31 January 2010

Dear Mother,

I think we've established that we don't agree on pretty much anything. We never really have.

Though I did not recognize it in myself until only recently, it is true that I've always wanted to be a boy. I don't know why, no one ever really does, but it's true. And now, now that I'm finally getting what I've wanted my whole life, I feel great. I feel like I can take on the world. Don't you see that? You say I need to pray and get God's guidance. So far as I can tell, I have His approval. I'm becoming myself so I can better serve others.

Also, please don't argue with me about the Bible and Christianity. I took a class each semester that heavily detailed all aspects of each. I know a lot more about the scholarship than you do, or likely will. Don't talk down to me about it. Don't assume that what you've learned is the only correct thing. I don't make those assumptions either.

Besides, the Bible is about love. God is love. Judgment is His alone. If you're the best example of Christianity, I want none of it.

That said, I do believe in God, and even to some extent, the Bible. I believe that the purpose of people is love. Through loving one another, the creation, and themselves, people honor the creator and fulfill their life's purpose.

My therapist has several degrees. She's well-learned. She's not queer. She's not an atheist. She's in fact Jewish and getting a further degree in that field. She's not an idiot that is just telling me what I want to hear. She is also not feeding me things. She is simply helping me figure out who I really am. And it's working.

So all of these things we do not agree on. All of these things we should never talk about.

However, because I know that you think of these things, I know that it affects our time together. That is why I insist upon bringing a friend when I visit. I need support. I need someone who loves me for exactly who I am and not who they want me to be. And because you've said that I am welcome, but my friends are not, I don't feel welcome either. Because my friends are part of me, just as you are. This is why I will not be visiting you for any amount of time in the near future. Until something changes.

All this said, I do love you. You are my mother. Sure, we never really connected or shared much, but you raised me and I wouldn't change my childhood. It's made me who I am. And even who I'm becoming. And I know you love me, but I know you don't love me for who I am becoming, but rather who I was, or who you want me to be. And it hurts.

Larz (I will never ask you to call me your son, only that you don't call me your daughter.)
I was told I should write more. And I certainly agree. I always want to write more. Sometimes it's terribly hard for me to do.

I got a call the other day from an old friend of the family. I couldn't answer so she left me a long message. It absolutely made my day. She said she'd been talking with my parents and they'd told her about how I'd come out to them and indicated how I wanted to be treated and who I really was. She was incredibly comforting, telling me that she respected me and could see such things in me from a young age. It always feels good to be affirmed, but certainly more so to be affirmed by someone I've known my whole life and respected.

I also recently received a note from another person I've always respected, telling me simply to be myself.

And then there are my friends, taking things in stride, switching pronouns and making it seem so natural (as I suppose it really is). Sure there are occasional slip-ups, but no one makes it awkward. It's just the period of change.

These people affirming me and supporting me in every way helps me to not get caught up in the fact that my parents, my mom especially, are not at all affirming or supportive. When I talk to my mum on the phone, she always slides something in there about praying or straightening out or something like that. It makes me want to lash out. If she wants me to be Christian, she'll have to change her attitude a bit. I don't want to be anything like her.

So in the meantime, I sort of pretend I'm an orphan. I've taken over all of my bills except my phone, as it's tied into the family plan. My dad said he'd pay my health insurance, but I did it anyway. Mostly because I could and I should, but also because I'm going to be using it to see my doctor. The doctor that is going to prescribe testosterone. And I don't want that to be something my dad can take away from me.

So now is a period of waiting. Waiting for my therapist to send the letter to the doctor. Then scheduling an appointment, subjecting myself to whatever doctor-y things need to be done and walking away with a prescription. A prescription to my new life. To the rest of my life. And it terrifies me just as much as it elates me. Because this is change I will not be able to reverse. And I'm not sure how far I'll go. If I will decide that it's something I need to do for the rest of my life, or just something to change a few aspects of myself and then I can continue to live in the in-between.

This concludes my writing for the day. For the month. Happy February.

22 January 2010

I am Human

There have been a lot of things banging around in my head, pressing for attention lately. I’ve not slept much at all. Ever…

The main thing that preoccupies my brainwaves is transitioning. For a long while it was sort of back-burner and experimental, if you will. But now, now I want to get things rolling. I need to see my therapist regularly. I want to get on track for hormone replacement therapy. I want change. I want to be me.

And I think that is terribly important.

But I’ve also been getting twinges of conscience lately. My unused degree is haunting me. I am still the idealist I’ve always been. I still want to help the world in any way I can.

And these two overwhelming pieces of me seem not to fit together very well. I will be spending heaps of money on myself. For years. For the rest of my life. And I wonder if that’s over-the-line selfish. I wonder if I shouldn’t just find a good organization to donate the equal amount of money to.

Yet I realize that I cannot really help anyone unless I’ve helped myself a bit. I feel like I will be useless until I get this piece of identity back in place. That is my rationale. Is it wrong? Perhaps I shall never know.

Everything in my life seems tied to that defining identity bit. My relationships with people for example. Things with my parents aren’t quality, though nothing devastating has occurred. My friends are generally freaking fantastic about all of this. And the pronoun transition at work has gone smoothly. I will admit it’s odd to be referred to as male. Not wrong at all, just different. It makes me smile.

The remnants of my Christian faith are still with me. I’ve recently described myself as a “back-burner Christian” which I actually hate myself for saying. Honestly, I do not think I wish to identify with Christianity any longer. However, this does not mean I’ve become an atheist. I really don’t know what to believe right now. It’s been a struggle for me for years. Long before any of the queer theory entered my brain. All I can say, over and over, is that the Bible tells us God is love. So I cling to that.

I don’t want to lose sight of what’s important. I need people to help me out. I need affirmation. Because I do sink. I do lose sight. I fall into apathy. I am sucked at by complacency. I am overwhelmed by the world, life, loneliness.

I am human.