…and therefore perhaps a further measure of how far I have come, was a remark made almost casually by my swimming pool protester. We tracked off down a cul-de-sac about what on earth his problem was…
I suggested that it had to be to do with something around safety, cause feeling “uncomfortable” wasn’t good enough. He claimed it wasn’t – which I still think is bollocks. Then I suggested he knew very little about me: my hormonal status, where I was in my transition, whether I was pre or post op.
“We know you’re pre-op”.
Oh. That hurt. That hurt very, very much…and I am still trying to work out what it is that hurt about it. It was obvious, from the general tone of our encounter, that he had been discussing me with persons unknown. They’d obviously found out a little about who I was and my background: we’re a small village-y sort of place, so its not as though the locals have half a dozen trannies to pick on.
Nor do I hide all that much from those within my fairly wide social circle. Pretty much everyone knows I am pre-op. Several are curious about when (and what), and that’s nice. I hope, when all is over, I’ll wake to a card or two (and some flowers: hint!) from those in that circle.
A lot of people do tend to see this process as having the one big transition point, and while I think they’re wrong, I’m not going to put them down for thinking that. Its bound to look that way from the outside: and if they are intrigued by the process, its mostly sympathetic and motivated by some degree of concern about me.
Let’s draw a line there. Its no big secret: I don’t mind friends knowing.
I do, however, mind some complete stranger not simply knowing (I can hardly legislate against that), but spewing it back at me as though it is some big argument-winning point. Implied: “you’re not post-op…so you make us feel uncomfortable”.
One answer – the intellectual answer – is that the deeper in to transition I go, the more I realise no single step is IT. Not the hormones. Not the anti-androgen. Nor, even, the op. Sure. It’s a bigger step than some. But its still just one more step on a much longer journey, which really isn’t “Man. Man on hormones. Op. Woman.”
That’s just such a crude misrepresentation of it.
But I’m not feeling very intellectual about it. I’m way, way into female territory already. The op is necessary: but it doesn’t “complete” things: doesn’t suddenly make a massive difference (oh: but ask me again the morning after. I am willing to concede I could be wrong. )
The op is private. OK for friends to know about. Not for some anonymous accuser to throw at me in front of a third party. Any more than it would be OK for someone to play a similar trick on a woman who’d had a hysterectomy.
Out of bounds. Off limits. NOT his affair. At all.
And why was it upsetting? First, I guess, because someone with so little empathy for my journey should hurl so private a detail against me. I hate: hate, hate, hate with a vengeance not only that HE knew, but that he used it.
And second, that he should somehow think that that detail gives him the right to judge me.
So, sure. I’ve travelled. Again. I still don’t regard being pre or post as some big secret. Some mystery. I do, however, regard it as something intensely private. Its not a joking matter: certainly not a part of my life that belongs in any way to someone I have not invited in to share it.