The second sentence probably makes sense to you. Maybe the first one doesn't. What I mean, of course, is that I had my surgery three years ago today.
If you've been reading this blog, you've probably noticed that my posts are less frequent. I guess there's less to talk about, at least in terms of my own gender identity and reassignment, as time goes on. Ironically, I find that the few occasions on which I talk about those things are with certain people at work, and in other academic settings. Most people who encounter me will never see me again and, as far as they know, I'm a middle-aged woman. Which, of course, is what I am. On the other hand, people who have spent lots of time in school--especially if their field of study is related to gender, gender studies or feminism--have to fit me into some sub-sub-sub-category or other.
It seems that, in academic circles, more people than I'd expected are reading this blog. At least, that's what I've been told. So, every once in a while, I'll bump into some professor or researcher who's not connected with any institution in which I've worked, and whom I've never before met, and he or she will say that he or she has heard about me.
But once I'm outside of an academic setting, my past hardly seems to matter at all. I suppose that if I apply for something and a background check is done, or even if I'm merely asked whether I've ever gone by another name, I'll have to explain where and what I've been. I suppose--or I hope, anyway--that it won't be seen as negatively as having been convicted of a felony. Not that I would know anything about that!
I have been volunteering with a women's organization, about which I'll say more in a future post. I told its founder and officers about my past. Even though I hadn't expected it to be an issue for them, I figured it would be better for them to hear it from me than someone else. Also, I figured that if they didn't want a trans woman in their midst (which, by the way, some women's groups don't), it would be better to find out before I got involved. But, as the founder of the organization said, somewhat wryly, "We're not the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival."
It was exactly the sort of thing I'd wanted when I started my transition. I not only knew it was possible; it was what I expected. So, even though I knew that there were people who were like the organizers of MWMF, there were also people like the founder of the organization. And there are many other women who've never heard of the Festival, or simply don't care about it. I know, because I've come to know some of them, and they have friends, sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers and other women in their lives who share their feelings. And most of them don't, or wouldn't, care about my past--or would only care about it to the extent that we like to know where and what the people in our lives have come from.
As one of them said, it's not easy being a woman, so she has all the more respect for someone who has embraced her femaleness, and chosen to live it. In the end, that's all there really is to what I've done during these past few years, from going into therapy, taking hormones, changing my name, living in my new identity, getting my surgery, starting this blog and doing any number of other things.
It may lead me to start another blog. If I do, it will probably be at least somewhat related to this blog. (How could it not be? Even my other blog, Midlife Cycling, is--at least to some extent.) And it might lead me to other projects and work which I can't yet conceive. All I know is that whatever I do, I have no choice but to live as the woman I am. And I wouldn't make any other choice, even if I could.