T’other half feeling just a bit trepidacious today about events. Not, she assures me, about the main event – the transition – so much as about the constant barrage of coming out’s associated with it.
That’s because, not only do i slowly slowly have to come out to nearest and dearest, work colleagues, and the world in general: but each step has consequences. Sometimes no more than a congratulatory e-mail: sometimes something else. Fears. Doubts. Questions.
So far – touch wood – no outright hostile reaction, although one comeback that bore an unnerving ressemblance to the old “I’ve nothing against homosexuals, but…” routine.
Beyond that, there is the degree of coming out. The bald statement of transition is one thing. The reality: the make-up, the clothes, the voice; each and every one is a component, capable of endles sub-division, that must be tested, one bit at a time.
And of corse, each bit will have different values for me and her. Take skirts. I am naive. I know I’m naive. I honestly don’t see why wearing a skirt should be such a big deal for society at large. Women in skirts look good. So do men. I can’t imagne why anyone should find it a matter of argument.
Partner, however, is more concerned. She reckons it would mark me out, fast forward the target process and bring closer the inevitable day when someone has a go: the rude word, the being spat at. Even – though clearly we hope never – the resort to violence.
Dr Curtis, at the gender clinic advises not provoking hostility. It is interesting how differently I and my partner interpret this. For me, that means being myself, slowy coming out (in every way) and when Iencounter fear or prejudice, not answering back. I already have a lifetime’s practice of turning the other cheek.
She, however, would draw the line a little further back. Don’t dress – or at least, don’t dress yet – and not until i feel almost ready to pass. i hope that’s only a phase. i won’t be on the street tomorrow – or even next week – en femme, but i do expect to be long before this process finishes.
i hope we can find common ground.