Got This Little Number in the Post Yesterday:

From Medalie’s office, and notarized:

Do us a favor, ignore the shit job I do of blotting out important details, or inserting any graphic into any photograph I post on this blog. We are all lucky I can crop an image.

Discuss: how do I feel about this?

I am glad to have this letter, in my pocket, in case I decide to go ahead with the gender marker switch from F to M.  But I am not so sure I feel like an M.  Let’s talk about my irrational fear of changing said marker, then suddenly, and for the first time in my life, being arrested and thrown in general population incarceration in a male prison.  I would undoubtedly get my ass raped off.

K, by way of assuaging my fears, reassured me I would get my ass raped off in female prison too.  Thanks, darling.*

She also points out this fear is likely covering for some more rational fear, about not seeing myself as male.  And that is it, I don’t see myself as male.  I round to male for the sake of society, but I am not yet ready to round on legal documents.  I’m still in the process of changing my name legally, and while it might be easier to do it all at once, well, I’m just not ready, and I’ll be damned, if after three decades of hiding my tranny ass**, I’m going to start rushing now.

Let’s talk about my other concerns:

– I just had surgery a month ago, and I feel like taking this transition one step at a time, especially since these steps are irreversible (surgery), or a huge pain the the ass to reverse (name change and gender change on legal documents).

-I’m not even out to all my family as trans.

-I’m not on T, and on some level, that makes me feel that I don’t have a right to claim male status.  That I am not a “real” man.

I came across this on Joe’s Transition: “I identified as genderqueer for awhile after coming to the realization that I was gender variant. To this day I still have a hard time feeling like I’m ‘a man.'”  And this, from a person who sports some sweet facial hair and goes by the name Joe.

This bit from Joe made me feel better, like I could go on T, I could change my name, I could look to the world like a man, but still see myself somewhere in the middle.  And it also made me think about how the reverse is true: I can feel like a man, be a man, without T.  Which means, if it’s right for me, there is no reason to not change my gender marker.

I’m going to sit on it for a while, think about it.  It’s funny to consider how this process might be so different if I was in my 20’s: if I was 24, and out as trans, I think I would be rushing to the endocrinologist, gleefully and defiantly changing my gender marker and name.  But now, in my old(er) age, I am more reflective about it.  Maybe I’m easer to scare now, maybe I’m more mature, whatever the reason, it just doesn’t feel right to skip off to the DMV to get a new ID, complete with new gender.

Or is this “new” gender really the old gender, the authentic gender, the original that has been denied for so long it now feels, in light of my honest acknowledgment of it, suspicious?

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

*But she’s right, you know.  I might be tough on the outside, but those bitches*** would eat me alive.

**Please don’t be offended, I’m just spouting off some dumb shit on my blog and am using the term “tranny” in playful way, in reference to myself only.

***I mean this in a respectful way, as in tough as nails.  As in, a strong character.

25 thoughts on “Got This Little Number in the Post Yesterday:

  1. I’m incredibly glad and thankful that I really took my time with my transition. I’ve had friends along the way that have really rushed the process and took every short cut they could find, only to realize after the fact that transition was not the right road for them.

    I was out as trans for 6 years before I changed my name legally, and I started hormones at about the same time. That was 4 years ago and I just recently changed my gender marker on my license and changed it on my birth certificate about a year ago. Also, even though I’ve known I wanted top surgery for all of these years, I’m only now starting to seriously figure out how to make it happen.

    Would I have been happier on some level to have completed my transition long ago? Probably in one way or another. I’m so thankful though that I’ve taken the time to process things completely, and have taken steps when it was the right time for me to take them.

    • Joe,

      Hearing your story is such a comfort to me. I was finding all these youtube videos and blogs about trans guys that were so sure of their gender, so disgusted by their female past, that I felt like a fraud, or like I was making a bad choice, that I was wrong. You remind me this path is my own.

      Thank you.
      -E

  2. I am on T, I have changed my gender on my DL and Passport but not BC or SS. I have not gotten a letter from Steinwald to change the BC yet (which I can’t do anyway because I’m broke as shit). Also, even though I am viewed as a man and am on T and look like a man and label myself a man, I still have trouble identifying as completely a man because, in my mind, I’m not fully one. I had a previous female life, one that I’m proud of but hiding from the public now, so it’s hard to feel completely a man in a man’s world, even though I have progressed. I sometimes find myself reminding myself that I’m a man now, honestly, which is strange to some people (and to myself sometimes, too). I am even more taken back when a transman is confused by my past and my past experiences and current thoughts about myself (which has happened more than once).

    So, in short, you are not alone.

    As far as jail goes, you should look at this Youtube link:

    • Alex,

      Here, when you say,

      “I still have trouble identifying as completely a man because, in my mind, I’m not fully one. I had a previous female life, one that I’m proud of but hiding from the public now, so it’s hard to feel completely a man in a man’s world, even though I have progressed. I sometimes find myself reminding myself that I’m a man now, honestly, which is strange to some people (and to myself sometimes, too).”

      that really resonates with me. I am still finding my way along the lines of my male present and my female past.

      And that video? Are you kidding me? Jesus, is that meant to make me feel better or worse!? 😉 I have only watched the first part…what a cliffhanger!

      -Eli

      • Ok, I watched the second part and feel pretty good about not going to jail. But still, three paps in one day? No thanks.

    • (As a sidenote, Steinwald gave me my letter as soon as I asked for it a few days post-op. And I was still female-identified at the time. Hope you haven’t had any trouble with this).

  3. Hey,

    I just wanted to take a minute and respond to your post. You are not alone in feeling like challenged by the marker of F to M being changed. Although I’m not on T and haven’t changed my marke yet, I consider and live my life as male. In my exploration I’ve learned and know that regardless of my taking hormones or changing my marker/name i’ll always occupy the middle. This is who I am. To contradict or expand that though I think about my gender as a football field or number line. One side being extremely female the other extremely male. If I could place myself on the line I’m over the half way marker. Take your time ( you already do). I’m in my 20’s and I am taking damn near 6 years to do anything. The puzzle pieces will fall where they need to.

    Also, just to plug a book that really helped me with this feeling of not feeling enough of a ‘man’ to be an M check out: Nina Here Nor There by Nick Krieger.

    Be Well,
    A

  4. My rubbish amateur detective work says your blanked out month of birth is eight letters. That leaves February, November, and December. I’m hoping it’s the first in which case you’re OLDER than me. HA 😀

  5. Hi I think that your feelings are entirely appropriate. Transitioning is a slow and terribly challenging process. I have been on hormones for three years, have changed everything legally etc but still need to do this process (and SRS and maybe FFS) at my own pace. If this amount of fundamental change has taught me anything it’s that my process is my process and were not (despite sometimes feeling like it) one homogenized group. There are many shades of grey on our spectrum. We have to shape ourselves not in line with society’s expectations but despite societies expectations – does that make sense?
    I happily describe myself as being ‘trans’.
    Thanks for the post.

    • Juno,

      As always, I am so pleased to read your comments.

      Here, “We have to shape ourselves not in line with society’s expectations but despite societies expectations,” this bit is so very well put.

      And I too describe myself as trans, and it seems just right for me, for now, and maybe, forever.

      -E

      • Same here,I’m to sure. Want t cme out of one misplaced box and try and ‘pass’ to fit into another, I am kindof happy being me.
        Juo

  6. It is amazing to me what I have learned about gender variance since I took the first steps of my transition seven months ago. I have to admit that when I began, I was myself still stuck in the gender binary mindset and would have been unable to fully listen to how you have been talking about your process. In fact, it was hard for me to identify as transgender and the thought of being a part of the trans community was almost repugnant to think about. I have not changed my own desire to go through all the steps necessary to reaffirm my gender with both legal and medical intervention and yet I am both easily and deeply moved to tears of joy, thanks, in part, to HRT, when I read about your process and those of others who are finally finding their own joie de vivre.

    Merci beaucoup, mon ami! Deanna

  7. Eli – I am definitely planning on changing my legal gender to M, even though I am not male-identified and remain strongly in my gender neutral identity. I have a long ass post I need to finish, because my reasons for this, as you can imagine, are not straightforward.

    Ironically, I know all the rules and regulations here in the US, and were I a US Citizen I would’ve done it a long time ago, but I’m waiting to travel to my home country to do it.

    That letter is like canned pineapple – it won’t expire and you don’t have to use it if you don’t need to.

  8. Hey Eli,

    Apologies for my absence in commenting recently (ha – you’re probably grateful for the break), but I’m doing a catch-up once again, so prepare for a flurry of new notifications… 😉

    Once again, this resonates with me. SO much. Most of my internal battles are caused by this binary-slash-identity-slash-female-history-slash-everything-else-trans-slash-what-the-hell-is-going-on type thinking, and I’m completely with you on this.

    My plan is to change my birth certificate and the rest of it from F to M because while it’s not completely accurate, it’s at least more accurate than the F, in my little head. I live in fear of assimilation, so I’m hoping (and campaigning) at the same time for better options to be introduced, and would change it to N or ? or something signifying Other much more happily. Crossing fingers and all that…

    But thanks to you and others on the trans spectrum blogging about exactly this subject, I’m gaining that elusive self-acceptance feeling because I’m not the only one on the edges of the gendered box (and not afraid to step outside of them either). Previously I’d not felt “trans enough” because the binary is everywhere, and it can be hard to avoid…

    We’re all humans. That’s what I remind myself if my own identity starts confusing me 🙂
    It may not feel like it sometimes, but you and you alone have control over this stuff; it can take as long as you need it to, go back on itself, twirl around in circles, spirals and shapes, or cease to move further at all, as and when you need it to. So there 😉

    -JC

    • And once again, you have made me feel better. I know these things, but like you said, it helps to hear the doubts are rattling other people, too. 😉

      Thanks.

  9. Eli, as so eloquently stated above, you are definitely NOT alone. Here I am at 42, with similar thoughts, feelings, questions, and concerns as you and our brothers and sisters above have (are) experienced (experiencing). Were I in my twenties or even early thirties I can say for certain I would move with more clarity and determination toward what I feel is right for who I am, and I understand and empathize with where you are (especially the rhetoric in the ol’ noggin). I am inspired by you and so many others, and think that you are doing an awesome job in manifesting who you are at the right place and time for you. As far as this semi unidentified respondent blogger is concerned…male is who you are, marker or not.

    …And as I was out of the country for three weeks…congrats! You Look great!

  10. Pingback: Retrospect | My Life Without Tits

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