Each person’s transition is truly unique from the next. But it’s lonely because we are truly one of the last minority groups in society that have few role models, no blueprints to abide by or follow when we feel lost.
Guidance is hard to come by, and one has to be vigilant and determined to seek out those who truly can help us.
Many transgender people are incredibly desperate, and feel an incredible urge to be seen by others and anyone else who is willing to lend a complimentary stare or comment. And often times we are exploited by those who deceitfully portray themselves as helpers, when they are truly here to take and exploit.
Moreover, in those rare instances when we do find someone who has done the work and is functional in society, they are usually stealth, or invisible. Or they live all the way on the other side of the country.
Transition is a long and arduous process. It’s as if our old shell is shattered due to self realization, and we are vulnerable to all the elements out there until our new shell arrives. It’s not like we can just order a new identity on Amazon.com and expect it to arrive within said 5-8 business days.
There is no expedited shipping. Money can’t hire us the workers to provide shortcuts of doing our own spiritual, psychological and emotional work. The work that is so vital for our ability to truly transition must be done by ourselves.
Contained in our old shell are some of the ways we used to look at the world, our own lives, and how we fit into that world with the life we had. The habits, friends, family, jobs, and security. Despite projecting a false façade for so many years, many transgender people feel extremely lost and inadequate in the beginning of their transition, despite finally being authentic for the first time in their entire life.
There is so much to learn, so much invested in the old shell that is now irrelevant. We have to find new leads, new people to interact with, and do it all while presenting as someone we are sometimes quite unfamiliar with and awkward as, particularly in the beginning stages.
And the role models that would come in handy at this stage of transition?
They are nowhere to be found.
The closest thing we can find are individuals who share remnants of our story, and share in support groups or transgender clubs or through networking at transgender or GLBT events.
And despite the similarities in our stories, our paths truly are individual and unique on their own.
“Maybe I’ll just live out a simple, solitary life…it’s not so bad, many people do it,” I’ve been finding myself muttering as of late.
“No, don’t give up! There’s someone out there for you,” a coworker recently said. She’s been my biggest cheerleader as of late. I’m grateful she’s in my corner.
Still, it’s lonely sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong. I still go out and do things, and have fun. The night before Halloween, I was at the Danny Elfman concert for Tim Burton Movie Themes at the Nokia Plaza. It was so much fun, an amazing show. I still go out dancing at Hamburger Mary’s, and I do still have a social life.
But I wonder: is it easier to just live a sedentary, low key invisible life, without having to explain my transgender history to others? Or does staying invisible, and not telling my transgender story, inhibit and limit me?
Are my reasons for being alone really rational? Is being tired of explaining myself and coming out over and over again to people a powerful enough reason to seclude myself? Is it worth giving up on dating and meeting new people?
A good friend of mine, who I refer to as Shapeshifter, said so eloquently:
” it’s amazing how effective in the world we can be when we forget about the fact that we are trans…
…Sadly, it’s empty when we forget about being trans also…..”
I’m trying real hard not to get caught up in the matrix, where things are so neatly packaged. I am reminding myself not everything needs to be all or nothing, black or white. That passion is a great thing, but when overdone, can destroy someone. I’m trying to strike a balance.
I try to remind myself that it’s going to take time to smooth out the kinks in my new life. I’ve waited my entire life to live this way, as myself. The three key ingredients of patience, compassion, and simplicity are critical for where I’m at right now.
Although those three ingredients are good spiritual companions, it would be nice to have someone in the flesh to cuddle with when I turn off the light at night.