful of others and honest and clear in who they are, no matter how different. Many people also recognize and respect the courage it takes to be transgender in this world, which goes a long way to gaining acceptance for us, regardless of their personal feelings.

I had similar experiences when I had to use my credit card with my "guy" name on it while clearly presenting as Abby. Nary a one did more than bat an eye.

Keep going out there, Gillian, enjoying and being proud of who you are.

Gillian said...

Bless you.

I think it's a generally good idea that we reserve most of our awe for others - otherwise we might not get anything done. We'd all be sitting around gobsmacked.

As I indicated in my post to you, when I think about my friends who either live full time or have completely transitioned, I sometimes think that I've copped out. Then I consider exactly what I've taken on in addressing my duality. It's almost like embracing insanity. I've jokingly said that it's like living with a roommate, but neither of us knows who holds the lease. But I find myself dwelling in a nebulous area. Friends have asked me if it wouldn't be easier to amalgamate the two sides of myself. I can't quite make that work either in personality or presentation. My two personae are as different as chalk and cheese, and an amalgam would not be representative of either of us. So where my TS friends may have achieved a level of comfort with themselves, I bounce from box to box. (Did I read correctly that you reached a level of androgyny at one point before living full time and then transitioning?) It's expensive maintaining two complete wardrobes and bloody inconvenient. And then there is, for me, on this side, a constant feeling of incompleteness.

When I saw Alana the other evening, she had settled down into being 100% an attractive, middle-aged (argh!) professional woman. The trappings of womanhood have lost their magic for her - in a very good way. Her co-workers and family now see her as Alana and not Alana/Alan. Very few people have met both Gillian and Bill. My ex tried to accept me but could not. She and Bill still love each other. My daughters know about me but do not want to meet me. I respect their wishes. My father would have a stroke and disown me - I'm not sure which would come first.

I don't want to push the dime. Friends on both sides know, but I don't want to create awkwardness. My friend Jayne has never met Bill. She knows me as a woman. I don't want to break the spell.

I've been out to myself for close to 20 years now. I'm still trying to figure out what it really means and what to do with it. I'm just beginning to get the idea that the meaning of anyone's being cannot be divined but comes organically as we go about the business of being who we are.

If I had a little more chutzpah, cared more about my wants as opposed to others' needs, really wanted to shock, I suppose I would be a little more in people's faces, more in the public eye, a little flashier. I might create the amalgamation. It works for Eddie Izzard. If all that were the case, though, I would be some other single person and not the dual person I am.

Thank you, dear, for giving me a jumping off point for a meditation. I just found out some things I'd never realized.