Note: there is some discussion of my anxieties and pain regarding genitalia stemming from gender/body dysphoria. I am also taking a less formal approach and will continue to do so in future posts when I feel it is appropriate.
A lot has happened since my last post. I was starting to feel bad about not having written anything–especially after announcing my own personal project (which I still plan on finishing). It will take me a while to get back on track, but in the meantime I want to keep writing about whatever is (or has been) going on as a means of getting back into the swing of things.
So where do I begin? I quit my job and moved to southern Florida. The move was done in about four weeks–and yes, it was quite stressful, thank you–ending with an interesting four-day, 2,000-mile drive (with two cats, mind you). Let’s just say it was quite the experience.
I am loving Florida so far. The weather is so much nicer than it is in Phoenix so don’t believe a word people say when they assert that 80-90 degrees plus humidity is worse than 100+ degrees of dry heat. “Well, at least it’s a dry heat!” Nonsense.
I am currently in the process of interviewing for two different jobs. My first interview was done on my second day here and I just had my second one with another company today. This makes me feel a lot better about the decision to move without a job already lined up and this leads me to addressing the question that is likely on your mind: why did she move?
There are several rationalizations that I have for the move. I felt I needed to do something new. I was getting tired of everyone around me knowing that I’m trans. I wanted to be in a safer place. Any one of those, or any combination of those, would work. They are all valid reasons. But the primary motivator for leaving was the Orlando massacre perpetrated by Omar Mateen on June 12, 2016. I will always remember what I was doing when I heard about what had happened. It had that profound of an impact on me.
At first I didn’t really react. I was just shocked. The shock eventually turned into a terrible sense of grief and despair within the next twenty four hours and lasted for several days. I was just destroyed inside. I thought about making a special blog post about it with my thoughts and feelings on the matter but then decided I just didn’t have the emotional energy for it, and I don’t plan on doing as much here beyond explaining how it factored into why I left Arizona.
During the peak of my grief, I spoke to a very close friend of mine and they (I think jokingly) offered a place for me and my wife to come and live with them. I decided to take them up on the offer. I had decided that it was finally time to move on to something different. I had several opportunities to do so before, but I was too scared to take advantage of them. I learned that I shouldn’t allow fear to dictate major life decisions as much as I had in the past. Life is full of risks and I can’t really reap the rewards if I’m not willing to take the plunge first.
In other news, I have been doing a lot of work on myself. I recently became aware that as much progress as I have been making with my mental health as a result of transitioning, I still have some emotional/psychological baggage that I need to take care of. Anxiety still affects me, though to a much smaller degree than before, and I still have bouts of dysphoria every now and then.
My face is getting softer and prettier. My breasts and butt have been growing in significantly, and I am starting to get a curvier waste. I am extremely excited and happy with these changes. I am now ‘passing’ as cisgender on a regular basis–so much so that I was even able to travel through the South without anyone giving me even a second look (besides checking me out, maybe?). I have never been more confident with myself and my appearance.
Despite all of these positive changes, I have still been feeling trapped in my body. With each positive change comes another problem about my body that my dysphoria won’t allow me to ignore, and this time the primary focus is on my genitals. (If that’s too much information for you then oh well, I warned you #SorryNotSorry.) I have never, ever, ever, ever been able to really accept them. Not ever. But now it’s killing me inside to know that they are still there and I’m terrified that I will be stuck with them forever. They are currently the source of intense emotional pain. This is why I want to get gender affirming surgery so badly. This is the only way I can be fully whole and content with my body and gender presentation. If you disagree, you are wrong. Period. The only people who can evaluate my needs are my healthcare providers and I.
In closing, I am getting more and more emotional as I write this, but I have decided that I need to be more real and honest with how I am feeling and I think it’s important for people to get a sense of that both on this medium and in general, so you may see more less-than-formal blog posts from me in the future. But don’t worry. I will still be writing plenty of fact-based and queer/gender theory-based posts.