Monday, November 22, 2010

Butterflies and Beer

All day yesterday I worried and stewed, and was unable to concentrate.  I worked on my parka a bit, and after making three stupid mistakes which involved a turn with the seam ripper, I called it quits and left to go do something else.  I tried reading, and realized that words weren't sinking in any further than my eyes.  Sigh.  Oh!  Its Sunday!  I turned on football, and managed to sit and watch that and did a few rows on my pattern knitting.  Which was just complicated enough to hold my attention, but not to the point where I would screw it up.  But really wasn't enjoying the knitting, and laid that down as well.  In the end I did dishes and cleaned the kitchen, while watching the game, and then packed TH's (the husband) lunch.

Now, I have a tendency to get lost, and TH knows this, so Saturday night we went looking for Pete's house.  The road was easy to find, but the house was a whole different story.  The house number turned out not to be on the house but on the oddly placed mailbox, making it hard to see from the street.  I'm glad TH took me to find the place because as upset as I was, I'm not sure that in the stress of looking for the house, and being stressed about the meeting that I wouldn't have just turned around and headed home.

I get in the car confident on knowing how to get there, but anything but confident that it would all be ok once I was there.  As I drive, my nervousness expands to fill the car, in desperation I turn on some music and crank it up.  That did help to pull my mind off the hamster wheel it had been spinning on all day.  Sigh...thats a bit better.  The one thing that I didn't want to have happen was to show up with tear tracks on my face, and yeah I was in that level of melt down.  One little dust mote landing wrongly would have pushed me over the edge into tear town, something I really really didn't want to do.

Pulling up to the house, I see someone else pull up, and for some reason, I'm scared!  so I keep driving.... I go only a bit further down the road, and turn around.  I turn the car around, park, big breath in...... and get out and lock it.  I walk up to the door, and pause a moment, yet another big breath, and ring the bell.  The person who had walked in right ahead of me, opened the door, and welcomed me.

Her name is Cara, and she was very sweet, and introduced me to BEVERLY!  OMG!  She came, she came, she came, she came!  At that very exact moment, is when I finally began to relax and decide that this will be ok after all.  Pete is very sweet and kind guy, oh and really really tall, his silver hair contrasted with a youngish face, and a gorgeous silver goatee.  Cara is older also and a bit taller than me, with salt and pepper hair and a soft feeling to her personality.  Beverly is also tall and very thin, with the coolest piercings, ears, she has a conk piercing in both ears, in her tongue and around her ear lobes.  Kelly came in right after me, and she is young and very cute, and very friendly.  Nicole came in rather late and really wasn't very.....friendly,  she only talked to Pete, am reserving final decision about her until the next meeting.

Pete had made supper so we ate and chatted, and I calmed down even more.  There was some general talk about one thing and another, then the meeting bit of the program, which was interesting, then more chatty.  And almost shockingly soon, the meeting began to break up!  Oh!  Cara and Beverly walked up and asked me if I would like to go for a drink.  Yes, yes yes yes yes yes!!!!!  

I got to know Cara a bit better, turns out she's not a football fan, but Beverly is.  We chatted a bit about this and that, and then it was time for Cara to go home.  I'm not sure why her wife didn't or doesn't come to the meeting, but it was nice to get to know Cara.  After she left, Beverly started talking about being trans.

Overly wordy me has absolutely no words to describe how it felt to sit there, in real life, and talk to someone about being trans.  I no longer feel like such a total freak-a-zoid.  Beverly is M2F, and has been living as her true self for 5 years.  We exchanged phone numbers and email addys.  

This is the happiest I've been in.....................................well I can't remember when the last time I was this happy!  The tears are no longer on the surface, threatening to burst out of me.  My shoulders are relaxed, and the nonstop clench in my jaw is gone as well.  I feel totally at peace with myself.  The next meeting is in January, and you can bet I'll be there!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Faltering steps

My social life consists entirely of my family, our sons and their wives, to be wives, and girl friend.  The few friends I did have before moving, have all drifted away, leaving me without a single friend.  TH (the husband) says I'm looking in the wrong place for friends.  He told me to stop looking for women to be my friends, and to be friends with guys.  Ok, that makes sense, as I've always gotten along better with guys.  But if the men are married, their wives don't understand wanting to hang around a female bodied person with out sex occurring.  And two, where would I meet new guys, because if a "woman" is friendly and open with a guy, they assume, wrongly, that I'm looking for sex.

So, as you know, November 20th is International Transgender Day of Remembrance.  I was curious if our local PFLAG group was holding a memorial.  And I wrote this email to them.


I was wondering if there was going to be a local Transgender Day of Remembrance in Fairbanks?  I would like to attend if you are having one, as I'm transgender myself.


Receiving this mail in response:

Hi Biki,
At this time, PFLAG Fairbanks has not organized a day of remembrance event. Last year there were a few transgender members who met a few times, but the person heading that up has not been to a PFLAG meeting for a while. 


Then, drawing my courage around me, I wrote Pete again:
Hello Pete,
Do you think that any of the transgender members would be willing to meet again?  I'm newly out, and horribly shy, but could really do with a 'community'.  Maybe not an official sorta of meeting, but a meet someplace and chat sorta thing?  I feel rather alone, and would love to be with people who actually understand me.

And then this arrived in my inbox:
We can probably make that happen. Let me get in touch with Beverly and see what her schedule is.

Five days ago this landed in my inbox:
Hi Biki,
Beverly said she would be available to help with establishing a circle or support network. She works morning shifts, which cuts down on her availability. I'm hoping she can make the PFLAG meeting next Sunday at 4pm here at the house. We don't have much business going on, so it will be somewhat informal. 

It was at this point, I screwed my courage up, and told TH about going to attend a meeting with them this Sunday.  Dead silence.  Finally he asked me, "Do you expect me to attend THAT?"  Letting me know what he thought about it.  Then yesterday he asked me, "What are you hoping to get out of this meeting?  What if they are like everyone else, and they tell you to transition too?"  Ok, so now the truth comes out as to why he's rather against it.  And yes it made sense to me why he would be afraid.  He doesn't want to lose me, and to him my transitioning would be losing me.  I explained to him that I want, no I need friends, and if any of the trans members become friends how wonderful it would be to have someone really and truly understand me.  After he thought about it for awhile, he agreed, that I would be happier if I had a circle of friends.

Now what you might not know about me, is I'm horribly shy, especially when I go someplace alone, that alone will be a huge step for me.  Then if you add the fact that this will be the first time that I'll be "out" to random people, it has just grown even bigger.  

I'm worried that they won't like me.  I'm worried that my shyness will make me look unfriendly.  Also, our city is rather small, and part of me is worried that word will get back to the kids...... I'm just plain worried, about well everything.  But I can't live like this any longer, so Sunday will find me knocking on the door.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


In my last post, I spoke about the suicide of Brandon Bitner.  After reading the story at Queerty, I did an internet search on the news, because they can kinda play fast and loose with the facts at times.  However, this time they were completely correct,  FTW!   Any way..... TH (the husband) happened to call right around the time I was crying at the waste of yet one more precious human life.  Needless to say, I was very upset, and didn't really carefully monitor my words.  After hanging up from him, I realized that about half way through the conversation a chill point had occurred.

Last night TH told me what had upset him on the phone.  It was the use of the word "us" in talking about bigots and GLBT haters.  Us?  How is that such a hard word for him to swallow?  He said it puts "space" between us.  Moves me further away from him.  He has also gotten into the habit of using feminine pronouns with me again, especially in front of others.  But to be fair to TH, a few bloggers of late have referred to me as "she".  So, is it just habit with him?  Or is it him wanting me to fit into my old space in our lives?  Back when our lives ran on greased rails, and we were so tight a ray of light couldn't fit between us.  Before TH and I starting drifting apart.  Some of that drift is due to my unending depression.  It's much better than it was this summer, but I'm still not back to anything that could be termed normal behavior for me.

So, I'm out and about doing errands and whatnot, or in some sorta social situation, where I'm expected to agree with someone when they refer to me in the feminine.  I do try to avoid it, but for some reason often they back me into the corner, until I have no choice but to agree with them.  Which feels like a knife to the gut.

This summer, I was filling out my fishing license to go silver salmon fishing.  And ya know how it is when you are filling out stuff that really doesn't take any brain power at all do accomplish, your brain idles down, and its just kinda on rote.  Name, address, height, weight, age, sex.  Now I went through the list, chatting with TH about nothing of import, and just barely caught myself at the last moment.  What did I almost do, without thinking about it?  I almost marked the box for male.  My pen came to a wavering halt, and for the longest (at least it seemed that way) time I was confused as to what box to check.  Finally I remembered and X'd the box for female.  

I thought i was doing ok, but TH told me last night, that I'm not doing very well.  I feel as though I'm stuck.  I think I might be ok with this girl body, if I could express my maleness with the proper  pronouns.  But to be honest, I'm not really sure about that either.  So, I'm just plain stuck, like a fly in tree sap.  There is no going forward, no going back.  Not sure how much of TH's vision is correct, as he can be a negative nelly most of the time.  I really honestly don't know what to do.  Is it that I'm denying who I am, to please others?  Is that why I don't transition?  Is this yet again a manifestation of my abusive childhood?  Where I was taught so very well, that I had no worth, no voice, and was unwanted by everyone?   Fuck, I wish I knew the answers to all of my questions. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sticks, stones, words and yet another teen suicide

Brandon Bitner dead at the age of 14.  Trying to find release from the constant bullying at school, committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a tractor trailer.  He walked 13 miles to end his pain.  I can't imagine his last walk, and the thoughts that were swirling through his head knowing what he was planning to do.

The school had an anti-bullying assembly that week, how nice of them.  The school ass-hats claimed after Brandon's death that the school didn't have any history of bullying issues.  Oh, really?  Gee-whiz school officials, that's not what your current students and your past students say.   Click here for the full story.

The asshats that "run" the school, kids that attend, quality or lack thereof of parenting, I'm sure with little effort, a giant list of reasons why kids bully could be compiled.  But, in the face of it, reasons why kids are bullied isn't really germane to the conversation.  What is germane is why we are so blase about bullying, we say kid's will be kids, etc.  Well until a child commits suicide or is bullied to death, then suddenly we CARE.

Our eldest son, for reasons we never did quite figure out, was bullied, would you like to know who first started in on him?  I'll give you one guess........his teacher.  Yes, he was a scapegoat no matter what he did, and the kids all picked it up, and of course ran like deer with it.  And because the teacher had started it, of course she didn't attempt to stop the students from picking on our son.  It got to the point where he was afraid to ask to use the restroom.  Why?  The teacher would make fun of him, in front of the class for needing to use the restroom.   Yes, we did go to the principle and complained about the teacher.  We went to the school board to complain about the principle.  And the only thing that came of our complaining was that the teacher ramped up the bullying, with the students following tightly in lock step.  At one point we were told it was good for him, would toughen him up.....

I was chatting with Malcolm today about how little children are valued in our society.  Something that hasn't changed since, well forever.  Why children aren't seen as the treasure they are, has pestered me for years.  One reason I think boils down as to how we view children as a whole.  We see them as "owned" by their parents, rather than people in their own right.  They have no rights, at all.  In fact most of our civil rights come to a halt at the school doors for children, lovely huh?  If GLBT are second class citizens, what does that make our children, classless?

The only way I can see to end this morass of administrations turning a blind eye to bullying, is to hit them where it counts.  No, not there, but hey as a parting gift, I'm game!  In the wallet.  If a student loses the will to live, due to bullying, and takes their own life, I say fire the entire administration of the school. All of them.  From the secretary, through the councilors, and only stopping after the principles are gone as well.  As for the teachers?  If they saw it, started it, let it go, then we no longer need them in the halls and rooms of our schools.  As a nation we need to make this a priority when we are electing school board members and hiring school employees.  Often we blow off the local elections and only really pay attention to the state and federal elections.  This is the reason we have people on the school boards for 20 years.  Yes, I'm sure that there are a few long term members out there who do a great job.  But, how many are on these boards to grind an ax, push through an agenda, and care really very little about the students as people and not as mere numbers, or see them as wee little $ signs?

We need to get mad, we need to stay mad, and we need to slap down groups like Focus on the Family.  Who are currently fighting, yes I said fighting against the "Safe Schools Act"  watch  and read.  It's time to take our schools away from the incompetent, the lazy and the bigoted.