Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Adapting Presentations

So here I am some 16 months into all of this and I've noticed a couple of things. Some people don't yet have a clear picture of how things are proceeding.
There is a distinct order to follow for a transition. The order of changes is designed to provide a system of checks and balances in the entire process.
For the most part transgendered people who are going so far as to seek gender reassignment are whole heartedly convinced of its nesessity, however they , like me have to follow a process that gives you time to change your mind.
For me, I almost always new about this coming up in my life. Ever since I was 7 or 8 years old. Since tolerance in society in the 70's and 80's wasn't near what it is today I knew that I had to keep it to myself. Now approaching 40, I don't want to stall around anymore.
The first thing that I did was to let a few friends and family in on my secret. All were supportive, quite a few weren't even surprised. The Next thing I did was to talk to my GP followed by aquiring a counsellor.
One of the first big steps for me was to realize that I was in control of this, I was the project manager. With this attitude I began to assemble my team, gp's, counsellors and specialists.
The next step came with beginning to phase out my male existence. I gave all my guys stuff to my brother.
This is where I noticed that what I was doing was reaching the edge of peoples comfort zones. Nobody says anything, but I see it and hear it in the way that they respond, subjects get changed in conversations or somethings just don't get talked about. I let it slide because I know that these people are trying their best to be supportive, they are just teetering on the edge of their expierience. It's not everyday that people get to witness this type of transformation. This is really where I have fallen off the rails with some people, it's my job to bring them along. Too often, as trans people, we expect the support of others, however we provide no leadership to help our friends and family through the transition. We need to remember that our transition includes them, they are an integral part of the process.
I have fallen off at this point a bit because I have been adapting myself to fit into their comfort zones rather than simply leading the way. I'll alter my mode of dress, how I conduct myself and what name I'll use, all for their comfort. All the while I'll grow frustrated that my transition has seemed to bog down.
So I've repositioned myself at the lead again. I realize the mistakes that I have been making there is no more being stuck in both worlds.
The next stage that I started about 10 months ago was to see the endocronolgist. This is a crucial step for any transpersons. The endo is their to get your hormone levels right. It's important to use and endo for hormonal issues, simply because if mishandled hormones can have lethal side effects.
So the endo got my hormones corrected to what they need to be. It felt great, like coming home after a long time away. The changes are beginning to mount up now. I am more or less past the point of no return. The interactions with the Endo were fairly simple, from blood tests to follow ups as we ramped up the hormone levels, all the while choosing the safest possible routes.
I am now starting to use my new name, Mikayla , at work and all around. This is a hard one for everybody to get their head around, firstly because I haven't presented myself well enough to get people past the "old me" issue, and secondly 39 years of habits are hard to break for both me and them.
The magazine I take pics for , publishes my images as being from Mikayla Weighill, that's really cool.
I like to feel like I am not only a male to female transgender person, but also an emabassador for trans people. My theory is that if the people who are watching me and supporting me see this transition as a strong, positive and healthy move that I may be able to change the way that trans people are viewed by people. Since I work in the media I think of it as a duty and priviledge.

the pic above is from a summer stroll on the Nanaimo waterfront

No comments: