updated plan of action
May 7, 2013
a while back i posted a plan of action, which looking at it was about six months ago.
time to update this and take stock of where I am.
I’ve been on medication for anxiety for a while now and it is going fairly well. I’ve also started CBT with the hopes that this will help me get a firm handle on the anxiety.
I’ve actually acquired some femme clothes and I’ve been presenting as such maybe… 60% of the time? It is hard to tell, since I mix things up as I can and based on comfort. But I am leaving the house dressed like me, which is a pretty big victory. My progress here has been pretty heavily limited by being poor. So I have some new clothes, but I can’t really get as much as I’d like since I can’t really afford to buy much. I really need some shoes, though.
My hair is getting pretty long! Long enough that I’m starting to confuse people. My makeup has settled down now that I’ve figured out what I can do daily without too much effort. I’m thinking of trying to do that blush/face contouring thing, but idk. seems complicated and expensive.
re: above two points. I’m actually quite happy with where I’ve gotten to wrt my appearance. I mean, people are definitely started to perceive my actual gender (getting called ‘miss’ or the confused staring and whispering). It is weird to call that a victory, since the staring has definitely made things harder, because of my anxiety, which is exactly why it needed to be tackled before i made any efforts towards publicly embodying my gender.
- even though it wasn’t on my map before, I’ve started laser hair removal on my face. Which is great. And it looks like I’ll start doing it under my arms and on my chest, which should help re: ‘passing’and by ‘passing’ I really just mean making my presence in the outside world hopefully a little less dangerous.
of course, on this note… it will soon become a concern which washroom I use in public… :S I don’t know what I’m going to do about this. Since I will likely never truly pass (more importantly, this isn’t my goal anyway), but since I am becoming increasingly more ambiguous and confusing to people, i will begin occupying a potentially very troubled area (I remember vividly from my younger days of being femme how much people do not appreciate not knowing what you are…)
And!!! I finally got in contact with the local tattoo artist who’ll be giving me the tattoos i require to mark my coming of age as a ladyboy and, hopefully, solidify my connection with my ancestors.
While I have picked out a new name, I haven’t started the process towards legally changing it. In part because I didn’t want to initiate the process before I knew whether or not my work contract would be renewed. Now that it has been, I can move forward after I can meet one of the other requirements. This should happen in about two months. 😀 However, I have been unofficially (as in socially) going by my new name so I’m pretty happy about that. And really just happy to have named myself, at last.
I have mostly tabled the question of hormones for now. I’m still not convinced that the benefits outweigh the costs at present time (beyond the simple reality that I can’t afford them on top of my anxiety medication).
I have really started trying to figure out how I’m going to manage this ‘transition’ at work. I mean… I’ve been consistently showing up at the office in my femme clothes and makeup and stuff for months now… but after I change my name, I need to figure out how to communicate with my boss. I’m fortunate enough to work at a pretty liberal university, so I don’t really anticipate there being any problems.
A lot of what I’m unsure what to do about is… well, knowing that as far as a white supremacist and cissexist institution like a university is concerned, my gender is incomprehensible. And I already know that the likelihood of me getting anyone to consistently use gender neutral pronouns is unlikely. So my options are to simply inform them of the name change and tell them nothing else (which means staying with masc pronouns at work). Tell them that I’m a trans women, which is easier to explain, update my name and get them to use femme pronouns. I guess writing it all out like this is making me realize that the latter option is probably better.
I suppose i could just tell them that i’m ‘trans’, give them the new name and a preference for femme pronouns and just let them assume what they will… I’m lucky that we have a gender neutral staff washroom, so I won’t have that to worry about at work. (one of the big problems with being a librarian is that I work with a lot of nice liberal white cis ladies… which, i’m sure that everyone understands just how not good that can be).
I have a few months to figure out how I’m going to approach this. Hmm…
This appears to be less a ‘plan of action’ than a ‘this is where I am at and I don’t know where to go from here’.
What I hope to happen is this:
- Get more hair removed
- Get my tattoos
- Legally change my name
- Continue to manage my anxiety
- Do all of this while taking care of myself and staying safe and just generally being awesome