Monday, September 5, 2016
From the Archives - December, 2010
It's funny how life takes those unexpected turns.
One year ago, I was "settling" into accepting myself as a gay man.
In retrospect, it wasn't really that settled, of course. I love men...but I'm not a man, never was and that was definitely percolating under the surface.
A couple months later, I admitted as much. Once I did that, it was a short period of time before I knew that I needed to be Kara full-time one day.
As it says next to my blog title, there are better places for gender awakenings than where I live now.
Good solid smalltown family values have their place, but that doesn't exactly instill confidence in coming out as trans.
Don't get me wrong. I know that there are people here who would be great and others would be indifferent, which is fine as long as they didn't bother me.
I also know that the bigger cities, no matter the quality of trans support and services, are no safe havens. There are transphobes and bigots everywhere.
But the fact remains that, for me, I need a fresh start and I would rather have it in a place where 'he' (there's that dichotomy again) has no history.
I want to be Kara in a place where nobody knows me by any other name.
But with the isolation of the small town closet, i have found support elsewhere.
I am an only child.
I had a brother who was stillborn almost six years after I was born, the thing that proved to be the final thing to lead to my parents' divorce.
Although as time, and subsequent marriages for each to the right person, proved, that marriage wasn't meant to be regardless.
Since February, I have come to find out that while I had my brother taken away from me, I have found sisters I had no clue I had 12 months ago.
It turns out that these women are a blessing in my life.
It's been an interesting ride, perhaps more interesting than was planned in some cases.
For some sisters, 2010 was the year of their gender awakening, a prospect that created a great deal of fear, but yet, perhaps, ultimately, hope.
Another friend was stuck in a relationship rut..which is to say there was one. A few months later, they were in a relationship in which both partners were happy. Not only that, it was their first same-sex relationship to boot.
The common thread for many of these sisters and friends is relationship issues.
When I do (hopefully) transition, I hope to be able to give back in some way...maybe somehow being there for others so that hopefully they can accept themselves sooner. That way, they can be with someone who loves them for who they are and those who would be their spouse can find the person they're looking for, not the one they thought they had.
Some sisters saw relationship end on less-than-good terms, others were able to end it in more civil fashion, others dealt with the aftermath of past breakups. It's not easy for either side to be trans in a marriage.
It's only there but for the grace of whatever higher power might exist that I wasn't in that situation.
Some transfolk bury who they are or limit it, living a partial life in sacrifice to preserve that marriage or for the sake of kids.
You have the spouses who insist, 'if you loved me, you'd stop' when it's not a question of love, it's a matter of who we are.
That's in addition to the pressures of family, society, 'doing the right thing'
I've tried to be there for my sisters as someone to listen when they need to vent, to offer the occasional idea.
I give these women credit, because I believe they're doing their best to deal with bad situations. They're not perfect, as I am not perfect, but they're doing their level best to do the right thing.
Being trans is not an easy road, so it's good to have someone there for you who understands, even if their situation isn't the same.
It's been good to have these sisters around. We talk about things like clothes and shopping and, yes, men. We talk about sports or movies, when we don't feel like talking about the weightier issues we're dealing with. We also talk about the weightier issues as we try to make sense of a world where that sense gets changed when we admit who we are...or get closer to admitting who we are.
It's a godsend to have someone to talk to about these things with, especially in circumstances where geography and/or the closet leave us as ports for the occasional storm and as lovely places to visit during the regular calm.
These women are friends, people I'm glad to know and in some cases, they really are like the siblings I never had. I treasure them.
Not admitting who I was for so long led to a lot of self-loathing, both over who I was and how I looked. Even somewhat admitting it didn't help a whole lot. I doubted whether I could ever attract anyone and mulled the possibility that I could be who I was, but I'd have to be willing to go it alone.
I still might have to. I know I'm not settling.
In any case, I have more confidence in myself and how I look.
I still have a lot of weight to lose. A LOT of weight. I know some of my sisters think it's just needless self-deprecation on my part, but the fact is that I am just plain fat.
But weight can be lost.
And in the meantime, I'm growing to like my appearance.
I've never liked how I looked. I hated taking pictures.
In the past, I just attributed it to not liking how I looked. I'm now realizing it's because I wasn't the real me.
I've received legitimate compliments on my look from people who I trust not to blow smoke up my ass. I'm not about to become a conceited diva, but I will say that if enough people tell you that you're at least somewhat cute, it is a boost and you kinda start to believe them.
So, where have I gone in 12 months?
My job situation stinks. My living situation stinks.
But the tradeoff is that I have sisters for life who I didn't even know a year ago. I have blood family loving the real me unconditionally.
With any lucky, the things that stink will turn around soon.
If that does, look out. 2011 will be the Year of Kara.
And if it is, hop on board.
Thanks to those of you who I've met and talked to over the last year.
And if we haven't met or talked, let's fix that, shall we?