By Lisa P.
Why? Why do I feel like I am a girl? From where within my psyche does that feeling come, and why have I had that sense about myself from about the time I noticed that there was more than one gender? Why can’t I play the game the way it was designed to be played, instead of continuously wanting to simultaneously play on both sides of the net?
Since I have no answers to those questions, I find it difficult (if not impossible) to explain it to my lovely wife, or to anyone else I have come out to for that matter….
One of the big hurdles for CD/TG persons, especially living in the anti-trans environment many of us find ourselves living in, is that other people cannot appreciate the internal turmoil that precedes, accompanies and continues after we realize that we are transgender. If we decide to transition, it is viewed by society generally as a choice, and a bad choice at that, because we are making them (the other person or persons in the conversation) uncomfortable. If we decide not to transition, we often must do it not out of acceptance that we are not trans but rather out of submission to the external realities. Further, regardless of the choice, our suffering likely will continue, because there is always someone ready to punish us for being who we are. (Don’t worry Webmistress Kandi, I am still smiling my way through life. I say these things not to be negative, but to be realistic about my need to constantly remind myself to smile.)
Here’s our simple truth. We never chose to feel the way we do. I didn’t wake up one day and say, “gee, wouldn’t it be nice to see what it would feel like to be a girl!” In fact, because of societal strictures, I have internalized transphobia and have pushed my personal identity and my feelings about who I am deep down. I am left feeling like a fraud much of the time (except, that is, when I am Lisa). As Lisa, I worry about being accepted by others, but I don’t worry about being accepted by myself – I am me being me, and that is good enough for me! (See Kandi — I am still smiling!)
Another truth about the “choice” lie is that no one has a choice when something is being forced on them. Ukrainians fleeing Putin’s war aren’t “choosing” to become refugees. Sure, they could stay and face death for themselves or their children, but who really thinks that is a realistic choice?. Any trans person who desperately needs to transition follows through with transition only because the only other possibility is death (physical or mental). To me, that is not choice.
I have repeatedly said to myself and my wife that I don’t intend to transition, but I honestly must admit that it is my truth today. I don’t know what my truth will be tomorrow. I keep finding novel ways to address my feelings of being a fish out of water, and so far those accommodations have kept me emotionally whole and on dry land. But, will that always be the case? I cannot say, because I enjoy swimming so much! I do know that if I were to change my intent and to begin a complete medical and social transition I would risk losing the most precious thing in my life – my wife. She has been very clear that she cannot accept me as a woman. She hasn’t said the words, “I will leave you,” but she has said, “I love you, but I can’t be married to a woman. The rest is up to you.”
I have heard enough from others in this community to know that I am not alone in hearing similar words spoken. I realize, however, that my wife is speaking a truth about her own sense of self. The potential conflict between my sense of self and her sense of self means that for the time being, the only “choice” for me is to be Lisa solely within strictly defined limits that don’t steal from my wife her sense of self and thereby risk our marriage. Moreover, a big part of myself (in addition to Lisa) is my sense of loyalty and duty to her. So, truthfully, I would also need to ignore that part of myself if I were to transition. Sadly, I have read about far too many transwomen who have lost the love of their lives because they could not continue to live without transitioning.
I am rooting for us and for everyone else like us, and I hope you are too! Because, we have no choice!
I hope you have noticed, you haven’t had to listen to my blathering much the past week or so because we have so many wonderful ladies contributing and sharing. And that is so great!! This is a community. We do go out and we are ourselves and we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk in our beautiful heels!!