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Self Confidence

The last few days I got a comment or two from a co-worker that I have absolutely no self confidence.  It is true.  I guess she heard enough of my self-deprecating humor to realize that.  I have absolutely no confidence/esteem in myself.  I beat myself up mentally regularly.  And honestly I have no idea how to change that.  But till I do, I know I wont move forward in life, in any aspect really.

That little exchange got me thinking, I sometimes browse transgender blogs/forums and honestly many of those moving forward just have so much self confidence.  Or atleast enough that they can push pass their own self doubts and the doubts of others.  Sometimes you see pictures of people smiling so happily or talking about how great their day was and frankly, sometimes they don’t pass… or their voice is horrible.. etc.  But they don’t care.  They carry on. They be themselves.  Good for them.  I wish I had the self confidence to not only do all that in my daily life, but then to post pictures and stuff for the internet to see.

I always hear people (trans or non trans) talk about how they feel cute or good looking (atleast occasionally on a good day).  Myself, I have never felt that.  Honestly.  I don’t think for the past like 10 years I have liked a single thing about myself.  Whether it is my personality traits or physical traits.  I don’t like my work product as I never think its good enough.  Basically, I never feel I am good enough.

I guess the point of me saying all that is…. Until I can feel some confidence in myself I can never work on my trans issues.  I never practice my voice, because the few times I began, I felt like a fool.  I never crossdress because well I don’t want to be a guy in girl clothes.  I cant even comprehend coming out due to my fear of what everyone would think.   I have no self confidence I could pull off “being a girl” or basically not just being called out for being a “dude in a dress”.  And I don’t just mean I can’t pull it off in front of others, but my own self doubt would (and does) have me second guessing my own self as in am I just a liar am I full of it.  Every time I read the conservative Christian/Terf/other anti trans individuals comments to articles about transgender people I honestly just think I am crazy.

Having no self esteem/confidence makes me feel trapped.    And it is an endless cycle.  The more I am down on myself the worse my confidence becomes.  And its to the point where I think I am probably depressed atleast in part due to it (I am not going to self diagnose myself hence “I think”).

Honestly, and this is just anecdotal…  it seems to me if you want to transition you better have some self confidence.  Work on your mental well being before your physical self is what I am saying.

I have no idea how to work on your self esteem when you see nothing good in yourself but till I do, I know I am going nowhere.  Not at work, not in my personal life, and not with my transgender feelings

Edit- Also I know this post came off whiny… but this is just a blog with my self reflections.. almost a personal journal.. so I can be a little whiny if I want 😉

So for those living under a rock, recently Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Award at the ESPYS.  Basically the award was for her courage and how she has come out as transgender, what she has done, and the way in which she has done it.  And naturally there has been some backlash.  And some of those comments just fully prove she deserved that reward.

I understand some people think others deserve it more.  I mean there have been some real amazing stories recently of people overcoming many issues or dealing with serious illnesses with courage and style.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  For sure there are many people who showed Courage this year. All could have won.  So some people disagree in  a respectful manner with this decision.  That’s fine.  I can understand that.  Personally I don’t have an opinion one way or another on who I think should have won.

Now others disagree with ESPN’s decision.  And they make it known.  Very vocally… and in a very transphobic way.  It is pretty unsettling to see what some people say or the way in which they say it.  People make “tranny jokes” still refer to Caitlyn as “he” or “Bruce”, and just in general call her (well they say “him”) crazy, among other things.  And these same people were making comments, making jokes, and posting memes and other pictures when she came out.  It is also ironic when these people add in their reasoning the assertion that LGBT people are already accepted and that she is just jumping on the bandwagon thus she does not deserve the reward… WHILE at the same time they are being transphobic and not accepting transgender individuals identity. It just kind of proves the point that she was brave and courageous for doing this publicly.

Those people were idiots then and they are idiots now.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  If you are going to disagree with ESPN’s decision, atleast do it with some courtesy.

So I was checking the blogs stats today and noticed I had gotten some referrals from Wake Forest’s Library. Now it is pretty cool that someone (or some automated tool maybe) found my blog and put it up there under blogs. I mean people rarely read my blog to begin with, and its never really linked anywhere else..which I am totally fine with but this was kind of a cool surprise. But what I worry about is that I have said some pretty personal, stupid, and weird stuff over the past few years.  All of which likely do not apply to many trans people.  And I know that. I never have said that it applied to all trans people…I mean my “please read this” page stresses that.

But people would presumably go to that guide looking for references and stuff. The information could be used from someone doing personal research to those doing homework/writing papers/conducting studies. My blog should certainly not be something to be cited from lol.  Atleast I should not be one of the first blogs a person looks at.  Why?  Because while I would probably look good on paper to those who know me in real life and know what I have achieved, anything and everything related to my transgender feelings have been bottled up and only expressed in parts in this blog…and like I said I make some pretty stupid, personal posts… and most of my posts are poorly thought out.  I literally have not transitioned at all at this point either.  I have blogged for like 4 years, and done absolutely nothing (looking back the name transgender journey was a bad idea since my journey has been rather short thus far lol).  Anyone not educated on trans issues would walk away from reading my blog thinking “All trans people have serious issues and need some hardcore medication/psychological help.” And I don’t really want that to be peoples first impression, nor the basis of some paper lol. I mean there are far better people, whether it be youtube bloggers or other bloggers who actually have gone through transition.

On the flip side, I don’t actually mind that it is up there.. so long as people realize I am an individual, dealing with my own specific issues in my very own way (aka ignore it all!). I do think its good that people see what others go through, I mean that really is the point of blogs…to see other peoples point of view on things and how they handle it.  But I really don’t want to be possibly one of the first links they click on..

Not really sure what I can (or should) do about it.  Heck, I have no clue how long I have even been on that website. Maybe it has been months and only now some people have finally clicked through my link… or maybe they added it a few days ago and this is just the beginning of quite a few clicks through.

I just kinda wish that whoever made that page would add some better resources.  I really am not a good representative of trans people heh. Who knows, maybe whoever wrote that page will read this.  If you do tell me and I can send you some very helpful links with very supportive people.

While I am honored to be on the page, there are probably much much muccccch better blogs to put up there before a blog like mine.

So you would basically have to be living under a rock to not hear about the upcoming Bruce Jenner interview, but basically Bruce Jenner will be doing a 2 hour interview tonight with all signs pointing towards them talking about being trans and transitioning.

I don’t really want to talk about that.  The thing I find interesting is peoples reaction to the announcement and build up to the interview.  And not even everyone’s reaction, specifically trans* individuals reactions.  As soon as I heard about this happening I did poke around some trans related boards because I wanted to see the reaction.  It is a kind of mixed reaction. Some wanting to see what happens and excited that there is a spot light on a transgender individual, others downright against it, and some just worried about how it make come off.

A decent portion of people are wary of the interview. And rightfully so.  I mean no one really knows how this is going to come off.  Will it involve lots of generalizations which may insinuate all transgender people act/think a certain way? Even if Jenner doesnt mean it that way, the media may present it in such a fashion.  Or will there be lots of inappropriate stupid questions that generally pop up in interviews relating to trans individuals like “How do you feel about your privates?”  “Does that mean you dont like girls/guys anymore?   So i get peoples problem with these type of potential questions.  Plus some people are kind of like just annoyed over the whole grandiosity of the situation.  Getting a 2 hour interview over this?  Kinda like Lebron James announcing he is going to the Heat.  I understand that as well.

But there is also a different section of the community… Which opinion can be summed up as “people will associate Jenner’s story with mine and they are not the same”.  That opinion I dont exactly like.  I dont even know what Bruce Jenner’s story is yet, but it doesnt matter. If Jenner is transgender, then I will respect that no matter what their story is.  Now I know some people are worried that others will just see Bruce’s story and say “wow that must be how most transgender people feel!” but there is not much you can do about that besides educate them.  To not want someone to speak their story because you think it will be different then yours does not help the whole community, it only helps you.

I dont care if Jenner realized they were trans 2 months ago or when Bruce was 5.  It wouldnt matter.  Why? Because every trans individuals story is different.  Does it matter that Bruce Jenner probably has more money than almost any (or all?) other transgender people so their transition will probably be easier in that respect?  Does it matter that Jenner is a person in the spotlight while most trans people are not?  Does it matter that Bruce is somewhat older and has had a few children before transitioning?

Not really.

I get so much angst from hearing the “typical trans narrative” always being repeated by people because I dont think I fit that mold and it makes me “less trans”.  And that typical trans narrative is what is usually mainstream for everyone to hear.  It would actually be nice to hear other people speaking out then from the typical trans narrative because it would shed light that there are others who are transgender then those who from their first days talking screamed “I am trapped in the wrong body!”

Now who knows… maybe bruce jenner needs a 2 hour interview to explain how they have had a “typical trans narrative” and how it has effected the many different parts of their life, including the Olympics and marriage and just fame in general.  Or maybe Bruce will tell a different story.  Maybe it will portray the trans community in a poor light. Or maybe it will actually be good and educating for everyone… who knows.

Either way I just think its weird that some people are automatically getting defensive thinking it will somehow hurt them… I mean I did not see the same reaction when others have come out on the news… but I guess again when others come out as trans it is never as grandiose with so much hype leading up to it… People generally find out AFTER people come out… and then you can sit back and reflect on what occurred.

But still there seems to be no real big reason for people to get up in arms when we havent even heard what Bruce will say.  Atleast wait till after the interview to throw Bruce under the bus if it is that bad!  I will be waiting till after the interview to form any opinions.

I do this fairly often.  I end up arguing/talking with family members/close friends about gay, trans, or really any lgbt stories in the news and the convos always seem to end with:

Them: How do you know so much about the gay and transgender community/current events.

Me:  ermmmm….. oooooh you know I just have lots of gay and trans friends….they post alot on facebook and stuff…

For some reason they always believe me lol.

If I wasnt such a “mans man” and had a girlfriend in my past (or atleast someone everyone thinks they were my girlfriend) they probably would be asking a lot more questions.  I always forget in these arguments I should act like I know very few facts.

These little conversations are always awkward… yet somewhat amusing…

If only they knew.

Family dinners are usually pretty weird. But one of my siblings has a trans friend.  He is FTM.  We have known for awhile, and my sibling has tried to be supportive, but has slipped on pronouns and stuff.  When alone, I have gently hinted he should work harder on the pronouns since i know he is not trying to be an ass and is simply used to the “She” pronoun.  But its sad when my family sits there and while they all like this ftm individual, they all start using “she” pronouns and start asking if you think “she” has a penis now or “she” is on hormones.  They make fun of his chosen name and say things to one another like “you accept everything that they have done but not the name???”  Obviously indicating they don’t really understand the whole transgender issue.  And all I can do is either walk away or sit there quietly.  Why?  Because my mom knows about me.  Anyone who has been the blog for awhile knows I told my mom like 3 years ago. It went bad. It somehow got straight to my sexual preferences. She thought it was just a phase and its fine if I like guys… even though I am asexual and that’s a whole other story.  But, I never mentioned it to her again after that.  Yet she is one of the people sitting there cracking jokes.  And I cant say anything.  Because I don’t trust her with not bringing it up in front of everyone.  I guess it is a nice glimpse of what type of shit I would have to deal with, or atleast deal with occurring behind my back.  Because they are all oh so nice to the ftm friend when they talk to him. And these are pretty liberal individuals.  I think everyone in the room supports gay marriage, etc… but clearly the T in LGBT is still foreign to them.

If only they knew what I was thinking.  If only I had the guts to say something, atleast to stop the crap/gossip being talked about the ftm individual. But instead I walked away and got called antisocial.

Some Perspective

I was over my family’s house for Christmas eve and I was feeling pretty dsyphoric and over analyzing all my trans feelings and what not. Not sure why, but I was.  It tends to happen anytime I go out into more social events so I guess that was the cause really.

But anyway. I was at our family party and there are 2 people there with cancer.  Like from the way it was described to me it was the type of cancer that it was only a matter of time till they die from it.  Yet they were 2 of the happiest people there.  And I dont think it was just an act. They are just genuinely happy people. Meanwhile I am sitting there all gloomy because of how I was feeling.  I, someone who is not very religious at all, is sitting there praying on christmas that I just could magically be someone else, while they are just sitting there happy to be sitting there with their families, even though they went/go through hell and back.

I guess it could have just been an act and they actually aren’t the happiest people ever, I mean most people think I was/am happy because that is the way I present myself. But I honestly think thats genuinely not it.  They can find happyness when they are going through some of the worst things people can go through.  Maybe its because I am more of a pessimist and the glass is half empty type of person, while they are more glass half full type of people.  Not sure if there is anyway really to change the way I view life, but it almost seems like the only way to move forward is to start looking at life like they do. They have a whole different perspective on life.  They make it work for them even when life is literally trying to kill them.

But anyway that got me thinking back to when I had my own life threatening ailment. Now, I am not saying my relatives feel the same way as I did, since obviously I have no way of knowing, but this is how I felt over it all… I think I was less worried/distraught about that than I am about being transgender. I was more at peace with my medical issues than with the fact that I am transgender, as messed up as that sounds. I guess that is partially due to the amount of time spent thinking about each. I mean the medical issue was discovered and a few months later it was corrected.  My feelings of being transgender have been going for years. I guess that eventually really adds up. But I also think it was the fact that literally everything was out of my hands with my medical problems. A doctor told me I had a serious problem, a doctor told me I needed surgery soon, a doctor scheduled my surgery, and a doctor did my surgery. If I was going to be a vegetable or dead due to the surgery it was not in my hands, it was in the hands of the doctor. All I could do was pick a doctor and then sit back and go for the ride, and the path was clear of where I had to go. Sure I was scared and worried alot, but there was no other alternative, I had to do it.  So I did.

Being transgender isnt like that.  There are way to many forks in the road so to say.  There is no one telling you you HAVE to do something, except possibly yourself.  You do what you want. And that’s not one of my strong points. As I have said before, I am indecisive, and pessimistic. I am sure if one of my relatives (who currently have cancer) had trans feelings they would act in someway to make their life improve (not necessarily transition but do something).  Instead, unlike them, I sit around and make dumb posts like this about how I dont act lol.

Its easy to realize you need to change and do something, and its real easy to say it. The hard part is doing something.

I guess that is why some people say they only did something about being transgender when the only other alternative was suicide . Its a hard decision. There is no clear path.  You gotta figure it out on your own. And that sucks.

Being indecisive and being trans are not good qualities to have in one person hah.

Edit- Also how could i forget! Merry christmas.  And thank you to all of you who read my random ramblings lol.