"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive boy who often thought he should have been a girl - -

Friday, 30 April 2010

Why Be Normal?

Lovely Lucy has written of “The Cumulative Effect of Negative Comments”. I was going to write a comment over there, but instead, I will send you to read that and her previous post “Transgender Women and Body Image”.

We are only one example, probably the easiest example of a minority that is very visible and who are targeted for ridicule and also violence because of our failure to conform. Over recent human history there are way too many examples. The bigots of our world are running out of ‘fair game’. It is still culturally acceptable to make fun of the ‘guy in drag’.

This is about power and powerlessness. We are the truly brave element. Anyone who really gives us some thought would know what bravery it takes to knowingly set your self up as the target. Of course they find temporary joy in the snicker that makes them feel powerful and better than someone (anyone in some cases). As people encounter more real trans-gendered people, and are unable to label us, but have to get to know us one at a time, it will change.

It would be less theoretical if we could avoid the violence that often goes with this power struggle. You only have to cruise around this part of the web for a while to know that for many of us, this is no theoretical discussion, not a thing to get your mind around, like ignoring the taunts on the playground when you were the sissy in grade 5. When it is life-threatening is when we need to stand together. I hope when the time comes, that enough of us are ready to stand alone if necessary and let our part of the world know that we are not freaks, and we are not sissies, and they are the ones who need to gain power by actually thinking instead of just reacting as they have been programmed to do by the forces that have really made them powerless.

As Lucy points out, buying into the idea that we have to be either this or that is the real enemy. The image makers that control our world have been doing this to women for a very long time. It seems we will have to pay our dues in this regard.

This is getting pretty deep, but maybe we need to arm ourselves to become part of a more general movement to liberate all females from the slavery of conformity. To be expressive is to be diverse. Females are more expressive by nature, yet to control someone you need to make them feel inadequate. You need to make them fear standing out. All feminine expression requires bravery. Watch our genetic sisters checking themselves out to make sure they look all right as they pass a mirror. We are not the only ones who worry if we are passing. For a full treatment on the subject, The Beauty Myth, published in 1991, by Naomi Wolf is not an easy read, but very informative on the subject.

Maybe the time has come to declare that passing should not be one of the goals of a life. Maybe we would be healthier, maybe all women would be healthier in a world where being different was expected, and people who snicker at a another person's appearance are pitied as the weak individual they really are.

Thank you Lucy, for those thought-provoking articles.

Hugs,

Halle

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Joy For the Girl

As usual these days, everything is an opportunity to learn, even a rant. Yesterday was a day to feel sorry for the boy. Today I feel joy for the girl. That girl and this girl too.

That rant has reminded me that I, Halle, am alive, and am so incredibly grateful and thankful to be finally alive, thanks to this technology. Not so long ago, those emotions would have gone unexpressed. Those emotions would have been turned against me in the never-ending war that was my life until I, the guy, acknowledged this better part of me.

My joyful, feminine nature just happens to be located in that part of my brain that is the dominant side; the right side. As a strongly right brain dominant, I am not a verbal person. My thoughts come in images and global feelings. All of these have to be converted into words, and this always has been a slow process, but a necessary one.

The part of me that is male is the logical, linear, and talking part. It is the left half, and badgered the right side for most of my life to submit, and serve. It has always been the gatekeeper.

Since accepting my true needs and nature, that talking, reasoning part of me has slowly bent to the service of that feminine side, to verbalize those feelings, that joyful nature.  Without the opportunity these interactions with my true family have given here in email and blog-land, it would have taken a lot longer to gain the insights and organize them into plans other than “run”, or “hide”.

I find now that when those very primitive instincts rise up, or the dysphoria overwhelms me (as it did when I felt such envy over that joyful young lady), I now have a way of tempering them; I put them into words. Years ago, that logical talker in the left side would have just got angry and told the rest of me to settle down, eat another hot-dog and shut up.

Thank you all for your virtual ears, because without these virtual gatherings, across oceans in some cases, through time zones and across a bridge that connects me with you, I would not have a reason to put these ideas into words. Without the words, the understanding might never come. Maybe, in time, I can find a way to express that joy physically, but until then, you can be sure it is inside, and being expressed here.

Hugs,

Halle

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

How Do You Say Joyful?

Driving through town, it was impossible to miss the teenaged girl walking along, expressing her joy in being herself. Her hair flaming red, she wore bright shiny fuchsia coloured leggings, with a short black skirt and black jacket over a shiny gold top. She practically danced down the street, and nobody thought anything of it, even in a small town. She was being herself.

My feelings of inadequacy as a male were there in stark relief. Not only am I not supposed to ‘be’ that joyful (because apparently men don’t do “publicly happy” in my culture), but even if I was allowed to be joyful, I am not allowed to ‘look’ or dress that joyfully.

It is important to note, to be fair, the fact that a fifty-something female dressing as she was would also receive a negative reception (there goes the crazy lady). So even if I transitioned tomorrow, that kind of self expression is out of range for one my age.

To give this rant a point, let’s just say that I wish I could express even ‘really happy’ in my life. That would be something exceptional. Truly joyful is not likely that is sure. Women of my age group are allowed to express themselves and their joy publicly, even if their dress would be somewhat subdued compared to the young lady in the introduction.

It makes me sad to think of what I missed because I was beaten down back then, when I was young enough to get away with joyful. It is really eating at me to think that but for a twist of genetic fate, my brain and my body might have matched, and I might have expressed true JOY in my attitude and in my dress, at some point in my life. When it comes to loving who you are and physically expressing your joy in being alive, the façade sucks,

Rant ends here.

Halle

Friday, 23 April 2010

No One Expects Comic Relief!

Not widely known is the fact that I live in the wilds of Ontario, Canada.

In the springtime, we have various pleasures and pests. One of the pests had a song written about 60 years ago to memorialize it.

It is not the usual navel-gazing you have come to expect. Hope you enjoy this production from Canada's national gem, the NFB.


We go crazy for other reasons up here in God's country!

Halle

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Is it Fun Yet Halle?

These days my ‘baby steps’ approach is rankling. Every now and then it is important to talk the situation through to be sure I haven’t lost my way.

Having a façade shouldn’t mean staying the same. Becoming a better person must not mean going back to self-destructive ways of living life.

Both parts of my personality need to cooperate, and the feminine must have the bigger part in that internal conversation, since the masculine basically screwed things up royally. Exactly how can I change from the old me? … as much as I can get away with while still being a guy on the outside. By pushing the envelope gently, a fair amount might be possible.

As previously mentioned, when I become aware of bad old ways of dealing with situations, I search for more authentic ways to act. When the cave man comes to call, I give him his thirty seconds of inside time, and then say ‘goodbye, thanks, we are not showing the world this way of dealing today’.

I try to remember that most of being feminine is between the ears. It is a way of seeing the world, and reacting to it. Most of the physical aspects, caring for the body, soft clean skin, etc; all of it is fine on a man too (looking at most men age 55 you wouldn’t think so, it is true). Of course, there is a real balancing act here, and it comes to a head when you meet people who have not seen you in a while. I’ll try to be prepared for the questions about eyebrows that I never used to trim (or thin). When removing hair from various parts of my body, I might need to account for that too. I am trying not to lie. Suggesting that I like to look and feeling younger might do the trick; most people can relate to that (especially women). I considered taking up body-building to justify losing the body hair, but; now that is really too silly Halle! :P

It is pretty obvious that if and when the use of hormones gets involved (for example), or electrolysis (for another), it could become very difficult to explain the changes. Eventually it might be necessary to bring everyone in on the bigger issue going on. At that point….we will see whether a façade is needed. Nobody ever told me this process would be fun, just necessary to survive.

Halle

Saturday, 17 April 2010

We Need a Secret Handshake

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each others' life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof” .
Richard Bach

Calie’s moving account of her meeting en homme of a sister (also en homme), or at least someone she is almost certain is a sister has moved me. If you haven’t read it, you should, but to summarize, she felt drawn to make contact, but the opportunity went by, unfulfilled.

I would have wanted to connect, but this has given me something else to ponder; what would I do if I was the girl standing there in my man-clothing and someone said, right out, “you're trans aren't you?”.

What if I was clocked? (I realize that usually we worry about this en femme, but remember, I am special, ;P ) It is something I will really ponder, and try to be prepared for, because it might be a wonderful opportunity, or my wife’s worst nightmare, and I won’t have much time to size up which one it is at the moment it happens.

Another recent post by Nicky had me all wistful with a similar theme of wishing we could all hang out together and have a pint at the drop of a hat.

Our lives are complicated enough aren’t they ladies? I do love connecting here in blog-land, but don’t you wish that when we really met by chance that we had a way to connect and spend some real time together, no matter how we are presenting at the time?

I’d like to meet my family. I know how difficult that is to arrange. I have a feeling it will happen, someday, because when we want something badly enough, and can imagine it happening, usually it does, eventually.

Hugs to you all,

Halle

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

This Girl's Guy Won't Do Drag

One of the most disturbing situations since outing myself to my sweetie was finding late last year that a local charity was likely to ask me to be one of the men doing drag for a fundraiser. I’m no prude, in fact the guy is usually a ‘good sport’, but this activity would have involved making fun of ‘being a woman’.

It offended me to even think of doing this. None of our friends know about Halle, so they would have thought 'I' was just being a 'party pooper'. "What's the problem? Be a good sport."

In the end, others stepped forward, and I was spared the conflict it would have created.

Trying to be really honest about this incident is hard; I’ll give it a try, but those of you who can relate might chime in if you have other theories from your own experience.

My theory: it’s not about doing drag, something that, done by others, does not offend me at all. I feel like it has to do with the love of my life thinking that not only is there a woman living inside her ‘knight’, but the woman only wants to dress up; she isn’t seriously female. Over time I hope to show her that my feminine nature deserves a proper outlet, in dress that is appropriate to the situation, because like all women, looking my best is something I value. Even though I maintain the façade, there is a big part of me that sees me as a woman now. I want her first to see all the other feminine qualities I value that have nothing to do with dressing up.

Maybe I don't do drag because a woman doing drag should dress as a man?

Maybe I'm confused.

Halle

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Why the façade?

When I realized that accepting my feminine side was the only way to heal the rift in my psyche, it was a huge step. I felt as though an internal truce had been declared. Old destructive habits relaxed and I felt well. Acceptance began a new process; my need to understand how to help myself be the best person possible, without really worrying about why I was born male, not female as every inclination I have tells me I should be.

I will freely admit wishing I could be one of those who can glam up and head out to be themselves for a few hours, or even a weekend. I can also read between the lines in the stories of those I envy, and it isn’t all fun and games when you take the risk of emulating those you admire. No six year old girl playing dress up would ever be mistaken for her mother at the mall, even if she was five foot-two. There is a steep learning curve to womanhood and I will need a lot of mentoring to be able to avoid embarrassing myself and those around me. My wife would be a perfect mentor, but sadly, she has said that the very idea of her man dressing as a woman is not only embarrassing, but ‘sickening’. Having a lot of strong feelings of my own, I won’t argue with how she feels, but wish to find a way to help her learn that I am worth staying with and continuing to love, no matter what outward appearance I have.

I don’t confuse the façade with being the way I was before. Passing as a male (ironic, hmm?) has meant carefully observing how males around me dealt with situations; their body language, posture, vocal inflections, etc. I spent my life doing this subconsciously. I now catch myself using their macho stuff when situations trigger them, and these days I head these phantom men off before they take me over.

Until I come up with a better plan, my goal is to be as true as possible to my feminine nature, while presenting as a male. This means getting rid of those macho reactions to situations that I have gathered over the years, replacing them with a spontaneous 'Halle reaction'. I am listening more, responding with enthusiasm more and trying to smile a lot more to encourage others. If I had been a woman, you can bet she would have been a strong, assertive person that others would trust. Losing Mrs. H’s trust by having to admit deception hurt a lot. I am searching for an authentic person who can be ‘all he/she can be’. That is what I mean by being true to myself.

So, why the façade? Unless it becomes obvious that I cannot be the best person I know how to be while staying in the body I came with, I am not going to risk losing the people who I love. It is that simple, and that complicated too.

Hugs,

Halle

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

I am Whelmed

This blog is brought to you by a very appreciative lady in waiting (we do have a language of our own, don’t we?) Ms. Halle Randall.

Only a week ago I was dithering about whether I have the time, or talent, or enough to say to take on this step of sharing myself and my other way of dealing with being male and female. What pushed me over the edge, I will never really know, but this is for sure; no one story out here in Blogistan is enough to tell a sister what she needs to know to find her way. The more of us there are, each giving our perspective, the better. We are all swimming in this vast sea of intellectual krill; filter feeding as we go.

Thanks to Leslie and Calie for the gentle nudge, and Petra and, oh don’t start to name all of those who have thrown you a juicy fish Halle or you will get tear stains on your party dress.

Thank you all for the head start, especially Lori D for the feature in T-Central (now everyone will read me OMG!). Now it is up to me to say what I need to say. It is up to all of you to help keep me honest to myself and to you as well.

Hugs,

Halle

Monday, 5 April 2010

At War With Ourselves

I am not bitter about my life, even though it might seem that this would be so. The regrets expressed here are for me, but they are also for so many others who are young and afraid, and at war with themselves.

When you are forced to be someone you do not really believe in, you go to war against yourself. This is the corner we are painted into as a young male with feminine inclinations. Even with no experience of it, I have little doubt that young females with masculine inclinations follow a similar path of shame and self recrimination.

To have a really good war, it is necessary for the citizenry of the nation to truly hate the enemy. The parallel to my youth is perfect. The society I lived in did everything to convince me that feminine behavior was my enemy. I fought so effectively that I was convinced the enemy had been defeated. I buried the dead, and moved on. Her ghost lived on inside, and she hated me for what I had done. I had given in, and sided with the forces of evil (from her point of view).

If my world had been more understanding when I was making those decisions, I might have been spared living a life at war with myself. It definitely would have helped to be better informed and not isolated in my crisis.

Here is something that gives hope for the youth of today who find themselves in the same place; a camp for trans- kids in Maine.

It is called Camp Aranu’tiq and looks like it is very real. How wonderful for kids whose parents are open to it, and can get them there. The program is free.

You may want to point any of our sisters with extra funds in their direction to make a donation (after checking it out carefully, naturally). The site lists staff, so that should make it possible to check the validity. Anyhow, good on them!

Any day we stop a war is a good day!

Hugs,

Halle

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Welcome to My World

Now try to contain yourself; it is a very small world so far. Even though my mind can travel farther and faster than anyone could have imagined one hundred years ago thanks to this technology, my corporeal essence has never even been seen by anyone other than the other person inhabiting this body; the guy I created to live up to the outward illusion that I am male.

For those who have blundered here, yes, I was born male, have lived as a male (sometimes with great effort) and so far, in my case, live as a female only in my mind. If you don’t want to deal with those sorts of ideas in a calm, rational way, it is time to leave now. Thanks for visiting.

For the rest of us, what will be offered here is a perspective into what it means to accept the reality (it is a real thing, believe us) of thinking female, feeling as a woman does, being affected by media as a woman, and yet maintaining the façade of maleness to avoid messing with peoples minds, and generally getting them really angry all of the time.

In order to give that perspective, it will be necessary to drop my guard. As you might imagine the guard that has been set up in a situation like mine is a very good one. I am an expert in deception, even though my male counterpart would have denied that vigorously for the first 56 years of his existence. After all, the best defense in this situation is to set things up so that no suspicion exists, AT ALL.

Just ask Mrs. Halle. She couldn’t have been more surprise than she was that day when I shared the revelation that I had only allowed myself to acknowledge to myself days before. So far was the guy into denial, that he mistook all of the symptoms of a trans-gendered nature for insanity. He told anyone who got to know him that he was crazy; watch out for falling parts. He told everyone who might care that he felt like an alien from another planet who was marooned here and was desperately trying to pass as a native (how am I doing?).

I am going to save the rest, because this is what I will share over whatever time it takes to get to the point where there is nothing else worth posting here.

So, as you go through your days, try to be true to yourself, as will I.

Hugs,

Halle

Stranger and Stranger

Did you ever feel like a stranger on the planet?

There are many of us out here. We pass as one of you because our survival depends upon it. Learning everything possible about the real creature hidden inside, we maintain the appearance that has served us well all of our lives.
In most cases (in my observation so far) we have spouses, and children, and coworkers who would never suspect us of being anything other that what we have portrayed.

The more I learn about myself, the less I like the bits that have allowed me to pass all of these years. I will have to be very, very careful, since it is my goal to stay a man on this strange planet, even though I am becoming more and more female, and shedding more and more of the baggage. The locals don’t like men who are really female.

Life gets stranger and stranger.