So its official, then. According to my favourite librarian, in another of those wide-ranging saturday afternoon sorts of conversation, the view from the library is that i am altogether happier, more confident since i started to transition.
Quelle surprise! Though i guess now that particular fact can be catalogued and referenced in the Lincolnshire archive.
OK. Regular readers may not be quite so surprised. I think the sheer joy of these last years must ooze out of almost every post. But there is a practical side to it too: one that should act as rebuke to any and everyone who sees transition as only about the individual concerned or, in extremis, as a means to divert that individual from suicide or depression.
I wasn’t posting much about ten days ago. Reason? I was busy. Very. First up, i was working on a project that, currently unpaid, nonetheless means i am inputting to policy at the highest levels in government. Yay! And while there is a trans connection, increasingly i’m digging into past experience in IT security and talking about issues that apply to all women.
(Yep: its that name change thing – but beyond that, and the fact that government is actually taking it seriously, i’m saying nuffink).
Then, the next coupe of days, i was chatting to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) – an organistion that I’ve grown increasingly fond of. They – for those not instantly aware of them – carry out the awful task of monitoring the internet for child abuse material, creating block lists, and forwarding information to police forces, both in the UK and abroad.
Another very interesting conversation – and again, something i’m staying mum about until it becomes something (or nothing).
The point? Well, both of these are things i really want to do: both are well outside the trans comfort envelope (and that’s good, because the last thing i want is to become identified and, eventually, pigeion-holed solely by my gender identity).
And what united both these episodes is how free, how natural it felt to be working at this level, in this way.
Which may seem strange to those who reckon i’d had a “successful” career before transition. But not from where i was sat. No. I always felt awkward. A fraud. Someone outwardly calm, but behind the facade, fiercely paddling just to keep up.
I may have known HOW to do a job – and how to do it rather well. But everything around my interactions with work, work colleagues and the like, was utterly awkward, insecure.
Same with blokes (on which i know some have commented). I always found men a mystery: they spoke a foreign language as far as i was concerned and, for a while in early transition i went so far as to eschew male company altogether.
And now? On the work front, the last couple of weeks have been a dream. Me. Jane. Working AS me, Jane. There was no need to think through who or what i was or how to connect. I was – as the librarians had it – happy, confident and i am pretty sure that shone through.
Blokes too: I still very much doubt anything intimate will ever happen there, no matter how curious i am. But i seem to have found a new lease of life in my relations with gusy. They aren’t so scary. I can deal with them.
Small stuff? No. It means, at this late stage in my life, that i am suddenly, unexpectedly, happily transitioning from social inadequate to someone who fits…who finds it so much easier to make a contribution.
And that, for all the sceptics, has to be a mega benefit that is rarely mentioned in the literature. Transitioning doesn’t just save lives. It makes lives easier to live, both for the individual concerned and the rest of society.