Sunday, November 23, 2014

When worlds collide

How it feels hen your world
is turned upside down
I have been pondering many things lately ... Maybe it would be more accurate to say I have been examining different facets of the same thing.

Life in general seems to be compartmentalized ... or at least we would like it to be.

When we are young we have our school life, our family life and possibly some other group like church or scouts.  We carefully build and guard borders between these chambers, and are often intimidated or even embarrassed at the possibility of the contents of one somehow leaking into and corrupting another.

There were times where a school friend bumped into me at a restaurant and wanted to sit at the table with me and my family ... or at least whatever family members may have been there.

I never wanted to.

Not that I didn't like my friends ... not that I was embarrassed of my family ... it was a breech.  Putting myself into that situation allowed some content from my school life to seep into my home and vice-versa.

I know that no damage was done.  It was not mixing matter and antimatter or even baking soda and vinegar ... it was just uncomfortable for reasons I do not completely understand.

As we get older these compartments become more complex, but much harder to separate.

Wife and children, siblings and parents, in-laws, work, current friends, friends from the past, social friends from softball or bowling ... the list is longer, the lines are very narrow and much more blurred.

So I find myself in a situation I never really thought about a couple years ago.

Social media has ruptured the barriers between all of my cozy and private little sectors ... now everyone and everything is swirling around in one common pool.

1971 ... a lifetime ago
so many memories

Is this an issue?

No ... not really.

It does create awkward situations at times ... or at least circumstances that are potentially ... I'll just say interesting.

I have realized very recently that there are many people who have not known me for more than two years ... there are people who have not read my blog ... there are people who never knew the person from a few years ago.

Then again, there are people who knew me years ago who have not seen me lately.

Recently I have seen several former employees ... people who have walked into my office and did not recognize me ... people who bumped into me in public and didn't know who I was ... people who spent time or talked with me ... who went through training class or training on a bus and did not realize they met me years ago.

The fact that people from my past see me as female is both incredible and bewildering.  At times I still feel like "the dude wearing girl's clothes" ... like nobody truly sees me as female and are just placating me with female pronouns and compliments.

So very many seem utterly baffled when they realized who I am.  The majority are very supportive and happy for me.  Some friends have congratulated me for being courageous and being true to myself.

These simple gestures are so uplifting ... but this is not the goal of this journey, nor the reason for the blog.  Being accepted by those who have known me for years is an incredible gift that I truly cherish.

A few people seem very uncomfortable with me now.  It's like they suddenly forgot how to talk ... or at least talk to me.  My intention is not to cause anyone to feel ill at ease ... but there are some that do not like the fact that I am fat ... feel awkward knowing that I suffer from depression ... are intimidated because I am a supervisor.  I understand that some will have reservations about me regardless of my transition.

Class of 1979
I wonder where
Everyone is now
Truly this is their loss.  I am sorry they cannot find a means to accept people for who they are.

I am transgender; this fact will not change.  It does not matter what my body looks like, what name I use or how I dress.  I have come to terms with this ... I am comfortable with myself.

I do not feel the need to advertise everything about my life.

I am Tiffanie ... I am a woman ... period.

This is where a different level of awkward starts to emerge.  I forget that many people have not known me very long ... they do not know my history ... what I have struggled with over they years.

I often get a giggle when I am asked if it is that time of the month or if I am pregnant.

These are legitimate questions ...  they only know Tiffanie.

I am sure there are some who have questions but may not feel comfortable asking -

- How can I be married since 1987 when same sex marriages have only been legal for a short period?
- When I speak of our son why are there no direct references to his father?
- When I talk of my childhood why do I carefully choose words that exclude gender?

There are likely many others.

Sometimes I feel like I am still hiding.  I hate this feeling.

I'm not hiding me ... I am hiding aspects of the truth ... of my past.

I have done a lot of soul searching recently.  Am I lying if I allow people to believe I have always been Tiffanie?

Haven't I always been Tiffanie?  Even if my body didn't agree or people did not see it, have I not always been me?

I feel I should not be required to keep the "transgender" label on everything I do ... I don't feel the need to flash my LBGT membership card everywhere I go.  I just want to be me ... but if someone wants to ask ... if they are interested, I will talk.

I am not going to start advertising my history everywhere ... in my FB groups ... on my business cards ... it is not necessary.  I am just going to continue to be me.

My Universe
No longer so
neatly segregated
I have opened the door for those who may want to know more about me.  I have let people know about my FB page "The (not so) Cowardly Lioness" and this blog.  This is not because I expect a bigger fan base ... I'm sure I don't have any real "fans" in the first place.  I just want the truth available for those who are curious.

Regardless of how long someone has known me ... whether they were a part of my past or have only become a part of my life, I am just me ... Tiffanie ... and I am so enjoying it, even as my carefully separated worlds merge into one extraordinary life.