This has been interesting.
I never really had to “come out” to my parents in terms of my sexual orientation – they always told me there was nothing wrong with being attracted to someone of the same gender. The problem is that my gender is the problem. This is a whole new can of worms.
I’m trying to just be myself and assert my gender when necessary without explicitly making a big deal out of things like pronouns and the like (I’m not particularly worried about that anyway.) I have come out as transgendered in safe spaces and am starting to talk about it with people I know. I am also introducing myself with a name I’m more comfortable with instead of my birth name.
A lot of this process has been about being “valid” and figuring out what that means. I’m looking for a balance between what I feel like and what I want people to see me like.
But is that any surprise?
I’m probably going to be on the executive for my university’s GLBT group this year, though. Can’t avoid a certain amount of visibility there – and I owe it to myself and to the students/faculty to be upfront about where I fall in that spectrum.
I’ve known for a few years now that I have some “gender issues”, shall we say. My issues mostly have to do with my interactions with others, since I’m pretty comfortable with who I am, and I do my best to be honest with myself. I’ve been putting off actually moving forward with this in a social context, though – probably because I hate “bothering” people. If I’m happy with myself, why should what the rest of the world thinks of me matter?
The thing is, it DOES matter. How other people see me DOES have an effect on me, and my wellbeing. There is a balance, I think, between being who I am in spite of the world, and presenting myself to the world in a manner that gets me the kind attention I want/need. I am NOT an unhappy person. But I am at the point now where I have to move forward – no more waiting for some mystical “right moment” that will probably never arrive. It’s my life – I have to MAKE the “right moment”.
I’ve never seen a psychologist or psychiatrist in my life, so getting in touch with someone to talk about these issues is a bit daunting. I’m starting to send out the feelers locally, though, and I have some contacts to get in touch with over the next week. A big part of this process for me has been in just swallowing my pride and asking for help. And truth be told, it ain’t so bad.