Monday, August 9, 2010

From Her Chrysalis

"Which is exactly what they've succeeded in doing," Ethan muttered.
-- Chloe Neill, Friday Night Bites

From her chrysalis
She emerges.

That within
Has completely subsumed
That without.

No longer does she have to crawl
Across the bark
And the leaves,
Always hungry,
Seeking sustenance.

Free and leaving the thin husk of her old self behind,
She can
Take to the air,
Ride the updrafts
Spiraling ever upwards,
And then let go,
Banking and swerving,
Being what she was meant to be.
Landing where she might.

But it took work.
Feeding that inner hunger
Until the time was upon her.
Spinning her cocoon,
To keep her safe
While she gave in to her transformation
Before emerging in the world
Pretty, confident and smart.

Does a butterfly feel complete
Before she dies?

As I sat watching the amateur night performance at The Connection, I realized that, perhaps, that form of entertainment was not in the cards for me. As the three judges critiqued the performers, the emphasis became clear. The performers were expected to be in makeup that accentuated their features on a stage scale, which looked grotesque up close as all the makeup tends to go in the wrong places. Then they were expected to not only lip sync the entire song, but all their movements had to be choreographed to tell a story. And what's more, they were expected to lure the audience in with their smile.

Before the performance, I had danced my heart out on the empty dance floor, and suddenly realized that I had an audience. When I was done, headed for the receptionist table to thank them for the use of the dance floor. The transgender woman sitting there encouraged me to stick around for the show, and I chatted with her a little while. Of course, the conversation turned toward upper torso endowments and she gave me advice to help show a little more cleavage. And then she said, "You're a 'real girl.' During the day, I'm just like you. I blend in." Little did I know I was chatting with the host/MC of the contest that was about to start. I found out later that she is actually part of the cast of LeBoy LeFemme, and I had participated in a real conversation with her.

But what she told me has reverberated in other ways, too. Having reached my three-month anniversary of being full-time, the residual male shell seems to be gone. I can't feel anything other than female, and though I can't be confident all the time, I can be a confident woman. I just have to tell myself, "You're pretty. You're smart. All the guys want you"; whether or not it's true. There are times that the irrational feelings of loneliness and rejection kick in, but as a friend explained to me about the breast cycle, it may actually be PMS. Go figure. And around the same time, I was frightened by brown spots in my bra. It hasn't happened since, and my doctor is treating it as infection with horse-pill-size antibiotics.

My coworker told me during my speculation one time, "Don't do that! You're a woman. Get over it!" because I was thinking that it might be easier to think of myself as a "boy that get's to play in a woman's body" rather than a "woman trapped in a man's body."

And at church, I was told, "You're redefining what it means to be a woman, trying one layer on at a time to see how it fits." The difference this time is that the layers mesh in nicely with my core. I remember when I bought my first wig, and the proprietor told me to come back for free makeup lessons to look like who I wanted to look like. I looked at her and told her, "I don't want to look like anybody. I want to look like a female me."

The night I strolled into Jim Porter's with the confidence to ask the guys to dance with me resulted in a new friend coming into my life, a shy, sweet, gentle friend.

I went to the endocrynologist Friday for my 6 month HRT follow up. She took a look at my blood results, noticed everything was fine and told me she didn't need to see me for a year. I asked her to switch my estrogen prescription to injection, which she did, and Nurse Peggy started explaining that I needed to have someone help me the first couple of times, that I could come back to the clinic in a week or so when I had the prescription. Well, I really didn't want to miss more time off from work to drive 70 miles, so I asked if maybe I could get the nurse at my doctor's office to show me. She told me that was alright and advised me how to speak with them.

On the way home, I realized I knew someone who could help. My friend was a nurse and was forced to change careers, a study that he has almost completed. I took the risk and asked him if he could help with an embarrassing favor, that he could say no, because he might learn more about me than he was ready to know.

Yesterday, he came by with a syringe, a practice IM needle and a nursing textbook, and even though I don't have an orange to practice on he gave me some pointers. Hopefully, he'll still come over to help me the first couple of times once my prescription is in.

He learned a lot about me, and I, likewise, learned quite a bit about him. He doesn't want to do certain things that I am not comfortable with, and when I told him leaving after a nice hug, "We need to do something fun sometime," he explained that he is going to be tied up in his studies for the next three weeks first. (Mmmm, tied up). I can wait for him. I mean he has to wait for me for almost a year.

I submitted my referral letter to Dr. Suporn in Thailand. It was approved. Now is a matter of getting the funds together to pay for the procedure. I noticed I have enough in old retirement savings to cover what I need, and I am working with someone at the bank so that I can try to get the down payment by September to schedule my surgery for next July.

When my friend asked me what the surgery was for, I told him, "Sexual Reassignment Surgery." I think it is best to be honest and confident early on about who you are in a relationship if there is a possibility of going intimate. I can tell he still considers me a woman and I can feel it. Whether or not he reciprocates is in the cards. At the very least, we'll be very good friends.

Hugs and God Bless,


No comments:

Post a Comment