"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Tuesday 27 January 2015

True Friend

Last week, Leigh Anne published Was this such a good idea after all? on her blog still.. A piece of work

It is a fine piece and made me think a lot. It made me think about my own essentials at the moment, and my own relationship to people who I get to like a lot in my daily life. 

My "essentials" can take one or another path, depending upon how successful the less invasive path is shown to be. This is the path where the endocrinologist says, "yes, an orchiectomy followed by an appropriate hormone therapy will keep you healthy", and I find that my drive to fully abandon the male façade disappears as a result. I think of this as my "Lose the bits, then although I am not a man, to get along in the world I'll continue to cross-dress as one." option. 

The second path is the one more familiar to most of you that will bring me squarely up against all that Leigh Anne wrote about, after all the usual and necessary surgery and so forth. My internal map is so ready for life as a woman, and I am lucky to have a body that will not fight against physical transition too much, apart from a rather resonant baritone vocal range that will simply have to be made less resonant somehow. 

Leigh Anne writes about cutting off ties with those who knew her before. I cannot imagine doing that. I will accept that some of them might cut ties with me for various reasons. This is not the post where I imagine what might happen in the case. I hope that post never gets written. 

I am so lucky to have lots of intelligent and fun people in my daily life. All but one couple know nothing of Halle, and even they do not know that name. They do know that I am transsexual, and what that means. Both are so wonderfully supportive and caring for my sweetie and I, and that gives me hope that all these fears and the hiding are unnecessary. 

Is it possible that others who believe I am a good friend are aware that a wall is there that very few get to peek over? Do they feel it? If they don't, I assure you, I do.

There is a sort of dishonest feel to a relationship that excludes what is absolutely the most essential part of who I am. The real kicker comes though with my children and now grandchild. I am a very caring parent and always have been. They know I would walk through burning coal if necessary to help them. Yet, a part of me is hidden and how will they react if/when this is shared?? Will they understand? I can only hope so. 

The other part of this whole dilemma was laid out perfectly by Calie this week in her post She's Finally Happy

Could I live with myself if I learned that one of those friends or family was going through the torture of guilt and self-loathing that is the life of an isolated and unconnected transgender? What if they ended their life, not knowing there was someone so close by and so caring to talk to? 

Do all of these thoughts and feelings change the sort of parent or friend I must be?


  1. Hi Halle
    It would be impossible for me to offer you any specific sage advice except I will attempt to offer some general points. You have a free choice as to your mode of existence and how you share the experience with others and I have every confidence you will find the right balance along the way in this mystery we call life.
    As my late mother said, the most important thing in life is to learn how to get along with different people. You don’t have to like them, as some will give you bad time which your don’t accept, certainly never to accept abuse or excess demands, but for the most part try and learn how to simply get along because it makes for the most part a better life. Hence one might form the opinion your don’t need to share your innermost thoughts or personal details and so forth, perhaps only to trusted ones whose behaviours and approach over time warrants such trust in them. There is a lot written about being your true authentic self and so on, but that so called person (you) is also changing and evolving along with our life, so that we feel differently about things as time goes on. Sometimes it might be appropriate to do nothing, to be patent, to leave time to think about things as your do. One thing is certain, others can never view us entirely as we view ourselves.
    But when in doubt about talking to someone who is need of help, rather obviously it’s time for compassion, Compassion , as you know, is a strength , not a weakness, so we usually know intuitively when to lend a hand. If in doubt, favour compassion, visit rather worry about you might say. A well-intentioned presence is better than none at all. Listen to your inner being and continue as you do.
    Best wishes

    1. Since this was written and we exchanged comments, one phrase, something I thought of as a young person keeps ringing in my ears.

      "Some say honesty is the best policy. I say honesty is a way of life. One either is or is not honest.

  2. I'm almost finished reading Thomas Berger's 'Little Big Man' again after many years. In my opinion it's one of the very few great American novels as it describes the vast psychological difference between Native Americans and the white race during the period when the former was overrun. There's a section of the novel particularly relevant to your question here as well as those of your friends:

    If a Cheyenne don't believe he can stand a man's life, he ain't forced to. He can become a heemaneh, which is to say half-man, half-woman. There are uses for these fellows and everybody likes them. They are sometimes chemists, specializing in making of the love-potions, and generally good entertainers. They wear women's clothes and can get married to another man if such be his taste.

    My other foster-brother, Little Horse, dressed like a Cheyenne woman, came in and entertained us with very graceful singing and dancing. It did my heart good to see he made such a success of being a heemaneh.

    From my reading of other anthropological studies it would appear fairly commonplace in hunter gatherer societies that the men who preferred gathering were accepted for who they were.

    While we live in a society that demands either/or choices in real life things are never entirely black and white for any of us.

  3. A keyword in your post is hope. When, one day, it's time to decide to come out definitely, I wish and hope! so much to meet understanding people (family, friends) who will accept me as a woman. Like you, Halle, I don't want lo live without them.

    Thanks for your thoughts

  4. There is little that I can add to the former comments. Indeed I would consider it impertinent of me to tread where experience has not previously taken me. I said there is little that I can add. That little is that as you are a caring parent, and that will have been absorbed by your children, you may well find they are more understanding and accepting, or both, that you might have thought. Some young people never cease to amaze me when they have experienced either a spiritually healthy upbringing, or have discovered some enlightenment in their own right. There is hope. I just wish I could offer more.

  5. Lindsay, you wrote of a time to be patient and do nothing. While some may dismiss that, there is no doubt in me that patience has been a gift. At the same time, there will come a time for action, and when that time comes, I hope the gift of words, appropriate, and clear is mine. Thank you for your mother's wisdom.

    Susan, what a terrible shame that those who invaded this land could not have understood and adopted the ways and wisdom of those who they found here. There are so many ways our society could have been better, and still could be if we came to realize that to accept and honour what is natural is much more powerful and beneficial in the long run than forcing the world to conform to some limited vision.

    Feli, glad to walk side by side with you. All the Best.

    Tom, our children are very caring and as you suggest, they are so likely to accept me as I am, realizing that they have always known me and this aspect, while not overt, has always been a part of the person who has loved them. Thank you for pointing that out.

  6. Thanks for the mention, Halle.

    A thought provoking post.

    Calie xxx