Tales From the Outside

This week has been one of the most amazing weeks since the start of my transition. It has been almost entirely great.

I have compared transition to watching paint dry before. It can go so slowly but after it is dry you have a fresh new coat of paint. Lately though, things are moving at a ridiculous pace. It is hard to process it all both mentally and emotionally.

I went to my first two social engagements as myself. It was spectacular showing up and having friends introduce me to everybody I did not know as Tori. Funny, part of me was shocked… what should I expect though? This is the beginning of the rest of my life. I may as well get used to it.

The thing is, I never practiced being a woman. This may come as a shock to some of you. How can I be trans and not practice being myself? I don’t exactly know. I just didn’t. Many trans folk before me didn’t either. There are two large groups of Male to Female (MTF) trans people, the ones who are so feminine they can’t contain it, and the ones who suppress it with masculinity. Many overcompensate by bodybuilding, joining the armed forces (roughly twice as many trans folk per capita in the military than elsewhere, even though the military to this day does not support trans people’s right to serve… DADT still exists), racing cars… etc. I guess I fell into the manly group, because I took on the most masculine career out there: Acting. Go figure…

But, I digress.

I was very awkward in these social situations, not knowing when to talk, how much to say, trying to listen, wondering how to sit, was I sitting funny? Were people looking at me because I was sitting funny? What if I just sit lik- NOOOOOOOO!

And that is when I accidentally knocked a glass off the table and watched helplessly as it crashed onto the floor in bits and pieces.

So, uh… yeah… that happened.

It was amazing meeting old friends and new alike as my clumsy self. Many old friends mentioned how there seemed to be more to me now. I guess when I am not repressing my gender I am less guarded. I am the same person, but the freedom I have found, along with this new hormonal cocktail do cause me to express myself differently. I also like to talk and talk and talk and… ah, estrogen.

My wife and I drove to Aiea to an out of the way wig shop. The ladies there were SO great! The first wig they pulled was exactly the color I was looking for. Seconds after trying it on I knew I had to have it. The first wig I tried! These ladies are pros! Great prices too. I will be back. They just cut the tag off the wig and let me walk out of the shop with it on. I could not stop smiling. As we drove home, I noticed nobody gave me a second glance when we were parked next to them at a stop light. It is true what they say, the wig makes the woman.

I wore the wig to rehearsal, and I felt so free. It was amazing. I was not covering my bald spot with a hat! It was liberating. The genie was out of the bottle. Suddenly people were talking to me because I wasn’t sitting in the corner feeling like the odd one out. I was even asked to go shopping for outfits to wear in the show by a fellow cast mate! She has only known me as Tori and she wants to go look at clothes together! How cool is that? I am making friends. Friends who never had to put up with the male me. Lucky them! Luckier me!

The last huge bit of news? My parents have told their siblings I am transitioning. This is huge for me and them. It is a profound gesture of acceptance that my parents are willing to share this information with others. So far, the extended family has been very supportive. This gives me the ability to talk to my extended family again. I decided to give my folks the time they needed before talking to my aunts and uncles. This has been hard for me because I do not have any brothers and sisters, I am an only child. My parents, their siblings and my cousins are the only blood-related family I have. Thanks to my wife, I have inherited some awesome in laws too.

I imagine there will be some interesting questions and discussions in the near future, and I can not wait. Being trans is a bizarre concept for many people and I suspect some members of my family will struggle to understand why I must transition, but now they know I am trans and that is a great start.

I was talking to my mom last night, after she had told her brother and sisters and I mentioned how great she sounded. She said  weight had been lifted. “Doesn’t it feel right to let people know?” I asked her.

“Tori, I can not believe I held out this long. How in the Hell did you keep it a secret for 37 years?” She replied.

Good question mom. I have no excuse. Time to make up for lost time.

Four months on hormones and two and a half weeks since I first left the house alone. Things are moving very fast.

I am here now and I am here to stay. I suspect I will be going full time sooner than I ever imagined. It just feels normal. It feels good.

More than that, I can’t keep playing a man. It takes effort. It is living a lie. I have acted male for long enough.

I’ve thought from time to time that when I tried to take my life last year, I actually did take the life of my male self. An odd thought. I know. But, if I hadn’t would I be Tori today?

No clue.

Aloha,
Tori

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