Sunday, March 29, 2015
First blog entry in a long time.
How to begin…
How to begin…
A couple of days ago, my Assistant Principal got a look at Calogrenant. I’d come out to him last May, and he’d said he’d support me in any way he could. One more block of courage. I told him this year that I may be transitioning on campus next fall. Again, I had his complete support. And though the principal and my colleagues and the district don’t know it yet, I have their support as well – legally. I can do this legally. And my insurance covers it. Why, then, do I feel trepidation? As we talked about the comic, my AP asked me how much of me is in Cally. I had to really think about that, and I answered him honestly. “About 35%.” Cally is an amalgam of many women I’ve known, both trans and cis. There is much of my daughters in her, much of many of my students as well. But one thing we both share. Her transition from Cal to Cally is a metamorphosis. And that is dicey.
Another cartoonist who does a trans comic posted a panel the other day that’s been sticking in my mind. She stated that transition is not a metamorphosis or a transformation, but simply a transition. I beg to differ. My initial reaction is that of an English teacher and writer who resents having her stock of nouns depleted, but on deeper thought, I found that my real caveat lies in that, for me and for those who know me, this transition will be a metamorphosis and a transformation, and because of that it will not be easy. (Not that anyone’s transition is a walk in the park.)
Over the years, having taken the stance that transitioning was completely out of the question, I created a male persona that I could live with. A sweet, goofy, endearing, pedant who has been described as “everybody’s favorite uncle.” He is loved. He is cherished. He is admired. And he is very little like me. Certainly we share interests and skills, but our mannerisms, both vocal and physical, are at variance. We look nothing alike. And our behaviors in social situations are radically different. Brother and sister… Husband and wife… And those who know him do not want to see him obliterated. My daughters, who have no problem with my trans-ness, do not want to see this man, their father, become a memory. I don’t want to destroy him. And so I ponder.
This is why the words “metamorphosis” and “transformation” do apply. I may be coming into my authenticity, but in doing so, I am becoming what for many around me is a different person. I may be a good person. I may be loving and more demonstrative in that love. I may be happier and more comfortable as a human being. But for those who have known my male self for all these decades, I shall be a different person. And all the assurance that I can give that I have become my authentic self will not change the fact that someone they knew and loved is no more. A word is used to express what the user experiences. I may say to those who have loved me as I was, that there is no loss, no transformation, no metamorphosis, that it was only a transition, but I know they will emphatically beg to differ.