Saturday, 8 April 2006

A Peek into Another World

There is a funny side to Transsexuality. It's hideously embarressing for everybody, but a sense of humour is a necessary survival skill in the difficult task of transition, and sometimes it can be difficult not to burst out laughing.

From the TSRoadmap Page on Self-Acceptance :
Wendy is living stealth and plans to keep it that way. Here are excerpts from two excellent posts she wrote on post-transition issues:

I transitioned a few years ago (three I think), I have had some cosmetic surgery, and had srs last year in Montreal. I work in designer fashion as a sales associate; my employer does not know about my past. I am constantly in contact with women in various states of undress- and they obviously do not know either.

I wear extremely expensive clothes (work around $1000 dresses and you get over the sticker shock), am constantly complimented on my figure, and am liked and appreciated by my female co-workers. My friends are all genetic females; I have little or nothing to do with the gendered community. So I've arrived, I'm done, it's all over. NOT!

In my opinion, one is never done with this process. We are saddled with a basic insecurity, and a past we often dare not discuss. The question "Do they know?" is never far from the front of my mind, although I know that is foolishness on my part. I had a date the other night with a guy who once hitched a ride on a submarine when he was in the Navy, and he proceeded to tell me all about it. I spent three years on the damn things, and found myself biting my tongue on more than one occasion.

I know of one former A-10 Fighter pilot, a veteran of the first Iraq War, who is an equally ironic situation. Of course, according to the USAF, there were no Female A-10 pilots in that little fracas - well, not that they knew of. And even she wasn't sure then. She works in the aviation areas, and her male colleagues have no inkling of her background. So when they do the normal unconsciously Boy thing of trying to impress the Girls with their exploits... I don't know how she can keep a straight face.

Of course, keeping one's sense of humour can be difficult at times. Frankly, the whole syndrome of Gender Dysphoria and the terrible effects of Transition on one's family and life is nothing to laugh about. Read the rest of the page, and you'll see what I mean.

But while we're all feeling a little sorry for ourselves, we must remember to keep a sense of perspective. Here's another quote from the page :
My department manager is 34 years old and just had a baby. She also was recently diagnosed with fourth stage lymphatic cancer. And you think you have problems, Karen?
Yes, exactly. There are an awful lot of quiet heroes and heroines out there, put in equally bad, or worse, positions. They may get societal sympathy rather than persecution and disgust, but that doesn't exactly help a baby whose mother is dying, nor a father who is losing the love of his life, his partner, the mother of his child.

I've said it before, but this whole thing has been immensely educational for me, and I'm even starting to value the experience. I mean, look at what I was blogging about just one year ago. I had no inkling of what was about to befall me.

(Quickly reaching for the Poetic Wax)

Waxing Poetic, I'm Alice who has fallen down a most peculiar Rabbit Hole, into a world I never knew existed, and which I'm trying to give my readers a peek into. Here I am, not drinking potions that radically change my body, for that's changing anyway, but I am taking big white pills marked "Androcur" and little blue pills marked "Progynova", which hopefully will speed up the process. Nothing like the months of May-July 2005, but at least in a controlled manner, those changes were far too rapid for comfort.

Here's another peek. Not a very comforting one this time. Thia is what often happens to people like me.
I went to Minneapolis with high hopes. Even after having some delusion that the fortune 500 company would be progressive enough to see me through my transition and they in fact fired my ass upon learning I was a transsexual. Then I get to Minneapolis only to find that the companies that would hire me did not because my previous employer had black balled me.

Then I wound up selling evening gowns and dresses in this ritzy department store to all the snooty overweight rich women in the Twin Cities but at a wage that I could about starve on. I wasn't going to live under some bridge or spend my life busted lookin working in some service industry job at barely enough to pay the rent.

I went to work for an escort agency rather than starve and in no time found that a lot of men pay a whole lot for a trannie to do very little. Then I realized that the guy I was working for was ripping me off, just like he was all the rest of the girls, who were all GGs and so I went back to the sex paper with all the sex ads and found this one looking for 'shemales' run by a shemale.

She came walking into the restaurant to interview me, we had met some months before but neither realized it till we saw each other. We were both so shady to each other that day that we each were just going to tell the other to go f*** off but for some reason we had this commonality and one thing led to another and I was working for her.

Each night I would get off of work at the department store and she'd have a couple calls waiting for me. I'd drive by her apartment after, stop out front, she or her boyfriend would come to the curb and collect their fee and I'd go home. Before long it was real hard to go to that day job any more. but I had this therapist that wouldn't give me the all important letter till I'd worked as a girl for a year. Laugh!

The hooking I did was pretty much an exclusive female oriented business as I saw all the same clients as my female friends. In no time I was making about 5 times what that therapist was and eventually my boss and I became close friends, then the shit hit the fan. Her other girl got busted and the PoPo were hot on her trail too. So we figured 'fu** this' and started working together. That Girl was none other than Diana. LOL

We set up an agency for all my GG friends so we all wouldn't have to work for some guy, we worked for ourselves. We were rolling in cash. Then as a result a few of the girls were able to quit trickin and move on with their lives. Diana and I traveled the country for 3 years, hitting every major city and went through money like it was toilet paper. I think thats the only way we stayed sane at all.

With the money came the means to transiton effectively for two people who at the time really didn't have other options. As soon as an alternative came along for each of us we moved and began living more on the vanilla road. But there still are obstacles, still are expenses and there still is that option and I won't lie and say I don't take it now and again.

It becomes like a drug, and like a real powerful rush and addictive drug, like a heroin that is about impossible to kick. It give you a sense of power whether it is there or not and the feeling is amazing. But the trade off I can not total even yet. I know I lost something, something real important, and I have this forboding feeling that sometime the realization is going to hit me right between the eyes.

So I won't fault anyone, any trannie, for being involved with the sex industry, I know about why. But I wouldn't recommend it, it is something the person has to deal with their own self. And if someone can do this while staying on their original job, or by finding some other means, go for it. But if someone is a ho all I can say is whateva, it is what it is.

(Names changed to protect the no longer innocent)

Now comes the hard part. If I was unemployable (and at one stage, that was a probability), and had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for treatment (which I do), and more importantly, keep up the payments into my son's educational fund, and even find the money every month for the hormones that would keep my mind from disintegrating.... in a similar situation, what would I have done? The same, most likely.

A combination of unbelievable good fortune, some good friends and academic connections, fantastic timing, a modicum of talent, and the fact that I have a face like the north end of a south bound camel meant that temptation was never thrust in my face. Nor anything else. For which I am eternally grateful, and I'll just stop gibbering in the corner now.

That's better.

Instead I can resume my life as the woman I want to be, Dr Brain in a few years, with luck, and as fine, upstanding and respectable member of the community as anyone can be in my situation.

But I too am losing something. Respect for the society I live in, that causes such things to happen. I'm trying to keep my faith in conservative values and societal norms, but there's something terribly, horribly wrong with things the way they are. I see good people whose bodies are being destroyed, but worse, I see their spirits being corroded. Society as it is is sometimes perverse, and quite insane.

You know that A-10 pilot? By court order, she is compelled to crossdress in male drag whenever she sees her child. That's sick.

Once more, this whole thing has been most educational. I've learnt things about the world, and myself, that I hadn't got a clue about 12 months ago. By giving a peek into the new world I'm living in, I hope my readers have been educated in some very uncomfortable facts too. Maybe you'll discuss it with your friends and colleagues. Maybe we can do something, not by revolution or demonstrations, shrill cries from special-interest groups, but in the name of normal human decency, working on the grass roots, shaping opinion at the level of the normal, decent societal member. God have mercy on us if we can't, because I have to tell you, my appreciation is that the situation is getting just a little worse every day in most respects.

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