Austen Crowder

The forest and the trees of the trans community

Filed By Austen Crowder | December 29, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: successful transition, transgender, transition

The LGBTQ community is riddled with emotional wounds and animus. Our identity and validity is under constant attack, both by political enemies and personal relationships. Our family ties are often strained with the pain of living an open, honest life, despite all attempts by well-meaning strangers, family, and friends to shove us back into the closet. Our people often struggle to feel accepted in a world that, for the most part, does not guarantee security, happiness, or validity to our lives.

This usually goes without saying, but I think it's important to occasionally look at the trees that make up the forest of our landscape. This article isn't going to look at the gnarled, scarred trees needing political attention. We spend an inordinate amount of time looking at the pitfalls of our livelihoods, and while this is important to advancing the cause of equality, it's not exactly the most uplifting message we can possibly provide to the online world. adrian_profile.gifToday I want to stay squarely within the bounds of hope, affirmation, and the promise of a quality life for people looking at the option of transition; I know they are out there, possibly reading this article along with everything else this site has to offer, and I want to try something different.

It was recently pointed out to me in a comment that I had no ground to discuss LGB issues, and to a certain degree the commenter was correct. I can't begin to understand the complexities of a gay identity. However, to some degree I understand the complexities of transgender life, and I think it's high time someone stood up and talked with a shade of optimism on this website. So, for the duration of this post, let's forget about the tenets of cisgender privilege, lucky/unlucky transpeople, outside pressures, passing privilege, the solidarity/disarray of the LGBTQ acronym, and all that other bullcrap that usually floods the site. This post isn't about any of that.

We are here to talk about the experience.

We are here to talk about hope.

The Forest

The image at the top of this entry links to "Trans Girl Diaries," a personal favorite comic of mine. The comic recently portrayed Adrian's family throwing her out of the home, complete with all the nasty, terrible insults and curses that come along with that experience. It's certainly worth a read. These experiences are real - these kinds of experiences happen to a lot of trans people, and the wounds they leave often take years to heal. One does not complete a transition without at least some adversity, and to try and tell anyone otherwise would be a great disservice to them.

The problem with these experiences is that they form the most common conversational thread within the online transgender community. As yellow journalism once taught: "If it bleeds, it ledes"; we are naturally drawn to share our negative experiences with others. The same cannot be said of our triumphs and successes, as they are less popular topics of conversation. People researching transgender treatment often come away with a single, overarching message: "Transition ruins your life. You will be jobless. You will lose your family. You will end up destroyed."

Transition isn't all bleak and dreary. Far from it. The trans community has made huge strides over the past few years that make the actual process less destructive. The headlines at Bilerico and other trans-friendly websites belie the fact that it's possible to transition into a successful member of the gender of your choosing. Yes, we lag behind in civil rights, but that doesn't mean we can't have happiness and acceptance in our lives.

The Tree

You can have a successful transition.

Let me say that again: despite overwhelming odds to the contrary, despite what gets said on the pages of Bilerico, despite all the naysayers who put down transitioners as the lowest of the low, you can have a successful transition.

One of the downfalls of a blog is that one's image is based on the articles they write. Here, my focus is almost exclusively on transgender rights, experiences, and legislation. That's all the more anyone needs to know when I'm writing for this audience: I am a transgender woman who is adding her voice to the chorus for LGBTQ rights, recognition, and visibility. I'm proud to be a part of this movement, and am completely comfortable with being out as a transgender person in this realm. My job here is to point out all the injustices suffered by LGBTQ people, and make commentary that will hopefully spur people to work for change.

Who I am on the pages of this blog is not who I am, however. In the real world I'm twentysomething professional woman. I have friends and family who love me as I am, no questions asked. I don't have people staring at me when I walk down the street. I'm gainfully employed, and beyond a few nagging problems that most trans-people have to navigate my life's struggles are the same as any other young woman: making rent, finding my identity, helping friends, struggling against patriarchy, finding time to make my life one that's worth living. As I tell my friends: "I'm a girl. I deal with, you know, girl stuff."

The "newness" of transition has worn off, for the most part, and the months and months of work put into my voice, presentation, and social skills have helped me blend in with the crowd. If I don't talk about transition, people don't even realize I used to be a guy. This was the point of my transition: become a woman, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It's possible. I've done it. You can too.

There's a lot of us out here: despite all the legal hurdles, nasty prejudice, and familial issues, we go about or lives like any other woman or man tends to do. We pay our bills, we do our jobs, we go out dancing on the weekends. We don't wear buttons that say "Hey, I'm transgender!" We don't don rainbow flags and do jigs around the local churches. After the newness wears off, and the hurdles to transition are cleared, things get to be pretty boring.

We've done it. You can do it too.

I always tell people that transition is the last form of social magic our society practices. When you think of the rigidity of gender roles, the extensive, gender-specific socialization given to children, and the overwhelming pressure to conform to these heteronormative roles, a seamless transition is in itself a sort of magic trick.

People have trouble believing that I ever used to be male. For example, I was recently locked out of an old bank account because the photo ID there was male; it was obvious to the phone operator that I "just could not be the account holder." Magic, my friends. Transition is magic. Does this magic require planning and hard work? Of course. Transition is brutally hard, but nothing worth doing is ever easy. The results are certainly worth the trouble.

Look, I know this post didn't really help advance the rights of LGBTQ people. It's the dawn of a new year: legislators are out for the holiday, major news networks are running human interest stories to fill in the blanks, and frankly I kind of need some optimism to get me through after all the stinging defeats we took this year. Under all the hurt, and the prejudice, and the forces hell-bent to destroy our very identities as "insane" or "depraved," we have to remember that the people behind the acronym are out there living their lives, and they are happy. There's no better way to start the new year, I say!

Who else wants to share their tree story?

Image ©2009 Evelyn.


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Sue Lefkowitz | December 29, 2009 5:27 PM

Not all transgender people 'Can do it" so to speak. if one is 65, overweight, very bald, and with a deep baritone, you might not "do it". Sorry

You might not. But you might.

Before my body transitioned me, I knew that it was impossible for me. Completely. I didn't have the courage to go around looking like a "man in a dress".

In order to maximise the chance of success, we have to make sure that the prospective transitioner is fully prepared to lose everything. I think we do a pretty good job of that.

What we don't do, and should, is give equal emphasis to the possibility of success, and the possibility that nothing of significance may be lost in some cases. And while most people lose a lot, not everyone loses everything. And, and this is the part that's most important... that what you gain in return is even better. Because the alternative isn't "don't transition, and keep family, friends, and job", it's "don't transition, and lose life - including losing family, friends, and job.".

When it gets to that stage, you have to realise that everything you're going to lose is already lost. If not today, tomorrow.

Even if the odds against are 100:1, or even a million to 1 - it's the only game in town. Otherwise it's a race between dying prematurely of natural causes, or suicide if you don't. I know that sounds terribly melodramatic and unlikely, the fantasy of hysterical drama queens, but the cold statistics, the figures and facts - as well as personal narratives - bear this out.

So how many of us succeed? I don't know. Because if we succeed, we become largely invisible, even if we don't try to be.

Frankly I don't see why you even felt mentioning weight was important here... I see plenty of overweight people all the time of both genders (cause your statement seems to assume 'trans' is trans girls only)

I've known plenty of older transitioners who could rock a wig just fine.

Baritone is meaningless, I know TONS of people who had baritone voices and with practice have beautiful ones now.

Final note, your entire response seems to assume one can 'only do it' if they can transition flawlessly and disappear or maybe match some ideal of beauty your statements are based on (I point to your weight comment). Frankly, people don't transition for the comfort or sexual attraction of others, they transition for them selves.

People CAN DO IT. Be happy. And it would be successful.

What experience do you have that says this? It's easy to paint straw men and put daggers through them. Pick any behavior and I can paint a worst-case example of someone who will fail to "get it right." However, considering that no less than 5 people have already left comments to the contrary, your "some people can't do it" mentality is looking a little worse for wear.

I transitioned about 4 years ago now. My wife and family support me, and while I had my share of adversity along the way, I wouldn't go back. I could possibly manage to live stealth, but I don't think I ever would. I'm just not that kind of person. I like being out there as a way to say 'Hey, if I can do it, then why can't someone else?'

I had, with a few exceptions, probably one of the smoothest and easiest transitions of anyone I know. It wasn't transition that turned my life to crap, it was the economy and a stroke. Being bi-polar has been a bigger drawback for me than my transition ever was.

Transition can be done, totally.

I've read all the doom and gloom, and while it is difficult at times (oh so very difficult), I can ignore all the great and wonderful people in my life and how much happier I am having transitioned.

Life is hard. Everyone deals with problems... but there is also always plenty of good if you choose to recognize it. Unfortunately its hard to see at times and as you said some trans resources focus solely and the negative.

What gets me depressed is if people start debating my identity for me, and choose to say everything I am, my whole identity and self is invalid, a freak, and wrong. Seriously people, get your own life and live it we just wanna live ours. (and do quite happily by the way)

I'm at the second anniversary of when I began my transition. My partner and I have a stronger relationship than ever, probably partly by luck, but largely by always communicating and getting outside help when we needed it. I am still at my job. The company I work for has been exemplary. I have lost connection with immediate family but enhanced it with extended family, and I have more friends than I used to because I find it so much easier now to get out and meet people. No one stares at me. No one questions me. In general, those who know my history consider it a non-issue, and many do not know because they have no need to.

I don't think that just anyone can transition successfully. I would not hold that over anyone's head. I am fortunate in many ways that others are not -- I have a good job and enough money, I have no serious mental health issues, I had social connections already, I am surrounded by understanding people, my hair is thick, I am not very big, and I've always had somewhat feminine features (I have been "ma'am"ed at various times throughout my life). All those things have been very helpful. Take a few of them away, and things could have been much more difficult. However, I was 54 when I began transition, so I would definitely say that it's never too late.

I know I'm one of the lucky ones. I have never been assaulted, verbally or physically. I have not gotten "sir'ed" in a very long time. I have a good job I kept after I started my transition and will celebrate 20 years a month from today. All of my family loves and respects me, and some even understand. I have had seven girlfriends, and the current one may even move in with me. I am also paying a mortgage on my own home. And, I have done things in the community that has helped others.

Yes, I have a difficult time with my finances and I still haven't seen a surgeon's operating room. (Well, I did get my gallbladder removed and my knee worked on. I guess the surgeons are just bracketing the target area.)

I have many things I can focus on that have been bad for me. But, overall, I am doing okay. The trees in my forest are rather healthy.

rapid butterfly | December 30, 2009 8:01 AM

I guess I'll throw my experience in as one who has just come out full time but am far from passable. A successful transition can be possible for us too, even we who are not petite (I'm thin but I am well over 6 feet tall, I have feet that are big, a long torso, etc.).

I was so very worried about losing everything, and I think a healthy awareness of the risks is essential to transition. But I've found amazing support and acceptance from work and even in the community - many don't really understand, but the understanding is not as essential as the acceptance, I find. I *do* get the stares from time to time, but I deal with them. I find they lessen over time, but I may always have to deal with them to some extent.

I am working on my skills - and by the way, I would sure appreciate any guidance folks could offer by way of voice training other than the services of a speech therapist (I just cannot afford that on top of everything else) - but generally I've found that people have been really amazing in their responses to me even knowing 100% that I am a trans woman. I ask politely and respectfully but firmly for tolerance and acceptance and I've really been surprised and pleased by just how much I've found.

Because of the nature of my work, stealth will almost certainly never be possible for me even if I were gorgeous, and I'm not. And anyway I am unashamed of what and who I am and never EVER want to be in the position again where I feel as though others could "ruin" me if they told my "secret." There's nothing secret now, and that is very liberating.

I'm just trying to say that there can be success and peace for trans women like me, too - so be mindful of the risks, but don't let that awareness suffocate you - which, I think, is (part of) what Austen and the other posters (all of whom are much better looking than I) are saying and I agree.

Remember - the only existence you're sure of is this one. Make the most of it and live it the best way you know how, because no one else can do it for you.

Thanks for putting in this comment. It's important to mention that passability is not the golden standard of success: furthermore, you probably pass better than you think, as many transfolk don't know how to parse the "wow, that's a transperson!" stare from the "what is she wearing?" stare, a simile. I have a friend who is over six feet tall but makes a beautiful woman!

And yes, the whole drive of the piece is that people transition to be happy, not to bemoan their status as transgender and crawl through the shadows, hoping to God someone won't assault us for being who we are. Outside the bounds and negative bias of the Internet we can be really happy, well-adjusted people. I think there's a perception on the internet that transgender people are all crazy, unglued weirdos, hell-bent on pushing their anger and need for validation on anyone who dares cross their path. If nothing else, I wanted to open up a discussion to the exact opposite effect: "Hey, some things about being trans do suck, but we're happy with who we are."

I've seen your name on quite a few threads and would be happy to help with the voice issue. Shoot me an e-mail through Bilerico (just click my name for the contact stuff) and I'll give you a few pieces, tips, and pointers. I came into the whole voice thing with 12 years' choral experience and 4 years as a trained classical tenor, so I have a different method than most people. It may be just what the doctor ordered, y'know?

"I am working on my skills - and by the way, I would sure appreciate any guidance folks could offer by way of voice training other than the services of a speech therapist..."

By all means, work on your presentation - but at the end of it, remember to just 'be.'

By that I mean, relax and stop 'trying' to be female, and just 'be female.'

This is the whole point anyway - so you can just "be" without having various parts of your brain policing your speech and mannerisms.

The funny thing is that often, the less you try, the more you pass.

I'm not saying let your appearance go - I'm saying let your mannerisms go. If you are too focused on 'trying to pass,' people will sense the effort, wonder why, and will start to look for reasons.

If, when you reach a point of confidence about your skills, let go and just 'be.'

To use a music analogy, and misquote Pat Metheney; "Sure it's important to learn the theory, and the techniques, but there comes a time when you just gotta let go and play.

Kinda sums it all up right there. That is the best tip I can give anyone.

(I went through speech therapy and everything, but the best lesson I ever had was just after going full time - I needed to find a new apartment.... on the telephone.... as a girl.)

Austen might have more help for you, but I will make one suggestion: sing along with your favourite female singers. Try to pick up on what makes their voices sound the way they do, and then try to produce it yourself. It does help if you're good at being able to produce what you hear. I have worked with a speech pathologist who was very good, but for practice I like the singing method. And it's fun. :)

Transition is about achieving happiness.

If your current life path is not making you happy, aim for the goals that you think will make you the happiest.

This includes transition. If it is not making you happy, look for another path.

I've had close friends de-transition, because the severity of the path to transition made them unhappy.

One in particular was a post-op woman who worked in a conservative job, in a conservative town, but could not pass very well.

The consequences of this were severe, job discrimination, strained marriage, malicious gossip, and an assault.

This severely interfered with her own self acceptance - a key part of transition.

It proved too much for her, and lead her to consider de-transition, because the social ramifications of transition were too great, and were making her suicidal.

She was also worried that de-transitioning would lead to a credibility gap, and that many of her friends would criticize her for her inability to make her mind up or some other nonsense.

She felt immeasurable relief when it was pointed out to her that the reason she went through transition in the first place, was to seek happiness.

I must point out that de-transition is nearly always as a result of overwhelming external pressure, and not necessarily related to their actual identity. In the case of my friend, on some level, he still feels female inside, and admitted that knowing he is at least partially female bodied, despite external appearances, helps keep him sane.

He is now comfortable with where he is at in life, and far happier than he has been in a long time.

I myself have had a fairly successful transition, and would not change a thing about my history. I would be quite a different person if I did.

So if your should find yourself on the path to womanhood (or manhood,) and it is making you far more unhappy than when you started, then look at the terrain, and chose a different path.

But remember, it's not going back - none of us can ever go back and become the people we were yesterday - you've simply taken all that you have learned on this journey, and modified your destination.

After all transition is a process, not an event.


I command respect from others and will accept nothing less. And I get it.
I am 6'tall, but I get 'miss',
my voice is still a masc. pitch, yet I get 'ma'am'.
if perchance I do not get the correct pronoun, I correct quickly, sharply and with no hesitation.

2 weeks ago I had my appendix removed, my insurance and other documents are still in my birth name.of course one must tell the staff of all the meds one is currently taking,and I listed the hormones.the doctors took immediate notice,the next morning, when I was back in the correct frame of mind, one doctor camme to speak to me.He told me what they he decided about my continued use of hormones during my stay. one I would still get the other may have interfered with my treatment and would be held off till healed.he then asked me 'how do you prefer to be addressed? ma'am or sir? I told him I was not old enough for ma'am yet and miss would do and that my name is Jessi.
he made note of that, and for the remander of my stay, doctors, nurses, aides and cleaning staff called me by the right name and correct pronouns.
I was impressed with the treatment.


i have been full-time for 4 months now. i started transition when i was 47, knowing that there was no way no how that i would ever be more than a man in a dress.

i knew i would lose all of my friends, my family, my new career as a lawyer, and everything i held dear.

i knew that people would laugh at me, and clock me, and maybe even physically attempt to harm me. i knew that they would mock me behind my back.

i *knew* these things would happen.

but they didnt.

a little over 2 years on hrt has been nothing short of a miracle. my boobs expanded like i was snorting miracle grow. my face softened, and after a scary time when it looked like i was *melting* it...changed.

laser worked, as did hair restoration. i still have a bit of a muffin top and i will never be a cute 20-something, but i think i am a pretty decent 40-something. i'm 5'11" and 170. i have worked hard on my voice (i took the "valley girl" approach lol)and i have trained it to behave.

i didnt lose any friends. one wrote me after i came out "i am the biggest redneck in arkansas. and i dont give a fuck if you are a guy or a girl. youre a damn good person, and i am proud to know you." i treasure that.

my grown sons accept me and still want a relationship with me. my older brother and his family have been my champions. my step mother has some issues with it, but she is trying, at 82, to understand. my spouse of 26 years and i have separated...but we still love each other and still talk, and are committed to being best friends even if we can no longer be intimate.

i just received my security clearance for a new job with the federal government which i start monday. they were more interested what i had in my head than what i had in my pants.

it hasnt all been easy. more than a few tears, more than a few scars, more than a few suicide attempts which almost succeeded.

i am still amazed that i have done it...all but the retrofitting down below.

it has been worth the price of admission.

When I counsel questioning people about transition at the support chat where I am a moderator (irc.susans.org) I always warn them that while some people lose everything and some lose nothing through transition, most people experience something in between. I think that's important to point out. I also make sure to let them know that, while it's damned hard sometimes, transition can be successful and very worthwhile.

It's important to tell both sides of the story but it always depends on the circumstance and objective. When we talk about the political issues, it works to tell the harm the current situation inflicts. The worse the story, the more compelling the need for change appears. Yet when we talk about the realities of the gender transition process it's vital to grant questioning people the knowledge that a successful transition is possible and that happier lives can result.

I am more and more convinced that transsexual people who successfully transition are true optimists. We need something to hang our optimism on though, a spark for the fire so to speak, especially with all the negatives we've been taught throughout our lives about our gender variance. The idea that success really is possible, is one that finally made me come to my senses as to what I needed to do 4 years ago. I'm pleased Austen has written this and hope we can see more of the positives to balance all the crap we have to document on these pages for the sake of progress.

I'm about as hardcore an optimist as they come. I _refuse_ to see no-win situations, and any negative experience I have gets spun into something positive and worthwhile. (I don't even admit it when I hate something I eat: I simply say "I don't have the cultural and culinary experience to appreciate this." Go figure!)

I do agree, however, that optimism is key to transition. Hence, the article.

I really like this article. It feels as though Austin was listening to me. I'm not a writer and have a problem putting how I feel and what I know into words. Sometimes they come out as too direct or not being able to understand how I feel. Well, anyway, I like this article.
I'm a person who transitioned in my late 40's and early 50's. My hair was no problem except for this little bald spot on my crown but I'm bigger than most men. Not in height but just bigger. I could be, I think a running back in football. I'm 5'10" and when I was a guy 260 lbs. Most of which was muscle, not gloating. When I went on estrogen I lost most muscle but still have big arms and hands. My legs are huge and I still have a large amount of muscle for a woman. My voice is not that of female totally only if this female had throat problems and sinus problems. With all of this, I have no problems in society. Most people acknowledge me as female and I go through life living as I should have been born. Growing up, I knew who I was but never in my wildest dreams could I think that I could pass for female, that was my biggest hold up. After my third attempt and with my therapist, I just said what the hell. I can always die but lets try and alternative. I did and I am very happy I did. My life is completely turned around and I'm happy and only get depressed during the winter. I have a light for that now and I'm very happy. My therapist,5 years ago, said I was just a normal woman now.

I transitioned in the last 2 years, I wear xl stuff, have a big head (no hats fit, use largest size frames for glasses stores sell), etc.. rly large body, just shy 6ft. Life is going swimmingly :).

"Success", or lack of problems for a better word.. and confidence are so strongly linked with some of this I find. Once you get over a lot of fears things can go smoothly. Friends, co-workers, etc all going great. I tried to just be straight forward and honest with people.

I expected I could (and would) lose everything from this. I've gained so much more comfort with myself, I feel free for the first time in my life, and this alone makes dealing with the small issues along the way a breeze :P

If I spent my life stressing on other people I would never get anything done xD.. you gotta be happy with yourself :)

When I started my transition, I left graduate school because I thought I needed to concentrate on myself and people wouldn't accept me. I moved to a small community that tolerated people like me, so much so that I transitioned while working in a service job without scandal.

My customers transitioned along with me, as did my new friends and family. While I did lose all but one of my college friends (they couldn't get past it) I gained so many the next year that my social life exploded (I was quite a nerd until this point) into awesomeness.

I spent the first 4 years of my transition partying, socializing and hanging out. It was like what high school was supposed to be and I soaked up every second. It was a great period of my life despite my iffy mental health and general poverty.

I've grown up a bit now and no longer party like a rockstar. I wouldn't call myself successful in the traditional sense of the word, as I don't have a lot of money, a career or even a boyfriend. But I have family and friends who accept me, which is more than I thought I'd have.

I would hate to think that people assume that being trans ruins your life, because it doesn't have to. It may change your life in ways you never expected and you have no choice other than to hold on tight. And it may cause you to rethink what is really important for your happiness. But like all things that are difficult, you may emerge a stronger, more resilient and compassionate person.

Guess I transitioned sometime ago? Gosh I never realized it! I am and have been called by female pronouns no matter if I'm in male or female attire for many years. I happen to be fat and can project a baritone voice with no problem! It is not my normal voice however as on the phone I have always been called by female pronouns all my life! If I can walk into a Walmart deep down south and be called by female pronouns by everyone I have contact with there, I can just be me "Regina" anywhere! Happy New Year to everybody! Hope 2010 is wonderful to all!

Hi Austen! :)

Thanks for the great article! :)

If you don't mind me asking, what 'social skills' did you have to learn?

Thanks!

Carol :)

Good question, Carol? Before I list a few examples, I should again mention that the focus of my transition was physical, mental, _and_ social - it was always my goal to integrate with society as a female, not a transgender person. Your Mileage May Vary.

-I've always been a member of queer culture and had originally expected to stay queer. (I was bisexual.) As the hormones worked their magic and I became more comfortable with myself, however, I learned that I liked boys almost exclusively. Ironically learning to reintegrate with straight dating culture was a bit of a struggle.

-Women vent. Learning to do this took some time, as it's not usually part of the closeted trans-person's life.

-Fashion, fashion, fashion. I'm not saying that I'm a slave to designer brand, but I do my best to make my body look good. A lot of this has been a case of "learning what kinds of outfits look good on my body," and "what things did I wear as a boy still work as a girl?". The way I figure, if I'm spending all this effort, emotional attachment, and money to transition into a woman, there's no reason I can't look good doing it!

-The social dynamics of female friendships do require some learnin, as well, but that's a different topic for a different day.

Do these make any sense? I'm just pulling some off the top of my head here.

Austen,

Thanks for the reply! I was just curious, wondering if I was missing something! I actually had a talk with my best friend last night based on your comment, to get her opinion.

Carol :)

Austen, you said "this post didn't really help advance the rights of LGBTQ people." Don't believe for a minute that this post is of minor consequence. This is exactly what people need to hear, whether they are trans or simply love someone who is. Your optimism gives hope. Thank you for posting this! I would love to see more like it.

I feel it's very important to portray an opitimistic message from time to time. Like I said in this post, there are a number of people reading this site who are either considering transition or knows someone who is. Our obsessive focus on the negative and downtrodden makes it hard for them to make the decisions they need to make -- I know because it happened to me -- and it's high time someone stood up and said "Really, you can do this."

I'd rather arm people with the mindset and resources required to "Get Things Done" than try and dissuade them from transition. The GTD attitude doesn't end in suicide, depression, or wasted time, after all. :)

lisalee18wheeler | January 2, 2010 9:51 PM

Yes, it's callled victimthink and is the worst thing you could do to yourself!

BrendaAliana | January 2, 2010 10:10 PM

As has been stated earlier, the binary thinking involved in the "lucky/unlucky" binary deconstructs our community. If we can come to a point where we can accept others, we'll make true progress.

The bottom line is that gender identity does not determine love orientation. This statement covers both the "LGB" and the "T" conflict with the dominant hetero/cis-normal culture. We need to teach our society to see difference as unique and additive. That is the only way we will ever achieve equality and justice for ANYONE.

My tree...is more of a sapling.

I'm wading through the vast scary oceans, where transition is something I keep hinting at, but haven't decided on for sure yet. And I'm also mixing metaphors horrifically...

But even at this point, I'm amazed by the support of the people around me. I have people who are happy to adjust their speech, who understand that some conversations just make me cringe, who don't mind that I'm a bit lost some of the time. And at christmas, the first time I'd seen close family since I started binding and dressing as androgynously as I could, the biggest concern was just that I was losing weight.

Whatever I decide in the next year, I know that it's going to be intensely difficult and uncomfortable at times...but I also know that I've got amazing people who want to be there to support me.