Friday, October 29, 2010

No Finite Answers

I have always felt that chemical engineering was one of the best backgrounds for a business career, because both the classwork and the required thesis teach you one very important lesson: There are no finite answers to many questions.
-- Jack Welch, Jack

As I complete 6 months post transition, I realize that the last couple of weeks and the weeks to come hold memorable events. From wearing purple on October 20, an invitation-only prescreening of "She Was My Brother" on Wednesday, and engaging group therapy discussion yesterday to dressing out for Halloween today, getting my picture taken at a local studio in costume with a friend, a Halloween music festival at my church tomorrow and hosting trick-or-treaters Sunday evening.

My thesis for my Master's degree was more about trying to find emerging patterns in the presence of uncertainty. What I learned is that the patterns that are learned are not always true patterns, though they seem to hold true for a time. It is the things we have not experienced yet that hold the key to finding true patterns. We must always be ready to adjust our patterns when they no longer fit new information.

Looking at the photos I had taken today, and walking through my FaceBook photos to the earliest photos I kept of myself prior to starting hormone replacement therapy 2 1/2 years ago, and I am amazed. Laying the latest photo to a crossdressing photo from the Summer of 2007 looks like two completely different people. The neck muscles are greatly toned, the cheeks and dimples are more refined. My natural hair just feathers in and looks a whole lot better than my wig did.

I was filled with so much uncertainty, yet I was certain that I would never pass as a woman. The testosterone had belatedly shaped in ways that I could never recover from: large neck, shoulders and arms; a chin and nose line that didn't seem to be feminine in the slightest; a bushy unibrow and a persistent beard; and a bald spot forming on my crown.

Somehow, someway, I started drawing stares and comments today; but that's only because people admired my costume.

Wednesday night, I took advantage of theater night to slip into my purple dress, and apply evening makeup that I hadn't tried for months. It was an invitation-only event to certain members of the LGBT community to experience a drama based on two Victorian anthropologists experiences with a Lhamana (two-spirit person of the Zuni tribe in New Mexico).

Loosely based on these historical facts, the play was 90 minutes without intermission, and cast transgender people in a good light. After the performance, the Playwright answered questions from the audience. Miraculously, the real Me'wha, whom the character Lhamana was based on, eventually traveled to Washington, D.C., where she passed as a natal woman with everyone she met. The presisdent of the U.S, just remarked, "They sure do grow them tall out there." At 5 foot 10 to 11 inches, I have found a hero in Me'Wha.

At the support group meeting, I realized a couple of things. First, I can never forgive my father for trying to toughen me into a boy. I still love him, but he owns that sin not me. From what I knew about him before, and what I found out later about his own battles with trying to be a man, he should have tried to get to know me better, to understand me, instead of rough-housing, yelling and trying to get a testosterone rise out of me. When I did eventually respond, not only the physical pain, but the emotional pain of being forced to act in ways I felt uncomfortable left emotional scars. I harbor no ill will, even though he's been passed away for almost 12 years; but he owns that hurt, and not me. I also know that it's okay if I never forgive him. It's not always healthy to completely forgive and absolve someone of the pain that they have inflicted.

The second thing I took away from the support group meeting is that it is quite possible that my ex-wife will never forgive me for the betrayal that she feels that I am guilty of. It is her right to be unforgiving of me, as much as it is my right to be unforgiving of my father. I have no right to demand that she forgive me for my actions as she sees them, and, consequently, I shouldn't be compelled to try to force her forgiveness by making her see the "light." It's her right to withhold forgiveness, and I'm okay with that.

I had so much more I wanted to squeeze in here, but after a long chat with a friend in Texas, for whom I mistook deep friendship signals for romantic interest, I have decided that this is enough to ponder and digest.

Hugs and God Bless,


  1. Wow! You've come a long way baby!

  2. It is hard to notice the changes that are happening when we have been on Hormones for some time. But comparing photographs of various periods of our transitions do let us see the differences ourselves.

  3. You have come a long way and are looking great.
    I really agree with your comments on your ex wifes feelings.
    It is an issue and feeling she has and something that she needs to work through now.
    You just focus on being the great woman you are.

  4. Sophie, I'm glad you are doing well out there. I continue to enjoy reading your blog. We all wish you well with your endeavors.