Texts with my mother.

My mom randomly texts me. It seems every time they get bad weather there she texts me. Maybe it makes her think of her mortality or mine. Or maybe she knows how much I keep track of the weather and that I am thinking of them secretly. I’m not sure. But in the last few months my mom has text me several times.

Last Friday she sent me a text. It just simply said

I love you. Mommy.

Normally I don’t respond because she has never responded to me. They just ignored the video that I sent them explaining why I needed space and had decided that I needed to take a break and stop speaking with them. How it broke my heart that my dad’s angry letter hurt Kass’ feelings and made her cry. How it hurt me that my mothers pedophile of a father walked her down the aisle even though he hated my dad and she loved him for that, but they couldn’t even be bothered to show up to mine. How I ache because they have just chosen to ignore the fact that I came out to them as transgender. But this day I decided to reply.

I love you too.

infinity & beyond

My mother commented back with something I always used to tell her as a child. Toy Story being one of my favorite movies growing up.

Yesterday she text me again. I couldn’t help but laugh. No matter how I try to show my parents who I am, I can never move them past 6 year old me. 

Just felt the need to tell you baby girl how much i love you. Mommy

It took me a long time to be able to reply to her. I had to carefully think about what I was going to say. It pains me to correct my mother. Even as a child I have always seen how delicate she was. I never wanted to break her even at a very young age. Talking to Kass we decided to go with the ‘sandwich’ technique. 

I love you too, mom. I do hope that you can begin using my preferred male pronouns like he/his/him and name Weston/Wes. But I do want you to know that I do love you and dad and texting you has been nice.

I didn’t honestly anticipate hearing back from her. I imagined her reading my text message at her desk in her back corner area in the basement she works in. The florescent bulb flickering above her casting light over her briefly and then washing her again in darkness while she broke into a thousand tiny pieces.

I was wrong however and she responded quickly.

You are my very, very beautiful daughter. When the doctors handed u to me they handed me my precious baby girl. U were created that way for a reason & purpose. I love you & texting you just to say i love you has been nice for me too.

At this point I began feeling upset. She was blatantly disregarding me as she always did.

It saddens me that no matter what you won’t see me beyond what you want. Did you view any of the links I sent you? Or see what Pat Robertson said? I know how much you like his views. It makes me sad that you both seem to be ok with the divide this has placed between us.

It saddened me that u created this divide yet feel that daddy & i r responsible 4 it. We have never changed & neither has our beliefs. I’m sorry we’re not what u want or expect as parents. Wendy.

I just want you to accept me. That’s all that I ask and I don’t think that’s too much to expect from one’s parents. I just need to be my true authentic self, and it’s unfortunate that is what makes or breaks us.

It is a rare occasion in my life where I can be very blunt with my mother. I believe that me taking a step back and taking care of myself and doing what I need for myself and living my life with the person I love has given me the new ability to do that.

Im sorry i do not believe thats who u are. Im sorry but i don’t. It was great to hear from u but b4 u hate me we best quit for the day. I love u so very much.

At this point I was shaking. I felt so much sadness and anger that I almost felt as though I would not be able to control myself.

I wish that you didn’t put that on me like that. But fine. I love you too. Tell dad that I love him too.

I read and reread my text & don’t know what i put on u. I guess a good sign that we stop for the day. I will tell daddy u love him. U can count on that for sure.

That I hate you. I don’t like that you put that on me. Why would I beg for your acceptance if I hate you. Thank you for telling him.

Honey thats not what i said. All i said was we need 2 stop 4 the day b4 u hated me. I don’t want 2 fight so i think we just step back & breathe. Thats all. Wendy.

I could not even respond after the last text. My mother, the Queen of Guilt, will no longer get to me. Not in the way that she wants. Not anymore.

I feel such sadness. I think that I am officially mourning the loss of my parents. Before now I always held out hope that if we spent enough time apart that they would see how much they missed me and realize that they didn’t care who I was with or what name I went by. That as their flesh and blood they would just love me and accept me because they actually did love me unconditionally. But I now realize that it is not true. My parents love the idea of me. I am now sure that they do not actually love me, though. They have not actually loved me as a person for a long time. Though this causes me great sadness, I can understand. Because I can honestly say that had I just met my parents as people on the street, I would not love them as people, either. Their narrow-minded values, their ignorance and their small town ideas are hurtful and unfortunate. 

Some days I wonder how I came from that. How did I grow up to be such a different person with different values and ideals? Where did I learn to despise those that I came from? How did I evolve past the things that I was taught were right? 

The conversation does make me question myself. And I hate that. I hate that decisions are always so hard for me that the slightest thing can strike fear in me and make me feel unsure. I know the feelings will subside just as they always do, but I hate that their unwillingness to see beyond themselves takes away my joy. Even if momentarily. 

I think the thing that causes me the most sadness is that I am viewed as being wrong, broken, a mistake. That I couldn’t possibly have been ‘created’ just the way that I am, to be this particular person at this particular time. 

As a teenager I felt so angry at a god that would allow myself, my mother and others to be sexually assaulted especially as children. My mother always told me that it happened for a reason. So that we could be strong and we could help others. That we could survive it and that maybe someone else wouldn’t be able to, but that we could be their rock. That it was ok.

But this, this is wrong. This was a mistake and was not supposed to have happened. This will not cause me to be strong for others. This will not help me save lives or change the world. I am a defect. I am broken. I am a monstrosity. 

If there is a religion or a god that is fine with sexual assault but is against my authentic self, that is nothing I have a desire to be a part of.

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Coming out at Work.

So the other day I posted about having some issues with not being out at work. I was struggling really bad and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to tell someone or I felt like I might walk of my job. And that was absolutely not an option.

So. Come out it is!

Out of a roughly 500 employee building maybe 5 people knew or so. One of them being a supervisor that I had the beginning of last year. I IMed her and told her that I really needed to talk, that I was going to explode and that somehow, someone needed to help me come out and use my chosen name. She put me in her calendar for 4pm. 

After my lunch I raced up to the third floor and waited. I waited for about 15 minutes and decided that she probably forgot. I was feeling a little furious by this point so I headed back to my desk. My current supervisor IMed me when I got back and asked her if I could come see her. She had a call for me to listen to. A customer complained about me because I wasn’t able to lower his bill. She said that was all she had for me and asked if I had anything. I asked her if we could talk in private. She we went to an office and shut the door. When I came out to the last supervisor, I thought I was going to pass out. I started seeing spots and felt light headed. My ears were ringing. This time, I just sat down and told her.

I’m transgender. And I need your help.

She looked a little surprised, but not so surprised.

She told me that she was glad I came to her and she went right to work helping me sort everything out. My original supervisor told me that HR told her that I would not be allowed to change my name until it was legally done. This was last May before I had even gotten my letter. I sucked it up and was fine with it. But now that I am in this odd stage, my voice dropping, growing facial hair, etc., I just can’t handle the thought of addressing myself with such a female name anymore. The thought was debilitating. And it was honestly affecting my work and in turn my commission. 

My new supervisor came back to me about 30 minutes late. She had gone directly to HR and told them what I needed as a transgender employee. They were totally fine with it and she said they seemed to not even remember saying no the first time. Which is great, albeit a little frustrating. In the meantime the other supervisor had tracked me down and apologized for missing out meeting, she was pulled into her supervisor’s office and was reprimanded (She is actually a really good supervisor, but she has quite a mouth on her and if she sees something that she doesn’t like or doesn’t think is right, she will quickly say something and it gets her in trouble. Often.) So she pulled me aside and we talked. She said that she and my new supervisor would tag team HR to get this resolved because the last thing she wanted was for me to feel uncomfortable at work.

So my new supervisor is now working on getting my name changed for my email address and in our IM system and she got me a new name tag for my desk. In the next supervisor meeting she is going to let everyone know so that I don’t have to and she said that it will get around, and I don’t need to worry about it, and that she will field as many questions for me as she can. I am going to let my team know in our meeting tomorrow. I am a little nervous to come out to about 15 people at once, but I think that most of them will be ok with it. I actually had to two macho guys that sit in the cubes on either side of me as me what I had started calling myself. I told them Wes. One of the guys is in a wheelchair and he told me that he wanted to start going by Hot Wheels. So for the rest of the day that’s what we called him. The guy that sits on the other side started using Wes right away. He then asked me if that was what I wanted him to do and I told him I would appreciate it. Later that evening he asked me why I had picked Wes and what it stood for. I explained it was short for Weston and then I took a deep breath and told him I am actually transgender and I wanted a very old school masculine sounding name.

He looked me in the eye, held out his fist to fist bump me and said “You do what you do, you’ve always been cool to me.” 

And that was it.

If coming out can always be this easy with that great of a response I would like that please and thank you.

This has however caused some weird feelings for me. Whenever I come out to someone and I feel that it is really important, I always question myself over and over for a while after that. 

Is this really what I want? What if I changed my mind? Do I really like the name I picked? How do I know I want to be a man?

hate that I do this to myself. But it seriously happens like every time. It’s really frustrating. I did it again this weekend. All weekend I questioned myself and my motives and felt so uncomfortable. I try to avoid talking about this as much as possible. Maybe because I don’t want it to take away points from my “trans enough” status or something, I don’t know. But I finally opened up to Kass about it last night. She could tell there was this nervous energy radiating off of me. That and my Trichotillomania got a little intense yesterday. I pulled out like half of my eyelashes sitting at work (only partially exaggerating). She told me that she thinks that it is because we are told that we have to be normal. And the more that I come out and assert who I am the less “normal” I become. That she thinks that being shunned one to many times has caused me to question my every move when it comes to being different from ‘everyone else.’ I think that she is right. It has been really hard. I hate feeling like I am so different. She asked me if this is what I really want or if I am maybe second guessing and if I think I am changing my mind. I told her that I am pretty sure this is what I want, but that I’ve just been feeling upset. She told me that she will always support me and that if I decide to stop where I am at, she is ok with that and that I will just have a deeper voice and will be a little hairier but that whether I continue on or not, she will always support me.

When she talks to me and tells me things like that it always reassures me of two things. That I love her so much and that I am doing the right thing. I think I just get so wrapped up in my head and I get so scared sometimes of being different and standing out. It frightens me. Risking the people are close to me and my potential safety. But I know that this is really what I need.

 

Wes.

Just Man Up

I’ve been struggling with coming out at work. 

I hate being in this weird limbo stage. It kind of fucks with my head a little, being one person at work and someone different everywhere else. I have started coming out slowly to more people. I came out to a woman yesterday and she seemed supportive. But I know that she is a lesbian, so it felt like a safe bet. It’s the macho straight cis-guys that sit in the cubicles on either side of me that I would like to share my status with, but I am a little apprehensive to do so. I also almost came out in my team meeting on Wednesday, but I just could not get the nerve up.

I was talking about it with a younger woman I work with who knows. She stopped by my desk the other night to say good-bye. I was finishing up a phone call with a customer. She was telling me that she just couldn’t believe how much my voice has changed, but that she noticed it was significantly more feminine when I was on the phone. I explained that my ‘phone voice’ has always been that way, and it’s a really hard habit to break. Also, it’s been a little bit of a struggle to train myself to speak from my chest instead of my throat. Sometimes the rattling/vibrating feeling I get because my voice is much deeper reminds me that I’m doing it right, but out of habit I always revert back to my throat. I explained this to her, but she didn’t seem to understand. After 26 years, old habits die hard. We were also talking about my facial hair because I had shown her how well it was growing in. She asked if that was just me letting it grow and I explained that I shaved a few days ago, but that it’s coming in very quickly now and I’m just waiting for it to fill in. She told me that I just need to let it grow and see where it goes. I explained to her that since it is so visible, and since I don’t pass I am concerned with looking unkempt and it drawing people’s attention more. She told me to fuck what they think and asked, “But it’s that what you were going for? Didn’t you want facial hair?” I explained to her that I do, indeed, want facial hair, but that at this point in time I need to be careful. I am in this in-between faze and I am concerned for my safety and I am tired of being stared at, that the last thing I want is to draw even more attention to myself in general public. She said that she understood, but I realized she didn’t when she told me:

Just man up and do it.

This was really concerning to me and I realized that even people in our own community don’t understand. This more than ever makes me want to fight for education in our own community as well as with the general public. How can we expect the straight and cis-gendered community to see, understand and accept us if the people ‘most like us’ (if you will) don’t. I brushed it off at the time, and tried to explain once more my view, but she still didn’t seem to get it. The more I think about it though the more it bothers me.

Plans and hobbies.

I’m at school early today.

Kass and I only having one car means that she drops me off around 10:20, and then I hang out until my class at 6. And then she comes to get me after work. 

Today is Student Success Day, so all classes until 7pm are cancelled. I really hope that my class is not cancelled. My professor didn’t email us to tell us, but that would be my luck. 

Kass and I have decided to make a plan to better grow individually and as a couple. Things have been a little hard lately and we want to get back on track. Kass has decided that she thinks she is going to take singing lessons. I’m really excited for her because she is a good singer, and I think with some lessons she could be amazing. I haven’t decided what my hobby is going to be yet. I love art, but the last few years it has just felt like so much work. Much more than it is worth. It makes me sad, but I want a hobby that I am going to enjoy not one that I am going to feel exhausted over. 

I’ve kind of been thinking spoken word.

I’ve always really loved it. I think it is so beautiful. And I write a lot. When I’m not writing here I’m trying to keep up with a personal journal that I have with me almost all the time. I slack sometimes, but it’s just nice to have a place to put all my shit and to just write nonsense. It took me a long time to be able to keep a decent journal. I always felt there was some unseen audience that was going to one day read my journal. Like I would be a modern day Emily Dickinson, and people will find my writings after my death and it should be perfect, everything explained so they can follow along, with good penmanship, and excellent grammar. 

I’ve tried very hard to get out of that habit, and I think I’ve done really well. Sometimes if I have an issue, I just write about it over and over and over, and it doesn’t matter, because it’s only mine and no one, not even myself will probably ever read it. Ever. 

I digress. I think that I would like to start spoken word. I was looking for some workshops on it around me but couldn’t find any, so I’ve been surfing the web trying to find some videos and tips and tutorials. I would also like to start going to some like slam poetry events. I think it would be a great way to speak about my experiences and maybe connect more with some people from the LGBT community around here. I feel like such an outside from the community. I think it is my fault because I am so shy and paralyzed with fear when it comes to going and doing new things, but we said that we would work on this plan, and I really want to do this. For me, for Kass, for us. 

Weston.

I want to make a difference

I want to write about something a little different today.

The same topic, but a little more outside myself and outside our household.

The world saddens me. I cannot help but feel sadness and fear whenever I read the news. And not real news, because that’s not real news. But news, about real people.

Like the little 10 year old Brony that tried to hang himself because people made fun of him because they thought he was gay because he like My Little Ponys.

Like the transgender girl that was set on fire because she wore a skirt to school.

Like every time I read that our community’s suicide and murder rates are exponentially higher than any other. That if the suicide rate were this high for the straight community, the government would call it a public health crisis.

 

I find that the further along I get in my transition, I feel more deeply. I feel more of a call to action. I feel like maybe can make a change in this world.

Recently I contacted my local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter. I have wanted to be a Big all my life. I know that there are a lot of children out there in need of someone, anyone to support them and hang out with them more than they have.

But I don’t want just that. I want to help someone like me. Someone young and with no support. I want to save someone from taking the path that I did.

So I emailed BBBS and told them my story. I told them how and where I grew up. I told them that I started drinking and using drugs. I told them that I left home at the age of 19 and moved halfway across the country to spend two wasted years of my life with a woman that didn’t deserve my time and attention, just because I wanted to feel love from someone that I thought saw the real me. I told them about how I moved back home when I left her and my parents kicked me out two weeks later because they didn’t like that I brought my new girlfriend home one night. I told them about how instead of letting me be homeless this woman let me move to Minnesota with her, and moved me into her home despite the fact that we had only been dating for two weeks. I told them about the suffering and loneliness that I had endured. That I don’t speak to my parents. That I almost gave up. I told them about my transition. I told them that I wasn’t claiming that if I had a Big or someone in my corner to support me that I thought my life would have been different, that I thought I wouldn’t have felt so much heartbreak, that it wouldn’t have taken me so long to finally be where others are right out of high school when they have that support and encouragement, but I told them that I thought everything would be different. And that I wanted to give that to someone like me. That with everything going on in our society, I thought more children deserved more of a chance. That if we could start an LGBTQ chapter we could touch so many more lives. That we could tell these kids “We See You and We Care.”

I haven’t heard back from them yet.

I’m hoping that I do, because this is something that is very important to me. I don’t think that at this time in my life it is something that I can start on my own, and I’m not totally sure how I would go about doing that, but I really hope since they are already established, it is something that we can get going that way.

And I would be more than happy to be the first LGBTQ Big.

I just really want to make changes. I want to make this a better place to live. I want people to be happy, and I want to stop hearing heartbreaking stories about young children hurting each other and those kids feeling it necessary to end their lives.

Wes.