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.

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.

Im Kass.

I am cis gendered and have been lesbian identified and out since I was 15. I am married to Wes and very much love him. I was not surprised when he told me he wanted to transition. There were times in our relationship when I saw how much pain he was in and I wanted to tell him what I saw and that I knew. Kinda like when people say “I wish someone would have told me I was gay”, but I waited because I knew he needed to figure it out on his own. I am glad that we are here at this point and he is beginning his transition.

I had an idea in my head of what transitioning would be like. I pictured testosterone shots and hair growth and voice deepening, and masculinity. I pictured support groups and new friends, and community. I pictured the same me and a different outside him but same inside him. I pictured doctors appointments and lots of money being spent. I found out that things that I pictured were wrong and that there is so much more than I had ever thought.

First, being a couple when a person is transitioning essentially means that both people are transitioning. and for awhile I very much thought I was being selfish thinking that. But for over half of my life I have been a lesbian identified cis gendered female. I have been fired from jobs, rejected by family, fought for equal rights, learned to be proud and come to terms with the fact that my identity is beautiful and I am strong and brave and have nothing to hide. And although most people perceive me as a straight woman unless my significant other was standing next to me, I was never closeted while at work, or anywhere else for that matter. One of the things I loved most was hanging pictures of the two of us around my office space. It made my day go faster to look at our memories and see us at our happiest.

I started a new job, it was almost perfect timing really because we decided that we would just use male pronouns from the beginning and eventually I can hang pictures. However it hasn’t been really as easy as that. We got married in September, and the people in my office really like me (for once, its amazing, part of me wonders if its because they all think Im a straight woman and can finally see me and not get hung up in the fact that Im queer) and have been really excited to see wedding photos, and want to know about my husband and have even made jokes to watch out and not get pregnant in the first year of marriage. I go back and forth on wanting to tell people, wanting to let them in, trust them. I have told 4 of my co-workers. The first woman is a lesbian, and although she is part of the queer community I still felt like I was going to throw-up when I was getting ready to tell her (I get a little nauseous when I get nervous). The second person I told was the person I share my desk with, and I felt the same “walls closing in, everything is getting black” feeling I feel when I have to speak in front of an audience. But I made it through. And she and the other person came to our wedding. Recently I told my dad. I had been putting if off because he and I hadnt spoken in 10 years and then just like that we had reconciled. There is nothing in this world that would ever make me pick anyone over Wes, and I was pretty sure my dad was going to be fine with the changes on the horizon, but it was the anxiety and fear of the unknown. The rejection. The having to say goodbye. Each person I tell, the feelings are always the same. I feel like I am coming out again. Its the same “hard talk” feelings, I feel very emotional like I cant control the tears, and I get a little faint, and nauseous. The conversations are usually about 2 minutes long. Like a shot, most of the pain is in the anxiety before.

Another thing Ive realized is there is literally no way to prepare for all the situations that are going to come up during this process. For example, we were swimming the other day as we like to do at the gym and I realized that 1. I like using the locker room with him at this time while he still appears female and will be upset when I have to use the locker room with a bunch of strangers I dont know. 2. What do we do before the top surgery? Which locker room does he use when he looks like a man but hasnt had top surgery. 3. Im nervous for him. Ive always been the person who protects him. I always stand up for him, I always tell people to fuck off if they treat him poorly, and what will happen when Im not there because Im a woman and he’s a man and Im not allowed in the bathroom or locker room.

Another things that has been very different from what I pictured is the community. For some reason I had an illusion that there would be a great support network for trans people and their families out there. But there isnt. We have gone to a few groups, and met a couple people. Some have been really nice and we have genuinely wanted to stay in contact and become friends with them. Other people we felt like it was best to keep our guard up and not let them in too close, which made us a little sad as it felt that was the majority of the people we met. Its really hard to get information on safe doctors and safe spaces, sometimes it can be scary trying to do that stuff on your own and it would be really nice to be able to ask someone.

For now, that is about it. Its been 4 weeks/4 T shots. I for some reason thought he would have a full beard by now. Silly.

 

-Kass.