04 September 2010

You Do It So It Won't Be A Big Deal

I'm still thinking about the experience I had the other day at my new part-time (one class, to be precise) gig.  There is an irony to it that I'm seeing just now:  In some way, my gender reassignment surgery didn't make that much difference--at least in that situation--and that is what I wanted.

And that is the very reason why I made the changes I've made.

In other words, I was able to have a teach, walk around, have a snack and sit in the summer afternoon sun among hundreds of young people--and I was nothing more than a middle-aged woman, if I was noticed at all.  If any of them noticed me, he or she might've thought I was a professor, simply because I am older than them and wasn't wearing a uniform of some kind.  Actually, that happens even when I'm not working:  People often take me for an educator of some sort, or a writer, and I don't try to project either.

But I realized that what I was experiencing was, in at least some way, the point of my surgery and all of the things that led up to it:  I wasn't seeking a different life so much as I wanted simply to experience life as the person I am, in a body that is a reflection of it.  And that is exactly what happened the other day.  I wasn't explaining, or apologizing for, myself--and nobody demanded those things of me.  

That's not to say that I want to leave everybody and everything I've ever known.  Some trans people do that after their surgeries, or even while they're preparing for it, and it doesn't always turn out well.  Plus, when you get to a certain age, it's not as feasible simply because it's more difficult to start over.  I want to be around people for whom my transition--if they know about it--will not be an issue. Such has been the case with my old friends who've remained with me as they were friends of Nick.  For them, there's not so much difference, except that I've been happier, so--as they say--they like my company more.  And, of course, my parents have been supportive even when they haven't been approving.  That in itself is a testament to what kind of people they are, and why I'm not going to leave them behind.  (Actually, I don't think I could, even if I wanted to.)

But then there are people--including some at my regular job--who see me only in terms of my transition, even if they never knew me as Nick.  And then there are the ones who really leave me confused and frustrated:  They were fine with me until either:  a. I got my current position there or b. I got my operation.  I've mentioned some of them, if not by name, on other posts.  As I've mentioned, they can be treacherous.   What I've learned is that they haven't changed:  I'm simply seeing a part of them I might not have seen otherwise.  

At least I know that it doesn't have to make a difference.  After all, I'm getting to live as the person I always knew myself to be.  I'll still have that when those people are no longer in my life.