Sunday, 9 August 2009

Identity Crisis ?

image_0001[1] Its nearly a month now since my last post. It will be a wonder if I have any readers left. Perhaps I should pack my blogs and be content with facebooking and tweeting.

My blogging rate has dwindled to but a trickle. From those halcyon days of early 2008 where posts came as thick and fast, as a fat thick thing, to this last month where I’ve spent every second evening thinking…“right now for some blogging…erm what shall I say ?”…hang on, I’ll just watch another episode of The Wire/West Wing/Battlestar/Heroes, for a touch of inspiration” before falling to sleep in front of said episode, only to wake up 4 hours later curled up on the sofa in a position perfect to aggravate both my bad back and dodgy knee and a blank laptop screen.

I have no real excuse for my alacrity, other than my annual summer month of self pitying, self indulgent, soul searching. Perhaps its my own take on Seasonal Affected Disorder: The more sunny everyone else is, the more lonely and pathetic I am. Mind you cant say its been the sunniest of Julys so my theory fall at the first hurdle.

>>>>> Now I must interject here. Despite what I have written and may come to write in this post, I absolutely do not regret my decision to transition. “Je ne regret pants” as they say in remedial French class! I can barely envisage what it was to live confused and trapped as I did. No, I absolutely stand by my transition, albeit in very uncomfortable shoes <<<<

A clue to the root of my problem lies in the url of this blog : jenny-vs-theworld. I never really liked it as a blog title and hence very quickly changed it to the more poetically oblique, Crossing The Floor. However there remains a nugget of truth in the phrase and at times I still seem to be battling the world rather than embracing it. So, It’s the 4th anniversary of my Gender Modernisation (I’ve been around NHS speak much too long) and once the euphoria and downright craziness of the first few transition months have passed, the reality of a life changed forever, finally dawns…….

So what have I learnt and have yet to learn.

Well I think I managed my transition ok, and I’ve kept my family and friends and job, the holy trinity of transition if you like. I can walk in heels without a safety net. I can apply a face full of makeup in under 5 minutes that will last for a days work. I can coordinate within an inch of my life, although Ive discovered too much of this years purple turns me into a huge Ribena berry. I can tease, straighten, curl under, flick out, colour, condition and my hair.

These are all very practical skills vital to survive in the heady world of womanship, but it is the more subtle and therefore more darn tricky aspects of female life that perhaps I am still to really master (or mistress!). I have to face it, that it may not be until I truly come to terms with that intangible essence of being female, that the rest of the world becomes truly blind to what I was, and only sees what I am.

Ok, if you this sounds pompous and whinging at the same time, then you’re probably right, but as they say in all the best dentists, “better out than in” and maybe if a get a little rant out of my system, I may find my blogging mojo once more.

I can site 2 incident in the last couple of months that have contributed to my current mood.

The other day I was dressed in a ruffled strappy summer top, jeans and heels, with makeup that although had been clinging on for 6 hours was perfectly presentable. As far as I was concerned, my appearance was as feminine as is ever needed. I went into Argos to buy, what I thought was a “micro” ipod dock system thingy. I wanted to check that my particular ipod touch would fit said thingy, so asked if I could take a look inside the box. The young female assistant turned to a colleague and said “this stereo is for this …(hushed) errrrrr gentleman, (normal voice) can I open it up ?”. Thankfully no one bar the 2 assistants and myself heard her hesitant  confused whispering, but the damage was done. I left the shop with a nice new stereo, an apology from the other assistant and a self esteem dragging on the floor behind me. Mercifully  this sort of encounter is rare.

The other recent disheartening event happened a month or so ago. Stood with colleagues in an entrance lobby shooting a huddled breeze, I dropped into a conversation that so & so was my uncle. One of my colleagues, and someone I could not respect or admire more, surprised at this news turned to another and said “did you know that so & so is *his* uncle”. It was a tiny, minor, almost imperseptable slip, but it revealed so much. You see, this person had never known my previous life, and has always accepted me as a woman, but off guard and without thinking, the subconscious part of the brain took over and the mis-pronoun spilled out. He was genuinely apologetic and of course he never meant to say it, but that didn’t help how I felt.

I have to come to terms with the fact that from that at time to time these sort of things may happen. People will slip up and its not always their fault. Most people tried their utmost hardest to do the right thing, and to say the right thing. Ironically the harder people try, the harder I find it. I see it in their eyes and I hear it in their oh so slight hesitations, as they grasp for just the right word, and worse of all I see it in their genuine heartfelt sorrow, when they realise they got it wrong.

I have to be confident enough in who I am to be able to shrug off these slings and arrows of slight misfortune. I have to toughen up and tough it out. I should take heart that people try hard for me and not resent that they have to try. Should it matter if I am forever Jen the trans woman and not just ,Jen the woman. After all, I am not beyond hypocrisy, and have used my trans situation. For instance I included the fact that I am transgendered in an election address. I seem to want to have my cake and eat it (isn’t this a mad phrase, what else are you supposed to do with cake!!). Yes now its time for me to stop urging the society to accept me and find the way for me to accept society for what it is. I am after all blessed. Blessed that I live at a time and in a place that has allowed me to transition, a blessing denied to oh so many.

As the saying goes (or doesn’t): If I look like a duck, walk like a duck, talk like a duck, but everyone believes I’m goose then i guess I’m a goose…..or a duck….or maybe a swan even, anyway I hope you get the point, because I’m not sure I do.

Any of you still reading, thanks, I’m sure there is something your putting off something far more important, or at least you could find a funny youtube video to watch…. Speaking of youtube I came across this :

SO I guess I’m not as clever as I thought, what with my “la de da” blog title.














Hopefully normal service will be resumed, as soon as I’ve found out what normal is.


James Anthony said...

To me you'll always be a swan!

LucyTolliday said...

Argos seems to be staffed by those who failed their customer service exams at the best of times.
As for being woman or trans, one can be a woman with a trans history or whatever and when you say about exploiting your transness in an election address I see openness.
A *hug* if you need it. Look forward to reading more next month. :)

Calamity Jen said...

If you're going to be some sort of fowl, how about a peahen? They're pretty cool. (Does anyone say "cool" anymore? Should I be using "sick" instead?)

I read a number of blogs, and everyone seems to have slowed down with posting lately -- including myself. Must be the lazy, hazy days of summer.