A minor wobble

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.


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Wonderer said,

    Lots of comings out – each accompanied by varying amounts of trepidation. I have no close experience of anyone in your situation, but I wonder whether there would be any benefit in some rite of passage; perhaps some symbolic or slightly ritualised way of marking a change; of celebrating, communicating and sharing with a wide group in one go. It’s a process of transition but also one with milestones worth marking. Just a thought.

    With admiration and all very best wishes.

  2. 2

    debz furneaux said,

    hi jane – you do need some practice before you go out in the big cruel world for sure, tho to comment on your need to ‘get it right’ will u just look at some of the women out there who have been doing all their lives and still ahvent ‘got it right’.
    i think andreas softly softly approach has merit, i can see where she is coming from but i can also see that having found jane you want to be her! how about dressing in the house – maybe a few days a week or being a little androgenous for a bit – i know – neither one nor tother!! but girls wear trousers a lot – with nice tops rather than shirts? dont know – just chuckin ideas in the mix for perusal and contemplation

    luv n hugs to all

  3. 3

    Dennis said,

    just do what feels right for you as you go along. you may find some days you feel wrong in one presentation or other, and that can really knock confidence and self esteem to be all day looking that way and isn’t really good for us. You will both probably find a natural pace for this if you keep in touch with your feelings about this. it may take time to find out what styles suit you and you like the look of,we all have the same issues with women’s clothes, especially anyone like me who is not a standard shape (as I’ve said I’ll share some tips on buying tops for the flatter chest).

    tips i have heard others discuss for starting out with changing their gender presentation – keep it simple draws less attention – busy places mean individuals are noticed less. If you’re really worried about neighbours etc – you also have the option of doing it somewhere else the first few times while you get your confidence. Eg when you are visiting us lot or another friend.

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