Being transgender isn’t easy, lets face it, life isn’t easy, especially if you are a natural born worrier as I am. Worry and anxiety have become my middle names from time to time in my life over the years, until eventually it beats me into a corner, it gets worse, then I end up crying at the grave of my grandmother (yes really) or do something else equally sad, then I eventually wake up one morning, see a chink of balance and get up to try again.
I’ve learned that my biggest worry is being out of work, broke, living on a park bench and then rotting away in a corner of the world. I know this can be a worry many share, and it becomes the driver to get on and at very least survive, however being transgender and looking at myself the way I do, I start to panic.
What if I don’t get work, maybe I should be more masculine, what if people don’t understand my intergender nature, what if this and what if that and OMG life is hard enough for ‘normal people’ let alone having this transgender stink follow me around. The panic set’s in, I become like a rabbit in the headlights and head off for the mass purge button, all the while remembering to take my daily dose of estrogen. This cycle continues until I eventually ask myself the question – if I lived in an isolated location would I have a problem with me? More over, do I really have a problem with me really, or am I actually taking too much responsibility for the rest of the worlds potential opinion of me and the ensuing fall out and stress that may bring me.
Well the answer is simply no I don’t really have a problem with me because I get me. I am just a human being, some days I wear a wig and give my bust a lift with a bra, some days I don’t, some days I wear make up, some days I don’t, I am simply being me, responding to what I am – an intergender person, bi gender who cares it’s just the way I am. Skirt, Bandanna, Wig, Vest, Heels, Boots, Overhauls, Jeans, Trainers … all just clothes. What’s really not to get ?
Many may wonder what’s the problem, where’s the fear and anxiety. The problem isn’t really with me, the problem is more with society, although they don’t really think there’s a problem, let’s face it there’s enough decent and skilled humans to go around – no shortage there! So if they haven’t got a need and I’m a bit different then the problem rests with me, how do I survive?
I have a particular mind set that states if you don’t work you don’t eat, there’s no safety net and no handouts. I’m experienced in the creative sector, I can build websites, design, have managed staff, worked in publishing and television, can drive Adobe CS suite, do a bit of PHP, know CSS, I can also cook, clean, do joinery work, brick laying, sew, gardening, decorate, cut hair and even arc weld. So I have no shortage of skills – but still I see I have a massive disability.
One thing I always forget is that there’s a safety net of sorts in the UK and I am willing to work. In fact I work hard freelance (when I can find the work) and have worked hard for 30 years, never stop trying and never come to any harm really except for the troubles caused by my gender dysphoria. OK to date I’ve always had to ‘play the game’ of conformity in a more male presentation which causes me a lot of problems with my gender issues being intergender, but I’ve scraped by. All that said I know worry and anxiety is a killer, so really I have to learn to look at life a little differently, understand that if I keep trying and get knock backs because of what I look like then what else can I do? I can try to conform and potentially make myself ill or find a middle ground, or not. The upshot of it all is if I became out of work and applied for jobs, attended interviews ‘as me’ and they didn’t like me or want me etc then I would be out of work … the problem for the prejudice or otherwise will be that of the governments and society. Which is a little ironic.
Hey, I am not condoning sitting on my ass and letting the government bail me out, not in the least, I am a firm advocate of hard work and fair pay. My point with this post is, because I take true ownership of my work and true responsibility for my own survival, the added fear of prejudice, missed chances etc because of my transgender does cause me a lot of anxiety. I am learning that to have a balance I have to respect that I can only do so much.
Yes it would’ve been easier to be born differently, yes it would have been easier to take the ‘blue pill’, but there’s no blue pill and no chance of being born differently, I am what I am. All I can do is to try and relax in being what I am and accept it and hope things will work out ok.
I know there’s more to worry about in life and many millions have real survival worries, so at the bottom of me I feel selfish for my worrying – but I suppose it’s all a matter of context.