When I first started questioning my gender identity, I found a community of transmen on this online diary website called Live Journal. I was floundering so much for a sense of community and I was so excited to find them, but it actually turned out to be a disaster for a lot of reasons that I won’t go into. However, I have found a great community here in my city of Philly, so I’m happy now and that’s all that counts. But I’ve decided to share with you some of my journal entries from the early days of my gender questioning.
Fifth Journal Issue:
March 22nd, 2010
The last post that I wrote was about being partnered with someone and going through the transition. That’s probably been the hardest part, since my gf started dating me when I identified as lesbian (as she is a lesbian). She is doing a LOT better and she started going to a local support group (in philly – contact me if your s/o is interested) and I hope that helps some too. She’s very scared that our relationship dynamics will change and move out of her comfort zone, though I keep trying to reassure her that I’m sure that things will only get better. I think mostly we are just trying to take everything one day at time.
I’ve still only come out to just two people, although I’m ready and would like to come out to more. It’s just so hard to say it! Even though I can be really outgoing, I tend to get really nervous sometimes and I’ve been so nervous to tell some friends. I also am having a hard time find the right opportunity. “So, what did you think of that movie? Oh yeah, it was great. Oh by the way — I’m trans!” I’m sure a lot of my friends probably suspect it, and would be totally cool with it, but still. I’m thinking of just saying “fuck it” and writing a damn email already. That’s the only way I can think of to say it, because when I try in person, nothing comes out.
I’m also nervous because I just had a job interview earlier today that I actually think I may have a really good chance at getting. The only thing is that it’s at the college I graduated from, the department that I worked in as a student worker. Now I’d be transitioning on the job with a bunch of people who have known me for six years as a woman. The college I went to is an art school and everyone is really open-minded, but it just seems like a really good opportunity at sort of an odd time. We’ll see, I might not even get the job!
Other than that, I’m excited that summer is coming and that I can have a fundraiser or two at my studio space to earn the $$ to chop off the boobies. Or maybe maybe if I get the job, my health care would somehow cover it (doubtttt ittt). Either way, I’m getting excited that hopefully in about a year or so chest surgery may be a reality. I can’t wait!
I did bind my breasts recently for the first time, which was something I never thought I’d do. My boobs are pretty big and they hurt a lot, so I really had no interest in it. But, I tried it, and I actually liked it a lot. It was kind of hard to breathe, which I didn’t like at all, but it finally did feel nice to be somewhat flat-chested.
As I said earlier, I think I’m just taking things one day at a time. The transition process is coming along at a snail speed, but I keep trying to tell myself that I will get there eventually. I have noticed that since I came out to some friends and have been able to be more open with my girlfriend, my depression sharply decreased and my motivation and overall well-being have been way up. I think this is also because I’m not working and have been able to eat really well and exercise (and not be stuck all day at a job that I hate) and I’m currently spending my time working on a project I’m very passionate about (which I will write about soon, I promise). It will be interesting to see how these things fluctuate once I start working and my day is mainly devoted to a job that I don’t love (although if I get this job, I will really like it a lot). I realize that the transition won’t ever solve all my problems (ESPECIALLY not my money ones, lol), but being able to be my true self has lifted my spirits tremendously. In the past four months, I’ve only been mildly depressed twice, just for like two days at a time. Usually in that time I’d experience severe depression with suicidal thoughts probably at least twice, for at least up to two weeks at a time. Sometimes I’ve experienced severe depression with suicidal thoughts for up to a month!
I hate to be cliche, but prior to come out, it’s very scary to think about but my will to live was plummeting. I really hope that my depression will continue to stay on a mild, manageable level from now on and even if it occasionally slips into the despairing level, I will be much better equipped to handle it because it won’t feel like I’m in a constant mental battle to survive. As I said, I’m very curious to see what having a job and being out (at least to friends and maybe family at first) will do for my mental health. If I begin to get severely depressed again from working, I think it may be time to explore that issue and to get a psychiatrist’s opinion on just how disabling my depression is. Currently, where I’m at now, I feel like I can manage pretty well, but we will see.
Anyhooha, that’s about all! I hope everyone is doing well and trying their hardest to be their true selves, whoever that may be, and working towards making themselves a better person altogether!
Peace and love