Monday, September 19, 2016

Stumbling Toward Full Time

Perhaps one of the scariest moments in transition is looking at the Transition Timeline you put together over a year ago and realizing you're right on target.

On Friday I went to court to go get my name legally changed. As I was walking there I felt myself go into auto-pilot mode. I just shut down my brain and let my body take the lead. If I actually stopped to think about what I was doing then my anxiety would come back with a vengeance. Just keep walking. Just keep walking. Go through the motions.

It didn't really matter in the end though, because I didn't bring proof my address. Nope, the address printed on my drivers' license wasn't good enough. It had to be a bill. Plus, it turns out that I need my spouse to notarize that she's okay with the name change, even though we're only domestic partners. And I'll need originals of her documents (copies aren't okay). Isn't bureaucracy fun!

So, we'll go back another time and go together to keep it simple. Also I'm terrified that if I bring her original passport I'll lose it. I'd much rather her carry it.

These photos have nothing to do with this particular piece of writing, but what? Did you want to look at a wall of text?
Now the other part of this is coming out full time at work. I was waiting for my annual performance review before I mentioned anything. I knew the performance review was coming up sometime soon, but I couldn't be sure exactly when. My plan was that if I got a good performance review, I'd schedule a meeting with HR and come out at work. You know, just so if there were issues I'd be able to have proof showing that I was good at my job. If I got a bad performance review, I'd put together my resume and start looking for a job and go to interviews as Faith. That way I can start a new job and everyone would just know me as a woman.

Well, early last week I got my performance review. It was glowing. "Exceeds expectations!" My boss is rather happy with my performance and wants to give me more responsibility.


Guess that means it's time to come out out.

So, I late that day, just before I left, I emailed the head of HR and asked if she could meet early next week. Why wait? Because I had taken a long weekend to try and get some court stuff done (see above) and thought having a new name would be a great way to kick off that meeting.

Well, I don't have that. And the meeting is tomorrow. And I'm terrified. When I talk to HR I'm guessing it'll be up to me when I want to come out. Do I delay it? Or do I just go ahead and start full time immediately while there's still good dress weather?

My hair is growing out. In fact, on Friday it was a beautiful day and I styled my own hair to the point that it looked feminine enough and went for a walk. It felt absolutely amazing. I think it'll probably be three or four months before I'm able to go to a hairdresser/stylist and get it cut/colored/styled in a way that'll look decent. That means three or four months of wigs. That's not a lifetime of wigs. Just a few months. Is it doable? Yes, it is. Am I ready?

Phew. That is the question.

Mostly, I'm just scared. I'm scared that I'm not ready for full time, that I'm not really transgender, than I'm too lazy to keep it up, that I look like a ridiculous joke and no one will take me seriously. I worry people will object to me using the ladies room. I worry that people will talk behind my back and make me the butt of jokes. I worry that I'm deserving of jokes for how ridiculous I am. I worry that I'm crazy. I worry that at best I will be some sort of joke ersatz woman and that's it. I worry that I'm crazy and making a big mistake.

My partner and I had a long talk about it tonight and she says all my fears are normal. But all this weekend has been spent with my insides twisted and my thoughts in a deep, dark place. There are so many things to worry about and the one I worry about most is myself. Right now I'm not in a happy place transgender wise. I reminded of my own post from a while back about how sometimes I feel like quitting.

My partner reminded me of my own chart from this post.

Right now, I'm all anxious and feeling depressed. I'm in one of the little dips but the dysphoria isn't going anywhere. And I know what I know. I know what I wished for on every single birthday candle, every dandelion, every penny in every fountain. And now that wish could come true. And that terrifies me. 

And now if I had a dandelion, I'd wish for some courage and certainty of conviction so like many other transgender people seem to have, but that I lack. 

So I'm reminded of an episode of Gilmore Girls. You know, in the second season when Lorelai is thinking of starting her own business and is asking Luke, the small business owner, about it. It spoke to me. Right now, I totally feel like Lorelai. Here's the dialogue:

Lorelai: Oh Luke, do not underestimate the complete and total lack of confidence I have in my abilities.

Luke: You're just scared. Just like everybody else when they're taking on something big.

Lorelai: Well, then what does everybody else do to get through this feeling?

Luke: They run in the back, throw up, pass out and then smack their head on the floor.

Lorelai: What?

Luke: That's what I did on the first morning I opened the diner. Look, there is no button to push to get you through this. You just gotta jump in and be scared and stick with it until it gets fun.

Lorelai: How long 'til the diner got fun?

Luke: About a year.

Lorelai: Wow. And there's no button?

Luke: Nope.

Lorelai: How about a lever, can I pull a lever?

Luke: Nope.

Lorelai: Turn a knob?

Luke: Nope.

Lorelai: You just jump?

Luke: You just jump.

Lorelai: I wanna do it.

Luke: You should do it.

Well, let's see if this girl can jump.

Nothing worth doing is easy, I guess.


  1. Embrace your future. The only thing stopping you is your own uncertainties. Look in the mirror and you will see a beautiful woman looking back at you . I think there would be more objections to you using the men's room than the ladies , and though there will always be the imbecilic minorities , nobody with any intellect or sense will be laughing at you. Just don't stop telling us of your adventures xx

    1. Thank you, Melyssa. It's a rough time for me and right now it's so hard to focus on the positive. Thank you for your message! It helps.

  2. Our ego is very powerful and part of its job is to keep us safe. It is the voice that tells us how to behave to stay safe and loved.
    But it can get it wrong for example when it tells us to not rock the boat when we know we must, or not to try a new job because we might fail in it.
    This is the same.
    There would be something very wrong with you if your ego wasn't screaming out at you.
    But once the ego experiences that you have come out at work and you are still OK then it will accept that status quo.
    So thank your ego (self) for its lifetime of earnest concern and let your more rational side guide you.
    Will be thinking of you and your very courageous step and wishing you success in becoming you.

    1. Thanks, Geraldine. My girlfriend (who's a neuroscientist) keeps telling me to get my frontal lobe to kick my amgidila's butt and show it who's boss. So, yeah, I'm in that pitched battle now.

  3. Of all the women I have known in the past 42 years who have crossed that magical line from male to female, only one has ever admitting to never looking back even once after her first declaration of being a woman. She's a success at her own business, married her longtime partner, and is no different from every other woman who did have moments of anxiety, depression, and fear before staying true to themselves.

    I understand how apprehensive you must be --- I was, too. But like all of your other sisters out there, I have no doubt you can make the jump at the appropriate time. From having listened to Gender Rebels, I have no doubt that you have a partner who will be by your side regardless.

    All of my own best wishes for you both.

    1. Hi Maura - thank you for your thoughts and for sharing. Let's hope I have no regrets. I think I won't but I'm a naturally anxious person. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

  4. I think it is ok to be scared, maybe everyone is. My transgender venturing isn't so much bravery but can be more attributed to stupidity (oh shit, what have I done now?), but often landed on it's paws. even if it where after several times. Love reading your stories, you both take care and good luck on your journey!

    1. Thanks, Mireille. Sometimes that's how I feel too and have to make brash, bold, instant decisions lest I let my worry over the choices haunt me constantly.

  5. Norse mythology wisdom time (and who does not go weak at the knees for Norse mythology ...)

    Trolls only gather at bridges.

    If we did not get all of our senses and defenses atwitter at big times of change, the change would lack meaning. Crossing the bridge would be inconsequential.

    Embrace those flutters. They are reminding you a)to pay attention and b)that you are making a change.

    s'all good with the Norse gods and their splendid Goddesses too. Tell me they were not fashion-forward. :)

    Good luck!


    1. Thank you, Petra! And who doesn't love a rainbow bridge made of out the sound of cat's footsteps!

  6. "Isn't bureaucracy fun!"

    This is why I'm a small-government libertarian. I don't want any government that tells me what or who to be. A government that can issue identity documents is a government that can control who I am!

    1. Uh oh, Sara's injecting politics into the discussion! You don't want to get me started about the need for oversight and regulations! :)