Two Thousand and fifteen. 2015. I’ve had major years in my life before, but I don’t think anything can ever come close to just how big my life has changed in 2015. Strap in, because this could take a bit.
I started 2015 in so many closets and I think I’ve come out of each one in some way this year. I didn’t just come out of the closet, I burnt most of them to the ground. May the light of those fires guide my way.
At the start of the year I had a partner I did love, but there wasn’t a real chance for us I think. She was wonderful and I’m still glad to call her a friend, but she doesn’t love women that way. And I respect that fully. I was working a job I didn’t hate, and I started going back to school. Funnily enough, these things sound great but turned out to be very not.
After my partner ended things, I started to really consider what it would take to transition. I needed to do it, as the thought of not was building to unsafe levels in my head (up to and including suicidal thoughts.) I began looking into local counselors who have experience and discovered a place called The Transgender Institute. Turned out the price ranges were so high I literally cried. But one of the counselors was willing to work with me on a sliding scale, and to do more condensed sessions to help ease costs. This was incredibly helpful, and I believe she, more than the TI’s founder, is interested in removing the gatekeeping for trans people to get the medical care they deserve. If anyone is in the Kansas City area and would like to know more, I’m happy to suggest seeing her.
She was able to give me a letter to see a local doctor with a long history of working with trans patients to get HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and after a few months of waiting due to her highly in demand help, I was able to get my first dose of hormones and start HRT on May 4th, Star Wars day (yes, I am that big of a nerd.)
During my early days this year I started seeking out other trans women for companionship, and I did so via an online dating site. I was seeking friendship, and maybe more, so I thought it was a good idea. I met one person who was very nice, but cut contact suddenly, and I never spoke to her again. Then I met a wonderful woman who I went out with a few times, but she became very busy (she’s probably one of the busiest people I’ve ever met) and we grew apart. I still call her a friend, but we’re not particularly close. The third person I met made some pretty big changes in my life. She is still a friend, and we even spent xmas together with other friends too. She introduced me to my local support group.
While all this was going on, I was starting this blog. I used to be much more active, posting almost daily. I really like using this as a way to work out when I’m dealing with big ideas, but it takes a lot of spoons (mental energy) so I now only do it when I’m really needing it. But I don’t intend to give this up. At the same time I started this, I joined an online transgender message board. I made a few very good friends there, and even when I stopped going, I was able to keep being close to these friends. One of these friends became my closest friend for a time, but we had a falling out, and she doesn’t speak to me anymore. I also started getting close to a very wonderful woman who I care for very deeply. I’ve loved watching her grow as she’s come into her own this year. She will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you for everything E.
When finally started HRT, I made a plan to come out. I gave myself a month to come out to my close friends, 3 months to come out to family, 6 months to come out at work, and a year to socially transition. I thought it a decent pace. I just didn’t anticipate how quickly it would change. I was out to friends in a month, but by 2 1/2 I was living part time out, and it was too hard to keep going. So as I prepared to go on a trip to an anime convention, I knew I was going as myself fully, and there was no way I was going back in the closet. So I came out to my family the only way I felt safe to do so, via letter. People have told me I did it wrong, but there is no wrong. There is only what I did for my own safety, mental and physical. At 2 1/2 months of HRT, I walked out the door as myself and didn’t look back (mostly.)
My extended family has been really good. They don’t seek out to spend time with me, but they’ve been open with inviting me to things, and they try to use the right name (all of my xmas gifts had the right name.) My brother is still one of my closest friends. But my parents have been mixed. My dad has been less active in talking to me, but will look at me, and doesn’t call me by any names. My mom refuses to look at/directly interact with me, only speaks to me via text messages, uses the wrong pronouns, and dead names me. My sister refuses to even be in the same building while I’m there. I didn’t know who I would lose in my family, but I had a feeling I would lose some.
I’ve also become extremely more aware on social issues. I now understand so much better things I was kinda a piece of shit about before. I know that antagonistic atheism is not much better than the things it’s fighting against. I now see how ingrained racism is in the system, and in turn people. I see just how shit good people are when it comes to trans issues, issues they don’t learn about because they don’t care. It doesn’t make them bad people, but it does just further the system of oppression, and makes them complicit in it. I’ve learned how to spot shitty allies, and how to be a real one. I’m not perfect, I screw up. But I’m learning, and I’m trying.
Coming out as trans has just been part of my coming out. I also have accepted my mental illnesses, and am actively considering using disabled as a label, as mine do inhibit my ability to care for myself. I need to seek disability, because I need help, and I cannot do it on my own.
I used to identify as pansexual, that I had no physical preferences of any kind for people I’m interested in. I’ve since started to identify as demisexual, because the thing that matters to me in attraction is an emotional connection with someone. When I don’t have that, I’m pretty much asexual now. But when I care about someone, when someone touches my heart in that way, that completely changes. I use the label queer, as I’ve tried to make it clear I’m very not straight. I have recently started to use gay a lot more as well. I definitely find I have a preference for other trans women, followed by non-binary people. This isn’t a physical preference though, but has everything to do with being able to relate to them. I would go out with a cis person, even a cis guy, but it’s going to have to be someone extremely special for me to relate to them and find them attractive anymore.
I also came out as polyamorous this year. I have a pretty detailed post about this, and you’re welcome to go back and read it. The truth is a lot of the jealousy I’ve had in my life with former partners stemmed from an unhealthy requirement of them fulfilling all my needs exclusively, and me to fill theirs. I’m not cut out to do this, and honestly no one is, but for me the love, the emotional connection for romance and more doesn’t work when forced onto a single person.
It’s been an interesting year on that front. A few people have touched my heart in a few ways. There’s this foxy girl who’s beautiful, playful and fun. If she’s ever in a place she feels comfortable and able to, I think we could be good together. There’s a mermaid who’s become a big part of my stability and I want to see her stand tall, by her side. There’s the mysterious alien lover who captivates my attention and speaks with an authority on issues I find amazing. There’s my dear friend from so close yet so far, who needs to escape her hateful wife. There’s my British rocker girl, who’s so full of life and fun, makes me feel young at heart, even if I can’t give her what she wants all the time. And then there’s Peace.
Peace is a special one for me. Peace changed my life in a way no one would have seen coming. We met through twitter, when a blogger I follow retweeted her. I saw a young, trans woman who was smart and outspoken on issues I cared a lot about. So I clicked on her profile to see a little about her. The first thing I noticed was a banner for lesser known game that was part of a series I loved. I knew then and there I needed to follow this girl. So I did, and we messaged a little, and she even offered to let me follow her locked account. Through her friendship, I’ve met directly or indirectly most of my new friends, my online support network, and 3 of the others listed above. Peace expanded my world and I am forever grateful to her for it.
Peace and I have gotten closer as time as gone on. There have been some rocky points, as things have not always been easy for either of us personally. We both have known hurt, we both have our problems. But she’s got a way of looking at the world that I relate to on a core, fundamental level. I connect with her in a way I have with very few people before in my life. I think things are progressing in a way I would like with Peace. She has something small, but very special from me headed her way in the mail right now even. I’m hoping she will get it before 2015 is over, because I want next you to start with her having a real idea of just how I feel.
Life has had its ups and downs this year. I’ve lost loved ones, two best friends, and faced open discrimination. But the truth is, I wouldn’t change any of this, because I am finally learning to love myself, to like myself, and I’ve met people I wouldn’t trade for anything. I will gladly remember my hardships faced, because they all brought me to where I am today. Life isn’t perfect, the world is a mess, but there is goodness still.
If you read this monstrosity of a post, please know that I love you all.