2018

A new year. Most people imagine a whole new reinvented version of themselves. Not me. I’m interested in furthering what I’ve already started. A clean slate isn’t what I’m looking for, instead, I want to mark and scratch mine. Each new year in another year I get to be the real me, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. There are a few goals I do have for this year that I want to outline with this post and hopefully I will manage them (who actually keeps their new year’s resolutions?)

– To try and stick to a fitness routine.

– Hopefully have top surgery this year.

– Stop worrying about other people’s opinion’s of me.

It’s not a lot that I want to change, like I said, I’m more interested in developing myself than any sort of fresh start. I think it’s important to remember that we’re not all bad, even when we feel the need for a clean slate.

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Trying To Find ‘Me’

In my last post, I said there was nothing else for me to say. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d be back, at least for a while. Yet, here I am.

For me, being ‘transgender’ is the hardest at uni, especially considering I keep that to myself and no one knows. Sometimes I feel as though I’m keeping this dark secret, but most of the time I think that people don’t need to know what’s in my trousers.

The hardest part I find, is constantly comparing myself to other guys – it gets to an obsessive level. I catch myself looking at what shoes other guys where, if they wear skinny jeans or regular, how they have their hair – sometimes I do it so much I feel as though my head is going to explode. I’m constantly thinking that I’m not like everyone else, that I’m different. If I could click my fingers right now and have anything, it would be to have been born biologically male. There’s nothing wrong with being transgender, I don’t understand why people have a problem with it, but I don’t like being this way. Every time I beat something I’ve been struggling with, I stumble onto a different struggle. Each time I think to myself that I’m comfortable and content, something happens to snap me back to feeling uncomfortable in my own skin.

I try and be authentic, transitioning is all about finding who you are. This is me, but I find myself trying to change things all the time, things about myself, even little things. Like my style, or my writing, or something – it’s like I can’t just stand still and be me, like I’m constantly looking for ways to improve, or be better, I don’t give myself a chance.

 

Transitioning Has Made Me A Better Person

I think about the person that I used to be, and I feel completely distant from my past self. Humans have an obsession with the idea of self, our worlds truly do revolve around ourselves. It’s no wonder that throughout my transition I’ve constantly been assessing myself, questioning myself and having conversations with myself. During one of my critical theory seminars, the tutor explained that inside the person is a sense of the ‘other’, and that’s how we can talk to ourselves, we simultaneously detach ourselves while remaining attached to give us to capacity to understand various situations and experiences, especially ones that are difficult.

With that in mind, the conversations I have with myself now and completely different to the ones I used to have before. You could put that down to me growing up, I was a teenager then and now I’m an ‘adult’ (although I don’t really feel like one). But I do think that in exploring who I really am, and working towards it I have given myself the breathing room to become a better person.

Transitioning is probably one of the hardest situations that I have ever gone through, and most likely, will every go through. Those hard times I think have sculpted my character, and so I’ve decided that I need to stop dreaming, praying, imagining if I had been born male, in the correct body. The person I am now, wouldn’t exist if my chromosomes were different. Although it would have been a much easier, less stressful lifestyle, one that I am envious of when I see other guys, I wouldn’t be who I am. I dislike many aspects of myself, but if there’s one thing I do like it’s that I always get back up after getting knocked down. In the past, I couldn’t say that for myself, and I wouldn’t want to give that up just to be ‘normal’.

Being His Son

I remember writing on this blog how I told my father that I was transgender, how scared I was to tell him, in fact, he was the hardest person to tell. Looking back, I see that I gave him a sort of power, over me. I let him distort the ‘label’ that I was trying hard to battle, but also at the same time, that I was trying to accept.

When I told my dad that I was transitioning to become a man, I told the world at the same time, I came out through Facebook. I don’t agree with putting your whole life on Facebook, I rarely write statuses or update, but because of school, I thought this was the best way for everyone to know so I could continue my life as Nathan. I well and truly left my dad till last. By my 18th birthday, I had been living as a male for nearly a year, I was wearing all male clothes, I was binding my chest, packing occasionally and going by Nathan at home. I remember he came to pick me up to give me my birthday present, he was only going to see me for an hour or two, but that was usual for my dad. I remember when he gave me my present, a pandora bracelet, he thought he had hit the nail on the head with that present, was proud of himself. Along with that, I had a neon pink ’18’ mug, which I actually only threw out yesterday, I’m not sure what I was holding onto, it just makes it obvious the guilt I felt, for taking his daughter away from his. I remember focusing all of my energy to not have a mental breakdown right there in the car, how when I got in I ran upstairs to my room and cried more than I’d cried in a long time. It wasn’t just that I couldn’t handle being addressed as a female, it was also that my dad had reached a point where he didn’t even know me anymore, my likes or interests because he never sees me. My mum spoke to him and explained. But still for months, I was his daughter, he completely ignored everything that my mum had told him.

When he did finally find out through Facebook, the next time I saw him he wanted to speak to me. He kept asking me if I was just a ‘butch lesbian’ because he could be okay with that. I remember once he told me that he understood lesbians because they were sexy and men like that, but gay men made him feel sick because he was a man and he couldn’t imagine it. I think I learned how hypocritical he was then.

This was all months ago, he told me that I shouldn’t think about how this affects him, and I should focus on myself, but those were just empty words. These last few months I’ve had lots of doctors appointments, getting my bloods done ready for hormones, I’ve been messed around by transfers because of University. I tried telling him the dates of my appointments, but he never once asked me how they went. I told my dad that I would be getting hormones in the next 3 or 4 weeks around 4 months ago, because he never asked, he doesn’t know that I was postponed massively because of trying to get treatment in Southampton, where I go to University. As far as he knew I was already on them, but he never asked.

Not to mention when he met my flatmates he said “I’m her father,” I can’t imagine how that would have gone down if I hadn’t of explained that I was transgender to them a few months before and how my dad was slower accepting it.

He’s visited me a few times in Southampton because he had to go to Eastleigh college for a gas course he was doing for work. A few weeks ago he was explaining to me that he can only visit me once a week because of the insurance on the car because it was a work vehicle, he said he’d ask head office if he could use it to visit his daughter

“As far as they’re concerned I’m down here visiting my daughter, they don’t need to know about all this crap.” I’ve been out as transgender for nearly 2 years, and this is what he says to me, and I freeze. I go back to the scared kid who was too afraid to tell his father how he really felt. I should have said something then, but I’m saying something now, and when I did tell him he said he thinks “it’s none of their business”. As much as that’s his choice, he didn’t have to tell me that’s what he said to them, he could have cared enough about me to replace daughter with son, even if that’s not how it really happened, just for my sake. I didn’t fight hard to become who I am, to change all my legal documents with my new name, which cost money, sweat and tears, so that my own father could say these things to me.

I’ve tried so hard proving that I am his son, but after everything, I don’t think I have the energy to prove anything to him anymore.

There’s one person I’m proving myself to, and that’s me.

Late Night Thoughts

Being able to write is liberating, even if no one reads the words, that’s not what matters. What matters is I declutter everything that I have trouble with, I think therapists call that decompartmentalization. The truth is, I never write entirely what I’m thinking or what I feel. I find it hard, to be honest with myself, let alone everyone else. I wouldn’t say I’m lying, I just choose to ignore things. Thoughts, memories, what I see in the mirror sometimes.

Problems seem to pile up, inward problems. They scatter around my head and it’s hard to drown it out. I try music, exercise, my job – nothing seems to work, not in the long run anyway. I wish I was brave enough to write down everything I think and feel, I’m going to try, not in this space. I think if I’m going to start writing down everything then it needs just to be for my eyes, at least, for now.

One thing I struggle with, that I think about a lot, is my choice to be ‘stealth’, to keep my transition a secret. When I use my brain, that makes a lot of sense. I moved over 100 miles away from my home so I could have a fresh start, away from everyone who knew the old me. I didn’t want anyone here to know what came before Nathan, to them, I am what I am. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t acknowledging to people I am transgender basically be telling them what’s in my trousers? It’s not exactly an appropriate topic of conversation. Yet, my heart, it tells me that I’m keeping a secret, that I’m not being true to myself, that I am ashamed of who I am. Which is true, I do feel ashamed, I feel shame when I see how I look without my clothes, that I don’t match up to who I truly am.

People started to say things about me in my seminars, one of my ‘friends’ told me that people kept asking her if I was transgender. That she thought so too. I didn’t know what to do, I just laughed it off, and joked “Well I’m not going to be offended because then that’s derogative to transgender people and I’m a supporter.” But then she started to make jokes, she kept calling me transgender, saying “which bathroom do you use?” I laughed, I don’t know why I laughed, what she was saying was wrong. She said before that she had once thought she had meant to be a boy but it was a phase, and that she was bisexual, so why was she making these jokes? More importantly, why was I letting her make them, why was I laughing too?

When she commented on my profile picture of my girlfriend and me, “what a cute pair of lesbians” I didn’t know what to do. We were away in London, I just wanted to have a nice time, so I deleted the comment and I didn’t tell my girlfriend. In the beginning, people always would call us lesbians, and that label didn’t apply to us, it caused a lot of problems with my identity issues, and my girlfriends, because we were not that label, but everyone thought it was a funny joke to make.

Like the idiot I am, when the girl mentioned I had deleted the comment I just laughed it off. Because I am a coward. What I wanted to say was that I am transgender, and what she said was offensive, insensitive, and even if I wasn’t, she still shouldn’t say things like that. But I’m scared because I know then everyone would find out, and even though we live in a more open society, other guys scare me. Every time I go into the guy’s toilets and there is a gap between the stall wall and the ceiling I’m scared someone is going to look over and see that I have a prosthetic, that they’ll hurt me.

Honestly, I struggle every day. Somedays it is easier, other days, it is the worst I’ve felt so far. It’s hard to look at the positives when it feels as if more negatives are delivered through my front door every time I wake up. I always seem to be kicked when I am down – like the world doesn’t want me to get up, but I keep going, what else is there to do?

I might be sat here right now, regretting the things I didn’t say, or the things that I have said. Kicking myself over how many times I’ve shut myself in the bathroom crying, or I’ve yelled at my girlfriend out of frustration, how jealous I have become of other guys – but I’m still going. I’m not going to stop until I get where I want to be, soon, I will look in the mirror and not see regrets, but be proud of who’s looking back at me.

A Letter To My Past Self

I don’t know what happened to you, it was as if you disappeared more and more every day and then you were suddenly gone. I still have your body but it’s an empty shell, one I had to temporarily fill.

Letting go of you was the hardest thing that I have ever done, like losing a close friend, a piece of myself. To be honest, I didn’t like you much, you were not what I ever wanted to be, I always wanted to be something or someone else.

I don’t know how to say goodbye to you, sometimes you creep up on me, in the dark or when I sleep. I remember the things you did, the rites of passage, how you always tucked your hair behind your ear, sometimes I find myself doing it and then I have to wake myself up.

You treated people badly, selfish is the most common word when I think of you. I think of all the crying you caused, the people you frowned on. I make myself sick remembering what I’ve seen through your eyes.

When I see your name my heart freezes, when I hear it I feel as if a ghost has walked right through me. I never would admit it, but you are dead, and the truth is, I’m the one who killed you.

But I can’t be sorry for that.

Nathan

I Feel Tortured

I always thought that the more I was used to transitioning, the methods, the life, it would become easier. Instead, I feel tortured, there is a constant pulse in the back of my head.

I feel so uncomfortable in my body that the only way to describe it is that even my bones feel uncomfortable as if I don’t fit in my own skin. Sometimes I sit and I stare at my hands and I feel like they don’t belong to me.


“The soul is a prison of the body.”

(Michel Foucault)


That’s the most accurate quote I can find to describe what is happening to me. I look in the mirror and I hate myself, nothing seems to fit; my voice, my appearance, my clothes. Everything is wrong.

Most of the time when I’m out in public I look at other men and I am jealous. The greenest that I have ever felt because they have everything that I’ve never been able to have, and rediculously, I feel like they take this for granted, I know I would.

One word keeps coming to my mind.

Depression.