Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hiding Our True Natue

Unless we're out and proud, we all do it.....hide little aspects of our transgenderdness. Today I was reading the latest blog from TiresiasRedux and her post brought it all home for me. Do I pluck my eyebrows too much to go out undetected in boy mode? Are there any traces of eyeliner left from last night, when I decide to go to the grocery store the next morning?

Tomorrow I have to go to my mothers for our weekly supper. Mom knows I'm TS, but has never once embraced it, nor has she ever seen me en femme, consequently she remains in complete denial about my true nature. Last week, because of another commitment, I begged out of going to supper, so I had an extra week to grow my nails out. I tend to keep my nails longish to begin with, and as long as I don't have to make any public appearances in male mode, I keep at least a few coats of clear nail polish on them.With two weeks since the last time I was at my mother's, they are just now getting to the feminine length that I really like. The trouble is, how do I go to my mom's with very girlish looking nails? They are sure to be noticed and will surely spark unwanted conversation. Normally, just before I leave the house on Monday evening, I will remove any polish I have on, and file my nails down to a length, that while not particular masculine, is not particularly feminine either. I hate doing that, and I don't want to file them down tomorrow for an hour and half visit to my mother's. I really don't want to take my nail polish off either, but then I don't want my nails to be the main topic of discussion at dinner.

I just hate these sacrifices that I have had to make all of my life, for the sake of other peoples comfort, and really, that is what it's all about. We who are trangendered, have no problem at all with out gender identity expression. It's always other's who freak out at the slightest exhibition of gender variance, leaving us to scramble to make sure we've left no telltale signs, that might upset their delicate sensibilities.

I don't want to create a scene, but I have half a mind to show up at my mother's tomorrow evening in full boy mode, but with unshortened nails, sporting a fresh coat of clear nail polish. My sister and my niece if she is there, will surely understand, but my mom and bro-in-law
will surely freak out, and that will in turn make me uncomfortable, so of course I won't do it, and I will secretly hate them for it. This is no way to live.

Melissa XX


caroline said...

Just try a little discomfort. What compromises do they make for you, probably less than none?

If this is having an effect on your whole week, your whole life, you owe it to yourself to push their envelope. Nobody is going to die.

One small step for Melissa, one giant step for Melissa kind.

Caroline xxx

Sophie said...

Melissa, as long as you hide any hint of being TS your Mom (and everyone else) is going to stay in denial. After all, what is there to deny? She simply sees you as you always have been. I never made much effort to hide much of anything. The only two concessions I made were to use a very sheer pink on my fingernails and to not grow out my hair. Granted, there is a HUGE difference between noticing and commenting, but nothing I ever did was out of the ordinary enough to draw a comment. And family is going to be different than friends and co-workers. Coming out as TS is always going to cause a certain amount of discomfort in the people we tell, if for no other reason than it is change. And for the most part change is not welcome, it involves work.

My mother is not overly thrilled with my transition, she does not really understand the whole pink wiring in the brain thing, her religion is very strongly against it and she feels as though she is losing another son (I had two younger brothers who passed away). But she does realize that she still has her child, regardless of if it is a son or a daughter. And she is very glad that I am a much happier and fuller person. She doesn't quite get exactly why, but she sees the reality and she accepts that.

When my gender dysphoria cascaded into a full blown gender crisis I basically had to say damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. While I did not take the attitude of this is what I am doing, love it or leave it, my coming out was a very strong explanation that this is something I simply have to do. It is not a choice, it is not a "lifestyle" decision. It is needed for my continued mental sanity and possibly for my existence. I really desired everyone's love, acceptance and support, but in the end it was irrelevant.

Halle said...

Melissa, I hear you in my heart.

In my case there are no family members other than my sweetie 'in the know' yet, but there have been looks from both parents. They only see me a couple of times of year because of distance issues, and it is hard enough to explain softer skin, or shorter sideburns, etc.

In your case, since they know about what you are, maybe it is time for them to get a better understanding of how strongly you feel about who you are.

Pushing is very hard with people you love. You wonder sometimes if you love them too much, and if they love you, the real you, enough.

Big Hug,


Two Auntees said...

When I told my mother, I showed a picture of Sarah and she asked me where I got such a nice picture of one of my sisters. I have 4.

She has accepted me as Sarah and loves Kay my wife. She does have a feeble mind and when I am out with her, she still refers to me has her son and calls me by my birth name. I would not wear any polish and keep the length. Unless you arm wrestle or talk with your hands, let them guess, your sister might speak up for you.

Anonymous said...

I completely understand your worries and had all the same stuff going through my head.
Eventully I just couldnt keep hiding it. It eats away at you and has a big emotional impact.
I started to show signs of my true self and although I did it slowly in order to avoid major problems, I could not avoid showing my true self in some manner.
In my experiance every time we think we are doing something that will be noticed, it turned out that no one did actually notice and most of the problems were more imagined than real.
People seem to see what they expect to see generally.
And what is the worst that can happen even if they do notice?

It is a scary thing and I guess only you can decide the best way forward for you.

eleanor said...

I too, keep my nails long for a guy but don't use polish-even clear. My hair is long and in ponytail and worn girl-style when wearing a cap. When it was decided that I could get my ears pierced I was really worried about comments-nothing happened. Be yourself and keep writing your postings, I enjoy them.


VĂ©ronique said...

Longer fingernails and shiny lacquer are stereotypically feminine, but there's nothing that says a man can't have them. Such things in themselves do not even indicate trans-ness, just a love of beauty.

I realize there is as little tolerance for dandyness in the world as there is for transgenderism and transsexualism, but it sucks to have to hide or abstain from things that make you happy.

So a hug for you!

Calie said...

So, Melissa, did you see your Mom with them polished and long, or unpolished and short?

I seem to cut my nails only because I have to. When I say "have to" I mean that a nail is chipped and I have to cut it and that always happens before they get too long. It is not unusual to see me with some nails that are quite long and with others short. No polish, however.

Calie xxx