I am swimming at the gym tonight

My ex invited me to join her for a swim at the rec center before we meet for dinner tonight. This will be my first swim indoors. Jamie said she would meet me in the locker room. I hmmed. She said, oh right. So the choice is the men’s locker room or the family locker room. I will opt for the family locker room as long as it isn’t occupied. Men’s will be default. Tho part of me wonders if I should just get it over with, use the men’s knowing Jamie is next door as moral support. And see how it goes. I will keep you posted.

A side note: a couple months ago, I was doing a fitness class at a private gym in town. The owners wife approached me after a class, fumbling for words (I was obviously her first trans interaction), she told me she wants this to be my second home and wondered if she could support me in anyway to feel more comfortable. How awesome is that!! WE discussed locker rooms as that was the only angst I felt. Nick her husband and the leader of my classes did great, whenever separating the class by gender he put me with the other guys. But I still hadn’t used the shower. I rushed home to shower and get to work on time. It was $500/mth for the classes so after a month I stopped. Never did use the locker rooms but loved the support I felt!! If I join a gym, I will go there vs the rec center.

When will you be done transitoning?

I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked this question. Every time I am at a loss. The word transitioning does in itself imply a process, a starting point and an end point and time to get from one poin to the next:
from Webster’s dictionary:

1 a : passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another : change
b : a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another
2 a : a musical modulation
b : a musical passage leading from one section of a piece to another
3 : an abrupt change in energy state or level (as of an atomic nucleus or a molecule) usually accompanied by loss or gain of a single quantum of energy

I relate more to the 3rd definition of an abrupt change which has more of an immediacy or nowness to it.

My feeling is the minute I chose to embody my true self, I transitioned. The rest, all that followed in learning, growing and integrating, and moving through the struggles, are just the natural unfolding evolution we all experience if we are on a path of personal growth and spiritual evolution.

A person is a person the minute they are conceived. The rest is development and growth.

I believe what people are asking around when will I be done is really about what physical changes still need to happen – surgeries, facial hair, muscle mass…. to indicate some sense of being fully formed. So when I tell people, as I do, that I am done, I wonder am I being disingenuous somehow. Again for me, I transitioned the moment I chose to fully embody my innate nature. And I am waiting for my beard to grow in and as I work out, I am waiting for my body to build muscle mass and look more like how I experience myself to be. In this sense, I am not yet done. But again these are just aspects of growth and development, they do not define the truth of being who I am – transitioning from my afab self to a trans-masculine self – is immediate upon choosing to embrace and embody who I am.

As I sit here, contemplating this writing, I reflect on myself, what has changed and what has not. I have said a million times that I am still me at my core just more so. This still holds true. I am now more at ease with myself as the stigma of being gender non-conforming has resolved as I allow myself to be the gender queer, trans-masculine self that I am. How I dress has changed a bit, as I wear more button down shirts to work. I now truly dress in business casual. (A friend once joked with me around my sense of business casual which was truly more casual, hang out clothes). I still wear the same jeans I have always worn (carhart and dicky’s). And in truth, I would likely have always dressed this way if I didn’t have those double d’s to contend with and “hide”. Now that I do not, I can comfortably dress as I am. My hair is changing – leg hair darkening and growing more on thighs, pubic and arm pits when once it was so little. That little strip of hair at the navel is starting. Sideburns and small patches under the chin.
My dysphoria is greatly relieved, my anxiety almost totally gone, my confidence stronger.

And as I write all this I continue to know the evolution does not make the person. I am right here, right now. I transitioned the minute I chose to embody my true self. Yes I want more facial hair and muscle mass, but those things do not define me, do not make me the gender queer, trans-masculine person that I am. The choice to be and fully embody and embrace my gender queer, trans-masculine self is the transition.

And I cant help but feel that when I say this, the people who are asking now believe that the changes are done. I wont visibly change anymore. I know that I don’t owe anyone an explanation. They can interpret my answer as they will. But I cannot help but think about the impact or implications on clients in particular. Should I grow a full beard and choose not to shave someday – will this be a betrayal of sorts. “But you said you were done… I thought that meant you wouldn’t change anymore” I imagine them thinking or saying. It is a double entendre of sorts. And maybe in the end it wont matter, just as a baby grows before us, we often miss some of the changes as they occur so consistently and subtly moment to moment, perhaps my continued growth will be the same to those who see me regularly and be less impactful and less taken as a betrayal.

Time will tell.

The effect of voice

I had an interesting check in with a client about the impact my transition is having, if any, on our work together. She said she doesn’t really think about it anymore but that in the beginning it was my voice that really was the most difficult. She was of course used to my soft feminine easily meditative voice. As it deepened and was really all over the place and not under my control at all – she said it felt harsh. She was reminded when her two boys were going thru adolescence and their voices changed. She said she often needed to remind them about their volume and tone. This was good to hear as I do believe some of the conflicts I have had personally since transitioning have been due to the change of my voice and my early inability to modulate it. That and embodying a stronger male presence which my cl struggled to find words for , but said I was more heavy energetically. As we discussed this, she compared me to another healer I sent her to who is very neutral energetically and fairy-like. Grounded and yet really light. I am more dense and always have been energetically compared to this person – more earthy groundedness. More human. Interesting as I have struggled so much with my humanity.

Anyways, the reflections are interesting. And the stuff about my voice was particularly good to hear. I am just over a year on T and feel like I finally have control over my voice. I am able to guide my clients into meditation more easily as I learn how to use the softer tones of my deeper voice. I notice the difference talking and I must admit, it is easier to listen to myself. I can also sing again which is huge. More range and easier to deepen into the more baritone sounds. And I notice when I get more emotional about something, there is once again an ease and non-edginess to my voice. The harshness is gone. It is still low but the thing that was getting me into trouble feels eased. I say it was getting me into trouble because my uncontrolled changing voice combined with T created an intensity in me that people did find harsh and hard to adjust to – particularly when I got emotional in my personal life. My voice and my energy feel more balanced.

Now if only the facial hair would grow thicker in more areas than the side burns. Cl again shared that her oldest boy was around 24 by the time he got a full beard, and her younger son’s beard is spotty (a little here a little there) at 20 or 21. So I have time. My brothers were no help in sharing with me their beard growth process. I guess when it has been 25 yrs plus the minutia of things like this are not what we remember.

Here is to unfolding balance as I settle in to the myriad changes.

Repost of: Handle with care or what to do when someone you know comes out as trans

This was just so well said, I had to repost it!

https://katcarpita.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/handle-with-care-or-what-to-do-when-someone-you-know-comes-out-as-transgender/comment-page-1/#comment-1910

Learning and growing and proclaiming: I am a male two spirited human being!

In this process with my friend mentioned in last post something clarified for me (highlight text in blue below so you can read it):

 I get on the outside I still present as female or androgynous and occasionally as a man. And it is easy therefore to perceive that as being who I am. But the truth is I am not that, being female has been a deep wound for me. My happiness and confidence comes because I am choosing to not be female any more. I am choosing to be me – a male 2 spirited human being. The nature of still seeing me as female hurts because it tells me you don’t see the real me and I want you, my friend, to see and know the real me and love the real me. The real me is not a female even though I was born in this female body.

 

I have struggled to identify me over the past number of months. Quite honestly I dislike labels and the boxes they can create. And I know clarity is needed for me and others. I have struggled to ask others to change their pronouns feeling like it is absurd to expect this until I pass. I am realizing underneath that truth is the 48 year old fear of truly owning who I am. The fear that telling everyone I am male is absurd. I know it isn’t absurd deep down, but I still value the perceptions of others here or the pain those perceptions can create for me. I have lived with the pain of the judgments for almost 5 decades. AND the truth is I am who I am. I am Sky, a male two spirited human being. I am strong, confident and happy. I am a healer, teacher, friend… My proclaiming my maleness does not take away from me. I ask myself why I have feared it would when the reality is that since I have embraced this truth it has made me more me – stronger confident and happy like never before. So why would clearly proclaiming it to the world diminish me? It makes no sense, except when I buy into the transphobia that still exists. But that so doesn’t matter – what matters is how I feel about me. What matters is that I am living my truth boldly and honestly not in hiding. What matters is that living honestly and openly who I am makes me a greater person, a better person.

 

And… and this feel big for me: I want those who know me to know me, the real me, the deep down to my core me. That is where the pain comes from by being seen still as a woman. The core of me, the truth of me is not being seen. I am not a woman. I am a man with great access to his 2 spirited nature. We rely too often on what we see with our eyes not what we feel in our hearts. A couple of my friends do this thing where they look deeply at me, almost uncomfortably deeply, then smile with love and acknowledge the man that I am. Sometimes they name what they see changing or manifesting, sometimes not. It doesn’t matter. They see me and this feels amazing. For the first time in my life I want to be seen. That is a bizarre feeling. I was the kid who hid behind the couch when company came. I was the teen and adult who was quiet and hidden. I didn’t want to be seen. I struggled too much with who I was to be seen.

 

Now I want to be seen for the first time in  my life. And I want the real me to be seen. If you are going to take time to know me, then really know me. I am a man. I am a healer. I am a teacher. I am creative. Introspective. Philosophical. … I say all this because while I am a man, I am so much more and it all makes me me. AND I AM NOT FEMALE regardless of what I might still look like on the outside, regardless of what stage of transition I am in. I AM A MAN.

 

Wow, how liberating. And I gotta say, these little hard points particularly with this one friend, are a boon of growth and strength and understanding. I am grateful for the struggles we go through especially knowing/trusting that we will go through them and not get stuck. But it was this most recent struggle that got me to take the next step in owning myself. And I get that not owning me makes it difficult for another to truly know me. So I gotta walk the walk that I want others to walk with me, and I gotta take the first steps in self revelation.

 

So… Hi everyone – I am Sky. A beautiful and soulful, caring and compassionate man.