Friends, Family, and Uniforms

I always have the best of intentions when it comes to making regular posts on here, but I never seem to manage it and go way longer than I intend between them.  This time I was out of town for two weeks due to work, and unfortunately not all hotels have free WiFi.  I’d like to say that I’ll hopefully be posting more regularly now until the next time work takes me out of town, but given my track record at the moment, I’m not sure that’ll happen.  Oh well, I do promise to continue making posts when I find the time and energy to do so at least.  I do think it’ll get better when I’m done with work in a few months and only have school to worry about.  I’ll also have a lot more to write about as I’ll finally be transitioning then, if all goes well.

So, as I mentioned, I was out of town for two weeks for work.  Where I had to go just happened to be my hometown, though, so it was a great opportunity to see friends and family when I wasn’t working.  I was really unsure about seeing my dad and stepmother after the whole thing in which they sent me a feminine workout outfit.  Overall going out to dinner with them went surprisingly well, though.  We didn’t talk too much about me and how I identify, but it did come up a couple of times.  My dad didn’t really bring it up at all, it was my stepmother that asked a couple of questions.  When I brought up that August and I were wanting to adopt she said something along the lines of “You don’t want to have one yourself?  You still can, you know.”  I don’t think she understands that while I do really want to be a parent, just the idea of going through the process of pregnancy isn’t just unappealing because it sounds like a miserable experience (it doesn’t sound fun at all from what friends that have had kids have said) but the more I come to accept the fact that I identify as male, the more that pushing against it with treating myself or being treated by others as female becomes less and less tolerable.  I quickly decided that trying to explain all of that would be really difficult so just went with the “being pregnant doesn’t sound fun, I’m totally okay with having a kid without the experience of pregnancy”.  Besides, I’ve always wanted to adopt, even when I was trying to push myself to be more feminine and considered having a biological kid, I wanted to adopt at least one.  I had a pretty rough childhood and the idea that there are kids out there in need and that I could save even just one from a bad situation really means something to me deep down.

Later on during the meal I was talking about August’s transition and how he’s recovering from his surgery.  She seemed confused and asked what surgery he had, so I had to explain top surgery to her.  It wasn’t too bad, once she understood what he’d had done, she left it at that.  She did ask me if I still planned to “go through the change”, which I of course said yes to, and she just nodded and that was the end of any trans related questions from her.  Again, my dad didn’t really bring it up at all, and just listened when she asked her questions for the most part.  He did ask how August’s recovery was going when I brought that up, which was the first time he has expressed interest in that, though I’ve mentioned August’s surgery in text to him before.  I get the feeling he just isn’t sure what to do, but isn’t necessarily unsupportive.  I also get the feeling that he is a bit concerned about how my stepmother and her family will respond to the situation, which keeps him reserved when it comes to the subject.  At any rate, I feel a little better about the situation with my dad after having dinner with them, though I still don’t feel entirely supported.  However, if I can’t be supported, I’m glad that they aren’t pushing against me at least.

I also met up with both my younger brothers while I was in town.  One of them, the gay one, is extremely supportive and seems about as excited about me coming out as trans and the prospect of transitioning in the near future as I am.  He asks me all sorts of questions, but more related to what my goals are than anything else.  We talked about fitness and eating right and where we both want to be physically speaking.  He doesn’t really ask any questions about how I identify, he has friends that are trans and friends that are pansexual, so he has a much better understanding of both concepts and the challenges that can come with them at times than most people I’ve encountered.  It’s nice to have somebody to talk to that is more interested in what the end results I’m striving for are than in trying to understand how I work.

The youngest brother doesn’t seem to care one way or another.  One of my cousins was with us when I was spending time with him.  This cousin is significantly older than me and came out as a lesbian when I was still pretty young.  As such, her and another older gay cousin, really lead the way for my gay brother and me when we started coming out to the family.  They had already gotten the more religious portions of our family to be more accepting, at least those that were going to be.  There are still a couple of members of the family that have a hard time with it, I think.  Granted, I think I took it a step further with coming out as trans.  Anyway, where I was going with this is that we talked a lot about our experiences with coming out to the family and how they had made things easier for my brother and me by having come out so many years earlier.  We talked a lot about how I identify and such, and my brother mostly just listened.  He didn’t care that we were talking about it, and I think he was even interested, but he really didn’t have anything to add to the conversation.  It’s okay, when we talked about video games, my cousin didn’t have anything to add to the conversation either.  My youngest brother hasn’t really cared one way or another about anything to do with my or our other brother’s romantic lives or how we identify, outside of whether he thinks our partners are cool people or not.  In fact, he hasn’t ever shown any interest in companionship for himself, though I’ve seen lots of girls try to flirt with him and the other brother has seen several guys try to flirt with him as well.  I suspect, though haven’t straight out asked him to confirm it, that he is asexual.  What are the odds of that?  Three of us and each one is unusual in our own way?

Anyway, I saw my best friend too.  She’s one of the most supportive people I know.  She cares much more about whether you are a good person or not than anything else and is one of those people who just genuinely wants you to be happy.  I went to my aunt’s house for a barbecue, which is when I had spent time with the older of my two brothers, and that was a lot of fun.  This aunt is the one that is the mother of the lesbian cousin, so she’s nothing  but supportive as well.

Another one of my cousins, the younger brother to my lesbian one, was there with his family too.  He has three adorable little boys.  When I was talking about how I felt growing up and every time I mentioned thinking of myself as one of the boys when I was a kid and the things my boy cousins that were around my age and I would do, he would be like “oh yeah, I remember that!” and we’d laugh about the ridiculousness of some of it.  I was a pretty typical little boy with the chasing girls around with bugs and the blowing things up with fire crackers and roughhousing and all that jazz, only I was thought of by all the adults as a little girl back then.  As I was talking about some of it, his wife started asking me questions, though.  Apparently one of their kids, the 8-year-old, has shown a strong preference to girls toys and stuff and has asked her if when he grows up he can be a girl or if when he dies and goes to heaven if he can be a girl.  She’s not concerned about whether or not he’s trans or anything else, he’s their kid and they love him very much and just want him to be happy.  She was asking my advice on how to approach the subject with him or whether she even should or if she should wait for him to come to her.  She wants to make sure that he knows they love him and accept him and just want him to be himself regardless of who that is.  The idea of kids at school possibly picking on him for any of this or him feeling ashamed of himself for how he feels and holding it in really hits both my cousin and his wife hard.  It was very moving to see the emotions play across their faces so clearly.  I really wasn’t sure what to tell her because everybody is different.  August had a couple good suggestions that he texted me and I shared with them, including seeing a gender therapist, that I think they are considering.  Regardless of how the kid identifies, he has very supportive and loving parents, the sort that I know many in the community would kill to have.  I know he’ll (or she’ll) be just fine.

One of the final things I have to write about today is the disphoria of having to be in uniform any time I went out in public (so everywhere but when I went to my aunt’s house) when I was on this trip.  This was one of our dress uniforms, so it is one that is fitted in such a way to make it look like I have hips, despite the fact that I’m one of the fortunate ones that really don’t have very feminine hips.  I also can’t hide the fact that I have boobs, even though I’m very small chested.  I really wish there was a unisex uniform; they are considering introducing one, but it hasn’t happened yet.  I felt like a cross dresser every time I put the uniform on, especially the few times I looked in the mirror to make sure everything was on properly and saw myself.  It was a very difficult experience for me.  I usually get social disphoria when I’m at work since I can’t come out to people there without unwanted consequences, but our working uniform isn’t form-fitting at all so doesn’t cause this feeling that the dress uniform brought up.  Outside of work, since I’m fairly broad-shouldered, have narrow hips, and have a small enough chest that I don’t even need a binder, a sports bra is enough to hide them, I’m often identified as male until I speak and my very feminine voice comes out, so I really don’t experience as much physical disphoria normally, except when I’m naked.  I’m not used to being clothed and so uncomfortable with my appearance, it really hasn’t happened since I came out to friends and family and began the social transition in my personal life.  However, while I was out of town, it was a constant presence for me, which made it really hard to want to leave the hotel room to do anything.  I did anyway because I don’t get up there very often so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit with people I hadn’t seen for a while, but every day it was a challenge to talk myself into putting that uniform on and going out in a public place where everybody could see me.  All I can say is that I’m SO glad to be back home now and dressing in my normal masculine fashion again.  I’m not looking forward to the next time I have to do this, but I just have one more of these things to do before I’m done with the job.

On a brighter note, I did get to go to one of the practice sessions for my hometown NFL team (I may not live there anymore, but I will always be loyal to them) and since I did this as part of a public relations thing with work, I got to be in the VIP section of the spectators.  This meant that when the practice was over the players were there available to autograph stuff.  I got so many autographs, including two of the biggest names on the team!  It was really exciting for me, almost enough for me to stop feeling so self-conscious about the fact that I was wearing my uniform during this… almost.

So yeah, that pretty much sums up the last couple weeks.  It was a great experience to be back there and see friends and family that are still in that area, even though it came with its own difficulties since it was a work related trip.  Not to mention meeting the football players was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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