Faded

Writing has been really hard for me over the past year. I’d gotten past the rush of experiencing life as a transgender girl and all that comes with that. So I suffered a bit from writer’s block. But the bigger problem was probably more about where my relationship with my wife was going. It wasn’t going forward that’s for sure. And I really didn’t want to think miserable stuff let alone write about it.

Deep down I think was very worried that I would lose her. She’s the love of my life, and still is. But it’s not working out for her….for us. If she still wanted me, I’d be a yes in a heartbeat. But the love is only one sided at the moment…..and that never works.

I know, I know….she’s a girl and I’m a girl and she likes boys. And it’s obvious it’s not going to work right? But I’m not a full time girl! I’m bigender so part time girl, part time boy. And physically all boy. Everything girl is an enhancement, not my actual body. Still, having seen the girl emerge has been enough to turn my wife off.

So now I’m so lost I’m faded. I really feel just washed out and I really don’t know what to do. But I also feel really dirty and unclean. I guess that’s how rejection has left me feeling. And it’s an unusual situation. We still live together, in the same room, in the same bed, but she no longer loves me.

Oh we still have a child to raise, and I would really hate to miss that. To be honest I don’t know how I would survive if I left. I would be so lonely….and would have too much time to think…..and that’s not a good thing.

Am I suicidal? To be honest I wonder if my family would be better off without me. The answer is of course “no they wouldn’t be”. And my mind is too healthy to countenance such things. But if my mind were to become unhealthy, then all bets are off……its no wonder that transgender individuals are a very high risk group for suicide.

So at the moment I’m in survival mode. Lots of listening to music, like “Faded” by Alan Walker as well as another of his songs, “All falls down”. And then I’ve buried myself in reading. Period romance novels to be exact. Thank you Julia Quinn! Your Bridgertons have been a wonderful distraction 😊 And thank goodness for a great online library! I’ve also got the Crazy rich Asian sequels to read soon. First and second in queue after eight weeks!

So for the moment I try desperately to remember the lines to “All Falls Down”, “You’re the drug that I’m addicted to and I want you so bad. But I’ll be fine and that’s that.” Now I just have to have to convince myself that it’s true, because right now it hurts so much.

Photo by Jakub Kriz

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Who am I?

To be honest I don’t get it. Yes I know, I’m claiming that I’m part girl. And my wife says that she doesn’t know who I am anymore.

Who am I?

I’m the one who just gave you a massage because you were sore, even though I’m sick and you know that giving you a massage immediately after dinner makes me nauseous.

I’m the one who just made you dinner like I do 7 days a week.

I’m the one who after riding 100km for work, came home and went to fill up the car so you wouldn’t stress out driving to school the next week even though you had plenty of petrol.

I’m the one who never missed Valentine’s day, your birthday, anniversary…. Ever!

I’m the one who remembers your mum’s birthday when no one in your family does.

I’m the one who cleaned up, dried the dishes and put them away and wiped the floor like I do every day.

I’m the one who goes to work early so that I can get dinner on the table at 6pm, which is the time you asked for. And for which you are NEVER on time for.

I’m the one who busted their arse cooking on Saturday morning so that we could go out with your mum in the afternoon.

I’m the one who took your stupid brother in law out bike riding five times, to get him active again, even though I can’t stand his whinging, because he’s family.

I’m the one who makes you a packed lunch even though you get to sit down at home and watch mafs or whatever at lunchtime.

I’m the one who will travel by train and bus for an extra hour and a half to buy you chocolates.

Oh and I’m the one you yelled at today to call the nbn to abuse them. Did I complain? No I didn’t, I knew you weren’t angry at me but by God if you yelled at anyone else like that, they wouldn’t have given you the benefit of the doubt.

I’m the one who eighteen years ago said, “you know I’m scared. The way you talk about people when they’re not around. I’m worried you’re going to talk about me like that. I know I’m not perfect and one day I’ll do something that really upsets you.” and no I was not referring to being transgender because I had no idea. In any case you promised that would never happen because,” You’re my honey!”

I’m the one who you just told that you don’t mind still calling me honey because it’s just a name. Well it matters to me. If you don’t love me anymore don’t call me by an affectionate name. I could twist these words a million ways but I won’t. Just know that every time you call me honey now, it’s like a knife in my heart.

I’m the one who still loves you. But obviously that doesn’t mean anything to you.

Did I kill anyone? No

Am I a criminal? No

Did I cheat on you? No

Did I beat you? No

Did I abuse you? No

Do I drink too much? No

Do I gamble? OK so I buy ozlotto and powerball…. Minimum games!

Do I smoke? No

Do I have bad hygiene? No

Do I leave the toilet seat up? No

Am I a religious zealot? No

Do I try and control you? No

Am I overbearing? No

Am I a womaniser? No

Do I check out guys? No

Do I like guys? Ew! No! (not a slur on anyone who likes guys, but I don’t)

Do I look at other girls? Only to see if I could wear that.

Am I too boring for you? I have no idea.

Have I ever had sex with anyone but you……. ever? No

Am I transgender? Yes, but do you know what it means? No I’m not Caitlyn. I have a boy side and a girl side. For some shitty reason I’m stuck in the middle.

Do you think I like this? If I had a choice I’d never want to be transgender, it’s too hard. But you know what? I don’t have a choice. Does anyone choose to be gay or straight? No they just are. Left handed or right handed? No they just are. So do I choose to be transgender? No but I am. Did it take most of my life to figure it out? Yes it did. Do I feel like you’re punishing me because I didn’t figure it out a long long time ago? Yes

I’m the one looked after you as you recovered from vertigo twice and rearranged everything to revolve around you.

I’m the one who took your father to the hospital for appointments with oncology. Did any of your brothers in law do that?

I’m the one who brought in my shaver to give your dad a shave when he was in palliative care.

I’m the one who wrote and delivered the eulogy at your father’s funeral. I actually sat there with your father in his last month’s to get his story because I knew it was important.

I’m the one your mum saw after waking up from kidney surgery and told that, “it was worse than giving birth!” because I was the only one there.

I’m the one who made your dad pumpkin soup every week because that was all he could eat when he had cancer.

I’m the one who brought up we should start a family. And look who that brought us 😁

Physically I’m a boy. And that’s never going to change. I’m never taking hormones, and I’m never getting surgery to make me a girl. Mentally I’m close enough to 50% boy, 50% girl. And you know what? If I was mentally 100% boy, or close to, then we would never have got married. I would not have been the loving caring person that I am.

So here’s the thing. You can’t get past the clothes and makeup that I wear. You’re so blinded that you can’t see that I’m still the same person. I’m not asking you to make love to a girl. I’m asking you to accept me for who I am. And you can’t, or won’t.

Perhaps you think that the boy always looks so sad because I need to be a girl 24/7? No I’m sad because after all these years you don’t love me. And if you looked you’d see that the girl is just as sad too!

You don’t know me??!!????

I’m speechless

So I think my life is over

I had THE talk with my wife yesterday and it’s over. Not divorce over, but the love of my life no longer knows who I am and she no longer loves me.

Oh we’re still “together” but we’re not. But we are still a family. However all I want to do is curl up and die. That’s not to say that I’m suicidal. But if I were to die, and I had the consciousness to care, I wouldn’t care. I’d be happy to die. I just feel like there is nothing for me to look forward to.

I know I have a son! But one day he will grow up and live his own life. That’s the way its supposed to be. Me? Once he’s grown up, I see no future, nothing to live for. Yes I love my son to bits, but it’s different. I’ve lost the love of my life and I’m empty inside.

At the moment it feels like I’ll struggle through until he grows up but then what? I really don’t know? If I’m lucky I’ll have a heart attack like so many others in my family. Or maybe I’ll get run over by a truck, I ride a bike so much it’s possible. I mean I’ve almost been hit by a 3T truck, a 20 seat minibus and 2 cars. Almost you say? Touching distance! One of the cars actually had to reverse before I could get up.

And then this afternoon my poor work friend witnessed a horrific cyclist and truck accident. She was first on the scene and I feel so sickened by it. I can hear the screams in my head. So scratch getting run over by a truck. Too much trauma for too many.

What are the odds?

So I remember thinking years ago, long before I realised that I was transgender, “I wonder who in the family is LGBT?” I didn’t know about the I or the Q or the rest of the alphabet at that stage. But hey this is Sydney where there is a huge LGBTIQ community. So realistically there must be someone in the family who is LGBTIQ?

I mean not just my sisters and their families. But also my uncles, aunties and the very extended family. I’d never actually heard that ANYONE was LGBTIQ. Which statistically speaking was extremely unlikely. Apparently 11% of the population are LGBTIQ so that means within my sisters and my families there must have been one person right? Little did I know that it was me!

Well that solved the smaller statistical equation, but my extended family has over a hundred family members so there must be 10 of us who are LGBTIQ right? Well I guess that we’re well hidden because I don’t know of anyone apart from me.

Even I’m fairly hidden. Oh my close family know. As do most of my close uncles and aunties, and some of my close cousins. I’ve been working through letting them know, because one day I’m sure I’ll run into them.

In my working life I’d say only 6% were openly LGBTIQ so even at that rate there should be another 5 in my extended family but no, if there are then they’re definitely hidden. Maybe it’s a Chinese thing?

Anyway this hidden thing can’t be good either for the community or for the individual. And I guess until we’re all confident to show who we are it’s hard for us to make real progress in being accepted.

Thank goodness for Mardi-Gras. Thank you to all who marched and supported the event tonight. Together we will make the difference.

Happy Mardi-Gras!

Mummy issues

Aunt Mary passed away last week and today is her funeral. Sadly I won’t be going as mum’s made it pretty clear that she doesn’t want me there.

It’s not as if I was close to Aunt Mary. But she was a lovely and kind woman and I would have liked to have paid my last respects. I know her son, Colin, has been very diligent when it comes to paying his last respects for our family and other relatives. So I would very much have liked to be able to ‘give back’ to him at his time of loss. However it’s not to be.

Not only am I disappointed that I am not going to be able to go the funeral. I’m also feeling the pain from mum telling me not to go. She is obviously ashamed and embarrassed by me. And she obviously doesn’t trust my judgement in what I can and cannot do in such situations. I can only assume that she thinks I’m stupid.

So the year has barely begun and I’m already at a real low point. Here’s hoping it gets better.

Pincushion

Oh it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. I guess life has been pretty normal. Well as normal as it gets for a bigender girl. And of course normal means going to see my counsellor regularly …. except not this month. Sadly she’s sick, and my appointment has been cancelled. I hope she’s feeling better soon!

Anyway, today is WINDY +++++!!! We might rival Chicago, it’s that windy. Of course for girls like me, that can cause some hair issues. OK for most girls it causes hair issues. But for me it’s really wig issues. I’ve never had my wig blow off before. But it’s never been this windy. So I’ve gone down the bobby pin route. I have so many in that I feel like a pincushion! And while I’m just being paranoid about “losing my hair”. The real problem is hair blowing in my face, and just anywhere and everywhere.

Ponytail? Yes an easy fix. However my ponytail wig has seen a lot of action and is not looking quite so fresh anymore. My current look is back to Elle. So a cute bob where I have hair covering my right eye a lot of the time. In the wind it’s not so much fun. So I’ve had to find a solution, which is my coral headband. It’s a little faded, but my hair is staying out of my face. And let’s face it, I still look cute 😊

It’s getting close to Christmas which means time to put up the tree and of course our advent soldier…..which needs filling of course. The lindt rectangular chocs fit perfectly in the little drawers so a trip to Birkenhead was called for. Little did I know that I would get a bargain because it was black Friday. Normally $100kg but today I got a box for $17…..I think I have 500g 😁

Well I made up for that bargain at lunch. I met up with some old friends for lunch at Kingdom of Rice, in Mascot, where surprisingly we did not have rice! The food was delish, but a combination of ordering a bit too much food and some premium prices meant that lunch ended up costing $60. Ouch! But it was certainly worthwhile given that I could catch up with old friends. We need to do this again soon!

Having said that it was quite a trek to get to lunch. I’m still trying to get home an hour and a half later. Castle Hill was much quicker even though it was a lot further!

Photo by Lisa Woakes

Being Loretta

In my last post I talked about ‘being a girl’ rather than just looking like one. And of course I had trouble explaining what that meant. I guess what I really meant was ‘being Loretta’ who is a girl.

Of course there are a myriad of things that I have embraced and/or practised on my journey of being Loretta. But even though I’ve learnt and practised all of these things, this question still exists, “Is ‘Loretta’ just an act?”

On the surface of it all I do a whole bunch of things that actors do. I do the wardrobe thing, the makeup thing, the wig thing. And I do vocal training and try and try to work on my deportment.

To an extent you could say that I’ve embraced method acting. I’m actually Loretta for huge chunks of the day. Although I guess method actors are being whomever for as long as the performance lasts.

The key difference, however, is the ‘being Loretta’. I’m actually not playing, or pretending to be someone else. It’s not an act. It’s just me being the girl me. I don’t have a made up background. I have my background. I have my wants and desires, not someone else’s, not pretend ones. They’re mine.

So for me, this is what makes me real. I’m not an act. When I’m Loretta I’m just being me. 😊

Photo by Carlos Dominguez

Boy, girl or both?

It’s been a while since I’ve thought about this. And as I’ve discovered, nothing is set in stone, it’s a journey and I continually find and learn new things.

I think I’ve gotten past the clothes thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the clothes! Even if I’m a little cold right now. The hair, the makeup, the shoes. I love it all. But as I’ve found, this is just one part of the experience.

Sure all of these things help make me look and feel like a girl. But none of them help me be a girl. And this is how I differ so much from my sistren at the Friday night social. Only a small percentage of them are trying to be a girl rather than just look like one.

When I go girl, I completely go girl. The look, talk, walk, think and really just be a girl. I can’t explain it more than that. It really is just being.

The past two days I’ve been down at the city to surf expo. We’ve been trying to get people to sign our petition and to promote our event. Thousands and thousands of people have been going by. Some stopping to chat and others charging by as if C2s had already started. Oh my it’s tiring work. In fact for a lot of the day you feel like you’re just standing around. But by the time I got home I couldn’t wait to get to bed!

At C2s, despite there being so many people there, not one of them made mention of my being transgender. Either I’m that good, and I don’t believe that because I can still see the boy underneath, or people are more accepting? And that’s what I’d like to believe.

Being on my feet all day I decided not to go with heels which was sad. I went with “princess spirits” complete with orthotics. The orthotics did their job but the toe box was a bit cramped so my big toes were not as happy, but I got through.

The thing that should have been the number one clue that I wasn’t like other girls was my skirt. Every other exhibitor, and I do mean every, was wearing a corporate top with jeans or pants or rarely shorts. Me? Black work polo with white box pleat skirt and my white “princess spirits”.

The thing I was really happy about after these two days was my voice. Lots of talking to people so if my voice was going get strained, this would be the time. And my voice made it through perfectly, which means I must be speaking properly and not straining my vocal chords, which is a real danger for girls like me, who learn their voices via YouTube. Most of the instructional videos here can help you find a girl voice, but end up straining your voice because of too much tension in your vocal chords.

So yes, I absolutely get to be a girl. And incredibly I get accepted as a girl, no questions asked. And as a result I’ve experienced much more of the feminine world than I could ever possibly have dreamed.

Is there still boy in here? Yes there is. I dream in boy. I don’t dream in girl or about being a girl. I occasionally have transgender dreams but they are very rare.

My default is boy. I have to consciously flick on the girl switch to be Loretta. But once I flick girl switch on, it’s on until I flick it off again.

Being a boy comes naturally to me. To be honest I have normal boy communication skills, so not that much. And I love the father and son relationship that I have with my 9 year old. It’s a boy relationship as opposed to a girl boy relationship that my wife has with him. Somehow it’s a bit more physical? Not sporty physical but just the rough and tumble I guess. And then there’s the wavelength and we both seem to be on the same boy wavelength.

Like I said, it’s natural for me. I’ve grown up with it. I understand it, but there’s more to me, there’s other desires and things that I want to express that bring out the girl in me. It might not be what I’ve grown up with but it is becoming second nature to me.

It’s confusing and strange at times to say the least. But it’s becoming normal. And it seems to work. I’m not saying that it’s perfect, I mean whose life is? But my life works, our lives work.

So boy, girl or both. I still think it’s both.

Photo by Tony Ross

#117

Modelling revisited

On the weekend I got to see the results of our modelling work. The results were really good, but sadly only four of the twelve models came back to see the results. A bit tricky to coordinate us all again I guess, but lucky for me the timing was great..l

I got to meet Rose, Rachael and Daniel again, which was especially good because I didn’t get to chat too much with them at the shoot. The photos were great! There were some really good ones that the gender centre can use. And I think that all of us will have a photo used somewhere.

However some were more photogenic than others. Charlize and Daniel really had an affinity for the camera, and I think they will be featured quite heavily. Even I should make the cut, probably a shot with a bicycle of course 🙂

Then there was the video. One minute long but a lovely piece of work. Rose probably had THE moment in it with her smile following a make over. Followed by Sabs and Daniel who had a ball clowning around. And finally Charlize, who obviously loves being in front of the camera. We all looked great and it was a wonderful video, which I got to take home.

It was a wonderful and rewarding experience and I really enjoyed it and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Photo by Robert Knapman photography

Living my life

Another month and another counselling session. It’s like my life revolves around getting to these checkpoints. I really, really appreciate these sessions at the gender centre which are provided to me for free. If I had to find the $ to pay for counselling each month privately it would be a struggle and another stress for me.

And I don’t want to take advantage of this gift. I know that in a lot of ways I’m having an easier time of it than so many other transgender people who also need counselling. But I do still need it. Maybe one day I will stop counselling, but not for a while yet.

Especially not after last month’s meltdown, where I was feeling a bit broken. I managed to pull myself back up by changing my perspective to one that’s a ‘glass half full’. And it’s definitely helped. I’ve so much positive going on, so why am I focusing on the negative?

Interestingly, Candy noted that I had taken a step back from where I was last time, and was actually looking at things from an objective point of view. And from there I could see what I could do to help myself. The last time I was there I was really ‘in my life’ swimming in it. Or more like trying not to drown in it.

It’s not like one perspective is better than the other. You actually need both, and it’s like a dance moving from one to the other and then back again. And this looking from an objective point of view is something that I’ve probably had a problem with for a long time.

Candy said that when you’re ‘in your life’ it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. And that’s exactly what my eldest sister said about me so many years ago. “You know, you don’t seem to be able to see the forest for the trees.” And it’s true, I know I like looking at trees. I just need to add a bit of balance by looking at the forest sometimes too.

So life goes on. And hopefully I can pick up some more skills along the way so that I can enjoy my life to the fullest. Thanks Candy, thanks gender centre. I really need you right now and I’m so glad that you are there for me.

Photo by Courtney Hedger

Obsession

I think I have a skirt obsession. I mean it’s winter right? I shouldn’t really be thinking skirt first right? I mean I do wear pants….well at least once a week. OK just once a week. And only because I think I should be changing my shapes up.

So it’s sale time right? And like so many of us girls I’ve weakened and succumbed to bargain hunting. I can’t pass up on a good bargain right?

Results:

Black mermaid skirt

White midi skirt

Red mini skirt

Burgundy velvet mini skirt

Black wrap mini skirt

Teal long sleeve jumper

Sigh! Yep obsessed with skirts! And it seems like I like the short ones….. But to be honest I’ve been keeping an eye out for some mini skirts. And I did want them with a bit of colour. And I was looking to replace my other white skirt. The one that went in to the wrong wash and looks a touch grey? And that black mermaid skirt looks absolutely killer.

And then there’s a black skirt with red flowers, which just needs a nice red top. Plus the cute red mini with horses and stars. Oh dear!

But wait! I did buy a pair of gold hoop earrings and a choker at the same time…..so I’m not really obsessed with skirts…….am I?

Pretty skirt from the iconic

Tick ✅

So I had a manicure today 🙂 Another rite of passage completed. It wasn’t a moment like getting my ears pierced. (Oh my God I did it!) but it was another piece of girldom ticked off.

Admittedly my nails don’t look that amazingly different. I mean I opted for clear polish, which is how I’ve been doing my nails. My plans for French tips changed as they wanted to do that with an acrylic nail, and I’m not ready for that yet.

However, my nails do look good. They appear to be looked after rather than just having nail polish. It’s because of the work she did cleaning up and trimming my cuticles. And fixing up my hangnails.

Whilst my hands will never be classified as girly. With my newly looked after nails, they could possibly be seen as girl’s hands. Well at least, not seen quite so obviously as boy’s hands.

And with this nice clean look, which is really pretty, maybe I don’t actually need French tips. That said I’m not going to write off going ‘all the way’. I’m sure there’s going to be a time when I want to be Uber-girly.

So the manicure was good. Would I do it again? Oh my! Yes! Yes! Yes! Definitely. I’m not sure how often I would do it but I will definitely have more manicures.

Photo by Kris Atomic