Sunday, 15 February 2015

A dream

Last night, before going to sleep, I lay in bed watching Youtube videos. Somehow I ended up on that speech Debi Jackson gave about supporting her trans daughter that went viral last year. Hearing it again made just as choked up and tearful as it had then. What followed was an unquiet sleep.

I was in what might have been my parents' house, except the layout was unfamiliar. In what seemed to be a living room, my dad sat on a couch watching TV. The room flickered with that television glow. My mom and I stood off to one side. In this dream world I was out to my mom but hadn't told my dad yet. As he flipped through channels, suddenly there appeared on the screen some kind of crossdresser or drag queen. In disgust, he hurled some disparaging remark at the image, the way I remember him doing when I was a child. But this time, I flipped out.

"Fuck you!" I screamed, "why the fuck would you say that?!" And I didn't stop there: a long torrent of curses followed. When I finally finished he looked at me, totally baffled, and asked: "What— what's this all about?"
"Because," I said, quietly and with a great deal of effort, "I'm... trans."

His face changed suddenly to one understanding. He got up and walked towards me, and as he did, both he and the room grew huge while I seemed to stay the same size. By the time he reached me he was so tall that he had to get down on his knees so we could be face to face. And then I realized I was a small child. A girl, in fact.
"I'm sorry," he said, and he drew me towards himself in a big hug. "I'm so sorry, I didn't know."
"It's okay, dad" I said. "I'm sorry I yelled at you."

And then I woke up.

It took me a few seconds to realize: No, wait. I'm already out to my dad. And he doesn't say homophobic stuff like that anymore. Of course it was only a dream: neither me yelling at my father nor the two of us hugging are things I can imagine happening in real life. But jeez, it seems like I have issues.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Good people

I'm not sure how ended up having such good people in my life, but I'm so glad I do.

Last Sunday I logged in Facebook to find that I had a PM from a cousin of mine. She's someone I'm quite fond of, though it's been a couple years since the last time we saw each other. She wrote:
Cousin I hope you know that we love you and support you. I don't have a clue how you're doing or the specifics of your life but I've got a very rough idea of it by what you've posted on fb. And I just wanted you to know that you're loved and supported no matter what.
I was, first of all, quite touched. It seemed like a good time to come out so I wrote back:
[name], thank-you so much for this. I never doubted that you'd be supportive, but it really means a lot to hear it. :)
Uh, so yeah, I'm transgender. Like, I'm a girl inside. :) It's been that way as long as I can remember but I was in pretty serious denial about it up until about two years ago. Since then I've been trying to figure out who I am and what exactly I should do about it. I'm not on hormones or anything yet but that may be in my future. Oh, and I go by Ashley within the trans community.
Feel free to ask if you have any questions.
And lastly, we need to hang out some time. It's been way too long. :)
In the week since then we've been messaging back and forth, talking about gender and coming out and all sorts of stuff. At one point she wrote:
I'm perfectly comfortable calling you Ashley. If you feel like a girl and want to live as a girl then you're a girl to me. [...] I'm glad you can start being yourself now, I imagine that's quite freeing.
I was smiling pretty big after reading that, you can be sure. Coming out to someone who's so unreservedly supportive is just one of the best things ever. :)

Another thing happened on Monday. My dysphoria was just awful that day and I spent it feeling really terrible. Around 9:00 in the evening hunger got the best of me and I had to leave my room, where I'd been hiding to avoid the people I live with, and venture down to the kitchen. Sure enough, one of my roommates was there. He asked me how my day was.
"Well... not good, actually." I replied.
"Ohh, why's that?"
I evaded this question, which he correctly interpreted as meaning I didn't want to talk about it. Instead he got out some good quality European chocolate he'd been keeping in the fridge, saying: "what's the point of having chocolate in the house if you don't eat it when you're sad?" And the two of us ate chocolate together. A gesture like that can really make something hard like dysphoria a little easier to bear.

And then on Friday it was my birthday: I turned 27. The day before, to mark the occasion, my parents took me out for sushi, which is one of my favourite things ever. And then Friday evening I spent with a group of friends playing a ridiculous drinking game, which was a lot of fun. (The game's called "Loopin' Louie," and if you believe the box it comes in it's for children aged 4-9. The version we played involved shots of Jägermeiſter though, which ups the recommended age considerably).

I think 27 is going to be a good year for me. I'm already planning on starting electrolysis as soon as I land a job, and I'll probably be looking into hormones some time after that. And although those things are scary, I've been reminded now several times this week that I have good people in my life— people I can count on for support, whether it's stated outright or just takes the form of commiserative chocolate (or, uh... getting hammered on my birthday). And that makes me feel optimistic about what's ahead. :)